Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Sexist double standard in the blogosphere

Says Uncle accused me of not being a girl. And he refers to an online gender calculator which supposedly can determine if you are man or woman by counting how many times you use words like "the."

This seems like a pretty unscientific way of determing someone's sex. I assure you that my girly fingers can type "the" just as easily as a man's, if not more easily. The the the the the -- oooh now I feel like wasting a whole Sunday watching football.

(1) Even if there's some validity to it, a program like the Gender Genie isn't going to work for testing the sex of political bloggers because we have a relatively closed community in which bloggers will tend to imitate the established writing style. With nearly all the top political bloggers being men, female bloggers will wind up modeling their blog writing after men.

Michelle Malkin, the only woman with a top political blog (I don't really consider Wonkette to be a politics blogger), writes in a manly style according to the Gender Genie.

(2) There is a sexist double standard here. When a man starts a blog, no one says "hey, maybe this person isn't a man" But I've only been blogging for two weeks and suddenly someone accuses me of not being a woman.


Charles said...

I imagine there might be a couple of guys out there who know a mid-week date for drinks should include dinner, but obviously not many of them. Hardly any would then blog about it from the woman's point of view.

I also imagine there might be a couple of guys faking as girls to get their blogs noticed, but again, that number is pretty small. So the odds of running across a guy, faking as a libertarian girl, writing about subjects that would not cross the male mind has got to be a tiny number. If any. So the odds of running across this person are likewise pretty small. Not to mention the research and thought that would have to be devoted to doing a good job at it.

So either you are the single best guy faking as a girl in the blogosphere, or the simpler and more likely answer is that you are a girl with opinions and can express them well. That guy needs to go with the simple explanation.

Adam said...

"The men are men, the women are men, and the teenage girls are FBI agents." - statement about the internet.

The internet in general tends to be more male dominated. Tech stuff is generally more male, and there's a lot of that on the internet. Men tend to be more "oooh, gadgets!" I'm not defending his statement or anything, just pointing out there's an assumption. It's changing over time.

bob d said...

About the Gender Genie, I think that Say Uncle meant that he thinks you might not be a girl despite the Gender Genie saying that you are. I ran some of your posts through the Gender Genie and nearly all of them came out female. (Except for that post where you rant about liberals. Maybe ranting just isn't a very feminine thing to do.)

Like the other guy said, I can't imagine a man saying some of the things you wrote.

But on the etremely unlikely chance that Libertarian Girl is actualy a man, the most likely candidate would be Say Uncle. After all, he first linked to you, and he's the first person who suggested this "not a girl" theory. This is the old "he who smell't it dealt it" rule. The police know that the person who called 911 is always a prime suspect.

But I looked through his blog and I don't think he seems capable of pulling of such a clever ruse. I think he's just mad at you because you don't meet his own view of what a "libertarian" should be. Maybe he's jealous because you're a better writer than him.

I agree with your Michelle Malkin post 100%. Govenrment laws have to apply the same to everyone. As others have pointed out, anarchists believe that there should be no laws at all, libertarians believe laws and government are necessary, they just want less of them. Say Uncle is wrong.

Aaronlane said...


As if any male would call for a tax on breast implants as a method of internalizing a Coase externality.

Maybe Keynes. Maybe. But there were special circumstances there.

Two weeks? You've only been here two weeks and you get this kind of comment response?

I credit the picture.

As a result I will shamelessly plug my own blog Guns and Butter.--Aaron

Danny Taggart said...

"Sexist double standard in the blogosphere" - hmm, a bit dramatic don't you think? This is just one guy's opinion, not the blogosphere's. You're not famous yet. And, are you really sure there's a double standard? How can you be sure that no man who has started a blog has been accused of being a woman? Maybe the tree fell, but you weren't around to hear it.

Say said...

Actually, my post said:

"Maybe I’m crazy, but I’m not so certain she’s a Libertarian. Of course, this being the blogosphere and all, I’m not so certain she’s a girl either (coincidentally, the Gender Genie is, though the score is close). "

It was meant more as a joke due to internet anonymity and that it's not unheard of for a guy to pretend to be a girl. That and the Amanda Doerty blog controversy from many months ago, where the buzz was that she was not a she. I think you're a female as does the gender genie.

I'm more concerned about the fact you don't seem to be a libertarian :^)

Ricky said...

Men read your blog, look at your picture and have nice dreams. It just happens that way. It's quite disenchanting to find out your fantasy is some balding middle aged guy with hair on his hands, who took the picture from some Russian Bride catalogue.

The New Democrat

Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...

"The internet in general tends to be more male dominated."

Not any more. Parts of the internet, like the blogosphere, are still male dominated, but women are making heavy use of chat, parenting websites, email, etc.

Adam said...

I'll concede that point. Yes, it is becoming less male-dominated.

Adam said...

Urgh, I'm not sure I phrased that last comment right. Allow me to rephrase... Yes, in general, the 'net is less male-dominated, and there is no real reason for it to be male dominated. There are a lot of areas that are still mostly male, though.

Hell, I'm not even sure of that, because outside of the extremely geeky areas of the internet I can't think of any examples. I'll shut up now.

R said...

I never believed Malkin was a woman anyway.

Saucy Lil' Tart said...

Yeah. I'm a woman. I often use the internet for parenting sites. Pffft.

How odd that people care what gender they're reading. Does it matter? Aren't words sexless?

Anonymous said...