Friday, September 30, 2005

Where are the female (biblio)bloggers?

Ed Cook asks, "Why are there so few female bibliobloggers?" and Jim West and Joe Cathey reflect further on the question. With his typical, get-up-and-go attitude, Jim even suggests Amy-Jill Levine (good choice) and provides us with her reasons for not devoting time to blogging (she's doing something useful with her life, visiting prisons, etc.).

Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, and the ones that spring to mind are Helenann Hartley and Jenee Woodard, with apologies to those I have missed. The male-dominated biblioblogdom is in part a reflection of the sadly male-dominated academy, but that is not the whole picture. One might add that the world of e-lists is likewise male-dominated. Just look at lists like Xtalk. Month in, year out, it is 95 per cent and more male dominated. Is there something about the combination between the male-dominated academy and the nerdy, geeky male electronic world, that makes the computer academy particularly prone to this? I hate to get into something that sounds horribly like gender-stereotyping, but I can't help thinking that many of the men I know are more given to obsessive behaviour than are many of the women I know. And let's face it, the blogs that work are written by obsessives. To be a successful blogger, there has to be an element of obsessiveness / addiction, no? My hand is up. And incidentally, how many bloggers are out there visiting prisons, like Amy-Jill Levine? I wish my hand was up for this one, but I am sorry to say that it is not.

Update (Saturday, 21.53): Loren Rosson comments helpfully.


Anonymous said...

I have recently completed a PhD in Biblical Studies and, although I do not have an academic post, I am still involved in the discipline through a small amount of teaching, project work and involvement in conferences.

I have also just finished my first week of an MSc in Computer Science.

And the fact that I have already rewritten this weeks java programming homework three times, even though it worked perfectly well the first time, might even mean that a could be classed as a little obsessive.

Oh and I’m female.

So I seem to fit most of Mark’s criteria for the average biblioblogger (apart from the female bit) but do I have a blog? No! Am I ever likely to have a blog? Probably not! I think the main reason is that I am just not comfortable with the idea of telling random strangers what I think about things. In my mind it has nothing to do with being female or not ,at least a trainee, computer geek!

I am confused about why you think the world needs more female bibliobloggers though. What is the significance of the female aspect? Is it just to make the stats look better? So there is someone there to cover feminism?

The latter is what Jim West seems to imply in his aside that female-biblioblogers could be called femibloggers. I note that there was no male equivalent of this so presumably the males get to be the ‘biblio’ bloggers and the females would just be there to cover the ‘femi’ bits.

Jeremy Pierce said...

This is pretty much a special case of the same trend among bloggers in general. Philosophy bloggers wonder why there are very few female philosopher bloggers. Theologically-minded circles wonder why there are very few women blogging theology. Political bloggers wonder why there aren't as many women blogging politics. About the only sphere where women dominate is blogs about homeschooling, child-rearing, and other subjects where women clearly dominate.

C. Stirling Bartholomew said...

I agree with the Anonymous female "geek" that blogging is dangerous. I have developed a detailed "profile" on Jim West over the last decade. He does however continue to surprise me by breaking out of the mold.

I have set up a blog but as yet have had nothing to say.

steph said...

Is Jeremy's comment an attempt at humour, wishful thinking or just opinionated ignorance disguised as wisdom. Considering many bloggers disguised as 'academics' tend to use their blogs as a means to air their pretentious 'musings', personal hang-ups and other dirty laundry it is not surprising that women avoid the blogging game. Jeremy would be laughed out of this country where the top posts are held by women: the Prime Minister, the Governor General, Speaker of the House, Previous Prime Minister, Head of Telecom, Head of Broadcasting and many others - in fact two female members of Parliament used to be men and have chosen surgery to become women.

Jim said...

I'm not sure why C. Stirling would be so interested in me that he has taken the last 10 years to set up an extensive profile of me. Wow, I'm flattered. Nonetheless there's no need to make such efforts- if anyone wants to know anything about me all they need do is ask. There's nothing "profile" worthy about me.

steph said...

Jim's profile: fair, considerate, thoughtful and wise, with a sense of Humour