Would it be OK if I suddenly established a policy of only linking to male bloggers? What if I only added posts by men to my list of interesting links?
I’m extremely reluctant to blog about this. I want to do it with the utmost respect and integrity. But I can’t just ignore what I see, and I want to publicly ask some questions about it.
I recently followed a link to Charlene Li’s Calculating the ROI of Blogging. It’s a great exploration of how to measure the return on investment for blogging, particularly for PR and marketing managers.
Nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes. There’s too much fraternizing with the enemy.”
– Henry Kissinger
But I happened to notice her blogroll. It’s the type of blogroll that is generated and/or managed by an external site – in this case, BlogHer. And every single blog in the blogroll is a woman’s blog. Is that kosher?
In a lot of ways, of course, that’s completely kosher. People – any people – can choose to link to anyone they want to. Conversely, they can choose not to link to anyone they don’t wish to link to.
A natural extension of this is that people – Charlene Li in this case – can promote any particular person she wants to, and not promote others.
Fine and good – on a personal level.
What about other insights?
I should note, however, that Charlene’s blog is not a personal blog. It’s a business blog. She works for Forrester – a research and business intelligence blog. In fact, the content is copyrighted by Forrester – it’s an extension of their business.
With that in mind, is she saying that no matter which blogger of whatever gender has excellent and insightful comments … she only going to link to those without a Y chromosome? If so, I have less respect for her and less respect for her opinions. She simply isn’t valuing a certain fraction of the intelligence out there.
So she doesn’t have a kneejerk blanket policy against linking to men. Far from it.
Essentially, then, I’m ambivalent about Charlene Li’s blogroll policy. Ultimately, any blogger has the right to do what she wants, but his or her choices may reflect on her business credibility.
I wonder what would happen, however, if a prominent male blogger published a blogroll from BlogHim containing only links to male bloggers. (Devil’s advocate: would anyone notice?) But I realize that traditionally – and in technology-oriented fields – women have been under-represented in public life. So it’s not quite the same thing.
People are people
All the same, I wouldn’t do it if I were her. I just don’t like the idea of dealing with people based on classification or categorization. I much prefer to deal with each individual as an individual.
But then again, I’m not Charlene Li. And I’m not a woman – and I’ve not had to deal with what some women (all women) have had to deal with on their path through the business world. Or the world itself.
What do you think?
Much ado about nothing? A valid sense of unease? Or clear evidence of an unreconstructed male chauvinist?[tags] blogher, women blogger, blogroll, charlene li, links, john koetsier [/tags]