Sunday, June 29, 2008

I Woz Ere Too

By the way - since every other blogger seems to have mentioned it: yes I was at the Guardian-sponsored liberal bloggers conference on Tuesday. I didn't take a camera so I've had to poach this image from Tory Troll (thanks!).

I am not sure I can identify all the people pictured but top row: Boriswatch, Cath Elliot & Georgina from The Guardian & Dave Cole, Me & The F-Word.
Middle row: Me & Tory Troll, Conference, Scribo Ergo Sum.
Bottom row: Holly Combe & me & ??, panel, ?? & Sadie Smith.

I generally enjoyed the chance to meet other bloggers. I wasn't so impressed with the insistence on having a second half dedicated to essentially "Why aren't women and feminist bloggers getting more recognition?". Speaking as someone who was featured on the Stephen Nolan show on BBC Five Live AGAIN this evening, is often on BBC radio and TV, has been asked to write articles for the BBC online, featured on Liberal Conspiracy, The F-Word and mentioned in the Evening Standard, The Guardian, The Independent and The Sunday Times I worry that if feminists feel they aren't getting enough attention it may be because I'm hogging the limelight - sorry!

Of course there is always more that can be done and I'd certainly love it if more people linked to me and promoted my stuff. It just seemed that we set out saying "Why are women failing in this arena?" and I don't think we are. I think the blog-o-sphere has done wonders for the women's movement - it's encouraging people to speak out and get involved even where they live within entrenched misogynist communities. And it's giving people a voice who otherwise wouldn't get the chance to express themselves. And I meet loads of brilliant women bloggers online, and often later in person. I think it's the best thing to happen to feminism in a long time.

But instead because of the way the question had been posed I had guys barely old enough to grow facial hair coming up to me afterwards saying "You know one thing you could do to promote your blog is try to cover more non-women-specific topics, that might help. Also you could try asking bigger blogs to link to you and..." And I was thinking "Dude where's your blog with it's huge numbers of visitors? I'm actually pretty happy with the way my blog's doing. I'll cover the stories I damn well want to and if I want your advice I'll ask for it, now shove off and let me get to the free food."


Stuart Jeffery said...

I must say that women are not failing in the blogosphere and the debate at Blog Nation was excellent, as is your blog (and yes I have linked to you). As a man, I'd like to offer apologies on behalf of those young men for their patronising suggestions... please remember they are young and foolish - but then so they should be.

Dave Cole said...

"I had guys barely old enough to grow facial hair coming up to me afterwards saying..."

Phew! That couldn't have been me, then.

While blogging and everything that goes along with it may be the best thing to have happened to feminism in a long time, it's also (from their point of view) the best thing to have happened to (shall we say) less progressive elements? I'm not talking just about, say, the Tories, but religious groups etc. that want to keep women out of public life altogether.

Jim Jepps said...

Personally I find it difficult to judge how well women bloggers (or feminist bloggers, which isn't quite the same thing after all) are doing compared to their male counter parts because the blogosphere is such a diverse place - but also quite a segrated one.

The Westminster focused blogs talk to each other and generally ignor those outside that sphere - and visa versa. It's true, I think, that there isn't enough cross fertilisation between feminist and non-feminist blogs but it's difficult to tell whether that's a specific problem to to with non-feminist blogs not recognising fem ones - or whether that's just part of the trend that we all seem to keep to our own "bits" too much.


What's certainly *not* true is that feminist blogs are some sort of insignificant struggling ghetto that needs the pity and charity of everyone else. I'm quite intimidated by how strong they are frankly.

BenSix said...

"But instead because of the way the question had been posed I had guys barely old enough to grow facial hair coming up to me afterwards saying..."

The question was always a little odd. Arianna Huffington (who reads her?), Elizabeth Spiers (umm..), Michelle Malkin (well, we might forget here).

BenSix said...

*Gratuitous pedantry*

* her

Phil said...

I'm with JJ.

What I'd like to see is more exchanges of ideas between feminist and left blogs as, in the majority of cases, we are working toward the same goals.

As a very modest step in this direction I've popped you on my blogroll too.