4.11.2008

blogging as sacred feminine?

First, brief yourself here. This is a response post.

[hey look, i seem to be in a caps mood today. how strange! or perhaps academic.]

Read it? Good.

Firstly, if there's one thing my (wonderfully) crazy professor Zillah taught me in all our sex/gender/war classes, it's that we constructed the binary by which we think.

Blogging is not a 'feminine' practice because it involves concept linking, communicative aims, and use of word craft. It is 'feminine' because we have -concepted- these things as feminine. They are just actions, thoughts, motives. We assign them to females, and thus encourage them in our females. This links to social networking only insofar as it is similar to social grooming (the way we are expected to act in social settings as defined by mass social standards).

Yes, throw studies at me about differentiations in brain activity in different sexes. I'll list book titles about how there are more than three sexes and brain biology is an individualized aspect rather than a sexualized one.

Moreover, if we were to even say that this brain dichotomy exists, we also don't know enough to understand if this is an evolutionary skill or an innate one: that is,
...if girls are better at verbal because they are expected to be; because they are expected to be, their brains have grown throughout time to be wired more efficiently to do so
...or, if it is just as simple as you think it is. (Which it never is. Anyone read up lately on how identical twins don't share identical DNA, making many studies based on this control flawed?)

As Jason Falls points out, "Yet, the first blogs were run by men. Most of the top blogs in Technorati’s list are run by men. Nearly 2/3 of the bloggers attending Blogger Social were men and professional blogging tends to be male-dominated. Are the liberal gender roles of the 21st century allowing men to embrace roles not traditionally given to masculinity?"

I don't think it is a matter of liberal gender roles, nor embracing a side 'less masculine' because we as a society deem them to be. I think it's that blogging/etc has offered up a venue of creative, nonlinear thought previously considered only to be accessible by women. The anonymity enables men who would not have engaged in such thought to find their own voice within it.

If anything, I would argue that in the stereotypical way that men tend to dominate in a patriarchal culture, "more men blog" because more men are given attention. Society still values the male opinion over the female, a shift that is still being fought today. Being male gives you more authority, and thusly, likely more readership.

This is not uncommon. It happened with books, news reporting... the list goes on. It just always seems more sensible, easier to swallow, and more authentic, out of the mouth of man. --At least (to qualify again) to the masses. The binary described attributing blogging/social media as feminine is only a product of our society's thoughts... not the actual aspect.

So therefore I would argue that blogging is not inherently feminine.
It is a human need to communicate through methods locked into the 'female' category and exploited (willingly or not) by their 'male' counterparts--all the while not realizing that the point is still the human need to communicate, regardless of boxes.

2 comments:

Jason Falls said...

BRAVO! Well said and explained. I'm flattered my post sparked such good conversation and am honored to have been the instigator here as well.

Your argument is certainly a good one. I'm not nearly smart enough to know whether or not our gender roles are the result of our wiring or our wiring is the result of our gender roles. I'm fascinated at the parallels drawn by my friend that blogging appears to have feminine qualities. However, I am equally as impressed with the arguments to the counter, including those you've discussed here.

Thank you for the thoughtful response. I hope your audience chimes in as well and the discussion continues.

Linda Sherman said...

Great post. I think there is no one answer on this topic. I love the conversation it creates. You have some excellent points. I have saved your article for possible reference to in a future blog post on my site.

Thought you might enjoy my recent post on gender and competitiveness.
http://itsdifferent4girls.com/blog/2008/04/08/the-thrill-of-competition-and-trying-harder