It's no secret that funny women have fairly poor representation in the mass media - but not so on Twitter. On Twitter funny women are queens. Twitter is a new world, a microcosm of society in which there are fewer rules, greater freedom and no oppressive history. The voices that are coming through, from the Caitlin Morans and India Knights to the @NotRollergirl's and @peachesanscream's, are the free thinking, intelligent (and often hilarious) voices that need to be heard -
and Twitter is listening.
I don't know what it is about women, but there's definitely a wavelength, and most of us seem to be on it. We're all wildly different, with our unique idiosyncrasies and whathaveyou; we're not all friends, we don't all believe in the same things, and we don't all like each other, but it's there. Women have a certain je ne sais quoi that makes being a woman something of a shared experience. Was it the centuries of oppression, inequality or second-class-citizenship? A shared sense of humour over the boatload of biological crap sent our way? Could it be a hormonal or evolutionary thing? Or is it something else? Whatever it is, throughout history women have categorically stuck together in a way that is quite different to men. The female relationship has been a core element of the human race since the dawn of time. And now it's permeating the Twitterverse faster than the latest animal flu.
I sometimes wonder if Twitter is particularly great for women because for the first time, it doesn't matter at all what you look like, what you sound like, or what do you. It's a whole new generation of media, defined by the thoughts and opinions of those we choose to listen to. We don't have to hear what Cameron has to say, we don't have to follow the Sun, or Piers Morgan or Justin Bieber. We can select exactly which voices we want to hear. The women who are making noise on Twitter have something to say. We're all talking to each other. We're making each other laugh. The experience of womanhood (which, let's face it, is no picnic) is no longer something you write about in your diary, by torchlight, under a duvet - it's writ large in 140 character soundbites, offering humour, wisdom and real consideration. It's sort of magic.
The Awesome Women of Twitter (AWOT), which started last year, is living, breathing proof, that the female relationship, or at least the female dialogue, is alive and well. I, like most Twitter addicts, follow a few hundred people (both menfolk and ladies). But more often than not, it is the women who've provoked a reaction. It's the women in my timeline that are having the interesting conversations (just google #presleepliedown) and it's the women who are building actual relationships. That's not to say I don't love and respect the male presence on Twitter too - I do - but the female conversation on Twitter is just different. It feels more real.
Take for instance, this story from Lauren Bravo, who more or less rescued a fellow lady from a man harassing her on the street. Lauren acted out a whole charade of female friendship with a complete stranger to get rid of a creepy man, in an act of solidarity that goes above and beyond the usual call of duty. There's a real message there, about women and (though I loathe to say it), the sisterhood. It exists, people. It always has. So it makes sense that the relationships that were once built over years of socialising and time-spending, are now built online in 140 characters or less. Twitter is enabling conversations and women are owning that shit.
No one IRL sends me pictures of ferrets in tuxedos, no one else writes the thought-provoking posts that stay with you all day, no one else can champion the hashtag #cheesecoma with such joyful abandon. So this International Women's Day, I raise a gin and tonic to the wonderful women of Twitter. It is OUR day.
For more information about AWOT, check out the Team AWOT community blog, or follow us on Twitter.
Follow Ashley Fryer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ashleyfryer