Ahem. Ahh… I’ve just rated a mention in the Air New Zealand blog awards. For my non-NZ readers, who are almost certainly not conversant with the daily ins and outs and ups and downs of what must be one of the smaller blogospheres in the English speaking world, the awards were set up by a group of independent NZ bloggers (of whom some other NZ bloggers disapprove because in the world’s smallest blogosphere, we must surely have our schisms), in protest against the much more official Qantas Media awards, which short listed two MSM backed blogs, plus one other rather excellent blog. Given the inclusion of newspaper backed blogs, the Qantas awards looked pretty suspect to most NZ bloggers. So, alternative awards were set up, in adhoc fashion, with a bit of number 8 fencing wire. Go take a look at the Air NZ Blog awards site, if you like, ‘though I suspect that some of the humour will not necessarily translate across the Tasman to Australia, let alone further afield to other places where people read this blog.
I wasn’t number 1 (that would be Cactus Kate), nor even in the top three, ‘though two of my favourite bloggers were there (the very funny and wickedly incisive Dim-Post, and the excellent No Right Turn). But one of the judges put me in his top three, saying some very nice things about my writing, which I’m not going to repost here, because that would be immodest, and very, very, very unKiwi. That means that I got an honourable mention. That judge, Matthew Hooton, is well known in NZ politics as a right wing activist. Go figure. And some of the other judges made some gratifying comments about my work too. Thank you all, kind sirs.
That’s the nice bit. Now follows the bit where I wasn’t so impressed with what one of the judges had to say. It’s to do with feminist blogging.
Righteous, leftist, feminist anger in measured terms. The problem with the sort of female blogging (and writing) typified here is that it’s all: I, I, I, me, me, me. It is as if the only way anything can be explained or analysed is by having the author insert themselves into every aspect – so unnecessary and such a detraction to otherwise meaty opinion pieces – fuck I HATE that style.
But… but… but…
The Personal is Political!
I’m headdesking over this. When I read the entries submitted by feminist bloggers, what I read is women reflecting n their own experience, reflecting on other women’s experience, and from there, working towards an understanding of patterns of power, patterns of domination, patterns of oppression. Patterns that reflect the reality of women’s lives. But somehow, because this is not grand politics, because it is centred in women’s lived experience, it is not regarded as real, and valid, and worthy of discussion.
This comment was made about another woman’s blogging:
Would give [redacted]* a run for her money for the most gratuitous over-use of personal pronouns in a blog – quite some feat. Everything that is wrong with ‘typical’ female blogging: I, I, I, me, me, me.
Because if it’s women sharing their experiences, then it can’t be good.
I find this… distasteful at best, and more realistically, rude and nasty, and incredibly narrow minded. Women’s discussions just don’t count. Yet, women’s discussions about all sorts of things may contain the most astonishing political conversations. For example, I don’t particularly frequent craft blogs (‘though there are some I love), but in passing through, I have seen some fabulous political discussions there. Discussion about the division of labour, and the availability of child care, and the difficulty of work life balance, and the cost of caring, and the frustrations of housework, and the joys and horrors of parenting. Below the radar stuff, as far as the big political blogs are concerned, but very, very important in terms of the lived reality of women’s lives.
These awards are just a bit of fun. They’re not in any sense official, nor are they even backed by Air New Zealand (that’s more antipodean humour which may or may not be understood elsewhere). I really do appreciate the worth of what has been done this year. I like the idea of recognising and acknowledging the excellence of the work that people do in their blogging. But please, GENTLEMEN of the judging panel, don’t demand that every blogger fit into some abstracted ideal of the public man.