Cyber Sexism In The Blogosphere: The Man Ain’t Keeping You Down

In the comments section of one of the posts here at RWN, Right Wing Sparkle pointed me over to a post on her blog called cyber sexism.

RWS was apparently inspired to write on the topic because Ilyka Damen has been so scarred by her time in the blogosphere as a woman that she has decided to have a cyber-sex change and come back as a man =D:

“This was really just a long preamble to saying that I’m quitting this blog.

I’m getting a sex change. Not in real life, but in internet life. I intend to come back as a man.

I’m not worried about whether I can pull it off. I’m pretty sure I can. Perhaps it won’t work and I’ll wind up unmasked, exposed–a Libertarian Girl in reverse (but, dear God, I do hope with better writing, and definitely with better ideas).

I don’t care. It will be nice to have a some time, however much time that works out being, to see what it’s like to just not deal with the bullsh*t. To see what it’s like when the worst you’re ever called is a “f*cking idiot” instead of a “fat disgruntled chick” or a “self-loathing skank.” To see what it’s like when someone says “great post” instead of “can I be your stalker?” To see what it’s like when someone visits to see what you wrote, not to see whether you’ve put up a picture on the “About” page yet.

It will be so nice to just not deal with the laugh-out-loud hilarity of bimbo jokes. As a man, I’ll be able to ignore all that. Even if I don’t ignore all that, my objections will be far more likely to be met with “I disagree, but I respect your opinion” than “I can pretty much guarantee these ladies / girls / women / wymyn / people don’t want to goad me into a debate on feminism and identity politics.”

Personally, I don’t think angry, feminist diatribes coming from “Lance Uppercut” are going to draw any more eyeballs than angry, feminist diatribes coming from Ilyka Damen, but ya know — whatever floats her boat.

To be fair to Ilyka, her main complaint seems to be that some men in the blogosphere say sexist things or don’t take her as seriously because she’s a woman — well, at least, I think that’s it. I didn’t really pay that much attention because it was, ya know, chick stuff…kidding, I’m kidding ;D

Seriously, women in the blogosphere do sometimes get particularly nasty, gender related insults aimed at them. But, is there really that big of a difference between getting called a “self-loathing skank” and “self-loathing jerk?” The insults don’t go away for men, they’re just different. If you don’t believe that, just go take a look at some of the hate mail I get here at RWN. For example:

“You dirty right wing piece of sh*t – you deserve an early death. We, the people of the world, deserve your early death.”

If he had said: “You dirty right wing bimbo, you deserve an early death,” would it have made that much of a difference? See, I’d say, “no.” Of course, maybe that’s just me.

As far as men wanting to see a picture goes, I don’t know how you can make it through a day in our sex drenched culture where scantily clad honeys are used to sell everything from beer to cars if this sort of thing upsets you. If anything, the blogosphere is much less image obsessed than TV, where in most cases you have to be one of the “beautiful people” to even be considered for a job reading local news off a teleprompter.

But, I don’t want to spend all my time on Ilyka’s post. Back to Right Wing Sparkle:

“…big boy bloggers like John Hawkins of Right Wing News couldn’t think of too many conservative women bloggers. And even bigger boy bloggers, Instapundit and Hugh Hewitt don’t link us too much.”

Look, this needs to be said: being female is absolutely no impediment to advancing in the blogosphere. None. Just look at Michelle Malkin if you don’t believe that. Michelle started her blog in June of 2004 and she’s already the third biggest right-of-center blogger.

She certainly isn’t being held back by sexism in the blogosphere…and how could she be? In the blogosphere, there are no gatekeepers, there are no significant barriers to entry. As far as “who links who” goes, I haven’t seen the slightest evidence that any of the bigger bloggers are deliberately choosing not to link women.

Oh, but what about Hugh Hewitt & Instapundit? Didn’t RWS say they don’t link women that often?

Personally? I believe it has been more than 2 months since Hugh linked RWN and I don’t even remember the last time I got linked by Instapundit. So if there’s supposed to be a “good old boys” club, I’m certainly not in it either.

What I think some people lose sight of is the way traffic flows in the blogosphere. There are only a handful of big blogs out there and most of them focus on pumping out content, not linking other blogs. When you combine that with the fact that there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of conservative/libertarian blogs out there competing for attention, you have to realize that it’s going to be tough to get linked on these big blogs whether you’re a man or a woman. Gender has nothing to do with it.

What it all comes down to is that cyber sexism isn’t holding anyone back in the blogosphere.

Also see: Why There’s A Dearth Of A-List Female Bloggers.

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