06 April, 2008

The NYT Still Kind of Sucks, Actually

Apparently, I am still not missing anything by my lack of New York Times reading. This article pretty much made me want tear my hair out, and then maybe drop dead of a heart attack. Perhaps they would even consider writing an article about me!

In the blogging world that the NYT profiles, female bloggers--much less female tech bloggers--do not exist. Furthermore, blogging is figured in this article as lucrative, high-profile, and a viable job option. (This is not true for most of us.)

What really got me (and sweetmachine was struck by this as well) was the caption, stuck underneath a picture of a fashionably messy-haired young man slouching over a computer:

Matt Buchanan shows blogs may be a young man’s game.

Yup, ONE GUY shows that blogging is a "young man's" world, baby, and there ain't a damn thing that the rest of us can do about it. Older bloggers, people of color who blog, female bloggers, GLBTQ bloggers, non-able-bodied bloggers...hell, anyone who doesn't fit into the all-important category of male, white, able-bodied, straight, not overweight, and conventionally attractive (think about this: would the NYT have chosen an overweight, balding dude for the picture that accompanies the article?) DOES NOT MATTER in this article, and does not exist by virtue of omission.

This is exactly what people in my field of study mean when they talk about "violence by omission," or related terms--basically (and this is way oversimplified, mostly because my hands are starting to hurt**), when a group is omitted from mainstream representation, they, in some bizarre way, cease to exist in the minds of many. This is not to say that all of the targeted consumers of mass media are dupes, but for some, it may be inconceivable that blogs created by people who are not young, white, heterosexual, able-bodied, and attractive actually exist! Wow, what a concept.

So, thanks again, NYT, for continuing to perpetrate textual idiocy upon the nation! At the very least, the NYT has graciously given me something to blog about.

**See why I'm so ticked off about the whole able-bodied thing in particular? Sometimes, my lack of a perfectly healthy body prevents me from blogging. Horrors!

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