Okay, now it’s my turn on the hot seat and honestly, I don’t mind one bit. Several of the ladies who participated in this post were curious as to what my answers would be to these questions, so if for nothing else, this is for them:
1. What do you believe is the difference between men and women bloggers – e.g. approach, subject matter, readers, etc.
While there are male bloggers who can do the sensitive thing and female bloggers who can do the kickass thing, I do believe that women bloggers are more personally interested and caring about their blogs, their readers and how whatever topic they are writing about will affect the people who read it. It may be the inborn nurturing nature of women who brings this about – but to me it is very obvious.
2. Do you feel men bloggers have a greater impact in the blog world than women – such as more readers, more loyalty, wider range of topics/interests, greater appeal to male and female readers alike, etc.
I do think that male bloggers are taken more seriously. Regardless of topic. Even the ones who write poetry or prose or the touchy feely stuff – perhaps especially, because you know it’s like a big deal when a man reveals his deepest feelings, right? But not so much when women do? WTF? I mean, seriously – why is this?
3. When you decided to start blogging – did you have a particular effect/impact you wanted to create? If so, what was it? Did it change once you started blogging?
Primarily, I wanted to get writing more regularly, wanted to create something that would demand I give time to writing and quite honestly, I wanted to know if strangers would respond to what I wrote. Has it changed since I started? Yes and no – it certainly does demand I write regularly, lest I have an empty blog with no posts. But I am finding that I have an urge to write more meaningful posts, explore new topics, ideas and approaches. Blazing new blogging frontiers? Probably not, but maybe new writing fronteirs because long before I was a blogger I was a writer and honestly that’s all I really consider myself to be.
4. Regardless of whatever effect you set out to create by blogging, do you feel that you’ve had an impact by being a female blogger? If so, how and/or in what way? Who/what did you impact?
I do believe I’ve had an impact, in many ways. There are people who have flat out told me that something I wrote made them think, change their perspective, help them face a problem they were avoiding, feel good, laugh. It’s very gratifying when someone tells you that you made their day in some way. Writing something that touches another human being and somehow helps them is the stuff that reaches straight down into my guts and grabs ahold tightly. Was the impact brought about because I was a woman? I don’t know – I think that who I am has a lot to do with being a woman because that’s my paradigm and were I a man I’m not sure I would have written many of the posts I have written – so I guess that’s a yes.
5. What contribution to the blog world do you feel women bring to the table that male bloggers do not? Or is there no gender gap between male and female bloggers?
I don’t know if I’d call it a gender gap – I don’t really like that term but there doesn’t seem to be another to replace it – but I will say that women do bring something special to the table – their humanity, appreciation for all the small pieces of beauty in the world and a sense of community that I don’t think is native to most men. Not that men are all uncaring bastids, that’s not true at all (I happen to think men are quite the lovely creatures, actually) – I just think women are more likely to reach out, help, nuture, care, worry about you if don’t post for a week, and just generally, notice the details.
6. Are women bloggers held to a different standard than male bloggers? If so, what is the difference – e.g. what is taboo to a female blogger but okay for a male blogger or vice versa? Inequalities??? Not taken as seriously?
Yeah, I think they are. Particularly when it comes the baudier content. Men can pretty much get as gross as the day is long and people will throng to their blogs and get a hoot out of it. Women though, I think have to approach it a little more carefully, set the stage a bit longer and develop a readership first. And too, I don’t think women are taken as seriously as men with certain topics, like politics for example. I sometimes do political posts and I have had some serious ambushes from readers who really challenged me as though I were an idiot. If I’d been a man posting the very same thing, I don’t believe that those attacks would have come about – there might have been some lively debate but it would have been good hearted instead of mean.
7. If you could change anything in the way female bloggers are regarded in the blog world, what would it be?
I would like to see women bloggers just be thought of as bloggers. That a female power blogger doesn’t have to be a Dooce clone to be that. And honestly, no offense to Dooce, but what’s up with that standard? We have to be rude and outspoken to be taken seriously and be read? The problem I see in general in the blogosphere is that there is way too much pandering to the crowd. Meaning, we spend all this time trying to figure out what will bring in the big stats and start writing to that, rather than writing what means most to us and bringing ‘the crowd’ up to our level. Believe me, I’m as guilty of it as the next blogger and every time I do it, I want to kick myself. We shouldn’t be so seduced by the stat counters and the anylytics programs, unless really it’s just about the attention and frankly you can get more attention getting drunk with B list celebrities than going to all the brain strain that the pandering entails.
8. If you could have your wildest dreams come true as a blogger and create whatever impact you wanted, because you had thousands of undying loyal readers, what would it be?
I have to say, I love to inspire dialogue with people. I love to get people thinking, not necessarily what I think, but just thinking. I believe that a thinking person makes the world a better place. There would be so much less reactionary crap from high school shoot outs, to road rage, going on, if people thought more and were more thoughtful. Also, too, I want a fucking book deal. If the cat guy and the stupid white people guy can get one, then hell, it’s my turn.
9. Anything else that you feel separates female bloggers from male bloggers that you want to expound on?
Just a casual observation that female bloggers seem to be coming into their own and perhaps male bloggers are dwindling. Or maybe there always were more women bloggers but they used to be a lot quieter? Hard to say. It just seems that way to me. But I’m happy to report that I think women have finally found a good use for the internet.
And so concludes our not too scientific women’s study on blogging, bloggers – male & female and all things good and wise. I really had fun with this. I hope you did too. And I wanted to throw out this idea – I would love it if any of you lady bloggers out there had similar ideas for posts such as this and would like to do a cooperative project. So, if anybody has an idea they want to shoot over to me – please feel free. I think that addressing women’s issues, blogging and otherwise are important to our community and a lot fun too. Thanks!
PS: And this is a special p.s. to Gerry – if you can get 14 men bloggers who want to do the same questions, etc. I’ll do a post and give equal time. Never let it be said that I am not an equal opportunity blogger. Or, if the mood strikes you, do it yourself and let me know when the post is up. 🙂