Girl Talk: Are blogs for women counterproductive?

Girl Talk: Blogs for women – counterproductive or protective?

"I used to live near the beach in Sydney, and there was this amazing women’s pool that I used to frequent in the summer. It was a place where you could go and sit and relax in the company of other women and not have to worry about getting perved on by creepy guys and just be you. I really liked going there because most women dropped their judgmental egos at the door, so there was less pressure to have a bangin’ bikini body. You were at complete liberty to let those jiggly bits do their thang and not have to worry about an audience. So I do believe we need these spaces. I do believe they are havens."

- Camilla Peffer of Girls Are Made From Pepsi, beautifully illustrating the best intentions of women's blogging in response to Susannah Breslin's piece,'Why blogs for women are bad for women' @ Forbes, which has given me further reason to ponder the perpetuation of images – more particularly women's magazine covers – that detract from the message (i.e. we are better than this). Image-free blog, anyone?

If only all the world were a haven for women... and men. Y'know, as God intended before the Fall, which the carpenter man came to restore. Which brings me to Dr Gail Dines (notably, a left-wing Jewish feminist Marxist sociologist, not a Christian) talking at ABC Big Ideas. I feel shamefully lukewarm in light of Dines' fierce polemic on porn culture. I wanted to cry when the young women spoke up in the audience about their conflict (Dines talks about the necessity for a "dual consciousness" – I have that; 'who God says I am v who the world says I am', though she's talking about actively critiquing the culture we live in while participating in it).

But there are affirmative actions we can take, such as high-fiving any organisation/publication that presents women's multidimensional identities – what Dines describes as their "past, present, future, names, goals, aspirations, wants, desires" (spirituality, intellect, capabilities) – in a way that counteracts the stereotypes of patriarchal, porn-culture conformity and rails against the hot/sexy/slim (or hot/sexy/fat) soft-porn standard that taints popular culture.

Girl With a Satchel


Lisseut said...

I only had time to watch a few minutes of the video, but I will definitely be coming back and viewing the whole thing. Very interesting and great food for thought about our society and how much images influence us.

Melbourne Girl said...

I watched Dines on Big Ideas because I'd heard about her but I must admit I felt underwhelmed by her. She appears to like the sound of her own voice and lost me as soon as I felt like I was being given a lecture rather than an exchange of ideas and opinions.

The whole female bog thing is interesting too. Not sure where I stand on that yet. I'll have to give it some more thought seeing I don't really read any so called female blogs.
I guess our reactions to them can depend on how you feel about yourself and where you think you fit in the world.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I found Dines' lecture revealing and empowering. So thank you for having the guts to post this esp bc it's some that is so much easier to pretend it's not happening.