Blog or Not?

A statistically improbable polymath's views on politics and culture.

Thursday, June 03, 2004
Time for the quarterly blogosphere gender brouhaha
--Matt Yglesias believes that on average, women are less interested (and therefore less informed) in politics than men; commentors ask about Yglesias's definition of the word "politics", the sources of his data, and the effect this will all have on his sex life. Respectful of Otters gets bonus points for using the expression "bless his heart". I wonder if Yglesias will also be called out by his boss, one Ms. Garance Franke-Ruta.

--Daniel Drezner finds out which blogs media types reads, and thanks Amanda Butler for her help in compiling the data. Trish Wilson, guest-blogging at Feministe*, immediately accuses Drezner of sexism because the only woman he mentioned was presumably in a secretarial position. Unfortunately for Wilson, it turned out that some of the blogs Drezner mentioned did have women bloggers. Additionally, Drezner had very good reason to have Butler be in a data-analyzing position: she's his undergraduate research** assistant. While I don't recall the TA position being common knowledge to either of their greater readerships, it was extraordinarily clear that Drezner and Butler were both based out of the University of Chicago; Wilson should have made the connection. Other feminist bloggers, such as Roxanne and Mac Diva, have taken on a more temperate tone during this debate.
Okay, I admit it. I felt that Wilson's tone was uncalled for in her reaction to Drezner. I could have seen it in a reaction to Yglesias, but to automatically scream "sexism" whenever a man thanks a woman for "typically female" work is fulfilling negative stereotypes about feminists and feminism, and it's made me disinclined to read Wilson's blog. Okay, maybe it's the fact that she unfairly maligned people affiliated with my university. But still. She really should have updated that bit in her post and put in a mea culpa.

*I greatly enjoy Ms. Lauren's posting and hope that she will return from her sabbatical soon. She is a shining example of third-wave feminism.
**Changed from "teaching assistant".

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