It has been an interesting day on Twitter. I have been at home working on a presentation that I am giving next week, and so I've been regularly checking in and causing trouble. I may have gotten really angry at a blogger for disregarding privilege. I regret nothing.
One of the things that came up on Twitter was female bloggers and the recognition that they do (or do not) receive in the financial blogging world. I've never written or tweeted about this before, but I have definitely noticed that there are far fewer comments from men on women's blogs than there are on men's blogs. Sometimes this makes sense: In a world where women are predominantly responsible for the domestic side of life, I get why there aren't a lot of men reading bloggers who write about frugal cooking and parenting*.
But sometimes the blogs written by women are just damn good blogs for anyone, regardless of gender or gender role. And yet, men still don't read them. To make sure this wasn't just something I was imagining, after the Twitter conversation today, I reviewed the comments from two really good financial blogs that everyone should be reading: Physician on FIRE and Bitches Get Riches. Of the last 20 comments for which I could identify the commenter's gender, Physician on FIRE had received a somewhat even split of 8 comments from women and 12 from men.
Bitches Get Riches? 18 women and 2 men.
Which means that men are missing some of the funniest and most thought-provoking posts in the financial blogosphere right now. And why? Because a person's genitalia somehow makes them more or less capable of writing about money?
Sadly, I think this is all part of our legacy of presenting the white male viewpoint as the primary viewpoint. Now, please don't misinterpret this as me saying that I dislike white men or I don't think we should read things by white men. There are many white men who I think are lovely and valuable members of our society**. But I think it's unfortunate that in the vast majority of books, tv shows, movies, plays, etc. that we are exposed to, the protagonist is a white male. It not only limits the ideas that we're exposed to, but it also conditions us to see the white man as the default. Anything else is "diversity".
As a queer woman, my own identity compels me to search out things that are created by and represent people more like me, so I naturally go beyond the white/straight/cis-gender male story. But if I were a white man? What motivation would I have to look beyond the abundance of stories that speak directly to me? And how would I ever learn to appreciate that the world can be a very different place for people who aren't exactly like me?
I know that this is a broad generalization and that there are men who are enlightened and who read blogs and other things that are written by women. But we need more of them.
*This is its own blog post.
**Apparently not this one.