I am still basking in the afterglow of all the positive responses to yesterday's Carnival of Feminists. Nonetheless, I have taken some time to consider whether I fulfilled one of the Carnival's missions-- to bring together a diverse collection of feminist bloggers. Diversity is important, in my view, because one of the glories of blogging is the contact among people who might otherwise never have any reason to meet. Also, it is important to convey that feminism serves the interests of a wide variety of women around the world.
But I wasn't organized enough to make any deliberate effort to create a diverse selection. In fact, I didn't think about achieving diversity at all until after the Carnival was posted. I just looked at all the posts that had come to my attention since the last Carnival, via nominations or internet surfing, and picked the ones I liked. It was only then that I sheepishly remembered Carnival founder Natalie Bennett's request to keep U.S. submissions to 50% or less. (After all, believe it or not, there is a whole big world out there besides the U.S.A.).
Looking at the numbers, my U.S. emphasis wasn't quite as bad as I thought, but I still could have done better. Below is the breakdown of the 45 featured bloggers.
United States: 27 bloggers or 60% (not counting people who live in the U.S. but are from elsewhere)
United Kingdom: 8 bloggers or 18%
Canada: 5 bloggers or 11% (I think Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns & Money is Canadian. His post is about Canada and he seems to like hockey and I think I read somewhere that he is Canadian. Also someone on a thread at Pandagon said that Lindsay at Majikthise is Canadian so I'm counting her too. Further evidence of her Canadian-ness is that she once signed an email to me with "cheers.")
Unknown: 3 bloggers or 7%
Other: 2 bloggers or 4% (Italy and Israel)
Of course, diversity can be measured in other ways. I think the featured bloggers are a somewhat diverse group in terms of race, sexual orientation, religion, social class, and lifestyle, even if the emphasis is a bit "first world." And although the bloggers are predominantly from the U.S., U.K. and Canada, there were posts about African politics, Chinese history, Japanese art, and Latin American literature among a diverse array of topics.
I should also note that we had a number of outstanding contributions from male bloggers-- 8 in all, or 17%. I was surprised that it turned out to be that high. I don't think that male feminists necessarily deserve extra appreciative attention -- because, after all, feminism is about basic human rights. That having been said, however, I am glad to have the chance to convey the notion that feminism is not hostile to male participation (contrary to popular belief). Also, even though I think everyone should be a feminist, I am glad to see men blogging about issues that are often considered of interest only to women.
My personal goal for the next Carnival is to find and nominate some African feminist bloggers. (I used to live in west Africa so it's a natural area for me to look at.)