White Male Bibliobloggers and “rape threats as a matter of course”
Last month, the most recent biblioblogger carnival went up (by William Brown) and again with his links only to blog posts of males only.
(Pardon my redundancy, then, in using the adjectival phrase “white male” with the noun “bibliobloggers” in the title of my post. But where does one go to find blogging on the Bible by anybody else?)
Last week, the most recent announcement for the SBL and AAR blogger dinner and drinks gathering of bibliobloggers went up (by James F. McGrath posted on his biblioblog and then again on a “public group” site) on facebook.
“It’s just very…male, James McGrath. Very male looking,” comments Leigh Ann Hildebrand. And she goes on to self identify, to mark herself, as one not in this picture typically:
“I’m just making sure that you know. As a woman, based on this picture I would think, ‘This is not a gathering for me. I would feel uncomfortable attending.'”
This prompts some conversation, including a longer statement by Robert Cargill (who has the privilege of not self identifying and feels no need to explain that he’s a man):
It’s a valid point. What is odd about the “very male” criticism of blogging, however, is that there is no prohibition, disincentive, or touchscreen glass ceiling prohibiting *anyone* from blogging. Literally anyone can blog. And the blogging group (at least those of us involved in SBL’s blogging initiative) have sought out ways to increase women’s participation in blogging. But the fact that women do not blog as much as men according to any number of surveys does not appear to be the result of any institutional pressure. In fact, I’m encouraged at the number of women who participate in THIS forum (the Hotel Lobby), and see it as an example of positive gender representation within the academy. But I cannot for the life of me, however, understand why women don’t appear to be blogging as much as men, without venturing into speculative theories about different habits of women vs. men scholars, and I know better than to go there.
That said, Leigh Ann, you are correct about the symbolism of that image.
What prompts me, a man, blogging here at BLT, to write this morning is something that I read last evening that Leigh Ann Hildebrand also has written:
She writes that to these men on facebook, and so her blog has been, because she’s a woman not a male, snubbed again by the monthly carnival. She has added this too:
“Carrie Schroeder raises a really important point. There are *strong* disincentives for women to blog these days. The harassment issue is real.”
She has added something else (marked in parentheses):
“(That is, I’m making a guess that male bibliobloggers do not get rape threats as a matter of course.)”
And Janet Elizabeth Spittler has this additional observation:
“Internet rape threats are a serious disincentive.”
Some years ago when some of us again and again and again were complaining about the censoring of women bloggers from the monthly rankings of biblioblogs and from the monthly carnivals of links, white male biblioblogger Jim West complained back to me directly:
“jk- why dont you host one instead of complaining?”
Well, we did.
But I want you to know that my BLT co-bloggers and I had lots of private conversations about whether or not to write a carnival. Of our team then, the women let the men know of threats they regularly received. And would continue to receive as a matter of course.