BlogHer: where the feminist victimhood agenda is at

May 22, 2006

I’ve stayed pretty quiet on the BlogHer crowd for a long time, since maybe 12-18 months ago at The Blog Herald, but now I read this rubbish at the Contra Costa Times and I can’t help but comment again.

You see, there’s an agenda at foot, and it isn’t about empowering women to blog.

Their motto: “where the women bloggers are” is condescending and self serving to start with. If I was a female blogger I’d find the motto offensive. They’ve got about 2800 members, at congrats to them, it’s a great figure for any sort of organisation, but clearly the women bloggers aren’t at BlogHer, they’re every where.

They’ve at least now admitted that there are more women writing blogs than men (in the past they claimed the opposite) but then they fall back on the tired and tested rubbish of obsessing about “the A-List” and a lack of female representation.

Without going back over the whole history of the development of blogging, the so-called A-Lists are a historical quirk that is changing every day, and has changed rapidly since BlogHer first opened it’s doors. Sure, there are more men on it, but men were pretty much there first, amongst the geeks who first started blogging, and have the advantage of time in building things like traffic and in-bound links.

But the problem for my liking is this “victimhood” mentality that women are hard done by on the blogosphere. It’s crap….complete and utter crap, because at the end of the day an A-List of any sort is just that, a list, and lists really don’t mean anything in the long tail that is the blogosphere.

Let’s take my own b5media for example. We have more women bloggers then men. I couldn’t give you an exact figure, because I don’t really care about our ratio of women to men. See, we hire bloggers based on their skills, not their gender, race, sexuality, disabilities or any other criteria.

The blogosphere has more women in it than men, and that’s regarded as a given, even by the BlogHer crowd.

Are women bloggers being read? To bloody right they are! And I’m sure if you were able to measure by how much you’d probably find that women bloggers are more highly read than male bloggers.

But this doesn’t suit the BlogHer crowd, because to feather their own nests and to create a position of power for themselves, it’s important to play up alleged inequalities in the blogosphere, and these guys (or should I say gals) have always been obsessed with the A-List, mainly because they want to be on it.

It’s a power play.

And lets look at BlogHer:

Their pitch is getting attention as the business world again goes ga ga for the Internet. BlogHer boasts the kind of demographics that make advertisers drool: educated, upwardly mobile women who like to shop online (94 percent have education beyond high school, 64 percent are between the ages of 28 and 40 and make more than $50,000 a year, according to a survey of nearly 3,000 bloggers conducted in May).

Not really representative of the greater female blogging community now, is it? 94% have tertiary education.

These are powerful, highly educated women with an agenda for power. It’s just a shame they hide behind the cloak of victimhood to try to obtain their goals. Lets hope one day they join the huge, overwhelming majority of bloggers who don’t obsess about A-Lists and other such crap, and get out there and have a go, whether that be for personal therapy, social networking, or even the chance of minor celebrity status. The Blogosphere IS a level playing field, the only thing not level is the metrics of stupid things like A-Lists.


6 responses to BlogHer: where the feminist victimhood agenda is at

  1. You’re going to have the roof come down on you in a minute, but you’re dead-on.

    Next what, an organization for non-american bloggers?

  2. Duncan, there’s a bunch of stock arguments that get made every time inequality is pointed out.

    1) The powerful are a tiny percentage of the populace, so that makes inequality OK.

    2) What me worry? Not me! So that makes inequality OK.

    3) The people pointing out the inquality are relatively privileged too! So that makes inequality OK!

    I could go on, but what’s the point? The basic idea is trying to slide away from the unpleasant truth by either redefining it or pointing to unpleasant aspects of the outsider group (which is not going to consist of selfless saints).

    The Blogosphere IS NOT a level playing field, it’s an amazingly cliquish and oligarchical system, which is often WORSE – that’s WORSE – than the mainstream media, precisely because it’s less willing to even deal with the complicated issues.

  3. Seth
    this is were we disagree, because the blogosphere is a level playing field, it’s just that the reporting of it, the obsession at the top of it (and by observers) distorts the fact that for every Robert Scoble there are millions of people out their with their own audiences within their own niches.

    It’s only cliquish at the top, and in the way its presented and reported on. It was always the quandry I had at The Blog Herald, because in many ways I presented the news in that very same way, however 99.99999% of people out there don’t give a rats about the A-List and the like. I don’t like the term, but the “mainstream” is very much ignored in reporting, but it’s the vast majority.

  4. Duncan, that’s what I mean by “redefinition”. It’s like saying “Income is level, because for every Bill Gates who is a billionaire, there are millions of people just getting by, and happy not to be homeless”. It’s almost an illogical substitution of terms of debate.

    Some people don’t want to be rich. But others do. The segues into the standard argument made earlier, which I’ll summarize as “Look, they want to be rich too! So that makes them bad people!”

    The fact is, audience distribution in the bogosphere is highly exponential. This is again such a disturbing fact that it sets off all sort of evasion and rationalization. Yes, there are people who don’t care about audience, who are happy little diary-writers and chatters. But there are also people who do want the kind of influence that comes with being higher up the curve, and that’s where the clique and exclusionary effects are very evident.

    That is so difficult to discuss this very basic and elemental aspect is a profound indicator of the quality of the reasoning.

  5. Hey, so may a woman speak up here? 😉 I can see your point, Duncan, about BlogHer. It’s a little too much “pity poor little ol’ me.” But at the same time, I think it’s fantastic that there’s a place where women can get together and talk about what makes blogging important to them. Because there IS still a difference in the roles men and women play in this world and there IS still a preconceived notion about what women can or cannot do.

    Take, for example, science. I am so proud and grateful that b5media has allowed me, a woman, to spearhead the Science and Health Channel. It actually breaks many prejudices.

    1. Women can’t do science (health is a different matter but I’ll lump it in together).

    2. Asians (I’m Chinese-American) can’t write.

    3. Science is not for everyone.

    The fact is, the blogosphere is extremely segmented. I don’t see anything wrong with that. We all have our individual interests and that’s how we build strong niches, brands, identities and readership. We cater to people who are like us. And that’s what BlogHer is all about.

    So I’m all for conferences and associations specifically for science bloggers, blogosophere bloggers, entertainment bloggers, etc. It’s fun and energizing to get together with people of likeminds.

    But NO WHINING please. And definitely no misrepresentation of facts. Just get out there and do it! 😀