I have mixed feelings about BlogHer that run deep. I guess theoretically I'm in favor of spaces that feature the thoughts, concerns, and writing of women. Sort of. I can see why some women advocate for it, but I don't personally feel the need for it, and when it comes to bringing about social change (which is what I personally am invested in, although I realize that not all members of BlogHer are), I think that conversations with a large cross-section of society are far more vital and productive. Although preaching to the choir can be fun too.
hi Rachel! i just wanted to tell you that i love your blog! i followed the link over here from one of your comments on feministing because i almost always agree with your comments there. ive added you to my bookmarks now so i can check back every day. but I'm curious about the fact that you don't seem to belong to BlogHer? It seems like most feminist bloggers do.
One of my issues with BlogHer is the relentlessly commercial atmosphere. As if it's not enough that women are cast as perennial consumers by our patriarchal capitalist culture. As if it's not poblematic that shopping is constructed as a central feature of Womanhood in our culture. So then we have to turn around and invent a space for this very kind of marketing to occur and target us where we live? Feels a bit like collusion to me.
But the main reason I generally avoid BlogHer is that many of the posts are entirely lacking in a nuanced or thoughtful approach to what I view as women's issues. For example, this post, Neutrogena Keeps Your Kids From Burning, by Susan Wagner, not only hawks a product of dubious health and environmental status (for containing possible neurotoxins and known endocrine disrupters, among other things), but it also mindlessly repeats the same old gender bullshit "Even my sons, who don't care at all about product. Boys -- sheesh." that has been used to maintain the gender hierarchy for ages. I think we get it already. Boys don't care about skin care but girls automatically do. From birth. It follows from merely possessing a uterus. Right.
So it occurs to me that it's rather ironic when friends in RL and commenters online ask me why I don't belong to BlogHer or feature the BlogHer widget on my blog. For one thing, in my view, too many widgets are a big no-no, as they clutter things up and detract from the conversations taking place in the main body of a blog. But beyond that, just because I am a blogger who also happens to have a uterus doesn't mean I should automatically belong to any community or provide free advertising for any particular group. And the fact that so many people assume I should ironically reveals the subtle and profound gender essentialism in our cultural worldview. The fact that the BlogHer bloggers and I all have uteruses (uteri?) does not automatically make us kindred souls, or allies, or partakers in a shared point of view.