**03/05/13 UPDATE BELOW**
I started Heteronormative Patriarchy for Men less than a year ago, and among the many nice messages and comments I’ve received have been several offers to host this blog on bigger and well-known sites. I’ve considered every invitation, and politely declined every invitation. Every offer has been flattering, but didn’t feel quite right at the time, for one reason or another.
Then a few weeks ago I was tentatively sounded out by a member of the Freethought Blogs stable. Automatic pilot kicked in and I began typing “well that’s a really kind offer but…” then realised I didn’t have any significant buts to hand.
Why was this invitation different? Well, oddly perhaps, it was firstly because FTB is not really a gender site. If you don’t know it, the site originates in the all-but unfathomable depths of the North American skeptics movement. You see, a long time ago there were atheists, rationalists and secularists and then they all got into an elevator together and someone did something and someone said “don’t do that” and everyone got cross and then someone said everyone was cross for no reason and that made everyone else crosser and VAGINA! and BULLIES! and DAWKINS! and ATHEISM PLUS! and fuck it, I really, really don’t care. What I do know is that somehow, out of all that, Freethought Blogs sprang into life.
I don’t care about the history, but I do care about the quality of the site. I like it. It’s clean and simple design-wise, The standard of the writing is excellent, and there are some astoundingly clever and rightly-acclaimed authors and academics sharing the space. It would be a genuine honour to be in their company. There is a broad shared philosophy of scepticism, atheism, secularism and social justice, all of which I’m comfortable with, although I don’t often blog on the first three. I have some profound disagreements with many of the bloggers and commenters there which could prove, well, interesting to explore, but I also hope I have enough common ground with all of them to do so in a constructive way.
Before you ask, yes, the site carries advertising and I will get a few quid (or dollars or drachma or sodding Bitcoins or something, I haven’t asked). I don’t do this blog for money, and I’m pretty confident I won’t start blogging “Your Top Ten Movie Blowjobs” lists seven times a week for the hits. The blog will remain unchanged, except for a few comically inappropriate Google ads popping up here and there. Advertising does make me feel grubby, I’ll admit, but I’m a journalist and know that pretty much every penny I earn comes from advertising somewhere down the line. It would be hypocritical to be purist now.
There is no editorial oversight at FTB. Nobody will approve or spike anything I want to write. I will have sole control of moderation policy (and indeed moderation) just as I do here. The same goes for all other blogs, which means I will share no responsibility if another blogger writes something grotesque, that is their business, not mine.
Above all, I decided to do this because I’m not sure where else this blog would really belong. It couldn’t live on a feminist site or a men’s rights site. I do not want to sign up to a shared mission statement or ideological aim. That would completely undermine what I try to do here, which is to consider gender issues without dogmatic or ideological constraint, to call the stories as I see them, and speak my mind because it is what I want to say, not because it is what someone wants to hear. What I’ve tried to create here is my own free thought blog. It may have found its home.
So, I think my mind is made up. But with the agreement of the people at FTB, I’m posting this before committing. If you, dear HetPat regulars of all flavours, can raise any convincing arguments why I shouldn’t move, well it is not too late. I’ll give it about 48 hours before the point of no return. And again, I really don’t want to hear about the thing so-and-so said to whasserface on October 13th 2009 that was OUTRAGEOUS MISOGYNISTIC SOCIOPATHIC MISANDRY REASONS. But if anyone has convincing evidence that FTB is a front organisation for the Masonic Illuminati or something like that, I’d love to see it. That shit is always funny.
Seriously, your thoughts? Would you mind? Would you still visit, read and comment? Do you, as I suspect, really not give a shit either way and you only found this blog because you Googled “Top Ten Movie Blowjobs”? Please let me know, below or by email privately and in confidence if you’d prefer. Thanks.
Thank you all for the comments and messages in response to this. Thank you for the messages of support and encouragement, thank you for the many queries and concerns you have raised, all of which I have considered. Thanks too for the many who said you’ll stick with this blog whether I stay or go. I’ve been genuinely touched by learning that so many of you actually care enough to have an opinion. I honestly didn’t expect so many carefully considered opinions.
As you’ve probably guessed, nobody has found the smoking gun linking FTB to Joseph Kony or the Russian Mafia, so I’ve now got back to FTB and confirmed I would like to accept their invitation, and will be moving shortly.
A few words to those who are less than happy about the move.
I’d like to reiterate that I will have total control of moderation, including bannings etc. Even if you have been banned from every other blog on FTB, you are free to comment on mine, on the exact same basis as before.
Spammers aside, in 11 months here, I have yet to ban a single commenter. Every single one of you who has commented here, whatever political, ideological or personal disagreements we may have had, has been welcomed here, and I am genuinely grateful for your contributions. You will continue to be welcomed at the new address. You will be able to bookmark my blog directly and completely ignore the rest of FTB, if that is what you want to do.
To those who worry that this blog will get sucked into the politicking and feuds of the skeptic/ Atheism+ scene, well, I share your concerns. I have talked it over with several people, and I’m confident enough that we can stay out of that. If it transpires I am wrong, and I really feel it is not working, I’m not cemented in. If the worst comes to the worst I’ll move on or move back.
For whoever wanted threading… it turns out I can turn threading on or off. (To Comment is Free regulars, I feel your pain.) I’ve yet to decide!
I’ll make my first post over there something of a housewarming party. You’re all guests of honour.
And finally, it will take a lot of considered research to establish the Top 10 Movie Blowjobs, but I’m pretty confident that Number 1 is enjoyed by Sid Vicious in the animated section of The Great Rock’N’Roll swindle.
Thanks again, and see you on the other side!