When people say stupid things:

Margaret Wente, a Globe and Mail columnist said a really stupid thing this week. She said that blogging is a guy thing, which is not only not true and sexist, but she also said it in a really stupid way. Mary Elizabeth Williams takes it on at Salon, which is well worth a read.

It was a commenter at the Globe and Mail website that really isolated the problem, so much so that the Globe wrote a follow up article about her:

Female bloggers across Canada did what comes naturally and responded with their own posts. Annie Urban from www.phdinparenting.com notes that her blog is one of the 2,500 woman-written blogs that are part of the BlogHer network, which reaches more than 20 million people each month. “According to a BlogHer, ivillage and Compass Partners survey conducted in June 2009, there were 79 million female Internet users in the United States and 10% of them (8 million) write their own blogs,” Ms. Urban writes. “I don’t have comparative statistics for Canada, but from my experience, I expect it is very much the same. Women are blogging. Why aren’t you reading them Margaret?

“I’m no stranger to having guys try to mansplain things to me, but I certainly don’t think women are lacking in opinions or in a willingness to share them. I have been opinionated all of my life and have been sharing that opinion with the world on my blog for two years. I write about research, politics and societal issues surrounding parenting, mothering and feminism.” Ms. Urban points out that Ms. Wente recently wrote a column about the gender gap in Canada, and that while “I can’t identify with Wente’s assertion that bloggers are overwhelmingly men, I can offer a partial explanation for that nightmare gender gap she was talking about.

“When influential women are ignorant to the numerous women’s voices on the Internet, when the voices of many women are dismissed as endearing, cute and girly, and when the voices of those women who are most oppressed are ignored altogether, that gender gap is perpetuated. Thank you, Margaret, for proving your own point about how hard it is to change the conversation.”

No, thank YOU, Annie Urban for whacking that nail on the head with such elegant fury.

2 thoughts on “When people say stupid things:

  1. This Wente piece got passed around at the office and we all had a good laugh at it. I really don’t know how Wente still has a job at the G&M. Her articles do generate alot of reader feedback, but it seems like most of the comments relate directly to her lack of research. At some point the harm that she does to the Globe’s reputation has to outweigh her ability to drive angry traffic to the G&M website.

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