Girl's night out: an open letter to female bloggers
Prompted by something kookymojo wrote recently, I've been hunting around for interesting blogs by women.
I've found the whole excercise really disturbing.
Apart from some notable exceptions (see Kooky's list and my sidebar), the writers seem so damn limited in what they'll allow themselves to think or to be. It's as if there's a tarot hand of possible identities that women bloggers feel forced to choose from: The Bitch, the Diva, The Mother, the Domestic Goddess, the Divinely Damaged Girl. At best, w.b.'s permit themselves to blend a couple of these flavours together: the Bitch who is also (ta DAH!) a Diva, the Damaged Girl who's also-- get this-- a Mother...
"Hey, bet you didn't see that one coming, didja? Bet you're shaken out of your complacent view of women by the fact that the writer has managed to combine TWO meaningless gender stereotypes in ONE handy blog. Look how complex and multilayered I am! I bet you're really impressed! Arencha? Arencha?"
Well... no, as it goes. Very no. You've enlarged your cage a little, but you're still locked up. I know that's ultimately true of all of us, but these are such tiny, tiny confines to write within. I'm beginning to suspect that one reason male bloggers are more prevalent or more widely read is that men are (very generally) less willing to buy into stereotypes, or at least less likely to occupy them full-time.
You are not a cartoon character. You contain worlds. Everyone does.
NOW SORT YOUR SOPPY SELVES OUT, YOU BIG LEAKY EMBARRASSMENTS YOU, BEFORE I'M FORCED TO GET A SEX CHANGE OUT OF UTTER SHAME! YES, YOU HAVE HORMONES AND YOU CAN USE A COMPUTER! JOLLY GOOD! WE'RE ALL TERRIBLY PLEASED! NOW, PERHAPS YOU'D LIKE TO FIND SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF THAT YOU COULD WRITE ABOUT THAT ACTUALLY DISTINGUISHES YOU FROM FIFTY-ODD PERCENT OF HUMANITY, IF IT'S NOT TOO MUCH TROUBLE?
I swear. I get PMS that could strangle a sodding goat and d'you know what? I still find other things to talk about. If you're eighteen or under you might reasonably be forgiven for thinking that you're the first person since Marie Curie to combine oestragen and higher brain functions, but when you hit thirty it starts to look a bit daft. You have a voice, now stop trying to be an echo.
PS: And how come we've all ended up with the same sitemeter? That's... that's scary, that is.
PPs: No yodelling, either.