Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Day: Do Women Experience Politics Differently From Men?

I had an interesting conversation with a nice man I know about this subject -- do women experience politics differently from men? I think we do.

Lately, I've been writing a lot about politics and have had the great opportunity to write on the new blog, Personal Democracy Forum launched by Andrew Rasiej and Micah Sifry, with a terrific team of men and women writing on the intersection of technology and politics. Make sure to check it out today.

Strangely, there's everything about politics that women should care about -- it's about your home, your safety, your work, your money, your kids, your family, your partner, your marriage, your body, your rights, your ethics. But there's something about the practice of being political that turns many women off.

It always seems to me that guys talk about politics like it's a sporting event. That people refer to it as a "horse race" is no accident. My friend said he had to admit the way men talk about it is rather testosterone-fueled -- it's a big competition -- winner v. loser -- rank, power, position.

And so I told him this is the reason I was trying to write about it from my point of view, which is a woman's point of view, a more personal point of view. Check this out. And read this great piece by a woman blogger friend of mine, Renee Blodgett.

I think if we can understand politics from a personal point of view, we are more than engaged in a political conversation, but if it's all facts and figures and who's winning and who's losing, it's a bore, at least for me.

The conversation started because he was surprised I wrote the personal blog post about going to the doctor this morning. I was unsure about writing that post, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to make it clear how women's lives are involved in the world in worldly political ways but also in very intimate personal ways as well.