Last week, I published a post on Monday that highlighted 60 great women, and then on Friday I published a post that highlighted 60 great men. I really enjoy the online world’s openness to singing the praises of others – I love how it makes people smile and feel appreciated. We all like hearing kind words every once in awhile, after all.
What I didn’t expect, though, was the very strange manner of different reactions both of these posts generated. Accidentally, I ended up sort of starting a case study that examines gender in the online world.
So, I thought I would outline some of the things I noticed and get your opinions about them. I don’t really have any theories at this point. Well, that’s not true, I do have *some* theories, but I’d rather let you write this post!
Here are some of the odd things I noticed in reflecting back on these two posts.
1. Women seemed much more excited about being mentioned, in general, than the men. There were some very very gracious men, and there were some women who remained silent, but overall, the women who were listed seemed rather ecstatic in a lot of cases.
2. The post highlighting 60 women received over 150 Facebook likes. The post on men did not receive a single one (I’m hoping some Facebook experts weigh in on this).
3. The post highlighting 60 women was retweeted exactly twice as many times as the post highlighting the 60 men.
4. Both posts received an almost identical number of comments.
5. Not very many men shared or commented on the list of women. Quite a few women commented on and share the post highlighting the gentlemen.
6. Both genders were fairly equal in the number of people who lamented why they did not make the list. I think more women actually asked that question than men though.
I find some of this disconcerting. Do men feel unwelcome to comment on a list that highlights women? Are men more used to receiving appreciation? Is appreciation for women so rare?
Let’s talk. I am really looking forward to hearing what you have to say about these observations!
Image by Richard Dunstan. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/personalfx