Hating on female websites

May 12, 2008

This is not a diss of Mashable, cause they know I love them… but may I humbly submit that their list of top 10 social networking sites for women made me throw up in my mouth a little? Umm… do you not see a certain THEME in your choice of sites? Hint: if a woman is neither a mom, nor does she think lip gloss merits more than a 2-minute glance at the drugstore — or even if a woman IS a mom and loves lip gloss, but doesn’t define herself that way — there’s no place for her in your taxonomy of chick sites.

I’d say the Huffington Post offers a strong community of people interested in organizing politically around what are often trivialized as “family issues”. Personally I enjoy Jezebel’s snarky takedowns of media images of femininity, which are all the more powerful because the writers and commenters acknowledge their allure as well as their danger. Salon has a proud track record of keeping us informed about political and social news affecting women (especially valuable for non-US news) and highlighting developments in the feminist blogosphere. And if Etsy isn’t primarily a site for women, I don’t know why not… and a lot of them turn out to have some interesting stuff to say about the personal (having a happy life while not making a huge income) being the political (eliding the division between career and home by means of not buying into “normal” consumerism). Unfortunately I can’t say I’ve found the perfect community for hard-core career-minded women, especially those in “traditionally male” fields… but when it happens, I’ll be there.

More importantly, many social networking sites — Facebook, MySpace, even GaiaOnline and Piczo — are now de facto “female first”. Even if the number of registered users aren’t overwhelmingly women, the gentler sex tends to be far more expressive and engaged on these sites. This has enormous implications for the whole business of technology — because for the very first time in the entire history of Silicon Valley, our “cutting-edge customer” is not a white geeky guy buying something from a white geeky guy… but a young woman talking to other young women. Facebook and MySpace ARE women’s sites now… so how come the media keeps shoving us in the ghetto of iVillage or Yahoo’s putrid Shine?

6 Responses to “Hating on female websites”

  1. lilydustbin Says:

    You’re totally right. What a disappointing and totally two-dimensional list. Puke.

    I’ve also tried to connect with the sk-rt.com (despite it’s equally barf-inducing name, which they’re in the process of changing btw) and am hoping this may become a good, female-friendly alternative to Digg. I love Digg and use it daily, but at the moment it doesn’t have enough content categories (ie: crafts, design, feminism) to cover the spectrum.

    Great post.

  2. BettyLouie Says:

    Take a look at SmartNow.com, a new site in beta.
    It is for women over 35, so maybe it won’t work for you,


  3. [...] Hating on female websites « Fishy thoughts Mashable steps in it: “Hint: if a woman is neither a mom, nor does she think lip gloss merits more than a 2-minute glance at the drugstore […] there’s no place for her in your taxonomy of chick sites.” (tags: gender stereotypes feminism web2.0 women socialnetworking annoying) [...]

  4. venusrising Says:

    I read very quickly through and came to the same conclusion. Thought maybe it was just me. Must have been a man who wrote the article.

  5. simone Says:

    Yeh right, the FT, techcrunch, mashable etc and their events are not male dominated…….
    look out for our new business magazine, you might spot female internet heroes.
    http://www.thenextwomen.com
    pretty unique daily business news on women led, invested or founded companies in the internet industry..

  6. Zoe Alvarado Says:

    Super post. You have earned a recent fan. Please maintain the fabulous work and I look forward to more of your gripping writings.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: