mar 25

On Blowhards

Evelyn Waugh reference? Blowhard! (I kid, Nick.) Two other notes on the flowchart:

1) Has anyone else noticed that the blowhards are becoming increasingly irrelevant? Just a year or two ago, it felt like Calacanis and Cuban were required reading -- however begrudgingly. But now they seem as important as any other random blogger. Is it my imagination, or has the blowhardosphere become more diffuse?

2) I've had some interesting discussions about why women weren't included on this chart. The two who I considered including were Sarah Lacy or Kara Swisher, but neither really seemed in the same blowhardish category (that's a compliment!). I definitely think it's difficult and complex for women in this industry, but I'm not sure about the contention that only women get called names. To clarify: Michael Arrington is a douchebag asshole fuckwad; Kara Swisher is pretty smart!


See also: Sklar's post about Ada Lovelace Day.

posted by Rex at 11:49 AM on March 25, 2009

all feminists are blowhards...


posted by ryan at 12:00 PM on March 25, 2009

Thanks for posting all that Rex! I think the so-called controversy breaks down usefully into two questions: (1) Are men disproportionately in positions of influence and prominence in the tech/new media sector? and (2) Are men more likely than women to be perceived as - and perhaps to become - blowhards? Those are both equally at play here. There is no doubt though that your list is a power list - I guess that, as much as anything else, was what I was responding to.

Also, interesting observation about the blowhardosphere. Think piece!

posted by Rachel Sklar at 12:09 PM on March 25, 2009

My point was more that when it comes to criticizing women (particularly on the internet), reductive attacks regarding physical appearance and sexuality come into play much more frequently. Being called a blowhard because you are an obnoxious pompous gasbag is legitimate criticism; being called a stupid ugly slut because you are an obnoxious pompous gasbag is not.

That being said, I'd also like to point out that men are not the only people who are guilty of this. Women are just as bad (if not worse, on occasion) about this sort of thing.

posted by Kate Miltner at 2:17 PM on March 25, 2009

Team Miltner! There you go. My work here is done.

posted by Rachel Sklar at 3:22 PM on March 25, 2009

Blow at a medium pace, ladies.

posted by katiebakes at 3:23 PM on March 25, 2009

Tech was such a boys game for so long that there just aren't as many high-profile women in the industry. There are plenty of ladyblowhards in poltics, for example. Heard of Rachel Maddow? Ann Coulter? Michelle Malkin? Or in finance there's Suze Orman. In whatever it is she prattles on about, you've got Nancy Grace. And, really, just about anyone on a cable news program qualifies.

posted by mat honan at 4:24 PM on March 25, 2009

Women are criticized for their appearance more often than men online.

But are women more likely to post photos of themselves on their blogs?

My instinct is that men are more likely to hide their appearance and women are more likely to capitalize on it.

I think being a woman on the Internet is a shortcut to attracting a male geek audience.

They have less respect for women once they start commenting, but they're the first to show up.

I have no data, so this may be subjective bullshit.

posted by Michael Duff at 6:01 PM on March 27, 2009

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