keeping blog drag and spin phobia off the web

Ann Althouse touches on the touchy issue of whether bloggers -- especially female bloggers -- should avoid trivial matters. Citing a post from Feminist Law Professors expressing grave concerns over how things male bloggers in drag affect "the image of serious female bloggers everywhere," Althouse counters with concerns of her own:

This dread of triviality, does it hurt? I wonder if Belle has considered whether this grim, censorious, humorless -- nay, humor-phobic -- attitude helps women. I know you want to be taken seriously, but being so intent on being taken seriously is one of the main things that make people want to mock you. And not just you, but feminism.
(Via Glenn Reynolds.)

As to blogging in drag, I don't know. I've never done it. (Right now I'm worried about whether Coco should.) But I do know that blogging can be a drag.

I don't mean to make fun of humorless feminists who are offended by men who blog in drag. Because I am not a woman, the Law of Identity Politics make it impermissible for me to judge feminist thoughts about men in drag, whether blogging or not. However, I do think it's fair for me to say that if female bloggers pretended to be men, I would not be offended in the least. Being a man, it is of course my right not to be offended by things which might tend to degrade "image of male bloggers everywhere," and if the Law of Identity Politics works in reverse, no woman can dare criticize my thoughts on such serious issues of concern to all men.

While this is very serious and I wish I had time for one of my long and philosophical posts, I've been more preoccupied with other manly things like long overdue housecleaning, and I wanted to ask readers for help identifying this very large (2 inch diameter) spider which has taken up residence on my back porch:


It isn't exactly itsy bitsy, is it? And I don't want to be bitten by it!

No, seriously. I'm not gonna sit around eating my curds and whey.

After what happened to Steve Irwin (who after all is a fellow man if not a masculist one) we male bloggers can't be too careful.

posted by Eric on 09.05.06 at 06:25 PM


A quick search on venomous spiders turned up this site, which has an— inconclusive picture, shall we say.

But two inches in diameter— that doesn't seem too big. It may well be one of the hundreds of varieties of wolf spiders that inhabit North America, not particularly dangerous to you.

And well I recall many a morning, riding my bike to high school, and shifting my grip on the handlebars to find a garden spider under my fingers... more than a little disconcerting.

B. Durbin   ·  September 5, 2006 11:33 PM

Yeah, that looks like a wolf spider. A picture of it head-on would be definitive, as wolf spiders have a very well-defined pattern of eyes.

On the good side it cares not about you but is doing all it can to eliminate your insect neighbors. Wolf spiders are ambush hunters; they don't use webs to catch prey and generally don't spin webs, so you don't need to worry about an Indiana Jones-style spider encounter.

Captain Ned   ·  September 6, 2006 1:00 AM

Thanks! I'm sure it's a wolf spider.

The picture here looks almost identical to mine:

I don't mind it living there, and I'm glad I didn't stomp on it when it surprised me.

Eric Scheie   ·  September 6, 2006 10:37 AM

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