Blogging for Boys?

Just a short post to raise a question that’s discussed on today, which is why American legal blogs seem to be populated by boys and abandoned by women.

That doesn’t seem to be the case here at Slaw. Is that something about Slaw? Or Canadian law? Or simply that our focus on legal information, technology and research isn’t the same as those blogs that was looking at?

It offers three theories (none of which is particularly compelling:

Theory #1: Women law bloggers are out there, you just don’t see them. ((Women bloggers aren’t as relentlessly self-promoting))

Theory #2: Women don’t have the same time to blog as men.

Theory #3: Women are more prone to professional or personal attack, so they avoid blogging.

Any reactions to the article anyone?


  1. If one looks at the SLAW webpage as it stand right now, there are 15 blog posts on the main page. Only two of them are women. Now that is just one sample, but I do feel that even on SLAW there are fewer posts by women. I agree with all three reasons the author has suggested as to why they don’t blog as much as men.

  2. Sue’s right, not just about the ratio on the current page, but generally here on Slaw: of our regular contributors — those who will blog once a week or more — a dozen are men and only 3 are women. We do better when you look at our occasional contributors, those who blog more or less when the spirit moves them: 6 of these are men and 9 are women. Our columnists, who post every other month, are nearly evenly split: 5 M : 3+ F (the plus is for the fact that the e-discovery columnist is new each month, typically, and is a woman about half the time.

    This is not ideal for us, of course, and we would welcome many more interested regular women contributors.

  3. Simon,

    It’s my first time posting a comment here, but I really enjoy Slaw. For the most part, I also like your blog entry here. Before I saw your post about this topic, I had read the article you cited and was annoyed by its implication about women blawggers. Indeed, there are a number of fine legal blogs written by women that I read and even cite regularly. To me, the sex of the blogger doesn’t matter; I am interested in what they have to say.

    I do have a minor quibble about your use of language here. :-)

    You wrote:

    Just a short post to raise a question that’s discussed on today, which is why American legal blogs seem to be populated by boys and abandoned by women.

    (emphasis added, citation omitted)

    With the exception of possibly some exceedingly rare site published by a male child prodigy–and I am unaware of such a site–blawgs aren’t written by “boys” any more than they are written by “girls.”

    Why do I point this out? Perhaps it’s because my Asperger’s syndrome often makes me physically squirm at a lack of parallelism in a sentence (even the ones I write). On the other hand, there might be an interesting question here, at least somewhat related to your comments about the article and worth considering: why is it acceptable to refer to grown men as “boys” but not acceptable to refer to grown women as “girls”? I note that you didn’t call female blawggers “girls,” but you did call male blawggers “boys.”

    I don’t have any immediate answer to offer to my question, but I think it’s worth pondering. Your post has gotten me thinking–something Slaw always does–so thanks for that.

    Keep up the fine work!

  4. I just picked up 3 different legal magazines and the author article breakdown was 70:30 male:female. So is legal publishing a boys only club? Not sure I care any more than the blogger breakdown.

    Blogs are easy low-cost publishing, with a very low threshold to participation. If I had to grade my own reading it might even be slanted toward female bloggers. And if I had to come up with a percentage of law blogs that qualified as spam blogs, that percentage would be VERY male.

    So quality over quantity, right?

    As to participation rates, Jordan’s old post on diversity is worth a mention. Maybe we’re just par for the course?

  5. I was just reading this article about medical students. Confidence might play a big role here. We have a tough time getting female bloggers on Law is Cool too, and when we do they still don’t contribute as much.

    And although the majority of law students are now women, we should remember that the majority of senior and practicing lawyers are still men.

    It might not be so much of a behavioural or discrimination issue as it is the number of available contributors. Perhaps a better indicator would be percentage of men/women lawyers who write/blog.

  6. Steve, thanks for the link — I just finished my own post on this subject and on law blogging generally. One of my observations, and I admit it’s a little cynical, is that if there’s a shortage of women law bloggers anywhere, it’s in larger law firms, some of which don’t tend to take either the careers of their women lawyers or the benefits of blogging very seriously.

    But that said, I’m also confident that we’re rapidly approaching a time when neither the presence of a law blog nor the gender of its author(s) is going to occasion any comment at all.