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« Putting my money where my eyeballs are | Main | hosing things down »

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Melissa Gira

thank you, thank you, thank you.

i was trying to explain this to gina last night -- the femme-ininity backlash of sorts -- and feeling on *neither* side -- as if there are sides... the idea that there are sides is misogyny's grip. "my kitten heels, my self."

also: on the issue of heteronormativity & queer invisibility -- were folks not looking in the places they assumed to find queerness? the sex panel was at least half-queer. at least. but since we weren't labeled as such...

JM

I finally finished my drivel on the heteronormativity thing. basically, I feel like crap about it and I didn't know I would. that's the sucky part.

If I had read this post first, I would have tried to work "invisiblifying" into it. Good word!

Denise

massively annoyed, oh yea. massively.

Queers at Blogher, goodness yes, and the queer me had a great time - every single second of it.

e

in one of those interminable intermingling threads weaving around all over the place (mommybloggingmarketingnormativeitynaivetyblogs) somebody commented about being surprised to be told there had been some straight women at BlogHer. (This person, wherever it was, signed AL, but that would be an assumption, too, of course.) connectivity, got much? maybe one thing seems to be the case: communication at BlogHer, not so much after all?

gee, i wish i'd been able to see all this for myself, or whatever part(s) of it i would have seen had i been there. i think. i've been wanting to join in the comment fest, too, at times, but really i'm too scared to post anywhere but here!

meanwhile, hey! can we see the red panties again? they confused the hell out of somebody, i remember :)

Liz

Because you, my friend (and dang! I am glad to say that) are the Pantie Queen/King/Prince/Princess--

Here's a phrase I want to chant:

Put On Your Big Girl Panties and Deal!

But on the other hand...you know how Squid was so apprehensive about going to BlogHer? I wouldn't have guessed that about her if she hadn't self-disclosed.

Maybe the nay-sayers are like Squid...but not so insightful or self-aware.

e

yeah, the thing is, maybe they didn't feel comfortable self-disclosing before or during, but hoo boy after! i can understand this some, though. it's not so easy being around 700 peppy, cheerful yaysayers and feeling, oh no, somehow, um, nay?

that squid, don't know her own strengt'!

e

oferkreissakes, i'm surfing around reading all this crap stuff and i definitely agree with aspects of most of it but i'm damned if i'm going to say which NOW, and anyway over at koan's? your Big Girl Panties Chant has already been swiped! around the world and over the pond in less than an hour! (oh wait, the time clocks, my eyes! was it YOU swiped it, then?) Film at 11.

(Film??)

meanwhile: remember waaaaay back when you and our gracie gently tussled about, erm, "censorship" and, uh, positioning vis. blog sponsorship, remember that? i'm remembering that: can we say "foreshadowing?" the "triumvirago" (full disclosure: i don't know them) must be squealing from the rope burns as the ponies gallop away over the horizon.

Melissa Gira

who was it that posted about not "wanting to scream it from the rooftops" (about being a lesbian)...? not that there's anything wrong with that, but the pressure inherent -- because of heterosexism -- that means self-id'd queer folk are going to self-select into queercentric BOF's, ROYO's... reminded me of blogher '05 when i tried to figure out which ROYO to go to, feminism or obscenity, and decided maybe other sex geeks would be in obscenity... and found myself one of two non-mommybloggers amongst 20.

but it was good for me.

finding the best affinity groupings for oneself and one's community is a process. mybe it's got to get a little messy (like above) before it feels right...

denise, JM, you said such good stuff -- my own write-up is still in a cautious Draft and you're referenced thoroughly...

badgerbag

I'm still mad and feeling kind of like I can't get to anywhere productive with this. I think I have some nasty defensiveness to work through.

Possibly one thing that would help... I'm inspired by reading Hollaback Boston's race and class policy. It seems very clear and to the point. So, maybe Blogher having some written statements for its general philosophy would be helpful.

Or, an open letter from the queers, bi women, and lesbians at BlogHer. I just want that open letter to say "We're here, blogging, and proud" rather than "Your business suit, productive womb, and pointy toed shoes are oppressing me." I'm sorry... here is more defensiveness mixed in, do you see it?

I wish everyone would remember that it is what WE step up and make it. Blogher is so new. And so open to input and participation. So, we could make a lovely wiki or Writeboard type of thing to make collective race/class/gender/sexual orientation statements of inclusivity. I would just rather hear "Hey, let's get together and make a strong statement that lesbians, bi, trans, and straight are welcomed" than complaining that there is blindness from above. So, I mean that as a positive suggestion.

I'm queer and extremely open about it, and have felt extremely welcome, and no one has ever suggested that I tone it down. In fact, I regularly link up from the BlogHer site to lesbian blogs, identifying them as such. No one has ever told me to un-lesbo it up (or even to put my pants back on). So, when other queers are all like "queers are not welcome/visible at blogher" I'm kind of like, "What am I, chopped liver..." When I blogged taking my kid to the Pride March, the ad co-op was fine with it. When I blogged on there (quite tamely) for Blog Against Heteronormativity Day, no one in Blogher or the ad coops complained. Instead I have been made to feel very welcome.

On the other hand: I would be the last to argue with anyone who says "Blogher needs more lesbians!" Hell yeah, that would be great, and I am doing what I can to invite the local lesbian, bi, and trans women I know to come to the conference. IMHO that is the way to feel more comfortable. Bring a posse and introduce them around. It's not like lesbians write only about being lesbians all the time - we have mommybloggers and craft bloggers and techie bloggers too.

JM

"I wish everyone would remember that it is what WE step up and make it."

See, I just wanted to say THAT, but I blathered on for another 958 words.

You're right, though. There's nothing at all unwelcoming about the org.

Liz

Dang I pushed 'post" before I finished the thought. I think that I am fairly uninhibited about meeting strangers -- as in, I wanted to find the Birds of a Feather (BOAF) group about edublogging. There were a bunch of people already in BOAF groups around the pool -- I had no problem going up, leaning over, and whispering into somebody's ear ("which group is this? " and when it wasn't "edublogging" asking if they knew where that BOAF was.)

Now that is high-level social skills, you know. I'm not bragging, I'm just saying that the layout of the BOAF part of BH2006 favored people with my set of skills.

Let me pretend another scenario: say, each BOAF group had a really visible sign (like balloons with the BOAF topic) hovering over the meeting place, and a lot of inviting sitting spots, and maybe....

Well, I've been reading today about social cognition and its deficits. The BlogHer2006 venue was definitely daunting in that respect. I was thinking about that relative to Squid, and also relative to persons with various flavors of autism.

I wasn't at WoolfCamp on Sunday cause of JumperGirl's competition, plus a family reunion. This is relevant, really.

Now neurodiversity is a feature of my family. We're big huggers & kissers -- but AutisticCousin (AC) and PPDNOSCousin (PC) [from diffent branches] don't care for the hug/kiss part. It was really interesting to see how various cousins/aunts/uncles/etc. negotiated their own [urges? compulsions? Instincts?] to give the traditional family greeting to AC and PC -- to hug and kiss. The sweetest negotiation of this disconnect I saw with PC, AC and a relative was initiated by my young nephew who offered the two-handed high-five, and said, "sometimes I hate kissing Aunt X, she has bad bref."

The connection I'm drawing here is that we all have different skill sets in encountering strangers and negotiating crowds.

And the physical layout was more difficult than BH05 too.

e

ha! i'm remembering how, when my cousin was in an auto accident and had an airbag-broken sternum and couldn't be hugged, how when i got there and hugged my then-5 year old unhurt nephew who had been in the car, i looked at my cousin and then turned and grabbed my nephew again. since i couldn't grab his mom, see. worked for us. so i know what you mean.

i do have those same social skills of which you speak, though, when i want to exercise them, and i would recommend this trick to those who think they don't: we don't always feel as if we want to be bold and just approach things to find out what we want to know and we can let that feeling hamper us, so next time you're torn with that kind of action, imagine somebody ELSE asked you something like where's the edubloggers BOF? you will find yourself saying to that imaginary person, "i don't know, let's find out...excuse me, is this the edubloggers.." you might go out of your way to assist someone else in such a setting, in other words, where you won't assist yourself, you know you would. (addressing that thing might be done later; for the nonce just try circumventing it.)

sweetney

we didn't get to chat at blogher, but i just wanted to thank you for this post. SO smart and on the money.

laurie

Expecting three days (either in person or via website) to meet our social and personal needs is a lot to ask, and I have to admit that I had no expectations of this gathering, so I've been a little overwhelmed by the reactions. Your post is one of the best I've seen on the subject, Liz, so thanks. I had a blast at Blogher, just meeting PEOPLE and getting a grip on this vast world of blogging that only exists for me in the darkness of my basement where I write and read. I met some of the coolest people I've met in a long while - child-laden and child-free, single, married and everywhere in between. I'd personally enjoy being a mom but it hasn't happened, but some of my best friends have children and I love them. I like people in general. And some of those people have kids, and don't care that I don't. It's so simple. This weekend, I really believe that I made some friends. Most of them were single and didn't have kids, but that's just how it worked out (I spent most of my time on the audio team, so that was my primary "circle", and met some others based on those acquaintances.)

I hate that women can be so mean to each other, for whatever reason. And it sucks. I totally agree with you that we have no idea in what kind of heels or sandals another woman walks, regardless of her pedicure, and we should therefore be very careful with our judgments. I for one thought the groups of moms who were friends from online were having a great time, and I got a kick out of watching them. Common ground is a powerful thing. People were clearly meeting dear FRIENDS for the first time- also powerful. I say have at it - plus, my mother is amazing, and had she had a blog community 30 years ago, she'd have no doubt been chatting poolside, tattoo ablaze. It's. All. Good.

badgerbag

Thanks for the thoughts y'all! Laurie, I so agree with your take on it.

I confess, I still like the idea of the motherblogger gang jackets. Jenn S. was throwing sign out there by the pool, and had us all doing an "M". We do know how ridiculous that looked... we were a bit giddy...

I posted more about body & dress over here.

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