For over a year now I have been writing these Chatter posts for NewMusicBox, and as the only woman blogger of the pack for much of that time (not that I don’t love you, Frank, David, Dan, Colin, Rob, and Ratzo), it started to feel a bit lonely pretty quickly. “Well, get some more women blogging then!” you say. If only it were that easy! After trying every which way to get other women on board and writing regularly for the site, with little success, it is becoming quite clear that blogging is simply not a format that interests many women. In fact, just when I thought we had found someone to join in over the summer, she decided that she was too busy to participate, and suggested a replacement—a male colleague!
My interest in having more women actively participating in the world of NewMusicBox has absolutely nothing to do with meeting quotas or filling gaps in demographics. It has to do with the fact that I want to know what women think about the topics covered here, and about what musical issues and experiences are relevant to them. Everyone should know about those things. I am also curious to know if women are even reading this stuff at all! Are you? Anyone?
Whenever I spend time with my musician friends who happen to be women, we have all kinds of things to talk about—many of them are great thinkers, articulate speakers, and eloquent writers in addition to being fabulous composers and performers. But regular online participation in the form of blogging, or even commenting on the writings of others, is generally not something they do. I completely understand this point of view—in real life I am not a particularly “share-y” person, and if writing an essay every week were not a job requirement, I’m not sure I would be doing it myself. Like many people (not only women), my preference is to talk about these things in person, in real life, ideally over wine or cocktails.
However, there must be some way to bring more women to the virtual round table to participate in these discussions, and I am at a loss regarding what that scenario might look like. So for any women out there who might be reading this, why do you, or why do you not, blog and/or comment on the writings of others? Is there another format that you would rather participate in? If so, what might that be?