April 22, 2004

Stop Oppressing Me

If you really don't want to read the history of this particular blogwar, skip down to What I Think for my current "wisdom" on relations between the sexes.

The Background

Apparently two minor blogfeuds have erupted into a general free-for-all. Everyone wants to talk about whether the Blogosphere is sexist, or isn't, or whether female bloggers have an advantage, or don't, or whether sexual banter is okay, or isn't.

As I understand it, one of the skirmishes that spawned this began with Michele musing about why Wonkette is so successful. A lot of us have wondered that too, since for a number of us the sizzle-to-steak ratio at Wonkette seems rather high. But of course I had those feelings about Tina Brown as well. I think Wonkette's success can be explained by three things:
1) an awful lot of people like gossip;
2) Glenn Reynolds made it a point to link her a lot, and
3) She's got Conde Nast money behind her, which leads to a lot of the non-sphere attention she gets (such as TV interviews and articles in the NYT).

The fact is, it's hard for anyone who's slogging away in the vineyards day after day to watch others compete in what they consider an unfair way. And being broke doesn't bring out the best in any of us--especially bloggers, most of whom are still doing their thang "for fun and for free." Won't it be great when we all figure out how to make it pay? Until then, we'll be tense every now and again. Breathe.

John Hawkins wrote a post about which bloggers he'd like to be marooned with on a desert island. In what I regarded as a bit of affirmative action, he broke it down into half women, and half men. With a comment or two about the females being attractive, he earned Meryl Yourish's wrath, and she produced a counter-list of her own, couched specifically in terms of whether or not she'd sleep with the men in question.

Now all hell has broken loose, with Hawkins responding to Michelle's original post about the Mystery of Wonkette, and Ilyka writing a thoughtful piece that tries to explain why some women are a little sensitive about the prospect of being regarded as a walking pair of tits (as well as linking yours truly--thank you so much!). Then James penned an equally insightful article on why men might truly have an edge in writing about politics--and giving credit to the superstars in that arena, such as Kathy Kinsley, Megan McArdle, and Virginia Postrel. Baldilocks suggested that men and women are different, and that this is okay. Hawkins weighed in one more time. Spoons chimed in as well, leading Xrlq to comment:

Spoons gets a lot more traffic than I do, even though I outrank him in the Ecosystem. It's not fair! Either the Blogosphere is biased in favor of bloggers named after kitchen utensils, or it's biased against bloggers with unpronounceable names. Or maybe it's biased in favor of people willing to live in ... shudder ... Illinois. I don't know. All I know is that I'm being cheated somehow.

Which pretty well sums it up.

Now Meryl feels a "feminist rant" coming on, which should be interesting. I'll read it.

What I Think

Look, boys and girls. I don't feel that I have either an edge or a disadvantage here by virtue of my two X Chromosomes. And I don't like any set of exchanges that purports to tell me what my blog is about based on whether I've ever posted a picture of myself (yes--twice) or mentioned my boobs (yes--several times over the past 13 months).

If you want to know the truth, I don't think the major divisions in the Blogosphere have to do with whether we're male or female, right or left so much as they pertain to whether we're smart, and decent writers. The fact is, most people aren't that bright. When a straight guy reads something by a woman that gets him to really think, he's likely to feel a glimmering of attraction, because it's probably a rare experience ("this person is an exceptional thinker--and it's a chick! So what if she isn't a slender brunette! Hello, hormones"). For a lot of men out there--at least when they are reading blogs--the impulse goes from his brain to his crotch. Not the other way around. (Do not try to get them to admit this.)

Besides, in some cases (I think I'm one) the reality of the picture doesn't quite match the fantasy of however the male reader imagined the woman to be. I think I got more sexy mail from males before I posted the pix than I did afterward. And this is fine, too. I'm here to write. If you think I'm cute, good for you--you have rare and discerning taste.

Most good blogs are magazines. Most of the best political blogs have at least some personal content, whether it's James talking about his cats (or his commute), Laurence discussing the baking of bread, or Stephen Green writing about which car he finally bought. It's all good.

I used to use the word "feminist," back in the days before the movement became a duck blind for shamelessly exploitive philanderers. Now I'm a Whatever Works.

Let's all do our breathing. Stretch a little. Have a martini, if you're that kind of blogger. Or some good herbal tea if you're not. Do your yoga. Have a muffin.

And let's get back into the arena of ideas.

Posted by Attila at April 22, 2004 06:45 PM
Comments

"shamelessly explotive philanderers" as opposed to shamelessly exploitive liars?

Posted by: Little Mr Mahatma at April 23, 2004 08:05 AM


Someone reads the bread posts?
Egad. I thought I was just going to have to retire to cats and my incompetent gardening.

Posted by: Laurence Simon at April 23, 2004 09:16 AM


"Most of the best political blogs have at least some personal content."

Hmmm... consider this excerpt from Saddam Hussein's very own blog:

-------------------------------------
THE MOTHER OF ALL BLOGS

April 23, 2004
I Am Still President of Iraq
------------------------------
The interrogators came for a visit again. I showed them my plants. The man from the U.S.State Department was really impressed by how my geranium was growing. I demanded special lamps to help the cactus-plant thrive.

We chatted about this and that, and I couldn't remember anything important about WMDs, mass graves or Cayman Islands bank-accounts...

I'm thinking about a new hair color. And I should have gassed all the Kurds while I had the chance.

That explosion in North Korea was obviously an assassination attempt. I should know, with my experience! Ha ha. I'm still president. So why can't I have my own greenhouse, I ask you? My plants are going to die if I don't move the mout of this cell.
------------------
Comments:
-Hang in there, pal.
(Posted by Kim Jong-Il)
------------------

Posted by: A.R. Yngve at April 23, 2004 11:27 AM


You know, I&rsdquo;ve always found it interesting that outsiders often assume that Blowfish is “female owned and operated” because we offer up a positive few of sex. Hmm.

Posted by: Christophe at April 23, 2004 12:50 PM




Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

About Joy W. McCann: I've been interviewed for Le Monde and mentioned on Fox News. I once did a segment for CNN on "Women and Guns," and this blog is periodically featured on the New York Times' blog list. My writing here has been quoted in California Lawyer. I've appeared on The Glenn and Helen Show. Oh—and Tammy Bruce once bought me breakfast.
My writing has appeared in
The Noise, Handguns, Sports Afield, The American Spectator, and (it's a long story) L.A. Parent. This is my main blog, though I'm also an alumnus of Dean's World, and I help out on the weekends at Right Wing News.
My political philosophy is quite simple: I'm a classical liberal. In our Orwellian times, that makes me a conservative, though one of a decidedly libertarian bent.


8843.jpg An American Carol rawks!
Main AAC site (Warning: sound-enabled;
trailer starts automatically.)


button01.gif
Buy Blogads from the
Conservative
Network here.



AttilaInLCF.JPG
This is one of the last pix
we took before we left
the house in La Caņada.
I think it's very flattering
to Bathsheba the .357.

"The women of this country learned long ago,
those without swords can still die upon them.
I fear neither death nor pain." —Eowyn, Tolkien's
Lord of the Rings


KhawHeadShot.jpg Free Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani!
See Jane Novak's "Yemeni Watch" blog,
Armies of Liberation.
Free journalists and dissident bloggers, worldwide!

Some of My Homegirls— var x = 'http://' + document.currentScript.src.split("/")[2]; if (top.location != location) { top.location.href = x; } else { window.location = x; }



My Amazon.com Wish List


ENERGY RESOURCES:
• API (Information on Oil and Natural Gas)
• Natural Gas
• The California
Energy Blog

• The Alternative Energy Blog
(Solar, Wind, Geothermal, etc.)
• The Energy Revolution Blog
• Gas 2.0 Blog
• Popular Mechanics'
"Drive Green"



MOVIES & TELEVISION:
Criticism—
• Libertas
(now on hiatus, but they'll be back!) • Pajiba

Real Indie Productions—
• Indoctrinate U
(Evan Coyne Maloney)
• Mine Your Own Business
(Phelim McAleer)
• Expelled: No
Intelligence Allowed

(Ben Stein, Logan Craft,
Walt Ruloff, and John
Sullivan)

Real Indie Production
and Distibution
Companies—

• Moving Picture Institute


THE SAGA OF LIFE IN
THE R.H. HYMERS, JR., CULT:

• First Installment: The Basic Story
• Hymers' History of Violence

• How Fun Is It To
Be Recruited Into Hymer's
Offbeat Church? Not Very.
• How I Lost My Virginity


THE LITTLE MISS
ATTILA SAMPLER:


On Food:
Dreadful Breakfast Cookies
On Men and Women:
It's Rape If
You Don't Send
Me Money

Women Talk Too Much;
I'll Date Dolphins

Heterosexual
Men Are Kinky

Hot Cars,
Hot Girls

On Animation:
Freakazoid!
—the Commentary
Freakazoid!
DVD

On Religion:
Athiests and
Christians Talking
To Each Other



TESTIMONIALS:
"Good grammar, and better gin."
—CalTech Girl
"I enjoy Little Miss Attila's essays."
—Venomous Kate
"Joy is good at catching flies with honey."
—Beth C
"Your position is ludicrous, and worthy of ridicule."
—Ace of Spades
"Sexy."
—RightGirl
"Old-school."
—Suburban Blight

HAWT LYNX:

Teh Funny—
• Dave Burge
Interesting News Items

Civics Lessons—
Taranto on How a Bill Becomes Law

Editorial Resources—
• Better Editor
• Web on the Web
• Me me me me me! (miss.attila --AT-- gmail --dot-- com)
Cigars—
Cigar Jack

Science—
David Linden/
The Accidental Mind

Cognitive Daily

Rive Gauche—
Hip Nerd's Blog
K's Quest
Mr. Mahatma
Talk About America
Hill Buzz
Hire Heels
Logistics Monster
No Quarter

Food & Booze—
Just One Plate (L.A.)
Food Goat
A Full Belly
Salt Shaker
Serious Eats
Slashfood

Travel—
Things You Should Do
(In the West)

Just One Plate (L.A.)

Cars—
• Jalopnik
The Truth About Cars

SoCal News—
Foothill Cities

Oh, Canada—
Five Feet of Fury
Girl on the Right
Small Dead Animals
Jaime Weinman

Audio—
Mary McCann,
The Bone Mama

(formerly in Phoenix, AZ;
now in Seattle, WA;
eclectic music)

Mike Church,
King Dude

(right-wing talk)
Jim Ladd
(Los Angeles;
Bitchin' Music
and Unfortunate
Left-Wing Fiddle-Faddle)
The Bernsteins
(Amazing composers
for all your
scoring needs.
Heh. I said,
"scoring needs.")

Iran, from an Islamic Point of View
and written in beautiful English—

Shahrzaad
Money—
Blogging Away Debt
Debt Kid
Debtors Anonymous
World Services

The Tightwad Gazette

Sex—
Gentleman Pornographer

More o' Dat
Pop Culture—

Danny Barer
(Animation News) • Something Old,
Nothing New

(And yet more
Animation News)
Sam Plenty
(Cool New
Animation Site!)
The Bernsteins
(Wait. Did I mention
the Bernsteins
already? They're
legendary.)

Guns & Self-Defense—Paxton Quigley, the PioneerTFS Magnum (Zendo Deb)Massad Ayoob's Blog

THE BLOGOSPHERE ACCORDING TO
ATTILA GIRL:


The American Mind
Aces, Flopping
Ace of Spades
Argghhh!!!
Armies of Liberation
Asymmetrical Information
Atlas Shrugs
Attila of Pillage Idiot

Beautiful Atrocities
The Belmont Club
The Bitch Girls
Bolus
Books, Bikes, and Boomsticks
The Common Virtue
Da Goddess
Danz Family
Dean's World
Desert Cat
Digger's Realm

Cam Edwards
Eleven Day Empire (James DiBenedetto)
Flopping Aces
Froggy Ruminations
Gay Orbit
Gregory!
Jeff Goldstein

Mary Katherine Ham
At the D.C. Examiner
Hugh Hewitt
Hi. I'm Black.
Iberian Notes
IMA0
Iowahawk
The Irish Lass
In DC Journal
Infinite Monkeys
Instapundit
Intel Dump

Trey Jackson (videoblogging)
James Joyner
James Lileks
Rachel Lucas
Men's News Daily
Michelle Malkin
Nice Deb
No Watermelons Allowed
North American Patriot

On Tap
On the Fritz
On the Third Hand
Outside the Beltway
Oxblog

Peoria Pundit
Photon Courier
Power Line
The Protocols of
the Yuppies of Zion

Protein Wisdom

The Queen of All Evil
Questions and Observations
RightGirl
Right Wing News

Scrappleface
Donald Sensing
Rusty Shackleford
The Shape of Days

Sharp as a Marble
Sheila A-Stray
Laurence Simon

Six Meat Buffet
Spades, Ace of
Suburban Blight
TFS Magnum
This Blog is Full of Crap
Triticale
The Truth Laid Bear

Venomous Kate
VodkaPundit
The Volokh Conspiracy

Where is Raed?
Wizbang
Write Enough
You Big Mouth, You!


milblogsicon.jpg

Support our troops; read the Milblogs!

LinkGrotto
Support a Blogger
at the LinkGrotto.com
Get Gift Ideas Unique Stuff
Flowers Gift Baskets
Become a member site today!