Where are the women commenters? Afraid of the sharks?

If you follow me at all on Twitter or Facebook, you know that I love the show Shark Tank.  Of course I love it, I am an inventor.

My family often makes the show a family affair and we all watch together.  Each member of our family has their favorite shark.

By the way – if you do not know what Shark Tank is (where have you been?), it is a reality show featuring new entrepreneurs and inventors who present their products/services to a live panel of sharks (über rich and successful entrepreneurs) in hopes of striking a partnership deal and getting some cash and mentorship.

I digress, back to my favorite shark.  I have 2 favorites.  Daymond John and Mark Cuban.  Mr. John and his strong business sense in the fashion world coupled with his urban sense of humor continually impresses me, and Mr. Cuban is a serial entrepreneur originally from Pittsburgh who owns an NBA team – need I say more?

I happen to love Mark Cuban’s blog, blog maverick, named affectionately for his team, The Dallas Mavericks.  I read it and I try to comment (although who knows if he reads the comments?).

At any rate, Mr. Cuban is notoriously anti-patent law and last week, he wrote an extremely sarcastic post on the upcoming patent infringement suit between Yahoo and Facebook.  I am too new and young in the inventing world to hold a mature opinion on the validity of patent law.  Although I will say that I do feel that it sometimes seems to impede progress.

I am still forming my true impression on patent law through asking questions, reading and investigating, as I see it as being a pretty big cornerstone for anyone entering the product and/or business world.

In between reading Mr. Cuban’s post, getting a kick out of his sarcasm, and leaving a comment, something wildly STELLAR occurred to me.  At the time that I commented (about 80 comments in already), it seemed that I was the only female commenter on this post.  If not the only, one of a small minority (as some of the usernames were not clear although the voice sounded masculine).  One woman posted after me and suggested Mr. Cuban take a look at her husband’s business, but not on the subject of the post.

In a day and age when many major publications such as the NY Times, Huff Po, LA Times, Entrepreneur Mag continually cover the rise of the mom inventor and how women appear to be taking over product development, I thought that more women would share a comment or opinion.

Are we really creating businesses as women?  Or, are we making up a jobbyOuch – I hope not because we are just playing into the stereotype.

I realize that blog maverick is written by a man, but if that is why women are not commenting (except to run PR for their husband), shame on them.  I mean – if we want men to take us seriously, then we need to work and share our opinions with them.  We need to have an opinion, and if we don’t have one yet (that is OK), we need to seek out information to form one.

I am so disappointed that women were such a tiny fraction of the commenters on the issue.

Parents, either moms or dads, can be entrepreneurs with the right attitude and support system.  No need to make a jobby or act frivolous.

A few weeks ago in the Tank, Mr. Cuban asked a mom entrepreneur what she would do if a big meeting fell on her child’s birthday.  She said she would go because her family supported her.  To me, her family supported her because she treated her product like a business and not a jobby.  They struck a deal.  Although, mom guilt would certainly attack, business sense would prevail.

What do you think (not about patent law), where are the women with opinions?  

{ 15 comments… add one }

  • Dr. G March 19, 2012, 9:31 AM

    I think the women are still of a generation where we were not schooled to think of ourselves as serious business people. But if you’re dealing with money – making it, spending it, donating it – you’re doing business! So lets step up and be heard!

  • Jennifer March 19, 2012, 3:07 PM

    Wow, inventing is a foreign world to me, but you are dead on correct. Women really need to stand up for themselves and be part of the conversation. No one is going to ask you to join the cool kids’ table. You have to ask if you can sit there.
    Jennifer recently posted..#Project365/366, Week 11My Profile

  • Haralee March 20, 2012, 7:18 PM

    Of course I love the Shark Tank as well! I like Barbara a lot and think the men act like boys to her. I did like Lorrie from QVC when Barbara was gone, but the real point is there are 4 sharks and only 1 woman.
    Patent law is interesting because patents take a lot of time and money to acquire and can be contested, so who wins? Patent law is a good field to have a relative in practice!
    A jobby is a great coined word but not a career goal.

  • Scott Yonker March 22, 2012, 12:10 AM

    Hmm, this seems a bit strange to me too because I know there is quite a lot of women who are serious entrepreneurs. I don’t know why this is, but if you are the only women leaving a comment, then you may stand out and may likely evoke some curiosity…
    Scott Yonker recently posted..Why We Blog, How We Blog and Whom We BlogMy Profile

    • Rachel Blaufeld March 22, 2012, 10:13 AM

      good point! I tend to think that it is more about women sticking with women and men with men, but not sure why? that sort of dispels the whole equality thing…

  • Becky Lucid March 23, 2012, 2:08 PM

    I had to stop reading & point out what your favorite sharks name is Mr. Daymond John (last name is John). Now I will go back & finish reading your blog.

  • Becky Lucid March 23, 2012, 2:08 PM

    I had to stop reading & point out what your favorite sharks name is Mr. Daymond John (last name is John). Now I will go back & finish reading your blog. aka @fannyseat

    • Rachel Blaufeld March 23, 2012, 2:33 PM

      Thanks! one of those things – you know what’s right but your brain takes over and directs you the way it thinks is right

  • Susan Berland March 24, 2012, 12:11 AM

    Have to admit that I don’t watch Shark Tank. Not sure I’d like it. I just know I don’t have time for more than I already watch! Maybe some would say my business is a jobby but I think I’d opt to go the kid’s birthday unless there was a can’t miss appointment or meeting and then I’d be really resentful! Maybe I’m old school. Hard to believe I’ve become the age where now I’m the one who is old school!

    Susan Berland
    Susan Berland recently posted..Entering a Photo CompetitionMy Profile

    • Rachel Blaufeld March 25, 2012, 6:51 PM

      we all choose our own level commitment and what works for us (and our spouse) — we all work it out.

  • JuliAnn Stitick March 24, 2012, 5:15 PM

    I have watched Shark Tank a few times and loved it. I resonate with Scott’s post above. Women have such strength in the business world! Let’s keep it up ladies!!

  • Laurie Hurley March 26, 2012, 8:15 PM

    Wow, I have never watched Shark Tank but it sounds right up my alley. I still feel in this day and age that women’s voices are not heard enough. The women that do speak up are talented, bright, many times more together than some of the men I have witnessed in the business world, some, not all! I recently took over running a chapter of a local networking group here and am shocked that I am the first woman to step up – there are 10 other chapters. What is up with that? Don’t get me going on this subject! I hang around with women like myself who are not afraid to lead, be heard and seen. I wish more women would assume that role!
    Laurie Hurley recently posted..Social Media and Biz SugarMy Profile

  • Nelson March 26, 2012, 8:19 PM

    Never seen the show, but I might have too! I agree with you that women have an important part in the opinions of the issue. One can’t help to build a philosophy or opinion without taking as much into account as possible. I have been lucky to have worked for, and with women entrepreneurs!

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