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Graywolf and the BlogHer Sex Divide

A couple of days ago, Michael Gray AKA Graywolf posted a controversial post “Is the BlogHer Conference Guilty of Sex Discrimination” – lambasting the event for not including male speakers (although they were welcome to ask questions during the sessions and speak at open mic sessions).

While I won’t go as far as to call BlogHer founders Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort Page and Jory Des Jardins “evil and sexist pigs”, it’s worth looking at whether Michael is justified in his accusations.

I took a look at the BlogHer 08 brochure, a massive 50-page PDF including the conference schedule and speaker profiles and the lack of male speakers stood out.

men vs women

Is it wrong for an event to exclude male speakers?

I guess it would be easy for conference organizers to point to speaker submissions or to a speaker email link and say that they’re opening the doors to male presenters. It’s another thing to go out and proactively seek out and invite qualified presenters outside of your normal demographic (eg: mommyblogger, seo experts, ppc specialist, daddy bloggers, etc).

A community only grows when it’s challenged. We could go to events like Affiliate Summit and listen to people within the industry get on the stage and continually pat our backs and tell us what a kickbutt job we’re doing and posting 100% growth rates on pretty powerpoint presentations.

It’s another thing to take a visionary like Shawn Collins to invite a controversial speaker like Jason Calacanis (known for starting incendiary comments) to present the keynote at Affiliate Summit West earlier this year.

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While BlogHer is a newer event having only been around since 2005, going out to proactively invite speakers who are vastly different from the mommyblogger profile (I would imagine they’re mainly middle class, college/university educated) to expand the mind and more importantly get new ideas.

If steps to grow the event aren’t actively taken, it could just become a MommyBlogger-targeted BFF (best friends forever) type networking event with ‘rah-rah’ presentations included.

3 comments on Graywolf and the BlogHer Sex Divide

  1. Ryan
    December 1, 2015 at 2:17 pm (1301 days ago)

    Happy Birthday Eddie!!! Thanks for making one of the very best candy aunord!!!! Your never too old to eat a Smarties candy!!! I’m 37 years old and I eat these candies all the time!! I’m actually eating a smarties lollipop as I type this message!! Peace & Love!

  2. Alperen
    December 9, 2015 at 12:06 pm (1293 days ago)

    I’d love to win passes and a hotel to the BlogHer Handmade and The Creative Connection Event. I cuntrerly am getting ready to launch a blog on how to leap into life with a good friend. As well, I have entered the pitch for a gift product company. I feel as if this event, this creative swirl of time with extraordinary women, who have embraced their creative lives, is the final puzzle piece in my journey to jumpstart my career and life. Having left my home last year, putting everything in storage, my husband, my cat and my car, leaving our families to drive across country in search of jobs I have finally settled and am ready to start anew. I would relish being with these women who can only increase my passionate drive to embrace my creative energies.

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