Thursday, April 10, 2008

Is the blogosphere a shelter for politically abused women? ...by Sybil Sage

Examining the public's news interests over the past year, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press is reporting that men and women have different priorities. Women are more attracted to stories about weather (will our hair frizz?), health and safety, natural disasters, crime and celebrity news while men favor international affairs, Washington news and sports. Men and women do converge, however, when it comes to the top news stories of the day, including election coverage.

How does this relate to the blogs? 56% of Americans say they never read blogs that discuss politics, according to a recent Harris Poll, while 24% of men and 19% of women say they regularly read political blogs. Females are a growing force in the political blogging world, yet not represented proportionately in politics. Women are far more reluctant to run for office, underestimating their credentials and reluctant to recognize or respond when recruited.

Blogging is a safe haven for women, providing an arena for expressing opinions and interests, but my concern is the blogosphere is the equivalent of a shelter for politically abused women, harboring many who are equipped, but intimidated by, participating in politics.

Is there something we can do? Yes, support The White House Project (thewhitehouseproject.org). Led by Marie Wilson, this group started in 1998 with the vision to change the face of leadership in America. Buy one less purse this year and help get women away from their home office and into public office.