Band of Buds: An Arena for Masculinity

16 Nov

As I have been exploring the Band of Buds website, I realized that the majority of posts were by men. In order to understand the gendered dynamics of Budweiser’s Band of Buds contest, I thought it would be useful to thoroughly look at the content of the discussion boards on the website. So for the past week, I have been creating a spreadsheet that records the team name, individual name, ranking in the contest, gender, and themes of the one hundred most recent comments on Budweiser’s Band of Buds Philadelphia discussion board. I chose Philadelphia because it is the closest city to Delaware that the contest held a casting call party in, and because Philadelphia’s casting call party happened very recently.

Perhaps the most striking, and yet most predictable, trend that I noticed was that out of one hundred posts only four were by female contest participants. Ninety-six posts were by men. I haven’t collected data for the entire duration of this contest, but I have looked at the posts as far back as September and I can tell you that this pattern hold true throughout. This is a men’s forum. No one explicitly stated that this contest is only for men—there are actually many women’s teams enrolled—but the women are not visible on the discussion board.

To further show how overwhelming masculinity is on the Band of Buds discussion boards, I looked at the content of the posts. The major themes that came up include humor, drinking beer (specifically Budweiser), sports, working out, television, popular music (all male artists), competition in the contest, partying, video games, hangovers, food, teamwork, and girlfriends/wives. I know that women drink beer, go to parties and bars, follow sports, watch television and play video games. Despite what women are actually doing, these are activities are traditionally within the realm of masculinity and are still considered to be masculine. And although women participated in this contest, they hardly had anything to say on these topics in the discussion board. The four female comments that I saw were either images of women and their friends drinking, statements wishing other teams good luck at the casting call party or congratulating the winners of the contest.

Although the contest is open to people of all genders and backgrounds, I find it interesting that it became a male-dominated arena by the actions of the participants. More about why I think this is happening in the next post.

Here is the link to the Band of Buds website. Check it out: http://www.bandofbuds.com/

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3 Responses to “Band of Buds: An Arena for Masculinity”

  1. powlina November 20, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    It’s interesting how the female groups participating in Band of Buds aren’t commenting as much on the forum. I’m not surprised that the few comments from females are mostly congradulatory or wishing luck to everyone else. Do you think the female groups aren’t commenting as much as males because they feel left out or are they just not as into the whole atmosphere of the competition like the men are?

  2. katiezeke December 1, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    Funny how much differently the men and women are responding on the message boards, yet not all that surprising. I’m wondering if band of buds facilitates a dominant male attitude, or if maybe the women feel intimidated by the men’s zeal on the discussion board. For instance, maybe the men are making the discussion board something like a “good old boys club” (I’m not really sure if that term means what I think it does..I just picture a bunch a men sitting together drinking beer and smoking cigars). I’m interested in reading your further musings on this subject.

    • jengallo December 6, 2011 at 3:43 am #

      I think you are both onto something. I think most women don’t feel welcomed into this space because of the masculine atmosphere and the “boys club” feel. I think the Band of Buds website is kind of like an internet bar, kind of like how Lori Kendall’s book equates those muds to cyber pubs.

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