Exclusionary inclusion

I’ve been reading sewing blogs to make myself feel better about not having time to sew. Black dress from craft camp is as yet unhemmed. Craft Camp is unblogged. I have the next few weekends ‘off’ since S is busy so I might actually do some of those things! After I tackle the triffids in the front yard.

So you know, blogs really aren’t meant to be consumed in big mouthfulls, but if I find a new blog I like I generally trawl through the archives before deciding whether or not to add it to my overflowing blogroll. I’m trying to simplify my stuff, in spring cleaning fever, and that includes the amount of information I consume. But when you do that, and do that with several blogs, you notice a trend.

The one I’ve noticed is this.

‘Hey, sewing ladies, and gents, too, maybe?”.

‘So, guys and gals…’.

‘What do you girls – and boys, I suppose, are there any of you out there?!? do in this situation?’

Either you’re being inclusive, or you’re not. I get being cutesy and addressing the reader directly – it’s fun to play with language! And it’s a nice way to be informal and create connections. Except when it’s not. If there ARE any men reading your blog, they now feel like it’s been pointed out that they don’t belong, and are an anomaly. I know I’m on the flip side of this all too often, where it’s just assumed that anyone who does [activity] or like [thing] or, ya know, exists and is important, are male. It gets irritating and exhausting.

Why even gender it? MegtheGrand likes to call all her readers ‘friends’ while Patty from Snug Bug addresses us as an assortment of animals and other adorable things – from ‘kittens’ to ‘marmots’ to ‘armadilloes’ – or else just says ‘morning all!’. It’s inclusive and friendly. Actually inclusive.

I suppose part of it might be trying to create a cosy atmosphere. It’s just ‘us girls’ and we can giggle and talk about silly things like sewing and clothes! Which I guess is fine. If you ARE actually trying to exclude people, then good job, it worked! It worked for me, too, since that’s not the kind of blog – or world –  I’m after, and I usually work myself up into an impotent rage whenever I read this.

Much like the impotent rage I get when someone uses ‘decimate’ to use ‘devastate’, or types ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’ in a formal document. It’s about as important as that, in the scheme of things. Not that big a deal on the day to day but over time, slowly eroding clarity of communication.

So. There. Consider yourselves told.


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