Sex (and Sexism) in the Blogosphere

Decided that Meryl’s posts regarding Dawn’s call to revolution deserved more prominence. Particularly since she doesn’t have comments, and I do — somehow, I suspect there might be debate around these.
Issue 1: Is there sexism from the “big guns” in the Blogosphere? Meryl says yes:
Do the A-listers link more often to male bloggers and ignore female bloggers? Do the guys have an online boys club where they check their buddies out first? Was it sheer coincidence that NZ Bear shot up to the top of the blogosphere? Or was it sexism, as no female blogger has ever garnered the attention he received quite so quickly?
…Yes, I think there is sexism in the blogosphere, and it is for the most part unintentional. I was working on a post on that topic months ago, and as a for-instance, I checked the blogrolls of the weblogs I visited regularly and discovered an appalling ratio of female-to-male bloggers on blogrolls…

Disclaimer/Reminder: Meryl and I are old (and I do mean old) offline friends; she’s allowed to use me as an example.
Issue 2: Can a woman post about sex (and post suggestive photos of herself) and still expect to be taken seriously on other subjects? Meryl is dubious:
“Yeah, I’ve heard the argument: There are great investigative articles in Playboy and Penthouse. I’ve even read many of them, since in my days as a typesetter my typehouse published Penthouse. But those investigative articles are not written by the women who are spreading their legs for the centerfold. It’s a credibility issue. It’s difficult to take Dawn seriously under these circumstances…
If you spend an overwhelming amount of words (or pictures) in your weblog on one theme, and then get annoyed with people when they lock you into that theme, you’ve already lost the high ground. It’s rather unfair to blame people for thinking of you in one way when you’ve worked hard to establish that they do think of you that way. Dawn, my suggestion: Start a new weblog for your serious topics, and stick with the sexuality on Up Yours. I can’t see any other way out of your dilemma.”

My thoughts? I still have a nagging feeling that this is a double standard, which was one of the issues I raised in my original emails to Meryl goading her into weighing in on this topic.
I think I agree with Meryl, though, when she says that it is a bit much to complain about being pigeonholed into one topic (regardless of if it is sex or humor) when you yourself have made that topic the focus of your blog. So when Dawn says:
“[Glenn] has even linked to me, but I have noticed a trend in what he links to: it’s never any of my more heady posts, but usually something sexual, which taken out context, comes off as condescending or even vaguely insulting.”
…I think perhaps she’s being a bit oversensitive. The fact that Glenn (or anybody) tends to link to her sex posts might well be explained by simple probability; if you generally write about sex, chances are when you get a link, it’ll be on a post about sex.
But… I can’t help still thinking that if Dawn’s main topic was humor; or cooking; or sports, or something — anything — other than sex, then Meryl might have been more willing to rally to her cause. As Meryl herself says, “It’s a credibility issue. It’s difficult to take Dawn seriously under these circumstances…”. So the conclusion I have to reach is that writing about sex removes your credibility — or posting suggestive photos of yourself removes your credibility. And I’m still not sure why sex is more credibility-removing than the silliness Lair brings to the table much of the time (and then counters with intelligent, heartfelt commentary at other times). And while its arguable whether Lair’s style alienates him from gaining respect widely, I know for a fact that he has mine, and Meryl’s.
Enough of my opinions. Your turn. Comment away, please…