Gender and the Blogger

Writing spider, Argiope aurantia
Writing spider, Argiope aurantia (Photo credit: Vicki’s Nature)

The Slo-Man was recently struck by a comment. It jumped right off the screen and hit him smack between the eyes. He then went digging into some facts and embarked on a mini-voyage of self-discovery.

How did this come about? The Slo-Man, who is still catching up with his reading, after the exertions of February, his not-so-smooth return to his coding roots and the need to update his other official blog/website, finally managed to visit some of the blogs he had earmarked.

In the course of his reading he had a brief conversation with an award winning bloggist and writer who blogs at

And one of her comments made the Slo-Man blink and think.

“I thought you were a woman”, she said.

Is it true? Does the blogger operating as the Slo-Man, The LastWord, The Peeved Punjabi and LeggieLefty come across as feminine? It does seem that a majority of bloggers the Slo-Man reads are female. And the most active readers of this blog are female. The top 3 commenters of all time are all female and include a freelance writer, a college professor of English and a research librarian. It would appear that this blog appeals to the more English-aware and does not appeal to the masses.

If we were to further break down reader / correspondent data, it would appear that family and immediate friends stay away from this blog. So the bulk of the readers do not personally know the Slo-Man. They have nothing to go by except the writing on this blog.

Is it possible for writers to display a gender in the their writing?

(The photo showed up – thanks Zemanta! – and it was really interesting so it appears here. Someday, the Slo-Man will explore his writing personalities and you should expect some reference to the Writing Spider..)

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This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. ladyofthecakes

    How curious… I do think that writing style does, quite often, do betray the writer’s gender even if it is not revealed in the content itself.
    I think you write like a guy 😉
    But then again, I knew your gender from the outset, so maybe I ‘m biased…
    On further consideration, of course, you never REALLY know with blogs. People have been known to pose and purposely mislead their unsuspecting audience… for all I know you’re a cat lady axe murderer…

    1. Slo-Man

      Cats? yes. Cat ladies ? No

      1. ladyofthecakes

        I better get myself some cats. Then I’ll be safe…

        1. Slo-Man

          Before anyone gets the wrong idea – I have never murdered a cat. Or a cat lady… And I do not intend to I the future too. 🙂

          1. ladyofthecakes

            Never say never… you can push a programmer only so far 😉

            1. Slo-Man

              Been pushed quite far… But fought the temptation

              1. ladyofthecakes

                That’s why I didn’t buy any biscuits today. If I don’t have them in the house, I won’t be tempted to eat them.
                I should try the same approach with axes.

                  1. ladyofthecakes

                    Let’s make a pact: I won’t buy any axes, you won’t get any cats, and the world will be a safer place 🙂

                    1. Slo-Man

                      Shouldn’t it be the other way around? I agree on the pact.

  2. wiseguy from the east

    agree, though your masses comment sounds elitist. and gender shows too. personally i prefer quirky. and yes, friends & family tend to stay away, probably as they have heard it before 🙂

    1. Slo-Man

      My “masses” comment is the unfortunate truth. I don’t mean to be elitist. I do wish my blog was more widely read. However, based on the data gathered from WordPress, IndiBlogger etc, my writing style does not appeal to the masses. 🙁
      As far as family and friends go, I think you have to find one of two things.
      1. doters: who will read any old bilge you put out and will gush over it
      2. readers: who enjoy reading and have the time to do so.

  3. Ana Lynn Amelio

    I think your writing style is unique and interesting. I didn’t really think you are a woman nor that your writing style is feminine. I have experience with this as I thought for some time that my husband was a woman!

    1. Slo-Man

      uh… you might want to explain that last bit!
      Thanks for the note. The Slo-Man would like to state that he is not expressing any preference as to gender in writing. He was simply curious to find out if a reader could indeed see any traits that identified with either sex. It is a purely unscientific sociological study based on reader feedback.

      1. Ana Lynn Amelio

        We met while playing an online game. My husband likes to say he is a gender bender – he likes to play female characters. I have heard of his character and since it was a she I assumed the player was a female as well. It wasn’t until a friend of mine told me the person behind the character is actually a guy.

  4. skinnyuz2b

    You are not alone, Slo-Man. I’m so careful now about assuming a commenter is male or female. I can’t begin to tell you how often I have thought a reader was one gender or the other, only to be surprised at a later date. Maybe WordPress should have a tiny gender symbol under each photo, ha ha!
    And your right about writing sometimes being more appealing to one gender or the other. I thought my posts would only appeal to female readers, but half my followers are male.

    1. Slo-Man

      Almost all the Slo-Mans’s regular readers are female…. He’s not sure what that means.

  5. veturisarma

    Or, may be she was just pulling your leg. Give it a thought. After all these days, you might want to look back on it. Like the salted coffee story…:)

    1. TheLastWord

      Actually, I don’t think she was. Or maybe… who knows! It did give birth to an article, I guess that’s all that matters.
      I don’t know the salted coffee story.