Feminist Fridays

Feminist Fridays: Book blogging as a feminist space?

When I think about why I love blogging and why I’ve stuck with it for over five years, a few things come to mind: a welcoming sense of community, bloggers that support one another through encouragement, thought-provoking discussion, etc. Lately I’ve been asking myself what makes this kind of positive, supportive community possible online, and I’ve come to one of countless possible conclusions: a sense of equality. More specifically, I’ve been asking myself: Is the book blogging community a feminist space? 

{Disclaimer: This discussion is based on my own personal experiences in one corner of a much larger book blogging community online. I am not saying that all bloggers are feminists, nor that these views are necessary in order to be a blogger. Any statements that sound generalizing are inadvertent and are not meant to imply that every book blogger shares these same beliefs.}

When I say that the book blogging community is a “feminist space,” I’m not trying to suggest that only people who identify as women are book bloggers; rather, that this community is a space for everyone and anyone–no matter you gender, sexuality, race, class, etc.–to share their thoughts on books and bookish topics. Are there flaws with this view? Of course. No community is ideal, no matter how hard we strive to make it so. There are barriers preventing some people from participating as much as others: access to internet, computers to post with, cameras to take photos with, purchasing books vs. buying them from libraries, etc. There has also been much debate and discussion about the entrenched hierarchy of popularity regarding statistics. When one blogger becomes hugely popular, it can feel as though the sense of equality has diminished. At times it can feel as though numbers are all that matters and that an impressive number of page views is necessary in order to make your voice worth listening to in the midst of all others.

One way to combat this inequality due to statistics is to emphasize discussion and commenting rather than the number of views a blog receives. For the past few summers I’ve participated in the Comment Challenge hosted by Lonna @ FLYLēF and Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense that runs from June to August. After filling out a short survey, the hosts match you up with a blogger that has similar interests as far as the kinds of books they write about. The goal is to comment on each other’s posts as much as possible over the course of the challenge (you can choose between the 5+ or 10+ posts categories) in order to help bloggers connect with each other and meet new people. Not only has this challenge introduced me to some fantastic new blogs in the past, but it also gets me into the habit of commenting more on other blogs. If this challenge sounds at all interesting to you then I’d highly recommend giving it a try! Click here to read more about the rules of the Comment Challenge.

With that said, my personal experience with blogging does lead me to view this platform as a feminist space. When I blog I feel comfortable sharing my opinions without being discriminated against or judged because of my gender. When I read other blogs I don’t care which gender they identify with. I’m able to make weekly features like Feminist Fridays and not be bombarded by angry, insulting comments; I’m lucky enough to be part of this supportive community that fosters thought-provoking discussion and challenges me to think more deeply about important topics such as this one. To me, these freedoms are priceless.

Whether or not this means that the blogging sphere is simply a feminist space from my perspective or that this sense is pervasive throughout the book blogging world, I’m not sure. Nevertheless, I am so grateful that a discussion like this is even made possible by this incredible platform. 

Click here to see other Feminist Friday posts!

Do you think book blogging is a feminist space? How can we improve it? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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Why Commenting is Important | Winter 2017 Comment Challenge

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I’m excited to announce that I’ll be participating in the Winter 2017 Comment Challenge hosted by FLYLēF and A Kernel of Nonsense. I’ve participating in a few of their comment challenges in the past and I love how it fosters a strong sense of community between bloggers. I don’t know who my partner will be yet, but I can’t wait to find out! To learn more about how the Comment Challenge works, visit the sign-up page here.

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Here are a few reasons why I think commenting is so important:

  • It creates meaningful discussion. Discussion is one of the best parts of blogging, in my opinion. Sharing thoughts about books and bookish topics with other enthusiastic, passionate is one of the things that makes blogging worthwhile.
  • It builds bonds between bloggers, readers, and everyone in the bookish community. Communication is key in every aspect of life, including blogging. Commenting allows bloggers and readers to easily connect through quick thoughts or long conversations.
  • It breathes life into a blog. An active comments section is often the sign of an exciting, healthy blog. The more people are commenting and sharing their thoughts on what you have to write, the more inspired you’ll be to further discuss topics in the future.

These three reasons are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to recognizing the value in commenting. Though life gets busy sometimes and it’s not always easy to find the time, I always try to set aside a few minutes on a regular basis to jot some quick notes in as many comments sections as I can. Think of the amazing discussions we could have if we all start commenting a little more often!

Why do you think commenting is important? Do you make it a priority to comment on blogs or do you prefer to communicate in other ways, like through social media? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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Comment Challenge: June 2016 Sign-Up Post

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June is around the corner, and in an effort to boost my blogging motivation I’ve decided to join the Comment Challenge hosted by Lonna @ FLYLēF and Alicia @ A Kernel of NonsenseThese lovely hosts will pair up participants based on how often they would like to comment on another blogger’s blog throughout June (5-10 or 11-20 times), and then you have the entire month to do just that! Sign-ups close on May 21st, so you still have plenty of time to visit one of the hosts’ blogs and find out more about this fun challenge.

I’ve decided to participate in the 5-10 comment level since this is my first time doing this challenge. My hope is that I’ll be able to comment even more than that, and that perhaps this will inspire me to start commenting more on other blogs as well. Because the Comment Challenge will also be happening during the months of July and August, I’m looking forward to participating all summer long!

Be sure to join the fun on Twitter by using #commentchallenge2016 and chatting with me @peanutfreeisme. Again, if you’d like to participate in the June 2016 Comment Challenge then head over to Lonna @ FLYLēF and Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense to sign up before May 21st.

Are you planning on participating in this challenge? Have any advice for leaving thoughtful or meaningful comments, or simply for commenting more in general? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY