June 08, 2005

Kos vs. Feminists

Via Feministe, this blog has a nifty study of the gender dynamics that take place at DailyKos:
Male participants dominated the discussion, being both more numerous and more frequently responded to than their female counterparts; of the 119 participants, 27 (21%) were identified as female, 80 (67%) were male, and 12 (10%) were of unknown or indeterminate gender. Though 51% of the comments made by male participants (79 out of 154 comments) were responded to, only 28% of the comments by women elicited a response (16 out of 56). What was most interesting was that there was no apparent cause for this disparity in the comments themselves.

Males and females made humorous or provocative comments at roughly the same rate, for example, and when they were responded to the "quality" of those responses was similar (i.e. a flame from a woman is as likely to receive a flame in response as a flame from a male)... but they weren't responded to at the same rate. The literature related to this kind of analysis shows that men tend to adopt a combative conversational approach in forums like DailyKos and that female participants in male-dominated forums often adopt male norms, so what we see here is that, on DailyKos, playing by the same rules doesn't necessarily mean that you'll get the same response... or any response at all.
Also, I must be the last person to hear about it, but supposedly there's a controversy going on at DailyKos right now over an "extremist set" that goes "looking for signs of female subjugation under every rock." Yes, those silly, silly feminists, at it again. You know how it goes. Anyway, you can read all about it over at Echidne's, whose take is insightful as usual. Scrolling through the Kos comment thread in question, the funniest bit, I think, was the handful of posters who used this line: "Well I showed the so-called 'offensive' ad to my lesbian best friend, and she thought it was great, so what's the big deal?" That's the spirit! If you've talked to one lesbian you've talked to 'em all...
-- Brad Plumer 7:24 PM || ||