What This Woman Wants: More Women
'Sarah Says' she sees too few women talking about Howard County issues.
Earlier this week, Columbia Patch Editor David Greisman and I went to the HocoBlogs Party at the Pure Wine Café in Ellicott City. Chatting with the local bloggers and blog-readers put me in the mood to delve into the local blogosphere yet again.
What I have returned with is a provocative conversation of sorts that is a signature benefit of new media.
On Nov. 23, blogger Sarah Says took a look into the gender gap in blogs specifically about Howard County. She noted that while the total number of blogs within the county is even, men dominate the "community" or "politics" blogs in the county.
"Gender disparity in blogging is nothing new, and nothing specific to Howard County. Technorati's annual 'State of the Blogosphere' reports that roughly two thirds of all bloggers are men, a number that has stayed relatively constant over the past few years," she said.
"This conversation is very similar to the ongoing 'racial diversity on the village boards' discussion."
Within a day, the post had a dozen comments and a sequel.
I wonder, assuming that Technorati's data is correct, whether Howard County is ahead of the curve in comparison to other areas in the country, in terms of male to female bloggers. If the ratio of bloggers in total is closer to 50 percent, as HoCoBlogs appears to show, could this suggest it is just a matter of time until more women bloggers hop onto politics?
I also wonder what the ratio of "personal" to "community or politics" blogs looks like in the places where the gender gap is even greater. I would guess, if the gender ratio was more like 2 to 1, the blogroll gap would look be around 10 to 1, instead of the 3 to 1 or 6 to 1 we see across Howard County (these ratios are from Wordbones and HoCo Rising, respectively).
As history has taught us, civil rights, women's suffrage and gay rights haven't happened overnight, but raising awareness to a trend like this will surely help the cause of getting the intelligent and influential female voices heard in Howard County, and elsewhere.