I’m embarrassed about my earlier rant. It got a little garbled at the end. But I need just a wee bit more airtime on the WMB (white male blogger) thing. It’s this simple: the problem is NOT a dearth of smart women bloggers… or talented minority bloggers. There are plenty of them. (See Halley’s TEN NEW VOICES report card.)
The problem (if you agree there is one) is that the MSM (mainstream media) primarily points to A-list white male bloggers when they’re talking about the blogosphere. Why? It’s an unconscious bias. It’s what MSM reporters (who tend to be white males) “see” when they scan the blogosphere.
Malcolm Gladwell devotes a whole section of Blink, his new book, on unconscious bias and how we engage in it all the time. He cites some hair-raising examples. For example, a study showed that car salesmen spit out different prices depending on
who walks into the showroom. A white male gets the lowest price, presumably because he’ll bargain harder and drive the selling price lower. A
black male gets the highest price… a black woman gets the
2nd highest price quote. A white woman gets the 3rd highest. The point of the study is to highlight the instant, unconscious assumption that minorities and
women aren’t as adept at negotiating the price down… so the salesman stands to make more money off them. Pretty creepy, huh?
Which explains, perhaps, the sub-title to Newsweek columnist Steve Levy’s article, Blogging Beyond the Men’s Club:
Sub-title: Since anyone can write a Weblog, why is the blogosphere dominated by white males?
Answer: It’s not. Just looks like that to a lot of white male journalists… and probably to some female ones as well.
Do you agree? Click that comment link.