05 June 2006

I have been looking around the BlogHer website to find out who is going to attend and I found something shocking: there are going to be men at BlogHer. Huh?

I mean, I suppose they can't discriminate but the event IS called BlogHer, is it not? And isn't the tag line "Where the women bloggers are?"

Who are these guys and WHY ARE THEY INVADING my sistahood? I'm actually feeling pretty mad at these men. I feel like they have a lot of damn nerve.

Either that or they are clueless, the type of guys that are thinking "Well, I'm not like all those other guys - I'm cool." You know, that same thought that privileged people always have when they think they are being cool by hanging out with the historically oppressed people.

You would think I would be more advanced, more calm, less prejudiced. Like all the worst bigots say "After all, some of my best friends are (insert group here)." Really, some of my best friends are men. Most of them, as a marrafack.

But still. Can't we have ONE weekend alone? A weekend for just the gals? Puh-leeeze? I'm not saying BlogHer should ban men. There are probably legal issues involved. I am saying men should, of their own volition and kindness, stay home and give us a break.

Here's my issue with the BlogDudes: the presence of one man in a group of women, no matter how large the group is, changes the dynamic markedly. We have grown up in such a sexist and divided culture that women almost automatically defer to men, praise men's contributions more highly than those of women, and pay more attention to men.

I'm not blaming the men or the women. I'm just saying that's the way it is. I have seen it in action over and over again.

Two examples: I volunteer at an all-woman organization. A couple times a year we have guest speakers, usually a mixed group of men and women. From the time the men walk in the door, the energy in the room shifts so that the focus is all on the men. What wonderful speakers they are! How fabulous it is that they have come to help lil' ol' us. And so handsome to boot! It goes from being an egalatarian group to a group that is headed, temporarily at least, by the men in the room.

I took a women's self defense class. Three female instructors, three female assistants and two male instructors. After each round of fighting, we went around the circle so everyone could make comments. The male instructors always received gushing comments about how thankful the students were to have them there, while the female instructors almost never did. I may have never noticed it, but one of the female instructors pointed it out as an important part of our training: we are trained to defer to men. This makes us more vulnerable to attack because we lose our power that way.

I suppose this is what I am afraid of when I feel my stomach squinch up at the thought of men attending BlogHer. I feel that, if men are there, it will once again be The Man Show. For one weekend, I would like to have it be different. I don't want to have to think about male-female dynamics. I don't want to have to change my behavior, and I don't want to notice myself changing my behavior without doing it consciously.

I have spewed forth. What do you all think?



My new link blog is Linkateria.

39 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I spent a bunch of time reading the various posts on the BlogHer site for an article I wrote, and I learned that last year, 20% of the attendees were men. And the theme last year was "Where are the women bloggers?" In the posts I read they were referred to as "BlogHims"-ack!

Maybe if there was a BlogHim conference we could have a weekend of just empowered sisterhood. Someone should get to work on that.

Suzanne said...

I am OK with men attending BlogHer as long as they subsequently read my blog. Is it sad that I am that desperate for readers? Or am I a mere BlogWhore, willing to bask in any attention thrown on me?

Kentucky Girl said...

Damn men...always meddling in our business trying to take over. Effers.

Anyway, ask and ye shall receive:

http://www.bloggingman.org/

Kentucky Girl said...

Crap, I forgot to finish my comment...anyway, it's some lame poli-blog conference which sounds entirely too lame for words.

Although I did think of going just to be a b!tch. I mean, Reno is a mere 5 hours drive over the mountain or a 45 minute flight. lol But then I realized that I'd probably lose my eyesight from rolling my eyes so much the entire time.

Besides, if all those dumb men weren't going, I could have gotten tickets. ROOOOOOOOOAAAAR! Jerks. I hope they have a horrible time.

gandhi rules said...

I too have noticed the energy change when men enter rooms. The life sucking energy change. I'm sorry it's not going to be just the babes.

motherhood uncensored said...

That's interesting, but sadly, not surprising. I'm there to see women, you bastards!

madge said...

What kind of weirdo (man) registers for a WOMEN'S blogging conference?

I actually couldn't care less if there are men there or not. I'd be ignoring them anyway, so they're welcome to come and gawk. PERVERTS.

SUEB0B said...

Thank you all so much for commenting. I am glad you are equally appalled. I thought about the post for a loooong time before I wrote it, thinking, "Aw, you are just being overly sensitive again."

I keep thinking the only reason that men would sign up for BlogHer is that they 1) want to pick up women, duh. 2) Want to sell something to us - no thanks, I am already advertised to death and would like a weekend off or 3) they are geniunely stupid.

I am sure there is a legitimate reason to show up - like they might learn something about blogging and something about women, but can't they do that on their own time?

TB said...

" the presence of one man in a group of women, no matter how large the group is, changes the dynamic markedly." - Yes this is absolutely true, no matter the size of the group or the education level of the participants on gender communication issues.

What you said in the last paragraph about not wanting to have to be cognizant of your behaviour pretty much sums it up for me. This is why I sometimes choose all-female classes taught by women and all-female support/social groups. I don't need to be around all women all the time, but sometimes, it's what I want.

super des said...

maybe they are gay men - and so, kind of count as chicks.

Anonymous said...

I'm new to reading blogs and I am amazed by the lack of dissent in the blogs I've visited. From my limited data base, a blogger posts and nearly everyone agree. What appalls me, Suebob, is the lack of dissent.

How can you all synchronize? How do you all conclude in the same way? Where's the ideological diversity? Where's the fine and sweet dissent?

From my perspective, the underpinnings of Suebob's position aren't feminist. Her slant seems predicated upon the unarticulated assumption that men and women are intrinsically different, whether by nature and nurture. The deeper underpinnings are that women must be protected from these deeply different men: after all, if a man, with all his power, enters a room or cyber-room, then all frail female eyes turn towards him: such is the power of men.

Posting such things seems to affirm male power.

Sacred female space is very Victorian: women must be protected, insulated, swaddled because women can't compete with men. I compete with men in cyber-space and in the meat world. I'm not suggesting that sexism isn't HUGE and horrible. I am suggesting that we have more power than many women might assume...and isolating our selves on the Lovely Isle of Women Where We All Sit in a Circle and Feign Equity isn't the answer. I've sat in those circles. I've seen women morph into men and dominate other women, much like the pigs at the end of Animal Farm morph into men.

98% of the world's land is titled to men. If we're to get our share, we better learn to hold our cyber-space when men are in a cyber-room...and you can't do that without men in a cyber-room.

Anonymous said...

madge wrote: "What kind of weirdo (man) registers for a WOMEN'S blogging conference?"

Perhaps a man that believes that gender is a social construct, which is a very feminist premise.

Madge, would you also ask of Michelle Wie, "What kind of weirdo tries to qualify for a men's golf tournament?"

Her Bad Mother said...

I hadn't thought about this until I read your post. I'm not sure what my view is, off-the-cuff. On the one hand, I agree totally: as Kristen said, I'm going to meet fellow 'hers'. And I agree that the dynamic changes when men are in the room.

But I don't know that I'd want to automatically exclude men. I'm suspicious of men attending a decidedly gynocentric event, but I'll reserve judgment. Blogs by women aren't just for women, after all. I have a few male readers, and I wouldn't mind having more. If some men are attending because they identify with blogs written by women, because they are readers and/or admirers of such blogs, if they are attending as bloggers, then maybe that's not such a bad thing. Especially if they are dad/parent bloggers - where else are you going to find such a concentration of parent bloggers than at a conference well-attended by mom-bloggers?

Still, I really liked the idea of a women's gathering. I'm hoping that the presence of a few like-minded guys won't disrupt that.

one smarmy mama said...

pfft.

that would piss me off. I guess I'm lucky I'm too broke to go to BlogHer.

I say they SHOULD ban men.

Anonymous said...

Ban men? So, gender isn't a social construct? There are intrinsic, ubiquitous differences between men and women, by dint of nature/nurture, that therefore justify segregation?

S-mama, haven't you met women that are more archetypically masculine than some women and visa versa?

As a queer woman and a feminist, I attune to groups making an Other of someone...anyone. And there's a lot of Othering in this thread.

I'm familiar with the arguments that pinking differentiates a woman from a man, if not biology, but again, such pinking-thinking is a clumsy predictor of behavior and personhood.

ElisaC said...

This is a fascinating discussion. Thanks for starting it SueBob.

BlogHer made a specific and conscious decision very early on in our development that our mission was to create opportunities for women bloggers...and that the mission was best served if everyone who was interested in it and supported it could attend, regardless of gender.

We want the world to find, admire and even hire women bloggers...and the world includes men.

But besides that, with such a diverse bunch of attendees it's not just the attendance of men that creates a far-from-homogenous environment, and we think that's a good thing.

marian said...

I love what the first anonymous wrote. Anonymous, come and visit my blog. I LOVE a good argument. The lack of dissent in blog comments has long been a problem for me.

I also agree that banning men is just reverse sexism. I don't feel that I need to defer to men when they're around, and I also like the opportunity to flex my own mental/emotional muscles in their presence and find out where, exactly, I'm stuck.

I want to know why I feel intimidated, or why I feel less-than, and I can't do that by sequestering myself. I would think that the kind of man who would feel okay about going to BlogHer would be a fairly interesting specimen and someone worth knowing...

Anonymous said...

Hey, Marian. I'll check out your blog. All the anonymous posts are the same person: me.

I'm a professional writer and when I posit, readers sometimes disagree. Some call me names, which I don't like, but some rebut with discipline, keeping the focus on ideas and off of persons: and I adore such interchanges.

You're right, Marian, about this: "opportunity to flex my own mental/emotional muscles in their presence and find out where, exactly, I'm stuck."

I honestly thought that the notion of separatism was long gone. I'm an old enough feminist to remember when separatism was bandied about and even semi-achieved in the 70s: there were pods of women that cut off all contact from men. BlogHer feels like a derivative of the tenet that isolation empowers. I suggest that isolation serves the status quo. You might change your world by growing beans with other beings that sport vaginas, but you sure aren't going to change the world...and you sure aren't going to have opportunities to practice those skills that incrementally induce gender equity.

marian said...

Anonymous, I guess I stopped after I read your first one, thinking none of the others could be that good. But they were. Annika Sorenstrom was who I was thinking of, golf-wise.

Suebob, I don't want to monopolize your comments section, just feeling like any time we create yet another "us vs. them" dichotomy, we're back where we started from, projecting our own guilt onto others so we don't have to feel it ourselves, and institutionalizing the experience of separation, again and again.

mahimahi07 said...

Marian wrote: "any time we create yet another "us vs. them" dichotomy, we're back where we started from, projecting our own guilt onto others so we don't have to feel it ourselves, and institutionalizing the experience of separation, again and again."

You're a smart woman.

ElisaC said...

"BlogHer feels like a derivative of the tenet that isolation empowers."

Anonymous: I'm not sure why you would think that when my earlier comment made clear men are in fact welcome, encouraged to attend the conference and can participate in our web community? I think there's a difference between separatism and solidarity. Solidarity allows for the fact that disparate people can work together towards shared goals. Even if the goals are focused on a subset of the group.

OK, that sounds a little academic, but I hope it's clear what I mean.

spotted elephant said...

Sucks sucks sucks. Sadly, it's just more of the same.

I especially appreciated your thoughts on the dynamic in your self-defense course. That crap is so ingrained. Sigh.

cameo said...

can you say 'stir the pot'? uh-huh, i bet you can! ;)

Marian said...

elisac, are you one of the founders of blogher? i do remember reading on the blogher site that men were welcome, and i was very impressed with that.

SUEB0B said...

I will answer in bold - Suebob

Anonymous said...
I can understand your wish to comment anonymously. It is no fun to get attacked when you comment on something controversial. I welcome your comments and am glad you felt strongly enough to take the time to articulate them.
I'm new to reading blogs and I am amazed by the lack of dissent in the blogs I've visited. From my limited data base, a blogger posts and nearly everyone agree. What appalls me, Suebob, is the lack of dissent.

How can you all synchronize? How do you all conclude in the same way? Where's the ideological diversity? Where's the fine and sweet dissent?
I think most people want to be liked, so they find others similar to themselves. Some people love to fight, to argue, to discuss opposing opinions, but I think they are actually sort of rare. When I find someone whose opinions I don’t value, I don’t necessarily want need to argue, mostly because I don’t have a lot of time to sit around formulating brilliant rebuttals. I usually just go elsewhere. Lazy.

From my perspective, the underpinnings of Suebob's position aren't feminist. Her slant seems predicated upon the unarticulated assumption that men and women are intrinsically different, whether by nature and nurture. The deeper underpinnings are that women must be protected from these deeply different men: after all, if a man, with all his power, enters a room or cyber-room, then all frail female eyes turn towards him: such is the power of men.

Posting such things seems to affirm male power.
I do think that men and women are intrinsically very different. The power of hormones seems to me, undeniable. I do not think gender is totally a social construct. I think nature and nurture both have an effect.
I’m not saying that all eyes turn toward men because they are powerful and we are weak. I am saying that I think we have been socialized to give more weight to men’s opinions. Look at the gender of people used overwhelmingly as “experts” on TV news and talk shows. We are getting over it, but I think that process is slow and ongoing, not finished.


Sacred female space is very Victorian: women must be protected, insulated, swaddled because women can't compete with men. I compete with men in cyber-space and in the meat world. I'm not suggesting that sexism isn't HUGE and horrible. I am suggesting that we have more power than many women might assume...and isolating our selves on the Lovely Isle of Women Where We All Sit in a Circle and Feign Equity isn't the answer. I've sat in those circles. I've seen women morph into men and dominate other women, much like the pigs at the end of Animal Farm morph into men.

98% of the world's land is titled to men. If we're to get our share, we better learn to hold our cyber-space when men are in a cyber-room...and you can't do that without men in a cyber-room.
Groan...I want a weekend where I don’t have to compete with men. I don’t want sacred space, but this event is about women bloggers, isn’t it? Or is it? I am kind of confused now.
That very notion of BlogHer, to me, presupposes that there is something different about women.
I am willing to gird my loins in 99 percent of my life and do battle on the real world field of men, but for this one weekend I was hoping to hang out with women only. I don’t want to set up a utopian future free of men. I just want to have some male-free drinks by the pool and conversations for ONE WEEKEND. It may not be fair, it may be encouraging otherness, it may not cause me to question my stuckness. But yeesh. I just want a little Island of Sisterhood, yes I do.
I didn’t suggest banning men, either. I suggested that they politely decline to show up.
I believe in diversity and I think that in general the more diverse an organization is, the healthier it is. But I also believe that people (meaning me) may want to get together in like groups for short periods to be free of some of the pressure of “otherness.” And when they do that, I would hope that the “others” would understand and give them the space they need. To me it is about respect. For men to show up at BlogHer, an event that advertises itself as “where the women bloggers are,” to me, connotes a lack of respect for the nature of the event, even if the men attending have the best of intentions. (Isn’’t this the perfectly constructed passive-aggressive trap? Now if men show up, they are by their very presence PROVING their lack of respect to me. I am a master!)
The weird part about me making this argument is that I have always had a hard time making friends with women and have much preferred the company of men. Maybe my defense of this as a female-only event is because I feel like I have made small inroads into the world of women, finally, and I idealize it a bit.
Or maybe I’m just wanting to start trouble. See how I am?
I thank everyone for their comments, especially dissenting ones. I love to hear what other people think and I may even be persuaded to change my mind. You never know.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Suebob!

You wrote: "I can understand your wish to comment anonymously. It is no fun to get attacked when you comment on something controversial. I welcome your comments and am glad you felt strongly enough to take the time to articulate them."

Ah, getting attacked is my job. Really. I'm a professional writer, but I'm pretty new to blogging. I was assigned a few chapters for a book that's coming out soon and one of them will be about blogging. So, I had to enter this cyber-domain and chat with some bloggers before I could write the chapter.

Anyway, I post anonymously because I didn't want to fill in the blanks to acquire an identity. And I do appreciate your openness to contrary perspectives. That's tres cool. And in my VERY LIMITED experience, such openness is not as common as it should be. I've seen some bloggers roll up the red carpet and loose the hounds if someone doesn't tiptoe at their site.

I think that men and women aren't as different as most folks believe. I do think that difference is precious to many people and the assumption of similarity is even more precious. That said, yes, hormones are powerful. The hypothalamus in women is disproportionately larger than in men. Men tend to stratify and women tend to collaborate, which seems hormone-based. And some research suggests that the corpus collosum is disproportionately larger in women than men. But there is such variance among men and women that we should hesitate to be hasty. And if we rope off space for women, we should do the same for men. It's just bad form to do otherwise.

Suebob also wrote: "The weird part about me making this argument is that I have always had a hard time making friends with women and have much preferred the company of men. Maybe my defense of this as a female-only event is because I feel like I have made small inroads into the world of women, finally, and I idealize it a bit.
Or maybe I’m just wanting to start trouble. See how I am?"

What you are is cool...and your writing is compelling. In my VERY LIMITED blogging experience, I've been struck by number of bloggers that don't understand how essential doubt, paradoxes, tension, and transformation are to a good story (and blogging is storytelling). A lot of the blogs that I've visited remind me of the "happily ever after" form of storytelling, where everything is sutured sans scars. I like the open, ragged quality of what you wrote. Life is ragged and open. Such portrayal is much more compelling to me than a pithy "happily ever after" pronouncement.

As far as people attacking posters that dare disagree, in my VERY LIMITED experience, this does seem common at blogs...and it's a pity. It's a cowardly thing: the aggression that one can encounter at blogs. You just don't find it in the meat world and it reminds me of the aggression that one too often sees when someone is wrapped in the steel of a car. Wrapped in near anonymity, some bloggers become cyber-beserkers. At first, such aggression startled me. Then it entranced me. Now, it bores me, for it's the huff and puffs of blowhards.

But you wrote..."I thank everyone for their comments, especially dissenting ones. I love to hear what other people think and I may even be persuaded to change my mind. You never know."...and if my blogging chapter wasn't already submitted, it's that kind of talk that would have prompted me to include you in the book.

SUEB0B said...

Anon - I could have been in a BOOK? Crap. As usual, I am a day late and a dollar short. Another minute of my 15 minutes of fame, down the drain.

Anonymous said...

Well, suebob, I might do a column about blogging dynamics and if I do, I'll link to you. I have a few hundred thousand readers, so it'll give you some traffic.

wordgirl said...

Yeah...I kinda take issue with it, too. But I'm not going so I'll reserve judgement until I hear how the whole thing goes down.

Wag said...

This discussion is terrific - mad props, SueBob for starting it.

Here's my entirely unscientific, anecdotal, take-it-for-what-it's-worth observation from last year...

The boys in attendance struck me as kick-ass cool, down for the cause and tried but couldn't keep up with the party-like-rockstars mommy bloggers.

They couldn't shut up or intimidate the women bloggers if they tried - not that any of them did.

If any boys are disrespectful this year (doubtful since those who don't respect, don't represent - they just whine on the internets - strong women scare them) karma might just push 'em into the pool. (if I knew how I'd insert a little red devil horned smiley face emoticon here)

Also, a small, not meant to be snarky (though it will probably sound that way) note - although the focus is women bloggers, women who don't blog are also welcome so it is not just for women bloggers.

Oh, and, men are welcome to attend but all speakers and panelists are women.

I look forward to meeting you in July!

madge said...

Maybe as Anonymous gains further blogging experience, he/she will see that labeling oneself "Anonymous" is an automatic turnoff. I think folks are much more amenable to discussion when they know with whom they are speaking.

Also, perhaps Anonymous should work on growing a funny bone, or at least recognizing a little sarcasm when he/she reads it(!)

SUEB0B said...

Thanks, Wag, for the description of last year. Now I have a better idea of the dynamic.

I am also not looking forward to the presence of people who are there JUST to sell us stuff, but I imagine someone who is there without a blog will be feeling pretty at sea.

mamalujo1 said...

I found this post through Teebs at Soulgardening, and wrote this great, insightful comment yesterday, only to have Blogger crash. Here goes again.
I'm a guy, and I would love to go to Blogher, but I would never do it, for just the reasons you and many of the other commenters note. It's YOUR time to get together and share, without the dynamics necessarily brought on by male participation. I read mostly female blogs, it seems, because they discuss relationships, emotions, things that I think make us interesting.
My wife belongs to an all-women book club. Once a year spouses are invited to read the book and join. The last time I was the only husband there. I love it, and I could talk about books with these lovely creatures all night long. I've been made an honorary girl, according to my wife. She also tells me that they would like for me to be on the selection committee this year. I'm going to decline, but not because I'm trying to be some kind of martyr. I simply think that there are times when the sexes need some alone time, some time away from each other. It makes those times together more valuable. I would hate to think that my presence at a function where the women would have otherwise had a more meaningful time together will keep that from happening. Just like there are times when I really like to just hang with the boys, fart and scratch my nuts.
So I say you go girl. Right now I'm going to grab a cigar and head over to Hooters for a beer.

DeAnna said...

You know how there are all these little things that they taught you in school, and then later you would find out that they grossly oversimplified the process because they thought you weren't smart enough to get the whole thing? You know, things like how a cell works, or maybe in high school you talked about electrical circuits a little bit, or, um, like all 12 years of history class. And then later you find out that the whole thing was WAY more complicated than you had been taught?

Do you (any you, generic you, not necessarily SueBob you) think that you have discovered ALL of those things by now, or do you think it's possible that you still hold a simplified understanding of some things, and you just haven't come across the data that would cause you to understand a thing in its fullness?

My sister took a Human Sexuality coarse at the University of Oregon 2 years ago. The professor was a pretty radical sort, and I don't have specific references for you (although I could probably get them from my sister, if you were really that curious). So given those two factors you can do what you like with this information. But this professor taught, in a respected university setting with textbooks and diagrams and probably 8x10 color glossy pictures (for you Guthrie fans out there), that gender is indeed biology, but there are more than two of them. We are used to talking about the xy chromosomes, but there are actually three chromosomes that determine gender, and any one of them can be either an x or a y. The two most common combinations are xxy and xxx, which is what we call male and female, respectively. About 90% of the population is one of those two chromosome combinations. However, about 10% of the population is one of the 7 other possible combinations. Percentage-wise, 10% doesn't seem huge, but when you stop and think about the fact that you are mis-identifying the gender of 1 out of 10 of the people you meet, simply because we don't have a category that identifies them correctly, that starts to seem like a pretty gross error, in my opinion.

And once you've started considering that just because someone has a vagina doesn't mean that they share your particular chromosomal make-up, nor your hormones or chemistry, well, I think this can only make for a better BlogHer conference, because I would like to restrict it to people who only match my chromosomal make-up. Since I definitely identify as a woman, other people who are like me must be the real women, while people who are not like me must be one of the other 8 chromosomal patterns. Therefore, I decree that only strongly alpha, bisexual, polyamorous, light-skinned, blonde people with tilted cervixes (all things which are thought to be determined by your genes) will now be allowed to attend BlogHer. All of the rest of y'all will have to get your own conference.

But I do hope that SueBob and anonymous both qualify to come to my BlogHer, the one for "real" women, because y'all are awesome.

p.s. SueBob, I'm here via a comment you left on my blog about spinning cat hair. I was in the middle of switching hosts, and your comment got lost in the transfer. You can still see your comment and my response to it at http://deanna624.tripod.com/blog which is the old site.

SUEB0B said...

Deanna - your comment is great and reminds me of Emo Phillips on religion: http://damienkatz.net/2005/02/emo-philips-on-religion.html

Izzy said...

My only issue, if you can even call it that, has not so much to do with the guys as the girls. When men are around, especially in limited numbers, women tend to compete for their attention. It's usually very subtle but it does change the vibe.

Deb said...

This was an interesting piece. I feel the same way, for many of the same reasons. And in this piece last year you were only addressing attendance. I have been wondering what I think about a ROYO this year being designated to the vaginally challenged. My reactions have been complete annoyance and confusion. I've tried to understand BlogHer's thinking on this and I don't get it. When they polled the community on male speakers, the vote was No thanks. I feel really bad for the many, many good ROYOs that were proposed by women.

Avitable said...

BlogHer was designed to help women bloggers grow as bloggers, right? So they could learn how to promote themselves, write better, find like-minded bloggers, etc.

When it comes to personal blogging, women hold a large majority. However, men are a small portion of the potential audience for each personal blogger. And if BlogHer is about having women bloggers connect and learn how to grow as bloggers, understanding their entire audience is essential. It would be closeminded of BlogHer to eliminate men from that equation.

I'm going to BlogHer because I have a lot of female blogger friends who are going and I've never had a chance to meet them before. I'm going to BlogHer because male bloggers are a minority unless you're a tech blogger or a political blogger, and the only bloggers I read, know, and respect are personal bloggers.

With regards to the ROYO. As the man who actually submitted the idea, my thought was that by doing a panel where we could talk about the male readers of female bloggers, the rest of the conference could therefore focus on the women. Even the title - Vaginally Challenged - shows that I consider us to be at a disadvantage. And, finally, the ROYOs were voted on by the BlogHer community. The same community that voted that no man shall be allowed to be a keynote speaker. So it wasn't the men deciding that we had to have a panel. It wasn't the BlogHer Powers That Be deciding. It was the community of women bloggers.

I refuse to apologize to go to a conference to meet friends and make new ones because of some poorly realized thought that it will "change the dynamic markedly". That's a bullshit excuse. Anytime you add new people to a group, regardless of their gender, race, orientation or hair color, the dynamic of that group will change markedly. It's dynamic. Would you prefer static and stagnant?

Maybe you should see if they'll only allow female bartenders and hotel staff as well so that the dynamic of all-women, all-the-time, remains, well, static. Does that seem extreme? Because it doesn't seem much more extreme than wanting men to decline to attend a conference about female bloggers when we read and appreciate female bloggers.

Al_Pal said...

Very interesting. I do think grrl space is important, but I also know a lot of cool dad-bloggers, so I can see why they would want to go. (To meet up with friends they know online, mostly!)

One question: what the heck does ROYO mean? ;p

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