Not easy being a female blogger in India
Online friends ideasmith, Saakshi and Melody get featured on this HT article : Blogos-unf@ir
Chic-bloggers’ With men constituting 76 per cent of all bloggers in India, the common perception is that ‘chir-bloggers ‘ got more hits simply because they are women.
“I find it painful that my identity has to be defined by my gender and not by the quality or content of my writing,” says Ramya, who writes as IdeaSmith.
Says Annie Zadie, “Women bloggers get a lot of nonsense – a lot of it is gendered nonsense. Some is vaguely flirty and sometimes it begins to seem threatening.” She adds, “I don’t think I would have got certain comments if I were a man. There are those who try to make your writing sound like that of a juvenile, dumb blonde.” The Mad Momma attributes trolls to the Net’s anonymity “You get to drop the veneer of being civilised. It’s so easy to call a woman a slut.”
Marketing professional Saakshi O Juneja gets a lot of abusive comments for her posts on domestic violence, homosexuality, single women and arranged marriages. “Since a big part of your life is up on your blog – from your dog to your pictures and your vacation, people get more fodder to get back at you.” Trolls bare their fangs with comments like, “You are not getting married because you are a faggot.” Says Saakshi, “They don’t leave any aspect of your life when they start attacking you – not even your mother: father or dog. There are threats like – ‘watch out, you are going against society”
For Ramya, the threat of such attacks means she has to curtail her freedom to choose subjects to write about, and how strongly she expresses her views. “If political riots break out, I would hesitate to blog on them – not because I don’t have an opinion, but because I would worry about being stalked as a single woman who travels alone,” she says.
One of the earliest woman bloggers in
the country, Melody Laila routinely gets lovesick, sexually explicit mails and comments from her
readers. “I blog with my name and photos. When you
start a blog, you start with the premise that it will be
open to all, and you will be exposed to psychos.”