Monday, 23 August 2010

The way women bloggers describe themselves

in their online profiles and elsewhere.

I wouldn't have given this a second thought if it hadn't been for an exchange I had with a woman on a knitting  network. Her screen name is Charliesumx. We were having a private conversation about a yarn exchange and I addressed her as 'Charlie's Mum'. She responded to my yarn request and added a polite postscript -

"I’ll let you know when it’s on the way :-)
Charlie x
(Not Charlie’s mum though!)
You’re not the first… and won’t be the last! :-)
You can see an explanation on my profile page!"

This, from her profile page -
My screen name is charliesumx… please read that carefully… Charlie-Sum-X… derived from Charlotte Sometimes, my favourite book of all time.
I am not Charlie’s Mum. I have no kids, and even if I did, I would not define myself by them."

It was that final line that made me look more closely at women's profiles. Firstly, I notice that many women (here and elsewhere) begin their bios with 'wife. mother, grandmother statements, whereas I tack it on at the end. My role as a mother does form part of who I am but I don't think it defines who I am.

Do women think about the way they define themselves? Does it have any implications for the concept of 'elderwoman'? It's an interesting idea.  I tried Googling for 'the way women define themselves' or 'women's description of themselves'. The majority of sites listed were Dating sites or diet, health and beauty.

I have a feeling that the younger generations' profiles may be different and  I haven't had time to look in detail at the entries on women's blogs. Are the ones whose profiles begin by defining themselves by their children or in relation to their spouses dominated by 'domestic' and family entries?

I haven't even begun looking at men's profiles.