Saturday, 18 April 2009

Sexism in blogging

It has recently come to my attention that many people who read my posts think that I am a very "angry" person.

While that's often true, the anger is usually a result of some injustice - either inflicted upon me, someone that I care about, or sometimes even a stranger - that needs an avenging angel to, er, avenge.

I don't like being angry. I don't like being thought of as an angry person. But I suppose it's better than being called bitchy, a label more commonly applied to a woman with any sort of opinion or backbone or loud voice.

The thing is, my rants are just that. Rants. I don't carry them with me, once it's out into the blogesphere. I'm not angry like that all the time (especially since I'm no longer stressed out at work all the time).

I thought my rants would be thought provoking, amusing and (most importantly) harmless to read - much like watching a rabbit try to disembowel you with a pink, plastic Fisher Price knife.

In fact, I LOVE reading posts similar to mine in other blogs, or online profiles. Those dudes show their middle fingers and cuss all the time in their posts. And they too "appear" to be angry and forceful, but they're just ranting AT THAT MOMENT. They're not always like that.

I even found a kindred spirit in one of those people. We were complete strangers, but got on so well (and no, we did not RANT all the time. Our friendship is pretty tame and polite) that we climbed Mt Kinabalu together. He was a cool guy.

Then it hit me. All these entertaining, ranting bloggers were GUYS.

What the fuck?? So if a girl like me were to blog like this, I'd be labelled as bitchy, unstable or angry. But if a GUY blogs like this, he's fun to read?!?! Sexism in the blogesphere!!

Another piece of proof was this blog I'd created as an experiment. No one knew it was me, including my sister. She read the first post and actually thought it was well-written or entertaining or something like that, NOT knowing it was me, and her assumption was that it was written by .... jeng jeng jenggggg ..... a GUY (must be all that writing I did for FHM).

Bloody hell. This is so unfair! I don't like being thought of as this uncontrollable, angry chick - but I like writing like this. It's therapeutic. And I find it funny, even if no one else does. Sob.

All this because there's a preconceived image of girls being all feminine and gentle. So, I can't get away with writing the way a man does, because girls "aren't supposed to be like that". WTF.

My brother's theory is that when people imagine a male blogger speaking out the words, it sounds like a controlled, male rant. But if they imagine a FEMALE blogger speaking out the same words, they would automatically assume a whiny, bitchy or naggy voice instead - thus ruining the enjoyment of the post.



joy said...

I think the fact that the experimental blog had the word "asshole" in the title fed into a preconceived word gender-assigning bias in my mind, hence thinking it was a guy.

That being said, I agree with you. To be fair, most girls DO sound like that compared to ranting guys.

Or maybe it's just because it's rare to find a witty articulate man with an opinion other than that "I AM AWESOME" that we would rather peg him as fun than whiny? I DON'T KNOW.

The Phoenix said...

Yala, my point exactly. I talk like that all the time in real life, but on written form, people don't like it if it's a girl saying that and will find it funny if they think it's a guy.

There's plenty of witty and articulate guys who write, but yeah, cursing doesn't automatically make a blogger funny (if they can't write for shit in the first place).