For a medium that doesn't have much in the way of pictures, blogging definitely seems to have some seriously sexual undercurrents. Or at least some bloggers do.

Just in the last few days, John Hawkins, proprietor of the popular Right Wing News, tossed out a list of ten bloggers, five men and five women, with whom he'd like to be marooned on a desert island. Hawkins' tone suggested to some that the women in question were being chosen for reasons that had nothing to do with their ability to blog or to construct a raft from palm fronds and coconut hulls. Most of the responses were on the level of an amused smirk, but a couple of them, I thought, laced their amusement with some serious objections. As an example of the former, Kimberly Swygert of Number 2 Pencil, who made the list, responded thusly:

I'm flattered, even though the other four female bloggers get described as "easy on the eyes" and "hot" while I get described as "personable" and "brainy." The story of my life despite my best efforts, I'm always The Professor, never Ginger or Mary Ann.

Though the Professor, she assures us, is plenty hot on his own.

Meanwhile, Meryl Yourish, tongue even farther in cheek, listed five Men of Blogs with whom, she said, she would consider the horizontal bop. Hawkins responded by pointing out that there are differences between men and women, and that he has a Y chromosome.

And much of the chatter this week has concerned the pseudonymous Amanda Doerty, the self-styled Hot Abercrombie Chick, who, say some, has a Y chromosome of her own. She issued a denial, which may or may not have convinced anyone. But from my particular vantage point literally, been there, done that I could have warned her that this could happen.

From a message board on a BBS system long, long ago (we're talking 1987 here):

In reality the alias probably belongs to a 262-pound guy who drives a truck for Roadway, always has a three-day growth of beard, and is studying basic sychology [sic] at Oscar Rose [State College], thus deciding to test people's reactions to a newcomer who uses a cute and fetching name.

I predict that all the drooling, slobbery welcomes and other comments that have come from the guys on this board will become part of a term paper this guy is writing.

While I did weigh about 262 in those times, he wasn't talking about me, but inasmuch as I'd already outed myself, suspicion was rampant. The sysop responded:

That has to be one of the rudest messages I've read in the past several months.

If it is false, which it probably is: look at what you've done. You've slandered someone who could be a vibrant, intelligent member of before she barely has a chance to get started. I wouldn't blame her if she never wanted to call here again after reading that vicious attack. Even if it is false, other members' opinion of her probably will be permanently altered because of that message, in a completely unwarranted fashion.

If it is true: so what? What business is it of YOURS if someone wants to use an alias that is not reflective of their true personality? Where does it say that everyone has to be exactly how we picture them?

Where, indeed?

Incidentally, the sysop in question is still around (though he's taken up blogging), and perhaps ironically, at the time he was using the name "Abercrombie."

The Vent

23 April 2004

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 Copyright © 2004 by Charles G. Hill