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Why I Won't Be Going To BlogHer

A number of female bloggers have rolled up their sleeves, dug in, and done the hard work necessary to get a conference off the ground. BlogHer will be held in nearby Santa Clara in late July of this year. Kudos to them for doing the work, but I won't be there.

It's a curious place to be for someone who considers herself a feminist. Part of me feels that I ought to go to show support for fellow women bloggers, but I can't summon any enthusiasm at all for the event. Perhaps it is because after having spent the better part of a decade working in the technology world, the concept of "wow, let's have an event where all the techie women can get together" has lost its freshness for me.

But even more than that, I think it is because I resist being labeled as a "woman blogger". I am a woman, and I have a blog. But Fiat Lux is not a "woman's blog" any more than it is a "Jewish blog" or even a "political blog". It's just MY blog.

I write about some women's issues, and some Jewish issues, and some political issues, because all of those things interest me. But I strongly resent being pigeon-holed into a specific category of blog based on my gender, religion, or choice of subject matter. Above all else, this is a personal blog. As Walt Whitman said,

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then. I contradict myself.
I am large. I contain multitudes.

Still, I wish the BlogHer women good luck.

Comments (1)

Well, the thing is, those of us who aren't the default (straight, white, male) don't always get to choose how we're viewed by others. I don't tend to pigeonhole myself either, but it's pretty clear to others that I'm a blogger who happens to be female. And as such, there are things I'll have in common with other bloggers who happen to be female (or white, or Jewish, or comic book readers, or leftists, or sushi eaters, or...) that I won't necessarily have in common with those who aren't. And because women are so marginalized even in political blogging, I think the strength-in-numbers thing is pretty darned important. (That said, even though I'm no the BlogHerCon advisory board I'm not going because, plain and simple, I can't afford it.)

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