Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Metafembiblioblogging, and a Dream

In my post "What Should We Talk About?" I asked, in passing, "Why are there so few female bibliobloggers?" and this casual question actually ignited more responses than the rest of the post. Mark Goodacre suggests that the answer lies in a lethal "combination between the male-dominated academy and the nerdy, geeky male electronic world." Loren Rosson suggests that one component is that blogging feeds the male ego. A commenter on Loren's site suggests that in fact it is because "blogging itself is ambivalently recieved [sic] by the academic community ... Putatively, if women must work harder to get jobs and tenure in the academcy [sic], why would a (hypothetical) academic female 'waste' time writing a blog instead of a peer-reviewed article when the latter will likely advance her career more readily?" An anonymous female commenter on Mark's site asks, "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?" Several commenters (male and female) have suggested that females are too busy doing other useful things to waste time blogging, which begs a lot of questions.

My answer? Beats me. The answer probably lies in a combination of factors that "over-determine" the relative dearth of female bibliobloggers. I think this could be an interesting topic to explore at SBL though, and as we've already seen, the topic leads into many other useful topics such as "why blog?" and the role of blogging in academia in general. Hopefully opinions will be forthcoming from the audience as well as from the dead-white-male panel. Oh, wait, we're not dead. OK, just white male.

Speaking of female bloggers, I recommend to you this post from the Pilgrim. It may or may not be relevant to this topic but her experience is worth pondering.

And speaking of bloggers in general and Mark Goodacre in particular, Mark had the temerity to make an appearance last night in a long and complicated dream of mine. At one point I was suddenly sharing the back of a taxicab with Mark (whom I've never met) as we drove down Oxford's High Street (where I've never been).

I asked Mark, "So why did you take the job at Duke instead of taking a job at Oxford?"

He took a long drag on his cigarette and regarded me coolly from behind his dark glasses. "Because," he said, "only the chef is allowed to enter the kitchen."

Which makes a whole lot of sense, when you think about it.


Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, perhaps there are many more female bloggers than realized. Just why would one post as a female?


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