PJ Media

Is the Blogosphere Sexist?

Ann Althouse a href=”http://althouse.blogspot.com/2007/02/marcotte-blames-sexism-for-her-troubles.html”thinks there is some truth /ato Amanda Marcotte’s accussation that she was fired because of sexism:br /br /blockquoteI think Marcotte goes way too far blaming sexism for her troubles, but there is still some truth to it. I’ve seen plenty of attacks on me that have the odor of sexism. I think there is a sense out there that the blogosphere belongs to the guys and the women are interlopers. Rationally, most guys will say that’s not true, but I think they still have that prejudice, that instinctive reaction: Who does she think she is? Who let her in here? And I readily admit that some of what I think is my own imagination, but I’ve read enough things about me to believe it./blockquotebr /br /Sexism is what got Marcotte hired in the first place– she and her co-blogger were hired embecause/em they were women, and Edwards as well as the bloggers mistakenly believed that because they were women, they could get away with anything. No self-respecting politician would have hired a man who talked and acted like a deranged teen who spouted off at the mouth as if he were a sexually abused borderline using the internet as a weapon against all that angered him. Such a man would rightly be called a loose cannon–a misogynist who was part of a fringe group of warped minds. My guess is that Edwards hired these women to make the point that he was a “progressive feminist” who took women’s views seriously. His mistake was to believe that the average woman, or man for that matter, would take the views of a bigot and a hater like Marcotte seriously regardless of sex. Sexism may have played a part in Marcotte and her fellow-hater getting hired but it certainly played no part in getting them fired–their unprofessional conduct and rantings did that for them all by itself.br /br /As for the notion that the blogosphere is full of sexism and men just don’t realize it, I think the Professor should take a real look at who some of these sexist comments are made by. I, for one, have noticed that as many sexist and nasty comments on my blog are written by females as by males. And, proportionally, men do read more political blogs: generally about 75% of political blog readers are male, meaning that there will be more of a chance of comments of any type from men on blogs such as Althouse’s–but many of these males are supportive of women’s sites, otherwise they would not be on there commenting and interacting with female bloggers. And, honestly, some of the ugliest comments I have gotten have been from cowards that come to my site to make ugly comments about my husband’s appearance–one commenter (don’t know if male or female) even called him “tubby.” How sexist is that? Other so called progressive sites call me the “ole Mrs. Doctor Perfesser” or some such nonsense–I have seen this on “feminist sites.” Isn’t it sexist to be addressing a woman by her husband’s occupation etc? So, who is the sexist here? (Even a href=”http://www.houseofplum.com/plumcrazy/archives/010263.html”leftist blogs/a have complained about that: see the footnote.)br /br /I recently answered some questions for a researcher who was studying women’s political blogs and she asked if I encountered sexism as a woman on the internet. My response, “Yes, but frequently from other women.” And the digs from those women are often not subtle, and usually related to appearance. I remember reading some blog where a “feminist” didn’t like something I said and stated, “She needs to do something with that hair, Meow!” “What a catty comment,” I thought, particularly coming from a blogger who seemed to pride herself for being a feminist.br /br /To tell you the truth, I don’t read many of the “feminist” blogs: they seem immature and tend to blame men in vile terms for every aspect of their miserable lives–while at the same time, slamming any man who makes the slightest criticism of women. Yep, the blogosphere is sexist all right but it may just be that the women give as good or better than they get. So I really can’t feel too sorry for them. I am just disappointed that the typically just and reasonable Professor Althouse would fail to give her male readers and bloggers the benefit of the doubt in this aspect.