My head was spinning from all the posts, and twitters, and comments over the weekend about the BlogHer article in the Style section of the New York Times. Most of the discussions were similar:
“Why do male bloggers get into the Business and Technology section while women bloggers are relegated to the Style page?”
There were numerous mentions of the patriarchial society, about how men are taken seriously and how women are belittled as mere mommybloggers. Some women said that they were proud of their “girl” interests — it enabled them to start online businesses and to be courted by companies. But — these women naturally wanted to be taken as seriously as the male bloggers who get into the Wall Street Journal.
I agree. I’m all for an equal playing field. Yea, women! Is there any blogger out there who loves women more than me? But many of the comments that I read — particularly by women — made me depressed.
First of all, I live in this patriarchal society, just like everyone else. I have to deal with the stereotypes — the fact that technology, business, and politics are considered serious and manly pursuits. How many self-deprecating jokes did I have to make on Twitter this weekend to hide the fact that I loved “Mamma Mia?” While mommybloggers set up successful online networks, I have to explain to my male friends what I do as a blogger. If I didn’t make up some practical reason — “hey, maybe I’ll get laid by one of the hot ones” — they would think I am wasting my time.
“How much money do you make on your blog” asked a friend recently.
Weird looks of disdain. I can’t even say I got even a free wii, like so many of you.
The patriarchal society affects me.
My readership is 90% women. Why? Because most men don’t give a crap about what my mother made for dinner last night. Men read and write blogs about technology and business and politics. These are the worthy pursuits for men. To most men — there are the professionals and there are the hobbyists. This is a clearcut hieararchy as tightly controlled as who gets into Guy Kawasaki’s private party at BlogHer.
What I found surprising this weekend was that so many women seem to think the same way.
Every time I saw a female blogger write the expression “male blogger” this weekend, it was a code name for “tech” or “political” bloggers like Techcrunch or Daily Kos. It was as if these female bloggers had the exact same viewpoint about male blogging as the New York Times. While “Female Blogging” represented a wide range of views, from writing about shoes, knitting, to talking politics, “male blogging” was still dressed in a suit and tie. I read the term “male bloggers” countless times, not once described in a way that includes me.
Come on ladies, I know you are trying to win some power for yourself, but don’t use rhetoric that diminishes me. Don’t say “male bloggers” when you really mean male tech bloggers or male business bloggers.
I am a male blogger.
Give men the freedom to expand their horizons in the same way you want for yourselves.