Style Sheet

by digby

Via Nathanrudy at DKos, I see that the NY Times has done another story on female bloggers --- and published it in the appropriate place --- the Style section. Because if there's one thing bloggers are all about it's style.

(May I describe my "style" as I type this? I'm wearing a black t-shirt, black pants with very chic black rubber thongs. I'm drinking a tall non-fat latte out of a short paper cup. My Ikea desk gleams cheaply in the sunlight as my long haired cat abruptly jumps into my lap, rubs his fluffy white fur all over my chic black outfit, knocks my coffee onto the keyboard and then bounds away, startled and hissing, for no good reason. Are you fascinated? I thought not.)

Here are the opening paragraphs:

FOR two days last week, many of the men’s bathrooms at the Westin St. Francis Hotel here were turned into women’s bathrooms. The stalls on the second floor were lined with note cards featuring nurturing messages like “You are perfect.” Nearby, women were being dusted with blush and eye shadow, or having the kinks in their necks massaged.

There was a lactation room, child care, and onesies for sale emblazoned with the words “my mom is blogging this.” No doubt they were.

Last weekend, about a thousand bloggers, almost all without the Y chromosome, attended the annual BlogHer conference, which began in 2005 to help female bloggers gain exposure. It has since evolved into a corporate-sponsored Oprah-inflected version of a ’60s consciousness-raising group.

Blogging has come a long way from its modest beginnings. These days, there is money to be made, fame to be earned and influence to be gained. And though women and men are creating blogs in roughly equal numbers, many women at the conference were becoming very Katie Couric about their belief that they are not taken as seriously as their male counterparts at, say, Daily Kos, a political blog site. Nor, they said, were they making much money, even though corporations seem to be making money from them.

"Becoming very Katie Couric." That's cute.

I don't know what to say except that there are obviously a bunch of successful women online (aside from Arianna) who aren't acknowledged --- but not enough of them. Hardly anybody's making money, male or female. But what else is new? This story doesn't delve deeply into any stories about those women who attended the convention who are successful, what kinds of blogs make money, how they do it, why some work and some don't. Instead it took a snide tone about female bloggers as if they are some bizarre, trivial subculture of lactating zombies who bitch and moan all the time. It's a tiresome old tale that's been told several times a year for the past five years. I'm not sure this writer even attended the thing it's so filled with cliches.

In any case, unless it's about fashion or interior design or maybe food, a story about a female gathering of bloggers should not be in the Style Section any more than a story about Netroots Nation should be. There are many different communities online, some overlap and some don't, but women are in all of them and "style" is only one topic they write about. It's a piece that should have been written as a straight news story or not at all. Stories about "women" --- half the population --- don't automatically belong in the Style section any more than stories about "men" automatically belong in the Sports section.