Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Stifling Women Bloggers

This posting is connected to my dismay over reading about the harassment that women face in the blogosphere. My intent was to write and post my thoughts and opinions on technology, higher education, and leadership, but increasingly I find this project like going through the "looking glass" and my thoughts and opinions shifting as I learn more. It appears the blogosphere is mirroring many of the same iniquities, prejudices found in the real world and Internet harassment includes death threats for successful women bloggers like Kathy Sierra.

Ellen Nakishima’s, article is filled with scary eloquence on the seamier and darker side of what can happen to some women bloggers as they "gain visibility in the blogosphere" (April, 2007). The Washington Post article, Sexual Threats Stifle Women Bloggers, is full of information guaranteed to promote use of pseudonyms for women and they may"censor themselves" or use "private forums and closed comments" while blogging. Nakishima and the people she interviewed believe this will "make women reluctant to join in online -- undercutting the promise of the Internet as an egalitarian forum". Arianna Huffington (Huffington Post) a blogger who gets a lot of press and traffic of said, "anonymity online has allowed "many those dark prejudices towards women to surface."

So, in the blogosphere people are writing about the lack of women bloggers and the harassment of women bloggers. Here is another medium built for and by all that appears to be serving some more than others and allowing some to frighten and silence women in a brand-new way. I probably should not be at all surprised there is carry over of these kinds of issues from one medium to another, but I am.