There was a regular re-played discussion among blogs from at least 2003 onwards referred to as "where are the women bloggers?" in which a (usually well-meaning) popular male blogger was somehow made aware that he seldom read or linked to anything written by a woman and then wrote an entry either asking for recommendations or puzzling over why so few women blog. Several extremely prominent male left-wing political bloggers made such posts.
These questions tended to be answered increasingly aggressively, as new or even well established male bloggers asked it apparently innocent of the regularity of the discussion and the reams of talented women writers who had been listed in previous such discussions, and did not think to search for them. This compounded feelings of invisibility among women bloggers. The conversations also frequently made essentialist claims about women "just not being interested in politics." Bloggers asking this question have also been observed to assume that because they do not read many women bloggers that there mustn't be many women bloggers.
In later years (2006 onwards?), although the question continues to be asked by men in all earnestness, it has become more common for women to ask it -- often in response to a list of "top" bloggers that excludes women -- and then answer it immediately with links. It is less common now for men to be entirely unaware of more than one or two women blogging, and sometimes the questions look more like "why don't I have women commenters?" and "why aren't there women whose blogs are very similar to mine?"
Many early incidents are now poorly documented due to invalid links.
Matthew Yglesias, 2004
- "I'm a bit surprised that there hasn't been more discussion of the overwhelmingly male (on the order of 80%) cast of political blog readership. At first glance, one might think of this as an internet issue, related to hardy perennials regarding women and technology in general, but I think it's a manifestation of the broader fact that women don't seem very interested in politics...."
These two separate blog posts, which appeared within the same week, were often discussed together:
- Air America Debriefing by Ampersand, August 2004:
- "...some feminists have criticized my decision to appear on Air America at all, and also what I did while on the air. Here is what’s being questioned, to the best of my understanding: 1. Should I, a male feminist, have agreed to appear on a radio show arguing for feminism? Should I have refused, asking them to find a female feminist blogger to appear instead of me? 2. Should I have used my time on the air to criticize The Majority Report for using a man as their sole 'feminist blogger' in this series; or for not having more female bloggers in general?"
- "That said, there's a top-down style to the feminist movement that leaves little room for flat hierarchies that blogging needs to flourish..."
- After thinking about it, I've decided not to drop it at Mouse Words
- I Hate Being Right at The Countess
- Why there's a dearth of A-list female bloggers (Right Wing News)
- Women bloggers - here we go again (Majikthise)
Kevin Drum, 2005
Women's opinions by Kevin Drum, February 2005:
- "... there are still no formal barriers to entry here, no old boys club in the usual meaning of the word. Yet if you take a look at the Blogosphere Ecosystem, which for all its faults is probably the closest thing we have to a consensus measure of popularity for political blogs, you will find exactly three women in the top 30... That's a grand total of 10% of the most popular political blogs... So what's up? There aren't any institutional barriers in the traditional sense of the word, which means either (a) there are fewer female political bloggers and thus fewer in the top 30, or (b) there are plenty of women who blog about politics but they don't get a lot of traffic or links from high-traffic male bloggers."
- Where are the Women? at Citizen's Rent
- To Kevin Drum: Oh, No He Didn't?! at What She Said
- Where Have All the Women Gone? at Echidne of the Snakes
- An Embarrassment of Riches at Pen-Elayne on the Web
- Oh, Not Again! And A Month Early at The Countess
- Girls With Keyboards at The American Prospect
- Moving the Conversation Forward at Citizen's Rent
- Special Guest Blogging Announcement by Kevin Drum
- The Women Have Been Found at Citizen's Rent
Tech industry, 2006
- Where are the women bloggers in the tech industry? (Web Pro News)
- "Why aren't there more female gaming bloggers?"
- Kotaku wants women bloggers (shrub.com)
- Yes, women gamers blog! (New Game Plus)
- Now you know (list of 51 women gaming bloggers)
- Iris Network directory of women gaming bloggers
Unrelated, but also 2007:
Law blogging, 2008
Australian political blogging, 2009
Electoral politics and psephology blogger Possum Comitatus asked Where are Australia’s female political bloggers? and it emerged in subsequent clarifications around several blogs that his view of what comprises political blogging was not very broad.
Mother Jones, 2009
- Where Are All the Lady Bloggers? Marian Wang slides from a finding that 67% of bloggers are men all the way to "Where are the female bloggers?"
Globe and Mail, 2010
Academic economists, 2011
- Where are the female economics bloggers? by Matthew E. Kahn: "There are 52 women on the list of the top 1,000 economists. None of them blog."
- The Mystery of the Missing Female Bloggers by Jessica Stillman, concentrating on academic economists: "Among top economists, Kahn noticed, seven percent of the men blogged. How many top women economists were also taking to the web to spread their ideas? Exactly zero."
- Women are half of all bloggers - bug media aren't noticing (Women's media center)
- Where are the women? at misbehaving.net
- "Where are the women bloggers?" mystery revealed (feministing)
- Where are the women bloggers? Everywhere, motherfucker! (feministing)
- On "women bloggers" (Alternet)