Lesbian Dad

Can a “hir” talk at BlogHer? We’ll find out!

I'm Geeking Out at BlogHer 08Okay, so I’m not quite so trans-identified as to use the gender-neutral neologism “hir” (as vs. the mutually exclusive dichotemy pronouns “her” or “him”). But it made for a catchy, if slightly confusing post title. And what am I, after all, if not slightly confusing? Also, I was recently reminded of how very different I am, gender-wise, from my beloved, when I overheard her chirp on the phone to a chum: “Hey! Are you overdue for a manicure? Or a pedicure? Because some time just opened up for me and I thought I’d go freshen up my toes.”

For the record — and I apologize in advance for how this might rightly be classified as Grodie Oversharing (as opposed to Lugubrious Oversharing, one of my specialties, or Tasteless Oversharing, which I try studiously to avoid) — for the record, I rarely freshen up my toes. They get special love and attention from me about as often as my head hairs do, which essentially is at such point as I begin to become aware/embarassed about them. Which is a frequency I don’t quite want to share with the reading public, but let’s just say it’s not as frequent as some might like.

Help is on the way, though: a friend recently confessed that she gets what she calls a “butch pedicure” from someone who does not look askance at her when she says No she does not want “color” on her toes, and neither does she want so much as a “shine.” Also, the French-Algerian chap who gives me the smart short haircut I have sported for a well over a decade gets himself a pedicure immediately upon arrival in Paris, on his annual visits to his pops. And he’s even heterosexual, too. I don’t know, though. I’ve still found that a gal such as myself can’t pawn off cultured European masculinity very well. It’s too easily mistaken for Traditional Femininity. Or at least this is what I fear, whenever I try on clogs. For those of you who don’t know the inner angst of a soft butch/gentle-manly gal, this illustrates it as well as anything. A tragic kind of clog-philia/phobia. I know, I know: it could be worse. It also could be less confusing. I refer us to the remark above about my known tendencies toward the slightly confusing.

But hey! How’d we get off on this toe topic? (Mmm, sleep deprivation, mebbe?) The point here is this, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with toes or clogs: I have been handed the somewhat daunting honor of being an invited speaker on a panel at this year’s BlogHer conference. Its title: “Is MommyBlogging Still a Radical Act?” (details here). So far the fellow panelist is that irrepressible Maria, of Immoral Matriarch fame (I’ll post others here as they are announced).

It’s an interesting topic, with a lively history in the immediate community of so-called “mommy bloggers” and the community of women who have attended the past BlogHer conferences at which this topic has been tossed about, evidently like a humungous beach ball at a concert that everyone’s almost more fascinated by than the action on the stage. (Right metaphor? Who knows! I haven’t been to a BlogHer conference yet; only read about ’em! But I like the visual! Blame the sleep deprivation!)

The panel itself is not about people pontificating, but rather chit-chatting with the assembly and goaded on, as needed, by interviewer Lindsay Ferrier, of Suburban Turmoil fame. In lieu of some stiff, over rehearsed Speech, I will try to ponder and then do up a post on the topic to the best of my abilities, from my position as kinda not-mom who kinda isn’t-connected to the “mommyblogging” community, per se. Per se meaning I feel very connected to the lesbian parent blogging community. Which connectedness, perhaps most visibly via my work over at the LesbianFamily.org desk, was much of what inspired BlogHer co-founder Elisa to ask me onto the panel (I have it on good authority: hers). So I’m guessing that my relative cluelessness about the topic, as it has burnt back and forth across various gunpowder lines linking the mommyblogger-o-sphere, may not be altogether a problem.

Still. To fertilize my pondering period, and to properly season whatever it is I do say with your collective wisdom, I am asking you, dear reader(s), what you think about this topic. As a loquatious person, and as a former teacher, I will stretch out the question into a multi-part, essay question series, thus:

  • What in the Sam Hill do you think “mommyblogging” even refers to?
  • Do you read and or identify among these “mommybloggers”?
  • What do you think, if anything, is still “radical” about this community and its online communication? If ever it was radical? And finally,
  • What does the lesbian parent / lesbian “mommy” (I can’t stop with the quotation marks!) community have to contribute to the “radicalism” of mommy blogging?

You may tackle any one of these questions, in sequence, or not, as you feel moved.

I got my own thoughts on the topic, of course, but like a proper facilitator, first I need to let the assembly fulminate. One of the big things I learned from the first annual LD Reader Survey is that an offline survey is a Lurker’s De-lite. (Cue, in your brain, the deathless and legendary dittie by the Sugarhill Gang. Note, in the boogieing crowd, the shirtless white men, putatively heterosexual, dancing with their wrists high, way high, above their waists! My son’s dancerly prowess will not be without precedent, if indeed he does turn out to be heterosexual! Ha HA! Also, look at how thin the line is between disco and rap! You can barely make it out! Here, more Rapper’s Delight fun for the scholarly crowd.)

Woops, where were we? Rapper’s Delight, from Lurker’s De-lite, from — Ah yes! So I’m going to set one of those up offline surveys up for this topic, and post a link to it here and in its own separate post when I do get it going. Meanwhile, for those of you who are happy to chit-chat here in the comments: I’ve gone on enough about my BlogHer panel topic. What do you think about it?

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