Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Blogging Beyond the Men's Club

I know, I know. Everyone talks about this. But Steven Levy (I'm now caught up to the current issue of Newsweek!) addresses a different angle. I'm sick of the men who talk to people just like them about what they want to hear, then have the audacity to ask where all the women are. Um, why don't you lift up your head and look around, jackass?

But Newsweek is addressing the idea of inclusion, and it's an interesting topic to explore:
"It has taken 'mainstream media' a very long time to get to [the] point of inclusion," Jenkins wrote. "My fear is that the overwhelmingly white and male American blogosphere ... will return us to a day where the dialogue about issues was a predominantly white-only one."
And all male, too.
The top-down mainstream media have to some degree found the will and the means to administer such care. But is there a way to promote diversity online, given the built-in decentralization of the blog world? Jenkins, whose comment started the discussion, says that any approach is fine—except inaction. "You can't wait for it to just happen," he says. Appropriately enough, the best ideas rely on individual choices. MacKinnon is involved in a project called Global Voices, to highlight bloggers from around the world. And at the Harvard conference, Suitt challenged people to each find 10 bloggers who weren't male, white or English-speaking—and link to them. "Don't you think," she says, "that out of 8 million blogs, there could be 50 new voices worth hearing?" Definitely. Now let's see if the blogosphere can self-organize itself to find them.
I think that this is a great idea.

The only place Levy missteps is when he suggests that female bloggers didn't notice that they are in the vast minority until a black man (Jenkins) pointed out the lack of diversity in the room at a Harvard conference on bloggers. There's no way they didn't notice being the only 2 women in a convention hall. We notice. We always notice. It's part of the charming culture of power and fear in which we live.

1 comment:

Moreena said...

Interesting article.

I do note myself that most of the blogs I link to are written by women. I guess if I were sitting in a room filled with power bloggers and was one of only two women, I would certainly notice. But as for myself in my little corner of the blogging world, I would never actually notice that there were more men blogging than women.