Wonder what you would find if you frisked the genders of all those out there in the blogosphere?
Answer: Not too many women.
First, I apologize I have been gone for awhile. I had a busy weekend mixed with a few computer problems, but no worries! I’m back.
Anyways, I saw this article/post online today and I found it pretty interesting. I did not realize that 67% of bloggers are male, which is very surprising since most users of social networks (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.) are female.
Dr. Melissa Clouthier has an interesting theory why this is the case:
The Internet still feels like the Wild West. There are some safe homesteads–social media, for example. Consider: On Facebook, a woman can decide who she wants to connect with and who she wants to keep out. On Twitter, a woman who feels wrongly attacked can block the attacker. (Meghan McCain, the mad blocker, comes to mind. She takes even mild criticism as a block-worthy offense.)
When it comes the arena of ideas, the women who blog are not typical women. Over and over, the women who blog are tougher. Like the shotgun wielding Western expansionists of yore, women bloggers take shots and can shoot back.
Women bloggers are often sexualized and insulted. One famous incident withKathy Sierra involved photoshop and personal information. Kathy quit, something I urged her not to do. She is now, though, on Twitter and I believe she blogs anonymously to spare herself the insulting misery. Michelle Malkin, Amanda Carpenter, and just about every conservative woman blogger, including me, has endured horrible personal, violent and sexual insults–very often from “enlightened” male liberal commenters and bloggers.
Most women simply do not want to put up with this garbage. They feel threatened and they worry about their safety and the safety of their children. Michelle Malkinhad to actually move after her personal information was plastered on the web. She is a mother. She has children. There are nutjobs out there and in this business, there is a very real risk to personal safety. It’s something guys just don’t have to deal with as much.
In addition, women often don’t like the intellectual jousting. Part of it is gender wiring. Men see verbal sparring as a testosterone-fueled challenge. Women see degraded communication and hostility. When they put an idea out there, it seems aggressive when someone rips the point of view to shreds. And, it is aggressive.
The women who do blog tend to stick out. Here’s the thing, when I was at Western CPAC with the guys, I didn’t feel out of place or less worthy. They didn’t treat me disrespectfully or condescend. I was a peer in all respects. The thing is, I like the rough and tumble world of political blogging–even if I do get harassed and abused rhetorically from time to time. Goes with the territory. If you can’t take the heat and all that…. Most women have enough heat in the rest of their lives, they figure they don’t need to invite by putting ideas out there via a blog.
Seeing how I am a dude, I can’t really elaborate much on the issue, but I’ll let you think about it. I found it pretty interesting and Dr. Clouthier makes an excellent point.
Props to her.