I've been delighted to discover new/newish academic bloggers over the past week or two (Playing School, Bitch PhD, and Learning Curves to name a few). Only a couple of months ago when I started poking around in the blogosphere, I felt somewhat alienated from a lot of the academic blogs that I was finding. So it's great to discover some additional voices in the mix.
Graham Leuschke cites this blog and others in questioning why so many academic bloggers choose anonymity/pseudonymity. I've already commented on his post (and discussed my take before), so I'll save that for now. But his post, and the discussion we've been having about personal appearance (edgy or not) and gender raises the following question for me. It is my impression -- purely anecdotal at this point -- that a greater number of non-pseudonymous academic blogs are by men; it may also be the case that a greater number of pseudonymous blogs are by women, although that's not necessarily a corollary of the first.
It would seem to me that, just as women academics are subject to greater scrutiny and commentary about their personal appearance than men are, women academics might feel themselves to be under greater general scrutiny than the men do, and hence more likely to opt for pseudonymity. What do you think?
Another version of this question: do you know any male academics who would say that they have had a student (male or female) who has "tested their boundaries" in a way that felt threatening or inappropriate or disturbing? Do you know any female academics who haven't had such an experience? (I'm trying to be careful in my wording here -- because it's not a question about teaching styles, classroom personae, or pedagogy -- but rather about the gendered assumptions students bring with them into the academic space.)
UPDATE: There's lively and interesting conversation still going on in the comments at Leuschke.org