What is a Political Blog?
by Melissa Ryan, Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 07:50:53 AM EDT
The subject of women and participation on political blogs has come up again, this time in an NYT column penned by Katharine Q. Seelye.
Most of the column is spent presenting the opinions of readers and experts on why women don't participate on political blogs. The problem is that Seelye never attempts to define what a political blog is. Are Feministing and Pandagon political blogs? What about a site where the author writes both about politics and family life such as Half Changed World? I would argue that they are, but I have a feeling that the NYT would not. Reading the column I was left with the impression that a political blog is any site where women commenters are in the minority regardless of content.
Seelye correctly points out that women bloggers don't get the same attention in the media that our male counterparts do, referring to the coverage of (and attention from Presidential candidates) of the BlogHer convention vs YearlyKos. But she never analyzes that lack of media attention or acknowledges her own role in it.
I have more questions than answers about this: What is a political blog? Is the MSM using a narrow definition that purposely leaves women out? Is this a manufactured controversy or a real problem? And if it is a genuine problem, why does the discussion feel so sexist?