Thursday, September 06, 2007

Why Aren't More Women Blogging? (Actually, You Might be Surprised by How Many Are)

Last month, Jennifer Pozner wrote a great article about women and blogging--I've been meaning to share it for a long time!

Jennifer is the Founder & Executive Director of WIMN, or Women in Media and News. WIMN is an incredible, dynamic organization working to change the face of women in the media--how women are represented and portrayed--and the face of media for women--the role the media plays in womens' lives. More importantly, WIMN works to make the voices of often unheard women heard, including women of color, low-income women, lesbians, youth and older women.

And WIMN has an awesome blog, called WIMN's Voices: A Group Blog on Women, Media, AND… (you fill in the blank--women bloggers discuss everything from hip hop to human rights, to science and sports). Over 50 women contribute to the blog, creating one of the most diverse and wide-reaching blogs online (they range in ange from 19 to 64, they are everything from Quaker to Muslim, they include GLBT women and their straight allies, and about 45% are women of color).

So, I highly encourage you to read their blog. But back to Jennifer's article:
Half of all bloggers are women. Bet you didn't know that. Maybe that's why, as Jennifer points out, many journalists choose to keep asking the same old question, "Where are the women bloggers?" -- rather than actually seek them out. And there are many of them! Take BlogHer, for example: it's an online community of more than 13,000 blogging women. But when BlogHer held an annual convention in July, attended by some 800 bloggers ranging from artists to activists, grandmothers to geeks, the amazing event didn't receive a single bit of national press coverage.

As Jennifer writes, "If many believe that blogging is a primarily male sport, it is partially because old-school gender disparities in resource allocation, power and popularity long entrenched in traditional news media are replicating themselves online. In the blogosphere, young men - mostly white and mostly economically comfortable - link to, write about, promote and fund their buddies' blogs; and corporate media play star-makers, quoting, profiling and featuring the punditry of this New Boys Network. As is hardly surprising to those of us who monitor media representations of women, women who blog (especially those who write about feminist issues) are off the radar."

In other words, blogging--an amazing way for thousands to self-publish and freely distribute their thoughts through the information highway--remains an old boys' club. Women's blogs are less likely to be read. Period.

So, readers, keep reading and supporting your favorite girl- and women-written blogs! (Shameless self-promotion, I know.) But it's up to us to keep looking for ways that women and girls can use blogging to make our voices heard. The tools are there. We've gotta use 'em.
Leave us a comment and join the discussion: Do you blog? Read blogs often? Which are your favorite (or least favorite) blogs? Which issues do you think blogs cover too much, and which do you wish were covered more?


Erin said...

I keep two blogs, one for my acting/performing stuff, one for book reviews/poetry/quotes/life, etc.

A small selection of the blogs I read can be found in the sidebars of either of my blogs.


Devin said...

Blogs are cool. I am planning on getting one. Wow! I didn't know that 1/2 of bloggers are women. Things you just don't suspect....

Anonymous said...

I went to this website and know its on my faves list