April 4, 2012

Woman's/Man's-Eye-View

When I wrote the post about the Stephen King and Ernest Cline books, I realized how unusual it is for me to read two books in a row by men. I DO read books by men, but I'll bet it's one book by a man for every ten to twenty by a woman---and most of the books by men are non-fiction. I identify so much more strongly with the female point of view, and sometimes I find the male point of view alienating and upsetting: I can end up feeling I was happier knowing LESS about how some of them see things. (WHAT IF THAT'S HOW PAUL SEES THINGS??)

It's even more extreme with blogs. With a book, the story might be more the point than the author; but with a blog, it's usually ALL person's-eye-view. I'm trying to think if I read even one single blog written by a man, and I don't think I do. (I do read two comic-strip blogs by men ((Bad Machinery and xkcd)), but that's different.) It's similar on Twitter, where I think I only follow one guy. Total. Everyone else is a girl, I'm pretty sure. It isn't a policy: it's that I check out a guy's blog or Twitter stream, and it fails to appeal to me enough for me to subscribe to it.

I know that back in my Single Days it was considered awfully cool and sexy for a hetero girl to claim to get along better with guys than with girls. I believe I said it myself, probably repeatedly, probably while flipping my hair, probably while hanging around with a group of guys and avoiding the girls. And I MEANT it, too! But that was full-on flirting/seeking when I did it, because it turns out that if there's no opportunity for a romantic relationship, I'd WAY rather talk to a woman. (If it's about romance, then I'm really more of a GUY'S girl. You know, not like those OTHER girls.) And even when I was single, I didn't read more books by men, and I don't think I would have read more blogs by men or identified more with the male point of view.

But I know this is not the way things are for ALL woman. (Not everyone is exactly the same! I am a brilliant statistician and observer of human nature!) I know there are MANY women who read pretty much only books by men, or follow just as many male bloggers as female bloggers, or whatever. So here's what I'm interested in knowing: Where are YOU on the spectrum? Are you in the market for a romantic relationship or not, and has that affected where you are on the spectrum? What proportion of the blogs you read are by women/men? What proportion of the Twitter accounts you follow are by women/men? What proportion of the books you read are by women/men (and are they woman's/man's-eye-view books, or more like non-fiction)?

70 comments:

Anna said...

I'm happily married (to a man) and I'd say pretty much all the blogs I read are by women. I read a fair number of books by men, I think, though. On twitter I mainly follow women but that's because a lot of them are crafters and they tend to be women.

Also, I love that you read Bad Machinery. It is such a great webcomic and so well-written! I used to know John Allison years ago but we're out of touch now.

Ruthie said...

Interesting topic! I just looked at my blog reader list and I do read several blogs by men, but they're all people I know personally or about a topic that I'm interested in -- food, books, publishing, etc. In those categories, I'd say I probably read 40% men, 60% women.

In the "people I don't know writing about their daily life" category, it's overwhelmingly women and 2.5 men. (The 5. comes from the one co-written by Moxie and her former husband.)

Slauditory said...

I'm single (and a straight woman). I mostly read books and blogs by women. I like YA, nonfiction, literary fiction (but not the sad white guy kind), and sci-fi/fantasy best. The books, for the most part, are by women or minorities. I'm always shocked when I like a book by a white dude, especially the kind the New Yorker likes to celebrate. I would say that 99% of the blogs I follow are by women, usually because they write about stuff I like (clothes, food, health, crafting, personal life stuff). The one male blogger I read writes about food.

Slauditory said...

And I meant to add that I mostly hang out with women, or my female friends and their boyfriends/husbands! I think single men seem to be afraid to hang out with me, lest I somehow finagle them into being my husband with my secret Single Girl powers.

MomQueenBee said...

Interesting. I read blogs by women (with the only exception being Laid Off Dad), but my books tend to be evenly split between male and female authors. I'm a happily married empty nest mother of four, and I have no idea what that says about me.

PinkieBling said...

All the blogs I read are written by women, and I'd say 95% of the people I follow on Twitter are female. Books, it's probably 50-50, but I haven't read many where a male author writes from a female's perspective.

M and I have been back together for a year, but we were apart for four years and I still didn't read any blogs written by men, or interact much more with guys than I do now on Twitter. I'm in IT, and the majority of my co-workers over the years have been male. I get along well with guys, and I enjoy their general lack of drama. However, I'm a girlie-girl too, and the relationships I have with my female friends are essential.

Ruthie said...

Oh, just remembered you had more questions. I am married. Don't really use Twitter. And I just checked my goodreads list for the last year: 18 books by women and 28 by men. I would have guessed closer to 50/50; I don't usually think about it when choosing what to read and I don't care too much about whether it's a women's eye or man's eye book.

Annika said...

I started looking over my Twitter follows so I could estimate for you but I got stuck trying to decide whether the Knitting Ryan Gossling account counts as a guy.

Jennifer Lee said...

I'm a married woman and 100% of the blogs I read and follow are written by women. Almost all of them are fall into the categories of crafty/food making/parenting which kind of sums up my life right now. I don't use Twitter. I would guess that most of the books I read are written by men, but I honestly don't really pay attention too much to the gender of the author when I pick up a book. Almost none of the books I read fall into the crafty/food making/parenting category. So maybe I read blogs to feel like I'm not alone in my world, but I read books to find some sort of escape.

Elsha said...

I'm married and I follow mostly women on Twitter. I also mostly read blogs written by women. This is probably because the majority of blogs I read are similar to mine- moms with young kids writing about life.

I really have no idea on the book authors. I've probably been reading a lot more books by female authors lately because I've been reading a lot of YA lit, most of which seems to be written by women. I don't have a preference one way or the other on authors though.

CrimsonKirk said...

Well, if I had to go out to eat and have some dinner companions sans husband, I would definitely choose women! Women know how to talk....men want to get right to the 'point' often, and then they are not interested in elaborating, or tangential thinking, and ugh...where is the fun in that? All the blogs I read are by women, mostly moms, because that's where I'm at, too....as far as books, I can think of some fabulous male authors I love (Jeffrey Eugenides, David Sedaris, Bill Bryson...)and I love Andy Borowitz on twitter. So..that leaves me somewhere plumb in the middle, I guess!

Jeanne said...

I'm overwhelmingly a girls-girl. All the blogs I read are by women, and the vast amjority of books as well. I usually cannot stand to read a man's idea of what a woman thinks/wants, it drives me insane! I'm married (14 years) and have a 10 year old daughter. My only male friends these days are the spouses of my female friends. Even when I was single I was always awkward around guys until I had been around them a lot.

artemisia said...

I have never been good with girls. I have one girlfriend, but she is also not good with girls. We talk about baseball together. A lot.

But. The older I get the more I find I am enjoying women's company.

My twitter is 50/50 male/female. My Google Reader looks to be more 25% male/75% female.

In real life I have many male friends with whom I am close. My best friend is male. But he is gay, so I am not sure if that counts. Hee!

Josefina said...

I'm happily married and have pretty much always preferred the company of men. That may be why I don't often seek female relationships and am happy to hang out with my husband. Every once in a while, though, I get very sad that I don't have more female friends. I am very, very grateful for the female friendships that have happened to me. They are usually the result of a very persistent, dedicated other female. I'm terrible at talking enough to keep things going on my own. I guess I do more than enough "talking" (for me) commenting on blogs. Ha. I read few blogs written by men, and roughly ten percent of the people I follow on Twitter are men. As for books, I read and enjoy books written by both women and men, but right now every book I am currently reading and every book in my queue are written by men, with a man's eye view. I want to add that in "real" life, people identify me as (sometimes comically) girly.

Elizabeth said...

Nearly all of the blogs I read are written by women, but I was wondering what it said about me that most of my favorite bands and singers are male-composed. It actually bothered me when I realized it -- that I might not appreciate the female point of view as much in song, or that there aren't as many female singers/bands?

Linda said...

Ha ha! The only guy you follow is my husband? Funny.

I'm 60/40 women-to-men in real life, but they're mainly friend's husbands or coworkers. In books and blogs, I'm predominantly girl-centric, too.

Still Playing School said...

I would say for blogs I read 25% men, but of those the majority are dads. Another interested detail to work into the statistics.

With books it's more 50/50.

"Not everyone is exactly the same! I am a brilliant statistician and observer of human nature!"
(snort) I love you.

Maureen said...

99.99% of the books I read are written by women, 100% of the blogs. I don't really follow twitter. About 30 years ago, I was reading a book by a man, and that one broke the camel's back for me. Can't even remember the title, but it was one in a long list of male authors that could not write a female character that was believable. From then on, I have boycotted most male authors. My exceptions? Christopher Moore, Bill Bryson, Alan Bradley, Jasper Fforde-and that is about it. Every time I think I am being too harsh, and try a book by a male author, I am always disappointed. Oh, and I have been married for 18 years.

M.Amanda said...

I am a happily married woman. It's been so long since I was single (I met my now-husband when I was 16) that I'm not sure if that would affect whose writing I followed. I'd lean toward "no," but who knows who I'd be if I were still single?

Nearly all the blogs I read are by women, the exceptions being Wil Wheaton, who is just a cool dude, and a few finance/business-oriented blogs.

When I do get to read books these days, the ratio is pretty even, though I'd say roughly 85% of the suspense/thrillers are by men and the lighter mysteries and romances are 90% women. POV in those books is also evenly men and women. Strangely, I tend to feel the men are more realistic and likeable than the female main characters, but that has not prompted me to pick more male-character-dominated books.

On Twitter I think I follow about the same number of men and women. I'm not sure, though, since some of them aren't personal, but subject-based accounts, like the fashion blogger and the guy who tweets the crazy things his dad says.

Swistle said...

Linda- AND not until I realized he was your husband! (Well, and that he was so funny.) It reminds me of preschool pick-up, where I find it way easier to talk to the husband of the woman I'm friends with, while almost impossible to talk to the other guys.

Swistle said...

M.Amanda- Oh, yes, I follow that guy too. So, TWO guys.

Fran said...

Happily married but always had more guy friends than girl friends in my single days.
Bloggers I read are all female. I used to follow one guy but he stopped blogging :(
Authors however, I read mostly men. RObert B Parker, James Patterson, Stephen Hunter and the like. But I do read some women authors too like Janet Evanovich, Nevada Barr, Patricia Cornwell, Rita Mae Brown. I think it has more to do with what I like to read (mostly fictional crime mystery) than what sex the author is.

phancymama said...

Married 8 years, and currently most of my books and twitter and blogs are women. Probably 90%, although it might be a little lower for books. Then again, like comments above, most of my interest and reading is about staying at home and raising kids, so that tends to be women. Plus, I think I like women's voices a little better--they just seem friendlier in the blog world. All the men I follow on twitter are friends, or businesses, or some such.

Married 8 years to a man. HIgh school I had very few male friends (well, guy friends, but they didn't hold my secrets like the girl friends did.), college I had a couple of guy friends, but mostly I was flirting with them. After college though, and before I met my husband, I did end up being one of those girls with lots of guy friends. I worked in a male dominated job, and was actual friends friends with a lot of guys. We're still close. They were around when my husband and I met (at that job) so we are all friends.
However, I have made about ZERO new male friends in the past 8 years. It seems much harder for me to make male friends now that I am married, and my social world is a moms club.

I'm not sure whether I should be depressed or not at all that.

Joanne said...

My sister almost refuses to read books by male authors, she just doesn't think they speak to her. I like John Irving, for the most part, even though I think personally he seems like kind of a Grown Boy. I just read The Art of Fielding, which I also enjoyed but overall, I prefer women writers, like Anne Tyler, etc.

I am not in the market for a romantic relationship, I've been married for almost eight years. Before that, I was the kind of person who hung around with men, but I've always read women. NOW I hang out with a lot more women because something changes, I find, when you get married and your male friends get married and you only talk to the wives. So anyway I hang with women more these days but I still read women authors. I just thought, though, two of my favorite baby raising books are by men, male pediatricians, and my ped is a man so maybe I have a Daddy Issue there, ha! I HATE and DESPISE when men write parenting books, I know that's bitchy but there it is. That Michael Lewis wrote a book about the first year of parenting and he was on the Today show promoting it and it made me want to smack him.

I read mostly women's blogs, I can't think of a man's blog I read. I do follow a number of men on Twitter but they are almost without exception either dads of kids with autism, or sports guys. I follow a LOT of autism people on Twitter.

What's weird is that I have been listening to comedians on Pandora lately and the first channel I could find was just "Comedians" and it has been all men, 100% and I have found it to be, for the most part, really funny. I make a thumbs down on that Larry the Cable Guy humor, it's just not my thing. Originally though, I wanted to find a women's comedy channel and I finally had time yesterday to create it and I sort of didn't enjoy the first FIVE comedians. I like a lot of female comedians, but just not the ones that come up under women's comedy on Pandora. I started to fear I was selling out the sisterhood or something but I think I just got an unfunny batch.

Today Wendy said...

Interesting! When I was younger, I mostly hung out with guys - and not just in a flirty way. I honestly didn't 'get' most of the girls who were around and the guys were just easier to be friends with. On top of that, at university I was in an extremely male-dominated field, and despite being good friends with all the girls in my classes, I had far more male friends.

Now that I'm older, I've found more women to be friends with (and possibly I cling to the ones I find because they have been few and far between), but I still have a large number of guy friends. Blogs though - I mostly read blogs in 3 categories: mommy-blogs, knitting-blogs, and author blogs. The first two tend to be written by women. I do follow two male knitters, but no daddy-blogs (haven't really found any that appealed). Authors - even split between male & female authors whose blogs I follow. As far as books go, I don't care at all about the gender of the author, or of the main characters.

Kate said...

Regarding literature, I read far more male authors than I do female authors. Probably 80-90% of the fiction and poetry I read was written by men.

The blogs I read, on the other hand, are almost all written by women, and almost all are personal blogs (as opposed to topical niche blogs like politics or food, etc.).

On Twitter I follow 177 people, 50 of whom are male.

Socially, my closest friends are female, but I have an equal number of very good male friends and I hang out with men and women equally.

I find it funny, the difference between literature and blog reading. I think a large part of that is that in college one mostly reads the "canonical" stuff and therefore winds up being exposed to more male authors, usually reading more female authors in the "women's lit" type classes. Not that I think it should be this way, but still. That's a whole other ball of wax for me (I'm an English professor). In the courses I teach, It's maybe 60% male authors, maybe more. I make an effort to include women writers, but I have to consciously decide to do so, and even then the anthologies just don't have as many pieces by women -- especially in the course I'm teaching now, which covers ancient times up to about 1600.

Oh, and I am single, just having ended a year-long, serious-ish relationship.

Monique said...

I'm a not very happily married woman, but not looking either. One of the blogs I read is male, rest are female, almost the same with Twitter - I think I follow 2 male. Books are probably 50/50, and if it goes one way or the other, it's probably to the male side. I'm a huge SK fan, and also Koontz, to a point. I really like murder mysteries and those tend to be written by males. Of my three best friends, one is male, and the one I hang out with the most, since he lives the closest to me - the other two are 1.5 and 2 hours away, but I chat with both of them nearly daily.

Lawyerish said...

I'm married to a man. I read almost exclusively blogs by women, though I follow a number of men on Twitter. I read books by both men and women, with maybe slightly more than half being by women. Interestingly, my husband almost NEVER reads female authors, except the occasional Joan Didion.

Swistle said...

Lawyerish- Oh, interesting point! I've been sitting here feeling like I should be CONNECTING more with the GUYS---but I just asked Paul, and he barely ever reads anything by a female author. He reads some Dorothy Sayers, some Agatha Christie, some Connie Willis. But he doesn't routinely read female authors, and nowhere near as often as I read male authors.

Joanne said...

Your post on Twitter sent me back because I meant to say that my husband is a big reader and rarely reads female authors and never, if rarely, reads female written fiction. Like he likes Ann Lamott and ... the woman who writes about Lincoln, whose name is escaping me, but he would never read Anne Tyler or something. He read that Stephen King book that you read and liked it, and I like Stephen King okay, although I agree with you about the ending, but he also reads Game of Thrones and LOTR and things like that, in which I have little to no interest.

Shannon said...

Oh I completely know what you mean about being "a Guy's girl" that was me when I was single. Ironically,this was in college while I was discovering female writers. It was that whole "You mean Emily Dickinson isn't the only woman who ever wrote anything?" Before that, in high school, I read mostly Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King. But once I found Margaret Atwood the tide definitely turned. Now I mostly torture myself with books about parenting.

Kelsey said...

I mostly read females as well - in blogs and books. This is something I think about whenever I read Tom Perotta (sp?), because I'm often drawn to the concepts of his stories, but I don't always enjoy the specifics of reading them. Does that makes sense?

Lisa @ Trapped In North Jersey said...

I follow over 300+ blogs, and 2 are design blogs written by men; the rest are either mommy blogs or design blogs written by women. Happily married, I am on twitter but almost never read it, and I read a ton of romance novels, written mostly by women. The rest of the books I read are a 50/50 split between male and female authors.

Shalini said...

I think the only blog I followed that was written by a man (well, co-written) was on Indians in America. Otherwise: all women. I am even trying to think of when the last blog written by a man was in my reader and...nope, probably never.
As for books, I used to read exclusively women, but I'm getting much closer to 50 percent now, oddly enough. I think this is because I'm getting kind of sick of YA and seeking out other writing, and a lot of the non-literary genre, non-chick lit is just...written by men. I think I'd like it better if it were written by women. (Also, most of that is nonfiction.)
As for the spectrum: married, but I have always been this way. ALWAYS. This is also partly because I have been on like, two dates in my life. So. Woman power!

squandra said...

This is interesting!

I'm female, and pretty much all of my friends are guys. I'm 29 now, and that has always been the case. But, there are -- and have always been -- a couple/few female exceptions, too.

I'm not in the market for romance, but when I was -- same deal.

I read several "personal" blogs (the kind you're talking about) and every single one of the writers is female. That's always been true, too. But that might be statistics. Aren't most personal bloggers female? I have no idea, but that's my sense.

I use Twitter to read the news, and said bloggers, so not much useful information there, in my case.

Books I read are a bit more evenly split, but I think still mostly male authors. I read mostly non-fiction, though.

Swistle said...

Kelsey- YES! Tom Perotta is one of the very ones who makes me think about things like this. I read Little Children and wished it had been written by a woman.

Magic27 said...

Although I'm currently (and most likely terminally) single, my blog/Twitter/book habits haven't changed much since I was in my early twenties (even during the 14 years I was in a relationship).
Most of the books I read are by men - by most, I probably mean about 95%. Female authors just don't "do it" for me. I did enjoy Bridget Jones' Diary (Helen Fielding) and 19 Minutes (Jodi Piccoult), but haven't liked any of her others. I've tried (and disliked) Marian Keyes and Cecelia Aherne (hated "PS I love you"). I used to read Agatha Christie and Daphne du Maurier.
I think, like a previous commenter, it may be a question of subject: I, like her, enjoy crime thrillers, and the ones I like best are written by men (Harlan Coben, Jonathan Kellerman, Michael Connelly). I used to like Patricia Cornwell till she started writing in the present tense (can't stand that). Kathy Reichs writes well, though, so I also read her books.
For blogs, I read several by men (my favourites being Avitable, 15-minute lunch and Hey Joe) though more by women. On Twitter, I'd say I follow about 40% men.
I think all this is fascinating! I've always got on well with men, but never in a flirty way - quite the opposite, actually. I don't think I was ever seen as "potentially datable" when I was young and single; I was a confidante, the girl they turned to when they were having girlfriend problems. Which is probably also why I had loads of male friends and never dated anyone in university.
Now, most of my closest friends are women (but I never see them, they're in Britain and I'm in France). Here in France, my friends are also women, but it's a parent thing - it's easier to meet mothers than fathers.
I miss my male friends, even though we're still "friends" on Facebook. I enjoy male company, and would appreciate it all the more now that I'm single (and not by choice).
I can't imagine being in a relationship again because I don't know how to flirt/be attractive etc.
*sigh*
Why is life so complicated?

Rebecca said...

Haven't read the other responses, will go back and do that *after* I answer, in the interest of absolute honesty and gut response.

In general, I prefer men as friends to women. I've not had many good experiences with women. I find males to be more laid back and chill about things, which is how I prefer to live/be. Less drama!! I've been that way since high school, really. I just prefer the company of guys. Not that I'm a tom boy or whatever, I just like hanging out with guys.

It's not a romantic thing either. I'm a single mom, not in the market for a "daddy" for my boys (and oh yeah, I've got 2 boys! YAY!), not even remotely interested in starting anything with anyone! BTDT and at this point in my life it's not worth the hassles. So yeah, so NOT based on romantic possibilities. It's just who I am.

FTR, I'm a long time geek girl, prefer reading books by men (sci-fi, fantasy, dystopian end-of-the-world, zombie, etc mostly), and don't even like many female singers.

I'm not out to steal anyone's man, I'm not out to try to be the cool chick who hangs with the guys,and I'm definitely straight... I've just always related better to men than to women. I really do believe that some of us (even girly girls and manly men) naturally relate better to the opposite sex. Keeps things interesting. ;-)

Now off to see what everyone else said!

Ginny said...

Before I went to count up, I'd have said my blog reading is a pretty even split: most of the blogs I read are Thinky and Issues blogs, and one of the two particular Issues I read about tends to have more male than female voices (while the other one is the reverse), so I just assumed there'd be a balance. But nope, turns out it's about one-third male to two-thirds female. Who knew? All of the "daily life / personal stuff" blogs I read are by women, except Wil Wheaton's if that counts.

I think my fiction reading is a similar split, about two-thirds female authors to one-third male.

I'm about to be married, and all my closest friends (apart from my fiancé) are women or trans men. But in groups of people I don't know well, I'm most comfortable with men. I feel like I'm not very good at living up to the expectations a group of women might have of me, as a fellow woman, whereas among men I'm not supposed to conform to whatever standard they are, so I can just relax.

Cayt said...

I'm a queer lady (identify as gay but in love with a man, oops) in a long-term relationship. I don't think that not being single affects whose company I seek or who I read. All of the blogs I read are women with the sole exception of Neil Gaiman's journal. 36/46 twitter accounts that I follow are women, and most of the rest are organisations like BBC news. I read some webomics by men (xkcd, a softer world, khaos), but also some by women (girls with slingshots, hark! a vagrant, head trip). Nine of the eleven books I've read for pleasure this year have been by women, although only 19 of the 43 books I read for pleasure last year were by women. Most of the books I read for pleasure are fiction, rather than non-fiction. I tend to seek out good/well written female characters, regardless of the sex of the author. I also seek out well written characters of colour, regardless of the race of the author.

Kelsey said...

Another thought... I don't find this to be the case AT ALL when I am reading for younger audiences. Picture books, novels for children, and even many young adult novels. It seems to matter a lot less for those audiences.

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

I'm married to a dude. I read ONLY blogs by women. Not by choice: I've had a few male bloggers comment on my posts, and I've gone to their blogs to read what they had to say... and just... didn't click. I only follow women on Twitter, except for one or two celebrity types. But as for books... I think I read about 50/50 men and women authors. Nabokov is one of my favorite authors of all time. I adore Jonathan Safran Foer. I'll read anything by Jasper Fforde. Tom Rob Smith is amazing.

Interestingly (to me, at least) is that, when it comes to mystery series - which I love - I FAR prefer female authors to male. Patricia Cornwell, Kate Atkinson, Tana French, Sophie Hannah, Sue Grafton. The only real exceptions I can think of are Michael Chrichton (and he's more of a scientific thriller man anyway) and John Grisham.

Snoopyfan said...

I am curious if your musical taste leans towards women as well?

I am married 12 years. I read mostly non-fiction written by women and all the blogs I read regularly are written by women. I would say on twitter I am probably 60% women/40% men. Musically, I like both but lean more towards men.

I would say my husband is the polar opposite of everything I just typed, down to the music. He almost exclusively like female recording artists.

Alice said...

oh, INTERESTING!

my twitter stream is has lots of dudes in it, but the blogs i follow are nearly ALL women. actually, i should revise that: i follow several man-bloggers, BUT virtually all of them are guys i've met in person (via local DC blog scene). blogs i gravitate toward with no outside influence = nearly exclusively written by women.

however, i read a pretty even mix of men/women authors. i like a lot of fantasy/action, and there are a lot of dudes writing those :) however, when i want to hear about someone's day-to-day life, apparently i am more interested in a woman's view.

missris said...

I pretty much only read blogs by women, with the exception being environmental and personal finance blogs--those happen to be written by men. I read fiction that's mostly by women, and nonfiction that's generally about 50-50. I have had a few friendships with men, but to me I found it harder if the men were heterosexual because more than once it turned out that they were friends but wanted to be more, which every time surprised the hell out of me, who thought we were just super awesome friends isn't that great? So I got it in my head that men and women can't be friends (very When Harry Met Sally-esque) and now generally seek out friendships with women more than with men.

Pickles and Dimes said...

This is EXTREMELY interesting!

Like Artemisia, I've always gotten along better with guys. It didn't matter if I was single or married, I enjoyed the company of guys more than women. Still do. Women can be so catty and petty and shallow - it drives me nuts. Plus, I am an avid sports nut, so who else can I talk to about baseball and football? The older I get, the more this holds true since J. and I aren't having kids. All the women my age talk about their kids - I can't relate.

As far as reading, most of the blogs and twitter streams I follow are from women, but I assume that's because there are way more women writing blogs and because I tend to follow crafty people. I do follow some sports blogs and tweets, which are usually written by men.

Regarding my books, I'd say 75% men to 25% women. (In fact, I just checked my book list for 2012 and so far I've read 29 books by men, and 8 by women.) Again, this is due to subject choice on my part. I cannot stand romance novels, vampire novels or any other kind of chick lit where the main character is sorting out her feelings. Stephen King is my favorite author, and I've been reading a lot of books lately about zombies, infectious diseases, survivalist scenarios, etc., and those are predominantly written by men.

marilyn c. cole said...

I'm a recently married lady, and probably read more female-authored blogs (due to the design-oriented and food blogs, primarily?), though definitely follow a few prolific males, like Kottke and The Sartorialist. And one fellow in my design folder and food folder, Lottie + Doof. But he's gay, does that affect the stats??

I currently have more male than female friends, but I think that's partly because I'm living in a town where my husband has lived for much longer than me, so I've glommed onto a lot of his friends.

I think I'd be around half and half on books. Just off the cusp of thousands of male-written pages from the Game of Thrones series. My husband listens to plenty of female-led music, but I can't even remember the last time he read a female-authored book! He even gave up on The Marriage Plot (male-author), and I bet it was partly because of the primarily female viewpoint!

Swistle said...

Kelsey- Same here: with children's books I don't even notice it or think of it.

Swistle said...

Snoopyfan- Oh, interesting. I THINK I tend to prefer male singers, although I get sick of all the singing about sexsexsexsexsex they seem to do, so it's not across the board. I like Blink-182, Pink.... Looking over my MP3s, it looks like I like more men than women, but it's a much closer split than with books.

Maureen said...

I've loved reading everyone's comments, so interesting! I can't believe I forgot George R. R. Martin in my list of male authors I do read, love The Song of Ice and Fire series. In friendships, growing up I had several very good friends that were boys, and my workplace after college was all men, I was the only woman. I always felt very comfortable with men, and I liked the way they were always kidding around. Now being older, married, a mom-I don't meet that many men to be friends with. Then again, I don't meet very many women either-I think it is just harder all around to meet new friends the older you get.

-R- said...

I read a lot of books by men. I would guess it's probably 60/40 female authors to male authors. But I can't think of a single blog by a man I read, though there used to be one. He just doesn't write anymore. On Twitter, I think I only follow three men: the aforementioned old blogger, my best friend from law school, and my husband. Oh wait, I follow a few male comedians/writers. So maybe ten men total out of about 200 people I follow.

I'm married. Happily!

Almost all my friends are women, except for the one law school friend I already mentioned.

Sarah said...

I've thought so much about this over the years and then even more now that I have a baby girl. I am married, but I've always been more of a guy's girl, but I'm curious how other women would describe me. I've always struggled with relationships with women and I find it hard to relate to a lot of women. I don't know if it's because I only had brothers, but I am the most comfortable in the company of men. And as I get older it feels even more pronounced. And I vascillate between being okay with that and being sadden by it.

I think the majority of books I read are by men because I tend towards the genres of historical reads, current events, politics, etc. I'm not on Twitter. The majority of blogs I read are by women and I assume that's because more women blog? Who knows what that says about me - probably that I do want women in my world that I can relate to so I seek out distant ones on the internet rather in real life.

Jenny said...

I've been married (to a man) for 18 years now. When I was a kid, a young kid too young to be romantic, all my best friends were guys, but ever since high school, my best friends have been women. But I'm very comfortable with men; I enjoy their company and I like talking to them. If they're nice, that is. :)

I read a TON and I'd say my books are about a 50/50 split men/women. I don't seek that out, it just falls out that way. Last year was a weird exception and turned out more like 75% men, but that was because I spent my summer reading Greek and Roman classics like the Iliad and the Aeneid. I've heard people say before that men can't write convincing women, but I've never heard someone say that women can't write convincing men. I don't think it's true either way, unless the person's not a very good author.

95% of the blogs I read are by women, except webcomics (though some of those are also by women) and a couple of men I know personally. I'm not on Twitter. And I listen to a lot of folk music, and again, I'd say it's about 50/50 men/women (plus there are a lot of co-ed groups.)

Nicole said...

Books, I swing both ways, baby. But blogs? I don't know if I've EVER read a blog by a man. Unless it's a fashion blog by a gay man.

Maggie said...

I'm a woman and an only child and so my dad (as with many dads) raised me in some ways like he would have raised a boy. However, my dad is not sporty AT ALL, rather he was a huge geek before that was cool (he's 77) so he raised me to love sci fi books/movies/TV and Tolkien and generally what I'll call man-centric literature etc mainly because that was the stuff he read as a kid and as an adult. Consequently, even now about 90% of the books I read are written by men (and I find sports boring as hell for the most part ;-). However, all but one of the blogs I read consistently are written by women and the vast majority of my close friends are women even though I've worked in two man-centric fields.

bunnyslippers said...

Friends: Girlfriends all the way. (happily married to a guy.)

Blogs: I read almost exclusivley women's blogs (exceptions: sweet juniper which is written by a SAHD and freakonomics, written by economists).

Books: I read almost exclusively books by men, mostly scifi and fantasy. I see many of the general gender inaccuracies in otherwise exceptionally researched and thought out books as being intentional, sometimes satirical and occasionally as pandering to the author's original readers (who I imagine to be hard core nerds who only get to encounter large breasted, lusty redheads in books--not that I have any preconceived notions myself...). My proof is that all of my favourite male authors do write strong female characters into the books that have a more general audience, but the books that have a male audience often have stereotypes.

Music: I listen to mostly women.

Buttercup said...

My sister-in-law and I were just talking about this! She strenuously objects to women saying they have more good friends who are men than women. I see her point, but also that of women who do relate more to men--it's easier to be friends with men in many ways, because they don't require the same intimacy and dependability that women often do in their relationships. It's much easier to be good friends with a dozen men than a dozen women (in my opinion), because the dozen men will all feel that you're just as close as you've always been if you don't call for a few weeks. The dozen women, maybe not so much. I am in an on-again, off-again relationship (just for the record). I have many male friends and many female friends, but I seek out the females when I need someone who will recall the intimate details of how a situation made me feel. I love the men dearly, and I talk to them about all manner of things with few reservations. However, when I want a heart-to-heart, I always turn to women.

d e v a n said...

The only men I follow on Twitter are local weather people, storm chasers or comedians. Everyone else is a woman.
I read one blog written by a man, except for "professional" blogs like Simple Marriage and other storm chaser blogs.
I'm not looking for a relationship, I'm married.
As for books, I probably read about half female authors and half male.

Surely said...

With blogs, I skew toward women. On the tweety, it's predominately men.

I guess it didn't occur to me until you asked: do men blog?

Nellyru said...

I've been married for 13 years. Have two kids, a boy and a girl. I've pretty much always gravitated towards people who weren't assholes, male or female. In my experience that's about a 50/50 split...it might depend on the situation as to which gender might be more heavily weighted towards "nice" in a given group. But I'd say, as a whole, it's about even.
I only read about 5 blogs and I've been reading them so long now that I don't even remember how I came across them...most likely I was googling something. They're all girls, though: amalah, sundry, jonniker, temerity-jane and you.
I don't read as much as I used to. I find myself much less tolerant of things scary or tragic and I have an attention span equivalent to my six year old. This is probably why I have only read stuff like the Twilight series in the past few years. If I wanted to be depressed or terrified, I'd watch more nightly news. The male authors seem to write more gory or depressing stuff. Which, I guess maybe some female authors do, too but maybe I don't take it as seriously (sookie stackhouse, anyone?).

jonniker said...

In high school, my two best friends were dudes. Still are, in fact. And it wasn't flirty or weird or anything, because we'd been friends since third grade, before that stuff was even an issue, you know? I mean, did we really care about gender that much in third grade? And now I'm friends with their wives and children, and they are friends with Adam, and it's all great. I love them so.

Since then, however, I am a ladies' woman. Even when I was dating, I VASTLY preferred the company of women to men, and still do to this day. I find that most novels written by women have a perspective I prefer to men's, but I do read the occasional male novel, usually for something not traditionally written by a female, like horror or something.

I will admit to having an uncomfortable bias against women who don't gravitate toward other women, because it's something I don't understand. I feel assy saying that because it's not fair, but it HAPPENS.

Rebecca said...

I'm a female single adult and I think my book authors are split 50/50. Mainly because I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy and it is hard to find good female authors in those genres. The regular fiction and mystery books I read are mainly written by female authors.

In high school and college (before I started dating my now ex-husband) most of my friends were guys and there was no to little flirting going on. Now that I am single again most of my friends are women, mainly because I'm trying to figure out how to talk to men again! Lol

Veronica Marcetti Dimick said...

It's funny, I started a new quarter at work (I teach college classes, mostly at night), and a female student stayed after to talk. On the way out, she said, "I really like you so far, which is weird, because I usually only get along with male professors." Ummm ... okay then.

I read mostly women in blogs and twitter, but I read a lot of male authors of books.

Veronica Marcetti Dimick said...

Also -- married (to a dude). Forgot that one.

nicole said...

Read almost exclusively female blogs. Vast majority of people I follow on Twitter are female, and of the male ones, most are athletes/sportswriters. As far as books go, I probably read a little more by women than men, but not significantly I don't think. Most books by men are man's-eye-view and same for books by women. I am a big sports fan though, and a fan of historical fiction, which I think tends to be more male-oriented.

Magic27 said...

Reading through all these comments makes me think I must be some kind of freak...
I counted and of the (many, too many) blogs I read pretty regularly, 1/3 are written by men and about 1/3 of the rest have no clear author (MamaPop, for example, which has male and female writers).
And it's the same on Twitter: about 1/3 of the people I follow are men and about 1/3 of the rest are "things" not people (news sites, companies, information sites...).
As for music, I don't like many female singers, but do like a few (Adèle, like everyone else in the world, Katy Perry (not afraid to admit it, either), Madonna, Cyndi Lauper). I just prefer to listen to men or mixed vocals (Lady Antebellum, for example).
Does this make me a freak? I certainly seem to be in the minority...
But seriously? No one likes male bloggers? Some male bloggers are hilarious (Avitable, of course, who also has a serious side), some are interesting (15-minute lunch), some are inspiring (Matt Logelin, Mike Spohr)

Cherie Beyond said...

I'm married to a man and I'm about 2/3rds women, 1/3rds men for Twitter, blogs, and books. But I noticed a long, long time ago that the music I prefer to listen is nearly 100% women. Isn't that weird? Maybe because music is more visceral and my gut reacts better to a female voice?

Don't know. But it's true.

Laura said...

I'm a straight, married female. I don't pay any attention to the gender of the author when I read a book, but I'd guess it's 50/50. Blogs I read are about 60% female, 40% male, and twitter is probably 60% male and 40% female. I have no patience for drama & cattiness, don't much care about fashion, shopping, or gossiping. I do have a couple of girlfriends and we do hang out or go out sometimes. I much prefer hanging out with men. I think men are so interesting!

Slim said...

Straight, married female. Follow tweeters of both genders, but only regularly read one blog by a man (Laid-Off Dad, and I only started reading him because of Moxie). I read Looky Daddy back in the day, but again, I started because Alice from Finslippy said to.

The last three concerts I went to were male singers.

I can't think of the last fiction I read by a man. Maybe Cutting for Stone, which I liked until the end, when it was all about people who had done the narrator wrong being forced to pay. I do read nonfiction by men occasionally, but most of the fiction I read was written by women.

jonniker said...

Oof, Laura, I hope you realize that your comment is pretty much a festival of female stereotypes, yes? I'm not saying this to be dramatic or catty, but I think many, many women, if not most, dislike much of those same things. I am hopeful those are personality, not gender, quirks/attributes.