In a thread on my previous post, A. mentioned his fiancee. He said: She finds the atheist blogging thing difficult enough to understand as it is. PhillyChief responded: One thing us guys here have in common at least is having women who don't get why we care enough to blog about this stuff.
Now, this exchange reminded me a little too much of Alfalfa and Spanky extolling the He-Man Woman Haters Club. So I'm going to respond. But first, I'm going to make a few observations, and weave in a short personal story.
The comment threads on most blogs that have an open policy – as I do – tend to go astray. My regular readers and I usually try to find a way to re-introduce the topic at hand, but there’s also a lot of good-natured, unrelated banter and teasing between us. Often, we refer to one another’s previous posts, not necessarily with full explanations for casual commenters who may not know exactly what we’re talking about.
I think our comment threads point out one of the main differences between publishing an ezine and a blog. When actually posting, we’re putting our ideas out there for the world. If we refer to someone else’s take on the same subject, we include a link for everyone to see, and, often, a brief summary of what the other person had to say. Our articles are styled to be accessible to everyone, with no prior background necessary.
But when commenting, we’re more freewheeling. We’re continuing a dialogue that has been going on for some time. Often, we twit one another over previous disagreements we’ve had, or support one another’s ideas without having to restate them in their fullest form. I like that. The Atheosphere is not a group of strangers; it’s a community. Some of us have gotten to know one another, at least in our blog personae, pretty well; we’re friends. When you get together with friends of long standing, you sometimes shorthand your mutual references.
I’m always happy when a new reader decides to plunge in and join the group. We’re most definitely not exclusive. Newcomers are welcome to join in the ribbing and the general tone. Folks who comment here have pretty thick skins I like to think; if they don’t, they’ve probably come to the wrong place.
So last night, my wife, who’s far more sensitive to mockery than I am, was looking over one of the threads here, and she said, “It’s like a men’s club. Just a bunch of guys getting together to trade ideas and rag on each other.” Now, my wife knows me very well, and has gotten used to my “style” of using humor to try to make important points. When she says “joking around,” she’s doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re being frivolous. In fact, she immediately qualified what she said: “I’m talking about the tone, not the content. It’s like old male buddies hanging out in a bar.”
However, what I objected to in her comment – aside from the word “old,” which I’ll let pass – was the idea that my blog is a men’s club, a bunch of guys. First of all, I believe that the Atheosphere is gender-neutral. The sharpest writers in it come from both sexes. Secondly, if it were a “men’s club,” how dull would that be?So, in response to A., Philly and my wife, I’m going to take this opportunity to celebrate – through some links – the women who sometimes hang out in this particular godless nay-borhood. I’ve already mentioned a few of these recently, but I’m going to list here, in alphabetical order, some women whose blogs I read regularly. If you haven’t checked them out, I encourage you to do so. And I defy anyone to show how, in any way, these women are less thought-provoking, profound, skeptical, aggressive, nasty, witty, companionable, and universally relevant than their male counterparts.
I’ve limited this list to only those women who comment here, whose blogs are active, and who write well. Here it is:
All in the “club,” as far as I’m concerned – and not a he-man among them.