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.