Is blogging a man’s job?

gender and social media

I read a blog post yesterday that staggered me. It was about a woman who could only find success as a blogger and freelance writer after she posed as a man (under the name of James Chartrand).

The gist of the tale was that she was a talented, hard-working individual who could not make enough to feed her family until she lied about her gender. Once she became “James,” her life changed. She’s been living a double life for years and has attracted a loyal audience to her photo-free, phone-free persona. It made me sad and angry … and it stirred a lot of other people too.  It was tweeted more than 2,000 times and received more than 400 comments.

One of those commenters was Jenn Whinnem, who suggested that I blog about the underlying issues.  I thought it would be a richer experience if I could capture a woman’s perspective too, so I embarked on an experiment – a virtual chat that became today’s blog post on gender inequality on the social web …

Mark: My initial reaction was “stunned” that this kind of blatant inequality still exists, especially on the social web, which is supposed to be so democratic. I guess that myth has been exploded.

Jenn: I was saddened, but not surprised.  Since establishing a professional presence on the social web, I haven’t experienced discrimination (to my knowledge).  I have, of course, experienced sexism in the workplace – everywhere really – so I see no reason why it would be any different on the Internet. I realize James Chartrand was pushed into outing herself, but I’m really grateful for the attention her decision has brought to this topic.  When I’ve been offered a salary, I’ve had no idea if a man would have been offered more.  But “James” knows, and she shared it with us.

Mark: You said you didn’t know if you had experienced discrimination on the web and this made me think about my own behaviors. I looked at who I work with, who I am connecting with on the web, who has been guest-blogging … just any data points I could find. I guess I’m trying to judge my behavior by the numbers. Does that seem silly?

Jenn: I don’t think it’s silly at all.  Reviewing one’s own behavior is necessary for change. As for examining the ‘numbers’ aspect of it — well, that’s a pretty hot topic in social media – proving that the time spent using social media leads to dollars for your business.  I know it’s something you’ve written about, Mark.  It’s important to know which numbers you’re paying attention to and knowing what they mean.  You can look at the number of men vs. women you’re following on Twitter, but what is that going to tell you?

Mark: At the end of the day, equality has to come through self-awareness. I can try to look at numbers and still fool myself about how I treat people. I had one boss who treated women terribly … to the point that I was compelled to address it. He said, “Look at all the women who report to me. How can you say I have a problem with women?” In his case, the numbers supported “equal treatment” but his actions were incongruent. So Jenn, what do you do to see yourself more accurately?  To make sure you’re congruent?

Jenn: That anecdote is a perfect example of how someone can fool themselves into thinking they’re ‘okay’ and why there’s a real need to keep fighting for equality. For me, that fight begins with my own behavior.  I’m the first to admit that I’m often guilty of ‘incongruent’ behavior, and like you, Mark, I find that awareness is the first step in correcting that.  I also had an excellent boss (hi Alice!) early in my career who lived the mantra “nurture other women, don’t compete with them.”  And, when I think about it, this complements nicely the social media mantra “promote others, not yourself.”

Mark: Do you think that is a social media mantra or a feminine mantra?  I ask this because the comment section in my previous blog post on this topic contained speculation that some inequality stems from the fact that men are perceived to be better self-promoters than women. I think the male social media mantra might be “help others, promote yourself.”

Jenn: I’ve read the “promote others” mantra in several blog posts, but didn’t notice if the authors were men or women.  But I don’t know that this is a feminine mantra. My experience has been, at least in the work place, that women are more likely to tear each other down to eliminate the competition, rather than help each other out.  This is why Alice’s advice was so powerful to me.

I find the conversation about men or women being better at self-promotion more difficult.  If we look at gender roles in this culture broadly, I would say that self-promotion goes against socially desirable behavior for women.

Mark: That’s an interesting observation. Perhaps this cultural expectation for socially-desirable “female” behavior is just exacerbated on the narcissistic social web. Instead of being the great equalizer everybody hopes for, it could actually highlight and reinforce aspects of our culture that keep gender inequality in place?

Jenn: If I can back up a minute, where did the idea of social media as an equalizer come from?  We encourage the idea of “being human” on the social web … and any space where people are invited to be human means they’re going to do just that.  On the positive side, I think this kind of highlighting is a good thing.  When attention is drawn to inequalities, it starts to change.  Something of a theme in our conversation.

Mark: I say “equalizer” because presumably having access to free, global, immediate communication should provide genders, races, religions, rich and poor with precisely the same opportunity to communicate and connect. But I guess you’re right. If underlying inequalities persist, it’s wrong to think that will change by simply having a new way to broadcast it. It drives home for me again how silly it is when people say the social web “changes everything.” Obviously it doesn’t.

Jenn, our dialogue has brought up some vital discussion points. Let’s turn it over to the {grow} community to add to the discussion …

Jenn Whinnem is a Communication Specialist focusing on developing social media strategy for Golden Compass. You can connect with her via @JennWhinnem on Twitter.

All posts

  • KT

    To be clear, James Chartrand wasn’t pushed into anything. She outed herself with as much fanfare as possible because that’s how she rolls. This is not a story of misogyny and sexism. It’s the story about a couple of women who tried a little experiment. When one tired of the charade she walked away quietly while the other hit Copyblogger. Dig deeper and you’ll find the real underlying problem.

  • The hypothesis that men are more unabashed about self-promotion than women would make a useful research topic in social media. In the PR blogosphere, at least, the early adopters were primarily men. Yet the business in that 30-40something group that produced so many bloggers is heavily skewed to women.

    Anecdotally, I’ve see this play out in our classrooms at Kent State each semester. Women studying PR seem far more hesitant than men to “put themselves out there” in such a public forum. The men seem to savor it as a chance to strut their stuff.

    I there a sociological explanation for all this? I think so, and I’m almost certain it transcends social media. SM just makes it easier to observe.

    A female aversion to self-promotion (if it, indeed, exists) may explain why women are so much more comfortable in a symmetrical PR model — one in which listening and compromise (not persuasion and promotion) are the attributes that drive success. Simply put, the ladies are way better at the relationship thing than we are — and if you disagree, we can step outside and go a few rounds 🙂

    Great conversation. Thanks to Jenn for her insights, and you, Mark, for raising the quality of discussion in this space.

  • Mark W Schaefer

    @kt. I don’t know the history of the situation. When somebody is anonymous and remains anonymous through a post like that, you have to take a leap of faith. I decided to add to the dialogue because hundreds of people commented and I believe the true emotion expressed legitimized the overall issue.

  • Mark W Schaefer

    @bill this is a superb point. Surprised that fundamental research does not exist. Pr and marcomm traditionally have been dominated by women and those careers dominate many aspects of the social web. Just makes it all the more puzzling.

  • First, thank you Mark and Jenn for this thought-provoking post.

    It comes at an interesting time, as I have thought recently that I perhaps do not promote myself as much as I could. I have my own blog, and I’ve started to add content albeit irregularly still, but the promotion of it has been minimal at best.

    This is a highly contradictive behavior as I am a marketer – I know that a product can be the cure to AIDS but if it is not promoted, no one will know about it. How, then, do I expect my blog to promote itself? Even if I like what I put on there, if I don’t promote it to others they won’t even know to look!

    I agree with Jenn that social media is not meant to be an equalizer. Just like any opportunity to promote oneself it is just that: an opportunity, not a guarantee of success. How each person uses social media to their advantage is up to them.

    Professionally and socially, as a former student of anthropology, I am very aware of being a woman and the effect that that may have on others. As such, I am aware that there are certain disadvantages to being a woman, but there can be advantages, too. I think that the strength of a person comes from the ability they have to mitigate whatever disadvantages may stem from their gender and are under their control, and to promote the natural advantages that come along with it.

    An example? Formal research would need to be conducted, but I would bet that women get off easier for making mistakes on the social web. We all make mistakes, we all are human – but I can guarantee you that people have not come down as hard on me when I have made a mistake; and I am not going to feel sorry for it!

    I truly do care about connecting with people and love meeting potential clients, business partners, and colleagues on the social web and just attempt to show who I am for who I am.

    Sorry if I go a bit too deep on this fine Wednesday morning, but did Gandhi not say, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

    Mark and Jenn, you are doing just that. Keep up the good work and may many more follow your example.

  • Mark

    @Michelle The “equalizer” issue is an interesting bit of social media mythology that I guess I bought into … and in hindsight, I was wrong. It’s one of those words that has just been repeated over and over on the blogosphere and I guess it became part of my world view because the idea appealed to me.

    I think there are equalizing aspects of the social web — people home-bound with disabilities, for example, can become part of a large world community that has not existed before. But you and Jenn are right. The sociological aspects of gender roles are not trumped by some technology. Thanks for helping my personal growth in this area.

  • Unfortunately, men and women are not paid equally, and this story does nothing to improve the situation.

    A freelance female blogger made a living ghostwriting as a man. So what?

    I know that when I write as someone different than myself, my tone changes, my syntax changes and my outlook reflects the person for whom I am writing.

    If a female blogger experienced success masquerading as a man, I would wonder if it didn’t have more to do with her presentation as male rather than her picture or name.

  • Hmmm…the men vs women thing, again. Men and women are different, there’s no disputing that (even tho some people still try to raise their children as gender neutral – as if boys shouldn’t be boys and girls shouldn’t be girls, they should just be people), and the issue of equal pay still exists, but the whole social media problem seems overblown, to me.

    Women of stature, character, and strength have no problem asserting their authority – online and off. They may still get less money (unless they demand equal pay – and in freelance or being self-employed, they should), but they aren’t allowed to make mistakes, they aren’t allowed to fall back on their femininity, and they aren’t allowed to be “girls”… at least, that hasn’t been MY experience.

    I agree with @Linda. Thanks for the discussion. It will continue… as long as men and women are different from each other. Let’s hope that’s forever!

  • You know, I guess I never really stopped to think about this. Perhaps because I’m still new to this whole social media business.

    I studied biochemistry for most of my college career, and I felt discrimination much more during those few years than I ever had before or have since. Professors didn’t want to work with me or let me help them with research because I’m a woman. My physics professor told me it was OK that I didn’t understand a problem because it was likely I never would and boys are just better at physics.

    After biochemistry, I studied PR, and in most of my classes there were two or fewer males total! What a difference! Suddenly it no longer seemed to matter than I was a woman, and it almost seemed to benefit me to be one. It was strange, and I must admit, I’m still not sure I’m comfortable with it.

    Now I’m working in a place where it’s mostly women, but it does seem as though there are proportionally more men in those big offices. I can’t say much for social media, but so far I personally haven’t experienced any discrimination that I know of.

    Everyone has been very kind and accepting of me so long as I show my passion and enthusiasm. I wish I could add more value to this conversation, but maybe I just need more time.

  • Another great & interesting discussion. To be honest, I had never considered the issue of inequality in gender specifically in social media. In my experience, I have found the social web to be rather liberating..for someone who doesn’t have the time (or the inclination with 3 children) for face to face networking..and to be honest I can’t bear the thought of doing it in person, social media is the perfect fit for me.

    I am a great believer if you are good enough and fight hard enough anything is possible, and I definitely see the various elements of social media as aiding this.

    I am always open about who I am (mother, business women etc) and I feel it actually opens doors and brings down barriers..I have connected with a number of people and had offline discussions with because of a comment I may have made about the children, school, shopping.

    I’ll be interested to see where this debate goes…

    Really interested to see where this discussion goes

  • Mark

    @ linda and @yvonne I get it. I know men and women are different. But lower pay for the same work? No, no, no.

    I worked in and around several Fortune 100 companies that had strong values around this stuff and i just didnt see or hear too much about inequality (other than the isolated example I mentioned in the post). That’s not to say it did not happen, but there is inequality for many different reasons. There were times I felt under-appreciated, under-paid and steamrolled in my career too, especially when we went through the era of quotas and white males were on the bottom of the list for everything. But overt, documented unfairness? No. Maybe I was naieve, but it was not on my radar screen in this executive professional environment.

    Today, in my consulting practice I work with many females. One of the my most important team members is a female freelancer. I’ve actually paid her more than she was asking for because it just was not enough for the value she delivered. I pay everybody fairly because I need them to make me look good! : )

    So I guess I have been in a vacuum. I haven’t worked in an environment where women have been chronically disrepected as professionals. Or maybe I was just dreaming. Very disheartening that so many seem to regard inequality as a given, which implies that inequality is an instituion at many companies. Just pisses me off the issue exists. Sorry for the vent.

  • Mark

    @rebecca and @gail Refreshing to hear about POSITIVE experiences : )

  • @michelle – Profound Statement #1! “I think that the strength of a person comes from the ability they have to mitigate whatever disadvantages may stem from their gender and are under their control, and to promote the natural advantages that come along with it.”
    @Yvonne – Profound Statement #2 “Thanks for the discussion. It will continue… as long as men and women are different from each other. Let’s hope that’s forever!”
    @Mark – Great way to bring this topic to the forefront in a way that brought out the real issues and a sensible discussion, not the alternative that this subject usually brings out.

  • Jenn Whinnem

    @KT – I would disagree that James Chartrand’s decision to assume a male pseudonym is “the story about a couple of women who tried a little experiment.” The words “little experiment” would imply that she did this for kicks rather than in a desperate need for cash. And, her decision paid. I’m also curious as to what you think the “real problem” is.

    @Bill Sledzik Thanks for sharing your experiences at Kent State. I think the idea of “female aversion to self-promotion” is a difficult one. I’ll admit I’m not great at self-promotion, but how do I know this is because I’m a woman? Another point – many Asian-born-Asians aren’t great at self-promotion either. Is that *because* they’re Asian, or is it a result of cultural pressures? As for research – the effects of gender have been widely researched, but it’s true my information pre-dates the social web.

    @Michelle (and Mark) – I think the web equalizes certain things, but not others. As Gary Vaynerchuck said in a keynote speech, the cost of entry is zero in this space – this removes many financial barriers. Information is wildly available – this removes a knowledge barrier. But I wouldn’t say that gender has been equalized yet.

    @Linda I’d say the “so what” is that “she made a living writing as a man…which she could not do as a woman.” I’d also like to know why you say this story does *nothing* to improve the situation. Did anything change yet besides attitudes? Probably not. Yet I would think that changing attitudes is that first step. If people don’t know about the problem, it can’t be fixed.

  • Have read every comment; thanks all of you (Mark/Jenn) for wonderful provocation. My first reaction was shock at the need for a woman to blog as another identity, yet it’s happened for millenia…authors, escapees, researchers, etc. So, why is this a big deal? Unexpected, certainly.

    The bi-side to this conversation is the inequality of SM. When I first launched Twitter, I observed and tweeted for a week on “where are all the women?” I had nearly zilch female followers; I found that odd.

    As for self-promotion, as a PR practitioner for 25 years, our life is behind the scenes to promote others, primarily men. As a business owner, we promote ourselves last as where’s the time or energy to self-promote?

    As I read the tweets from high-level bloggers (yours, Mark, are in a way different league), I pale at the male ego that feels inclined to tweet from a tarmac, having dinner or signing off on a daily basis.

    This conversation is complex; the solutions are likely unattainable…but, is there a problem to solve?

  • Jenn Whinnem

    Wow, thanks everybody for all the great comments!

    @Yvonne – I have NEVER had a problem asserting myself, and have definitely found this helpful in a business environment. But promoting myself? yes. I think these are two different skills.

    @Rebecca – You definitely add value to the conversation. What a difference between your experiences as a biochemist and then a PR-ist. Like Mark, I’m happy to hear about a positive experience!

    @Gail – my personal experience matches your idea that being good and fighting hard equals success. And like you, I find that the more “human” I am with people, the more I’m able to leverage that for a career. Why does work for you and me, but not someone like James?

    @Steve – thanks for calling out those great comments.

    @Jayme – great comments – and I laughed so hard at “I pale at the male ego that feels inclined to tweet from a tarmac, having dinner or signing off on a daily basis.” And yes I do think there is a problem to solve – equal pay. But differences between men and women? I’ll agree with @Yvonne @Gail and @Linda, differences are great.

  • Jenn, Mark, I thank-you both for advancing this important discussion.

    When it comes to the topic of social inequalities, I am a student of continual learning willing to observe, study and accept its awareness as an opportunity of important personal growth.

    I’m probably in the minority by admitting that as a white middle-class male, I enjoyed reading the works of bell hooks (Gloria Watkins). It is through her writing that I first became aware of the complex and myriad injustices facing all women of every race, colour and creed. I read practically every book and essay she wrote and she made the learning process a rewarding literary experience that translated into a hopeful and optimistic outlook that change was imminent.

    15 years later, I am finding it difficult to read, write or share this comment knowing that the same barriers still exist, and have entered into the social media fray. As Mark points out, this is double-dose of reality check in terms of the emotional investment placed on the social Web being this beacon of hope for the disadvantaged.

    And while it disheartens me to hear about stories like James C.’s, there is a profound and meaningful perspective found in the theoretical views of the false universality movement that describes greater inequities for marginalized groups of women who are discriminated according to their gender, race, age and/or class.

    While I acknowledge that raising this point takes this discussion into politically charged waters, I can also understand how the kind of problems James C. faced creates a cursory awareness that is absent of the more profound problem that’s been waiting in the wing with the feminist culture critics.


  • Chiming in once more…Mark et al…is there such a thing as the “annals of blogging” that captures academically inclined, thought- provoking commentary the intelligent among us may keep, reference and use as teachable content?

    This, is indeed, that.

  • Jenn Whinnem

    @Joseph – I absolutely love bell hooks. “Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center” changed me completely.

  • Mark

    @ jenn for more or less finding each other out of the ether, this worked out pretty well. What a cool partner you have been on this little experimental journey today. Thanks!

  • Jenn Whinnem

    @Mark – I’ve enjoyed your blog for some time now. Thanks so much for asking me to participate, it was a great learning experience!

  • Mark

    @joseph You humble me every freaking day. Thank you so much for your contributions in this space!

    @jayme Did you mean “annals” of blogging or “anals” of blogging? The latter is usually used in reference to me : )

    But seriously I appreciate the kind comment and agree that every week the content developed by this community is like going to graduate school. It’s none of this “you rock” kiss-ass fluffy blog stuff, either. There is profound wisdom in the {grow} community and I like the way we can disagree and debate RESPECTFULLY.

    Plus, it’s a lot of fun.

  • I’m thinking of Google CEO Eric Schmidt quote in The Huffington Post: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”

    Years ago, I wrote a piece with subject matter about which I was uncomfortable. So I submitted the piece with a pen name – a man’s – and it was accepted for publication. The piece then received an honorable mention in a contest and was listed in an anthology – with the faux guy’s name, not mine.

    I seem to continue to learn lessons from that experience, but one of the greatest was that if I don’t feel comfortable with anyone and everyone knowing what I’m writing, it’s usually because I am not yet ready to accept something I’ve discovered about myself. I’ve learned to give myself time and space to be who I am, even the hard parts.

    Then I’m ready to post or submit my work for publication with my name and to stand by my words. I am then willing to take the consequences for my words – what I do – whatever those may be.

  • What a fascinating discussion, and this line particularly rings true to me “nurture other women, don’t compete with them.”

    That’s the first thing I was explicitly told in my first proper job when I was 18, in Trinidad and Tobago. I’ve never forgotten it and I’m 50 now.

    I think it’s very sad that this woman had to suppress her identity to get paid. That said, every woman has the right to do whatever is necessary to put bread on the table.

    It’s good that she’s “come out” because it highlights a deeply entrenched problem. Women are not respected for what they bring to the table.

    And yet, 50% of all startups are done by women, and 28% of all small businesses are owned by women but they bring in less money than male-run businesses.

    Sure there are other issues but I believe a major one is lack of marketing savvy. Women don’t know or feel reluctant to put themselves out there. I think it’s Libby who said recently a the Braveheart Women RISE conference that “when you market well, you don’t have to sell.”

    The problem is that the male adrenaline-pumping, brute force style is a serious turnoff and no woman wants to deal with that! I’ve encountered the same thing in social media.

    This is not a woman’s style at all. And I’m not sure if women understand in concrete terms, why the “smash em” and “crush the competition” marketing styles turns them off. Because women can be just as aggressive and are as competitive as men, and smarter too. They have to learn how to network, and get the professionals in who are in harmony with their vibe.

    Is blogging a man’s job? Hell no! I started in April 09 because I have something to say. And I’ve noticed from my little corner on Twitter, that it’s the men who are dropping off more frequently than women.

  • Mark

    @anne Thank you so much for sharing that story. I’m glad you stopped by!

  • Mark

    @catherine obviously you are an accomplished and experienced woman but I felt myself cringe with this characterization:

    “The problem is that the male adrenaline-pumping, brute force style is a serious turnoff and no woman wants to deal with that!”

    I would expect to get scalded if I wrote:

    “The problem is the whiney women who are afraid to take part in a real business dialogue and then complain that they are overlooked. No man wants to deal with that.”

    … that’s NOT what I’m saying, but I twinged when I read your generalization of men, just as you probably cringed at the extreme characterization above.

    You probably didn’t mean to generalize but it did have that impact on me.

    Thank you so very much for adding to the conversation.

  • OK, Mark, you made me look up “annals” which is what I wrote and it is correct…as in a historical compendium. In this discussion, I’m sure not going to remove an “n!”

  • Jenn Whinnem

    I agree with Mark – thanks @Anne for that story.

    @Catherine – I’m happy to hear that someone else practiced the “elevate, don’t tear down” idea. Not sure I’d agree with you about women lacking marketing savvy, when most of the marketing professionals I know are women. I’d have to think about how they are at marketing themselves.

    @Mark – ouch, but good comparison.

  • CK

    Just a complete side note, which I hope you’ll get a kick out of (and is not at all meant to be a distraction to an important, and serious conversation).

    In an interview 2 yrs. ago I was asked: “Does is make a difference being a woman in social media?”

    To which I (honestly) had to reply: “I can’t answer that fairly… being I’ve never been a man in social media.”

  • Mark

    @CK — Laughing, but there is an edge of truth here, too. Thanks!

  • CK

    And darn if I didn’t typo up there, I meant to write “Does IT make a difference..” not (Does “is”–urgh!).

    The thing is this, I always want to try to look at things from ALL sides (both as marketer and, most important, as human being)–and when I can’t honestly do that? I need to say so ;-).

  • Actually, hard research does exist. Pick up the book, “Why Women Mean Business.” The authors did all kinds of research on why more women aren’t in management or running corporations.

    What it comes down to is that women don’t talk or think like men, hence, they don’t get promoted by men in power.

    Part of this “talking like men” is tooting your own horn. Women aren’t comfortable doing that.

    Men will also say they can do a job (when they can’t) and then will get on the job training after accepting a job — whereas a woman will not do this.

    Men will focus on strategy while women will focus on accomplishing tasks.

    Also, women tend to “stall out” during their 30s, due to having children, and then will rev up again in their 40s and 50s after the children are grown.

    Men zoom forward in their 30s, and stall out in their 40s and 50s due to career exhaustion.

    Many companies’ fast track jobs are geared to people working excessive hours and traveling — while in their 30s.

    So you see the disconnect.

    The book covers how savvy companies are beginning to understand how women think and why and are taking advantage of it.

    It’s an excellent book. Best one I read all year (next to Blue Ocean Strategies).

  • Hey Mark – fascinating discussion and case study! I’m a big fan of personality assessments having studied many over the years; I tend to focus on personality differences vs. gender differences. Though, granted, they coexist.

    Long before web 2.0, blogging and social media were so popular, the world of Internet Marketing has been particularly male dominated. Same with the field of platform selling. They remain that way to this day, though many women have been able to make good use of these newer forums and tools to make a bigger mark and create greater successes.

    On the personality type side, a couple years ago, I used to think that social media was particularly ideal for extroverts as they are naturally expressive. However, many introverts were quick to point out that – given they like to take their time to think about what they’re expressing – social media is in fact an ideal platform for them too. 😉

    Social media does have more emphasis on typical feminine qualities such as relating, nurturing and compassion. But, imho, there are just as many men out there who express these qualities beautifully.

    Hm, as for blogging though, I just realized most all the blogs I read regularly are written by men.

    Fascinating. :>)


  • Mark

    @Dianna + @Mari You have both helped me connect a few dots here with your comments about ages and user adoption.

    Most of the social web is not just dominated by men, but men between 30-45. People much younger have not adopted SM for business. People older (like me) have not been early adopters.

    These are generalizations — always dangerous — but think the data support it too.

    30-45 also is prime child-rearing years and in our society that still mostly falls to women. I know this has been specifically mentioned by several women friends of mine. They simply are too exhausted to blog and devote the time needed to be successful in the space.

    Might be something there.

  • Jenn Whinnem

    @Mari – you’re a woman after my own heart. I too tend to see personality differences rather than gender differences on the social web. The social web seems perfect for feeling types more so than thinking types – and as an introverted thinking type, I struggle with the touchy-feely interactions.

    @Dianna I’ve never really been comfortable saying ‘women do this’ and ‘men do that’ but I do agree with you that a higher societal value is placed on ‘male’ qualities. Thanks too for the book recommendation – I can’t wait to check it out.

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