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Sexism and the blogosphere

Colleague Nicola (or should that be comrade Nicola?) draws my attention to this article from the March edition of Newsweek, moaning that the blogosphere is full of white, middle-class males. It's not a sentiment that really speaks to me, mainly because the site that drew me into blogging back in 2002 was the rabbit blog, which is written by freelance writer Heather Havrilesky. Since then, I've had the pleasure of meeting Suw Charman, a Welsh language enthusiast and actual blog consultant.

The piece did remind me however of a shock I had last weekend when my ubergeek boyfriend was showing me GreaseMonkey scripts for Mozilla Firefox (a greasemonkey script is a script that alters what websites look like automatically - they're fab for providing greater accessibility and ad-free versions of your favourite sites, but they're not for the technologically faint-hearted).

Now, my favourite blog ever is boingboing.net, a collaborative blog that has won the Bloggies awards for the last two years (hell, if you got passed greasemonkey scripts, you probably know about boingboing). Get this. There's actually a script which you can run on top of boingboing that gets rid of all the material posted by their only female poster, Xeni Jardin. The geek that wrote it (and if it wasn't a man, I'll eat my intray) may call it proof of concept and yeah, theoretically, you could modify the script to exclude other posters instead, but it still blows. In fact, as a wise man once said, it blows so hard it sucks.

UPDATE! Looks like Xeni has had her own fun with this one.

April 7, 2005 | Permalink

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Comments

So what do you suggest should be done? Quotas?

Posted by: irritant | 7 Apr 2005 20:35:33

I don't suggest quotas, like I say - the sentiment expressed in Newsweek doesn't speak to me.

I'm encouraged by the promotion of Open Source software and recycled PC's in the developing world, which can only lead to new voices, male and female, in blogosphere.

What I would like to know is why the author of the aforementioned GreaseMonkey script chose to write a script excluding Xeni and not one of the three male posters on boingboing.

Posted by: Becky Hogge | 8 Apr 2005 12:22:05

"The next time some guy asks you where all the female bloggers are, tell them What She Said!"

"What she said" http://whatshesaid.the-goddess.org/

If you can get past the garish colour scheme you'll find an index of women bloggers here.

From the Newsweek piece:

"...at the Harvard conference, [Halley] Suitt challenged people to each find 10 bloggers who weren't male, white or English-speaking—and link to them. "Don't you think," she says, "that out of 8 million blogs, there could be 50 new voices worth hearing?" Definitely. Now let's see if the blogosphere can self-organize itself to find them."

Posted by: Sarah Lindon | 8 Apr 2005 13:12:17

Ruminating on it afterwards, I wish I could take back my previous comment. The people who inspired me to blog were all women.

Posted by: irritant | 9 Apr 2005 01:59:42

Who were they?

Posted by: Solana | 13 Apr 2005 01:15:58

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