Nice Catch from Rachel Lucas:

Megan Carpenter's Glamour magazine blog asks "Why are all the big political bloggers men?," and in the process says this:

Ezra Klein agreed with Amy about the ghettoization of female voices, noting that while male political bloggers are known as "political" bloggers, women are more often known as "feminist" bloggers. "There's this rich and broad feminist blogosphere, which is heavily female and very political, but considered a different sort of animal. Is Jill Filipovic a political blogger? Ann Friedman?" he says. Male bloggers are seen as talking about politics with a universal point of view, but when we women bring our perspective to the field, it's seen as as a minority opinion.

Rachel Lucas responds in some detail, but I particularly liked this response to the passage quoted above:

I clicked on the hyperlinks of both those names to decide for myself if they were "political" and not "feminist" bloggers, and in so doing, I discovered the names of their actual blogs. And I shit you not, these two blogs, which it is apparently so very wrong to label "feminist," are called:


Bam. Game over, pal. You lose.

It's like trying to claim that John Hawkins is unfairly labeled a "right wing news blogger," and then providing a link to his site, which is called RIGHT WING NEWS. Sure, he writes about things other than right wing news, and those female bloggers write about things other than feminism and even women in general, but not a lot.

Plus, as Rachel Lucas points out, how do you ask "Why are all the big political bloggers men?" and miss Michelle Malkin? And if you mention some of the somewhat lower-traffic but still prominent bloggers, why ignore Megan McArdle and Ann Althouse (an omniblogger, but with a good deal of political and policy content)?

Thanks to InstaPundit for the pointer.

My wife and I enjoy the Anchoress, who is definitely feminine, political, and not feminist.
4.17.2008 8:33pm
Paul Milligan (mail) (www):
Michelle Malkin / Hot Air is going to be very upset to hear this. SO is Arianna Huffington.
4.17.2008 8:34pm
Tony Tutins (mail): is all about feminism. To get any more feminist, you have to go to
In contrast, pandagon is a feminist-oriented political blog.
4.17.2008 8:34pm
buford puser (mail):
Jane Hamsher &Digby, maybe? Anne Marie Cox when she was Wonkette before she became a "real journalist"?
Can't have done much research for this piece.
4.17.2008 8:37pm
MikeM (mail):
And don't forget Marcy Wheeler of The Next Hurrah, who puts most lawyers to shame with her analyses! She's at
4.17.2008 8:41pm
Houston Lawyer:
Just more ranting against patriarchal heteronormative trappings of a right to speak. If they aren't oppressed, their voice is meaningless.
4.17.2008 8:42pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
Just more ranting against patriarchal heteronormative trappings of a right to speak.

No, I think it's the same syndrome that afflicts so many sports columnists: they must fill their space with some kind of thoughts, no matter how stupid.
4.17.2008 8:44pm
alf (mail):
hilzoy at obsidian wings i think is female
4.17.2008 8:57pm
Brooklynite (mail) (www):
Um, in what sense are "feminist" and "political" mutually exclusive terms?
4.17.2008 9:06pm
Q the Enchanter (mail) (www):
Hilzoy is both a female and a badass. So's Belle Waring.
4.17.2008 9:10pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
I've never seen her in person, but from the photographs Michelle Malkin seems to be petite, not big at all.
4.17.2008 9:55pm
Tennessean (mail):
I should probably RTFA, but what about Althouse?
4.17.2008 10:24pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
Um, in what sense are "feminist" and "political" mutually exclusive terms?

If threads devolve into a discussion of who does more housework, the blog is probably more feminist than political. If foreign policy posts focus on genital mutilation, the blog is probably more feminist than political. And, of course, if posts discuss other female bloggers/writers in terms of their support for feminism, then the blog is probably feminist, not political.
4.17.2008 10:36pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail): do you ask "Why are all the big political bloggers men?" and miss Michelle Malkin? And if you mention some of the somewhat lower-traffic but still prominent bloggers, why ignore Megan McArdle?

By starting out with the conclusion and looking only for data to fit?
4.17.2008 10:42pm
WF (mail):
I'm confused. Doesn't Ezra Klein say very clearly that Filipovic and Friedman are in fact feminist bloggers? Why then does Rachel Lucas say that "it is apparently so very wrong to label [their blogs] "feminist," and considers it to be some kind of gotcha?
4.17.2008 10:49pm
I would assume (and I'm too lazy to actually read the article, so maybe I'm full of it) that the problem isn't with being called "feminist," it's with "feminist" blogs being treated as a separate category from political ones. (That's what "ghettoization" seems to refer to.) Of course, there is something a little odd about asking "why are all the top political bloggers male" and then answering "because, in asking that question, I neglected a lot of female feminist bloggers," but the answer may still be correct, even if it reveals the questioner's bias.

So it's not really like complaining of John Hawkins' being called a "right wing news blogger"; it's more like if someone said "there are no news bloggers named John," on the grounds that right-wing news doesn't count as news.
4.17.2008 11:00pm
wuzzagrunt (mail):
Paul Milligan wrote:

Michelle Malkin / Hot Air is going to be very upset to hear this.

I believe, for the purpose of this diversity exercise, Michelle Malkin is to be counted as a white male.
4.17.2008 11:08pm
Joe Bingham (mail):
Thanks for the pointer to Rachel Lucas. I'd never heard of her blog, and it's my new second-favorite. Maybe favorite. I'm LOLingIRL.
4.17.2008 11:19pm
Laura S.:
Ah Cathy Young? Catherine Seipp?
4.18.2008 12:03am
Grover Gardner (mail):
4.18.2008 12:08am
Jesse Wendel:
Women of the liberal blogosphere (in no particular order; many missing.)

Sara Robinson / Orcinus, Blog for our Future, and Group News Blog

Julia / Sisyphus Shrugged and FireDogLake

Digby / Hullabaloo

Melissa McEwan / Shakesville

Jane Hamsher / FireDogLake

Lindsay Bernstein / Majikthise

Zuzu / Kindly PóG MO THóIN and Feministe

Jill Filipovic / Feministe

Jessica Valenti / Feministing

Ann Friedman &Vanessa Valenti / Feministing

Jill C / Brilliant at Breakfast

Christina Siun O'Connell / FireDogLake

Pam Spaulding / Pam's House Blend

Maggie Jochild / Meta Watershed

Blue Gal / Blue Gal

Liliana Segura / AlterNet

Amanda Marcotte / Pandagon

Diane Sweet / Raw Story

These women range from very well know to not well known. All are terrific political writers. All are also feminist writers, each in their own way. The liberal political blogosphere would not exist as it does without these women.

I could have easily listed 20-30 other names.

The research done for this story was fracking non-existent. Shame on Glamour magazine.

Disclosure: I'm Jesse Wendel, Publisher of Group News Blog. Some of these women are close friends. I respect all of these women enormously.
4.18.2008 12:36am
Laura S-
Catherine Seipp passed away last year.
4.18.2008 1:06am
Christopher M (mail):
As WF points out, Rachel Lewis's point (the specific, gotcha point quoted above, I mean) makes no sense, since it's utterly implausible to read Ezra Klein as denying that Feministe and Feministing are, in fact, feminist blogs. His point, rather, was that they are no less "political" merely because "feminist" blogs are typically considered a different category.

It's like the conversation went...

Someone: Why are there no Mexican breads in the grocery store?!
Ezra Klein: But there are, there are tortillas, they're just kept in the Mexican aisle instead of the bread aisle.
Rachel Lucas: Ha! But look at the package of these tortillas which it is apparently so very wrong to label “Mexican." It SAYS "Product of Mexico" right on the package! Bam. Game over, pal. You lose.

OK, sometimes analogies add nothing of value, but the point stands.
4.18.2008 1:08am
Christopher M (mail):
"Lewis" should be "Lucas" above, of course.
4.18.2008 1:14am
feministing disgusted me during the whole duke thang. simply put, nearly every poster there is an identity politics embracing ignoramus. NO amount of exculpatory evidence, holes in the victim's story, etc. during the progression of the case could punch a hole in the "evil patriarchal white privileged jocks raped a single mother victim black working mother" narrative.


even when the case was finally proven beyond any doubt to be a sham, the denial continued.

so, at least in that one case - it proved to me that that blog is 99.9% feminist rubbish and .1% political insight.
4.18.2008 1:25am
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Christopher, Rachel's point was that you can hardly blame "ghettoization" for somebody labeling as "feminist" instead of "political" a blog whose domain is It would seem that such a blogger actively WANTS to be labelled a feminist.
4.18.2008 1:29am
Eugene Volokh (www):
Tennesseean: I didn't mention Ann Althouse because I was giving the Glamour blog the benefit of the doubt, and assuming that Ann might be labeled an omniblogger rather than a political blogger. But a quick look at her blog suggests I was likely mistaken; I'll revise the post accordingly.
4.18.2008 2:00am
David Schraub (mail) (www):
PatHMV: I don't think Ezra's complaining about the label "feminist". He's complaining that blogs labeled "feminist" are considered to be external to the political blogosphere (which is an absurd move, as feminism is obviously quite political, but I think he's right that it happens).
4.18.2008 2:10am
PatHMV (mail) (www):
I don't think so, David. As I understand it, he was criticizing that "women bloggers" were being labeled as feminist bloggers rather than political bloggers. If so, his prime examples should not be blogs which include the word "feminist" in their domain name.
4.18.2008 2:26am
WF (mail):
PatHMV, that couldn't possibly be the criticism, since Ezra Klein himself calls the blogs in question "feminist." What he says is that feminist blogs aren't considered to be political, but should be:

There's this rich and broad feminist blogosphere, which is heavily female and very political, but considered a different sort of animal
4.18.2008 3:33am


Can Robocop stop one of those if it gets out of control?
4.18.2008 4:07am
Elliot Reed (mail):
I don't get why feminist blogs would be considered "feminist" instead of "political" rather than both feminist and political. Isn't feminism pretty darn political?

I suspect that part of the issue is that "political blogs" tends to be code for "blogs focusing on the political horserace and the like", which I think feminist blogs tend not to be.
4.18.2008 4:51am
Tablesaw (www):
Thanks, Tony Tutins. I'd been having trouble understanding why a feminist blogger couldn't be a political blogger, but you've cleared it up. I'd been thinking that things like international human rights and the economic effects of non-wage work would be squarely in the realm of the political. But if they're not (and if the evaluation of other bloggers' positions isn't), then clearly these blogs aren't political at all.

I was wondering though, should we even be calling the Conspiracy a legal blog? I mean, the posts tend to devlove into libertarian ideals all the time. And when law is talked about, it always seems to be focused on libertarian issues like free speech and gun control. We should probably just admit that it's a libertarian blog and, therefore, can't be a legal blog,
4.18.2008 8:40am
A lot of feminism falls into the realm that I would call cultural or social rather than political. Things become political when the government enters as an actor. If you are talking about housework and social expectations regarding roles, that's not quite the same thing as discussing legislation and court decisions.

Both can be worth discussing, depending on how they are framed. But I do think a lot of feminism in this decade falls on the social/cultural side. This isn't always true. There was a time when people worked for legal reform of married women's property rights, for example, but that is done now. Most of what needs to be done next falls outside the legislative/legal arena, a situation that should be familiar to those working for equality for racial minorities.
4.18.2008 10:41am

I don't get why feminist blogs would be considered "feminist" instead of "political" rather than both feminist and political. Isn't feminism pretty darn political?

The issue is the perceived legitimacy of the feminist viewpoint when it forms the basis for one's perspective. Klein's argument is basically just whining that people don't consider the feminist blogs worthwhile as political vehicles (and the undertone is that it's the male patriarchy that's once again keeping the women down).

Feminism is indeed a minority opinion and that's why Lucas' point is apt. If women want to be seen as talking with a global viewpoint, they should not identify themselves first and foremost as feminists through the names of their blogs. Once you identify with feminism, of course people are going to identify you first as a feminist, and the weight they give to your speech is going to be impacted by their impressions of feminism generally. Noone denies that a feminist blog is political, but that's not the point.

As for the reasons why so many people identify feminism so strongly as an identifiable ethos, you could write reams about the topic. The Duke Lacrosse case is as good an example of any as really smart people absolving themselves of the need to think critically in the name of feminism and those kinds of cases do tremendous amounts of damage to the ability of feminists to be taken seriously as legitimate political speakers.
4.18.2008 11:19am
JosephSlater (mail):
There was a book, and a political saying coming from the book: "The personal is political." Now, IMHO, not everything about personal lives is political, but issues like the division of housework, IMHO, is.
4.18.2008 11:35am
JosephSlater (mail):
Grammar mistakes, on the other hand, are purely personal: the last word in my post above should be "are" and not "is."
4.18.2008 11:36am
Megan Carpenter's Glamour magazine blog asks "Why are all the big political bloggers men?"

Yaaaaaawwwwwwn, who cares...
4.18.2008 11:43am
HOW is housework political? What's the definition of "political" that would encompass division of labor in a private home? I don't see it, unless the concept of "political" is broad enough to include any human activity.

I often think that people who think that way make a lot of mistakes regarding what politics can realistically accomplish.
4.18.2008 12:06pm
Adam J:
Um, Prof. Volokh- Rachel completely validates Ezra's point. Ezra never said the blogs weren't feminist, only that these feminist blogs are very political. ("There's this rich and broad feminist blogosphere, which is heavily female and very political, but considered a different sort of animal.") And her analogy is completely ludicrious- nobody said they're unfairly labelled feminist, only that its unfair that feminist blogs aren't viewed as political. And yet Rachel, genius she must be, says look, I've proved they identify themselves as feminist &proved you wrong... only thing is nobody ever said they didn't identify themselves as feminist.
4.18.2008 12:21pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
If "Meet the Press" changed its name to "Feminine Forum", and asked every guest questions solely relating to women, would it still be a political talk show? The counterpart of feminist blogs is of course masculinist blogs, some of which, from anti-misandry to fathers' rights are listed here:
4.18.2008 12:40pm
Seamus (mail):
I always thought of Wonkette as a political blog, but since it's now run by a man, I guess the generalization still holds.
4.18.2008 3:32pm
rarango (mail):
Jeralynn Merritt and Clarice Feldman also come to mind as outstanding bloggers on opposite sides the spectrum
4.18.2008 5:17pm