A male academic recently blogged a bit about the number of blogs about scrap booking. At the time it struck me as an arrogant sexist rant. The thoughts he expressed have nagged at the back of my mind for awhile - since before my move, in fact. I think his sentiment still strikes me as sexist but now less of a rant and more simply expressing sexism and perhaps a touch of academic elitism. Ah, now even I delve into being judgemental...standing as I am on the proverbial slippery slope. Perhaps I am more annoyed by his comments than I realized. I am not a maker of scrap books but many women are and somehow I feel the need to speak up about the ways in which some women chose to document their lives. As well as the need to be heard/seen.
This male blogger seemed to making fun of scrap booking efforts and commented that some scrap bookers were staging events, photos and so forth. One of his followers commented that plain old blogging was a form of scrap booking. I think I agree. Blogging is a form of sharing life with words and / or photos and in some sense I think scrap booking is that as well. The cyber cloud is, for better or worse, public and the public aspect of it says something about the exquisitely human need to connect. I also see little difference in all these blogging efforts, whether about scrap books or acadeic life or politics etc. and the impulse/effort that drove a ancient human to draw animals on the walls of caves in a prehistoric France. I am reminded of something Heyward Carter wrote that I thought I would put here (I may have quoted this before in much earlier posting but it bares repeating:
"There is in each of us a need to be heard to speech. A need born in our souls, the place of real meeting in which every I-Thou and all unalienated erotic power is conceived. This need in each of us is not a pathology. It is not a weakness. It is not a sin. The need does not originate in abuse. Its roots are not shameful. It is not immature. This need is not something to be treated or healed, liberated or outgrown. It is something in each of us to be cultivated and cherished, experienced and shared, with respect and tenderness, awe and humor.
"There is in each of us a need to be heard to speech. It is a need to recognize, name and celebrate our connectedness, a need that can be met only through radical mutuality. This need is so strong and so seldom met that is becomes an obsession from which there is, finally, no escape: If we deny it, we fossilize and learn to live without living, If we accept it, we become more fully human -- and, in doing so , learn to suffer, because we cannot love one another without suffering with one another the sins of the world that gladly would extinguish this need of ours, to be heard to speech.
"There is in each of us a need to be heard to speech. This need is the root of all genuine healing and the source of all creative revolutionary movement. It is the wellspring of our redemption, and it the hope of the world."
Perhaps the 100s of blogs about scrap booking should be viewed with "respect and tenderness, awe and humor" ~the new antelope drawings on cyber-cave walls.