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Gender Bias in the Blogosphere

Edited for detail, context, and clarity--

One of the latest big stories (memes?) in the greater blogosphere is to select the 20 greatest figures in American history. The deadline has passed, but I think many bloggers are making a list anyway. Some of the people who are getting nods are making me cringe: an honorable mention for Rush Limbaugh?! Anyway, I'm glad Meryl Yourish points out the exclusion of women in most of the lists. She calls it what it is--sexism in the blogosphere:

Which brings me back to the women. I say again, there is definitely a boys' club in the blogosphere, and this list is entered into evidence as Exhibit A. There are a lot of bloggers on that list who have some pretty thoughtul, well-researched posts. But they couldn't see fit to include a single woman?

Yeah, there's something wrong with that picture. Sexism in the blogosphere, again. [links in original]

Cross-posted at Kairosnews.

Added News to Blog; Things to Do

I added a News block to my blog. Now you can see what a lefty I am! [grin]

My to do list is always a mile long, it seems. One of my little idiosyncracies is, for the past two years, I've had Star Trek 365-day desk calendars. The first one was a Christmas gift from my friend Susan. I bought the second one myself. Anyway, I thought it would be so nifty to use the back of each day's slip of paper as a to-do list just for that day. At the end of the day, after crossing off each item on the list, I tear up the paper and dispose of it. It gives me great satisfaction. I'm forced to make my lists realistic. The pieces of paper are only about four inches by five inches long, so I can't put too much on there. Today's has a picture from Star Trek: Voyager with the caption, "Chakotay and Janeway work the helm of a new starship. 'Hope and Fear.'"

Tomorrow I need to send a bunch of citations to the Copyright Permissions Center for the course packet for my Rhetoric 1101 class this fall. The theme for the section I'm teaching is "Identity and Multiculturalism," and I have several ideas for assignments. Audre Lorde and Jamaica Kincaid are high on the list, and there are more I'm thinking of too. That needs to be my main task for tomorrow. I also have instruction sets to grade for the class I'm teaching this summer. I want to do some pleasure reading tomorrow, too, and laundry. Sheesh, I never get bored; there's always so much work to do. I feel like a workaholic sometimes--or, rather, a "stress puppy," as I was called during my time at the University of Tennessee. :-)

Getting Web Work Recognized tenure/promotion committees, I mean. I'm going to join the 20-some-odd people who are congratulating AKMA on his recommendation from the faculty for a promotion to full professor. He says that "[t]he committee explicitly signaled approval for my scholarship and my technology work, and indicated that they hoped Seabury could arrange my responsibilities so as to take full advantage of my strengths." [my emphasis]. Could it be that online presence and electronic publishing are finally getting recognized as important? Or are theological seminaries just more with-it?

Seriously, I think that the legitimization of online scholarship is starting at the small-school level--small, private, liberal-arts schools and small state schools, perhaps. I think Research I schools will be the last to really appreciate blogging and other kinds of electronic publishing. Sure, Harvard Law's got blogs, and blogs are also being enthusiastically received for student writing at other places too, but would a blog--or publications in electronic journals only--get a person any esteem from an institution? One thing I've always found interesting is that Glenn Reynolds' UT faculty page makes no mention of Reynolds' having the #1 blog on the internet. He gets over 100,000 hits per day from all over the world. Why don't they mention that kind of influence? Perhaps Reynolds doesn't want it mentioned; I thought of that.

Anyway...must get back to preparing for class tomorrow. I have a paper on electronic scholarly publishing that I'm planning to rework and publish here. It's one of my summer goals. :-)

Responding to Scott

Recently, Scott made this comment to one of my earlier posts. He makes some really good points, and presents a valid challenge: "If your privacy is so valuable that you fear exposing it, maybe you shouldn't blog. Or maybe you should consider why you blog in the first place."

I've been thinking about the real me and my blog persona. Maybe some people who know me well would say that the two are continuous, but most wouldn't, I bet. I think that revealing personal information on my blog is, for me, an ongoing process. I just need time, I guess. If CultureCat were a topic-driven, filter-style blog, saying nothing about my personal life would be expected, but I can only assume that you who come here and read my posts do so because you maybe think we have something(s) in common. I need to put myself out there more...and face the fear of being judged.

Cindy's back!

Cindy, of making contact, is back after two weeks at Cape Cod.

Thinking before you write in public

AKMA has some thoughtful words on members of the clergy who blog. The whole post is great--I especially like how he stresses the need for good writing and communication skills among seminary students, because he's right to say that clergy are professional communicators. But this final thought is especially apt:

Blogging doesn

Blogging at the University of Minnesota

I received a link to this white paper today. I'm so happy that blogging is being taken seriously at the University of Minnesota. Shane Nackerud is trying to get an initiative going that would have weblog hosting on the University of Minnesota's server, looking to Harvard's model. I hope it works out.

And, on a totally unrelated note, Adrianne, the tomboy, won America's Next Top Model. Yes, you may throw rotten eggs at me now for watching trash TV. I do it to unwind! :-P

Clancy Ratliff :: Curriculum Vitae

64 Classroom Office Building | 1994 Buford Ave. | St. Paul, MN 55108 |


Research Interests

Weblogs, Feminist Rhetorics, Intellectual Property, Internet Studies, Genre Theory, Cultural Studies, Composition Theory, Technical Communication, Pedagogy


  • Editor, Into the Blogosphere: Rhetoric, Community, and Culture of Weblogs, 2004.
  • Contributor, Inman, James. Computers and Writing: The Cyborg Era. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc., 2003.
  • Contributing Editor, Literary Culture: Reading and Writing Literary Arguments. 2nd ed. Ed. L. Bensel-Meyers, Susan Giesemann North, and Jeremy W. Webster. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2002.

Courses Taught

  • University of Minnesota
    Rhetoric 1101: Writing to Inform, Convince, and Persuade
    Rhetoric 1223: Oral Presentations in Professional Settings
    Rhetoric 3562: Technical and Professional Writing
  • Roane State Community College
    English 1010: Composition I
  • University of Tennessee
    English 101: English Composition I
    English 102: English Composition II
    Interdisciplinary Studies 493: Technical Writing Module, Ronald McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program

Conference Presentations

Professional Activities

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