Sunday, 14 March 2010

Political Blogging; it’s Not for Girls

Political blogging is a rather new field. It began long after Emily Davison threw herself in front of the King’s horse in 1913 and long after the idea of equal pay became widely accepted. So why are the majority of high-profile political blogs written by men?

The Office of National Statistics has found that the majority of bloggers in the UK are female. Despite this, Mark Pack, Alex Smith, Stephen Tall and a number of other men continue to dominate the field.

It seems that blogs are no more of an advert for diversity than the composition of the present UK Parliament. The same applies to the letters page of whichever newspaper that one chooses to read; men almost always dominate it.

It’s not that women are reluctant to write; time seems to be a significant factor. More women are working, in addition to maintaining the home and caring for children. It is commonly known, although less commonly accepted, that the majority of employed women carry out more housework than their male counterparts.

Furthermore, women are more likely to wait to be invited to blog whereas men are likely to just charge straight in. It seems that in addition to encouraging more females to run for Parliament, it is also necessary to encourage more women to join the political blogosphere.

Rude and abrupt opinions seem to be acceptable on both blog comments and newspaper letter pages. This is likely to have a disproportionate effect on who writes. Even in 2010, women are socialized to be quiet, consider the feelings of others and conform to expectations. In contrast men are brought up to believe that society values them and their opinions and that they matter. To an extent, they are correct. Sadly women are brought up to think the opposite, and to an extent they are right too. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy and it is still affecting the role of women in society. Therefore, it needs to be changed.

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