Saturday, September 13, 2008

Female blogs like Barbie at the Ploughing Championships?

Congratulations to all the bloggers who were featured in the article Blog Her, on page 18 of the Irish Times magazine today.

In a well written article by Aisling McDermott from, she highlights how when herself and Kirstie started out:

"It was a largely male-dominated world in which our fluffy pink blog stood out like Barbie at the ploughing championships... We were a bit lonely at first, I have to admit... and while there were a few excellent women bloggers in Ireland at the time, sadly you could count them on the fingers of one hand".
My, how things have changed. Andrew, for example, is a big manly man in person. Rugged, handsome and intelligent, he's a modern macho man - I mean no disrespect - but even he, now, is thinking of blogging as a woman, because, as he puts it
I seem to spend a huge amount of my time enjoying blogs written by ladies recently, so why not be one myself?
Indeed, counting out my own must-read blogs there probably are more female voices there than male - and based on this post, more females 'read' me - those blogs tend to be the ones that stick in my head, that enter my thoughts late at night - damn you Alexia, for one - and that constantly seem to raise the bar for creative and imaginative ways of looking at the world.

Indeed, last night I was reminded just how sometimes staid and predictable my own blogging can be, especially when compared to something like An Cathach, a blog I'll definitely be checking into a lot more often.

Similarly the group blogs I read are now somewhat female dominated. For Nine Pounds benefits hugely from the variety of women posting, and The Anti-Room and The Lives of Others show just how strong that perspective can be, especially when contrasted with the somewhat matter-of-fact straight to the point writings of guys who blog, myself very much included.

Bloggers covered in the article include:
  • Fatmammycat - "a sharp writer who cleverly explouits the blog format to showcase her formidable talent";

  • Maman Poulet - "If beauty is truth, Maman Poulet is downright gorgeous";

  • Annie Rhiannon - "Disarmingly droll, she spells out the minutiae of her daily life in a way that is touching, honest and can make you laugh out loud";

  • Gaelick - "a new group blog with nine members, dedicated to gay women";

  • Grannymar - "not actually a granny... but is chatty and charming and possibly good at knitting"

  • Redmum - "When I write about things that happen at home, I suppose I look for the humour in situations that often were far from humourous at the time"; and

  • Homebug "Even if you are allergic to Ikea, Hmebug is enough to make you drool, and she may even convince you to love wallpaper".

(Photos by Brenda Fitzsimons)

Ailsing has also given a great shout out to an awful lot of blogs and bloggers in her article, some I read, some I've never even heard of, but will definitely be checking out. I particularly liked the last paragraph which reads
"Of course, everyone knows that quality blogging is not about whether you are a man or a woman, but whether your content is fine enough to consistenly engage your readers.

The Irish Times has realised the importance of blogs as part of the modern media mix, with Jim Carroll, Conor Pope, Harry McGee and Bryan Mukandi blogging away on But I'd feel it remiss of me not to pop the question - Madam, where are all the women?"
Personally I feel the Irish blog scene benefits incredibly from the female presence - or, in fact, dominance, and I'm sure the Blog Awards next year will reflect same.

Even better, they're the ones with the best ideas for meet-ups, tweet-ups, are great company for a pint and generally write the posts that make me smile. What's not to like?

And isn't that a great photo of Grannymar? ;o)


  1. "Andrew, for example, is a big manly man in person. Rugged, handsome and intelligent, he's a modern macho man - I mean no disrespect..."


    (Going to read the full article now - just thought that deserved a comment)


  2. Darragh Doyle, are you flirting with me?

  3. Love the pic of GM, she's scouting for toyboys.

  4. Hello darling,

    At least I am upright in the photos, and not a knitting needle in sight!

  5. hmm.. my problem is i'm a lady but i blog like a bloke!

  6. @David - LOL indeed, I just didn't know how to put it any other way. I take the comment and run with it!

    @Andrew - not you Andrew, but your female persona in anticipation

    @Annie - Thanks for the visit and comment :-) Your own photo (and article) were great too.

    @Grannymar - hello darling to you too :-) Indeed you are both - Kilkenny position would have been interesting though!

    @Donna_m - ah it's not how, but what. Or something like that anyways - I like your style!

  7. lol.. thanks. i love reading your blog and your group of friends because you're all so different than us canadians. i gain new perspectives and insights into things, and i find irish people in particular, a breath of fresh air with no b.s.

  8. Darragh thank you so much for your kind words on the blog, it's really appreciated.

    Looking forward to meeting you and some of the other bloggers on Thursday night-i'll be the nervous one(not knowing anyone)! :D

  9. @donna_m - I don't know if we're *that* different to Canadians - I reckon we share a very similar sense of irony and drama. We do have a love of stories. Can you recommend some popular Canadian blogs (other than your own?) to try out?

    @Green of eye, sharp of claw - most welcome - and justified - my dear. Thursday, just come over and say hello. As you know we're meeting in Dakota before - we'll be the loud table with 350 devices to access the internet out - so just come over and say hello! :o)

  10. It is a really well written article.

    Although I am surprised something like that came from someone from beautie...

  11. A pity the writer didn't do her research better - The irish times does have a female blogger - Fiona McCann -

    Lovely site Darragh - more cat pics please

  12. Roger, it looks like Fiona McCann's blog for The Irish Times only got up and running on the 10th September.

    So I'm thinking that the article was most likely correct at the time of writing and submission: would it not then be up to an editor of some description to spot that an amendment is required for a freelance piece like that..?

    [Just wondering, now!]

  13. @thechrisd it doesn't surprise that it was written by someone from, (aside from the obvious that I was there :) ), but also because they are talented drawing in an incredible amount of readers.

    As @Lyndar says @Roger it was written back in August, the magazine is printed ahead. I saw the line about the IT blogging and knew there was a new blogger, I suppose the phrase 'correct at time of press' is appropriate.