My very good friend and colleague, Lesley, author of Lesley's Blog, made a post in the last day or so that has generated much attention. It concerned the as-yet broadly ignored subject of female bloggers. Her post was good, and I urge you to connect with it, and its comments.
I had read it in a hurry when it was published, and didn't have time to comment - and there are a couple of things that I wanted to say, I hope helpfully, but didn't. Actually, it raises an important question, and as always, what I am about to splurge here is my own perspective.
First, I wanted to bang the drum for the many many women who blog and whose work I read. They range from the copiously followed Maggi Dawn to the barely-noticed Doorkeeper or Daydreamer. All that these women write is wonderful, and are among list of excellent female writers upon which Lesley is a worthy and significant presence. I delight in all their work, in whatever frequency it lands in my reading list. But then it struck me ...
Secondly, and this is where I get my nuts cracked, only when my mate made her post did I ever have cause to make any distinction among bloggers on the basis of gender. I have never thought: "this is a jolly good wo/man blogger", just simply "what a wonderful post". The post, which has (rightly, and perhaps inevitably) generated much attention has also frustrated me.
I may have missed the point in the great male-female 'struggle', but to me blogging was a place where it just didn't matter. I cannot honestly tell you if Church Mouse is a man-mouse or a lady-rat, and I have never cared - the blog is top-rate either way. There are others that are not clear to me either. When I pick up a book, I do not think: "I have read a lot of male authors, perhaps today is the day to pick up some female writing"; I just don't. Yes, some content is gender specific, and Lesley epitomises that well, but the very large majority of blog material (in the Christian setting) is, to me at least, non-gender specific. Did the distinction need then to be drawn? Perhaps women blog less because they have more sense, I don't know! Perhaps they don't blog less, but they blog outside of the spheres that many of us read.
For my part, I thank God for Lesley, for Maggi, for Cymraeg, for Doorkeeper, for Madpriest, Churchmouse, Curate's Wife, Treagear Vean, Chelliah Laity, The Oxford Christian, Stuart at eChurch Blog, the folk at Beaker, the Naked Pastor, Clayboy, The Ugley Vicar, Gurdur, and everyone else whose words edify me and my faith.
And for my part, as just one person, I couldn't give a monkey's if you are male, female, hermaphrodite, or even Sith Lord. In the world that is 'blog', I don't believe it matters.