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« Thoreau, on the other hand, apparently was exquisitely made | Main | The wonks against the writers, a game of shirts and skins »


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Love it! Except, c'mon. We know at least of few of you male bloggers have to be hot--it's the law of averages. I had a troll saying that if female bloggers were hot, we wouldn't be blogging, since hotness somehow precludes the desire to pontificate at length online about bullshit. If it's not true for women, I imagine it's not true for men, either.


That may be the first time I've ever been called a generalist without a sneer in the tone. Thanks, Lance!

The Heretik

Heretik who? When he wanders, he is truly lost. Perhaps in a world of wonder. We do have so much to wonder about. And enjoy. Your check will be arriving shortly. Thanks.

harry near indy

great post, lance. it had the right amount of common sense mixed with sprinkles of humor.

btw, i find bloggers like you, who write of varied things, and alicublog, with his interests in arts, and steve gilliard, who posts a lot on cooking and soccer, to be a lot more interesting that the straight ahead political bloggers.

Neddie Jingo

Great topic, Lance. I smell ya about the occasional ennui of trolling political blogs... Some small, still voice waaay at the back of the head wants to plead, "C'mon, kids -- is there really nothing else going on in your lives?"

I've been scribbling away on the Internets in some way or another since I discovered USENET back in about '92, and I've always tried to live by the rule, Point A to Point B. If you start at Point A, goddamned well be at Point B by the time you put up your .sig or what you've written will be BORING. And "Blogger X has some interesting points about Scandal Y, click here to read" is NOT getting to Point B.

Oh, and one other thing. I am un-fuckin'-believably hot. I make Clooney look like Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. And I'm not talking about Jon Stewart's favorite blogger. Huge cock, too. Huge.


Hmmmm...perhaps I should put up some pictures of myself in Speedos!


Great post, Lance. I expect to see some naked pictures of you up on this site by monday morning.

As re: women bloggers, I think the fact that this "issue" comes up every time there's a "blogger panel" is partly a function of sexism and partly a function of the extreme pinheadedness of our journalists, who can really only hold one topic in their mind at once. For them, "blogging" is one topic; "women's issues" is a second topic. If they have to think about both, their heads will explode. In the meantime, it's sort of a non-issue. I mean...women bloggers....we have 'em....we love 'em. Amanda, Roxanne, and Echidne, in particular, are requisite for my daily survival.

You make an excellent point about the dull over-specialization of many of the "big name" bloggers and their groupies. However, as a former resident of Diaryland, I will point out that there are many, many, many blogs out there (and plenty of them belong to women) that are so unfocused and narcissistic that they devolve into a sort of "guess what my cat did today" pointlessness. It's sort of the flip side of the overspecialization problem.

You are thoughtful and judicious as ever; basically the total opposite of me!

Oh PS, the line "gay male bloggers are still bloggers and like their hetero counterparts are probably not the pretty ones in the relationship" made me laugh so hard I shot orange juice through my nose! Which is amazingly painful! You don't have to say things just because they're "true". I'm probably the worst-groomed gay man ever, a sort of Anti-Queer-Eye. My boyfriend is pretty hot, though, so I'm going to redesign my site featuring lots of beefcake pictures of him and his giant package. Or maybe a new regular feature...."Friday Cock Blogging!"

blue girl

Lance, the "C" word keeps appearing over and over (well, ok just twice) -- in response to your post.

And at first I thought I would reply to Neddie Jingo -- "Oh yeah?!! Prove it!!"

But, I'm afraid he might!!

will was Neddie. I learned it from watching him, okay!!?!?! *runs away sobbing*

will was Harry from Indy. I learned it from watching Harry from Indy, okay!!?!?! *runs away sobbing again*

blue girl

I'm sorry Will. I didn't mean to make you cry! Come back! Come back!

You go ahead and set up any kind of regular feature you want on your site. "C" word or no "C" word -- I'll come by and check it out.

Shakespeare's Sister

Just what the FUCK are you trying to imply about me, Lance?!


(Just kidding, of course.)

Great post. I think you're right that the assumptions about women not being able to hack the "food fight" are well past their bedtime.

"They don't have any space in their heads anymore for anything other than politics." - I would add to this thought that it's not just that they can't think about anything other than politics; it that they also can't think about politics in any other way than their existing frame. Which is a shame, because the greatest thing about the blogosphere is its diversity, not only in terms of who's blogging, but in terms of how they're blogging, even on the same topic.


Eh don't sweat it, blue was one of those dramatic, Mary Catherine Gallagher style cry-and-runs. To really cry, I'd have to have like *feelings* and stuff. :)

Susie from Philly

Lance, you're brilliant. And right. Writers vs. wonks, it's that simple.

Elayne Riggs

Hang on, when you say "drum up some traffic" shouldn't you be spelling that with a capital D?

In all seriousness, very good point about "wonks versus writers."


Very good post. Can I point out that there are some of us that are trying to help draw attention to the growing list of women bloggers out there. And if you dont' mind a bit of shameless advertising, you can see the growing list here --- ... please do check it out. I have just recently joined the crew in finding women that blog and advertising them. And not just the political or left-leaning as well (tho that is hard for me to do).

Trish Wilson

Great post. I said in another blog's comments that I'd jello wrestle only if it was strawberry jello. I look good in red. ;)

Someone pointed out ages ago that some of the top conservative female bloggers rank high because they post cheesecake-styled photos of themselves. If I posted a picture of myself it would put to rest the rumor mill that says I probably wear studded leather, thigh-high-boots, and crack a cat-o-nine-tails. Can't have that now, can I?

pissed off patricia

(kinda the remark you expected from a blonde female blogger, no?)

Mustang Bobby

Excellent post, Lance, but don't forget about us gay bloggers...where are we? :)

There are one or two male bloggers I wouldn't mind seeing in a Speedo... but that would be shallow, wouldn't it?


First, thanks for writing about this again. Perhaps, blogging is like most other aspects of our socitety, women have so many more additional duties in life that we may not have time to be as self-promoting as male bloggers?

Or is that we are more naive to think that if we have quality posts, people will find us and help give us the credit that we deserve?

I am not sure. Thanks, Lance.

Chris Clarke

Very similar experiences on this end with the stuff of mine Roxanne (and some others - not all of them with fallopian tubes) link to as opposed to the straight political stuff I write. I know which bloggers read my stuff carefully and which ones just find the posts that accidentally tap into the Pipeline O' Blogosphere Zeitgeist.

Not that I mind any of the links, mind you. I just get more of a warm feeling from certain traffic.


Atrios? Who's that? Never heard of the guy.


Swimsuits? Do you realize I live on the 51st parallel? The best I can do is a light jacket and gloves. As for jello, only if it's the kind without gelatin for this vegan.

Otherwise, fantastic post. You're one of those guys who's been on the periphery of my particular blog world for a while, and now I see why I should be reading you every day. I actually thought you mostly posted political stuff, and I get that from Jeanne and Kathy and Shakes' Sis. Go figure!

PZ Myers

Oh, OK. Here you go. Me. That's about as stripped down as anyone is going to get me.


PZ, that's hot! LOL.

Trish Wilson

PZ, you look like an ad for the movie "Fargo". YOU put Steve Buscemi into the wood chipper, didn't you? ;)

Kevin Hayden

I have a pic of me oyster wrestling, because you know, oysters enhance virility. If I look a bit chafed, it's from all the damn shells.

Martin Wisse

Well, I know what my best features are and that's what y'all are only getting the mugshot on my blog.

Some random thoughts follow.

You are completely wrong about politics only weblogs you know: in your dichotomy between wonks and writers you put the case much, much too strong. And I don't like the undertone that focusing solely on politics is dumb. The same with your depiction of politics blog readers as angry AND dumb.

Furthermore, we are no longer living at a point in time where you could ignore
politics with no real consequences, if there ever was such a time. It is precisely because of that characterisation of politics as dumb, boring and weird that so much evil could and can go on unnoticed, because intelligent, goodwilled people did not think it's worth bothering about.

This is a bit of a sore point with me as you may have noticed, living in a city with a smug cultural elite who could not care two cents for politics as long as they have their own cozy little lives...

Think also of what you hope to accomplish by blogging: nice hobby of no real consequence or tool to achieve real world goals?

Also, people read more than one blog, read many different blogs for the main part, going to Atrios for politics, to others for other things.

Overtly generalised blogs, unless the writer is really good or some sort of "celebrity", will always have less traffic/dedicated readers than more focussed
blogs, as people who like subject [foo] don't necessarily want to wade through posts on subjects [bar] and [baz]

There are women who focus soley or almost soley on politics; Bionic Octopus, World of Crap, even Avedon focuses much more on politics than on any other subject.


Martin, I took a gander at Atrios today. The fucker is still talking about the Swift Boat veterans. Get some fucking perspective, you know? It's not a dichotomy between being a hyper-focused activist needing his daily outrage at the latest bit of Bushian hypocrisay and a wine-sipping cultural elite ignoring the gas chamber down the block. There's a whole world of in between for people to talk about politics, and still you know, have a fucking life.

Martin Wisse

What, you think you shouldn't follow a story? You think it's fine and dandy to have been outraged at the lies of these people six months ago, but now it's passe, it doesn't matter anymore?

Who's lacking a perspective here?

You seem to think politics is a hobby, a game, that people like atrios are in it for the fun and it doesn't really matter who wins or not.

Well, it does.

And hey, having posts on your blog about the latest fashion tips for teenage girls or lists of your favourite music in between the politics posts does not a life make.


You draw some weird little dichotomies friend. But as far as this goes:

And hey, having posts on your blog about the latest fashion tips for teenage girls or lists of your favourite music in between the politics posts does not a life make.

You've got it backwards. I post on politics between posts on teenage girls and my favorite music.


The entirety of my life is not on my blog. It isn't a diary.


Atrios, Of course it's not! I was being too cute. I was referring only to how bloggers present themselves on their pages. The whole of some people's lives are their blogs, and some of them are among the writers, while the wonks are by the very nature of their work presenting only the smallest sliver of themselves to the world so that very complex and fascinating biographies are totally excluded from their pages, necessarily. As far as that goes, I would be very interested in reading a lot more about your trip to Spain, but you don't write that kind of page, and so a big and interesting part of your life and who you are is invisible to your readers.

But I'm not advocating more personal revelation, I just favor a wider brand of journalism that includes wonkery and travel writing.

And I also failed to make clear that by the writers I don't mean the diarists.


I'm always fascinated by the deep stratification between the political blogs and others.

Despite the wide-ranging content on my site, I'm generally classified as a "book blogger." I started the site on a lark three years ago to talk about books, but also to rant about politics and culture (I use that word loosely) and my crazy parents. To my amazement, the blog has since been mentioned in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and a bunch of other newspapers in the U.S., Canada, and Britain. I guess the book blog world, like the political blog world, is fairly insular. But I'm always fascinated when the "where are the women bloggers?" meme surfaces in the political blog sphere, because the book blogs traditionally were dominated by -- or at least equally manned (for lack of a better word) by -- women. So these questions never arise in that context.

I read many of the lefty political blogs: Kos, for links and occasionally insightful commentary, Digby, for well-reasoned, well-articulated political arguments, Walcott, for smart, scathing attacks on everything dumb (although I was saddened by his enthusiastic mention of networking with Caitlin "eradicate the marital rape laws"* Flanagan a few months ago), and DC Media Girl, to name a few.

I read Atrios less often than I have in the past. I haven't given much thought to the reasons, but I think I'm simply drawn to sites that, at least occasionally, provide more thoroughgoing analysis. His links are good, but the commentary is a bit thin. (Too bad because, as a former tax attorney, I'd like to see him do more economist kung-fu on the Bush administration.)

Also, the unintelligent, vituperative comments left on many of the political sites drive me nuts, although I'm about as left-wing as you can get short of becoming a full-on Marxist or advocating that women bear children only in test tubes.

Anyhow, thanks for pointing out that there are female bloggers who write about things other than rainbows and unicorns.

* Okay, that's a slight distortion of her position, but not really.


I take back what I said about Kos. I've just familiarized myself with his outright dismissal of women's concerns. I will not be reading his site anymore.


Now that Atrios has dropped by, I don't want to sound unappreciative of what he does either. Eschaton is a pretty invaluable resource. Light on the analysis sometimes yes, but I don't really go there for that, but the man links to all sorts of important stuff daily. Some days I'm less in the mood for it than others, but whatever. HE's got his schtick and he's been successful with it. I wouldn't ask him to post about his personal life, and I'm not really interested in it for that matter. But there are limits he's imposed on himself, and that's not necesarrily the most interesting thing in the world all the time either. No more no less.


A necessary condition for having a high traffic blog is to Post A Lot, though it isn't a sufficient one.


Yeah I know about the hard work that you surely put into your blog. Despite my limited traffic, I still now and then have to put up with people who think they own the blog. so sorry if I took that tone. and I really do appreciate everything you do.


I can't quite figure out the "mystery of the women bloggers" crap. I'm a woman. I write about politics and things political almost exclusively. I've a list on my blog of other women who write almost exclusively about politics.

Most of these women are writing hard charging, well thought out, good stuff.

Maybe Amanda's right...maybe it's a promotion thing. But sweet jeezus can we move on from this already?

Anne Laurie

I think will has a excellent point -- in my personal experience, for a lot of guys, and especially for a lot of POLITICAL guys, there's a "politics" box and a "women stuff" box, and they don't even consider the possiblity that using those boxes is interfering with the way they think. Try using the phrase "the personal is political" around a policy wonk & watch him turn puce. For a lot of policy wonks, Politics seems to be a way to NOT talk about personal stuff... personal stuff not being something that policy wonks have gotten much enjoyment from... thus the considerable intersection between neocons & rotisserie baseball & Star Wars (the Lucas, not the Teller mythology, err, *also* the Lucas version). Telling a policy wonk of this stripe that he should talk more about his "real life" just irks him with the fear that he should actually HAVE one. Telling him that women should get credit for talking about THEIR real lives only reminds him that women all seem to get "real lives" automatically, which irks him & also reminds him that one of the things he hates about women is this "real life" issue (probably invented by women because they couldn't memorize baseball statistics with their smaller brains!)...

As for posting cheesecake pics, I will grant that some men seem to find Coulter attractive, or at least seem to think that OTHER men would find her attractive. (Incidentally, a very wise gay male friend once said you could always spot a MTF transsexual by asking a straight guy if he found the suspected MTF attractive. If Straight Guy said, well, she's not exactly my type, but ya gotta admit she's hot... bingo, that's a tranny, because MTF transsexuals are acting out a straight guy's impression of what a Hot Babe "ought" to be, which is not actually what straight guys find hot, although they're certain that all the OTHER straight guys would totally Do Her.) But does ANYBODY really want to see Katherine Lopez of the National Review in a bikini?

Laura Yager

Im hot and Im a woman and i blog, you wanna see some jello wrestling check out my blog

Jello Wrestling Fan

Jello wrestling and mixed wrestling in various substances is great fun!


Re: women's jello wrestling:

Phoenix Woman

Atrios and Kos link to Firedoglake all the time. And FDL is not only owned by a woman (Jane Hamsher), but its most prolific posters are women: Jane, Christy Hardin Smith, looseheadprop, and myself, to name four.

Oh, and if anyone think that Atrios rarely links to female bloggers, then they must have missed all the posts of his that are titled "What Digby Said". (Not to mention his having Avedon Carol and Watertiger pinch-blog for him an average of once a week, if not oftener.)

Meanwhile, the biggest blog out there in terms of readership is -- ta-dah! -- the Huffington Post, which last I looked was run by a woman.

Phoenix Woman

-- I can't quite figure out the "mystery of the women bloggers" crap. I'm a woman. I write about politics and things political almost exclusively. I've a list on my blog of other women who write almost exclusively about politics. --

It's because according to the media, women bloggers don't exist unless they fit the media's stereotypes about women bloggers. (The biggest one: That women bloggers only count as such if they write almost exclusively about the media considers to be strictly "women's issues".)

That's why people like Jane Hamsher and Arianna Huffington (whose Huffington Post blows away Daily Kos in terms of readership, largely because Huffington has got a large number of people who'd never before read blogs to visit her in the blogosphere) are either ignored or not counted as women bloggers, unless it's to diss them as "foul-mouthed fembloggers".



I don't know why Carolyn linked to this post. It's over two years old now. Huffington and FDL didn't exist yet, or at least I didn't know about them, and people thought digby was a man. And it was about that time that Avedon began to shame Atrios into linking to more women. Anyway things have changed somewhat for the better and I put up a post today sort of apologizing for this one.


lance, i beg to differ with your basic premise...

firstly, i would consider firedoglake, blogged primarily by women, as one of the top 5 or 6 liberal blogs.

but secondly, the problem isn't that the top guys only link to guys talking politics...the problem is non-sexist but very classist (a la peter principle) in nature...the top 5 or 6 guys link to the top 5 or 6 guys over and over and over again.

there is very little traffic exchanged between the various tiers of blog levels. i believe this to be a conscious choice on the part of the top level bloggers.

there are tons of mid- and lower- level bloggers who write great, have pithy analysis, and actually break stories (eplurbus media and the jeff guckert/gannon story, for example, and there were women involved in that investigation).

and there are tons of great women writers in those lower-tiered blogs.

unless and until there is a more concerted effort to create an informal cohesive infrastructure a la the hardly-ever-right wing blogs (malkin and reynolds happily link to the smaller blogs at the drop of a pixel), not only will women be under-represented in blogtopia and yes i coined that phrase, but we will still have big troubles getting our message out.

opit Political Voices of Women
List of 200+ Women Bloggers, Lance !


Mixed martial arts has gained so much popularity in the past few years. It's really becoming a widely recognised sport. It's good to see those guys who go out and battle like they do, get some well deserved attention.

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