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Yet Another Glass Ceiling

We have finally arrived at a point in our maturity as a society that a woman could at least be a serious contender for the presidency.  Women of my generation have had the satisfaction of seeing glass ceilings shattered, from corporate offices to the US Supreme Court.  But where one glass ceiling may be removed, another will take its place.  According to this Sunday’s NY Times, the blogosphere (purportedly a true democratic marketplace of ideas) has its own glass ceiling. The article states that while 14% of men and 11% of women blog, women’s contributions to the web are much less likely than men’s to be noted:  “Yet, when Techcult, a technology Web site, recently listed its top 100 Web celebrities, only 11 of them were women. Last year, ran a similar list, naming 3 women on its list of 25″ (click here for the full NY Times article).  

Sigh.  Do female bloggers need to use male pseudonyms to be taken seriously, as did our scribbling ancestor George Eliot (nee Mary Ann Evans)?  Consider Techcult’s methodology for selecting the “top 100 Web celebrities”:

“We gathered around 200 potential names and queried them on Google to see how many results they would generate. Some minor adjustments were made, and the 100 names with the highest number of results were profiled […]” (click here to read the full article).  As someone who works in the social sciences, I had to wince when I read this.  So not scientific!  From whom did they gather 200 names?  If you were not in that first 200, then you were SOL.  Judging from the comments to the article, a number of male “Web celebrities” were overlooked, but, really, only 11 out of 100 are women in this list?  And one of the women is Tila Tequila?

Perhaps my sister bloggers should take comfort in knowing that at least this list was so unscientifically produced but it’s not worth taking seriously … except that it’s cited in the NY Times, thereby giving it a broader reach than it deserves.  But let’s take heart.  The blogosphere is relatively new, and it is a great tool with which to connect with each other, giving us a strength in numbers that would have been unimaginable in the days of Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  We can start by joining networks such as BlogHer.

Blog on, sisters!

Categories: Blogs on blogs

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Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

4 replies

  1. Thanks for this beautiful Posting On social networking!
    It was very nice to see this great article talking about Community!


  2. I had not seen the NY Times article you referred to in your post. As someone who has spent years researching glass ceilings, I had not seen any research regarding glass ceilings in the blogosphere . Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    I share your wincing at the Times for giving credence to such an unscientific work.


    1. Eric, thanks for your comment. I am rather sensitive about the reporting of such “studies.” In my own line of work (that is, my day job), we bend over backwards to ensure that the information we provide is scientifically sound and would stand up to replication. Of course, what TechCult really conducted was not a scientific study, but a celebrity contest.


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