It’s time for the annual discussion about the lack of women in the Australia political blogosphere.
But with all the talk about how women are doing political blogging – they just aren’t being recognised – why is the question never: why are so many women avoiding the men of the political blogosphere? As I wrote over there in response to the suggestion that Crikey create a Double X style blog for women:
Women are blogging about politics in very high numbers now, it’s just that they are being ignored or not counted as “political”. A new women’s blog won’t stop that, it will only help reinforce the reasons many women don’t feel welcome in the more male-dominated commenting spaces if a new space is created just for them; and I doubt it will bring in any of the blokes who’ve been ignoring the huge number of female bloggers who already exist.
My feeling is that the number one reason women either stay away from the hard politics blogs or don’t identify as women on them is the sexism that they frequently encounter, whether from unfair and irrelevant comments about their appearance, their “shrill” and “angry” tone, and the dismissal of women’s experience, to the more apparently benign but still as frustrating sense that women are “above” that sort of thing that makes them feel judged as being unwomanly if they appear to enjoy it.
The women aren’t missing from the political blogosphere. If there are men here who are noticing their absence from wherever you are, then perhaps the more relevant question is why they are avoiding you and the places you go.