Registan, Bloggingheads (redux), etc

I’ve gotten into a little argument with Joshua Foust over at Registan, over the chronic problem of the gross under-representation of women at ‘Bloggingheads TV’.
This is not a new problem.
First of all, I understand that that under-representation is not Foust’s fault. But all the guys who participate in those forums without also raising their concern about gender issues are, imho, compounding the problem. Women and other under-represented groups need allies.
Foust claimed that there are “lots” of women at BHTV. I just went, randomly, to the ‘M’ page on their list of contributors and counted six women out of 36 names. That is definitely under-representation!
… Anyway, I feel a bit bad about singling Foust out on this… for two reasons. Firstly, I don’t know him personally at all– unlike some of the other guys who do things there, who is who I should really persist in talking to.
Secondly, and most importantly, the substance of the work that Foust does on Registan is truly first-class. Today he has two other excellent posts up– this one, about the “Meta-war in Georgia one year on,” and this one that asks the really important question about why anyone thinks this week’s election in Afghanistan is important.

7 thoughts on “Registan, Bloggingheads (redux), etc”

  1. Helena,
    I appreciate that — truly. Just so we’re on the same page, I was frustrated that that comment thread was being used to argue something very off-topic and requiring much more serious treatment than two people squabbling in a comment section could really do.
    I would actually appreciate reading a substantive critique of the bias issues you see in these tech-heavy commentary vehicles. I don’t think it’s fair to use a percentage to argue bias, since that would also require an argument about intent—a notoriously tricky thing to “prove.” But I would agree that there is certainly a gender and racial imbalance in coverage, and would be interested in hearing if that is evidence of bias, or merely reflective of the body of commentary as a whole.

  2. Joshua, the thread looked as though it was already devoted to people doing hair-cut and eyewear critiques rather than discussing the substance of your BHTV appearance?
    Anyway, we can and should continue discussing all these things, and other things. So maybe neither of us should tell the other to “just shut the hell up”??

  3. If I may, Thich Naht Hahn would encourage reconcilliation between you both. I wish that for you.

  4. ‘I don’t think it’s fair to use a percentage to argue bias, since that would also require an argument about intent—a notoriously tricky thing to “prove”.’
    This is the wrong way round. The percentage you want, is the percentage you want. You have to have quotas. It is the only way. You must decide, and do it.
    The ANC in South Africa has succeeded in this way. You will find that your problems will go away, and especially the elite-woman-capture problem whereby “left” agitation produces “right” representation (e.g. Thatcher, Kirkpatrick, Albright, Rice, Clinton) will go away.

  5. Joshua don’t worry, Helena often silences her critics in terms worse than “shut the hell up”. first she accuses them of being off topic (even when they’re not really or are responding to some other comment.) Then she cuts their remarks, inserting in their place some snide little italicised rebuke. Then she blocks them.
    I’ve never seen a more insecure person of either gender.

  6. What, she went to pick up fight on somebody else’s blog? On this site she always meets disagreement with a lame remark about go away and get your own blog.
    I suggest if she wants female quotas the place to start is with her friends the Saudis and Iranians. How about starting with a quota for the max number of wives a man can legally have at a time Helena?

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