THE MALE LIBERAL POLITICAL BLOGOSPHERE?
FORGET DONKEYS, ELEPHANTS AND GREENS- BUILD A WORKERS PARTY!
Apparently the latest tempest in a teapot in the blogosphere is the gap between the number of well-known male, mainly liberal, political bloggers and their female counterparts. At a recent Daily Kos liberal blogger gabfest there was reportedly a heated discussion on ‘being female while blogging’. A number of media commentators have also picked up on this issue for discussion. The gist of the argument is that like other forms of political expression and technologically-driven communications males swamp females in their rates of participation and linkage. Nevertheless, somehow, somewhere someone got the quaint notion that the ‘information superhighway’ was going to be a neutral vehicle that would give all segments of society equal ‘voice’. Well, okay, we are very familiar with the notion that some other forces than the seemingly mundane class struggle form the basis for the political decisions of the liberal intelligentsia and their hangers-on. But why would anyone assume that in a still very sexually discriminatory society that males would not dominate the ether. I do not like it, nor should you, but this society, despite some real gains for women, is still in an affirmative action, special case mode in relationship to woman’s role in society. The liberal political blogosphere merely reflects that unfortunate reality. Needless to say it is one more battle that socialists and others have to fight.
As an aside, this campaign season has seen more than its share of blather about the effects that organized liberal blogging has had on presidential politics. While I obviously appreciate the technology that allows for wide-spread use of the Internet and blogging for a whole variety of reasons this is hardly the lynchpin to social change. A useful tool? Yes. The way to organize social change? No. Call me old-fashioned but from all I see and read on the question of blogging influence I just do not see it. Raising money? Obviously. Getting quick information access to many people? Yes. But the nuts and bolts of political organizing mean that there has to be face to face encounters with real people and real live discussion and polemic. And that does not mean a yearly Kos meeting or its socialist equivalent. Nor does it mean reliance on the average bilious liberal political blog reader. One of the interesting statistics that has come out of this male/female blogger gap is that the average liberal political blog reader, much like his talk radio conservative counterpart, is about 43 years old and has a family income of $80,000 and a chip on his shoulders. I would assume that proportionally the same statistics would be borne out in regard to the average leftist male blog reader. In short ‘blog potatoes’. No revolution will occur based on those kinds of numbers. Where are the youth? They are in iPod/cellphone/video nation. Methinks we may be in a little trouble fighting for a socialist future if these numbers hold up.