IN PRAISE OF THE EMOTIONAL CIRCLE JERK

 

I once read a post where a woman told how her husband and smirked at and belittled her blogging. He described it (I’m paraphrasing) as a an emotional circle jerk, where women just sit around taking turns whining and praising each other. The lady who wrote it was really hurt.

She was hurt because it’s TRUE. That’s a HUGE part of what blogging is. But so what?

If it were 50 years ago, or a hundred, or any other time in history, we’d have a gaggle of friends we’d see after church or at the store or sitting on their porches. Women who would compliment our new hats or our new biscuit recipe. They’d pat our backs while we told of sick children, they’d listen to our talk about the pain in our lives. They’d bring casseroles.

Oh, Penelope. Our sorrow lay heavy that thy husband doth be such a douche bag. 

That’s what women do. That’s how we work. We are tender and we are social. And its a good thing, because it ensures the continuity of our species and the civility of our communities.

Now we are also mobile. We don’t all go to the same store and church. We seldom live in the same towns as our family members, and if we do, we’ve not been trained to depend on them and in fact may need to actively avoid them. We have acquaintances, but since we lack the shared environment, needs, and values communities used to have, it’s harder to get close.

So we come to the blogsphere. We present out woe to the void, knowing it is swirling with kindness and attentiveness, even if it is slightly feigned. A chorus of other women, and some men, who we don’t know, but will come to know. Maybe even more intimately than is possible in real life.

So don’t ever apologize for having a whiny blog, or a dull blog; a blog about your clothes, your cooking, your kids. You are seeking out what you need to be healthy, like taking vitamin D supplements in winter to replace the unavoidable loss of sunlight. Modern comforts and technology has upset out social structure like never before in history. It’s taken away our natural sunshine. But we blog, and choose not to live in the dark.

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