Rat's Nest
Bloggage, rants, and occasional notes of despair

The restroom door said "Gentlemen"

(A Twisted Christmas song by the Bob Rivers Comedy Group, by the way.  Their heavy metal version of "Joy to the World" is particularly good.)

Anyway, "The Ladies' Room" by Ginger Stampley got me to thinking (always a dangerous thing) and inspired (if I may call it that) the title of this article.

(Incidentally, Ms. Stampley refers to burningbird in her article -- and I had just gotten a hit on my weblog from burningbird a couple of days earlier.  What was that stuff about "six degrees of separation"?)

All of the "fuss" is probably about perceived hypocrisy on the part of the blog operators (possibly some real hypocrisy, too, but the truth about that is lost in all the smoke and fire).

Back when I was significantly younger than I am now, women (and men) styling themselves "feminists" attacked quite a few men-only institutions on the theory that they are actually discriminatory against women.  In the great majority of cases, they were correct.  J.C. Duffy parodies this by having his characters join a club where "we get together to smoke cigars and drink Scotch in big leather chairs in a manly environment, figuring out ways to keep hold of the reins of power in society".  There was, however (and continues to be, though to a much lesser extent), a considerable amount of truth in this; a sign reading "No Gurlz Allowed" was quite likely to mean "No Gurlz Allowed to Do Anything Significant".

As time went on, the meaning of "feminist" shifted, at least among those who styled themselves "feminists" (and I have some quarrels with Shelly's position on this, although that's a whole different article), and attacking men-only institutions became a reflex, a way to build street cred.

Now, various women who style themselves "feminists" (and some who don't) are participating in everything from women-only mailing lists to women-only fraternal (sororal?) orders.  And some men (including some who did or still do style themselves "feminists") are pissed.  "After trashing all of our institutions for ourselves in the name of equality", they exclaim, "you now re-create those same institutions for yourselves on the grounds that you in a 'sisterhood' that we can never be a part of?"

Well, let us examine this.  I believe that both Ginger and Shelley would agree me that payback is not an acceptable basis for morality.  If there is some women-only institution, whether it be a mailing list with three members or a national organization whose policy is, "We'll seize political and social power and, after 10,000 years of oppressing men, we'll talk about equality", they would join with me in denouncing it.  On the other hand, I would join with them in denouncing an all-male institution with, mutatis mutandis, the same objective; and I think that we will also agree that, based on the historical evidence, such a thing is more likely of an exclusively male organization than an exclusively female one.

On the gripping hand, however, is that we (should) require some evidence before mobbing someone and shouting, "She a witch!  Burn her!".  Or, "Burn him", for that matter.

So, is Blogsisters morally acceptable?  Absolutely.  And, if men wish to piss and moan about it, but aren't willing to start Blogbrothers, then they should shut the hell up.

Of course, if they do start Blogbrothers, the same applies to anyone who complains about men-only blogs.

John "Akatsukami" Braue Tuesday, March 19, 2002