Late last year, the website ChurchRelevance.com published its biennial list of the top 200 church blogs. Kent Shaffer, founder and ministry consultant, aggregates faith-related websites that he considers the most influential, based on a number of readership metrics. Apparently Shaffer hit a nerve. Why?
Because he didn’t include enough female bloggers.
The backlash prompted a follow-up post from Shaffer, Where are the Top Christian Women Bloggers? (wherein he is in near full retreat), as well as spawning multiple Top Christian Women’s Blogs posts compiled by, well, female bloggers.
Apparently, we have entered the age of Affirmative Action Blogging.
I divide time between church / faith-related blogs and writing blogs. Whereas, Shaffer notes, “the gender gap among [church leadership] bloggers has now shrunk to roughly a 60/40 ratio,” in Christian writing circles, women rule.
I’ve been to six Christian writers conferences over the last seven years and the demographics haven’t changed — roughly 15% men. My agent represents 50 clients. Seven of them are men. When I started blogging back in 2005, I was so distressed by this “gender gap,” that I considered starting a blog ring just for men, which I entitled The Brotherhood of the Blog. It would be similar to the many, many Christian women’s’ only blogrolls like CWO Blog Ring and Christian Women and Bloggers, which lists hundreds of Christian women’s blogs. (‘Course, this is nothing compared to THIS LIST of 600-plus Christian women bloggers.)
I dropped the idea for a Men’s Only Blogroll when I was informed it sounded chauvinistic.
Question: Why is it that Christian women’s blog rings are cool, but Christian men’s blog rings are chauvinistic?
I once had a discussion with an industry insider, one of those discussions that you don’t have in a large circle. We were talking about this obvious gap in Christian writing and blogging circles. They suggested how Christian women bloggers are a sort of privileged class. They’re mostly white, stay at home moms, middle to high income. In fact, if memory serves me, in some of the follow-up lists that countered Shaffer’s, the absence of women of color was noted. Ironic, isn’t it?
Which is the problem with demographic minutia: Where do you stop? Christian Women of Color Blogging Ring? And what happens when those women of color tilt toward one color? Must we then specify ethnicities? Christian Women of Asian Decent Blogging Ring? And don’t forget single mothers, and singles, and LGBT, and…
…the list goes on.
So while there may be a slight disparity between men and women blogging about church / faith-related issues, the writing community balances the scale. And the scales usually do balance. Only, now, I am the new minority: Conservative. White. Male. Blogger.