Thought Catalog

Where Have All the Dude Blogs Gone?

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We recently had the most exciting week ever in Brokelyn land: a story by newbie writer Quiana Stokes about how and why she passes the time as a SAHG (Stay At Home Girlfriend) set off a firestorm of discussion, dissent and some downright nastiness internet wide. Readers questioned why we would run such a thing: on top of the regressive nature of her feelings about gender roles, the post wasn’t our usual mix of entertaining-but helpful journalism. Commensurate with the talkback were calls for any stay-at-home boyfriends to out themselves: after all, that seems more in line with the trends of our age. Magazines and blogs are rife with tales of men receding into a habit of perpetual adolescence as women outrank, outflank and outnumber them more and more, especially in New York; dyed-in-the-wool male ego is losing ground to cold economic reality.

Then I thought: if we did run a SAHB piece that had the potential to generate the same level of controversy — let’s say the SAHB argues why you should stay at home ironing your working lady’s panties instead of going to watch the game — who would be the dude blogs leading the charge of apoplectic indignant rage? What sites would whip up foment of masculine ire that a poor, misguided (Ms.-guided?) bro in Brooklyn was devoting himself to domesticated doldrums?

The answer, I realized, is that there aren’t any.

First, you have to understand the scope of the response to the SAHG piece from the female blogosphere. It angered people, but in terms of internet metrics, it was our Avatar. Within hours, SAHG became our most-popular post of all time. Linkbacks and comments poured in from all corners of the internet. Nick Cannon’s producers asked if Quiana would come on his radio show (side note: Nick Cannon has a radio show?); Kathie Lee and Hoda even whittled away a little nook in their towering mountain of intractable Today Show blather to opine on the topic.

Putting aside the irrefutable data of a smash hit-blog post, the content wasn’t really my cup of tea. The author certainly had an interesting perspective from her first-person experience living this kind of lifestyle, but I kept wondering if the ghost of Betty Friedan would be haunting our interwebs, preparing to strike our site with a volley of hijacked Viagra and Cialis ads (which did happen, btw, though we are still unraveling the mystique of the cause).

Nor was it the cup of tea of many of the major blogs that focus on women’s issues: the post got picked up by Jezebel, Gawker, The Hairpin and The Frisky, most of which took time to deliver an extended riff on the topic. You could sense furrowing brows through the intertubes:

The Hairpin‘s response was simply: “LOL is this a joke?” Gawker: “It could be a tongue-in-cheek kind of jokey type thing, right? A humorous essay chronicling the silly misadventures of a young woman stepping into more ‘traditional’ domestic duties while her live-in boyfriend is at work and she’s looking for a new job. But… it’s just not. It’s really just not.” Jezebel: “But let’s face it: the tone of this is…troubling. Not least because when one is in the author’s situation, it’s not that straightforward: one often doesn’t feel good about oneself, lacks confidence and doesn’t feel like the equal partner you once were.” The Frisky (Who, after declaring this story was linkbait, went on to link and write extensively about it): “Could I live like Quiana Stokes? Probably not. I’d get bored.”

These blogs come from varying points of view but all tried to contextualize the response of smart, skeptical women across New York City and the country. I read all these sites regularly for exactly this kind of viewpoint. But there’s nothing out there on par that curates dude opinion in the same way.

Think about it: What are the leading dude blogs out there today? I can’t think of one, and I’m a dude who blogs for a living. Switch that question around and I could name you some really top-notch sites that cover lady issues. The Hairpin, for instance, has lodged itself firmly in my regular blog rotation, not just for its entertaining looks at all things with a women-related tilt (see: stock photos of women laughing alone while eating salad) but also for its insightful commentary and its quiver of smart writers with honest takes on issues the modern, educated girl faces (see: Emily Gould’s open letter on what it means to have a 14-year-old magazine editor).

Jezebel traffics in celebrity gossip, but it also puts together serious projects and — gasp — actual journalism. Right or wrong in their conclusions, Jezebel‘s recent expose on the Daily Show being a boys club (aka “The Male-y Show”) involved serious reporting, interviews and planning, much more so than just posting a listicle or a news item and dashing off some snarky comments.

Slate‘s blog The XX Factor keeps a running tab on key issues related to women (Lara Logan, the lack of women published in lit mags, etc.). I would have also pointed to Heartless Doll, the acerbic and bitterly hip women’s blog run out of SF Weekly until it was shuttered in May. And there’s more. None of these read like an issue of Glamour, either: I can click on a Frisky post about Feminist Coming Out Day, for instance, without feeling like I’m eavesdropping on a grade school slumber party.

So what are the dude blog equivalents? Go ahead and try to think of some, because I’m more than willing to learn. The only dude blogs that come to mind are the supremely superficial ones: Guyism (tagline: “Hot Girls, Humor, Videos, Photos, Sports, Beer, Celebrities”); Asylum, which also shuttered last month, leaving as its swan song an Andrew WK interview, in which he announces his intent to go into outer space; Thrillist (unofficial tagline: “WHATTUP BROSEPH?!?!”), a repository of what to do and buy now that your frat activities director isn’t around (I site for which I apparently don’t meet the bro standard; I got rejected from a job there last year).

There’s AskMen.com, with its watch brand reviews, and Esquire‘s website, with its “what she wants you to wear” huffy insistence on swarthy materialism as the preferred style. Or Brobible, the voice of the “Brommunity,” a site that should speak for itself (but I’ll speak for it too: the words “Big Boob Bonanza” currently appear on the homepage).

Even when these sites are at their best, they lack a sense of humor about their subject matter, and about being a dude in general. Those sites exist in the old archetype of the “men’s” magazine that hasn’t changed much in decades: fashion, understanding your lady, the sexiest women in X field (because we never expect successful women to be succesexxxy too!). Those media are for “men”: 9-5ers, execs, suit-wearers, dads, old-fashioned bros clinging to their Axe body spray, wooing pearl-clad ladies in Leer Jets soaring above pristine Caribbean waters on weekend getaways.

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    • PERFECTCIRCLES

      All great ideas for topics of a male-centric blog.

      The SAHG story is pathetic in all the obvious ways. As Rebecca Black proved, the current modus operandi of the internet is the worse something is the more popular it will be.

    • http://twitter.com/kelvin_lee Kelvin Lee

      I don't disagree with anything you're saying but I think the reason that such a blog doesn't exist is the same reason that there aren't any “white people” blogs (well, not the ones we'd want to read). The internet itself is male-centric, *every* blog in a sense is a “dude” blog, except the ones that expressly serve another audience – the content is already there. Many of the proposed topics have or I could easily seen be covered in mainstream pubs like Salon, Slate, GQ, Maxim, etc.

      Though I think the idea of a male-centric blog, aware of and sensitive gender issues would make for a cool read. And I would totally read the “Cheat sheet: what are you supposed to know about sports this week?”

      • k___bee

        I see where you are coming from but speaking as a woman who does read the ladyblogs sometimes, I kinda disagree. Say what you will about the content of a potential “manblog” already being out there, if I want to reflect on my femininity and Being A Woman, there are a ton of things on the internet that provide potential jumping off points. Is the same kind of stuff really out there for men? Good Men Project seems like an interesting start, but from an outsider's perspective at least, I don't see a lot of media that exist to support men who want to interrogate the concept of masculinity and how they live their lives as men.

    • http://phmadore.com P. H. Madore

      Fastball: Dudes don't believe in blogs. We get our awesome from the likes of Esquire and other trusted sources like Look At This Fucking Hipster.

      CharlieSheen.com was recently added to the list of Dude-safe Dudeformation Sources.

      Duh.

    • http://twitter.com/jaelstrom Jess

      The dudes are all at Reddit, commenting in the forums.

    • Amanda Rose

      http://sweetjuniper.com is a really lovely blog by a SAHD. And though he's now associated with the dreaded Esquire, http://redactedblog.blogspot.c… was posting in the salad days of the blogosphere…and killing it.

    • http://twitter.com/TheAndreaK Andrea K

      “If you’re a dude just trying to do right and get by without being a steaming pile of Tucker Max horse shit, you’re out of luck for reading material.”

      I think a blog that caters to that type of dude, a real dude, would be beneficial to all people. Too many of my female friends believe that dudes are all Tucker Max types and that the dudes who are real and like you the way you are without makeup and all of that nice stuff that I know dudes feel and believe are not real. But they are. Sensitive and sweet and looking for more than the media gives them credit for. I think dudes get a bum deal in the media. Well, all people get a bum deal in the media. But we're all quite aware of how us women are being slighted. But who's out there speaking up for real dudes that aren't anything like those dudes we see on TV?

      I would LOVE to see a blog that covers the real dude. Highlights them and gives them a voice. I think it would be fantastic.

      • http://phmadore.com P. H. Madore

        This makes me believe we should start a real dude blog. Seems like there's some trim in it.

    • Jian

      Peter Nguyen's The Essential Man (http://theessentialmanguide.co… is pretty great, Art of Manliness is one I also follow (http://artofmanliness.com/). Both are male-centric and reference the noumenal man.

    • http://tattoosnob.com Julene

      So you're be launching this new project… when?

    • Sherman

      i think “male blogs” are just called blogs

    • http://twitter.com/cydroit boss higgins

      This really mirrors what I've been feeling for about a year now after really giving some attention to the feminist section of the blogosphere (shakers, Courtney Stanton, etc.). But please, leave the terms “dude” and “bro” behind, unless you really are going after that Tucker Max/LCD crowd.

    • http://www.goodmenproject.com Cooper Fleishman

      Two manly thumbs up.

      goodmenproject.com

    • Kelkel186

      http://ninjalove.com – humor blog i've been following; ran by a male.

    • http://twitter.com/TMatlack Thomas Matlack

      Dude, as the founder of The Good Men Project…Standing Ovation.
      Really great read and analysis of the men's blogosphere. We are on
      the right track (I hope) but we need more guys like you sparking the
      national conversation about what it means to be a man in 2011.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_STPERLH4QQXJX5RRLWBEFXKP6Y Knows Lines

      It's clear that feminists are butthurt whenever they are exposed to the truth and run to immediately try to suppress it:

    • http://loki-of-asgard.livejournal.com DOBLE

      Bravo, sir. I like where you're headed and I hope to read your contributions to this, currently hypothetical, blog/site very soon.

    • Tyler77s

      Kathie Lee and Hoda Kotb aren't on Today Show, they're on Good Morning, America!

    • Jon hedvat

      I have an awesome blog!
      http://www.jonathanhedvat.com
      definitely a dude blog

    • http://meditationsonasubway.wordpress.com Meditationsonasubway

      meditationsonasubway.wordpress…

      a 20-something male tryna survive in NYC

    • BBC

      All this because you didn't get the job you wanted, huh?

    • http://youareashootingstar.blogspot.com/ Stacey Kelly

      i really enjoyed reading this article– I don't read any typical “girl” blogs, but I read tons of fashion blogs… usually written by females. my guy friend once asked me to suggest some fashion blogs, and I was at a loss as to really great blogs for guys. Similar issue with my brother, who wanted to see ways of styling a blazer. I felt a little silly pointing him to Lookbook.nu and telling him to turn the “guy” filter on, but it was the only thing I could think of.

      I agree that the internet and blogs are inherently “male-centered” as Kevin Lee mentioned, however, there seems to be a void in male lifestyle content. Somewhere between the age of reading skate magazines and GQ (between being a teenager and a full-fledged professional), mature guys looking for real advice (style and otherwise) get left behind.

      • http://twitter.com/mittonline Men In This Town

        Check out Men In This Town (http://www.meninthistown.com), a street style blog focused on men.

    • Mickey_Zellberg

      The ultimate male blog:

      http://roissy.wordpress.com/

    • http://brianshall.com Brian S Hall

      We don't write about our manness, cause that's not what men — dudes — write about. Though if you like smartphones and hot nannies, feel free to check out:

      http://brianshall.com/content/

      And if not. Well, fuck you.

    • http://thetransformedmale.tumblr.com TheStyleGent

      I recently wrote a blog post about this very topic. It appears to me that there is a segment of men who are not being spoken to. The guy who is has modest needs, proper aspirations and as desire to better himself in ways that don't include pompous over-reaching pubescent behavior. A Transformed Male. http://thetransformedmale.com/

    • JJcoolest1

      Just started a Dude blog! Check out DuddhaBuddha.com. Published my first blog on How To Be a Stay-At-Home Dad
      Duddha1

    • Thisweekindude

      Four words and one hyperlink:  This Week in Dude   http://thisweekindude.blogspot.com

      …What we lack in web design…. we pack in our Wranglers

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