I’ve attended three BloggerCons… saw pretty much the same faces at the two in the east, with a leavening of new people at the one in the west. My socializing at these events, and my professional and para-professional connections were gender neutral. I valued these occasions for the face to face opportunity to meet men and women I knew online, and the opening opportunity to meet new people, although my disposition leads me back to the familiar rather than onto new ground.
Sometimes, professional courtesy was all that kept me in the room. Sometimes I left the room. The west coast version was in some ways better for me because there was another conference going on that also held my attention. In this post and in a comment below Lisa Stone asks whether we think BlogHerCon should be open to men. This is a huge non-issue for me.
If it is open to men, would I choose to attend?
I’m a big second wave feminism guy myself. The third and fourth waves belong to generations addressing issues that I have already helped address, and like post-modernism, they are essentially lies and an attempt to gin up some authenticity around a fresh generation’s need to cope with all things new without building on the past. The real third wave isn’t due for another fifteen years or so and that depresses me, because – as Beth and I were discussing last night – it will be that long before fashion turns back to nekkid. I might not live long enough to enjoy looking at the next braless generation.
Right now I am missing SXSW. Later this month I will miss Freedom 2 Connect. These are the two regrets I have vis a vis gatherings right now. Every year there are roughly two dozen professional and pop cultural gatherings that I would like to attend but can’t due to other commitments. If the way opens for me to attend a BlogHerCon, you can bet that I’ll be there connecting with people who are online friends and connecting with new people to the best of my ability. If the way doesn’t open, either due to conflicts in my schedule or an exclusionary invitational policy, then I won’t be there.
But I do admire the impulse that these women have to topple an authoritarian structure and perhaps get a word in edgewise at a non-Winer dominated gathering of bloggers.