Thursday, August 31, 2006

Digging misogynism

digg.com is a great resource for keeping abreast of news stories. Users "digg" the stories that they find most interesting. Highly dugg stories bubble up to the front page, where they receive widespread attention. Users add comments about stories, and the comments themselves are dugg up or down. Often, spirited debates break out.

I admit to being a digg addict; it's a compelling way to keep abreast of the news, and of the ever-shifting reactions of the public. Discussions like this one, however, make it all too clear who makes up the digg.com user base. The story under discussion, which hit the digg.com front page today, is about girls scoring higher than boys on the writing portion of the SAT.

The first digg.com comment to appear was "Writing is a great skill for secretaries." As of this post, that comment has received 82 diggs. In other words, it's a big hit with the users.

Other comments follow a similar vein:

  • girls are better at making up their own answers than figuring out the correct answer.
  • I live in Spain and most girls here get better grades than the male counterparts. BUT, once out in the real world with big careers they don’t know how to implement their knowledge. In another words they learn to study and memorise things but they just can’t apply them. So they end up being teachers.
  • Bull-dykes of the world, rejoice!
Who are these people? According to a recent BusinessWeek article, they're 94% male, and they're predominantly below 30. Be that as it may, the rampant misogynism is more than a little troubling. One would hope that men's attitudes toward women would be...evolving, somehow. Is it just the tired old problem of men feeling threatened by successful women?

One user summed up my own feelings on this rather well:
I'm not surprised at the (barely) latent hostility towards women in the posts so far. Most of the guys here are probably afraid to talk to them. What I am surprised at is the effort to rationalize the difference away. Is it that hard to believe that women are, in general, getting smarter?

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2 comments:

Kristina said...

Disturbing. How many of these people will be raising daughters at some point? I wonder how much this kind of prejudice affects women's treatment in the job market.

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elsa said...

so cool you pointed this out, thanks. some of those digg dudes need to get out more often.