Are There More Female Activists?

25 May

I’ve been using lots of protest pictures in my posts lately and my brother-in-law asked me, “I can’t help but notice almost all of the protestors in those pictures are women. Is that just a coincidence?” Interesting question–is it?

So I tried to find a picture that showed a wide number of protesters clearly (not easy). The above is a BLM protest in NYC (June 14th, 2020) and… yep. I’m seeing three women for every man. That could just be that there are more women liberals than men. So let’s try the opposite side.

Here’s one from the January 5, 2021 D.C. protests (the day before the storming of the capitol building). I’m seeing about three men for every woman. My first attempt–the April 15, 2020 protests in front of the Michigan State House–was ten men to every woman.

So it seems that liberal activists tend to be women–so let’s ask, why is that?

[I’m willing to accept that I’m completely and utterly wrong about what I type next. If you would like to disagree (politely) in the comments, I welcome being proven wrong.]

1. Women process information differently then men. Women tend to attach many different parts of information to the same fact. So climate change gets attached to social justice gets attached to food sovereignty gets attached to holistic health. In a woman’s mind, there might be no difference between justice and health food. In a man’s mind, facts are isolated–you might be emotional about them, but climate change is different than social justice. So women are far more willing to see systemic injustice against their beliefs and want to do something about it.

2. Women are less likely to be beaten up. It’s easy to protest when you know you can’t be harmed. When men get aggressive with other men, it’s easier to pull the trigger. Men are taught “it’s never right to hit a woman,” so if you’re a cop, are you likely to beat the crap out of a woman attacking you or simply restrain them?

3. Women are less interested in a paycheck than a cause. Don’t get me wrong, we all like money, but more women go into teaching and nursing then men; professions that traditionally pay worse. So if you’re going into teaching, you do it to “make a difference.” Since most teachers quit after five years (myself included), I would assume that most women decide to make a difference elsewhere.

4. Women in a relationship are more able to pursue a cause, because their partner is paying the bills. It’s easier to protest in the streets if you don’t have to work a job. With notable exceptions, men are expected to be the bread-winner, and that traditionally frees women up to be the caregiver. But as we’re having less kids, what do you fill that time up with?

So… there’s my theories — what do you think? Do you have a better answer? Let me know in the comments below! Then if you want a more gender-equal future, read about it in one of my books. However, if you don’t have the money since you’re too busy protesting social change, go ahead and download one of my stories for free. 🙂

6 Responses to “Are There More Female Activists?”

  1. joliesattic May 25, 2021 at 8:00 am #

    Even those traditions you mentioned are changing. My daughter in law is the breadwinner and very liberal and… she’s a teacher.

  2. iFlyMSP May 25, 2021 at 12:14 pm #

    Probably all of the above, but most angry white men are 45 supporters and they live to make noise. Think they’re tough. Less angry white men are college educated and less apt to join a protest.

  3. ShiraDest May 25, 2021 at 6:56 pm #

    Good reasoning, on the whole, I admit, though I’d have to take exception with number 2, coming from a family in which every single woman I can think of, from my mother, to myself, to both of my aunts, has been beaten by a man. Physically. I have also intervened on the street in one case (in Bath, UK, as a PhD student, so I was aware that I ran less risk, being a foreigner attached to the Uni.) at night when a woman was being beaten by a man. (and no, he did not hit me, probably he was too confused by my American accent when I told him he should be ashamed of himself)

    And, sorry, on an entirely different note, I’m dying to ask you whether the Albigensia in your title is related to the Albigensians? (aka the Cathars, albeit incorrectly…)
    Very best regards,
    -Shira

    • albigensia May 26, 2021 at 10:17 am #

      Shira, wow! You figured it out! Yes, My “gaming name” is because of the origin of the quote, “Kill them all and let God sort them out,” which is first recorded (inaccurately) during the Albigensian crusade.

      I think my point of “men are less likely to beat women” came out of thinking it “in public.” All the examples you gave are in private. When you’re in a protest, it looks worse on camera. But as I said, I am willing to believe I’m wrong. I’m just spitballing ideas.

      Pleasure meeting a fellow B5 fan – been at my job for three weeks, still loving it.

      Cheers, Marcus

      • ShiraDest May 26, 2021 at 11:14 am #

        Nope, my mother was beaten in public (fair enough to say that a group of black men did call it out and stop the beating…), and the woman I stepped in for was being beaten in front of a bar with no fewer than 5 men recording it on their mobiles, from a safe distance!

        Likewise, a pleasure, fellow history lover and B5 fan! 🙂
        Actually, I horrified a few French friends (ok, Bretons, so maybe not quite so French, at least according to them…) by insisting that I wanted to go see Carcassonne to render hommage to the Albigensians who went to the large pyre there, voluntarily. Well, I never got down to the ‘Cathar Country,’ but I can certainly recommend a good book, if that history interests you, in French.

      • ShiraDest May 26, 2021 at 11:14 am #

        Marcus! My favorite character of all time!!
        Cheers!
        -Shira

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