Why Is Professional Blogging Bloodsport For Women?

Writing online as a woman: For many, it means war.

Got feedback? BloggingAsBloodsport AT gmail DOT com

Links to Look at During ‘Why Is Professional Blogging Bloodsport For Women?’

We may wind up touching on these in the talk, so here are links to refer to:

Slate’s XX blog post about this talk — time to get over it?

Negative professional repercussions for women — is fallout from online writing the same for men when it comes to career?

1,216 comments on New York Times Magazine article by Emily Gould about her experiences with blogging — many veered into personal criticism. Acceptable when your subject is yourself?

Would blog posts on a highly-trafficked national site written from the point of view of a female writer’s vagina would be similarly unremarkable in terms of reader response?

Dangerous to be a woman even writing about writing online? 

How do female writers’ physical appearance play into the online criticism?

We see this across subjects when they’re written about online by women: What is universal about being a woman writing online that draws haters?

Tell Us What You Want To Talk About

rkb:

I’m working on a full list of panels I want to go to, but this is one of them.
Why Is Professional Blogging Bloodsport for Women?

Room 5A

Sunday, March 15th

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Add this to your SXSW Calendar

For professional female bloggers, writing online can get painfully personal - and so can the criticism. Oversharing, sex-blogging, fameballs, Tumblettes, Jezebelism - why is it (still) so difficult to be a woman online?

Rebecca Fox Managing Editor,   mediabistro.com

Rachel Sklar Abrams Research/The Daily Beast/Charitini

With thanks to RKB for the shoutout, now’s the time to put it to the people: Send links to things you’d like us to tackle at our SXSW talk Sunday morning. We’ll consider any and all suggestions.

hydeordie:


Best of 2000, 2002, by Jennifer Dalton. Every adjective used to describe artists and their work in Artforum’s “Best of 2000,” categorized by gender. Guess which gender’s work is ”labor-intensive,” “thick” and great,” and which gender’s work is “imaginative,” “nice” and “conceptually-tinged”? via….

via sympathyfortheartgallery

hydeordie:

Best of 2000, 2002, by Jennifer Dalton. Every adjective used to describe artists and their work in Artforum’s “Best of 2000,” categorized by gender. Guess which gender’s work is ”labor-intensive,” “thick” and great,” and which gender’s work is “imaginative,” “nice” and “conceptually-tinged”? via….

via sympathyfortheartgallery

caro:

charitini:

5. Here’s your conclusion: “Maybe as part of the discussion that I won’t be present for, you all can discuss how women sometimes give the worst of it to other women.” Here’s Rebecca’s conclusion: “We see this happening to men who write online less frequently. We want to talk about why that is, and what can be done to combat it.” With respect, you have misunderstood this panel completely - but you could not have offered more compelling proof of why it’s a conversation that needs to happen.

Here’s a small take on all this from me, and then I’ll get back to skipping around the East Village with a lollipop and painting my nails in sparkly pink: The male blogerati (Arrington, Feldman, Calacanis, Denton, Krucoff et al., just throwing around random names here except for Krucoff because I want him to feel special) can skewer one another with WordPress bayonets ad nauseam, and it’s A-O.K.  Sure, it’s egomania, it’s mudslinging, it’s blowhard-ing, it’s chest-thumping, what have you, but at the end of the day it’s a bunch of dudes having an argument.

Yet when women criticize one another online it’s girl-on-girl crime, and certain strains of digital-age feminism tell us that these things should not happen.  Are we really unable to get past junior-high perceptions that any dispute between women is inherently a catfight?

This whole “how women sometimes give the worst of it to other women” thing comes across as pretty 19th-century to me.  If some girl is doing something that another girl disagrees with, Girl #2 has every goddamn right to speak her mind about it without having some Victorian code of “never insult thy fragile gender” getting in the way, or without the implication that women are incapable of logical, civilized debate that doesn’t devolve into exploding-ovaries bitchiness.  Yes, some insecure women are mean to other women simply for the hell of it.  Trust me, I went to a single-sex Catholic high school and I was an awkward-looking nerd — I got the worst of it.  But sometimes we go a little too far with the sensitivity.

I look forward to being present at this conversation in Austin.  OMG can I, like, mix the cosmos?

PS: It’s noteworthy that ever since seeing He’s Just Not That Into You last Saturday (and that may just be coincidental), I’ve had far too many conversations and deep thoughts about gender politics and girl-versus-girl etiquette.  Considering I’ve always been that girl who didn’t ever really know how to interact with other girls, it’s been eye-opening.

charitini:

drunkengenius:

charitini:

bloggingasbloodsport:

The idea for this SXSW Core Conversation was originally pitched as a panel discussion for this year’s Interactive component of the festival. While it didn’t make the cut for that, happily, it was deemed worth talking about in SXSWi’s Core Conversation series, a town hall-style discussion that actually may suit the subject at hand even better than an audience/panel/moderator configuration.

The premise behind the topic is as self-explanatory as its title: Often, it can be violent and bloody to be a woman writing online. While the wounds are virtual, the online conversation frequently sinks to lows surrounding female writers’ personal lives and suspected proclivities — rather than their capabilities, qualifications, and accomplishments — in ways that have negative repercussions for them both professionally and personally. We see this happening to men who write online less frequently. We want to talk about why that is, and what can be done to combat it.

We hope you’ll join the conversation, both here and in Austin next month.

I am co-convening this panel with Rebecca Fox at SXSW on Sunday, March 15th from 11:30 am - 12:30 pm. Topics may include oversharing (and why articles about oversharing may or may not need to be accompanied by fetching photos of lovely young ladies on tousled bedsheets); Jezebelism (and who gets to decide what Feminism is, anyway?); fambeballing (and other variations on “balling”); microfame and gender-based backlash; Tumblettes; and why there is such a thing as “Tumblettes.” Come!

This should, indeed, be an interesting discussion given Rachel’s piece about Emily Gould — referenced in Rachel’s second sentence — last year in which she catigated her for banning commenters who slagged her looks (been there, done that), talking too much about her personal life and posting a picture of herself in a bathing suit (I prefer party dresses and fishnets or Feminazi bonerkiller clothes). I also think it’s a little interesting that they’ll be discussing “Jezebelism” without, you know, any of the women who write or wrote for the site in the room. I guess it’s a just little more fun just to talk about us behind our backs.

Can I suggest a topic even though I won’t be there? Maybe as part of the discussion that I won’t be present for, you all can discuss how women sometimes give the worst of it to other women.

Wow Megan, and here I thought you knew me. Some clarification:

1. One of the issues to come out of Emily’s piece was the fact of how she was presented - Rebecca Traister had a great take on it at Salon. Since this is a gender-slicing panel, the point for everything is going to be examining why women get a different treatment than guys - more sexualized (whether or not a girl/woman is young/hot plays into it - Emily, Kathy Sierra) and a lot more backlash. Emily’s story was a major online event for the times, and generated a ton of discussion and debate in the blogosphere (a lot more than Josh’s did). It’s definitely part of an examination of gendered reactions to online writing.

2. As for Jezebelism, “and who gets to decide what Feminism is, anyway?” refers to the controversy about how Lizz Winstead portrayed “the Jezebel incident” - namely, devoid of significant context and in carefully-excerpted snippets. This unleashed a ton of debate about what it meant to be feminist - and a feminist role model, as well as basic journalistic fairness. There’s also the fact that Moe and Tracie were castigated not only for their sexual attitudes but for being drunk (in a show called “Thinking and Drinking” - imagine that!) - last I checked being drunk and sleeping around was decidedly less problematic for men. It’s the fallout and the backlash from it all that we want to discuss.

3. “I also think it’s a little interesting that they’ll be discussing “Jezebelism” without, you know, any of the women who write or wrote for the site in the room. I guess it’s a just little more fun just to talk about us behind our backs.” WTF? I don’t even know who is coming to SXSW. If you are, great - that’s what was meant by “We hope you’ll join the conversation” and “Come!”

4. I need to be clear that I have never castigated ANYONE for talking about their sexual assault - you linked to a piece called “My sexual assault is not your political issue.” I think the stat is 1 in 4 women have been sexually assaulted. You have. I have. It’s not an issue to invite any castigation, period.

5. Here’s your conclusion: “Maybe as part of the discussion that I won’t be present for, you all can discuss how women sometimes give the worst of it to other women.” Here’s Rebecca’s conclusion: “We see this happening to men who write online less frequently. We want to talk about why that is, and what can be done to combat it.” With respect, you have misunderstood this panel completely - but you could not have offered more compelling proof of why it’s a conversation that needs to happen.

The Basics on Our Talk

Who: Rebecca L. Fox (mediabistro.com) and Rachel Sklar (Abrams Research/The Daily Beast) [co-moderators]

What: SXSWi Core Conversation, "Why Is Professional Blogging Bloodsport For Women?"

Where: Room 5A, Austin Convention Center

When: Sunday, March 15, 11:30am-12:30pm

Why: This about sums it up.

-All this info in one tidy link to share with any and all interested parties. You’re welcome!

—Rebecca

Genesis Story

The idea for this SXSW Core Conversation was originally pitched as a panel discussion for this year’s Interactive component of the festival. While it didn’t make the cut for that, happily, it was deemed worth talking about in SXSWi’s Core Conversation series, a town hall-style discussion that actually may suit the subject at hand even better than an audience/panel/moderator configuration.

The premise behind the topic is as self-explanatory as its title: Often, it can be violent and bloody to be a woman writing online. While the wounds are virtual, the online conversation frequently sinks to lows surrounding female writers’ personal lives and suspected proclivities — rather than their capabilities, qualifications, and accomplishments — in ways that have negative repercussions for them both professionally and personally. We see this happening to men who write online less frequently. We want to talk about why that is, and what can be done to combat it.

We hope you’ll join the conversation, both here and in Austin next month.

—Rebecca

Time to practice flying kicks, as SXSW Core Conversation "Why Is Professional Blogging Bloodsport For Women" is less than a month away.
—Rebecca

Time to practice flying kicks, as SXSW Core Conversation "Why Is Professional Blogging Bloodsport For Women" is less than a month away.

—Rebecca