February 21, 2005

The Female Blogging Gene Quandary

Kevin Drum, in contemplating Susan Estrich's campaign bemoaning the paucity of female op-ed writers at the L.A. Times, asks a question I have heard repeatedly: Why Aren't There More Female Bloggers? He wisely does not assign the statistical gender difference to genetics or socialization, but he does point out that among professional pundit-bloggers, the female voice is sorely lacking.

Among law professor blawgers, females are fairly rare, too. Aside from Gordon's colleague Ann Althouse, I don't know of another female law professor who blogs regularly. (I would love to learn of new ones, though!) What can account for this? I know from trying to get a group blawg together of female law professors, that most of the participants were pressed for time. Blogging is a second (or third or fourth) job after teaching and writing, and a lot of the women that I know have a few extra jobs anyway with child-rearing. (I know that men do too -- I'm not assaulting men.) The costs of blogging may not yield enough benefits at this time; blogging is not taken into account for tenure or raises, I'm fairly certain. Perhaps for this reason, most law professors who blog are already tenured, which may narrow the pool of potential women bloggers as well.

Kevin points out that women may not like the "food fight" techniques of opinion writing as much as men. However, I have found the blawging world to be fairly civilized, so I'm not sure if that comment applies to female law professors. I rather enjoy blogging; of course, my aunt was an op-ed writer, too. Maybe it is genetic.

UPDATE: Ann has now spoken on the topic.

Posted by Christine at February 21, 2005 09:04 AM | Blogs and Blawgs