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What Do You Think About Men at BlogHer?

Do you think that men should be banned from attending BlogHer?  Or are men an essential component to the entire blogging experience?

I’ve made it clear in previous posts that I think that men are a part of the woman blogger’s audience, and as such, our input and perspective does have some value.  But I’m well aware that not everyone shares that opinion.  Some people think that since women are a minority voice in many areas, personal blogging is their place to shine, and that providing men with any voice at BlogHer is taking away from that power.  Some people just don’t want men involved at all because they don’t feel like they can be themselves unless they’re only around women.

Regardless of your perspective, men are going to attend.  We will be there, and maybe we can set up a space to talk about the male presence and why you think it’s beneficial or not.

You may be aware that BlogHer offers a session track called “Room Of Your Own”, in which the community is invited to suggest topics and vote on the sessions that they want to see as part of the BlogHer agenda.  And while TPTB at BlogHer don’t always listen to the community if it wants something counter to their desire, I’ve always felt that they can’t always ignore the loudest, squeakiest wheel.

And I want to be that wheel.  I’ve suggested a ROYO called “Men at BlogHer: Do We Belong?”  It’s designed to be a forum for those who are both pro- and con- male attendance – one place where we can talk about it civilly and see if there is any common ground.

If this is a topic that means something to you, I invite you to vote for it.

You have to be logged into BlogHer’s site first.

Then, go to the page for my ROYO and click “I would attend this session”.  And, if you want, you can tweet it or share it on FB and get others to vote, too!

If you have an idea that you’d like to submit for a room of your own, that’s easy, too.  Just go here and follow the instructions!

Thank you for your vote – hope to see you in San Diego!

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54 Replies to “What Do You Think About Men at BlogHer?”

  1. cagey

    Done did voted.

    Except for a brief sojourn in 2007 to birth a child, I’ve attended every BlogHer since the Original Recipe:2005. I never understood the questioning of men in attendance.

    Exclusion? Should not be in anyone’s vocabulary unless they are talking communicable diseases.

  2. Tony Hunt

    It just occurred to me that if I were a prankster (which I am) and a blogger (which I am), and I posted this (not tonight), I would have invariably inspired no few number of men to go to an all-female blogging conference.

    Well done my friend. Very well done.



      • Tony Hunt


        When I was posted I was doing so solely in jest. Friends attending aside (which by the way is more than enough reason for me to show, despite my candor), Bloggers sell themselves. It’s what we all do – guy, or girl. The idea that a convention geared toward empowering women on the net and in life would function better without their full demographic audience (i.e. both men and women) isn’t just silly, it’s skewed and potentially detrimental to virtually any business / marketing concept…this means blog-death.

        I often call them the Mommy-Blogging-Army because they are their own support system in an incredibly tough market and it works for them, but that support system is hardly a female-only environment, and I hope that all the Bloggers out there sporting an outie wouldn’t be so shallow as to think there nothing to gain by going to this.

        Ciao bro!


  3. thepsychobabble

    I think men absolutely have a place in blogging, both as contributors and as readers. I understand that BlogHer is supposed to have be focused on promoting women and such. But. At the very least, if part of our target audience is men, shouldn’t we be hearing from them, too?
    It seems slightly asinine to disregard an entire gender’s opinion and experience because of what they have for genitals.

    So. I voted. But I won’t be surprised if TPTB nix it, again. I’m growing a little disillusioned with the whole BlogHer phenomona.

  4. LeSombre

    I don’t know if this counts as a man perspective, a Canadian perspective, or just a dumbass perspective. I’m all of these, so who knows.

    I don’t understand the desire of certain men (i.e.: you) to present at BlogHer, and the yearly debate surrounding it. It’s called BlogHer. The BlogHer website says it’s to “create opportunities for more than 20 million women who blog and their readers to gain exposure”. I’m assuming they mean the male readership too, so you should “be allowed” to go. But the general feeling I get when I read/hear about BlogHer is that they don’t mind men to attend – but men shouldn’t present. It’s like a boat show really. You wouldn’t go there to show your new snowmobile, but I’m sure snowmobiles are more than permitted to attend.

    I guess for you this is like when I got to a restaurant; when the server brings the food and tells me to “be careful, the plate is hot”, the first thing I want to do is touch that damn plate.

    On the other hand, I also don’t get the idea of doing an event “Just for Women”. It seems that all my life all I heard was “Women are equals”, “Women shouldn’t be treated differently”, and all that feminist stuff. But it seems to me like BlogHer is a ghetto. This confuses the Hell out of me, because the message seems to be “Nobody puts Baby in a corner, unless Baby wants to be put in a corner. Than you just shut up and let Baby go in the corner. It’s Baby’s corner you know.”

    I would go on about the other (horror) stories I read about BlogHer, but this is your blog. Maybe I’ll post something on mine about it – that way I can get crucified on my bandwidth. 😉

    BTW I’m doing the “Ten a Day” thing. So you Rock. 😉

    • Avitable

      @LeSombre, men are invited to read posts at the keynote, men provided content for the “voices of the year” gallery, and if it’s about the woman blogger, wouldn’t a man’s perspective as a part of the audience of a woman’s blog also be important?

  5. Sheila

    Did you already do this?

    Also, I like that men are there because if it weren’t for Karl being at my one and only BlogHer experience, I would’ve gone home within a few hours of getting there and missed an amazing time.

  6. Krëg

    You know, I started a similar campaign to allow men to play for the WNBA and the LPGA. Then, much like the rest of the world, I realized I don’t really care about those two things, as they are boring and insignificant.
    Seriously, allowing guys to speak at something called BlogHER makes about as much sense as selecting Dame Judy Dench to be the keynote speaker at the Million Man March.
    More to the point, why would you even want to go BlogHer? If it is to meet your friends and readers and try to get laid, then fine. You don’t need a Room Of Your Own to do that. Well, strictly speaking I suppose most loose women with any modicum of class would prefer you have a hotel room of your own.
    If the purpose of BlogHer is to let women help empower other women, then your having a penis precludes you from their demographic and objective.

    STEP ONE for a man speaking at BlogHer.

    • Avitable

      @Krëg, there you go, talking out of your ass again.

      If you had a conference for advertisers, do you think that a panel comprised of the consumers who buy the advertisers’ products would be reasonable?

      Same thing. BlogHer is, in part, a place for women bloggers to make the most out of the possibility of monetizing their site, including ways to draw traffic. As one group of people who comprise said traffic, our perspective is quite valuable.

  7. Well Read Hostess

    I absolutely think there should be men at BlogHer and not just because some of them bought me mango mojitos last year. Ok, one of them. Ok. you.

    Yes it’s important for women to have a voice, but the world isn’t made up of just women, plus there’s so much diversity among the voices of the women who comprise this BlogHer thang, that it would be absurd to say that somehow throwing men into the mix changes that.

  8. Dave2

    I’ve already blogged about the hostile reaction I received after some women found out I was planning on attending BlogHer back in 2006 (I was invited!). Of course, a lot has changed since then, and I’m sure it’s a lot more accepted now than it was at the beginning… but I remain puzzled that this is even an issue in 2011 after five years of guys showing up. If men want to go to BlogHer to meet some of their favorite bloggers and the people organizing the event aren’t opposed to it… what’s left to debate?

    Do what you like, but it seems to me that hosting a room of “Men at BlogHer: Do We Belong?” is like asking if you should buy a smoke detector after your house has already caught fire and burned to the ground. Men ARE attending BlogHer. They have been since the beginning. That ship has sailed. So unless anybody in charge of the organization plans on changing it to a women-only thing, then men belong there. You’re living proof of that.

  9. Lisa

    I think men absolutely should be there, both as readers of the blogs women write and as writers of the blogs women read. While I’m going this year for the first time I’m still not all that on board with anything that is the least bit exclusionary. I wish there was a conference (besides the enormously expensive BlogWorld) that was gender neutral – and maybe there is and I just don’t pay enough attention. I will vote for you ROYO – and will attend if you get it!

  10. Nancy [Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas]

    I’m in a bit of a quandary of what to say here. Yes, men should be at BlogHer and fortunately will be. However, using a whole session at a conference to discuss why you should be at the conference feels a bit…well, circular. There’s a lot of great topics I’d love to hear people speak about at BlogHer — from both the male and female point of view, (e.g., talking honestly, but respectfully about romantic partners online). However for most topics, frankly, gender doesn’t matter. I want to hear Neil talk about writing as much as I want to hear Amy.

    Don’t get too wrapped up in the BS of BlogHer politics, Adam. Remember why you’re there. It’s not for the people in charge. It’s to prove you rock (you don’t need anyone else to tell you that). It’s for the friends you’ll see, the interesting discussions you’ll have and the insights you’ll take home…oh and the parties. Let’s not forget those.

      • Poppy Buxom

        @Avitable, I just don’t see what kind of actual debate could take place. Some guys want to be there; some women object. We could sit and watch people argue about it for an hour or we could try to find something that would help us blog more effectively. That’s why I say it’s too meta. I don’t want to go to BlogHer and hear about why someone else wants to be at BlogHer.

        Your argument that men constitute part of our readership and should be represented is also specious. I’ve been a Mac user since 1985, but that doesn’t make me qualified to give a presentation at MacWorld.

  11. Kimberly

    Seriously? There are people there that don’t think men should attend? My sarcastic response would be…who’d want to go be in room full of catty women who just want to talk about their kids all day anyway? But I know that’s not very mature. Yes, men should be allowed. Sure, there are places where women are not welcome, but to use that as a lame excuse, is no better than the men who don’t allow women. To me, it’s just like saying most elementary school teachers are women so men can’t come to any of the staff devcelopment offered to teachers. But if the logical argument doesn’t work, feel free to use the bitchy one up above. 🙂

  12. Elizabeth Kaylene

    I’m not a fan of gender-specific events, anyway, because I think it’s pretentious, but banning a specific group of people — men — from a specific event — BlogHer — is discriminatory. I can understand why some women might only want to hear panels by women bloggers, but the controversy surrounding all of this is just sickening. This is why I hate feminists, because they make my entire gender look like man haters. Some people need to start seeing men as fellow human beings, not “the opposite sex” that we should all draw a line from.

    At any rate, I’d rather go to a blogging conference without this kind of argument. It’s 2011, people, not 1930.

  13. Poppy

    I don’t think men should be banned from BlogHer. I wouldn’t go so far as calling men an essential part of the conference, but I don’t see the point in being gender biased for this event.

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