Friday, March 18, 2005

Women, Blogging and Torture

Kevin Drum, bless his heart, doesn't let go of the 'where are all the women pundits and bloggers' question. Several reasons for the paucity of women in punditry have been posited, one of which is that 'the ladies' (my interpretation) just don't like the rough-and-tumble of shout-discourse and prefer a cozier, more supportive and collegial style. Another reason put forth (not by Kevin, but quoted by him) is that women are interested in different topics than men are, and that therefore men don't read and link to women bloggers.

Interestingly, in an earlier post, he mentioned not feeling quite up to blogging just then about torture, and links to a woman blogger who is "made of sterner stuff".

(WARNING: Generalizations ahead.)

I think this is an interesting juxtaposition for the following reason - if you took all the females of my acquaintance and summed them all up into one huge Average Woman, and all the men of my acquaintance and summed them all up into one huge Average Man, the Average Woman would be far more outraged at what the US is doing vis a vis torture than the Average Man.

Just to make sure you understand my point; I am not saying that I don't know men that are outraged at children being held at Abu Ghraib, or who don't think that the deaths in Afghanistan are a national disgrace, but they are cancelled out by men who think it's no big deal, and you can't be squeamish when dealing with terrorists, and you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs and it's just all just overgrown frathouse pranks and oh too bad when people die.

None of the women I know think torture is okay under certain circumstances, and that holding children as pressure against their parents is anything but obscene. I'm not saying that there are no women out there who don't hold views more similar to the 'frathouse pranks' men, but I don't personally know any. And women that express their views are routinely called 'soft on terror' and 'coddling criminals' by men of the more 'making omelets' school of foreign policy.

So. Does this make torture a 'women's issue'?


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