Saturday, June 17, 2006

An interesting new slant on the old debate ...

Just found this about women and blogging. Check it out. Interesting, huh?
I can hear sabres rattling and brain cells grating.
Touchy feely? Me? How ridiculous. Let's all have a group hug to reassure ourselves ...

20 comments:

Minx said...

Haven't got time for hugging, I'm off to buy some new shoes!

Minx said...

Debi, I have just read your comment on the post I wrote about holidaymakers (aeons ago)
What were you doing in a field behind Tesco's in Penzance when there a thousand different beautiful places to camp in Cornwall?
Yes, would love to meet up perhaps we could join you for a night's camp - we caravan (no laughing the rest of you).

I'll shut up now as I'm off to feminise the blogosphere!

Debi said...

Don't forget to put your make up on first and always wear a pretty smile ...
L-o-n-g story (aren't they all?) re how we ended up there.
But would so love to meet up so we can swap tips on how to keep up on hair, make-up, nourishing tasty meals cooked on a single burner etc. Such a challenge while camping ...
If you're serious (Minx? Serious??) I'll email you my mobile no before we leave.

Kath T said...

Am new to blogging (can't you tell!!). But am finding absolutely
great am reading things I've never really thought about and feeling happy/worked up/interested to enough to try to respond. Although have a feeling a lot goes over my head, but there you go thats life. What's wrong in camping in a field behind Tesco's? Would have thought dead handy for supplies - could have been a bit more ethical though and found a field behind a Co-op.

Maxine said...

Obviously the hairdresser thing is silly as you are all saying. But I also found the posting you link to annoying as well, Debi. Most of the women blogs she admires or gives as examples seem to have to be political or gender-defined.
I quite often haven't a clue whether the blog/blogger is a woman or a man and I don't care. If I like the blog then I like it.
I actually think Comment is Free is pretty awful, I subscribed to it at first but it churns out far too many disparate views far too frequently.
I think that a thoughtful blog that posts about things one is interested in is the best. As I say, my favourites feature men, women and unknowns. Even a couple of 10 year olds.
I hate all this categorisation and pigeonholing.
I note she has a go at "women's magazines" etc, but as is obvious, women do buy the bloody things, they are not being printed in such quantities to sit on the shelves unpurchased. Let's face it, a great deal of women are buying and reading these things with their invidious messages in place of reading books.
I had a debate about this on Petrona ages ago, Minx joined in and then left to go off and read a girly magazine ;-)

The point about the blogosphere is that it costs nothing to publish a blog on whatever topic, "commercial" or not. And becuase of rss and search, one can very easily find a blog or three on the topic that interests you. Even if only 3 people in the world ever read that blog, they are happy and are reading about something that interests them.

To me, that's the point about blogging, not all this crap about whether there are girly blogs and manly blogs and all of that rubbish. It is all about personalisation and the Army of Davids (Glenn Reynolds) -- how the individual is using the power of the internet.

Sorry for the rant!

Minx said...

I love your rants Maxine, but could we just make that 'The Army of Davina's'???

And Debi, very serious, my email is on my blog. But can I just say that camping, for me, is taking all my creature comforts, too old for roughing it and we did all that 'damp thing' years ago. Why wait six hours for the kettle to boil when you can pop it in the microwave (yes I do).

Verilion said...

Well... after reading Maxine's comment I had this vague feeling that I agreed with everything she said, but I couldn't remember why, just this vague feeling that the article was slightly annoying. So I clicked on the link again, read it and almost wet myself laughing when I read the 2nd comment.

Sharon J said...

I wonder what she means by "giving a good blog"? Is blog short for blow-job, d'ya fink?

I'm gutted actually. I was gonna write about my newly acquired 60s skirt that I'm thinking might come in useful for a future fancy dress or something. It was 50p at the car-boot so quite a bargain. No shoes, though. And definitely no make-up.

I envy the camping. Used to do it loads out in the Norwegian woods (is that some kind of drug?) but can't do it anymore. I have to stick to hotels and the likes these days. Oh well, I knew I'd have to go up-market sooner or later.

skint writer said...

oops! girlie talk - better get out ;)

Debi said...

Wha-hey! I had a feeling this post would get pulses racing but didn't anticipate the direction. That's one of the things that's so great about this medium in which we find ourselves.
Maxine - I agree absolutely that we should vigorously resist any and all attempts to label us or restrict us in any way. Though I'm pretty sure DCSC (the author of the original post) would agree with that. Thanks to her anyway for stimulating the debate.
Kath - It's great that you're 'in here'. Fun, isn't it? But I do wish you'd stop putting yourself down! And you're right re the Tesco site (tee hee re Co-op). It gave us a completely different perspective and we met people you'd never expect to find on a more 'normal' tourist site. Most of them were either homeless and/or seasonal workers. Yet we were accepted with such warmth - it was really very moving.
Minx - I just drink lots less hot stuff while camping. As long as I get my pot of fresh coffee in the morning and a couple of cups of camomile in the evening, I'm happy. It's not because of principle though, so if we meet up don't think you can't offer me a microwave cuppa!

Debi said...

Oh me oh my! Anyone seen GOB's post today re why women read? (Sorry - duuno how to do links in comments ...)
What IS going on here?

crimeficreader said...

GOB's post refers to an article in today's Telegraph by Boris Johnson, see here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/06/15/do1501.xml&sSheet=/opinion/2006/06/15/ixopinion.html
The observation is linked to assertions about the feminisation of education, for a start. Then there's the eradication of masculinity in the workplace... As for reading, Johnson starts by asking readers to look at what the woman opposite on the tube is reading. Not sure how much of an experience of this Johnson has, as he cycles everywhere in London apparently.

But really, he seems to think we're all looking for old stereotypes of men.

Crime & thriller fiction took over as the biggest genre read last year. The majority of crime fiction readers are female (has been for years). There are loads of female crime writers. There are loads of female protagonists. Where there's a female protag, the male side-kicks are not frequently Mr Pumped-Up-Testosterone. (Indeed they may be a little frustrated in their secondary roles, but just a little...)

As for the male protags, it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a male protag in crime fiction must be in possession of a decent cliche or two, (dependency problems, trouble with authority, stalled career) and also in desperate need of a good woman.

I think Johnson's argument missed a big one here in concentrating on the literary and chicklit. Conveniently perhaps?

DCSC said...

Army of Davinas.. I love that.
Debi, you are right I think we should resist attempts to be labelled or restricted.. It was the idea that people like Roger Alton was doing that very thing that got me mad...
Maybe Maxine's right and that because the blogosphere limitless, more accessible and more liberated the views of Alton and the like don't - and won't - matter.
And I agree that it's not important if only three people read a blog.. I hoped I'd made it clear I wasn't having a go at the blogs that are part of a community, no matter how small.
When I started off as a journalist we were often told women always ended up doing features because they weren't up to hard news..
Then I heard two men suggest in the same week that women wrote "blogs lite" while the real hardcore bloggers were men..
It made me wonder if those same old distinctions were coming into play.. And if they are, does it matter?
Like Maxine says it's the fact that individuals have access to publishing on the net that makes it so powerful.
I agree it doesn't matter who is writing a blog and Minx I like what you said on your blog about the lightbulb effect - that there are certain blogs you are drawn to.. and that's irrespective of who they are
But it got to me that women might already be being consigned to the "soft features" department of the blogosphere..
Is it true? Does it matter? Is some kind of heirarchy already developing? was what I was fishing around for answers to..
Good to come across some energetic debate from some Davinas here...

skint writer said...

I dipped my toe into this debate a couple of days ago but decided then that as a man, I would have nothing to contribute.

But of course that's not true and anyway I've got something to say.

I don't know whether it's genes, culture or whatever, but it seems to me that women exist on a more intuitive level than men do.

When a group of people engage in a social interaction, whether the topic is knitting or politics, there is a lot more going on than the superficialities of what is being discussed.

Women, it seems, tend to understand this without having to cover it up with bravado or faux analysis. This can lead to men making wrong assumptions about what women value.

Blogging, I think, has the potential to inflict some serious damage on those glass ceilings, because it is not mediated directly by the patriarchal hierarchies that exist in other media.

Keep the faith.

Debi said...

Crimeficreader - as a woman who both reads and writes the stuff, this is great to hear. You've hit the nail on the proverbial as usual ...
Is GOB (and Boris J) deliberately provocative? It's hard to tell though I think anything that stimulates the debate has to be good. It's only by being challenged and having to articulate our responses that we can be sure what we really think!
Just look at DCSC - from her original acorn mighty oak trees are growing!
And Skint - never think you have nothing to contribute just cos you've got more testosterone than oestrogen (oestrogenically-challenged?). Your last para says it all ...

crimeficreader said...

Thanks Debi. Bumbling Boris has a place in my heart, he does really. (Maternal instinct, I hasten to add.) But, interestingly, GOB concluded that post with the comment that he'd like to see Boris as PM. I can't but feel it'd be a case of Blair revisited. Not at all a WISWYG scenario, but more of WYSIAM - what you see is a mirage. Are we sure we know what Boris is about?

As for some electorate research, I can only suggest Boris attends the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival over 20-23 July 2006. The bulk of attendees are women; all are avid readers (some writers too); and the world of this particular genre is explored and debated to the nth degree. Then, when does get on a tube train, he might notice covers other than pink and he'll gain a better understanding of why the electorate feels it has short shrift on dealing with real crime. He'll also discover what women are really looking for in a man... In their dreams of course...

Maxine said...

First of all I owe dsdc an apology for my overdone adjectives about her article, apologies for my lack of courtesy if you are still reading these.
But, with respect, I still think in your latest comment that you have slightly missed the point of the blogosphere, which is that nobody can be "consigned" anywhere (unlike mainstream media, which is based on a product being targeted at the consumer, in the new media of the blogosphere, it is the customer who chooses what she (or he) consumes -- a point of view nicked from various sources eg the Economist New Media Survey). Some publisher's concept of niche or target is not relevant.

Skint, I understand what you mean about intuitoin, but I don't think you can generalise -- some men are very intuitive, both in person ;-) and on blogs -- you are an excellent case in point. In fact to tell a story against myself I did not know when I first encountered you and for a while whether you were a man or woman becuase of your intuition (which being a woman I intuited ;-) ) I also find Frank Wilson of Books Inq. very intuitive and sensitive. And others I am sure.

As for GOB and Boris Johnson -- yes I read the post. And I am a crime fiction nut, I must have read more crime fiction than anyone except crime fic reader and one or two others. I don't think it is a new thing for women by any means. The modern genre was founded by women (Dorothy L Sayers, Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham) as much as by men (Dashiell Hammet, Raymond Chandler) and it has always been a genre for either any and all sexes.
I think GOB and Boris are just winding people up.

Minx and Debi, can I come on you caravanning holiday or does the fact that I don't own any make up exclude me?

Minx said...

Of course Maxine, have squeezed many a good woman into the tin shed for the night. I'm not saying that camping is just for women but I feel that women get so much more out of it!!

Debi said...

Thanks for yet more thoughtful - and thought-provoking contributions.
On camping - I have many childhood experiences but G had none. When I stopped working we spashed out on a tent and all the trimmings - I knew for it to work we were going to have to make it as comfortable as poss. So we have the 2 bedroom version with central conference centre ...
Wouldn't it be amazing if several of us got together on a Cornish field over the summer???
And by the way, Maxine. I wear make up on special occasions only (camping not included) - and most of it is over 20 yrs old!

Maxine said...

Camping in Cornwall next summer, it's a date!