I continue to muse that it has nothing to do with the area of study since seminaries have plenty of women attending, as do the churches. I admit that women are sparse at SBL, and they are sparse in universities as professors in this field (I can count on my hands the number of women that hold professorships in biblical studies), and they are sparse in leadership roles in churches, but blogging is not being done mainly by professors and church leaders. Graduate students and people fascinated with the field make up a large portion of bibliobloggers.
Biblioblog Top 50 commented in my last post on the subject that they have considered this and have come to the conclusion that biblioblogging is mainly confessional so "Simply put, because the structure of Christian authority is male-dominated, and because most bibiobloggers have Christian affiliations, biblioblogging is likewise male-dominated."
This is a good try, but I don't think so. There is no Christian authority hovering over women and telling them they can't or shouldn't blog on the bible. Women are great talkers, and from my lifelong conversations among friends, women love to talk about their spirituality and religious traditions. The power structures that are keeping women from advancing in the field of biblical studies in terms of the academy, or keeping them from advancing in the churches into positions of power, do not control the internet.
Or do they? Let's consider Biblioblog Top 50's comment further. At the end of the comment we find this language in relationship to women's blogs on the bible.
(But, for those interested in reading at the margins: Tonya from Hebrew and Greek Reader; Ekaterini G. Tsalampouni from Ιστολόγιο βιβλικών σπουδών / Biblical Studies Blog; Amy Anderson from Evangelical Textual Criticism; Mandy from The Floppy Hat; Gillian Townsley and Elizabeth Young from The Dunedin School; Suzanne McCarthy from Suzanne’s Bookshelf; Rachel Barenblat from Velveteen Rabbi; Renita J. Weems from Something Within.com; Deirdre Good from On Not Being a Sausage; Iveta Strenkova from Bibbiablog; Cláudia Andréa Prata Ferreira on three separate blogs; Karyn Traphagen on Boulders 2 Bits; Julia M. O’Brien; Jane Stranz on Of life, laughter and liturgy . . .; Helen Ingram on The Omega Course; Lao Shi (Jennifer ) Chiou on 邱老師網誌What? "For those interested in reading at the margins"?! Are women's biblioblogs at the margins?! At the margins of what? With this kind of language, it is no wonder that women's biblioblogs aren't in the stats. I have never considered my blog "on the margins" nor do I imagine have Deirdre or Judy or any of the other women considered their blogs to be marginal.
Chioulaoshi Blog; Ruth P. Martin on The Pioneers’ New Testament; Brenda Heyink on Joining in the Conversation; Judy Redman on Judy’s research blog; Annette Merz and Cathy Dunn on Acta Pauli; Lisa, White Bear Girl aka Sophie Clucker on Bible Study Connection; Megan Rohrer on Transcript.)
So this is my hypothesis. I think there are as many women bibliobloggers out there as men, but they are not visible. Why? Because many of us women post on subjects that are considered marginal (even heretical, especially if there is any feminist bent) to bible studies by the men who are blogging about the bible. Our blogs are easily justified as unimportant. They remain unknown or unread because they haven't been linked to by the male bibliobloggers who dominate this blog niche and the field in general, a point that Julia wisely raised in the comments to my last post on this subject. Julia wrote: "But I also wonder about the role of networking and way that many of the blogs in the top tier regularly reference one another. How do we encourage each other's success, make sure that others find the good work that's out there?"
So I say, enough of this nonsense and rationalizations. This is what I'm going to do. This weekend when I have more time, I am going to get the women bibliobloggers (all of them) into my sidebar blog roll. I am going to start with this list that Biblioblog Top 50 has so kindly put together on women's blogs (their so-called marginal blogs). And if any of my women readers have biblioblogs not in that list, or if any of my readers know of other women bibliobloggers not in that list, send that information to me and I will add it to the blog roll. Those links will be there for anyone who wishes to copy them and get them into their own blog rolls.
Let's create some visibility for women bibliobloggers and stop the marginalization of women's biblioblogs. Let's change the stats.