As someone who is largely a bystander in the biblioblogging community, I have found the recent slew of posts in my RSS reader (Brief for FireFox is excellent by the way) to be rather tedious. I wield no influence over anyone else and I’m lucky to get hits in the double digits. As such, I have nothing at all to gain from the sort of good old boy’s environment that certain female bibliobloggers seem to think pervade the community, and yet I link to no women bibliobloggers and the only female bloggers in my RSS feed are my fiance and 1/2 of the blogging team that makes up Hebrew and Greek Reader. Now, you can draw two conclusions from this: 1) despite being engaged to an evangelical feminist I subconsciously despise any thoughts arising from the female mind and seek to ignore them if possible or 2) most of the blogs that are most interesting to me and the majority of other people happen to be written by men and gender is not a concern.
I don’t mean to create a false dichotomy since someone could argue that there are underlying reasons for the second possibility, but lets be honest here: people read blogs for knowledge or entertainment. If you don’t provide either, no one is going to read you. Let’s not pretend that WordPress is the new frontier of Academia. The fact is that anyone who wants to blog can, and the measure of their success is determined by their content. Jim West for example meets both basic criteria for a successful blog: he provides useful information, often about archeology or the Old Testament, and he entertains with his roundup of depraved news and humorous posts endearingly showcasing him as a delightful curmudgeon. The question that really needs to be asked in this debate is whether any of the top bibliobloggers have anything to gain by suppressing women blogging, which of course they do not.
Absent of motive, opportunity, and witnesses DeConick is a detective with no actual crime. Her slight is imagined at best, and if anything her accusation of sexism can only make things worse. Already we have seen many react negatively to her charge, perhaps for good reason, and I cannot help but wonder if her exercise is productive at all. I would encourage her to take a different course of action: encourage her promising female students to share what they are learning with the world. Right or wrong, her blog is hers to do with as she wishes, a testament in fact to the freedom of blogging. She has the freedom to post whatever she wants even if it is to claim she is shackled. Isn’t that the beauty of blogging after all?