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on viewing women as girls

Many of the over-forty blogs kept by women have this same anxiety running through them. Instead of fighting for that authorial voice, the "eye," by playing with the "I," which is the hallmark of teen blogs, the over-forty blogs cast their "eye" only as far they can see: their immediate domestic environment. Having lost that sense of invincibility that comes from being a young adult, the over-forty is thrown in that same breath-choking cold current of doubts that he or she navigated as a teen. That is why a middle-aged woman's blog description of getting a haircut sounds the same as a teenage girl's account of the same event.

I still don't know what to make of this yet, except that it angered me in the same way that the media treatment of PFC Jessica Lynch has angered me.

I'm not a feminist by an stretch of the imagination. However, I do not subscribe to the notion that women are just bigger versions of little girls that so many people still cling to.

More on this later. Consider this a lead-in.


As eye am from the Ozzie & Harriette
generation (read chicken sh#t),
I humbly beg leave of absence
until this thread runs out.
I'll be hanging round the
testostoblogs for the nonce.

I'm anxious to tell this person to bite me.

Not in the over 40 category yet, but not too far off, and may I just state for the record:

That's a load of crap.

Look, maybe it's a little more simple that that--maybe some folks are just using their blogs as diaries, not forums for political commentary and psychosocial analysis. If that makes a blog "unsticky" for you as a reader, fine. As always on the internet, YMMV.

Frankly, as I've gotten older I've found that my "I" and my "eye" (and could we please stop with the pseudo-Lacanian analysis of blogs? Jeez.) have only gotten stronger. Maybe it's the carrot juice.


As a member of that "over 40" group of blogging women, I say "Go get 'im, Michele."

Immediate domestic environment my hairy white ass.

What planet is he on? I'm 5 months away from 50, volunteer at a local rescue squad, work a full time job, own my own property and firearms. HE'S more of a domestic goddess than I am. Tell him to STUFF IT!

Imperial Keeper of Killer Lagomorphs

You realize this is coming from a woman...psycho.

Ditto on what Tracey said. I am not over 40, but I'm nearing 40 fast.

I can sort of see what the author of this article was trying to do. But as always, the world and the people in it are really too complex to pigeonhole in this very narrow way.

In any case, why the hell does it matter? There are plenty of blogs out there - by men and by women - that I think "pointless" or "self-absorbed" or something else. But it's entirely up to the person running the blog what they put into it, and if I don't like it, I DON'T READ IT! It's really very simple!

I'm confused... what kind of conclusion is being drawn here? I was horrible at statistics (I had to take some for a psych class once), but it seems like too small of a sample to make any kind of conclusion. (Remove blogs written by men or unidentified gender, remove blogs written by under-40 or unidentified age) Also, it seems like an emotional reaction, perhaps an identification with her own situation.

I'm young yet, but I missed out on that invincibility phase somewhere.

Wait til you get to the over 50's, LOL. We're real homebodies. I know I write about real domestic stuff, er the DHCP assigning invalid IP's. I know there are people that wouldn't want to read my blog, hippie peaceniks and the French for example. I write what interests me as I suspect do most bloggers.

I'll second the bite my ass comment. One of the reasons I started keeping a blog is that my world is a little small - I work at home as a web designer and I've got 3 young kids. Sometimes I get lonesome for some adult conversation that doesn't involve stain removal tips or comments about what teachers are good to get. My web log lets me interact with a bigger world and offer my views on current events as well as the events in my life. Just because my situation keeps me more homebound at the moment doesn't meant that I automatically become more tentative and I resent the implication that my age automatically makes my writing more flabby.

On another note, that chick must have never had a bad haircut. That's one situation guaranteed to turn anyone back into an angsty teenager.

Not that I disagree with the general sentiment, but I have heard on many and varied occasions from pretty much all women in my own life the old axiom:

The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.

Or variations thereof. Very few women I know personally disagree with this sentiment to any great degree.

So, should I be offended at that?

I think it's probably an invalid generalization drawn from too few samples.

I had a longer post going, but it got too long for my comfort.

What a dumb essay, or post, or whatever the hell that was. Every single assumption in it was stupid, or else so obvious ("Maintaining a successful blog requires a solid sense of identity.") that you want to go, "Well, duh." Also, it was pretentiously written. But then I see that she hold a BA in Theatre (she's Canadian, they spell it that way), an MA in "Communications" (Argh!) and an MFA in Creative Writing, Say no more. (Info from the "about" page of her site -- did you know she's "in the middle of being middle-aged"? Well, now you do.)

There is a lot of the coverage on the rescue of PFC Lynch that I'm somewhat uncomfortable with.
I'm uncomfortable with the way that people ignore the immediate, unplanned response of the Marines to go after those wounded. There wasn't time to plan or to prep the battlefield. Nine Marines died, some of the wounded were rescued.
I'm uncomfortable with the way so many ignore the other POWs and MIAs from that mess.
I am NOT concerned with people my age calling a 'kid' or a 'girl'. She's younger than my youngest kids.
I know the heroism of some of these people I call kids, boys and girls. I was a teenaged Marine back when dinosaurs and Viet Cong roamed the Earth. I was a kid then to the vets of Iwo and Chosin. It wasn't an insult then, it's not one now. Please do not reach out for insults that are not intended,
I hope I'm at least close to your intended topic, Michele, sorry for the length, don't know how to shorten this.

A woman wrote that, eh? What the hell made me think it was written by a man? Dunno.

But still, she insinuates that "over-forty blogs kept by women " focus mostly on their "domestic" environment. What the hell?

A month or so ago I went actively searching for female bloggers "of a certain age". I found our lovely hostess Michele, as well as DaGoddess, to add to my growing list. Why was I looking? Because I was pretty sure there were other women out there in my age group that focused on something besides babies, crafts and wifely duties (not that there's antyhing WRONG with those subjects, I am a mother and a wife and I've been known to do a craft or two). I wanted to get into the minds of other women my age around the world. I don't see that we're so focused on our immediate environment by any means.

Domestic environment? My husband does the dishes, cooks, vacuums, cleans the cat box and does the grocery shopping. I go to work, just like a 50s husband. (And am currently suffering that same feeling at being unemployed.)

I talk about my life & crafts on my weblog, because I don't feel I have any deep thoughts to share. I could care less what some insecure child thinks about my life or blog.

Maybe there are more women who keep diary type blogs than men, but that doesn't discount the women who don't.

The undercurrent is more troubling and one which appears all too frequently--women, such as ourselves, often find ourselves arguing the point--leftover from our militant '70s roots. Wrong!

The response isn't that there might be a lot of women keeping diary and homestead life blogs, the point is "and so fucking what, what's your goddamn point?"

Is there something WRONG with a woman keeping a diary or presenting a perspective of homelife? Are women supposed to be ashamed of caring about these things and expressing their feelings? Women are only valuable when they discard their female identities?

It's bollocks. We aren't liberated when we discount a woman's chices. That's just mandate in reverse.

Women ARE bigger versions of little girls. Men are also bigger versions of little boys. So what.

We're only valuable when we write blogs like men? Nu uh.

I for one think it's a pretty valid generalization.

As long as you throw the modifier "some" in there.

There's a reason that authors have long used the phrases "squealed with girlish delight" or "her eyes glinted in girlish delight."

Is there something wrong with pointing to a man or woman and identifying an "innocent" quality to their actions?

Perhaps occams productions displays the view of a jaundiced "eye" lamenting how youth is wasted on the young.

Ave Mea Imperaterix,

I must say I tried, genuinely tried to get where this person was coming from and failed. Someone tell me what I missed - this all I got out of it:

Blogging is successful because of the stylish yet vaccuous egocentricity of the Twentysomething crowd. Teenagers tend to be full of themselves. Broads in the 40+ range act just like teeny-boppers, and appearantly cannot distinguish between "eye" and "I". Teenagers also tend to move furniture and that can lead to stubbed toes. Twentysomethings can't really afford furniture so there's little risk of stubbing their toes - unless their was a sale at the Futon Hut. And really, who doesn't like Futons?

I mean, was there a point to this crap? Yeesh.

Nowhere NEAR the over-40 category yet either, but I really hate anything that smacks of "It's okay to be anything you want, women, but just don't be anything that isn't on the list of feminism-approved activities." What was the point of fighting for the choice to go to work and have a career and vote and all that if you have to give up other things to prove what a wonderful, empowered woman you are.

If I (or any other person--woman or man) choose to focus on something, obviously it was important to me (or to them). Who fucking cares if it didn't change the world or there was a small domestic scope to some of my writings. I don't notice people running around picking at guys when they use their blogs focus on domestic issues like raising the kids, or conversely, on their career or world events.

Besides what about people like Theresa Neilsen-Hayden--over forty, yes, and a woman who has many diverse interests in her blog. Only one example, but I think this might be a case of somebody unconciously, yet deliberately seeking out facts to fit their hypothesis and ignoring those which don't fit.

In the immortal words of Terry and Neil:

Buggre alle thys for a larke.

I don't know when the definition of feminism changed from "equal opportunity for women" to "deny, discourage, and discount everything that is feminine."

I must have missed the memo. I've been baffled by the usurpation of the term, by militant women-women-haters, ever since.

Mrs. du Toit, and I as a pinko feminazi agree with your first sentence, and feel it's been usurped by the anti-female rightwing ever since as well as the anti-female left.

I am over 40 and I am not a domestic goddess - excuse me

I have to go wash dishes.

Jane, was feminism about equal opportunity and rights for women or was it about denial of rights for men? As I recall it was about things like equal pay for equal work, not you must work, or live your life by someone else's definition.

The Grand Fraud

Wrong link above, sorry.

It's this one:
Grand Faud: Part II

cjb: Oh, I'm so hurt by your comment. Boo, hoo, hoo. (NOT). I'm flattered. As the old saying goes, "I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it." And I don't care what gender wrote the comment, it still STANK.

Imperial Keeper of Killer Lagomorphs

Mrs., the feminism I knew was about equal opportunity....legal and economic equality (social equality always follows the first two). Or I should say, it was for most....there were always the wingnuts who wouldn't "participate in male'centred politics", or who thought every sex act was rape, or some such variation (eye roll). But being a mother, wearing make-up, having some social civility, or other aspects of how we define "feminine" generally weren't spurned by the majority.

Since then, certain elements of the angry and petulant left have turned it into this grotesque power of the patriarchy crap, and certain elements of the whiny right have turned it into the object of blame for a female POW and every other societal ill they can think of.

I suppose that's why I sitll insist on calling myself a feminist....I refuse to be cowed by either group who would take away my acrylic nails and accessories.....or my right to have a bank account without a man's co-sign.

We also dismiss those over forty because they no longer look like us, and, because they look too much like, well, what awaits us, should the reef crumble.

Have at her!

From your quote I assumed that she was another judgemental asshole - ready to crusify anyone who didn't think and write exactly the way she does...

But reading the whole article she just looks completely oblivious in her own sort of self absorbtion.

I'd take those ramblings no more seriously than I do Morford's .

Mrs., one more thing related to the article you cite.....I led a job evaluation project for a large public-sector corporation in Canada. I discovered systemic discrimination did indeed exist....but against blue-collar white males, not women. It was quite gratifying!

. I discovered systemic discrimination did indeed exist....but against blue-collar white males, not women. It was quite gratifying!

No, wait.

This soldier
has more balls than
This Marine

Rob: so true. I remember someone saying we could be more fair by using overies instead of ball in our speech for a few years, switch every few years or something, You know, you could say "that Tommy Franks sure has a set of brass overies on him!"

Having arrived on the reefs of certainty...

I'm over forty, and I haven't arrived there yet. I'm now thinking I will live my life backward: Dread of death in my teens, illusions of immortality in my eighties.

I could as easily point out that people in their twenties have nothing to talk about. They are less likely to have stories beginning, "There I was at 30,000 ft, with nothing on but the radio." or "I met Jim Lovell down at the Pole." , or "A penguin once bit my boyfriend." For one thing, they're busy acquiring those stories.

(Sadly, these samples are only illustrations, and do not reflect anything in my past. Well, OK, the penguin thing, but that's the only one. Well, and Jim Lovell, sorta.)

Sorry, Joshua,

saying "pair of brass ovaries" just doesn't have the impact of saying "swingin', danglin' pair of industrial-sized shiny-brass American balls"

i know it seems sexist, but it's only a figurative description.

It takes balls to keep fighting against overwhelming odds, to keep your composure, to do what you've been trained to do and not panic.
I'm not sure I could have done it, I hope I never have to find out. It's good to know that it doesn't take a literal pair.

It DOESN'T take balls for momma's boy to run & hide & cry when called-up for RESERVIST duty!

Don't get me wrong, I have all the respect in the world for ANYONE who puts on the uniform, active or reserve. But, as a reservist, they don't give you your oath, hand you an m16 and send you off to your death.

I'm guessing that the Pentagon will say "oh, we don't mind that you're gay." Then, next week, he'll say he's flat-footed, or one leg is shorter than the other, or use some other lame excuse to shirk his duty.

was just looking up synonyms for 'shirk,' and found this:
Entry: coward
Definition: afraid person
Synonyms: ..., fraidy-cat, funk, gutless, ....

only a pussy would use the gay card to get out of the marines.. i'd be honored to be a marine..

right on, jenna, I'm sure the Marines would be honored to have you.

Unlike me; when the Marine recruiter asked me how many times I had smoked marijuana, when I was done laughing, he told me that the Corp had no use for me.
The next day, when the Navy recruiter asked me the same question, I answered "10,"
The Navy gave me SECRET clearance.

btw - have you noticed that Funk's MOM is in every picture of him on news sites?

Hee - Can you spell FIRESTORM?

The author needs to adjust her meds...she seems to be lamenting aging one moment and denying gaining any insight from her life experience in the process.

The haircut reference is just bizarre...we ARE a sum of our experiences...what makes us happy at 15 will still do so at 40, 50 or 80...and a sassy haircut does it for me...as well as a new shade of red lipstick or a pair of come-fuck-me shoes.

I am way past caring (means over 50) about what others think of my gender or my opinions...but then I was pretty much full of shit at 15 too.

I've always been too much of a maverick to join the sistah-hood...I don't run with a herd of any gender. Which for some reason brings to mind Gary Larson's Cow Poetry.

Distant Hills
The distant hills call to me.
Their rolling waves seduce my heart.
Oh, how I want to graze in their lush valleys.
Oh, how I want to run down their green slopes.
Alas, I cannot.
Damn the electric fence!
Damn the electric fence!
Thank you.