I've been sucked into the strange, female world of digital art journaling. It is mostly women who do this, art journaling and scrapbooking. I suspect there are more men doing it than is apparent, but hiding in pseudonyms or not participating in forums.
There is a sort of matter-of-fact sexism in this world, an acceptance, without comment, of the preponderance of women and the absence of men. A casual acceptance that it is (of course?) women who document the lives of their children and grandchildren; women who take the time and energy to explore and express their own internal lives.
I have not counted, this is anecdotal, but most seem to be young mothers or older grandmothers, many with disabled children or who are struggling with some illness of their own. This makes sense, I expect. Both groups are likely to be home, and perhaps somewhat isolated, in need of human contact.
These hobbies provide creative outlets and the opportunity to connect with others who share experiences and interests. Though writing poems is about as personal as anything can be, this is personal, too. It involves more disclosure, in a way. More mutuality.
It's also more friendly. I've seen a few forum threads offering or inviting critiques, and those threads are sparse indeed. Support is what's expected, and provided. Occasionally there are what seem to be "cut & paste" comments that are positive, but reflect no understanding of the post they are responding to. That's as bad as it gets.
Sometimes I miss the more rough-and-tumble of the literary crowd. Quite often, in fact.
But I am having fun.
[Click the image to see credits & larger sizes at flickr.]