Does Sex Matter When Scoring Online?

image of man and woman arm wrestling

During one of our recent Third Tribe Q & A sessions, Chris Brogan made a comment about sex that really got my attention.

I should probably clarify that I don’t mean sex as in “Are you getting any?”

I mean sex as in male vs. female, and how that influences our behavior, our thinking, and the potential of our blogs.

Assuming we all have equal opportunity from the start, is one sex more likely to succeed in blogging than the other?

Do men have a natural advantage over women — or women over men?

In other words, does sex matter?

Chris was responding to a woman about to launch a service business but hesitant to do so because she had no formal “qualifications.” Personal experience, yes. The ability to help her clients, yes. But not the kind of “qualifications” worthy of quotation marks.

This was Chris’s response, in a nutshell:

There’s a really fascinating gender thing where women worry that they’re not qualified. And men [on the other hand] always just blatantly rush in and say ‘yeah sure I could do that’ — even if they have no real related skill. If they think they have a sense of the skill, they’ll do it.

The reason Chris’s answer about sex got my attention is that I recently wrote an ebook on reinventing yourself.

I had no reservations whatsoever about writing as an authority on the subject — even though I do not have a psychology degree or any similarly validating credentials. I have successfully reinvented myself on several occasions, so I assumed my real life results would be experience enough.

Apparently the fact that I had no reservations about publishing the book despite my lack of third-party validation makes me more like a man than a woman.

I just double-checked … I am definitely a woman

It’s not the first time I’ve heard something like “you’re more like a dude than a girl.” Most of the people who have said this to me are men, so I’m going to assume it was meant as a compliment.

The point is there is a difference in male and female characteristics. Some traits are much more likely to be found in women, and some in men.

Which brings me back to my original question:

When it comes to blogging and the potential for success, does sex matter?

I’m going to say yes.

And no.

Girls will be boys and boys will be girls

Interesting that both these articles highlighting male traits are written by women. On the other hand …

  • Brian Clark writes that being a good listener will lead to “supernatural success.” I’m going to put “listening” in the feminine column.
  • Jon Morrow teaches you need to make friends. Women are good at that.
  • And Chris Garrett promotes longterm relationships and empathy. I’m not even gonna touch that.

Study the smartest advice coming from both sexes and you’ll see that both “masculine” and “feminine” traits are vital to your success as a blogger, writer, marketer, and businessperson.

Obviously, you don’t need to change any of your plumbing. And you don’t need a personality transplant.

When I met them recently at Blogworld, I noticed that Sonia can be an assertive, analytical businesswoman and still wear pink shoes. And despite his tendency to listen more than he talks, Brian strikes me as a logical, problem-solving guy who doesn’t second-guess his own authority.

Success doesn’t belong to one sex

The bottom line is this: Sure, sex matters.

It matters in the sense that, generally speaking, some skills tend to come more naturally to men and others tend come more naturally to women.

The best of the best seem to suggest that success as a blogger doesn’t depend on your sex. (Good thing, because that’s pretty complicated to change.) It depends on your ability to cross over and develop a balanced skill set — one that includes both the typical masculine strengths and feminine sensibilities.

You just need to be willing to learn from the other team.

Which makes me feel a whole lot better about being a “girl who’s more like a dude.”

And saves me tons of money on therapy.

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  1. This is more a balanced presentation on the psychology of sexual identity. You do make a good point that things like blogging success don’t depend on your sex. Yet if you watch the TV and movie commercials, you will find sexy men and women advertising a product. I distinctly remember a few years back, where I watched a commercial about a electronics expo. Three bikini clad women were advertising the expo – what’s that got to do with a electronics expo?
    Randy

    • @Randy I guess it depends how you’re hard-wired! Thx for the comment. Amy

    • hahaha… I remember Paris Hilton and her sexy hamburger commercial. I just can’t get it, what’s the relationship between the sexy Paris Hilton, the car she’s washing, and the hamburger she’s eating.

      Well, I think the advertisers just want to grab the attention of the males who wants to eat hamburger.

      But isn’t it also eye catching if you see a beautiful picture of an opposite sex in a Gravatar like that of Laura Roeder in comments? As I observe, it drives a good traffic too. LOL. :)

      • Totally agree! Sometimes it’s just the attention grabbing part of it. Smart, if you ask me! And man. I don’t know about you, but the title of this blog really caught my attention!

  2. Ali Brown is a copywriter, blogger, internet marketer. She’s the only IM-er online that I’ve heard of whose company is in the Inc. 500 – male or female. I can’t think of any male “guru” who has made it into the Inc. 500 yet.

  3. Nice post, Amy. I think that there are skill sets that each sex posses (in general). Will one sex be more successful online vs. the other? I’m not so sure, but you’re right, we need to learn the skill sets necessary to do so.

  4. I’ve always thought of the digital world as the one place where sex really doesn’t matter. I mean, you can’t see the plumbing, right? So whether you choose to come off as ultra-feminine or masculine is up to you.

    I’d never thought of it in terms of skill sets. Thanks for the interesting read.

  5. “Anything you can do I can do better, I can do anything better than you…” I love that song. Well, it’s kind of a crappy song actually, but it emphasises the sex issue, that we can all have an equal shot at something as long as we realize that men and women are not completely wired the same.

    When you are marketing and trying to appeal to as many customers as possible, you are going to have to use terms and a voice that the majority of your customers accept.

    When you learn to adjust your writing voice to fit the demographic of your audience, you can get them to warm up to you a lot more than if you just write the way that you want to hear yourself.

    Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  6. I’ve noticed at tradeshows that buyers seem to have a much easier time talking to a femaie in the booth, than if I am in the booth. I’m the first to say hello to anyone in the booth or aisle and try not to be intimidating, but I notice a difference how buyers respond.

    I think it’s sort of the same with online readers and niche bloggers. I suspect a coupon clipping dad blogger won’t have the same success as a mommy blogger.

    • @Andy Interesting…but DadsTalking.com is one of the more popular new blogs and has huge following on twitter — so maybe coupon clipping dads would be a hit!!

      Thx for the comment!

      Amy

  7. @amber I agree that one of the nicer things about the online world is that it kind of evens the playing field – sex, race, socioeconomic etc… but that’s why I kind of thought it was in interesting question –whether one sex would come out on top (no pun intended), even subconsciously… Thanks for your comment!

    Amy

  8. My wife and I have come to refer to one of these differences as MAS – or Male Answer Syndrome. You know it well; it’s the tendency for many men (often enough, myself!) to answer a question or make a statement with absolute ‘serious as a heart attack’ confidence, even though they have absolutely no real idea what they are talking about! It’s not even something you think about doing; you just weigh in with an opinion but without prefacing it by first saying, “I’m not sure, but…..”

    It’s something we learned to do on the playgrounds of junior high and high school, amplified by sports conversations or just through the dynamics of getting your voice heard within a group of people.

    Where this pertains to blogging I suppose (note the effort to counter my MAS habit) is where you see posts written as if they were The Truth vs. posing questions and asking for input and other opinions.

    I don’t know, what do you think?

  9. I’m going to give you a metaphorical shrug of the shoulders here Amy and say that there’s really very little difference between ‘men’s writing’ and ‘women’s writing’ on the web. I have male writers working for me who have done excellent work on cosmetics and what might be considered more ‘feminine’ writing subjects and a female writer who absolutely *nailed* submersible pumps for the engineering sector! Most of the early great female writers published under male pseudonyms because they couldn’t get a publisher to release their work under their real names, and some men choose a female pen name because of the audience they are relating to. Writing allows people to reinvent themselves, so perhaps it’s the duality of our nature that bursts through on the screen rather than our actual, ‘everyday’ gender-specific personas?

    And hun, you’re not the only one who gets the whole ‘girl who’s more like a dude’ thing. At 5 foot 8 with red hair and a martial arts physique, I’ve got used to both men and women going “Whoa!” when they first meet me. Then, despite the fact that I ride a Kawasaki Z1100 and am, for some unknown reason, quite good at welding, they find out I like kittens and flowers and strangely enough they seem almost disappointed…

  10. Ah, the gender debate remains evergreen.

    I love this post. It reminds me of research findings I read when we were weighing the benefits of single-gender education for our kids.

    Psychologists note some interesting gender-specific behavior. Yes, there were the obtuse differences: Boys tend to be be more physically oriented and find it harder to sit still than girls do, etc. But researchers also saw that boys will quickly–and energetically!–raise and wave their hands when the teacher asks a question–even if the boys don’t know the answer!

    Boys seem faster and more willing to to take action and risk failure. Girls, on the other hand, were more reticent: They wanted to be sure they knew the answer and they often second guessed themselves. They imagined how embarrassed they would be if they answered incorrectly. Girls also expressed concern that they’d be perceived as show-offs.

    I like your conclusion that blogging success is not gender dependent, but “…depends on your ability to cross over and develop a balanced skill set.”

    Dudely risk-taking behavior may feel counterintuitive to some of us women, but we can train ourselves to take take risks. Or, as the shrinks advice, “Have the feeling (namely fear, uncertainly), but not act on it.”

  11. Interesting post! And you make a good point. I wonder what James Chartrand would think of it….

    • As you might imagine, I thought a lot about James as I was editing this & coding it up. :)

      Interestingly, if you run James’s early “I’m still a boy” writing through analyzers, they identify the writer as female.

    • James thinks it’s a good article about gender traits and which traits help create success. I certainly agree that a mix of several traits from either gender are the ingredients to what we desire. As you mentioned, a good listener and empathy mixed with confidence and authority go a long, long way.

      The post doesn’t address the arena of gender perception though. We can have all the traits we like… but we’ll always been seeing through the viewer’s personal bias filters and beliefs.

      If a person believes that men make great salesmen… well, he’ll hire a man for the job. If a person believes that women write better romance novels, well, the woman will get the job.

      I know that for myself, my traits do lean (in business) towards male ones, and they brought me very far in life (for which I’m grateful). My pen name brought me even further.

      But a rose by any other name is still a rose, and many, many clients would say things like:

      “I feel I can really talk to you. It’s strange, because you’re a dude and all.”

      “You really listen well. If you weren’t a guy, you’d be my best girlfriend.”

      And my personal favorite…

      “You remind me a lot of my sister. It kind of made me wonder if you were gay.”

      Not gay. Just gal. ;)

      • Heh!

      • This is exactly what I was thinking when I read this. Sure, lady traits and lad traits might come more easily to ladies or lads, and some of those traits are great for bloggers. But what it comes down to is perception, just like you say. You can have all traits of a perfect blogger, but I’d argue that men “do better” in blogging for the simple reason that they’re men and are seen as knowing more and being better at their jobs.

  12. I think that men and women often do have different skill sets. The most important thing to remember is to just do it! Engage! I also like your quote, “you’ll see that both “masculine” and “feminine” traits are vital to your success.”

    • @Lorraine It’s a shame we can’t both (men and women) have the best of all traits — but I don’t really think that would work in the real world, but it’s nice to think that in blogging, it could pave the way to success.

      @catherine I really don’t mind the different skill sets – except when I feel as though I’m missing something critical to my getting where I need to go!

      Thx for the comments!

      Amy

  13. Saw a report on a study a few years ago that attributed the differences in approach not to hard wiring but how fathers tend to raise sons differently than daughters. When daughters get stuck on something the many dads tend to jump in and fix things whereas with their sons they would tell them to figure it out. My dad would preface it with something like “Hey Meathead…” and that might explain why I will stubbornly try to figure things out even when it would be easier to ask for help. The report made sure to emphasize that this did not indicate an overwhelming difference, in fact, it was more like 60/40. My informal observation is that the lack of confidence that this might cause for women is compounded for those that are very attractive who will find lots of men, not just their fathers, more than willing to help them. I’ve done my share of really stupid things for that very reason.

    • There have been a lot of studies and I don’t think anyone has the definitive answer. To get it, after all, we’d have to raise babies outside of culture, which isn’t possible. (Without breaking the baby, anyway.)

      • Interesting though…that some babies actually seem to adopt their own ‘cultures’ regardless of their environs. Thx Sonia!

  14. Haha awesome article.

    Definitely think it matters if something else doesn’t catch their attention. If you’ve got great content + interesting site, attention is drawn to that and sex doesn’t really matter.

  15. This post doesn’t define success. For online personalities like Callie Lewis, and others, they appeal to men, or at least they keep them watching. For the purposes of who’s paying them, that’s the definition of success: eyeballs and sales.

    From an advice blog stand-point, I can see what you mean if you’re calling having both feminine and masculine characteristics helpful in holistic sense of a successful blog. Basically, do you have a large audience who respects and values what you say because you do provide value. You able to be persuasive at the right times, in the right way so as not to offend. Then you’re able to eventually have personal success through sales of an info-product, speaking engagements, continuity programs, etc.

    If you’re speaking the truth with authority the way you see it and listening and interacting with people on your blog, it doesn’t matter what’s between your legs. I’d say it still depends on the goal of the blogger and the definition of success.

  16. Thanks for the post, and as usual here, the many intelligent comments.
    What strikes me is that a civil conversation, and thoughtful wide-ranging comments, about this topic are a new phenomenon. These discussions and conclusions emphasize our social evolution.
    Why this matters: I am 52, an artist, coach and writer. I have had an online presence for years. I work with many 45-70-year-olds who do not believe a mutually respectful and balanced relationship between the genders will really ever happen.
    My remarks to them: look to the 25-40 year olds, many of whom are living this way. I don’t know the average age here, but one of the reasons I’ve been online since early on is that the culture here, esp at places the 3rd Tribe has been, has already created and stepped into a better future. Altruism, respect, compassion, feistiness, courage, perseverance, intelligence and the rest – I find more of them in this self-selected group than in most others I belong to. My favorite is our increasingly wilingness to be who we are, inidviduals, with traits that give us tools but do not define us, male or female, empathic or anayltical. Each of us as contributing interdependant individuals.
    When I bring news from here to my older tribe, this cultural shift is questioned, my perspective is suspect. But what I see here – and I know not all online communities have these characteristics – doesn’t need to give me hope for the future because we are already living in it.

    • I know what you mean, Tory. I’m 44, and very much feel myself on that cusp, with older friends (particularly women) who just can’t find that optimism, and younger friends who have no idea why I even think it’s worth talking about.

      Interesting times. :)

      • Hey Tory and Sonia
        I’m 51 and the people I engage with range from mid 20’s to well into their 60’s … both sexes and a range of sexualities.

        I’ve been seeing an amazing shift in older women’s [50+] perceptions of what they can achieve. Off the top of my head I can think of over a dozen women who have made huge shifts in how they earn money, where they live and how they live.

        And I also know people of all ages who seem to filter the world through some kind of mucky/pessimistic lens … c’est la vie.

        Loved this post and was have really enjoyed reading all the thoughtful comments.

        My take on the whole sex differences thing?

        The most interesting and engaging people I know blend the masculine and feminine traits … women who speak logically and with passion … men who speak their vulnerablilty and still get things done.

        It’s a kind of authenticity and power that is truly sexy.

        And one of my best friends extends the whole exploration of identity and play as both a drag king and a burlesque queen!!

        Interesting times indeed Sonia.

  17. I laughed when I read this post, as I’ve always thought it really has nothing to do with whether you are a man or woman–but how you were raised/value system, whether you have the experience, empathy and finely-tuned listening skills to relate to others. (one of the reasons I suppose Dear Abby and Dr, Phil are so popular) In the workplace, I’ve seen men move up more quickly due to the fact they have been taught early on to be more aggressive–survival of the fittest–if you will–just try not leave blood on the rug along the way, please–while women have been taught to be more docile (not one my traits by the way) Since we’re coming up on Halloween soon-this brings to mind an old Sex & the City episode where Miranda cays to her friend, Carrie: “Well, I only have the choice of two Halloween costumes–Witch or Sexy Kitten.” Carrie replies, “Girl, you’ve just said a mouthful!” So, Amy, this makes me wonder when I quite poss become a Network Administrator of a firm someday–will they view me as the ‘witch or sexy kitten’ when they want their files restored that they inadvertently forgot to back-up–guess it depends on whether they bring me chocolate. Have a good week, SJ

    • Don’t want to get too deep into the psychobabble here SD, but I think how others view you (witch or sexy kitten…) is more a reflection of them, than you…and also their relationships with their parents — probably mothers in particular. But that’s a bit off topic because the point is simply that some characteristics that would likely make a blogger more successful are considered ‘masculine’, confidence let’s say…while others, such as the ability to build a community…are feminine. I bet the best bloggers will be men in touch with their feminine sides…and women who are comfortable with power, or a more masculine persona. BUT I WON’T NAME NAMES!!! :0) Thx for your comment!

  18. I think it’s a matter of taking advantage of our natural strengths, whether they’re “male” or “female.” One thing I’ve noticed is that men tend to talk about their successes more than women do, which tends to get them more mindshare. It makes it seem like there are more men doing well in the online world, when I think it’s just the men talking about it more.

    • @Lain Interesting observation but even that makes me question — why is it so? Why are men more comfortable talking about their successes, if it’s true…and women more likely to be modest?

      Why should/would a woman be reluctant to talk about herself?

      If I am not for myself, who will be for me?

      Just asking…

      Thx for the thoughts…

  19. Hello Amy. #gblog ;)

    That headline rocks.

    And I’d say regardless of what sex you are, act like a dog. I read a great booked called Sales Dogs. It said dogs will approach anybody. And that’s true. They don’t worry about experience, skills, or anything for that matter. They want attention and they’ll put their nose anywhere to get it.

    So, just do it. Someone will pet you.

  20. When I started reading this, I thought the author was going to BE James Chartrand! But thrilled to see it’s you, Amy. Nice dissection of how typical male and female traits work online.

  21. Amy, really good stuff here. What’s interesting, as I look at my Alexa stats, women are much more represented in the audience than men are. I of course would like to think it’s because I am incredible attractive, but I think there is a different reason.

    Obviously, being male, I have tried to work on things like empathy, being a good listener, and doing good deeds for others. I guess those “soft” traits make it easier for me to connect with women. Perhaps your audience stats could help you understand what kind male or female traits you need to develop or focus on to further advance your blog. Cheers!

    • Joshua – great suggestion. Although I was not simply considering my own blog in raising the topic, as much as blogging in general. Analyzing my own stats should be interesting (revealing!!) Thx.

  22. Great article on perceived gender differences in blogging. As someone who’s also been told many times (you act more like a dude), it’s great to see another woman’s perspective. I work in a male-dominated industry (video game development) and adapting a masculine style of debate and writing has helped me tremendously in my career. However, adding in a bit of feminine communication styles has also helped me navigate tough situations where the masculine style doesn’t work as well. I do believe a balance is key.

  23. I have always thought that it wouldn’t matter what sex a blogger was to determine a successful site. However, if a woman was blogging about issues with impotence or enlarged prostates then I don’t see it being very successful…or maybe it would???

  24. Great post. As a freelance writer often working in primarily male-dominated fields, I definitely feel like I have to prove myself and my qualifications–even when there’s writing by “qualified” people that is inaccurate. I find that things work out better when people think I’m male (though people wanting photos and bios makes this more difficult). What flusters me the most is when my clients seem hyper-paranoid about how my work (read: gender) is perceived. Any negative comment on a blog post and I’ll get a “you’ll do better next time,” rather than the “sorry about the pre-adolescent trolls” that I’d expect… I do have days where I have to remind myself that I definitely have the necessary background knowledge, and that I research the bejeezus out of articles where I don’t. A freelance writer I went to for coaching once told me flat out: “You don’t need any more credentials, experience or pieces of paper.”

    • @Yael.. What you seem to be addressing, specifically, is confidence or a lack thereof.

      Here’s an interesting thought (and possibly a subject for a future post) which I believe it has roots in Jungian philosophy —

      You get your sense of confidence from your father, you get your relating skills from your mother.

      Give it some thought. You will notice most people who lack confidence have a very weak or broken relationship with their father.

      Just sayin…

  25. Great article and topic Amy. There is one area where I’ve clearly seen sex matter, and that’s with guest posts and interviews. In other words, I’ve noticed some female bloggers, usually rather pretty ones, have tremendous success in doing interviews/guest posts with elite male bloggers. This phenomenon is no different than the fact that female sports reporters tend to get more and better interviews with male athletes than their male counterparts. It just is what it is.

    Please don’t take me as a sexist, because I’m not whatsoever, but when it comes to female advantages there clearly are some, as I’m sure the same could be said for men.

    • Marcus, super interesting comment.. I cover combat sports and I definitely don’t feel I get more or better interviews with male athletes than my male counterparts do. When I *do* get high-profile interviews, it’s usually because of a ton of legwork I did behind the scenes–making connections at events with not just fighters but also promoters, managers, coaches, etc., visiting gyms whenever I’m traveling, asking questions, getting numbers and e-mails, following up ad nauseum, sending copies of things to all ten people I may have talked to (even if I didn’t use their quotes), verifying information for accuracy, making sure something is “on the record” before I write about it even if everybody else has, etc.

      I also feel that OTHER people often say “oh, she got that interview because she’s a girl,”which always makes me laugh. (Uh, I kind of worked my tail off.) I suppose one could say that making connections is easier for women, but I definitely feel like I have to work extra hard to overcome the notion that I don’t understand the sport as well as I know that I do… if someone reads my clips, I’m fine, but if I’m cold calling, I *definitely* don’t have as good of a chance of getting taken seriously.

      I like how this piece captures male and female traits to work on–as a very assertive woman who has to learn to listen better and perhaps interrupt less, I know that many people definitely don’t fit the stereotypes.

    • I agree with you Marc. Female bloggers are neat too in terms of how their blogs would appear. I realized the difference when my wife started her own blog too after my encouragement. My blog is about writing while she had a food blog. I was amazed how she’s getting more visits than I could have. Well perhaps one might say that food blogs are really inviting but then, preparing your food subject and the nitty-gritty of coming up with an attractive presentation are the things that women are really good at.

  26. Nice touchy topic! Great post!

  27. I have never even thought about gender specific success in blogging great post!!

  28. Your headline got me! I think women are supposed to be less likely to respond to a sex headline but you got this one hook, line and sinker. This is a great post. I have often wondered about the masculine and feminine of online marketing thinking women had a leg up for the reasons you cited; listening and building a releationship before trying to sell something. And I have often felt scared to offer an opinion online because I wasn’t an authority on a specific topic. You summed it up quite nicely. I like your observations and now feel confident swinging both ways!

  29. Good topic but I’m distracted by the headline; the argument is about GENDER, not hubba-hubba. A provocative headline needs to be honest and not just ‘hey look at me’ to be effective. Otherwise, I roll my eyes and click away.

    • @Kim: Sex does not necessarily mean hubba hubba. When I am asked on a form about my sex, I don’t think in terms of hubba hubba…I think check the ‘F’ box – for Female! And, I might agree with you if the picture was that of a scantily clad woman, or a woman wearing a man’s shirt falling open… but I think the picture acurately reflects the topic — unless of course you think of arm wrestling as particularly sexy. :0)

      I appreciate your comment either way and am sorry if you felt misled.

  30. I liked your post Amy – you know, I wasn’t going to comment – my first thought was; ‘who’d want to read my twopenny’s worth’ – but then I thought; ‘ is that a female trait, or just my trait’?- probably just mine -but I bet there;s more females that think that way than men!…Louise

    • Louise! I love ur comment because it means that my post made you consider something you hadn’t previously considered…and, instead of discounting yourself — you took action. Awesome! And see that?? I WANTED TO READ YOUR TWO CENTS! Now, do it again and again! Your voice is as important as the next ‘guy’! (Pun intended!)

  31. Sex always matters. However, gender may not. I think success overall is gender neutral, it’s just that there are different styles of becoming successful and some of those styles may be influenced by gender.

  32. You nailed it by saying that a man would regard his personal experiences as credible qualification for selling an idea, product, or service; while a woman would feel more confident by earning professional/academic/training credentials first.

    Maybe this is why there are more self-employed men than women. (But the fact that more women are getting their college degrees, increases their influence in traditional professions.)

    *Is the fact that ‘online marketing’ is still largely an unknown, high-risk frontier, the reason why more men are in this field wanting to dominate it? Since making a living out of internet marketing is still ‘not a sure thing’ is this why there are less women?

    But thanks vicki for mentioning Ali Brown as the internet marketer who made it to the fortune 500 list because the ‘perception’ is men are dominating the internet marketing field (Seth Godin, Chris Brogan, and etc.)

  33. Men and Women always think and feel differently and behave differently yet we are same when it comes to a few basic things. I think there are also some guys will feel if they are qualified or not but they do it anyways. :-)

  34. Hey Amy! Great to read (and connect with) you again.

    I can’t say I’ve ever been told that I’m more like a dude, but I am definitely an analytical type, have a harder time making friends and frankly, feel like I relate to men better than women.

    On the other hand I am a fantastic listener with a lot of empathy.

    On another note I’m not sure about this “learning from the other team” stuff given that I just read on Twitter that guys don’t wash their hands after using the restroom. Yuck!

  35. Definitely a provocative read. I must admit though, I must be a typical male. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve jumped in on something I’m not “qualified” for (and done well, if I might say so).

  36. Very nice presentation of the differences! One thing that I feel needs mentioning though too is the woman’s work and social background, which I think makes a difference. I grew up in a family where the kids in my immediate and extended family were boys and even going through high school and college, I was “one of the guys”. You’d find me watching a football game over going shopping at the mall. All through my work experience though, I have worked in fields where my boss was always a male and that’s where I learned my experiences. Therefore, personally I believe I have that take charge attitude and just go do things without hesitation. Throwing some psychology into it, it could have a lot to do with nature vs nurture.

  37. Very nice presentation of the differences! One thing that I feel needs mentioning though too is the woman’s work and social background, which I think makes a difference. I grew up in a family where the kids in my immediate and extended family were boys and even going through high school and college, I was “one of the guys”. You’d find me watching a football game over going shopping at the mall.

  38. Yes, success does not belong to one sex. And by extension, success does not belong to one race, creed, or color.

  39. If you have successfully reinvented yourself several times, how successful could those reinventions have really been? :P

    • Mark, see last week’s Madonna post. Successful reinvention is a constant process, not a one-time event.

      • Still think gender has nothing to do with it–being an excellent blogger has more to do with achieved/perceived ‘credibility’ re: subject matter. Chris Brogan will always be/has long been thought of as a blogger with a ‘feminine side’ while Seth Godin has always been another fav of mine due to his ‘attitude’ he displays in his writing. Always leaves us thinking.

      • Amen Brian.

        I’ll leave it at that.

  40. I think both have same chances , when we talk about writing and blogging , i don’t know ,but , i see in this domain both are able to express what they feel about different things , i would say , they don’t have the same chances to succeed the same SUBJECT / field, cause for sure they don’t share same point of views all the time , but when about blogging , sex doesn’t matter !

  41. As James Chartrand says, traits are one thing, gender bias another. It seems to, there’s a predominance of men at the top of the blogging game. Sure, there are some outstanding women – like Simone, James, and Penelope – but not as many. There are a number of “dudes” writing mediocre-quality “personal development” blogs getting soaring numbers and exuding bravado all the way. There’s still a gender-bias in the world. A masculine pen name may be the perfect medicine.

  42. I used to work with my boyfriend on website projects and the thing that we found was that we had better results when we worked together than when we worked on separately. He’s more technically minded and I’m the writer who looks to build relationships so we complement each other in that sense, we’re very typical according to your definitions!

    With us, I don’t think it is necessarily a gender argument because we could both grow and develop our skills, we chose to play to our strengths as time was short.

    I like Sandra Lee’s idea of writing with a masculine pen name and seeing if other web user’s reaction towards me changes…

  43. I hope this is relevant to the conversation, but I think somebody mentioned something about the definition of success?

    The problem as I see it is that words like “excellence” and “success” are not easily defined because of our differences.

    If I tell you to bring something back when it’s excellent, what are you going to bring back? Answer: your version of “excellent.” And herein lies the key.

    Success to each of us (male or female) is a different experience. And the best definition of success I’ve ever heard came from my father. He simply said, “Son, you’ll know it when you feel it.” (successful, that is)

    He was trying to tell me that success comes from inside-out, not the other way around. And, if you really want to define success, define it your way.

    Bottom line … it’s still success.

    I enjoy the “thinking” of the people in the Tribe and thrive on your enlightenment.

    Great post, Amy. I’m not a psychologist, but I can mimic one. You have an intelligent perception I find extremely refreshing. For a girl.

  44. @Lee funny!

  45. Great post Amy and a risky subject to boot :) I agree with you that there are certainly some gender-specific common traits to each sex and that developing a balanced skill set is the best road towards success.

    Here’s one for you: Do you think there is a differential based on sex as to which one has a greater ability to achieve that balance?

    Thanks for sharing your insights!

  46. Great question Julie. I’m going to say no, I really don’t think one sex is more suited to crossing over. We each have our challenges or fears. I think the key is recognizing your weaknesses and then, either finding a way to overcome them, or partnering with someone else who has that strength.

  47. Thanks Amy – I am not so sure I agree with you but your response is certainly the politically correct one :)

  48. You make some very valid points.

    I worked in engineering all my life, and really had to learn the lingo. While I was not really tentative, the way I had learned to express myself made me come across as less qualified than I was.

    Whenever I as a young person said “oh I can do that” I was told not to brag, but never were my brothers told the same thing when they said ” oh I can do that”

    That simple difference effects us all our lives.

    Even today, I have trouble saying a simple, “Sure, I can do that!” Even when I know I can!

  49. Hi Amy,

    Check out this presentation made by Taly Weiss (TrendSpotting CEO) on “What Makes a Digital Woman.”

    http://www.slideshare.net/TrendsSpotting/what-it-takes-to-be-a-digital-woman-5621504 .

    Very relevant to your post and offers some good insights too.

    (Not connected to the author at all, but I think the presentation is good and needs to be shared.)

    Thanks,
    Matthew White

  50. FYI:
    That presentation only has 3 votes as of this time. Check out the top ten presentations in slideshare—made by men?

    hmm….

  51. Re perception of value: There’s a related post by Jonah Lehrer about experts, over-confidence, and accuracy over at Wired’s “The Frontal Cortex”. Always worth reading.

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/11/dont-watch-cable-news/

  52. Milana Leshinsky started compiling a list of the top 100 “Multiple Income Streams Women” on her blog. the first post is here:

    http://milana.com/newblog/2010/07/100multipleincomestreamswomen1/

    I think she is up to 75 names so far. Under each name she gives a short description of their business. There are many with 7 figure businesses.