Sunday, June 18, 2006

Why Don't Women Blog?

It doesn't matter whether you're talking about Conservative, Labour or LibDem bloggers, you won't find many written by women. Look down my links in the right hand column and you won't find many women political bloggers. I'm going to talk about this in my Channel 4 Podcast this week. Now of course if you were indulging in stereotypes you'd be making cheeky comments about women being much better gossips than men, so they ought to be ideally suited to the world of blogging. But perhaps the fact that 90% of bloggers are male shows that men are the best gossips after all. Tell us something we didn't know, I hear the females amongst you cry. Obviously blogging is not just about gossip but there must be some reason why women don't blog as much as men in the political sector. Do let me have your thoughts!

Here are some good examples of insightful blogs written by women Ellee Seymour, Natalie Solent, Leah Fraser, Antonia Bance, Jo Salmon, Forceful & Moderate, Suzblog, Rachel

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are some interesting and outspoken Saudi chicks blogging about their lives in the Kingdom. I used to link through to them via the Saudi guy, but he has now stopped blogging.

Here is an interesting North London Jewish lady, writing about serious stuff.
http://adloyada.typepad.com/adloyada/

And here is an interesting blog about a 2nd pregnancy. Not specifically political, but a lot of interesting information touching upon the realities of the NHS from a n expectant mothers' POV.
http://doingitallagain.blogspot.com/

You may well be correct that chaps blog more often than ladies, but there are some very good female bloggers out there too.

Croydonian said...

I think it depends on how wide one makes one's definition of a blog - there are an awful lot of women active on the likes of MySpace etc etc.

Anonymous said...

I think Asymetric Information is a very useful economic blog (American, mind you, written by one Ms Jane Galt).

Auds said...

Irish bloggers, in whom expressed an interest last week, had this debate in a handbags-at-dawn kind of way last year - I disagreed with having to "need" more women bloggers (http://realitycheckdotie.blogspot.com/2005/12/women-sex-and-blogging.html)
which ended up into a big discussion about feminism (http://realitycheckdotie.blogspot.com/2005/12/to-continue-feminism-debate.html)

Will be watching this post with great interest!

Ed R said...

Well, the whole world of Westminister politics is pretty male-dominated. If you took away all the special selection procedures, is the ratio of men to women interested in a career in politics especially out of proportion with the ratio of men to women who write blogs? Perhaps it's more to do with the type of people who enjoy the cut and thrust and blood and guts of Westminster. A lot of the blogs from female authors I've seen (not especially political ones) tend toward personal accounts and experiences -- whereas your blog, Iain, and a lot of others tend to be more action-packed! I suspect this sort of thing carries much better by word of mouth.

D'log said...

At a guess, it probably has something to do with getting over the hurdles of: 1) actually being interested in politics; 2) actually being interested in computers; 3) actually being interested in communicating to other people in a semi-anonymous way; and 4) interested in communicating in a 'hard' researchable/fact-checkable way.

Lady Finchley said...

Mmmm, well let's see - spend all day at work, usually till 7pm, brave Mr.Livingstone's mess of a transit system, arrive home, cook dinner, clean up mess afterward, spend quality time with sig. other and child, exercise,grab 7 hours sleep, start the whole thing next day. Weekends not much better - do loads of laundry, thorough house clean, huge shopping, cook etc etc. I barely have time to read blogs let alone write them!

Tom said...

My other half (who, true, isn't particularly political) refers to blogging activities as 'talking to the saddos'. A work colleague of hers is also a blog widow, so presumably they get together and whinge about us 'just having to answer this idiot'.

dizzy said...

Online I'm actually a man pretending to be a women pretending to be a man. That must count for something surely?

PoliticalHack said...

My other half tells me that women don't blog because they have better things to do with their time.

Anonymous said...

Having a blog is one thing, but blogging is more than that -- I tend to use other people's blogs to exchange views and ideas. So, even as a mere commenter, I still think of myself as a blogger.
(And what would blogs be without commenters anyway? :)

Btw, men always think they are the only ones in the Internet (hehe) -- remember that many women enjoy being genderless in this space!

As for the male of the species being quite the chatterbox -- yep, it's a long proven. *grin*

Kate said...

Perhaps if Lady Thatcher was today uttering her famous line: 'If you want something said ask a man; if you want something done ask a woman.', the 'saying' bit might instead refer to blogging!

Ellee Seymour said...

I'm relatively new to blogging and have been totally swept away by it. I think d'log's comments are pretty accurate, see http://elleeseymour.blogspot.com/2006/06/reason-why-women-dont-blog.html

The ratio is the same as Tory women MPs - 9%. Maybe women are less politically motivated and deterred by the tekkie side, as well as already multi-tasking and being unable to give the time and commitment required.

Anonymous said...

I am a 30-something woman, and I read your blog most days. (I think I last commented a few weeks ago.) I haven't got a blog of my own.

Rather than go to a specifically political blog, I tend to discuss political stories wherever I happen to be, or on websites relevant to that political story. For example, this issue is currently being covered in the Times:-
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,23729-2185454,00.html
and
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,6-2195803,00.html
and
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,6-2229315,00.html

This is a political/legal issue. I'm very angry about it. But I have been discussing it on general "lifestyle" or women's websites, rather than political ones.

The first comment describes the 2nd pregnancy blog (which I haven't read), as "Not specifically political, but a lot of interesting information touching upon the realities of the NHS from an expectant mothers' POV". I think that's how "normal" people see politics, "oh, I'm not interested in all that arguing and bitching, why can't they just stop arguing and work out the best thing to do", and they only see it from the bottom looking up, when the realities touch their own POV.

A

atychiphobia said...

I used to have a blog, but gave it up after several visitors kept writing my real name in the comments, even though I was trying to keep it anonymous.

Also, I set a very high standard for the blog content, I didn't just want to post any and everything that popped into my mind, the way I would a personal diary. This meant that it wasn't getting updated very often, which also made me less likely to put up new posts.

There's a very good Tory blog out there, by Tory Convert.

Her final post, might give you a clue or two as to why there are so few female political bloggers out there.

http://toryconvert.blogspot.com

A soft socialist said...

There are less women in politics, therefor less female political bloggers.

tyke said...

I know some female bloggers whose topics are politics, but they aren't MPs, but most MPs are men, aren't they?

Anonymous said...

noo you're not right..most people doing blog that i know is women. well there're a lot of man blogging as well but they tend to use blog different way than women. they use it more to hobby stuff. while women writes more about daily stuffs..oh depends on the people tho..

Anonymous said...

Check out http://www.lynnefeatherstone.org/blog.htm

Lynne is a woman and writes a great blog

wonkotsane said...

How long before Labour introduces a quota system for blogs to make sure there is a fair and equal balance between male and female and white and non-white bloggers? Fair and equal, of course, meaning heavily biased against white males like every other quota they put in place.

English&PissedOff said...

Exactly. The whole world of blogging is open to anyone with a computer.
Perhaps I might suggest that women politicians tend to have homes to run, as well as careers. Blogging takes up a lot of time, if you include the research involved in it.
Men usually have women in the home, to take care of the boring stuff, so they can play with their bits and bobs in peace and quiet, before they go online and do their blogging ;-)

Louise said...

From my own experience I think women probably are slightly more self-conscious than men. Whereas men are all totally confident in their opinions and don't mind telling the world what they think, women tend to be more cautious about making a stand.

I have a blog which I occasionally post political comments on. I have however found myself deleting posts fifteen minutes into writing them after becoming a little worried about how they would be seen - if anyone bothered to read them.

That's only from my own point of view.

A soft socialist said...

Wonkotsane, don't be so ridiculous. The labour party has spent years trying to encourage local party's to select women and did they. No. When women make up 52% of society but only between 14 and 20% of parliamentary seats we will pursue these quotas until equality is reached.

Adrian Stanley said...

An interesting female US blog is 'neo-neocon':

http://neo-neocon.blogspot.com/

A 50-something New England psychotherapist 'mugged by reality on 9/11' who has since been undergoing a complete political transformation. Have a read of her series 'A Mind is a Difficult Thing to Change'.

MatGB said...

Women blog, they just blog about different things, in different places. For example, over 2/3rds of active Livejournal users are female, and many of them discuss political issues.

However, a number tend to discuss them in how it relates to them, rather than big picture stuff. Also, LJ seems to appeal because you can select who reads your entries, on a case by case basis, some of the best discussions I've read have been non-public.

Also, there are a large number of female bloggers that write about non-political stuff publicly; cats, cooking, sex, dating. Large number of feminist blogs as well, but they're a separate type of politics.

I guess it's an obsession thing; I'm obssessed with politics, I write about it, read about it, talk about it. Most people (including most men) don't share this obsession. Blogging requires a degree of obsession; maybe women are just better balanced, on avarage?

A generally good left-of centre anti-Labour journal, for example, is Sue Welsh, she's moving at the moment, so less political stuff, but I found her via a citation search for a news story, and have liked a lot of her stuff so far.

Anonymous said...

How can you omit to mention Jane Griffiths the deselected Reading East MP??

http://janestheones.blogspot.com/

Rachel said...

xxx


There, men bloggers wouldn't do that . x