Thoughts On “Where Have All The Dude Blogs Gone?”

[Ed. Note: This post is by Austin journalist Dan Solomon, who originally posted this on his own blog, which is about music and culture and news and gender and stuff. Solomon’s a baller for letting Hay Ladies! repost this piece about dude blogging. Follow Dan on Twitter.]

Tim Donnelly at Thought Catalog ponders the question of why there are blogs ranging from Jezebel to The Frisky to Hairpin that are for women, but all of the blogs for men are just full of pictures of naked women and reviews of watches and shit like that. He points to the now-defunct Asylum, among others, as shallow men’s blogs that didn’t give him what he wanted.

And I hear what he’s talking about, I do. I tried, occasionally, to contribute stories back when Asylum was running that got at the same things he wants to talk about — male identity in reality as opposed to in media and things that talked about gay dudes in a dudely manner and stuff like that. I liked the idea of a sort-of male equivalent to Jezebel — a site that was smart and curious and wanted to talk about what it meant to be a man in the 21st century, with all the tit-shots and what to buy to get laid and seriously, all you care about is beer and TV, right, dudes-type posts left behind. But the more I’ve come to work elsewhere, the more I’ve realized that there’s no real point to that.

The reason that there are so many woman-specific blogs on the Internet is because most “gender-unspecific” sites are deeply woman-unfriendly. I had to restrain myself yesterday from getting into a flame war on the A.V. Club comments section about whether punching women in the face was wrong. And that’s a site with a number of woman writers and editors! We don’t need our own spaces because every space is, by default, ours. We don’t have to worry about being marginalized or threatened or ignored when we post on “gender-unspecific” sites, we don’t have to deal with the casual sexism of tit-shots on articles that have no need for a tit-shot, we don’t have to even think about it. Why would we create these male blogs? If a dude wants to talk about music, he doesn’t need to create a Male Music Blog, he can just go to Pitchfork. And advertisers know this, too. Asylum didn’t get its plug pulled because it was a fabulously lucrative property for AOL. I had a great time writing for the site (one of the few I’ve worked for, incidentally, where my direct editor was a woman — funny, that), but at the end of the day, there wasn’t a lot of dude-specific content that the site required. It was a general interest site that talked about video games and funny videos and music and whatever else we were interested in — all in the same voice that exists throughout the Internet.

I like Donnelly’s points, for the most part — I like the idea of a smart, engaged, audience of dudes talking about what manhood means. But I’ve also found that those conversations are mostly welcome in the feminist corners of the Internet.

At the end of his post, Donnelly tosses up a list of ideas he’d like to see on this smart, man-centric blog. They’re good ideas — some of them very good — but I can also think of any number of “gender-unspecific” sites that would buy most of the stories he lists, and that would not ever tell him, “Hey, we’ve got to tailor this for an audience that includes women.” Being able to define ourselves by our specific interests — movies, or sports, or politics, or fashion — without first having to check that through a gender-identity lens is a luxury that men possess. When sites try to do filter it through that lens first, it just ends up being redundant. We had a fun thing going at Asylum, but almost every idea I’ve had that I would have pitched to them since they went under, it took me no time at all to find another outlet who’d be interested. And that’s why there aren’t more dude blogs. Because if people want to read about why The Big Lebowski is the sum of all human wisdom, they can go to any number of non-dude blog to read it. — Dan Solomon

About andrea grimes

Andrea is a journalist living in Austin, TX. She has a master's degree in anthropology and did her thesis work on gender and stand-up comedy. Seriously. Also, she has a bunch of cats. Three of them. Is three a bunch? Discuss.
This entry was posted in duders, media, personal essays. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Thoughts On “Where Have All The Dude Blogs Gone?”

  1. Donovan says:

    Also, I will spend all freakin’ day reading the Hairpin, so I’m not complaining about a lack of blogs out there that appeal to me.

    In fact, the only male-centric blogs I read are about shoes, so go figure.

  2. Naomi says:

    Here, here. Great post.

  3. Tim Donnelly says:

    Great choice of art.

    Fact: if you win Bad Dudes, you have hamburgers with Reagan.

  4. joereform says:

    Come on, Andrea. You are not unfamiliar with Gucci Little Piggy and In Mala Fide and the like.

    Just last week, the former blog completely tore apart Susan’s ridiculous rant about how the white patriarchy is implicated in the gang rape of an 11-year-old Hispanic girl by more than a dozen black men.

    Maybe Tim Donelly is unaware of these blogs. Or maybe he is ignoring them to “arrive” at a conclusion that he has already reached a priori.

    (And while Weasel was indeed a weasel for hitting a woman, he hit her in spite of her being a woman, not because she is a woman. This story would not even be making the rounds had it been a man spitting on Weasel and throwing ice at him and taunting him during a performance. You know this to be true. But instead of taking an intellectually honest stance of “it’s never okay for anyone to hit anyone,” you let your selective feminism get in the way of true egalitarianism.)

    • I didn’t write this article, Joe.

      • joereform says:

        Oops. My bad. My apologies.

        So, for the record, then, your position is that whether someone should get punched for throwing a beer can at a punk-rock singer on stage, then hitting him in the head with an ice cube, then getting in his face and spitting a mouthful of liquor on him, is gender-neutral?

    • Dan Solomon says:

      She probably wouldn’t have thrown ice at him if he hadn’t been screaming that she was a skank and a whore who needed to suck his dick, and he wouldn’t have yelled those particular things at a dude.

      –d

      • joereform says:

        From most first-hand reports, he didn’t even know it was a woman until he called the person out to come up and face him.

      • G.L. Piggy says:

        Dan,

        You must have missed the extended version then.

        Weasel starts talking like that after a woman threw ice at him (and maybe a beer). He says that he can’t hit a woman.

        Also, there are reports that the woman who caused off of this was friends with the female owner of the club who showed up and got hit in the tailbone by Weasel at the end. Where was she while this was escalating? Where was she in protecting the performers at her club? Where were the bouncers kicking the ice throwing queen out of the place? A man would consider himself lucky to throw ice at someone’s face *once* at a bar much less 3 or 4 times. There’s a line, and women have lines that are much further than men’s, but *there is still a line*. This woman crossed it. Violence is not a good thing, but I can’t say that I have any sympathy for a woman who pushed and continued to push.

      • BobStuan says:

        Right, because mean words is justification for escalating to physical acts. (n9t to mention all of which that happened on the extended video)

        The claim that men shouldn’t punch women because they’re smaller and weaker is asinine. If a smaller, weaker man threw stuff at or spit on a larger, stronger man, and the stronger man beat the shit out of the weaker, then we’d say the weaker guy had it coming. And we’d cheer, just like we did for that video in which the big kid body slams the smaller bully!

        Of course, smaller men understand there is a line they can’t cross without getting their asses beat, so they don’t spit on big guys. Women, on the other hand, think there is no such line — this video is yet another case in point. Any man who pulled the kind of crap she did would not only be prepared for violence; he’d be expecting it.

        When a woman truly believes that she can safely act in the same manner that would get a man into a brawl, she is placing herself in a perilous situation. She wants to act as if there are two sets of rules, and she is inevitably going to come across someone who doesn’t run his life out of the Selective Feminism Playbook.

  5. Dan Solomon says:

    @Joe — They had two conflicts. After the first one, he learned she was a woman, and proceeded call her a whore, skank, taint-licker, etc.

    • joereform says:

      Yeah, and if it were a man, he would have called him a “prick” or a “pussy” or a “cocksucker” — or else have just started beating the guy without hesitation.

      I don’t see how anything you bring up qualifies this as a “violence against women” issue. He did not hit her because she is a woman. He hit her because she was assaulting him. Whether or not you agree with his response, it was not based in misogyny. Ben Weasel is an equal-opportunity asshole.

  6. Pingback: Punching Punk, Ctd. « Gucci Little Piggy

  7. Dan Solomon says:

    So, just to be clear: because you can imagine a situation in which the guy might have punched a dude and yelled gender-neutral things, the fact that he actually punched one woman in the face after yelling that she was a whore and a skank who should suck his dick and then punched another woman in the back for trying to keep him from punching her customers, nothing about it is a “violence towards women” issue. Because in hypothetical land, he also did that stuff that night to a dude. But not any of the dudes who actually grabbed him and restrained him at the real-world show. Which doesn’t matter, because in the world you’ve created, he would have. He just didn’t in ours. Thus, there was no misogyny at work there in the world in which the actual incident took place, because of the imaginary one in which he hit dudes instead. Which, again, he didn’t do even when presented with dudes that he might have hit for the same offense — stopping him from punching people — as he punched the club owner.

    It certainly is a hard thing to argue with, your position on this. I guess you win! Thanks for contributing!

    –d

    • joereform says:

      But not any of the dudes who actually grabbed him and restrained him at the real-world show.

      I haven’t been in a great many fights in my life, but my rudimentary knowledge of restraint is that it prevents more fist-flying toward anyone, male or female. And if you look at the video from after he was restrained, you can see the woman he hit trying to get in his face again after it was safe for her to do so. Poor lady, indeed.

      But you go on perpetuating the idea that he was just some misogynistic monster just looking for some woman to hit when the “victim” innocently crossed his path. Your excuse-making sure makes for better press in media such as this.

    • G.L. Piggy says:

      Dan,

      I don’t want to muddy up this fine blog so I invite you over to mine in order to get your ass handed to you. If you choose to come on over, open with a comment laying out precisely why you find Weasel’s behavior so abhorent.

    • BobStuan says:

      Sticks and stones. As soon as she escalated to physical violence with the spitting and throwing things, she suffered the consequences same as a man. THAT is equality. Gender has nothing to do with this, beyond a woman being treated just as a man would have if it was a male who acted the way she did.

  8. Pingback: Why Feminism Is Also Dude-Ism | HAY LADIES!

  9. Pingback: hearty magazine | Q & A: The Male Feminist

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