Thursday, November 17, 2005

Feminist Nitpicking

I'm in the mood today. Last night Atrios posted a piece on Amy Alexander's opinions about bloggers and blogging. Alexander doesn't think much of us because we don't have editors to keep us on the straight-and-narrow and because we write for free, or if we don't we are totally under the sway of our advertisers (hear that SSquirrel?). And because we tell the readers trivial stuff like the fact that right now I have a horrible hacking cough attack.

Today Steve Gilliard wrote about this post, too, quite a nice answer. He titled his post

Stupid, smug woman comments on blogs

I instantly did the reversal thing and asked myself if such a post would ever be titled

Stupid, smug man comments on blogs

The answer might be yes, if the focus in on the "man" part. If the point of the post is that it is a man who was stupid and smug. Something I might do here?

On the other hand, you could just argue that the title is simply factual. Amy Alexander is a woman. Yes. But if the commenter had been Andy Alexander I doubt that the title would have referred to a man. Maybe to "stupid, smug Andy", but not to a "stupid, smug man". So why wasn't the title

Stupid, smug Amy comments on blogs?

All this is nitpicking. But nitpicking is fun, because there is so much in that invisible layer of our culture to work on.