The Problem of Digby

Many of you have asked about whether I won the “Top Ten Female Bloggers” contest over at WVWV, and in fact I did not. Digby did. and Digby should have; she’s a damn good blogger.

But what’s interesting to me is that she was not known to be female when she started blogging in 2003. Nor in 2004, 2005, & 2006. The many years she was being linked to by the likes of Kos, no one knew she was female.

No, it was when she won an award she accepted in person, in the summer of 2007, that everyone found out she is a woman. If you read some of those comments, the surprise was a little more than “Oh, Digby’s a woman, huh” but people were a little more upset than that by the revelation, which is interesting since she never said she wasn’t a woman; her readers did the assuming, & we all know what assuming means, thanks to that classic moment in The Odd Couple.

As a gendery-y sort, & especially as a writer of a gender-y sort, I find that interesting. I don’t want to admit that maybe George Eliot’s method still works better than being known as a woman, that hiding your gender, if you’re female, lends you more credibility than not.

But I fear that is true, & that Digby’s win perhaps underlines that point. Still & all, she is a fantastic political blogger. I am not in anyway trying to say she isn’t. What I am trying to say is that I’m not sure she would have been recognized if she had been known as female from the outset.

Either way, I think it was damned smart of her, since the likeliness is high that people will diminish or ignore the political opinions of women.

Which is sad in itself, of course, but still true.