Where are all the women?

I feel a little nervous, dipping my toe back in the murky, dangerous waters of Slugger O’Toole with a bit of blogging. Mick brought my attention to an article in the Irish Times this week on women bloggers, and I must admit I found it intriguing. When I started to read the article, I cringed a little when I read that the authors found fame through lipstick…… so to speak. But I worked my way through it, I found that the key to success for many of these women was through being themselves and forging ahead with ideas related to their own thoughts and passions.

On the subject of lipstick, in the Sunday Times today there was an excellent piece by Camilla Paglia on Sarah Palin. This particular piece was an interesting focus on post-modern feminism if you like. Less emphasis on the victimology of women and more of the ‘can do’ attitude that is pragmatic and purposeful. Paglia says:
The gun-toting Palin is a brash ambassador from America’s pioneer past. She immediately reminded me of the frontier women of the western states, which first granted women the right to vote after the civil war — long before the federal amendment guaranteeing universal suffrage was passed in 1919. Frontier women faced the same harsh challenges and had to tackle the same chores as men, which is why men could regard them as equals — unlike the genteel, corseted ladies of the eastern seaboard.

This is the core of it then, the ability to be equal as a natural consequence of ability, as opposed to a spectacular feat that needs to be nurtured. When I blog on Slugger or indeed on my own site, I am focussed on issues that interest or affect me and those I care for, as opposed to looking at issues that I feel excluded or removed from. I guess it’s very much about a passion related to what makes me or any other woman tick, and blogging will continue to provide a space for the expression of that passion.

The fact that more women are blogging is worth noting, but not worth getting overly excited about. It is a natural progression and one that will most likely continue as more and more people get used to the medium. I have been intrigued at the number of people who will e-mail on my work blog, but will not post a comment. I have had dozens of such contacts and I think it reflects the fact that while some of us got the hang of this pretty quickly, there’s a bigger learning curve for others.

To return to my opening comments- about Slugger being a ‘dangerous’ environment for a woman blogger. I think that stands as a fair comment, and in as much as people need to find comfort zones so too do others need to learn to share space. I guess its a little like the men only clubs that finally had to open their doors to all and sundry- so too will male oriented sites eventually become more agreeable spaces for both genders. In many ways, this is a new frontier, a very exciting one that can bring much light to some pretty dark places.