Recently I had a big discussion with my Oldest Sister about The Pioneer Woman, a blogger who was a city-girl, then met and fell in love with a cattle rancher and now lives on this gigantic ranch with him and their four children. She blogs all about her life and experiences on the ranch, and it's so interesting because it's from an outsider's perspective... she seems almost bewildered that she fell into such a life. Her blog is wildly popular, and she has won several blog awards on a national level.
This made me think a lot about the blogs that I read. Right now I'm subscribed to 61 blogs on my reader, and I realized that almost all of them are written by women. I know this probably just reflects my interests, but it is sort of remarkable when you stand back and think about how many women are blogging and what they are saying.
The more I think about this the more it amazes me. My favorite blogs are written by women who I would never know or have any contact with in any prior era. But because of this technology, I can read about their experiences and how they see the world, and I find myself amused, enlightened, and inspired by them everyday.
Blogs have given women an outlet for their creative talents like we've never had before. In the Art History field, there's a big discussion about how history has so few great women artists because they were in the home, taking care of family and children and the house and it was just easier for men to find the time to invest in art. Blogs, however, open up those creative avenues from our very homes.
I mentioned all of this to Oldest Sister in an email, and she responded: "Oh, I so agree with you about giving women an outlet, I think of Pioneer Woman's isolation on that ranch--and how it's totally overcome. Not only hundreds of friends, but national recognition for her talents! I think a creative, talented woman like that would have gone bonkers in the past--not having an outlet."
I'm not trying to burn my maidenform or anything, but personally, I think what is happening is special. I know to some degree or another, women have been able to express themselves before now, obviously. But I don't think it has been done with this much ease by so many people, and anyone can do it.
Maybe blogs will become passe and go out of style. Maybe they will overrun the world. But I think right now they are giving something to women that we haven't ever really seen before: the easy, free, from-home ability to express themselves, and be recognized.