Are Women Bloggers Taken Seriously?

Julie of wine me, dine me blog, was miffed when she read a local article that virtually ignored female bloggers. When her male friend asked her "does that really matter?" she replied:

Yes, it does. Women's voices are often ignored (as this article details), and we really aren't taken as seriously. Though there are tons of successful female food bloggers (Accidental Hedonist, I'm looking at you), it's still a bit of a boys' club. (Source)

Though I can honestly say that the issue of gender has never reared its ugly head when I pick posts for Neatorama, apparently a lot of women bloggers feel they aren't taken seriously. To wit, this post by Megan Carpentier of Glamocracy, a blog of Glamour magazine:

For political bloggers who happen to be women, such as myself, my colleagues here at Glamocracy and elsewhere, the blogosphere can seem like a very testosterone-filled place. Sure, you've got Arianna Huffington and Patricia Murphy of Citizen Jane Politics. But the list of other must-read blogs is dominated by dudes: Andrew Sullivan, Markos Moulitsas (of the Daily Kos), Mike Krempasky (of Redstate.com) and of course Matt Drudge. (Also, why do so many of their names start with "M"? I've got that part down!) A museum exhibit dedicated to blogging here in D.C. (I know) has a small display referring to former Wonkette Ana Marie Cox, but the room is dominated by several TV screens featuring male blogger-pundits like Matthew Yglesias and Ezra Klein. So, why do the boys of the political blogosphere command so much attention? (Source)

Even the New York Times, in its first coverage of the BlogHer convention, put it as such:

A study conducted by BlogHer and Compass Partners last year found that 36 million women participate in the blogosphere each week, and 15 million of them have their own blogs. (BlogHer, which was founded by Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort Page and Jory Des Jardins, has itself grown into a mini empire that includes a Web site that helps publicize women’s blogs, and an advertising network to help women generate revenue for the site.)

Yet, when Techcult, a technology Web site, recently listed its top 100 Web celebrities, only 11 of them were women. Last year, Forbes.com ran
a similar list, naming four women on its list of 25.

“It’s disheartening and frustrating,” said Allison Blass, a BlogHer attendee whose personal blog at www.lemonade-life.com is about living with Type 1 diabetes.

At the seminar “How to Take Names and Be Taken Seriously as a Political Blogger,” many women said that their male colleagues and major media groups tended to ignore them, and to link to them less often (unless they are Arianna Huffington). They pointed to the Netroots Nation gathering (formerly known as Yearly Kos) for politically progressive bloggers, occurring that same weekend in Austin, Tex. (Source | Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland/NY Times)

(Note: the article was written by a woman, Kara Jesella - which garnered an interesting retort by Rebecca Traister of the Broadsheet blog over at Salon.com)

As a counterpoint, Drew Vogel of Relentless Self-Promotion blog wrote:

My short answer to the question of if female bloggers are taken seriously is the same answer to the question of if male bloggers are taken seriously: No. Bloggers are not taken seriously solely as a function of gender. If the content is good and should be taken seriously, then they are — and should be — taken seriously as bloggers. Regardless of gender. [...]

The broader question — are bloggers taken seriously? — is a salient one even removing the gender issue. As a blogger of more than 12 years (and sysop of The Cafe’ BBS for years before that), I believe that bloggers are not taken as seriously as “traditional” journalists. And, in my opinion as a long-time blogger, that’s okay. I take my blogging seriously, but do not think that I am doing anything more than sharing my opinion with those who care to read it. (Source)

What do you think? Do women get shortchanged when it comes to blogging? Does gender matter in the blogosphere?


Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

Awwww, thanks, Adam! ;-) (LOL @ "politically confused!")

Frankly, I'm tired of people hand-wringing over not being taken seriously. We're bloggers, fer crying out loud. And of course there are women whose major selling point on their blogs is (quite intentionally) their physical appearance, or more to the point, their sexuality. All while trying to be "serious." (Adam knows of whom I speak.) There are a lot of dudes who will read a blog written by a woman just because they like looking at her picture and imagining she's writing for THEM. It's just the way things are, on the internets and off. Not much you can do about it except keep the pics off the blog, or even do like Digby did (concealing her gender).

I do think there's a big difference in the political bloggers btw left and right, though; a lot of (but certainly NOT ALL) the prominent female bloggers write a lot about so-called "women's issues," with a focus on feminism. Like it or not, I'm sure it's just as off-putting to most men as dudes' blogs with soft porn pics all over them are to us. (That's another entire story, right there - some dudes post that sh*t and wonder why women feel like it's a no-girls-allowed zone? Duh!)

Anyway, I'm not taken "seriously," but then, I've been known to slip goatse links in my posts just because I thought it was funny. ;)
(Don't worry, I'm over that phase.)
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I call bullshit. Some of the most successful bloggers are women: Gina Tripani of Lifehacker, Erin of Unclutter, Megann Marco of Consumerist immediately come to mind. I'm sure there are tons more I don't know about. Isn't one of the major contributors to Mental Floss a woman?
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In order to boost my traffic, I've considered using a female identity and posting a profile photo of a hot babe. Not the kind of traffic I ultimately want, but just long enough to get better indexed by Google. I don't know whether male bloggers are taken more seriously than females. How seriously does anyone really want to be taken anyway? On the web, TRAFFIC is king. As a blogger, traffic is most important.

People blog about various things. Any blogger who wants to be taken seriously is probably just too serious. You have to post a lot and be relevant. Google can't tell a blogger's gender.

Oh yeah, I always take MissCellania seriously.
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