Today’s all about minging, eating & drinking with a bit of sex thrown in

How did I end up doing this roundup? Well, you see, it all started when I complained that my blog was rarely mentioned in the roundup. I noticed one week that NO female bloggers were mentioned and thought it might be quite funny to wind these guys up – sexism! Shocking behaviour. I thought it would “force” them into plugging me the following week. I was laughing on the other side of my face when they suggested that I do a guest editing spot! That’ll teach me.

Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to do a female only roundup. But I couldn’t find enough – funnily enough there are more men like to spout forth their views than woman. Can you believe that?! So I’m doing the normal roundup and at the end a little comparison of the approaches taken by male and female bloggers – quite interesting differences I think.

ALAS POOR MING, I KNEW HIM NOT …

The biggest talking point this week has to be the resignation of Sir Ming and Love and Garbage has quite a funny posting on it comparing the leadership wannabees to characters in Last of the Summer Wine.

Julie Hepburn who as Policy Advisor for the SNP developed the Citizen’s Pension policy is angry at what she describes as “blatant ageism” but Adam Smith was a Socialist disagrees. North to Leith reckons the speculation about Charles Kennedy coming back will amount to nothing and Indygal – great blogger 😉 – reckons Charlie boy was treated abysmally.

Richard Leyton wasn’t surprised at Ming’s departure. He has an interesting piece asking what the purpose of the Lib Dems is now. And he makes the very valid point that the party that’s always pushed for PR, is the party that should be showing how that kind of “new politics” works by going into coalition with the SNP in Scotland.

Gary of Big Sticks and Small Carrots fame is also on the PR bandwagon and points to the difficulty the Lib Dems have at Westminster which doesn’t (yet) have a proportional voting system.

1820 couldn’t care less and indeed, employed a mode of communication that Angry Steve reckons is good for your stress levels!

Best comment on the Lib Dems and Ming’s resignation though has to come from Mr Eugenides – made me laugh out loud!

Talking of departures, was sorry to read that aforementioned North to Leith will be changing hands and Davie Hutchison is moving on. I know Davie quite well – indeed I blogged on him recently. Davie won’t just be missed in parliament, he’ll definitely be missed in the blogosphere.

OK so enough of Ming Campbell and onto …

DRINKING, EATING AND SMOKING ONESELF TO DEATH …

Alcohol abuse has been much in the news of late and Angus Nicolson is not impressed with the Scottish Government’s latest strategy to tackle it. It’s at this point I have to remember that my job here is to tell you what’s out there, not to start arguing with other bloggers!

Mike Power has a great response to the professors who declare that a substantial increase in the price of alcohol is the answer and suggests a substantial cut in their salaries.

More on the abuse of the body and two diametrically opposing views – one from Louise who very thoughtfully gives us a “rant alert” before telling us she’s overweight (she’s not) and no government made her overweight and it’s all her own fault and it’s because she likes chocolate and that’s because it’s nice! The government should do more on obesity according to On the Outside Looking In who suggests ways in which they could do that.

Just while we’re on the subject of things that may or may not harm our sacred temples Kenny Sheerin takes the argument about cannabis – eh nowhere. He finishes by telling us that he’s not on an anti cannabis rant and says “I’m not sure what this is” 🙂

OK I’ll do one more on the damage some folk do to their bodies and Oz resident Colin Campbell sees the “funny side” of the problems with kerb crawling in his homeland. Quite interesting to read political blogs on the other side of the world.

Sport – that’s a better alternative to fast food, alcohol and cannabis so I was pleased to be sent some links on sport. Sadly none of them were playing it so that doesn’t work but Craig takes a look at how well Scotland fares in a whole variety of sports and David Farrer is one of many complaining about BBC bias towards English sporting achievements.

ONTO OTHER NEWS …

Elsewhere this week – Osama Saeed and Grant Thoms are both delighted that Alex Salmond is attempting to gain observer status for Scotland at the UN talks on non-proliferation. Grant refers to the move as a “Nationalist sunbeam bursting through the dark clouds of British foreign policy” whilst Osama is a little more low key but still describes it as a “fantastic” move.

BURD BLOGGERS Vs BLOKE BLOGGERS …

Anyway onto the birds vs blokes thing. Okay not “vs” but I think there is a real difference in how men and women communicate in the blogosphere. And I think it’s this – women tend to relate whatever they are commenting on to something personal whilst men tend to simply state opinion. I am an SNP candidate and my own blog is a political blog. But I rarely have a post where I’m not illustrating the point I’m making by talking about a personal experience. I get lots of feedback on that. Some people think I shouldn’t do that and others say it’s why they read it.

I’m not the only one though. Here are some of my favourite female bloggers – see if you can see what I mean.

Bellgrove Belle in this post is talking about Gordon Brown’s decision not to have an election this year but in the same post we also learn that the Glasgow Councillor has been shopping for a new sofa. I like that because non politicos reading it will hopefully see that politicians are just like everyone else.

Aileen Campbell, the youngest MSP in Scotland is making a point about hypocrisy when it comes to supporting Independence whilst chatting about the sore feet she got on holiday. It doesn’t detract from the point she’s making and adds a personal touch.

Labour activist Kezia Dugdale, in her posting on Ming Campbell’s resignation this week, makes her political point eloquently and is comfortable including some personal information at the same time when she talks about being at her Spanish class. Again, all good stuff demonstrating that just because we’re passionate about politics, it doesn’t mean we don’t live in a bubble.

There are some noteable exceptions. Julie Hepburn is one. Julie’s style (in blogging only) is quite masculine – fairly factual although eminently readable. And whilst she generally does the straight factual postings, she’s not averse to mentioning her other great passion in life – chocolate.

Louise is another. She tends not to have political and personal in the one post but what she does is have separate political posts and personal posts.

Clairwil is new to me and although I think she’s being a tad cynical in this posting about begging, I have to confess I laughed out loud and will definitely read her blog again. It’s the narrative style that makes her distinctively female-blogger-ish. You can imagine her telling you this tale in the pub. To me, and perhaps it’s because I’m female, I’m more likely to hear the political point she’s trying to make because of the personal content, some of which I can relate to. Again, I don’t agree with her but you can’t change someone’s views if you can’t get them to listen in the first place – and she got me to listen.

Jennifer Dunn another Glasgow councillor is on honeymoon just now so not updating but she’s hilarious and definitely worth a read. In fact if you read her profile she demonstrates exactly what I think is distinctive about most female political bloggers – the blog is called ‘three targets’ based on her 3 aims for this year – getting elected, getting married, and losing weight. Can the average female in her 20s relate to most politicians? No. But can she relate to this politician’s life? I reckon so.

I think that’s the main difference – you don’t learn a great deal about the person behind the politician with male bloggers. The opposite is generally true for female blogging politicians. The male bloggers then, will probably only appeal to fellow politicos whilst we females are doing what we can to appeal to folk who normally wouldn’t be interested.

The average male blogger with the same views would simply express them without reference to his experience. He might add in a few statistics but is less likely to tell you anything that would enable someone who didn’t know him to relate to him in any way. That’s not a criticism, it’s just an observation. And before I start getting emails telling me about exceptions to the rules, I know – this is not an in depth study, it’s just what I’m picking up from what I read.

If what I say is true and female political bloggers are more likely to appeal to the masses, then we need to look at how we can tell the masses about these blogs. Because as far as I’m aware, blogging is a minority sport and political blogging even more so. So let’s get publicising. Right, thank goodness I’m only a guest editor and I think the Editors of this site deserve bloomin medals because this has taken me all day – not a dish washed, no clothes ironed etc etc. See what I mean, we just can’t help getting personal 🙂

9 comments

  1. Dear lord, this is the worst roundup yet. It’s filled with blogs which are purely mentioned to namedrop a mate, and most of the content is banal chatter rather than giving us a tour of the best blog posts that have been on the go.

    Please don’t let this blogger loose on this fine site again, it’ll set back the reputation.

  2. Lab Rat’s response made me realize why I left Scotland in the first place. It’s filled with misogynistic pricks like him! It’s quite ironic that he refers to Indygal’s VERY FINE entry as “banal chatter” when in that same entry she was referring to the differences between male and female bloggers. In other words, this so-called “banal chatter” is just a more feminine, chatty, personal style of writing.

    All I can say is you did a very fine job today, Indygal,so please don’t let yet another, narrow-minded Scottish male get you down.

    Please invite her back, in fact, because it’s true that this site rarely mentions female bloggers (perhaps because wommen don’t have time to blog. We’re doing more important things instead – like working full-time, for less money than men, while still being expected to bear the brunt of housework and childcare!) and it badly needs a female (and feminist!) presence.

  3. I don’t care whether bloggers are women, men or evil reptilian kitten eaters from another planet. But IndyGal here is arguing a perfectly legitimate viewpoint in addition to providing the obligatory roundup. Maybe it would be a good idea every so often to have a guest article in addition to the roundup on some aspect of the act of blogging itself. This one has been a good start and has definitely got (well, two) people thinking.

    (By the way, I really hope this comment accepts html to make that link work…)

  4. Indygal wrote: “How did I end up doing this roundup? Well, you see, it all started when I complained that my blog was rarely mentioned in the roundup. I noticed one week that NO female bloggers were mentioned and thought it might be quite funny to wind these guys up – sexism! Shocking behaviour.”

    As I already said, I liked Indygal’s post but I do have a problem with the above paragraph because it makes light of sexism and seems to suggest that the guys involved in Scottish Roundup couldn’t possibly be guilty of that. She’s just “winding them up” about it (although, of course, she couldn’t come right out and denounce them as sexist, as she’s involved in a little blogger community here and obviously doesn’t want to rock the boat). Perhaps I won’t go so far as to say that the Scottish Roundup guys are sexist but they, and countless men like them, are guilty of ignoring the female point of view and the way in which women express themselves. Like it or not, women do express themselves differently to men, and we dowrite about/care about different topics. Whether that’s nature or nurture, I don’t know, but it is a fact.

    Lab Rat’s comment echoes countless similar petty remarks made by men throughout the centuries (I’m thinking right now of Nathaniel Hawthorne and his hatred towards female writers – “that damned mob of scribbling women”), and it really is quite disheartening to see that, whenever a woman finds her voice, there will always be some guy like Lab Rat to dismiss it as “banal chatter”.

  5. Not sure if Duncan plans to make his views public, but I do wish to reply. It’s rather a long post and I’m following the precedent of not starting a row in the Comments section of the Roundup, so my response is here.

  6. I have to admit that I’m confused. Why am I on this list? I may be based in Scotland, but my posts rarely focus on that fact. Nay, I only really focussed on this fact during election season while commenting on all the political shit-flinging at the time.