(actual blogger, sans balls)

I’ve tweeted a few times over the past week about ‘Blogs With Balls’ v.3’s cringetastic “œYou™ve Gotta Fight For Your Right¦to Blog?: A Legal and Ethical Primer to Sports Media in 2010 panel, streamed to the rest of us cheapskates via Justin.tv.    Sitting amidst a collection of tools, professional anti-intellectuals and newly acquired bloggers was University Of Minnesota sociology professor / Associate Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, Nicole LaVoi. Blogging after the event, Ms. LaVoi (above) seems a tad glum about the level of discussion than myself (“call me naive and Pollyanna but I think striving to make moral and ethical decisions is a worthy endeavor”) and exited with the following findings :

Most people (including mainstream sport bloggers) do not care about women™s sport, female athletes, gender issues or the sexualization of women in general. I did not hear ONE mention or discussion of female athletes or women™s sport in the entire conference. When females were mentioned it was as a) sexual objects of professional male athletes or, b) œmommy bloggers. It seemed the assumption at BWB was that if women blog, they blog about mom stuff but if you are a male blogger you blog about sports. I did not hear anyone refer to themselves or other male bloggers in attendance as œdaddy bloggers. This may seem trivial, but the language used to describe œmommy bloggers marginalizes them and makes it seems as if what they write about isn™t valued or important. I could get into a long blog about how the opinions and domestic work of mothers is under valued in society but I won™t. It also erases the fact women do blog about men™s sport (in fact most of the women at BWB wrote exclusively about men™s sport) and that men do blog about women™s sport (although I didn™t meet any of them at BWB).

Hey, call me naive, but an event that bills itself as “Blogs With Balls” is gonna be less than appealing to persons who either a) don’t have balls or b) think there’s something a tad fucked up about “with balls” being the defacto a-ok description for a sports blog. If the makers of Gillette products wanna associate themselves with a conference that’s highly unlikely to rename itself “Blogs With Ovaries”, so be it.  But there’s nothing surprising or wrong about female sports bloggers (or dudes whose fave female sports scribe is someone other than Jenn Sterger) blowing off this orgy of self-congratulation & marketing-speak.