Are men better bloggers?
John left a comment on my blog last week that made me think. I’ve been thinking about it ever sense.
“Facebook and Twitter are for women. Blogs are for blokes, but what worried me was the following bit. That seemed incestuous at first? I mean making money from your friends isn’t nice. But making money with your friends is beautiful. That’s why blogs are for blokes, and Facebook and Twitter are for women. Women don’t understand beauty. They appreciate it. But they don’t understand it. That’s why the best artists are blokes. See what I mean?”
I’m feeling controversial today and it is all John’s fault. John’s a Brit and so he has a different take on many things from my American sensitivities. John is a youngster who tortures his body by running marathons but even with all that and the amazing ability of the Brits to take a common language and render it almost unintelligible at times, he makes me think. Today was no exception. He asserted something that rocks the bedrock of American intellectuals and wanna be intellectuals. He asked whether I think that men make better bloggers while women are drawn to Facebook and Twitter.
I’ve been cowed by the feminists since the 70’s
Now I survived the feminist movement of the 70’s and charted my way through the increasingly feminized work environment through my career. I know what you can’t say (unless you are prepared to face charges of sexual harassment). I know that men now have absolutely no protection from any woman who decides to take them down because no corporation has the balls to buck Gloria Allred in the forum of public awareness.
I know the drill
I know that women can do anything they want and that their plumbing has nothing to do with ability, intelligence or their place in the world. I have been so numbed to the laws of nature that John’s question hit me like a cold mackerel. The only issue remaining was to decide if I had the guts and the honesty to engage the question. Are men and women different? We already know that Men are from Mars and Women from Venus. Could it be that Men are from Blogs and Women from Facebook? John says yes. Am I ready to take a stand? The answer is a definite maybe.
The American view is simple
It may be a simple question for a Brit like John, but in America we like to pretend the world is simple. Everybody is absolutely the same. Black is just like white. Women are just like men. Crazy people are just like sane people. People in wheel chairs are just like walkers. Blind people are just like sighted ones. We are taught to disregard differences. So through the long years since the 70’s here in America, women haven’t been women, they have been oddly shaped men. It has been a trial for both sexes and society’s loss.
Not working for an employer helps you see thing straighter
Retirement frees people from this selective blindness. I have been discovering and savoring the delightful differences between the sexes forbidden when I was in the workplace. Now I can complement a woman without fear of a lawsuit and observe that woman don’t see the world quite the way I do but it is still OK, in fact it may be great..
So what do I think?
So with this new freedom, I am prepared to engage John’s question: Are men better suited for blogging while women are better suited to Facebook? You would think that this would be a great thesis for a PhD but it probably won’t happen in the US because intellectuals don’t study questions when they already know the answers. And they all learned the answers in kindergarten. Without those studies, I must fall back on my own experience. What it tells me is that John is right. When I get on Facebook, 90% of the communication there is with women. I have only a few men who use Facebook to exchange information with me. Blogwize is it the reverse. There are plenty of women bloggers but they tend to be inconsistent both in theme and activity while men hang tough- if they hang at all. When it comes to bloggers who are in for the long run, more of them are men from my experience.
John, this bloke thinks you are right.
So that is my answer for John. It is limited in scope and anecdotal in nature. It is a generalization not a scientific study. Finally, it says nothing about the relative value of one sex over the other. Men and women are delightfully and frustratingly different. I’m happy at this stage in my life to be free to observe and appreciate those differences once again. And now that I have exposed my bias, I’m ready to hear what women might think. But maybe I will have to put this on Facebook to find out.