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Women, the Internet and politics: "Trust me, we’re out there."

BY Morra Aarons-Mele | Wednesday, October 3 2007

At the New York Times, Katharine Seelye wrote Monday, "Are more men engaged in politics online than women, and if so, why?" Is it, as commenter Michael writes,

Because men are more interested in wasting time in debating abstract ideas, principles, and other high-sounding but vaporous stuff. Women are more interested in the concrete work of dealing with real people and real relationships...

or, do

Men just have too much time on their hands! Perhaps if women had wives to pick up their socks and cook their dinners, they would have more time to argue politics online. But we DO vote and that’s the important thing!!

Or perhaps,

Three primary reasons men are more engaged:

1. Look around the shopping malls. Its hard to do two things at once. Yes, women could blackberry into blogs, but then they’d have to put down all those shopping bags.

2. A far small proportion of women than men are capable of the type of articulate reasoning widely found in blogs discussions.

3. A large bloc of women are more bogged down in housework, specifically, single mothers. Half a generation of American women poorly reasoned that they impregnate themselves by their disinterested “bad boys” rather than sincere romantic suitors. Now those same women are stuck raising kids alone - and truly short on time for intellectual pursuits.
— Posted by Andrew

Gee, thanks Andrew for that pearl of wisdom. Seelye's article is now live on the Times site with quotes from me and Emily McKhann, who was one of the only bloggers credentialed to cover the Clinton Global Initiative last week. Before the article came out, I wrote about this topic on BlogHer, in the context of an interview I did with Marie Wilson, President of the White House Project and a seriously amazing woman. She gave me some advice: if I want to be taken more seriously as a political blogger, maybe I should blog less about traditional "women's issues."

Now what do you think of that one? I think of Emily McKhann's fantastic coverage of the Clinton Global Initiative. I think of Virginia Debolt's techy take on "One Laptop per Child." And Kim Pearson on the Jena 6, and the general "dailyness" of the media and news cycle.

In her book the Second Stage, Betty Friedan writes about famed Congresswoman and activist Bella Abzug:

Fired as head of the President's Advisory Committee on Women when she (Abzug) insisted that inflation, unemployment, and the federal budget were women's issues, she was now trying to start a new women's power base...."

Maybe the Internet is our new "power base." I'm still debating how seriously I take the online "women's issues" ghetto notion. But in the meantime, here are some more great women political bloggers:

* Professor Kim's News Notes
* The new Silicon Valley mom's Momocrats (pro-John Edwards)-she wrote, "Trust me, we're out there" in the NYT comments section.
* Gloria Feldt's new blog on Huffington Post
* MediaLizzy, Fred Thompson supporter and smart, funny writer.

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