RT-ing, Facebook Likes, and Gender

Sorry for the long post yesterday. The topic is a huge bummer for me, so I needed to give myself a little time out after I wrote it. 

To get meta on everyone, it's funny to see what posts of mine get mileage outside of my group of regulars. Yesterday's post about special education was very popular on Facebook. It was "liked" 83 times by Facebook people, thanks to a link by an autism group "Thinking Person's Guide to Autism." It received some love on Twitter, but most of the traffic came from Facebook. 

A little sleuthing showed that almost of all the "likes" and the "RT's" came from women. 

I cover a lot of topics on this blog. I have a lot of interests and I'm not disciplined enough to stick to one topic. Certain topics gather a lot of attention from men; other topics appeal to the chicks. Women like political posts, as much as men, but they seem to prefer politics that has to do with their day to day experiences, like schools. For some reason, local politics is never of interest to general male readers or the male pundits that drive traffic around the Internet. Even the male pundits who write about education prefer posts about national level issues, which is bizarre, because almost everything important about schools happens at the local level. Since there are way more men who are influential on the Internet and in mainstream media, it means that certain areas of politics receive a lot more attention. 

I suppose there's a dissertation topic in there somewhere. 

6 thoughts on “RT-ing, Facebook Likes, and Gender

  1. If “the personal is the political” I think that some of the same also applies to “the local”.
    I’ve been burning up the phone lines about some local school stuff you may have seen me posting on Twitter. In order to accommodate budget cuts imposed by the province, our kids are going to have their school days start earlier because that will save the board almost a quarter of a million dollars.
    Here in Ontario, the tension sits between the local and the provincial. The federal government has almost no input for education.
    The province micro-manages school boards since taking over educational funding (and downloading welfare to the municipalities, WTF, Ontario!). The board HAS to fund a new full-day kindergarten, which is a good program but given all the “MUST DO” issues mandated by the province, it’s disingenuous of them to suggest that local school boards have authority. They have almost none but the province, by leaving boards intact, is able to deny any role in the cuts. Scummy but convenient.
    And I notice almost no pundits taking notice of these issues since they’re ‘local’. Time to beat the drums some more!


  2. You know the joke where the husband says, “The secret to our happy marriage is that I make the big decisions, and my wife makes the little decisions. So I decide how the federal deficit should be reduced, and how many troops should be deployed to Afghanistan, and how the financial services industry should be regulated, and my wife decides the little things, like where we should live and where the children should go to school and how we should allocate the family budget.”
    I guess Laura’s readers operate on the same principle when it comes to sexual division of labor.


  3. Yet, local school board officials and local elected officials for towns, villages, boroughs, and counties are overwhelmingly male. Women may discuss local issues, but they do not run for local office.


  4. Our school board now has 5 women and 2 men, after a “coup” in which business backed male school board members were replaced by women. I’m seeing the trend in our area, for women to be viable challenger candidates.
    The key for the candidates who have broken the barrier in our area is strong community support. They have worked their way into school board by actively participating if face/face grass roots work (i.e PTA, school leadership committees, church, unions, local political work, . . . ).
    Also popular relevant are the “coffee” meetings the school board/candidates host — they’re a low key way of getting to know the candidates personally.
    I believe our local school blog, with hyper-coverage of school issues as helped the grass roots candidates gain coverage, especially important because our school board elections are district primaries/followed by city-wide elections.
    I’m considering the details, because I’m wondering what factors make the candidacies successful.


  5. Our school board serves as a launching platform to city council often enough that I regard it as a low-level necessary evil. I also can’t understand why anybody does it because declining enrollment means the main task is closing schools.


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