Women versus men


by Sunny
22nd May, 2006 at 12:19 pm    

I’ve been managing online discussion communities for over seven years and this is a consistent pattern among discussions on politics and current affairs – both sexes read discussions but it is mostly men who respond and get into slagging matches over controversial issues.

Why is this the case? Common explanations I’ve been told include: ranting and raving online is how men get their feelings out; women prefer to read and evaluate while men prefer to shoot first and think later (no pun intended); and that online arguments are simply old-fashioned penis size comparing exercises (for example: How the Indo-Pak rivalry is harming Wikipedia).

Maybe readers have other explanations but I would venture that there is probably some truth to all of the above. How else can we explain that most British political blogs are by men and they dominate the ensuing discussions. Having followed most discussions here since it was launched I am confident in saying that this place is also a sausage fest.

I hope this does not sound patronising to women, but I would also venture further that vociferous and argumentative discussions make it less likely that they would want join in. It cannot be that they are less argumentative (if ex-girlfriends are anything to go by), so there must be something in their genes that tells them getting involved in the 1048438309th argument on Israel/Palestine is probably not worth it. But it does happen and I’ve been told this many times by women themselves.

Thus, I think it is worth saying that by taking such extreme stances and engaging in slagging matches we not only end up driving out more moderate and informed debate, we may also be putting off women from joining in.
[a longer version appears on CIF today]


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: Sex equality






106 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Vivre La Différence » Men and Women Commenting on Blogs

    [...] Both Marketing Profs Daily and Pickled Politics have noted that there’s an imbalance in the numbers of men and women who comment on their blog posts. Both seem to get to roughly two male commenters for every female one: although the anecdotal evidence from the comments to the posts seem to indicate that this varies hugely across blogs depending upon the subject matter. [...]


  2. DesiPundit » Men And Women - Ranting

    [...] Is there a difference between the way men and women argue in public forums online? Pickled Politics on Why is this the case? Common explanations I’ve been told include: ranting and raving online is how men get their feelings out; women prefer to read and evaluate while men prefer to shoot first and think later (no pun intended); and that online arguments are simply old-fashioned penis size comparing exercises [...]




  1. raz — on 22nd May, 2006 at 12:27 pm  

    Sadly, Old Pickler’s behaviour destroys your theory, unless she’s actually a man pretending to be a woman.

  2. Jai — on 22nd May, 2006 at 12:57 pm  

    Men obviously have much higher levels of testosterone, so that affects their aggression and subsequent behaviour.

    I think that men are also prone to greater arrogance — this doesn’t mean that women aren’t arrogant too, but greater male aggression affects their psychology and outward behaviour in this regard, especially in terms of “macho” mindsets and actions, along with how they react in adversarial situations.

  3. Sunny — on 22nd May, 2006 at 12:58 pm  

    There are mad exceptions of course, but even on AIM, most of the commenters are men, but given the emails I receive there are an equal proportion of readers.

  4. Jai — on 22nd May, 2006 at 1:01 pm  

    ^^^ There are plenty of exceptions to the above, of course, but we’re just speaking generally here.

  5. Jai — on 22nd May, 2006 at 1:02 pm  

    Apologies, my post #4 was referring to post #2, not Sunny’s subsequent message.

  6. Robert — on 22nd May, 2006 at 1:05 pm  

    Just the patriarchy asserting itself.

    Putting together a magazine on ideas of multiculturalism and diversity a year or two ago, we had an interesting submission from the playwright Juidth Adams on patriarchy: “The dark Ages are still upon us”.

  7. neha — on 22nd May, 2006 at 1:16 pm  

    What!?!?!
    Sunny. I demand you see me near Embankment today where we shall arm-wrestle to sort this out!

  8. sonia — on 22nd May, 2006 at 1:22 pm  

    Ha. further proof i must be a man! ( my friends’ theory re: why i dislike shopping & talking on the phone and hanging up when you say goodbye as opposed to nattering on for another hour..)

    seriously though – this in an interesting launching pad to discuss gender differences seen on the net. females seem to imagine they’ve got to reinforce gender stereotypes – oooh we must all be fluffy bunny misses – and anyone who doesn’t fit that sterotype is vilified – by both males and females.

    oh yes back in 1995 when i used to sit around bulletin boards and irc channels, i used to use 2 nicknames – psychotic and neurotic ( ha ;-) ) Everyone assumed by my username i was male and also by the things i said. apparently i was ‘aggressive’ – this was mentioned when it somehow came out that i was female. when i was thought to be a man – there was no such comment. people weren’t very friendly when they found out you were an ‘aggressive female with ‘ideas” – as opposed to all the ‘gurgling’ females acting ‘true to type’ who got a) sexual attention and b) compliments. no surprises why all these girls behave the way they do then – who wants to be a social outcast!

    i don’t think its in the genes ( yes we’ve had that discussion before) – but again, socially constructed value judgments, signalling and what have you. its very interesting definitely! says a lot for how we women evaluate ourselves and each other. cyberspaces is a fascinating medium to explore and understand our social psychology.

    p.s. i still get comments on my blog saying i must be a man. and also – others saying if i am a ‘female’ – i must be a fat ugly one!!

    :-)

  9. sonia — on 22nd May, 2006 at 1:24 pm  

    neha – yeah – i’ll join you! ;-)

    perhaps this is a call to arms. what say a blog network – women with voices! or some such thing..

  10. justforfun — on 22nd May, 2006 at 1:25 pm  

    How about looking at it this way.

    Ask yourself – does anyone actually change their mind after reading someone elses point of view or arguement?

    Probably not.

    As women are far more perceptive than men, they have already recognized this, but because women have a deep down need to change people on a one to one basis. They also have realised that it is complete waste of time taking part as no one is going to change due to a few words on a blog. They know that to have any chance of changing a man, they need to be within eyeshot and preferably in the sightline of the man. Nothing else works :-) The male brain develops from an early age, at his mothers side, the ability to totally tune out the female voice, hence the need to be in the sight line. Sunny – those emails from women are their attempt to speak to you on a one to one basis rather when they know they have your attention.

    This theory sounds a bit complicated so it is probably a load of tosh and its probably for the most part something simple, women have far more things to do and the rest of us are unemployed or unemployable and have no social skills :-)

    Justforfun

  11. El Cid — on 22nd May, 2006 at 1:26 pm  

    Raz, you beat me to it.
    So what you saying about Old Pickler?
    Has she got the belligerent hormones of a fellah? I think her husband should be told.

  12. sonia — on 22nd May, 2006 at 1:29 pm  

    me again. women aren’t rewarded in society for sticking their necks out and making blunt statements and in a nutshell – not conforming. ooh no..and who ‘regulates’ the behaviour of females the most but other females? being seen as unfeminine, argumentative, unattractive – these are the judgements that are heaped upon those of us who make a fuss. oh yeah – and you get icy looks from the masses of women – “you think you’re better than the rest of us” – type bitchiness. and who wants to put up with that? not too many people that’s who.

    the irony of feminism – we’re let down by our ‘own kind’. when im in bangladesh – yes men look at you on the streets if you’re dressed a bit non-conservatively. but who looks at you ‘funny’? the women that’s who! and if they know you they make it their business to point out things like “your bra strap is showing” ( so fucking what) or “aaaee!how can you go out in public minus a chemise”. anyone who stands up and says sth is deemed a “bad immodest girl” – by whom – the aunties that’s who.

    pah.

    ( so the mullahs are a bunch of old women!!)

  13. Rakhee — on 22nd May, 2006 at 1:31 pm  

    I may be stating the obvious, but to have debate you need to make a stand, voice your opinion then be prepared for an onslaught of opposition.

    Generally (and I mean generally), women are passive in nature and may well state their opinion but perhaps feel intimidated by the hords of male voices shouting them down.

    You have to be pretty thick skinned to voice your opinion in the first place (especially when it comes to politics) and women, loving creatures that we are, perhaps don’t enjoy the fierce debates as much as men do. Not saying there aren’t exceptions to the rules of course.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Thatcher

    (am now off to run for cover ;-) )

  14. sonia — on 22nd May, 2006 at 1:32 pm  

    justforfun – “As women are far more perceptive than men”

    ha ha – who said that? another assumption. i must quote this wonderfully funny article i found in this Asiana magazine that was been given away by the armfuls at that Brick Lane mela. some clever guy called shihabsalim ( very funny man) wrote a fabulous article how we women are crap at making friends compared to men ( who actually make friends with people they like!) and then taking the piss out of how we go around telling everyone we’re so intuitive!

    a very good read and any woman who read that realized how spot on he was. i must find it…

  15. sonia — on 22nd May, 2006 at 1:33 pm  

    i meant..im sure any woman who read that knew what he was on about. an amusing comment on competitiveness in groups of women and bitchiness etc. etc. as im fond of saying – with friends like that – who needs enemies! his article summed up my feelings completely.

  16. Rakhee — on 22nd May, 2006 at 1:36 pm  

    Found this – perhaps women are also generally less interested in politics which would give some explanation about why this site attracts more men.

    http://www.gbtf.org.uk/resources/sites/217.160.173.25-40cef1e885fb30.60096639/Is+politics+turning+women+off%3F.pdf

  17. Vikrant — on 22nd May, 2006 at 1:37 pm  

    Sunny. I demand you see me near Embankment today where we shall arm-wrestle to sort this out!

    Haha Sunny, you fuck with your in-laws!

    @El Cid: Even your Voodoo mumbo-jumbo couldnt sully my exam. 1 down 5 to go.

  18. sonia — on 22nd May, 2006 at 1:38 pm  

    a lot of hogwash as usual. until we realize the nature of our socially constructed society there ain’t much point trying to change anything.

  19. sonia — on 22nd May, 2006 at 1:38 pm  

    how is it that we’ve managed to all embrace such deterministic attitudes about everything?

  20. Vikrant — on 22nd May, 2006 at 1:38 pm  

    Oye Sunny, how many more articles do i ahve to write i become regular?

  21. El Cid — on 22nd May, 2006 at 1:42 pm  

    I dunno, maybe you’re right. But you’re analysis is hardly scientific.
    All I would say is that I prefer my bosses to female, unless they are too male, like OP or Ruth Badger, in which case we’re not going to get on.
    Since I am a father, I feel they understand me more.

  22. justforfun — on 22nd May, 2006 at 1:47 pm  

    Sonia – I think there is a lot in what you say about women being their own genders censors. I have sat on a few committees for my local school where I was the only man out of 5 and we were looking at applicants for teacher jobs. I was truelly shocked by how bitchy the rest of the committee was about the applicants and would presume things about applicants for which I could see no basis, and when I asked for their basis they would reply “we’re women , we know what the applicant means”.

    Justforfun

  23. justforfun — on 22nd May, 2006 at 2:01 pm  

    Sonia – justforfun – “As women are far more perceptive than men”

    ha ha – who said that? another assumption.

    True – but you assume I know what I’m talking about :-)

    Justforfun

  24. Don — on 22nd May, 2006 at 2:18 pm  

    Men like to win, even when they have nothing really at stake.

  25. sonia — on 22nd May, 2006 at 2:33 pm  

    justforfun – you’re absolutely right. look at shows like desperate housewives – and the social commentary of its narrative. the alpha-mom episode? when that mother of 3 terrible kids had to take ridelin to ‘compete’ with other women. Sex in the city and any ‘chick-lit’ novel showcases it as well.

    and the glossies – its all down to the glossies. they tell us how to behave, what our friends should be like, what we should wear, how we should think..

    oppressive femininity. like any group, imposing an abstract notion of its attitudes and beliefs and promoting a particular self-view.

  26. Tasneem — on 22nd May, 2006 at 2:36 pm  

    Or else women do have problems in communicating their feelings with a quick notice. Too conscious, too late. [Just a "quick" MALE comment]

  27. Sunny — on 22nd May, 2006 at 2:38 pm  

    Who said my analysis was meant to be scientific? But having managed political discussions online for years, and seeing that CIF has gone down a similar route, it was just an observation. Sonia makes some good points though :)

    Rakhee – thanks for the link! It helped actually and I’ve linked it from my CIF article too.

    And Neha, well she just wants to excuse to beat me up :(

  28. Old Pickler — on 22nd May, 2006 at 2:38 pm  

    vociferous and argumentative discussions make it less likely that they would want join in.

    Bollocks.

  29. sonia — on 22nd May, 2006 at 2:49 pm  

    good on ya old pickler!

    :-)

  30. Sakshi — on 22nd May, 2006 at 3:32 pm  

    Thanks Sonia for pointing this out to me. Finally found some place where I can wedge out my Mumbai traffic frustrations.

    Okay, so here is my two bit -

    1. Women would definately like to contribute their thoughts/views on Political issues…but how many men out there are willing to take them seriously ??

    2. The above is major turn-off for many aspiring women commenters on Blogs.

    3. Now the ones who arent discouraged, their views are labelled as being FEMINIST, even if it has no sense anything to do with women issues.

    4. Men who side by women, are labelled as Feminist Fancies….which makes (some) think twice before supporting a women’s arguement every again.

    Okay…now this is surely more than just 2 cents, so I shall stop now and wait for reactions.

    All in all, women have views on everything – be it from President Asshole Bush’s stance on Iraq to Saif Ali Khan’s colored underwear…all we need is a little bit of ‘protsahan’…meaning encouragment.

  31. El Cid — on 22nd May, 2006 at 3:39 pm  

    But having managed political discussions online for years…
    Ooooh, look at him (just getting in touch with my feminine side)

  32. Old Pickler — on 22nd May, 2006 at 3:47 pm  

    unless she’s actually a man pretending to be a woman…

    Actually, I’m a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman pretending to be a pickle.

  33. justforfun — on 22nd May, 2006 at 3:49 pm  

    El Cid All I would say is that I prefer my bosses to female

    Quit fantasising and get on with some work :-)

    Justforfun

  34. Sakshi — on 22nd May, 2006 at 3:59 pm  

    Maybe this is needed here.

    :)

  35. Sakshi — on 22nd May, 2006 at 4:00 pm  

    Sheeks…I meant, here.

  36. sonia — on 22nd May, 2006 at 4:18 pm  

    good one sakshi – thanks for joining in the fray! seeing as the gentlemen have laid down the gauntlet i suggest we confer in a suitable ‘media space’ as to how we approach these kinds of attitudes and assumptions.

  37. Sunny — on 22nd May, 2006 at 4:19 pm  

    You are welcome to use this media space since I’m all in favour of feminism!

  38. Gertrude — on 22nd May, 2006 at 5:10 pm  

    ooh no..and who ‘regulates’ the behaviour of females the most but other females? being seen as unfeminine, argumentative, unattractive – these are the judgements that are heaped upon those of us who make a fuss. oh yeah – and you get icy looks from the masses of women – “you think you’re better than the rest of us” – type bitchiness. and who wants to put up with that? not too many people that’s who.

    So true, and sometimes self-identified feminists are the worst about that, aren’t they? The “in a different voice” kum-ba-yah safe-space-for-women kind, I mean. I had to just stop reading a friend’s blog because whenever I would disagree with anything anyone else said (politely, I thought, and pretty much the same way I do on other friends’ blogs without causing any kind of fuss), she would immediately step in to smooth over the presumably ruffled feathers and basically tell me to shut up (in non-judgmental facilitator-speak, of course). I couldn’t seem to remember to adopt different manners for this one blog for more than a few weeks at a time, so giving it up entirely was the only solution in the end.

    For me, I get into online arguments occasionally but not nearly as often as I actually disagree with something I’m reading. I don’t think it’s so much that I fear being seen as aggressive as that it tends to get all the way under my skin if whomever I’m arguing with gets insulting towards me, and I will be resenting and fuming over it for days afterwards. Sometimes I’ll suddenly remember some online slight that happened years ago and fume over it all over again. It’s an extremely unpleasant emotional state to be in and every time it happens I swear off online debate for a while.

    I don’t know if it’s a gendered thing or just specific to my own personality. I do recall reading about some study or other showing that young girls tend to take verbal duels much more seriously and attribute much higher stakes to them than young boys do. It supposedly had some relationship to girls’ and boys’ different attitudes towards competition in general, but I can’t remember what now, wish I could find the article again …

  39. Katy Newton — on 22nd May, 2006 at 5:23 pm  

    I am about to say something which might be lazy stereotyping. I’m not sure.

    I think that women (not all women by any means) tend to see political discussions as discussions, i.e. a conversation to explore the possible ramifications and consequences of a particular proposition and try and find some sort of consensus without falling out, whereas men (not all men by any means) tend to see political discussions as a competition which is won by the person who gives least ground.

    So I do find that there is a certain type of person, and it is usually a youngish bloke, who will say anything, absolutely anything, no matter how ridiculous or unworkable it is, to keep up their end of the argument rather than admit that in the course of discussion what they are saying has turned out not to be workable. If I’m talking to someone like that I do tend to bow out of the conversation because it seems pointless to me, it achieves nothing. But one of the things I like about this site is that the people on here generally (male and female) aren’t like that at all.

  40. Katy Newton — on 22nd May, 2006 at 5:26 pm  

    PS A lady doctor called Deborah Tannenbaum wrote some about linguistic differences between men and women which are both scholarly and interesting. I read them whilst preparing a dissertation on minority cultures and how they are disadvantaged in the criminal justice system because of linguistic and cultural differences. More than just an internet dater, you know.

  41. Katy Newton — on 22nd May, 2006 at 5:27 pm  

    … and that should read “some books about”.

  42. Jay Singh — on 22nd May, 2006 at 5:28 pm  

    Everyone here is talking absolute bollocks none of you know what you’re talking about you’re all wrong and I’m right and none of these stereotypes are true you are all idiots and none of you know what you’re talking about men are not aggressive on the internet you bunch of f*£$*ng bastards and I have a bigger cock than all the men here.

    And it’s so good to have such clever and articulate women here who can actually have discussions but I have noticed that they tend to become irritable once a month.

    Twats. It’s all about the Enlightenment.

  43. Sakshi — on 22nd May, 2006 at 5:37 pm  

    On a slightly different note…here is one of my fav he said/ she said…episode.
    ———————————
    A man said to his wife one day, “I don’t know how you can be so stupid and so beautiful all at the same time. “

    The wife responded, “Allow me to explain. God made me beautiful so you would be attracted to me; God made me stupid so I would be attracted to you!”

    *Sunny you sure you wanna have me as your inlaw ? :)

  44. Katy Newton — on 22nd May, 2006 at 5:38 pm  

    Jay, if I had a penis it would be the biggest the world has ever seen. ‘Kay?

  45. Jay Singh — on 22nd May, 2006 at 5:44 pm  

    Yeah but I’d still beat you in an argument on the internet Katy!

  46. Sakshi — on 22nd May, 2006 at 5:55 pm  

    What about big boobs ?? or is that frowned upon.

  47. Katy Newton — on 22nd May, 2006 at 6:08 pm  

    But I’d still have a bigger penis!

    And almost certainly bigger boobs than you too.

    And I would be righter than you.

    So there.

  48. Jay Singh — on 22nd May, 2006 at 6:10 pm  

    Inside every female blogger lurks a man with a penis envy complex it seems!

  49. Bikhair — on 22nd May, 2006 at 6:12 pm  

    Raz,

    The problem with Old Pickler is that she spends most of her day swimming around in her own water wieght. It is so no wonder that when she makes it to safe ground, she sounds all clueless and confused.

  50. Bikhair — on 22nd May, 2006 at 6:17 pm  

    Sunny,

    If women are smart they can come off sounding like men, because they arent really taken seriously if they admit to being a woman, by contributing in a reasonable, rational manner.

    This is why I remained in the closet for so long. If I let it get out that I was a woman, a non white woman (of the most extreme kind), I dont think I would have ever been considered. Though from some people, I’m still not. I knew my Asian audeince and the dynamics between men and women, and white and non-white. It also explains why I can be so provocative at times. I am so normal when I am on Yusuf blog.

  51. Katy Newton — on 22nd May, 2006 at 6:18 pm  

    That last comment of mine makes me sound like one of those very aggressive veiny lady bodybuilders who take steroids and have man voices. I will now tone down the penis envy.

  52. Bikhair — on 22nd May, 2006 at 6:20 pm  

    Jay singh,

    “Inside every female blogger lurks a man with a penis envy complex it seems!”

    How true about some female bloggers especially Old Pickler. That explains her relationship with her jewish boyfriend/lover. Anyone dating a Jewish guy always has the penis.

  53. Jay Singh — on 22nd May, 2006 at 6:24 pm  

    What about women who date Muslim guys Bikhair? Who has the penis there?

  54. Rakhee — on 22nd May, 2006 at 6:36 pm  

    What about women who date Muslim guys Bikhair? Who has the penis there?

    THIS IS WHY WOMEN DON’T BLOG!

    So many threads (here) end up about muslims or penises. (I could have followed that comment with something really quite funny but as I am a woman and can exercise restraint, I won’t).

  55. Katy Newton — on 22nd May, 2006 at 6:40 pm  

    Rakhee, I am sorry. I got carried away with my metaphorical penis triumph and I dragged the whole thread down with me.

  56. Jay Singh — on 22nd May, 2006 at 6:49 pm  

    It’s all metaphorical stuff Rakhee.

    Either that, or we have been reading Tourism by Mr Dhaliwal and have been influenced by his style.

  57. Ann Handley — on 22nd May, 2006 at 7:03 pm  

    Sunny — Fancy meeting you here!

    As you now know, it’s not just British political blogs that have more men than women in their comment ranks, it’s also business blogs:

    Since When Do Women Have Nothing to Say?
    http://blog.marketingprofs.com/2006/05/since_when_do_women_have_nothi.html

    Funny that we both posted on the same day, huh? Great minds…

    : )

  58. Old Pickler — on 22nd May, 2006 at 7:14 pm  

    I may not have a penis but I’m standing firm.

  59. Jay Singh — on 22nd May, 2006 at 7:18 pm  

    I don’t think you’ll be able to keep it up, Old Pickler.

  60. Shallow — on 22nd May, 2006 at 8:45 pm  

    Blogs seem to have evolved into close clan-like societies presided over by the Sovereign. If the Sovereign is an ignorant, misogynistic, single-issue bollix, you may find that your blog life becomes nasty, brutish and short.
    In other words, it’s not unlike the real world where the deep fear of public humiliation and mockery keeps so many women silent. So, you’re right, Sunny. If blogs replicate bear-pit conditions, most women just won’t speak. In fact, Sonia, I have marvelled at my own marvelling at your ‘bravery’ in putting up your photos. Weren’t you terrified of your appearance being criticised? Look what happened to Madeleine Bunting! Good god, and I’m supposed to be a confident feminist… Great, just great.
    Y’know, one of the things I’ve learnt anew from the new phenomenon of social commentary/political blogging is just how unsure and threatened women like me (and I’m a lippy broad) really feel about putting themselves out there and how apparently brazenly confidently, men can just stride out there, ready or not.
    I’m not proud to be such a ninny but I do find comment box anonymity comforting for now. At least, it’s a start.

  61. Bikhair — on 22nd May, 2006 at 9:00 pm  

    Rakhee,

    Dont let these neo-feminist fool you. Women want a man to be a man, they love to be resucued, defended, and taken care of. I dont care how accomplished they are.

    To your question, it depends what kind of Muslim man he is. If he is the good kind, he has the penis and the woman has the vagina and they both accept it and dont mix roles that lead to divorce and social disintergration and eventually Old PicklETT.

    Zing!

  62. John Browne — on 22nd May, 2006 at 9:26 pm  

    women like discussions on houses, food, health, personalities and their problems and clothes. Men like to argue.

    John

  63. Old Pickler — on 22nd May, 2006 at 10:16 pm  

    I am so normal when I am on Yusuf blog.

    You’re a nutter on that blog. I’m the only normal one that ever posts there. Well almost. There was a “Sir Toppenhat” but he was banned. And Yusuf is very level headed and articulate, though of course he is wrong about Islam.

  64. Sid — on 23rd May, 2006 at 12:19 am  

    Old Pickler: I may not have a penis but I’m standing firm.

    Jay: I don’t think you’ll be able to keep it up, Old Pickler.

    ======================

    This thread is a bit risqué, innit? And some of the exchanges on this are worthy of anything by Oscar Wilde. w00t!

  65. Sunny — on 23rd May, 2006 at 3:01 am  

    Weren’t you terrified of your appearance being criticised? Look what happened to Madeleine Bunting! Good god, and I’m supposed to be a confident feminist… Great, just great.

    Haha! Don’t worry you’re not the only one. In fact I forgot I’d sent the Guardian a pic of me a while back and they’ve cropped it so close for my pic on comment is free (and I don’t even have that style beard anymore!) that it’s embarassing. In fact I might send them an updated one, I’ve had people already put in comments asking how long it takes me to shave etc. And bloody MrPikeBishop asking if I was on the pull with my latest article :|

  66. Vikrant — on 23rd May, 2006 at 6:29 am  

    I knew my Asian audeince and the dynamics between men and women, and white and non-white. It also explains why I can be so provocative at times. I am so normal when I am on Yusuf blog.

    Whats your defination of word normal chikita ? Your arent just provocative you are down right insane. I still havent worked out why did you care to come here even after being ignored by us for months at end.

    P.S You missed those Yo Mama jokes me and Jai compiled at the other thread!

  67. John Browne — on 23rd May, 2006 at 6:57 am  

    I did see this in the USA:

    Girls just want to drink, smoke, steal, take drugs
    Survey reveals boys toning down self-destructive behavior, but not female teens

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=50303

  68. Ismaeel — on 23rd May, 2006 at 8:04 am  

    “Thus, I think it is worth saying that by taking such extreme stances and engaging in slagging matches we not only end up driving out more moderate and informed debate, we may also be putting off women from joining in.”

    Interesting, you’re finally acquiescing to the logic of the Proclamation of Global Civility…

  69. Mayank — on 23rd May, 2006 at 8:36 am  

    I don’t know abt arguments, but female bloggers (esp Indian) generally swear a lot more in their blogs than men do.

  70. Rakhee — on 23rd May, 2006 at 11:49 am  

    Mayank – what the f**k?

    Katy, no worries – it isn’t that I don’t appreciate your fascination but amongst our Picklers, you’re asking for trouble!

    =>It’s all metaphorical stuff Rakhee.

    Yes, thanks Jay, I’d be slightly concerned if it was literal ;-)

  71. fotzepolitic — on 23rd May, 2006 at 12:57 pm  

    There may be a much simpler reason to all this. When I was living in San Francisco, I hosted a group blog that was evenly split between gals and guys from all over the U.S. But the guys posted most of the content. You know why? Because all my female friends had jobs that didn’t allow them to surf the net all day and waste time reading and writing blogs, whereas the guys did. I always attributed blogging more to career choice than actually having something to say — if you have a cushy dot-com job that only requires you to “work” about an hour a day, of COURSE blogging is easy for you. If you’re working with clients, busy with deadlines, if your company bars personal e-mails, etc etc, then maybe you read blogs for pleasure but don’t bother commenting. Which then leads to the question of why men and women pick different careers. Anyway… :)

  72. Rakhee — on 23rd May, 2006 at 1:06 pm  

    fotzepolitic – => If you’re working with clients, busy with deadlines, if your company bars personal e-mails, etc etc, then maybe you read blogs for pleasure but don’t bother commenting

    Not strictly true – women, as they say, are much better than multi-tasking than men…!

  73. sonia — on 23rd May, 2006 at 5:31 pm  

    the interesting thing about this is that yes, there are clearly big gaps between how much women are ‘saying’ out there on the net, and how much the men are saying. Yes, and while a large part of that involves ‘incidental reasons’ its still pretty much part of the wider issue of more male ‘intellectuals’ and writers out there in the world than women ( despite all the recent stats oh how we women have now outdone the men in the ‘cleverness’ department.) Back in the day, this gap was much much wider. And it is narrowing, as female self-image has changed over the centuries. But please can i point out it hasn’t changed ‘just like that’. oh no. attitudes – for that’s what it comes down to – don’t change overnight and there are still plenty of people out there who think ..ooh fluffy books and shopping interest women, not ‘intellectual’ matters. or that it’s ‘down to the genes’ so there ain’t anything we can do to change social dynamics, except to ‘accomodate’ these women. Well – back in the day they said oh women haven’t got enough ‘brain power’ – it was all pinned down to our ‘biological constraints’ ( hence the exam stats and other stats on ‘female’ intelligence are interesting.)

  74. El Cid — on 23rd May, 2006 at 9:23 pm  

    Vik, good luck with the exams

  75. swati — on 24th May, 2006 at 1:10 pm  

    I hate to say it but yes the point is lost… The very basis of discussion as to who blogs the most is irrelevant

    Why would you want to bring up such a non-issue for discussion? Just take a look at a string of oh-so predictable responses.

    How does it matter who blogs more. In case of Ann on MArketingProf.com the so-called, research is in a specific forum (http://blog.marketingprofs.com/2006/05/since_when_do_women_have_nothi.html), is just about making an observation. Why is everyone ‘ranting and raving’ around it as a conclusive reasearch.

    “Thus, I think it is worth saying that by taking such extreme stances and engaging in slagging matches we not only end up driving out more moderate and informed debate, we may also be putting off women from joining in.” ( Sunny on CIF)

    Yes I agree everyone on this blog has pounced on the fact that they need to take a extreme stance (again falling for the predictive behaviour syndrome, and liv up to there stereotypes), and look where the thread has ended.

    Bah! Can we not move away from penis envy!

  76. mirax — on 24th May, 2006 at 1:22 pm  

    Suuunny! You naughty boy, I’ve studiously avoided this thread over the last two days, only to finally click on your CiF article and find that you’ve quoted something I said as some sort of the generic ‘female viewpoint’. That’s not an extrapolation that is fair or correct. I was only speaking for myself.

    I really hate some of the sexist assumptions which inevitably accompany these sort of debates- and many women make them too as seen in a couple of the comments above (Sakshi in particular made me cringe)- and I get very,very antsy once you start me off.

    But some food for thought since you own this blog.

    Recent events:

    A man calls Ayaan Hirsi Ali a bitch in the very first post in the very first thread on the subject and no one decries it until I as a woman use the same term ironically much later on in another thread.

    I say that a (male) commentor’s insistent and specific demand of AHA is redolent of a very common patriachal attitude and that commentor (rightly) challenges me as to whether I am calling him a sexist and gives me opportunity to state categorically that I am not. That of course doesn’t stop at least 2 other male commentors from jumping on me for using the “sexist” argument. Nope none of you blokes here can be sexist, it is simply not possible! Not even you are slapping down madonna’s latest antics in the most sexist terms. Knit on stage, grandma!

    A female commentor ‘sidles’ in during a heated argument and says something sensible but entirely, imho, obvious to the point of being vacuous, and gets a very nice pat on the head from the blokes. Call me a nasty, suspicious bitch if you must ;-) (but ugghhh, not ‘housewife’) , but I think it is the fact that she put out such clear I-am-not-stepping-on-your-territory kind of mollifying and ‘feminine’ markers that led to such a positive reception.

  77. Sunny — on 24th May, 2006 at 1:39 pm  

    Hmmmm… See this is the problem with looking at everything from such a sex-orientated viewpoint.

    I can’t comment on the motivations of people who called AHA a bitch, or called Madonna an old hag because they do not find her attractive anymore. YEs of course there are sexist attitudes, and it would probably be sexist that we sometimes link to pictures of hot women (well, Raz does) and not men.

    From my own perspective, the point of this thread has not been about specific language but the kind of discussions that generally go on in the political blogosphere.

    but entirely, imho, obvious to the point of being vacuous, and gets a very nice pat on the head from the blokes

    That would only apply as suspicious behaviour if I only praised women for sensible posts, but I believe my praise for sensible posts extends to both sexes (or tell me if you think it doesn’t). My later comments about how women make all the sensible comments was in light of this discussion, to say that most arguments go round and round etc.
    So you might see it as suspicious, but I didn’t see any difference in the way I behave towards men or women. If someone steps into a heated discussion with something sensible, I usually praise it because it’s much needed.

    Anyway, point being that I think you’re reading too much into my usage of language. But that is my own opinion of course, you don’t have to share it.

    And lastly, about the CIF comment. You may not have made it specifically from a female perspective, but it still applies to the point I was making. I wonder if a male would have said that so openly. I don’t know.

  78. mirax — on 24th May, 2006 at 1:39 pm  

    Btw, I am not advocating any special favours from the boys ; that they tone down their aggression so the poor shrinking violets feel safe enough to join in the debate.Not at all.

    There are myriad reasons why fewer women participate on blogs (I suspect that the chief one is that they have better things to do!) Swathi’s point that it simply does not matter (and that such discussion is itself a pissing contest of a sort) is also worth considering.

  79. Sunny — on 24th May, 2006 at 1:47 pm  

    I think it does matter because it means that men continue to be overrepresented in politics and global affairs, and in making their points heard.

  80. justforfun — on 24th May, 2006 at 2:01 pm  

    I think it does matter because it means that men continue to be overrepresented in politics and global affairs, and in making their points heard.

    Sunny – not everyone reads blogs, but seriously isn’t the under representation of women in the government is because of the low number of women MPs and not the way debates are held on blohgs. As far as ‘opinion formers’ are concerned arn’t there plenty of female commentators in the British national press. I don’t think women are under represented there, but I have not done a head count so I may be mistaken.

    I know this is a bit OT but related in a way – when does a mother’s influence over her son stop? We talk about patriacal societies, but it seems me that in the most patriacal societies, the women have the most time with and influence on children in their care? If I am correct is it not within the power of mothers to bring up their son’s differently? I would just be interested in what people though,t because to be honest I am the product of my mother’s upbringing but I am most like my father inspite of this , so maybe its just genetics and not nuture.

    Justforfun

  81. mirax — on 24th May, 2006 at 2:06 pm  

    Sunny, please. My intention in highlighting some of the above is not to put you or anyone else on the spot and make you all defensive.

    The specifics are only important in so far as they indicate that we all carry prejudices, much of it subconscious, but these prejudices do seep through to the surface more often than we realise. It is just wise to be aware of deeply ingrained social and cultural (desi culture is spectacularly sexist) conditioning.

    I apologise if that was not clear and I assure PPers that I have no interest in being the resident witchhunter.

    >>I wonder if a male would have said that so openly. I don’t know.

    Funny. It is Raakhee – who often steps in with a “You all stop being nasty right now!” admonition – that I’d have thought you’d have quoted as a ‘female voice’. Just because I openly appreciated civility and reasoned temperate argument (though you do know that I frequently fail to accomplish either). What about Don? He is a bloke with more peaceful manners than most here – is that feminine?

  82. swati — on 24th May, 2006 at 2:12 pm  

    I think representation is a matter of choice. Specifically on the Internet. If you do feel that men are overrepresented, and if that is also proven by various researches; how does it matter. Post identifying the fact that –yes men are overrepresented, do you believe everyone / anyone actually takes any action on these expressed views – which again we are only referring to in blogs.

    You want to talk about purchasing habits, you want to track researches done, you want to track who views recipe sites most, the list could be endless. Here the sexual disparity in response could have some relevance.

    But a ‘blog’ is a different scenario altogether.

  83. sonia — on 24th May, 2006 at 2:19 pm  

    justforfun – you’ve got a brilliant point. as you say – influence of mothers counts for a lot. this business about ‘asian mothers’ and mollycoddling their sons – so when the wife usually later is heard to blame the mother-in-law for making her ‘precious son’ think he’s no.1 and that his wife will have to do everything for him in the same way that good mama did everything for her hubby. …sound familiar? its a familiar litany – mothers have plenty of influence¬! this harks back to what i said about women doing their bit to keep the ‘tradition’ alive. so for example, a little boy witnesses his father’s treatment of his mother, and his mother accepting that – what happens then? the behaviour is re-inforced. and though its been fashionable to ‘blame men’ for societies that ill-treat women – i think anyone can see it ain’t just the men – the women are doing a pretty good job keeping these attitudes and practices alive! its pretty disgusting when you see how t abuse is perpetuated not just by mr. man but say the mother-in-law. its an unpleasant manifestation of the hallmarks of abuse that’s accepted and internalized – oh it happened to me so this particular young bitch ought not to expect anything else.

    these are very serious issues!

  84. El Cid — on 24th May, 2006 at 2:21 pm  

    Politeness is certainly not feminine.
    Don has the manners one should aspire to. Unfortunately, you can get the man/woman out of the gutter but you can’t …

  85. Jai — on 24th May, 2006 at 2:25 pm  

    Personally, I don’t regard qualities as inherently “masculine or feminine”, but “positive or negative”.

    It puts a different spin on things if one views behaviour and virtues/vices in this way.

  86. swati — on 24th May, 2006 at 2:26 pm  

    Justforfun – i think you made a valid point -reffering to how we are brought up. Mothers, women, wives – we watch them around us. But tell me would you correct you spouse, sibling or parent. The influence is also the role models we observe in the house. The treatment received by grandfathers, fathers, uncles.

    but coming back to the basic discussion, does it really make u feel better that there are less women responding, do u feel sorry that there are less women on blog, ..I mean why would a blogger want to know the gender of the respondent.

    I believe that on a platform this virtual its the viewpoint that matters.

  87. sonia — on 24th May, 2006 at 2:26 pm  

    and this business about it doesn’t matter who blogs – ahem! of course it does – blogs aren’t just about ‘fighting’ and ‘winning arguments’ – they can be if the participants so choose – but the fact that more individuals can publish and have their voice heard.

    now i’d say a lot of women do blog and are ‘opinion-formers’..but what are they blogging about? ‘group’ influences has a lot to do with this. women’s magazines and other influential media clearly have a big impact on the self-image of women and what we’re supposed to be interested in. there’s plenty of participation on the internet in terms of ‘shopping’ and ‘lifestyle discussion forums’ – so what does this say? now i wouldn’t say ..ooh this is necessarily a problem – after all if someone wants to blog or not blog, sit and talk about shopping and gossip – that’s their business as an individual. but it seems to appear that a lot of women may be doing different things if they felt it wouldn’t be considered ‘unfeminine’ and that’s something women collectively need to think about.

  88. Sunny — on 24th May, 2006 at 2:27 pm  

    i think anyone can see it ain’t just the men – the women are doing a pretty good job keeping these attitudes and practices alive!

    Though I was thinking more in terms of political activism, in keeping sexist traditions alive, you are right.

    Mirax:
    that I’d have thought you’d have quoted as a ‘female voice’.
    She’s been a bit quiet though recently.

    It is just wise to be aware of deeply ingrained social and cultural (desi culture is spectacularly sexist) conditioning.
    And I have no problems with you making me (or us) more aware of this. I’m more than happy to constantly evaluate my own use of language or actions.

    The other point Swati and justforfun make about blogs v real life. Although my examples did relate to internet discussions, I believe the same could probably be applied to real life (though I could be wrong).

    As Sonia brilliantly gave an example of above – women are encouraged in discussions to keep a tone of moderation while men ge away with being loud and beliggerent.

    That surely has an impact on political life too. Most newspaper commentators on politics are men. The women are usually social commentators.

    I also think that though it is partly the men holding back women in parliamentary politics, that it could also be that not enough women are applying or making an angry noise about not being represented.

  89. sonia — on 24th May, 2006 at 2:31 pm  

    what i mean – just re-read that and i thought others may misunderstand me. not that ‘women’ as a whole need to think of a ‘position’ per se – but that we need to be reflexive about how our behaviour to each other can reinforce certain stereotypes. i find it very irritating the no. of women who go around actively ‘promoting’ an airhead image for all other women – under the ‘oh its girly to be doing this..” type of comment. if they want to be airheads fine. its not ok to imply that all women are like that just cos they are. it’s back to the same point – the group allowing the individual members to be themselves, without being forced to partake of some elusive ‘group identity’. Women’s ‘mags’ definitely go all out to promote what they think of as a ‘feminine identity’ and by golly it seems to work!

  90. El Cid — on 24th May, 2006 at 2:32 pm  

    Are you going to factor in children/babies at all into your reasoning?

  91. El Cid — on 24th May, 2006 at 2:35 pm  

    .. i.e. the practicalities of having them, rearing them, etc.. that is the main factor holding back women in politics.
    to suggest otherwise is fresh-faced naivety!

  92. sonia — on 24th May, 2006 at 2:36 pm  

    i think all this is relevant to and has an impact on political activism – definitely. if you’re not allowed to feel confident to speak your mind – why then you won’t – and what an effective way to curb dissent.

    it seems to me that women are actively dis-encouraged by ‘female media’ from any kind of activism – ooh yes -instead we’re meant to be interested in how we can buy something that makes us attractive/fashion/ how to bag a man/millionaire etc. is there any indication ever given by these opinion-leaders ( for that’s how powerful they are) that we might be interested in anything else? oh no. and if you are, chances are there will be many female friends/relatives out there who wonder why you ‘make a fuss’

    mary wolstonecraft shelley would turn in her grave.

  93. justforfun — on 24th May, 2006 at 2:50 pm  

    I believe that on a platform this virtual its the viewpoint that matters. 100% agreement – It cannot be any otherway.

    Swati – But tell me would you correct you spouse, sibling or parent. I don’t know quite what you mean, but I understand your point about role models in the house and these are past on. I did not raise the issue because I think it can be corrected in one generation or because I think there is blame to be aportioned but rather to just explore the issue.

  94. swati — on 24th May, 2006 at 2:59 pm  

    i think the discussion is getting expanded to a larger topic and is not limiting to the premise that ‘do women blog/respond’ more…its now talking politics and media on a larger scape..

    thank you all, the discussion sure promted me to blog for the first time..

  95. swati — on 24th May, 2006 at 3:01 pm  

    excuse the typo

  96. justforfun — on 24th May, 2006 at 3:01 pm  

    Sunny That surely has an impact on political life too. Most newspaper commentators on politics are men. The women are usually social commentators. – A good point and subtle distinction that I would not personally draw because I think politics at the moment is more about ‘social’ issues while the politics of ideology or at least Party Politics has been a bit dead for the last decade, or have I been asleep? Its seems Conservate Lite has been the prevalent thought since 1992. Are things changing?

    Or perhaps I have misunderstood you and when you mean ‘politics’ you mean the day to day practice of politics in Westminister. I must say I don’t read that many newspapers so I don’t have a view, but if CIF is an example – is the female/male commentator split 50/50 and mostly over most areas?

    Justforfun

  97. justforfun — on 24th May, 2006 at 3:03 pm  

    excuse the typo what typo ? All I can see is the extra ‘full stop’ at the end of your post :-)

    Sunny – can we have the preview back ? and for Xmas can we have a spell checker?

    Justforfun

  98. mirax — on 24th May, 2006 at 3:17 pm  

    Swati, I think it will be illuminating for some of us here if you’d elaborate on what specifically prompted YOU to blog for the first time here and maybe, throw some light on what held you back previously.

  99. mirax — on 24th May, 2006 at 4:23 pm  

    >>it seems to me that women are actively dis-encouraged by ‘female media’ from any kind of activism – ooh yes -instead we’re meant to be interested in how we can buy something that makes us attractive/fashion/ how to bag a man/millionaire etc.

    Sonia, first of all, I disagree with your implied premise that women are less activist than men. It is simply not true. Societies all over the world have been revolutionised over the last century due to the activism of women. Women’s political movements in the 20th century made a dramatic impact on education, economics, the environment, law and politics, civil rights, gay rights, in short nearly everything that counts and that adds to the increased democratisation of societies. The big picture reminds us just what we owe to the women who pushed the boundaries and forever changed the world that was. The feminist/humanist/democratisation project is by no means over and even the women painting their toenails are aware of a lot more than we may give them credit for.

    >> is there any indication ever given by these opinion-leaders ( for that’s how powerful they are) that we might be interested in anything else? oh no.

    I see your point but the ‘female media’ you deride is not so female (in terms of of ownership and overall motive which equals increasing consumerism) and not so central to women’s lives. There are lots of alternative media and real opinion leaders, so women can hardly complain that the barbie lifestyle has been somehow foisted on them.

    Also it is natural for both women and men to find the mating instinct the most predominant instinct and the media simply responds to this, it doesn’t create it.I have no problems with women who simply exist to bag a millionaire – their genes may win the evolutionary race … ;-)

    >>and if you are, chances are there will be many female friends/relatives out there who wonder why you ‘make a fuss’

    Maybe. But so what?

  100. El Cid — on 24th May, 2006 at 8:22 pm  

    Personally, I don’t regard qualities as inherently “masculine or feminine”, but “positive or negative”.
    Oooh, I dunno Jai.
    Dangerous territory.
    You don’t have to be a man to be masculine or female to be feminine — modern gender politics has rightfully taught as that. However, I still believe in the concept of masculinity and femininity, and I will take that to my grave. Hence, for example, lesbians have commonalities with heterosexual men in the way they react to pheromone-like compounds.
    That doesn’t mean that I’m saying politics is a necessarily masculine polemical pastime while social services and care is feminine. On the contrary, as I’ve said before, the main barriers are practical not bilogical. You childless commentators can choose to ignore the relationship between women and these things called children if you wish but you are pissing against the wind. You can’t ignore the 800lb gorrilla in the room, ya get me?
    That doesn’t mean that I think women should necessarily play the main role bringing up kids. I’m not saying that at all. I’m just being practical. There’s a reason why women make good social commentators.

  101. Don — on 24th May, 2006 at 8:51 pm  

    mirax, El Cid,

    That’s awfully sweet of you. But I can be very fierce when roused. Grr.

  102. Sid — on 24th May, 2006 at 9:53 pm  

    Don

    I think you’re hot too. ;-)

  103. Don — on 24th May, 2006 at 10:31 pm  

    Gosh.

  104. Jai — on 25th May, 2006 at 10:26 am  

    =>”But I can be very fierce when roused. Grr.”

    For a moment there I thought Don said…..”fierce when Aroused.”

    Easy, tiger.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.