by John Hawkins | April 29, 2004 1:27 am
Geeze, ya just post on your blog that there is no glass ceiling in the blogosphere, that if you were stuck on a desert island, you’d rather be stuck there with attractive women, that there aren’t 35 political readable blogs written by women on the right side of the blogosphere, and that women have the option of pulling a little extra traffic with sex if they so desire, and all hell breaks loose.
— Meryl Yourish, Ilyka Damen, & Michele Catalano (who inspired the original post on this subject by the way) got P.O.’d
— Kim Du Toit said I “stepped all over the (doubtless unpainted) toes of the Feminist Blog Brigade” (hehe)
— The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler got sarcastic =D
— Little Miss Attilla wrote an intelligent post on the subject and said she got a Hawkins-alanche out of it.
— Ravenwood wanted to know why I didn’t just say bite me instead of writing a 1000 words on the subject (Answer: bite me doesn’t get 10 trackbacks).
— Spoons & James Joyner got into related feminist flaps.
— Venomous Kate responded to some of the carping with “I’m No Feminist. I’m Just Female”.
— And I Love Jet Noise wrote my favorite post on the subject and coined the phrase “minor oinkery”.
Now normally, I’d just let this drop. I think I got my point across, a lot has already been said about it, it generated nice traffic, and fun was had by all…well except for the oversensitive people. But, something happened that persuaded me — nay, FORCED me, to post just one last time. Michele Catalano took my advice & proved the point I was trying to make!
As I mentioned earlier, I first weighed in on this subject because Michele complained about Wonkette’s sudden success, said she was advised to “stop writing about topics such as boobs and sex,” and then opined that “(Men) just have to write. We have to be whores.”
First things first. Michele at one point said,
“Many months ago I received an email from a male blogger who told me that if I want people to recognize my writing and if I wanted to make a name for myself, I should concentrate on my serious writing and stop writing about topics such as boobs and sex.”
And I replied in my post
Psssst Michele? That would have been good advice if you’re trying to get a job writing for the Cato Institute. But, you run a blog. Talking about boobs and sex on occasion is only going to help….The truth is: if you’re female and you can write, you can make it just fine in the blogosphere — just like Michele and Wonkette have. And as far as the sex talk goes? Heck, women should just be glad they have the option to use that as a way to pull in extra traffic if they so desire..”
AOG over at Thought Mesh understood what I was trying to get across…
“In my view, the anti-RWN side is reading “female bloggers should do sex talk and boobies (ST/B)” whereas I think that the actual point is that “female bloggers can do sex talk and boobies”. It’s like having a little turbo button on your weblog. You don’t have to use it, but it’s an easy way to generate additional traffic/links. There’s no “should” involved. The counter argument is “I’ll get less traffic/links if I don’t”. Yes, but less traffic/links option is the only one for guys.
The problem is that the supply of traffic/links is very limited compared to the demand. The most likely fate for any weblog, even if it’s very well written, is obscurity. It is certainly not the case that if you’re a male weblogger you get lots of traffic/link that can only be obtained as a female weblogger through the ST/B option.”
BINGO, give that man a prize, because that’s exactly what I was trying to say. Michele must have gotten it too because she busted out this cleavage shot late Sunday night…
(*** The pic of Michele Catalano’s cleavage shot located here was removed per her request ***)
And what were the results? Well, she got 13 links just from movable type weblogs on the post (and they weren’t linking for the hat) and traffic was way up. The previous Sunday/Monday Michele pulled a very respectable 7881 daily uniques, but on “cleavage shot Sunday night” & the following day she reeled in 11,301 daily uniques.
You see what I’m trying to get across here? Michele Catalano, who’s a very talented blogger, was already pulling a lot of eyeballs. But, she showed a little cleavage and ***BAM*** she gets a nice traffic boost. She doesn’t have to do it to succeed, she doesn’t have to do it if she doesn’t want to, but she has the option…and it works for her…and there’s nothing wrong with that. Like I’ve said before, “sex sells”.
There’s one more thing I want to address before I finish and up and that’s the lack of quality female bloggers on the right out there. Interestingly enough, I’ve found that left-wing blogs like Pandragon & The Daily Kos were in so many words asking the same questions about the left-side of blogosphere that I asked about the right, back in March.
So let me branch out: Why are comparatively so few female bloggers of note in the political blogosphere?
Personally, I have come to suspect it’s just a numbers game. On the whole, women aren’t as interested as men in politics, so therefore there are a lot less women than men writing about politics, and hence there is a much smaller pool of female bloggers with the talent to move up the ranks.
Some people probably won’t like that answer, but hey, why aren’t there as many women who are sports fans as men? Why are there a lot more women than guys who enjoy romance novels? Maybe it’s nature, maybe it’s nurture, maybe it’s some combination thereof, but men and women on the whole don’t have the same level of interest in politics.
Also, if I can make one more personal observation — and I can since it’s my blog — I’d like note that for whatever reason, an unusually high percentage of talented women who in my opinion have what it takes to make it, either gave up or don’t post enough to make it to the top of the blogosphere heap. Out of my fave female run poliblogs ever, Rachel Lucas & Moxiepop quit while Michele Catalano gave up politics to talk about baseball and comics. Then there’s Dawn Olsen, Moxie, & Allison Kaplan Sommer of An Unsealed Room who have the skills, but for whatever reason don’t post consistently enough to get really big. I keep waiting for Betsy to give up her blog so she can read more dusty textbooks and for up and coming faves Cassandra from I Love Jet Noise, Sarah from Trying To Grok, & Debbye from Being American In T.O., to all either quit, start posting once per day, or to drop politics so they can have more time to blog about make-up and house plants. All I can say is “Hang in there ladies! Somebody has to be the biggest female conservablogger on the net and the way they’re dropping like flies, you’ve got a shot!”
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