Online Reviews for Female-Driven Shows Are Being Dragged Way Down by Men

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 2.58.33 PMLike most good data-crunching, this came via FiveThirtyEight, but I elected not to use a headline like theirs, which is “Men Are Sabotaging the Online Reviews of TV Shows Aimed At Women.” It isn’t that I didn’t like that headline, since I did click on it when I saw it on Twitter, after all. No, I was worried “sabotage” was a harsh word and I to be sure you’d click into this piece so I could tell you what they found.

Now that you’re here, let it be known that men are sabotaging the online reviews of TV shows aimed at women.

Walt Hickey made the discovery when he noticed that Sex and the City had an IMDb score of 7.0 out of 10 in spite of all of its Golden Globes, Emmys, and Screen Actors Guild Awards. Upon further investigation, he learned that 60% of reviewers were women and that they, collectively, gave the show an 8.1 out of 10.

The male 40% gave the show an average of 5.8.

I can hear you now. “But Lindseyyy,” you’re saying. “Men don’t like shows about women doing women stuff!”

Cool. Okay. Great. But we somehow expect women to enjoy shows about men doing, uh, men stuff? Whether women like or dislike a show aimed at men is dependent on each individual woman, but they’re not flocking to the page for Watchmen to drag its overall rating down.

Here, let’s consult Hickey again. He figured out which shows on television are the most watched by men and by women. Here’s what he found:

The 25th-most-male program has 94 percent of its ratings from men. The 25th-most-female show has only 75 percent of its ratings from women … Now, if men didn’t feel compelled to crap on shows that plainly aren’t aimed at them, this might not be a problem. That doesn’t appear to be the case.

There is a lot more number-crunching to be seen, along with some graphs, over at FiveThirtyEight, but the last thing that Hickey discussed that I’d like to point out to you is this: If you’re about to complain that women’s shows are just inherently worse and are comprised of more drivel than content, consider, as Hickey did, The Man Show or Beyblade.

There are awful shows aimed at both genders. The difference is that women do not specifically seek out those “manly” shows to disparage them.

He finishes like this, so I will, too:

To understand the whole picture, you need to dive into the data. Whether you like “Sex and the City” or not, its score is being sabotaged by one gender; it’s time to ask whether user scores are truly as objective as they purport to be.

[image via Pexels]

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