Kate Harding, whose Shapely Prose was perhaps the most beloved and influential feminist blog ever ever ever, last year wrote an article "That's All She Wrote" about why she decided to "retire" from blogging (and it wasn't only because she got a column in Salon and a book deal, either).
"I occasionally teach Blogging 101 classes now, even though I haven’t had
an active blog in almost three years. The first thing I tell my
students is: Do not even bother to blog unless you find it fun or
someone is paying you for it. Those are the only two good reasons to do
it. The second thing I tell them is: Probably no one will pay you for
it. Fun is actually the only good reason to blog."
"Fun" is a subjective concept, isn't it? There are certainly a lot of activities that are worth doing that aren't necessarily fun ("physical exercise" springs to mind). I would rather substitute "engaging" for the word "fun" here. I have to admit that reading and writing about the manosphere initially captured my interest, even my fascination. With over a year of exposure, my interest has waned considerably. Once a person gets inured to the jaw-dropping horror that passes for discourse on most manosphere sites, they get mind-numbingly tedious. And depressing.
I honestly don't know how David Futrelle keeps it up. P.Z. Myers has likened Futrelle's job to "mining for turds under an outhouse. You simultaneously think, “OMG,
that’s the easiest mission in the world” and “OMG, that’s the most
horrible mission in the world.”
I sincerely appreciate Futrelle for being willing to do what he does, because God knows someone needs to monitor these groups and keep them in the proper perspective (that is, viewed strictly through the prism of mockery).
I started a blog to practice my writing skills, but until I ran into the "manosphere" I must say "feminism" was not a subject I had much interest in at all. I'm still not very interested in reading much feminist theory. I may never get around to reading The Feminine Mystique and I will almost certainly never read The SCUM Manifesto, Andrea Dworkin, or other radical feminist works. Last year a friend kept pressing me to read The End of Men and I refused for no better reason than I really detest that hyperbolic title. So it seems rather artificial and strained to be characterized or encouraged to characterize myself as primarily a "feminist."
One of my favorite bloggers, Eseld Bosustow, announced today her intention to write about whatever she damn well pleases. She is also burned out on the MRA. Her appetite for logic and constructing clean, tight logical arguments is, of course, wasted on responding to intellectual pygmies. I hope she'll keep writing, though -- on whatever topic she fancies. Similarly, I hope Ms. Bodycrimes returns to writing on the far-reaching theme ("the ways that the body intersects with commerce") that initially inspired her blog.
For the kind of writing I am interested in, which is personal response, bordering on confessional, a blog that is now inextricably linked to my true identity is probably just about the worst medium. I can no longer do the kind of writing I want to do here, since I am now constrained by the knowledge that everything I write Can and Will Be Used Against Me. And hence I have developed a kind of visceral distaste for blogging in general.
And so it comes down to Ms. Harding's point: If it's not fun, and you're not being paid for it, why do it? To which I would add, if I have nothing particularly fresh or insightful to contribute, that hasn't already been said (by Ms. Harding and so many others), why bother?
And really, when it comes to the Men's Rights Movement, Ms. Harding has already said everything that ever needs to be said: "Fuck You Men's Rights Activists."