Quick Hit: Blogging While Female

My colleague Garance Franke-Ruta put together a panel at YearlyKos to discuss Blogging While Female, or, as The Nation put it, “the toxic online environment for female political pundits.” (The panel, which featured our own Jessica, Amanda of Pandagon, and YearlyKos organizer Gina Cooper, was also mentioned in this Washington Post piece about the lack of diversity at the conference.)
So… use this thread as a space to share your own “blogging while female” stories.

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14 Comments

  1. Posted August 6, 2007 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I wrote about some of the web violence I see in my blog over the weekend.
    I have an idea of how to help bloggers deal with this harassment. The idea is to create a network of people who respond with positive messages to progressive bloggers who are being attacked with negative messages. It’s a support system for people who get harassed, like how Kathy Sierra was harassed.
    It would focus on hate speech, that is when the attacks are of a personal nature and when they involve a level of violence. Part of the idea is to give bloggers some options with how to deal with the harassment.
    I think most people feel very alone when this happens to them, but they are not alone.
    Many people who are harassed are silenced. They quit. I think a support system might help people feel like they don’t have to quit.

  2. Posted August 6, 2007 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Heart at Women’s Space/The Margins has a pretty impressive (read: scary) recent post in this vein: Blogging While Female — Warning, May Trigger.

  3. Rebecca Borgstrom
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Ms. Vigneault,
    That’s a marvelous idea! Are you thinking more along the lines of seeding the till of the comment thread, direct positive feedback to the blogger, or note-comparing? (Or some combination thereof?) What are you thinking about in terms of how to organize it?
    Rebecca

  4. Tcupnewt
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    “fuk you newt!! please shit and fall back in it and die!!” and “I like my women the same way I like my chicken…battered!! And better yet….beer battered!!! cunts!!” from the same poster but it’s hardly that bad.

  5. Jayble
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    I think that sounds like a great idea!! I know that I would be eager and willing to post positive comments to keep great bloggers from being silenced by the jerks who harass them.

  6. the15th
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    My experience blogging while female — people treat me with a surprising amount of deference and laugh at jokes that aren’t even that funny. I’ve received only one e-mail that could be construed as harassing, even though I write about some fairly controversial local topics.
    Oh yeah, I blog anonymously and I’m usually assumed to be a man.

  7. *e
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    I recently finished my M.A. thesis, in which I wrote about blogging and the creation of feminist networks online (full text available at http://ablogwithoutabicycle.blogspot.com). A good portion of my research and theorizing became devoted to analyzing sexism in the blogosphere. Virtual violence and online harassment seem to be disproportionately aimed at bloggers who identify as women. Kudos to Feministing for creating a space for folks to discuss these issues – and to hopefully make some positive change!

  8. Posted August 6, 2007 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    I wrote a big giant post about sexism/racism/homophobia on digg.com– it actually made it to the front page and created some awesome discussion which was moderated extremely well by the members of the community so it didn’t end up running to rampant with jerks. I was pretty pleased with the outcome overall, actually, although I was very careful to try to minimize the potential to track it back to my personal life (which I may well be voiding by making this post, but oh well :) .
    Interestingly, I got linked to from some guy’s blog where he questioned my geek credentials and suggested that I wanted to redefine what being a geek means (I guess being a geek to him means being a raging asshole…?). The comments on his post were clearly threatened by the suggestion that women should be included, and that saddens me, but also makes it clear that there is still plenty of work to be done… so keep up the good work :)
    the digg comments are here, for those interested in reading them:
    http://digg.com/tech_news/Why_are_there_so_few_women_on_digg

  9. Posted August 6, 2007 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    I wrote a big giant post about sexism/racism/homophobia on digg.com– it actually made it to the front page and created some awesome discussion which was moderated extremely well by the members of the community so it didn’t end up running to rampant with jerks. I was pretty pleased with the outcome overall, actually, although I was very careful to try to minimize the potential to track it back to my personal life (which I may well be voiding by making this post, but oh well :) .
    Interestingly, I got linked to from some guy’s blog where he questioned my geek credentials and suggested that I wanted to redefine what being a geek means (I guess being a geek to him means being a raging asshole…?). The comments on his post were clearly threatened by the suggestion that women should be included, and that saddens me, but also makes it clear that there is still plenty of work to be done… so keep up the good work :)
    the digg comments are here, for those interested in reading them:
    http://digg.com/tech_news/Why_are_there_so_few_women_on_digg

  10. Persephone
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    The day after I turned 18, I started receiving e-mails on myspace from men that were in very bad taste and, if they had been said to me in person, would have been considered sexual harassment. The most vivid example that comes to mind is a message I got from a 26 year-old man (way too old for me I might add, perv.) saying,
    “You’re so fucking hot, baby!”
    I e-mailed him back saying,
    “Do you realize that the comment you just made could be considered sexual harassment?”
    To which he replied,
    “It was a compliment. I know that you’ve probably been molested or hurt by guys in the past, and you’re kind of flat, but damn. If you don’t want to get messages from men, then don’t put up pictures of yourself.”
    (Lovely. He brought out the ugly feminist argument because I dared to damage his fragile male ego by not excepting his advances boo fucking hoo.)I said to him,
    “I had a great childhood and had a mother who taught me how to respect myself and not put up with shit from people. That is why I choose to call you out on sexual harassment. My pictures are not revealing in any way, and even if they were, that would not give you any right to say what you just said. That’s just like saying, “That woman deserved to be raped because she was wearing revealing clothes.” It’s bullshit.”
    I then blocked him, and he sent me a message under another name that said, “You can’t block a pimp, bitch!” Charming.

  11. judgesnineteen
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    That’s funny, I just wrote my story here: http://badasses.wordpress.com/2007/08/06/my-turn-holla-back-at-mr-okthnxbye/.
    Here’s the short version: someone broke into my account to mess with me (and did this to lots of others from Women’s Space) because I committed the crime of registering on a feminist website. And, I was afraid to comment on Women’s Space or email Heart about this, because of what happened to me (I’m not very trusting of that website’s security at the moment), but let it be known that I’d love to help in any way possible if the people there want to try to take some sort of legal action.

  12. Posted August 7, 2007 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Oh, I’ve had some interesting experiences. Of course I’ve had incredibly positive experiences and opportunities from blogging – but I’ve had my share of The Trolls.
    I just wrote about this as I recently went to a feminism conference and was told by the blogging “expert” that the biggest problem women have with blogging is that: “Not all women have internet access or computers and therefore cannot blog”.
    It was painful.
    http://cupcate.vox.com/library/post/are-women-really-harassed-online-more-than-men.html

  13. Posted August 8, 2007 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    I have a folder in my email right now that’s just emails from my partner’s friends telling me what a horrible person I am now because I write about feminism on the internet, and how I have forced him to do things he never would have done if I hadn’t “pussy whipped” him.
    And some *really weird* comments on my posts about rape that just scare me.

  14. GamesOnline
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    I think that sounds like a great idea!! games

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