Now that my daughter can be treated as an almost full-grown woman (unlike lots of women in their 30s and 40s I know!), we have begun to have those long and deep conversations that I had been looking forward to for so many years. Only recently, for example, we were wondering together why, although I have quite a few female members of all ages here, she and my old friend Shilpi in the US seem to be the only two who read regularly and comment frequently (much of my daughter’s commentary I hear at home, obviously). Most others, it seems, never have anything to say, although I write on a very wide variety of subjects – of course, that doesn’t include fashion and cooking and gossip about celebs, but still. Several have communicated very eagerly but briefly, and then vanished out of sight without a word of explanation. Not that some males don’t also behave like that, but the proportion of females is vastly greater. What is it about me that turns them off? Some girls and women have told me privately that it’s unfair on my part to base judgments on the few women I know: my riposte is that, if they are honest, they will admit they are themselves always doing the same thing (because it is the natural thing to do: everybody has to make decisions in the real world primarily on the basis of personal experience), and besides, I have known far more girls and women personally and often pretty closely over long periods of time than most people either male or female. The average male or female does not get to know more than fifty women well in a whole lifetime…
In any case, I’d like to hear my readers’ opinions – including and especially women’s opinions, if you please – on this question. Why do so few females feel the urge to comment on my blogposts, even (if I may assume) that many of them actually read these? And if women don’t as a rule read my blog, why so?
Just don’t say it’s because I routinely discourage critical comments, because I don’t, as anyone who has been an attentive reader for a while ought to be aware of. I admit criticism, from males and females alike, often even if it is obvious that it is irrelevant, uninformed or somewhat foolish, just so long as the writer is not blatantly and unnecessarily offensive. There must be a more serious reason than that: maybe several. And I’d really like to know. On the very last post, for example, I had been expecting a lot of comments from women, seeing that I have heard so many complaints about the current crop of teachers from women who are mothers of schoolgoing children now. Not one has come in yet. If my readers don’t feel, like me, that this is very odd indeed, I should also like to know why.
And a reminder – for the umpteenth time – to the interested reader not to confine herself to the home page but click on the links to old posts, where she will find a lot more interesting stuff. Such as this one, and this. Just to show I can give attention, respect and praise to women where it is due: apposite, I think, in the context of the current post! Goes without saying I’d love to have more comments on those two earlier posts, too.