Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Metacommenting on Blog Comments

This newspaper article discusses the reactions of blog commenters to the octuplets of Nadya Suleman. It's difficult to know how good a survey one person can arrive at just by reading through a bunch of commentary. But I found this interesting:

The overarching theme of Republican writers involved the issue of the mother of the octuplets relying on government money to raise her children. There was also quite a bit written about Suleman's physical appearance.


Over on the Democratic forums, the debate was much more extensive. Like the Republican forum writers, the majority seemed to feel it was wrong for a single woman living with her parents to have 14 children with no income other than funds from a disability claim.

Unlike the Republicans, the Democrats didn't say much about Suleman's looks...

I don't read the comments of wingnut blogs enough to know how common this difference might be, but women's looks sure provoke comments on leftie blogs, too, from Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. It's not that men's looks aren't cause for comment in some cases, too. It's just that every single woman gets her face and body assessed. And her ass, naturally.