Sunday, July 31, 2005
Blogs and women as decor
Women as Decor
Lady bloggers: are they typically different from gentlemen bloggers?
Let's consider one angle of this topic, a topic that is of increasing interest to the blogosphere.
Not "are males and females inherently different", but in what ways do women differ from men when it comes to blogs and blogging?
Not "what is feminine blogging?", nor "what makes a blog masculine?" -- as though there were blogging qualities and aspects that are necessarily tied naturally to one gender or the other.
This is a discussion going on over at Vaspers the Grate.
to Female Blogging?
One thing that inhibits the acceptance of female blogs is:
men and women are not comfortable
with women as authority figures.
This may be an unconscious attitude,
not an articulated bias.
Western social values still place
prettiness or beauty, overt
sexuality, and seductiveness as
highly regarded attributes...
Intelligence, competence, teamwork
are *often* (not always)
on a lower value level in
American business offices...
...for female workers.
I imagine its a slightly
different story in
factories and construction.
In hard physical labor,
prettiness might be nice,
but it could interfere,
be dangerously distracting.
But I could be wrong.
This childish, foolish,
superficial attitude of
could have its exact
equivalent in labor jobs.
Does it apply to blogs?
While a photo of the blog author is a nice, personalizing, humanizing enhancement of any blog...
...could a photo of a beautiful blogger be playing into the archaic, and generally counter-productive, patriarchal system of optical pleasure?
Would a female blog gain in credibility and authoritativeness, if no photo of the blogger is displayed?
Would a photo of the lady blogger be more, or less, effective in generating traffic and loyal readership, if the photo is a "glamour" shot? With overt sexuality? Even enticing?
A Female Socio-linguist Speaks
Let's look at these brief excerpts from Talking From 9 to 5 by Deborah Tannen, Ph.D. (William & Morrow, NY, 1994)
A very different. and more troublesome, kind of tension was described to me by a woman who observed that some men like to have what she called "decorative women" around them. Such men tend to hire women they find attractive, regardless of their abilities.
According to her, the presence of women whose abilities are not up to those of the others, and who are extremely attractive, can throw an office into disarray. (p. 270)
Another physician told me that when she placed an advertisement that said "physician seeking office assistant," one after another young woman appeared wearing low-cut blouses and minute skirts.
When they discovered that the physician interviewing them was female, they became uncomfortable, and during the interviews tugged at the necks of their blouses and hems of their skirts, trying to cover themselves up.
She learned to avoid this embarrassing situation by advertising "Woman physician seeks office assistant." (p. 271)
The value of "decorative women" in a work environment is institutionalized in some countries.
For example, Japanese businessmen often hire pretty young women simply to stand around while they do business. (p. 271)
Women office workers are commonly called "flowers of the workplace." (p. 272)
[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate
Posted by steven edward streight at 7/31/2005 01:30:00 PM