I have just been heavily criticised by one of the (now former) followers of this blog for allowing far too many messages from men. In her opinion I am allowing it to be overrun by misogynists. Her thinking is that somehow I have been corrupted by the power of the penis and am either knowingly or unwittingly turning this blog into an anti-feminist haven for men to simply jerk off. And that it’s in no way a safe place for women scarred by years of body issues to be.
In messages to her my response has been that I think having a male perspective is important. A great deal of women’s angst about their labia stems from fears that their partners will think they are ugly and unattractive. That’s been the theme of many many submissions from women, some who are virgins because they think nobody would ever like them, or wives afraid to show their husbands their vulva with the light on. I’m not making this up.
Her feeling is that my attitude is “Women, you give guys erections so stop it with this silly low self esteem shit”. She questions whether I’m more interested in creating a place for guys to jerk off than somewhere for women with body issues to feel safe.
My reading of the criticism is that by having a male perspective here it’s somehow seeking male approval before women can feel good about themselves. Approval isn’t what this is about. But having positive and supporting comments from men is important when for a lot of women. In many cases it’s the male perspective (either through actual derogatory comments, or some perceived view) that’s behind the lack of self-confidence towards their labia in the first place.
An unsolicited email I just received from a recent contributor I think reinforces my viewpoint nicely:
"You are absolutely right on about posting the men’s voices here. My husband and my lover have been critical in my understanding that men can love all different kinds of pussies – and other parts of women’s bodies, too! We hear too many of the opinions of the d*cks out there (as you know from all these heartbreaking letters where men have been thoughtless or humiliating to beautiful women) and the positive men you post are *nourishing* to read.”
So does that opinion from someone who has found real benefit from contributing to the blog, outweigh the views of the woman criticising me?
My feeling is that there will always be someone offended by something, whether it’s the pubic hair lobby, the foreskin collective or the anti-men brigade. I am not all things to all people. Nor can my blog be all things to all people. All I can do is the best that I can. I’ve just been criticised for failing women, and that for every woman who has felt empowered by participating, tons more will be turned away because I have created a misogynistic and unsafe place.
Now I don’t subscribe to this woman’s views at all. But that said, I’ve been wrong before and women I’d like your opinion on this.
Women only please. For this I don’t want to hear from any men at all.
Have I been drinking the Cock Kool-Aid without even knowing it? Is this blog a threatening place? Is the male perspective dominating the blog? Is it misogynistic? Are women feeling as though I have failed them by creating a hostile environment?