Tell the New York Times: Why do more men seem to be involved in politics online than women?
UPDATE: Seelye's article is now live on the site with comments from me and Emily McKhann.
On the NYT website right now, Katharine Seelye, politics reporter at the New York Times is asking readers to respond to this question, because she is writing a column on the subject tomorrow. Please dive in. some sample comments:
I think men are more interested in the competitive nature of the election. It’s like a sport — who will win or lose, who has the best strategy, who is on offense, who is on defense. Men are interested more in the minutae of the game and tracking the ups and downs of the election contest. It’s the same reason men are interested in fantasy baseball and knowing specific stats about everything involved in sports. I think women could care less and are more focused on the big picture.
Good questions. I am a woman. Personally I post comments under fake male names to some blogs (not this one), where postings under a female name are routinely attacked in ways that I consider unfair or deceptive. Some of those blogs are interesting places, so I don’t feel that I should be avoiding them. There are so many questions to think about in this world, I feel it’s better to participate, even if I have to pose as male. I feel it would be a waste to throw all my energy into a single narrow goal like creating a woman-friendly Internet.
And is this person below saying women can't take the heat? Online? This is pathetic. What we go through in our daily lives is real, online heat is not personal.
There’s the potential for a certain level of gratuitous, ad hominem, not to mention highly public abuse I suspect women are less inclined to risk.
This one is kind of funny:
I agree. Perhaps the answer lies in why men won’t stop and ask for directions when women will. Generally women don’t discuss the weather and politics because they know there’s no way they can change either. Women recognize a brick wall when they see it, most men will crash right into it. "
I spoke with Ms. Seelye and gave her my opinions...and please stay tuned for my interview with Marie Wilson, President of the White House Project and a seriously amazing woman. She gave me some great advice: if I want to be taken more seriously as a political blogger, maybe I should blog less about traditional "women's issues."
Now what do you think of that one? I think of Emily McKhann's fantastic coverage of the Clinton Global Initiative. I think of Virginia Debolt's techy take on "One Laptop per Child." And Kim Pearson on the Jena 6, and the general "dailyness" of the media and news cycle.
In her book the Second Stage, Betty Friedan writes about famed Congresswoman and activist Bella Abzug:
Fired as head of the President's Advisory Committee on Women when she (Abzug) insisted that inflation, unemployment, and the federal budget were women's issues, she was now trying to start a new women's power base...."
Maybe the Internet is our new power base.
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