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Romance of the Blogs

It's interesting how romance is still so often seen as the basic form of relationship between members of opposite sexes.

The other day Matthew Yglesias posted the results of a survey claiming that women are poorly informed about politics and don't blog about it. In the comments to Yglesias's post, Trish Wilson -- who strongly objected to his framing of blogosphere gender differences -- warned him that:

If you keep going around saying that women are "ill-informed," which has an air of saying they aren't very bright, you're going to spend most of your twenties and thirties alone.

The connection is made from the other side as well. Responding to Daniel Drezner's post on the issue, commenter Zathras (quoted at Diotima) threatens uppity feminists like Wilson with romantic oblivion:

Lots of guys would not date a woman who went on like that; why would they want to read her blog?

Now, I can understand this sort of comment as a last-resort pragmatic argument, since the only interpersonal relationship that a heterosexual person requires a member of the opposite sex for is a romantic/sexual one. But otherwise it's strange. While some qualities are valuable in both a romantic partner and a blogger (and a friend, and a boss, etc.), the former relationship shouldn't be the model for the latter. I don't (consciously, at least) pick female political bloggers to read based on their datability. If I were to write a post that insulted women, the main problem with it would be that insulting broad categories of people is typically wrong in and of itself and that it would hurt my blogging prestige and readership, not that it would potentially deprive me of a date (even if it would in fact do that as well).


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