Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rolling my eyes

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article on Glamocracy about prominent male bloggers and why there weren't equally prominent female ones. I sent interview requests to 20 bloggers: male and female, Republican and Democratic, anonymous and eponymous and got about 7 responses. I used a variety of representative responses, since I am word-limited and edited at Glamocracy (if you can't tell by how short my stuff usually is and how few typos it normally contains). The question I asked was:
Why do you think there aren't as many female political bloggers?
In order to put forth information I couldn't contain in the longer piece, I linked to a really long list of women bloggers.

For my part, as indicated by the title of my article, I wasn't trying to talk sheer numbers or prominence on the Internet (though, notably, Technorati rankings of the top political bloggers are 90%+ men, but, you know, whatever), but overall prominence. For instance, can anyone really argue that the other bloggers at Kos are nearly as prominent as Kos?

Apparently Markos Moulitsas can, and did and continues to do so via his own blog and his own bloggers. One of the reasons I didn't include his quote in the piece is that I thought, coupled with, I dunno, 6 other people saying the exact opposite of him, it made him look like he thinks that the universe really is a meritocracy, there's no difference between how seriously women get taken and I didn't want to make him look badly. I thought that would have been, frankly, unfair and that Glam generally tries to be a little more friendly. I appreciated his perspective and, while I disagreed, I would've included it and discussed including it with my editors but thought it better to just thank him for his time rather than start a fight. Apparently, all it takes to start a fight with Markos is to ask him for a quote, thank him and not use is if the 1,500 word post by "Miss Laura" is any indication.

In our intial interaction Markos said in response to my question:
I disagree with that notion. The Daily Kos executive editor, a blogger, of course, is female. Digby is female. Jane Hamsher is female. There are other prominent women (including seven on Daily Kos) writing in group blogs.
I mean, that's fair, but is it insightful? Jane Hamsher is certainly a woman, but the fact that an anonymous person (who many people assume is a man) is a woman and there are a bunch of women on group blogs, including his own, many of whom are anonymous, doesn't exactly prove what he said. I mean, the only quote I could have generated out of that response is:
Markos Moulitsas of the DailyKos disagrees that the men of the political blogosphere are more prominent than the women, citing a number of bloggers on his site, the anonymous Digby and Jane Hamsher.
Looks great, right? That's why I didn't say it. When I emailed him to thank him, let him know the post was up and tell him that my editors axed certain things, he responded thusly:
I still don't understand how you can ignore Digby, Jane Hamsher, and the female bloggers at Daily Kos, all of whom get more traffic than Red State, Ezra Klein, and Matthew Yglesias.
And the women bloggers at Daily Kos get more readers than any of those other blogs combined.
Well, for one, I don't think it's a particularly fair criticism that I didn't mention every single female blogger -- I didn't mention all the men, either. There are plenty of other things to criticize about my piece, but the number of women who blog for him (or his traffic numbers) isn't the best argument. I also think it's not particularly well-done of him to release our email traffic to one of his bloggers in order to attack me, but, hey, it did release me, I think, from keeping my thoughts about his emails to myself.

Also, apparently, some in the right-wing blogosphere is all up in arms about it, too, but only one of them actually bothers to spell my name correctly (and since she did so, I'll bother linking to her). Her criticism is that I ignore a bunch of right-wing female bloggers. To point out, one of them is a colleague of mine at Glam and, thus, posted next to my column, another one, Em Zanotti, was briefly part of Wonkette and rather roundly criticized but has always been sweet to me and, prior to the ascendency of Layne, we talked about replacing my "Ask a Lobbyist" column with an "Ask a Conservative" one that I think would've been hilarious, but, though I like her, I wouldn't say she's of the same prominence as Kos. When she leads off with Malkin, I have trouble buying her argument that I missed prominent, respected, thoughtful women bloggers. Also, when she says she want to hit me, calls me a victim, refers to me as "honey," calls me thin-skinned and "insecure and idiotic," well, I think she loses me and the argument. She almost had a point, but attacking me was apparently more important than making a thoughtful argument about my thesis. Her colleagues-in-ideological-arms, though, by constantly misspelling my name while calling me stupid, well, that's not even worth linking to because it either proves that they are actually really stupid or just immature. On the other hand, I guess I should thank her for the link. My bosses appreciated the traffic.

Anyway, I'm going to go write some more stuff to piss people off now because my bosses are all excited about the traffic this post generated this month. Any suggestions on how to piss this many people off again?


T.Bob said...

Interesting companion piece to Saturdays post; first you get noticed, then you get in trouble!

I'm sure you will keep pissing people off, and I love it. I can't believe they wouldn't even bother to spell your name right...fat bastards.

T.Bob said...

It seems that Ms.Fiano almost deliberately mis-read your post (plus she doesn't even know where she read it!) or she may be a few credits shy of a course-load or something.

Anonymous said...

Endy here.
Seriously, Digby's a girl? Oh. I stopped trying to deal with the Maelstrom years ago, after I met Kos&Jerome on their book tour and they were both totally like "The Am. People Really, Really want their Heartstrings pulled Even More!!11" Which I totally didn't get from reading the book, but whatever. Incidentally, that's the litmus test for blogger prominence: scoring a book deal. And Kos didn't co-write his book with no chick! Anyway, my last days in Markosovo were so traumatic, I abandoned my old handle entirely. Sigh, tragedy.
PS. it was totally awesome when that Rwandan(?) guy for that radio interview pronounced your name. I was suddenly briefly gay for him, but it went away. Being a straight boy is so boring(which is why I don't blog, obvs)

Megan said...

T-Bob: Oh, no, see, I'm a libtard, victimhood-loving FemiNazi. Also, yes, I think they're deliberately spelling it wrong because one douche added in the "[sic]" after misspelling my name for an entire entry. I think it's supposed to be insulting or something.

Endy: Well, if a book deal = prominence, Amanda Carpenter trumps Em Zanotti and Carly (I think). And, yeah, apparently Digby's a woman, who I hope wanted Kos to tell the world that.

Oh, and Robert isn't Rwandan, but English isn't his first language. The French pronunciation is pretty cool, I'll admit, even if I sound like a dork when I try.

rptrcub said...

Twittard, thy name is Kos. I really cannot stand reading that blog. Yay, power to the people and everything, but some of those folks, including founder of said blog, need to get back on Seroquel or Risperdal or whatever other meds they should be taking.

BTW, how is your last name pronounced? "Carp-en-ti-ay" all Frenchy like or with the "R" in some Americanized way? Just curious.

Megan said...

@cub: I'm not from a classy place, so I grew up with the Americanized version. I don't mind if people was to go French on me, though.

Anonymous said...

Any suggestions on how to piss this many people off again?

You could post something about boob-gate (aka the Open Source Boob Project). I'm sure you could find out about the firestorm if you google that term.

Let's see... there's always guns and abortion. Nothing like the classics to bring out the true wingnuts and moonbats.

Jason said...

How about some Amanda Carpenter/Michelle Malkin slash fiction? That would seem to drive some traffic, although writing it may cause you to lose your dinner.