In the past few days, a lot has been said about gender, blogging, and the politics of who links to whom and why. I’ve mostly been sitting on the sidelines of that debate, but today I got an email from a recent commenter—after responding to a comment thanking him for stopping by and asking him how he happened to find my blog—that gave me reason to think about these issues. It’s posted here with his permission.
I know I saw your site linked to on someone’s blogroll, but I don’t remember where. I’m pretty sure it was on a female blogger’s list, though. Out of the blogs I read, your blog is linked to by women more often than (straight) men, perhaps even exclusively linked to by women. Which leftwing bloggers link to what blogs would certainly be an interesting study, wouldn’t it?
It certainly would be interesting, since much of the debate of the last few days concerned how few male political bloggers link to female bloggers in their blogrolls. A quick look at my own, now that I think of it, does yield some links to female bloggers, though I’ve never surveyed my blogroll to see how many male vs. female bloggers are linked there. I started out just linking to blogs I liked reading. Then I started linking to blogs I discovered linking to mine, and I’m still discovering new links.
It’s got me wondering. Just what are the "politics of linking" from one blog to another? Do more women than men link to my blog? I don’t really know, but it would be interesting to find out. I know this blog isn’t exclusively linked by women, because I can name some of the male bloggers on my blogroll who actually link back to me.
Is there some reason women link to my blog more than other men do? Is it not one particular reason, but some strange (explosive?) mixture of gender, sexuality, and politics? Is it true that male bloggers tend to link to other male bloggers more often than to women’s blogs?
The criteria for chosing who to add to a blogroll probably differ from one blogger to another. But it’s entirely likely that political leanings as well as conscious or unconscious issues with race, gender, and sexual orientation play a roll in those choices.
So, do more women link to this blog than men? And if so, why? I’m interested in knowing, and interested in adding anyone to my blogroll who links to me but isn’t currently on it.