The Women, as I tell you all the time, are online. Women made friends with the web more than six years ago, when we began to outpace men's online activities, as reported by the likes of eMarketer, and Pew Internet and American Life, among others. To women, the web is about US...about the things we care about: connecting, communicating, sharing, and, of course, shopping. It's better than TV or theaters or holiday issues of our favorite magazine. It's all of that, and more, to women because the web helps give us voice.
I don't think I have to go into great detail about the silencing of women - that has been well documented by more prominent writers than I. The advent of the web provided an important element in allowing women a voice - that element, at the onset, was anonymity. On the web, no one knows if C. Darren is a man or a woman. On the web, inquiries about products or services are not judged on the face of the person making them, but on the content in the email or chat box. On the web, women can be outrageous and outspoken without fear of fear of reprisal, just by assuming a new identity.
When blogs came along, women were tentative. Another new technology to learn just wasn't on their agenda. We like learning...we like the coffee klatches our mothers introduced us to when they dragged us to neighbor's homes for play-dates (ours and theirs), but we weren't sure that blogs (many women objected and still object to that moniker: blog - why give something so much fun, such an ugly name?) were friendly enough for us.
I'm happy to say, enough brave, first-movers jumped into the blogosphere and...Blogher was born. Out of Blogher, and out of the connections women all over the world were making via their new, easily created and easily updated blogs, came a flood of women buzzing about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As we move into the latter half of the first decade of this new millennium (say that fast three times!) I predict that women will continue to dominate the web. I predict that women will stand tall - on their blogs and wikis and websites - and we will change the world.
If there is power in numbers, then - beware. Women the world over are reaching out to each other, clasping hands, demanding to be heard. Listen well - we have endured thousands of years of being told to be quiet - we're not holding back any longer.
I leave you today with my Tuesday Fit by Five - Five Thought Provoking News Items About Women:
1. From CNN, Astronaut Eileen Collins leaves NASA - to spend more time with family.
2.From a recent report out of eMarketer, Where Do Women Go Online?
"For all online players, the rising influence of females online is something that can't be ignored," says Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer Senior Analyst."
3. From The Christian Science Monitor, Women and business, still an uneasy relationship (2002):
"Unlike boys in the study, who say they want to earn a lot of money, girls place great importance on helping others and improving society."
4. From Gender and Electronic Discourse, 2.2 (no dates given), this page, on In Her Own Image, suggests that, "...women-generated [websites] such as WebGrrl and CyberGrrl suggest that as women gain more access to the knowledge necessary to produce web sites, women themselves can take control of images of women." There is much more to this collection of thoughts written by women...I heartily recommend a visit to the site.
5. And, finally...from The Washington Post, (2004), this PDF detailing the habits of working women on the web. The report shows the growing power of women, and how we are using the web. This quote speaks volumes, "The Internet is essential to both my personal and professional life. I routinely search for ideas, entertainment, education, and financial things online. I feel lost or disconnected when I am without Net access." [FYI: slide #13: "Household Decision Making Balance of Power," is a must see...]
I once again present my staunch belief that women are on the web - changing the world, one blog at a time. We invite you to join us. Stop in and say hello. The door is open.