The question is not a new one, but it’s gaining traction in the blogosphere lately as the old concern spawns new debate. And it seems to be true that the majority of high-profile legal blogs, whether in academia or the practice of law, are helmed by men.
Sites such as Above the Law (David Lat), How Appealing (Howard J. Bashman) and Balkinization (Jack M. Balkin) are each authored or edited by one man. The China Law Blog is written by Dan Harris and Steve Dickinson of Harris & Moure. The Volokh Conspiracy, another popular law blog, list 18 contributors, none of whom are female. The woman blogger whose name comes up most frequently in the legal space is law professor Ann Althouse, but her blog isn’t primarily about legal issues.
We object! For one thing, Above The Law is “authored or edited” by a new man, editor in chief since August Elie Mystal. (David Lat is ATL’s founder and still near and dear to our hearts, as a regular contributor and managing editor of our parent company Breaking Media.)
Additionally, the gender-ambiguous C.C. neglects to note that the ATL ladies outnumber the men these days, as some may have noted last week in our self-congratulatory post. ATL’s XX team consists of Laurie Lin, Hope Winters, Marin and yours truly.
More on the female law blogger question, and bikini photos, after the jump.
Simple Justice also finds fault with the article, naming other female bloggers besides Althouse: “Anne Reed, Niki Black, Anne Skove, Carolyn Elefant, Susan Cartier Liebel, Blonde Justice.”
We disagree with the premise of the article, but here are C.C.’s theories for the “apparent dearth of strong female voices in the legal blogging area:”
Theory #1: Women law bloggers are out there, you just don’t see them. Theory #2: Women don’t have the same time to blog as men. Theory #3: Women are more prone to professional or personal attack, so they avoid blogging.
To theory #1, we respond, “HELLO! Look closer!”
Theory #2 hinges on women being too busy with childcare responsibilities to blog. We’re skeptical of this as there would seem to be an abundance of single childless female lawyers. Much to their dismay.
Theory #3 is the most interesting of the three. Female bloggers do seem to get a different sort of attention (e.g., Kash gets many more requests for bikini photos in the comments than do Elie and Lat.) The article notes cases of female bloggers who have faced threats and persistent comment trolls, suggesting that anonymity allows men to vent their secret and intense misogyny. Dude, not cool.
Whether male or female, bloggers require a thick skin, a sense of humor, some degree of insight, and a laptop addiction. Bikini photos not required.
Where Are All the Female Law Bloggers? [Law.com]
Women Blawg Just Fine [Simple Justice]