April 19, 2008

"It’s like trying to claim that John Hawkins is unfairly labeled a 'right wing news blogger' ..."

"... and then providing a link to his site, which is called RIGHT WING NEWS."

Rachel Lucas cracks me up as she lashes into a lame Glamour blog post that complains about how female "political bloggers" are getting marginalized as "feminist" bloggers while citing 2 bloggers whose blogs are completely concentrated on feminism.
Surveys have shown that most political blog readers are straight men. Now, why on earth would straight men bookmark sites that have articles about periods and fashion and the Weekly Feminist Fuck You when they could just as easily bookmark a site that doesn’t?...

Let’s say the majority of political blog readers were straight women, as were the bloggers themselves. And say there’s a ton of male bloggers out there, too, trying to “break into” this Girls’ Club. How well do you think it would work for them to name their blogs things like Masculinity.com and had entire categories devoted to hot rods, power tools, mens’ fashion, and things like “The Monday Man-centric Fuck You”?
And Dr. Helen adds:
My guess is that some "feminist" blogs ... get the attention they do because they are feminist blogs, not in spite of it. As Rachel points out, they don't even mention real political blogs such as Michelle Malkin (nor do they mention Ann Althouse) both political bloggers who happen to be women. I wonder why.
Eugene Volokh says:
[A]s Rachel Lucas points out, how do you ask "Why are all the big political bloggers men?" and miss Michelle Malkin? And if you mention some of the somewhat lower-traffic but still prominent bloggers, why ignore Megan McArdle and Ann Althouse (an omniblogger, but with a good deal of political and policy content)?
To answer the second question, I think that when you don't hew to the hardcore all-politics style of political blogging, people are less likely to list you as a political blogger (as Volokh's ambivalence about me indicates). Now, I got included in that Village Voice survey of the right-wing political blogosphere, but look how much I confused the author (Roy Edroso):
ORIENTATION: "Moderate" Democrat who disapproves of nearly everything the Democratic Party does

TONE: Free-associative...

CANDIDATE: No coherently stated preference...

MODUS OPERANDI: Favors piquant reversals...

WHAT TO EXPECT: Something—a news photo, a quote, a gum wrapper on the sidewalk—will annoy her and she'll go to McCain....
The truth is I'm not a normal political blogger (or a normal law blogger). And by "normal," I kind of mean... male-style. I'm not surprised to be left off any normal list, and I was pleased that Roy included me and took the trouble to understand me as well as he did — which was on the level of one of those male comedians who do routines about how women don't make any sense.

I am doing something different here. It's something that feels instinctively right to me. This blog is a true expression of my mind — and I am a woman. I'm not saying there's one style of blogging that is the real female kind, but I think there is something female about what I am doing and what I want to do. (I think something of the same thing is true about Megan McArdle, who drives some people crazy. And I give credit to Roy for including her in his Village Voice survey and trying to understand her too. He called her a "lipstick libertarian" and identified her "tone" as "self-referential.")

So maybe Glamour has a bit of a point that Rachel Lucas missed, which is that the idea of what a political blogger is has been defined by what male writers tend to do. Women can do it too, but a lot of women writers, like me, want to do something else. I'm gratified that I get noticed as a political blogger at all, because I'm not the political type. I don't think like John Hawkins or Markos Moulitsas. I operate in the political sphere and drive political people crazy by completely indulging myself being myself. I'm glad this gets to count as political blogging and that, being on the inside of political blogging, I can have something to do with stretching the definition of political blogging.

54 comments:

Kirby Olson said...

I don't know of any other blogsites like yours. You are a woman, and have a kind of feminist Democratic background, but you are also a fierce iconoclast, and then are sometimes kind of gentle, as with the flower photos.

It's nice.

I found you because an extreme left-wing hate blog by Michael Berube (he finally quit to focus on his hockey game where he specializes in high sticking), made fun of you, and I checked you out, and became a big fan. I check your site every day.

I am profoundly encouraged by your site.

I wonder if there are other women's sites that are as refreshingly independent in their coverage and slant.

Usually when I am reading women's blogs everything is so predictable, as if they are afraid of being necklaced by the party line. I almost always know what they are going to say beforehand.

Then of course there are the right wing women such as Malkin, and they are also very much party line.

I like that I can't figure out what you are going to say from day to day. You actually irritate me a lot, but you've never bored me.

It's the boredom that kills the party line blogs for me.

Someone like Marcotte strikes me as being like a pit bull on steroids defending her little patch of mindless turf...

At any rate, give us some clues if you know of any peers...

rhhardin said...

Women also tend to be translators.

Trooper York said...

No translators are guys who dress like women. You better be careful
rh or you can wind up with a girl with a little something extra, ya know what I mean.

George said...

"The Weekly Feminist Fuck You"

You should jump on that. Would be a great weekly feature.

Trooper York said...

But I thought if they were feminists they wouldn't fuck you. That's why they became feminists in the first place. I'm confused.

Donna B. said...

Trooper, I'm not surprised that you're confused.

I'm a woman and dammit, I'm confused too.

Probably it's because, like kirby says, I'm irritated, but not bored. How confusing can that be?

Trooper York said...

Luckily I don't have to understand women, I just have to sell them clothes. And we had one of our best days ever today. I was just sitting behind the counter, posting stupid comments in between ringing up sales. Wooo hoooh baby.
(10% discount for card carrying feminists).

Ron said...

Maybe you should be called a "polyblogger," like a polymath! Or is that too close to "political"?

Greg in Madtown said...

Sure. Living in a binary world I can see how seeming to meander off the point could be interpreted as "female," simply because men (from whose blogs we readers discerned rules) pride themselves on hammering a single point home. How male indeed. You intentionally qualified your assertion -- "I kind of mean male style" -- presumably because your style of blogging is obviously not "essentially" female. It's something that we might interpret as such because you're blogging differently, and most political bloggers are male.

I guess I could be considered a "female" blogger, too, although my distrust of binary oppositions, which is no doubt a reaction to my studies in the very "male" -- and male dominated -- field of music theory, prompts me to conscientiously avoid such categories. I'm more comfortable understanding my writing style in less loaded terms: "I'm inclined to chase tangents, and I like brushing against big themes from different angles."

I wonder though: is being "female" (not "being a woman," but writing female-style) something you limit to your activities in the blogosphere? Is it a release from the self-imposed and external pressure to be "male" in the law-school world? (Or is this too obvious a question?) I'm not accusing, just curious, mostly because of your previous well-reasoned critique of area studies and the like, which, purportedly fostering the study of broadly defined issues from the perspective of many disciplinary angles, would also thus be classified as "female." Isn't this why defenders of area studies often cry "sexism" when criticized by scholars from more traditional (meaning "focused") departments?

Dumb Plumber said...
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Middle Class Guy said...
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Dust Bunny Queen said...

On my must read blogs are yours(obviously) and Rachel Lucas. I also agree that to call Drudge a blogger shows a lack of understanding about what blogging actually is.

I enjoy your blog especially because we get to see various posts on politics, law, art, humor, movies, food. You don't know from day to day what you will be posting. In other words. Eclectic.

Rachel, as in the post you linked, tells it like it is.. mincing no words! Her rants make me think...."Right on!! That's what I would say"..if I had the skill. Also eclectic.

Feminist blogs tend to be boring, predictable and full of bile.

*oops accidently posted on my hubby's blog identity

Middle Class Guy said...

"I operate in the political sphere and drive political people crazy by completely indulging myself being myself."



You are not mean, spiteful, obscene, vulgar, vituperative, or vicious. You write like an adult instead of a hormonal locker room teenager. Of course we know you practice cruel neutrality. You use critical thinking to form an educated, logical, and informed opinion. That separates you from the pack of political bloggers, especially those children on the far left.

rhhardin said...

You use critical thinking to form an educated, logical, and informed opinion.

I'd say forming an opinion is exactly not done.

Eli Blake said...

Actually, to consider two male persons,

I'd say that you are Jonathan Swift crossed with Alfred E. Neuman (what, me worry?)

Eli Blake said...

Actually, though not as liberal you remind me of the late, great Molly Ivins.

ricpic said...

Eclectic, it's electric,
It's better than being transgendered,
Or translated, or transpondered,
Or the object of a feminist fuck.

But have no fear about rhhardin
Who's always got his dog to confide in.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

But I thought if they were feminists they wouldn't fuck you. That's why they became feminists in the first place. I'm confused.

These days, the feminists are all about penetration. Its a familiar cycle - those that were oppressed become the oppressors, those that were fucked become...

oh nevermind

Fen said...

/on a more serious note

Ann: I'm gratified that I get noticed as a political blogger at all, because I'm not the political type... I operate in the political sphere and drive political people crazy by completely indulging myself being myself.

Give yourself more credit. You're to my Left yet your style and manner have been more persuasive that any Democrats I've encoutered on the blogs. For example, you and a few others here have changed my mind about homosexual marriage. Maybe it helped that you refuse to criminalize opinion you disgree with, something your fellows on the Left could learn from. Because they're not winning any hearts and minds.

John K. said...

Hey folks, since Ann has declined to run for President, and since all three of the candidates for the two major parties are crap, may I recommend for your consideration the candidacy of Dr. Mary J. Ruwart, who also like Ann demonstrates the grace of the feminist touch. Roderick Long quasi-endorses her in the following terms:

"On the one hand, in her longstanding commitment to liberty she is uncompromising – arguably more so (and certainly no less so) than any previous LP presidential candidate. But on the other hand, she is extraordinarily gifted at presenting radical ideas in a compelling and non-threatening way; in this respect she contrasts positively with all too many LP candidates who present far more moderate positions in a manner that makes them sound far more extremist!
A crucial part of Dr. Ruwart’s effectiveness as a libertarian communicator is her ability to bring out the pro-common-people, anti-privilege aspect of libertarian economic ideas. Because, let’s face it, libertarianism has a reputation problem. Many non-libertarians see it as a philosophy for those who glorify the corporate elite and have little concern with poverty, racism, or the environment – and libertarians’ own rhetoric can all too often contribute to this perception.
I can’t think of any candidate who could do more to combat this stereotype than Mary Ruwart. In particular, Dr. Ruwart is better than any other candidate I know of at dispelling the charge that free market principles benefit the rich at the expense of the poor; in fact, nearly every chapter of her excellent outreach book Healing Our World (buy lots of copies and distribute them widely!) has a section explaining how in fact the “rich get richer” and “poor get poorer” thanks to government intervention. Her approach might best be described as the pursuit of Green ends by Libertarian means – and it’s an approach whose attractiveness she has a remarkable ability to convey.

http://praxeology.net/blog/2008/04/17/if-you-vote-vote-for-ruwart/

You can find an online edition of Healing Our World at
http://www.ruwart.com/Healing/rutoc.html

brad said...

Thanks for the link, Ann.
So you know, I'm the same one who made the fake Facebook profile of you that drove you.... crazier.
Megan is like you without the alcoholism and only half the narcissism, though that may be a function of her being half your age.
Oh, n btw, if you're still in Brooklyn, Sadly, No! is having a meetup in Boston next weekend. I'll cover a round-trip on the Fung-Wah if you wanna come.

NutellaonToast said...

Hey Ann, if I mention that time you attacked some women for wearing a shirt and having boobs, will you flip out in a very ridiculous an public style? That was hilarious!

John K. said...

You two are utterly pathetic. With people like you representing the voice and thought processes of the True Believers it's no wonder the Democrats are set to lose what should have been an "un-losable" election in November. It warms my heart to think of your tears when you're once again denied your chance to regulate the country in accordance with your feverish delusions. The Democrat Party is crap, thanks in no small part because monkeys like you are part of it.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Moderate Democrats who disapprove of nearly everything the Democratic Party does are surprisingly unpopular with patriotic Americans who disapprove of nearly everything America does.

John K. said...

Paul,

I'm not sure what you were trying to say in that last comment, but I harbor the hope based on her posts that maybe Ann is coming around to a more libertarian frame of mind, and her willingness to vote for Obama indicates that maybe she's not as committed to neo-con warmongering as maybe her vote for Bush (based on the assumption that aggressively pursuing "security" in foreign lands was necessary or prudent and that the Republicans would deliver that security) leads people to believe. It's not like the Democrats were effectively putting any brakes on the rush to endless war back then anyway.

I could be totally off base in harboring a hope for a more libertarian and peace-loving Ann, but my interpretation would certainly be consistent with Ann being a moderate "Democrat" who disapproves of nearly everything the Democrat Party does.

amba said...

It's not exactly "the personal is political." Maybe it's "the persona is politica"?

But it's that irreverence about solemn things, that's part of what's female. Giggling when the boys stick their fingers and swear their oaths.

Women have been watching male goings-on for millennia and keeping our counsel. When we open our mouths, it's surprising. From the point of view of public culture that has been made predominantly by men for a very long time, a female's angle of vision is potentially subversive, if she dares to say what she sees.

Fen said...

Fen: ... you refuse to criminalize opinion you disgree with, something your fellows on the Left could learn from. Because they're not winning any hearts and minds.

An added word of thanks to brad and NutellaonToast. You both showed up on cue to demonstrate my point. Thank you so much!

reader_iam said...

OK: Go.

Mortimer Brezny said...

This blog is a true expression of my mind — and I am a woman.

What?!!

reader_iam said...

Oh, jeez. I, now, suspect that my oblique comment-by-link will be taken in the exact opposite from what was intended.

That saddens me, but you know what?--in the end: So it goes.

That's it, and that's all (folks).

blake said...

Huh. I don't think of Ann as a party stooge--would be hard to think of her that way--most of the Reps I read nigh continuously bash the party.

Maybe it's just a fluke, but between pork, immigration law, mismanagement, cronyism, security, spending, stimulus packages, elitism--the only words of praise I can recall hearing for the party as a whole are (very roughly) about the wars.

And most of that going to the (rightfully) troops and generals, especially when a lot of the GOP seemed to get cold feet in 2004.

Partly the sites I read, sure. But seriously, who could be happy with either party, unless they were determined to be so regardless of what the party did?

Hell, aren't the far left wing of the party in a constant state of unhappiness over the Dems?

Paul Zrimsek said...

When we open our mouths, it's surprising.

If you were ever to shut 'em, it would be downright astonishing.

rhhardin said...

From the point of view of public culture that has been made predominantly by men for a very long time, a female's angle of vision is potentially subversive, if she dares to say what she sees.

When she starts making decisions, she's ridiculous. That's how she gets all those shoes.

Women have a high comfort with undecided issues, is all.

Maureen Dowd is good, and subversive as you say, except on things she's decided, where she's a laughingstock.

Middle Class Guy said...

Eli Blake said...
Actually, though not as liberal you remind me of the late, great Molly Ivins.



Oh God, that old dirt bag. The best thing she ever did was croak.

rhhardin said...

Consider too Derrida's description of prayer audio from 10:55 to 12:32, a childlike view of God as a just but merciless father, and at the same time as a mother who thinks he is innocent and is ready to forgive him.

The decider and the undecider.

bill said...

Just realized what bugs me when Althouse starts dialoguing about blogging: Hey man, I'm just expressing myself.

Starts to sounds like a dirty hippy and I'm allergic to pachouli.

martha said...

Ann's blog is extraordinary and unique because Ann's intelligence and disciplined critical thinking are evident in every post. Ms. Althouse is logical and open to new ideas. Ergo her "neurtality". Her mind is not made up before she considers a new event or idea or someone else's opinion.

Ms. Althouse is not really a feminist in the original sense. She is primarily a thinking, intelligent, interesting human being.

Her photos are lagniappe.

rhhardin said...

Just realized what bugs me when Althouse starts dialoguing about blogging: Hey man, I'm just expressing myself.

Vicki Hearne on men are afraid of horses

Fen said...

reader: Oh, jeez. I, now, suspect that my oblique comment-by-link will be taken in the exact opposite from what was intended.

Not even that. Whoosh! right over my head. Please stop making comments that I can't fathom. Try to remember I'm a male. :)

Stephen said...

So maybe Glamour has a bit of a point that Rachel Lucas missed...

Or maybe she missed nothing and favored a piquant non-preening posting.
It's possible.
A sort of "artistry with a blunt instrument" sort of thing. Kinda.

brad said...

*grin*
Fen, believing someone is unqualified for her job is not eliminationist rhetoric.
Oh, n I'm also the one who leaked Liberal Fascism to Sadly, No!, so if you think mention of it irks me, you need to work harder on your internet dickery.
N folks, it doesn't upset us when you write "Democrat Party". It just reveals you as not very bright. Insults are supposed to, well, be insulting.
Anyways, if you want to put us in our place, we're over at Fire Megan. And gosh, do we need to be put in our place.

Fen said...

brad: Fen, believing someone is unqualified for her job is not eliminationist rhetoric.

You don't believe Ann is unqualified for her job.

brad: like you without the alcoholism and only half the narcissism, though that may be a function of her being half your age.

You hate her because she doesn't toe The Party line. Like I said, your kind would criminalize opinion they disagree with. I wouldn't be surprised if you sought to have her fired for her opinions.

brad: it doesn't upset us when you write "Democrat Party". It just reveals you as not very bright. Insults are supposed to, well, be insulting.

Brad baby, its not meant as an insult - its not all about you. We use "Democrat" to avoid any implication that there is anything "Democratic" about your party. Want to talk about superdelegates for a bit? Or how about how Al Gore tried to steal the 2000 election?

brad: if you want to put us in our place, we're over at Fire Megan. And gosh, do we need to be put in our place.

Why not here Brad? Are you all lonely and afraid, without your echo chamber here to back you up?

Stick around awhile. You might learn something despite yourself.

Ann Althouse said...

"Why not here?"

Because Brad is desperate for traffic to his blog and he's trying to get it by dogging people with higher traffic. Of course, I linked to him. Don't know what came over me, but it did. I just wanted to briefly point out that the guy's understanding was shallow, not to bolster his dopey little enterprise.

reader_iam said...
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reader_iam said...

Good grief, a whole blog for the purpose of hatin' on Megan McCardle? Wow.

Meanwhile, freight trains rattle past, including long ones made up of empty cars, ahead of the flood waters. On the West end of Davenport, the poor ducks are swimming up to the edge of River Drive, wondering what the hell happened to their nests and eggs. People are fishing from the roadside at Credit [strike]Island[end strike] pond as the water rolls in. Life goes on.

Peter Stevens said...

I like your blog because you don't
make ad hominem criticism and
because you share bits of your
life, from your photography to
your visit to a hat shop in San
Francisco.

I find this both charming and for
most of us, truer to the lives
that we live day-to-day.

Is it because you aren't so obsessed with politics that you
don't have to write hatefully
about those that disagree with
you? Or is it just generally
against your sensibilities as
a person?

Regardless, I find your blog
postings are refreshingly
grown-up and thought provoking.

Bravo.

brad said...

Ann, I'm just glad to know you still care. I'm not big on blogwhoring, and, as you said, you linked to me. As it stands it was only worth about as many hits as posting randomly in the comments of Sadly, No!, so don't flatter yourself too much. I would love it if someone like Fen were to take up residence at my place, tho.

rhhardin said...

I'm unqualified for everything I've ever done, myself.

NutellaonToast said...

Awesome! Brad and I are the reason people don't like Democrats, despite neither of us posting anywhere that we are, in fact, supporters of Democrats.

Man, I can't wait until I leave the internet. The day is coming soon when I can start ignoring you retards.

Fen said...

I would love it if someone like Fen were to take up residence at my place, tho.

Thanks, but you should ask yourself why someone like me wouldn't waste my time there.

And I still don't understand why you can't interact with me right here. Is Ann correct? I've already given you two topics of interest. Here's another:

Which Democrat candidate has closer ties to terrorist organizations:

A) Obama [Ayers]

B) Clinton [Muslim Foundation]

reader_iam said...

Man, I can't wait until I leave the internet. The day is coming soon when I can start ignoring you retards.

I'm frankly puzzled by this. What is the first sentence supposed to mean, given the reality the state and trend of information dissemination? Do you mean blogosphere? Or are you planning to drop out of connectivity altogether and go back to the land, somehow? If so, for what benchmark or watershed (personal or otherwise) are waiting?

As for the second sentence, do you mean that there's some reason (or underpinning or context) now that means you can't (are unable to) "ignore" internet stuff, but which will go away later? Is some external thing compelling or requiring you to "*not* ignore" (and which, presumably, would have the power to force you to "ignore," for that matter)? And is there something specific you have in mind that will render that compulsion or requirement either irrelevant or inoperable, or both, at some precise point--a red-circled date on your calendar eagerly anticipated and planned for, so to speak? Do show and tell (and enlighten), won't you?

To repeat:

Man, I can't wait until I leave the internet. The day is coming soon when I can start ignoring you retards.

What a weird little comment. Do you even get how weird it is, and why?

reader_iam said...

What a whiner. Either you don't have to be on the 'net at all, or you're getting paid to do it.

Either way, what I said.

blake said...

I don't normally anthropomorphise abstract concepts, but I can't help but think the Internet will be relieved to be rid of this person.