Thursday, March 10, 2011

If only us other rogues had it so nice...

I was gonna post a critique of a Gloria Steinem piece Clarisse Thorn linked a few weeks ago but that can chill on the back burner for now. When someone asks for your opinion on something it would just be rude to not answer.

Okay so I'm checking Twitter today an come across this post by Renee talking about this post. I respond.

The post at ProBlogger is about five things one needs to be a successful blogger:
1. You need to be focused.
2. You need to be mad.
3. You need to kill the competition.
4. You need to be opinionated.
5. You need to be like a man.
First off go check out what Renee has to say about the first four points its pretty solid. However:
Does anyone see anything wrong with these suggestions? How about we start with a glaring one, which suggest that bloggers need to be "like men"? This trope includes the essentialist suggestion that male bloggers are "dominant, tough, and true to themselves." It reads more like an advertisement for True Grit, than a statement that includes all people -- and by people, I mean women, and people who identify as gender queer. Why even bother to acknowledge that these people exist, when we all know that men are all that count?

Okay show of hands for bloggers who are male and are not "dominant, tough, and true to themselves"? I've never thought of myself as dominant, I'm not as tough as I look, and I'm a work in progress on the true to himself part. But more specifically notice how according to this piece and Renee's response we don't exist as either men or people? But enough about that let's go to the main course.

Which brings me to the whole rogue thing. You see simply being a rogue is not a recipe to success. Even if you were to disregard Renee's responses and somehow jump through all those hoops its still not that easy.

Its not just a matter of being a rogue. Its about being the right type of rogue. I submit myself as an example.

I consider myself a rogue when it comes to blogging on gender. First and foremost I blog about something that a lot of people don't want to talk about, being a man in this world and I do it without hugging onto a label for dear life. Now if you are thinking about cutting me off with some "its a man's world bullshit" nonsense then I believe you aren't paying attention. You see being a man is not the key to the kingdom that people try to make it out to be. (I go into detail in this series of posts.) That makes a lot of people uncomfortable. It challenges what they think they know about being a man. It challenges the "certainties" they've already concluded and are patting themselves on the back for. It challenges their desire to shut out people who know, think, and speak differently. And just as (if not more) importantly it helps guys actually speak up for themselves which is hard (I know I'm still getting my thoughts right).

Problem is that sets you up for not having too much of a niche or shall I say audience. As you see after two and half years of blogging I don't exactly have that big of an audience. Don't get me wrong I love the conversations I have with the folks that drop by, I'm just talking about numbers.

The thing is I'm acting like a man in my own way but its not panning out in terms of visitors. If anything it seems that one has to act like a specific type of man to in order to succeed. So in reality its not "acting like a man" its "acting with a set of traits that are unfairly associated with being a man". Unfair because it sets those traits up as a bar that one is expected to meet in order to be considered a man. Unfair because it unfairly labels those who may or may not have those traits (or wishes to have those traits) as men or trying to be men when they do not identify as men. There's a lot going on there. In fact I may be missing something there, don't be scared to let me know. I won't bite.

In the end there's just too many factors in play to say that you have the one surefire list of what it takes become a successful blogger. Success is measured differently for different people and those different people have different audiences. And to be honest I look at them sometimes. But I wouldn't make one of them my bible for becoming a successful blogger.

5 comments:

Renee said...

I really think that you misrepresented my point by deciding what I meant by a dominant body. For instance, when I was talking about how disability and class effects who can be a successful blogger I did not mention a gender whatsoever. These identities are not specific to women. There were many places where I was speaking generally because privilege is not always a constant and is something that shifts depending on the spaces that we are negotiating. If I were in a trans space for instance, I would have cis privilege which would colour anything I had to say, similarly the same is true of a gay space. The term marginalized body is far more extensive than you imply in the post. Not everything is about gender, which btw is a comment a never thought that I would make to you.

DeeDeeDee said...

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DeeDeeDee said...

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Danny said...

(The following comment was posted by Renee. For reasons I can't fathom yet it did not show up on the post as it was supposed to, which odd is because she commented earlier today on one of my other posts. For the sake of conversation, and not knowing what's going on much less how to fix it, I'm posting it now. This is direct copy/paste from my Blogger moderation queue. Sorry for the mixup Renee.)


I really think that you misrepresented my point by deciding what I meant by a dominant body. For instance, when I was talking about how disability and class effects who can be a successful blogger I did not mention a gender whatsoever. These identities are not specific to women. There were many places where I was speaking generally because privilege is not always a constant and is something that shifts depending on the spaces that we are negotiating. If I were in a trans space for instance, I would have cis privilege which would colour anything I had to say, similarly the same is true of a gay space. The term marginalized body is far more extensive than you imply in the post. Not everything is about gender, which btw is a comment a never thought that I would make to you.

Danny said...

Like I say I have no idea why your comment showed up in my Blogger moderation queue but not in my JS-Kit moderation queue. Do you by chance recall if you were commenting under any different circumstances than normal (browser, logged in a different account, etc...). And just for measure your comment on my post about taking a break came through just fine.

Now for the matter at hand.

How exactly did I misrepresent your lament of "Why even bother to acknowledge that these people exist, when we all know that men are all that count?" All I'm saying that the line between count/not counting is not as simple as you appear to think it is.

These identities are not specific to women. There were many places where I was speaking generally because privilege is not always a constant and is something that shifts depending on the spaces that we are negotiating
Agreed. The reason I said the rest of your piece was solid was for just that reason. When you responded on those other parts you didn't limit it to just "men have it and women don't".

The term marginalized body is far more extensive than you imply in the post. Not everything is about gender....
Agreed. Which is why I said to go read your post because other than that one thing it was solid (and I stand by that). Just because I may point out something you didn't touch on (for whatever reason) doesn't mean I was trying to make it all about gender. Its not all about gender but if I think there's an element of gender thats missing I'm gonna bring it up.

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