The entire conversation about women in political blogging is starting to bug the shit out of me.
I grew up with boy cousins, boys on the block, boys in the places where I worked in high school, college and after. I’ve had guy friends my entire life and they’ve never made me feel like I had anything to prove to them about either my professional competence or my willingness to help them scrape out the insides of firecrackers, stuff it all in a Coke bottle and light it. (God, Brian, that was so DUMB. What were we thinking?) The possession of a vagina was never an issue and I suppose that was lucky, I suppose that spoiled me, because the debate over women bloggers leaves me somewhat confused.
At the Campaign for America’s Future blogging panel last night it was four guys on the stage and someone in the audience asked why there wasn’t a woman, why there weren’t more women political bloggers.
Some of the guys looked a little dumsquizzled. Atrios, bless his heart, said he knew a lot of women bloggers who were “bare knuckled fighters” and damn right we are. Nobody put out a list or anything, of all the women bloggers they know, but that might have been nice. Then again, it’s the Internet. You only have my word that I’m a chick.
Leaving aside the entire topic of whether panels are stupid exercises in famewhoring and who needs them anyway (one side of a debate that has been raging over at John Aravosis’ place for a week or so now, so go over there if you want that), if the goal of any given group of organizers is to put together something interesting that represents the entire liberal blogosphere then yes, some of the ladies would make for great TV. But not because they’re ladies.
Because Jeanne D’Arc lifts whole buildings right off the ground. Because Susan makes me laugh out loud and then want to punch something. Because Avedon is a rare voice of reason in a storm of hysteria. Because Echidne is sharp and Hecate’s blunt and my girlfriends Tena and pie bought up all the common sense when it first went on sale. Because they’re good fucking bloggers, and they need wider recognition, period.
I dislike the kind of niche marketing that goes on in politics, where candidates target “security moms” as if security wasn’t an issue for dad, too. Where candidates assume women are the only ones who care about their kids. Men, I guess, don’t give so much of a shit about the sprogs and just want NASCAR. Or something. I despise the simplistic appeal that some issues are “women’s issues” as if we’re not all full citizens of this entire country and shouldn’t give a damn about whatever we choose to give a damn about.
And so any question of why we need women bloggers or more women bloggers often annoys me for the same reason. I want people to think this blog is good because it’s a good blog, because they like the Action Alerts and Happy Democrats and Gaggles, not because three out of the four of us are girls. I don’t want to see the whole question become some stupid discussion of “We need women bloggers because women love their children more and can understand certain things men can’t and we need women to talk about this that or the other thing and give her unique female blah blah blah sexistcakes.” I’ve always thought that romanticization of female intuition is just another form of patronizing bullshit, frankly.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t push for greater representation for good women bloggers. But we should push for greater representation of good bloggers who happen to be women. I want to be in a room because you think I have something interesting to say that will add to your understanding of the topic at hand. If you just want some boobies on stage to look at, I suggest you ask w00t. His (.)(.) are nicer.
There are enough women in the blogosphere that it’s not some kind of anomaly for which we need additional recognition. We should be asked to participate because it shouldn’t be the same five blogs always representing the entire blogosphere. We should be asked to participate in discussions because we’re funny and interesting and mean and angry and articulate and devastating with our insights, not because oh, lookit! A skirt!
And maybe it was just growing up with boys and working with boys and still hanging out with boys and talking about hockey with boys, but I don’t feel the need to point out that women can blog and ride a dirt bike just as good as the boys.
I’d be embarrassed for all of the very smart guys in the blogosphere if they didn’t know that already.