Now, we're free on so many levels, and one manifestation of that freedom is the vibrant world we've created online. Sisterhoods that cross race and politics and religion and age as we share ideas and pain, joy and pride, birth and loss and every other story that is part of living a life. There have been a couple of wonderful responses to this irritating TIMES piece (and it's not the first...) One of my own favorites, Mom-101, whose admirers are legion, wrote
"...once you get past the first half of the article, there's actually some solid information in there....But I wish [all] that had been to focus of an article about my favorite blogging community that just made the front page of my favorite section of my favorite Sunday paper. I wish it had opened with the yearning of bloggers for the community to return to good writing, and the evidence that in the end, that's mostly what pays off....
I invite you to read the full piece and form your own opinions, but sentences like “bringing together participants for some real-time girly bonding” might very well stop you in your tracks. As I write this, my husband (and fellow Edelman executive Michael Wiley) is at SXSW. Would Mendelsohn classify that experience as macho bonding? Or would she write that he is attending a conference for the purposes of education and networking? Why do people, including Ms. Mendlesohn, continue to refer to networking among women as girly bonding? I seriously doubt the participants at Bloggy Boot Camp were wearing jammies and braiding each other’s hair. However, from the tenor of the piece, it was pretty easy to jump to that conclusion.
Here's the bottom line: I'm old enough to be the mother of both of these women and many of their peers yet they have welcomed me as a sister - a blogger and a friend. They've honored the sappy posts I've written about my sons and my marriage and they've shared ideas and advice in comments, in twitter and even in real life. They and their compatriots are talented, skillful compassionate, ornery pioneers who have built what I think of as the new quilting bee, the new Red Tent where they share the wisdom and mysteries that are women's lives. And they do much more - just go check out the list in Liz's post. Not for one moment are they silly or unaware or careless or trivial. And to gain a few points with silly headlines and denigrating phrases isn't bad taste, it's also bad journalism. Go see for yourself.