Several months back, mostly out of curiosity, I pulled some demographic data from Alexa regarding this site, and discovered that my readership skews heavily female. ("Relative to the general internet population, females are heavily over-represented at dustbury.com.") On one level, this is not particularly surprising, since I've carved out a small niche as an occasional fashionblogger, a fact which has perplexed actual guys with blogs, none of whom, except of course for the Manolo, would ever dare to mention the subject. On another level, though, it's extremely curious, because if there's any group that's been seriously under-represented in my ostensible Real Life, it's women.
It's not like I've never mentioned the sad state of my dance card before, either; there was a period when it seemed like every other Vent was bewailing the matter, and I still manage to find excuses to mention it from time to time. (I mean, geez, there's a whole category called "Table for One," which includes more than 400 posts, not all of which are scholarly dissertations on purely-academic matters.) By some accounts, this is supposed to be self-defeating: women, we are told, are drawn much more to men who are already taken than to those of us on the sidelines. I found this explanation alternately risible and painful:
[S]ingle women may be more drawn to attached men because they've already been "pre-screened" by other women and found to be satisfactory as a mate, whereas single men are more of an unknown quantity.
I could argue here, I suppose, that I've done all the screening for them: through thirteen years on the Web, in fact, it's entirely possible that I may have revealed entirely too much already. But I don't think I could make the point convincingly.
Still, I can't argue that women find me wholly unacceptable; if they did, they surely wouldn't bother to read this stuff, and might even warn their friends away. I can argue, I think, that they find me largely nonthreatening, which is worth a couple of points in an age where entirely too many guys believe themselves entitled to female attention, due to their self-ascribed alphaness, the urgency of their needs, or some other implausible explanation. I believe that this factor has served me well on the various World Tours, where some women who do actually read these pages were willing to meet me face-to-face, usually over breakfast or lunch, although it helped, I suspect, that I'd generally be several hundred miles away by that evening.
"Non-threatening" has its downside, however, especially if you subscribe to the belief inexplicably popular among guys that women are irresistibly drawn to "bad boys". If I bought into this premise, I suppose I could point out that my temperament is decidedly mercurial. ("Mercury, hell. More like Uranus."ed.)
Had I a lick of sense, of course, I would abandon this line of thought almost immediately and simply be grateful for whatever feminine attention I get. Maybe I will. Let's see how long it lasts.
[time passes, though not a lot of it]
Then again, about 60 percent of my Twitter followers are women, even after I weed out all the characters offering me photographs of questionable provenance. Maybe I'm okay at a distance. For now, that will have to do.
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Copyright © 2009 by Charles G. Hill