John Hawkins profiles five popular bloggers of the distaff persuasion and poses several variations of that musical question of whether it's hard out here for a chick.
As for me, I don't get a lot of nasty email, nor too many ugly comments regarding my gender or my race, especially since I moved my photo down "below the fold." (On the down side, when I do get them, they're infuriating.) Having a handle that seems masculine helps to alleviate this. Many people aren't inclined to read my "About" page, where my obviously female given name appears.
But even when I had my pic at the top, I received scant verbal abuse. Perhaps there's some about a nearly bald black woman which discourages such behavior.
Another advantage of having my pic at the top on the front page: I got more traffic. But I decided to leave the photo where it is and let my words do the communication. Everything is a trade-off.
However, I may change my mind twenty to thirty pounds from now. :-)