“Are more men engaged in politics online than women, and if so, why?”
That was the question that Katharine Seelye from the New York Times’ posed in her political blog, The Caucus, a few weeks ago. To my surprise, the answer to her informal survey turned out to be, “Yes.”
Seelye points to the fact that men tend to be the ones writing “specifically about politics, reading about politics and putting their two cents in the comments sections.”
I say they’re just the ones getting the coverage, as so often tends to happen in other areas of our lives, as well.
Aside from my own foray into being a political woman with a political blog (OK, I admit it — blogs, including this one), there are so many others out there trying to raise the profile of our voices. So I guess the better question is, why aren’t we getting noticed?
I believe the reason is that women try to engage in actual discourse. It’s part of the whole being female thing — we want to express our opinions and hear what others have to say, even if we don’t agree. Then we think about things, mull them over and, should it be so shocking, consider other’s opinions in shaping our own.
Conversation isn’t something that comes easily to a lot of men, but they are good at raising their voices, pounding their fists on their chests and getting the attention. And I think that’s what’s happening. (Not for all of them, of course).
But perception often is reality. That was proven by the turn-out of the media and presidential candidates at the Yearly Kos convention – a conference of mostly men bloggers — versus the lack of turn-out at this year’s BlogHer conference — a gathering of women bloggers.
I think there are just as many of us double-Xer’s who are as political as the ones who have a Y in their genetic make-up. It’s just that, for the moment, the ones covering us in the main stream media still have a tendency to gravitate toward the men-folk when looking for people with political opinions.
So how do we raise our profile to get our voices heard, especially in this upcoming election where we have the possibility of electing the first ‘XX’ president?
One good thing did happen as a result of this conversation at her blog. Last week, she took a look at how some presidential campaigns are starting to reach out to women bloggers — including the Momocrats, where a few of us are pounding the virtual pavement to get voters to support John Edwards for President.
And I guess that’s not a bad start.