This week we have been having a lot of fun in the Lesbian Books, Writers, Readers group with their weekly giveaway. For those of you who have been following the banter, KC Luck, Caren Werlinger, Kris Bryant and I all have books to give away. The way the giveaway is structured is to simply cast a vote for the book you are interested in winning. I wanted to generate some interest so I did a live reading. My post caused KC to respond and then we were in competition mode. Let the games begin!
Well…let me tell you, the competition has taken some interesting curves. It has been bloody good fun for everyone. That got me to wondering about competitiveness and gender differences. I suspect the fact that this competition is between women and authors who respect and support one another, ensures that it looks a lot different from the competitiveness we might see between men.
Case in point, while we are joking and jabbing at each other, calling the others cheaters and pulling out our adorable pets to sway the masses, we are also telling people to vote for everyone. We are praising our competition. We are encouraging them and egging them on to participate and have fun while seriously stomping on each other. KC even did a live reading of Caren’s book because doing live readings is not her thing. I don’t believe for one second winning at all costs is the ultimate goal. Having fun and lifting one another up is the ultimate reward.
I won’t go into all the details on the research studies that I reviewed about gender differences and competition, but here are some of the conclusions:
- Female peer culture values harmony over competition.
- Women performed at similar levels in single-sex competitions and men outperform women in mixed-sex competitions.
- In quota like affirmative action environments where women have to be equally represented, more women feel more comfortable competing.
- Women are generally less willing to compete than men and tend to shy away from competition more than men.
Personally, I am a competitive person by nature. However, I also am a product of my upbringing. I understand there are differences with respect to gender. I haven’t specifically done research on this, but I suspect that when women get competitive, it has a different feel to it. Competitions are not cutthroat or win at all costs. Competitions quickly evolve into collaboration. Competitions remain light and fun versus serious and stifling in the amount of pressure we either put on ourselves or others. I’ve often heard lesfic authors say that other lesfic authors are not their competition, but their colleagues. And that is the crux of the environment I choose to play in. I wholeheartedly embrace that vision. It is about lifting all of us up!
How did I come to the above conclusions? How about the mini-lab experiment we’ve all participated in with the giveaway this week. That’s my empirical data! While we had fun taunting each other, we also complimented and lifted everyone up together.
Now…go out and plunk your vote on all four books because why the hell not? Wouldn’t you want a chance to win all of them (unless you already own them)? And…if you don’t win, I sincerely hope you will consider purchasing a copy of all four! As usual…the links are below.
A Window to Love on Amazon Australia
A Window to Love through Affinity Rainbow Publications
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