Where Have All the Dude Blogs Gone?

But where’s the voice of the dudes? Just because bros throughout history have made a mess of things, repressed women, minorities, immigrants and the gaze doesn’t mean there aren’t those of us out there who have moved beyond all that and harbor modern-day issues just as complex as the girls’, and significantly more complex than trying to decide which platinum watch to buy this season (spoiler alert: what’s a watch?).

My friend Diana Vilibert is about as much an expert in the field of lady blogging that I can think of: she’s an occasional contributor to The Hairpin, along with frequently appearing in The Frisky, Lemondrop and Marie Claire. She says female-centric blogs have been so successful because of the second-sex problem.

“Women benefit from sites that discuss gender-specific issues for the same reason any ‘minority’ (of course, women aren’t actually a minority, statistics-wise) would benefit from a site that addresses issues relating specifically to them. So women benefit from having not just a blog/publication that covers addresses them in the first place, but a community for discussion, like Jezebel.”

In fact, Googling “female blogs” provides several directories to some of the top writers, sites and topics on the internet. Google “male blogs,” however, and you’ll fall down a completely different rabbit hole: the top result is “Best Male Blogs — Gay Blog Directory;” eight of the other top 10 results are gay porn-related; one is about male nurses; the other is spam.

The landscape of male-centric blogs does contain a few inspiring islands of note, though all of these are fenced in to a limited topic area: Geek Dad over at Wired, who writes with a sweet insistence that parenthood isn’t the death of all things young and fun (see: Top Nerf blasters arriving in 2011) and serious issues facing parents (see: Bill Gates Says Anti-Vaccine Autism Groups “Kill Children” — And He’s Right); Sites like Topless Robot and Geeks of Doom don’t delve deep and limit themselves to gender unspecific nerdery, but the distractionary content would be right at home in a larger dude blog (TR‘s Fan Fiction Friday featuring April O’Neil is a particular favorite).

The internet is lousy with sports bloggers, but, if you can believe it, even some of us dudes who like sports just as much as the bros don’t need to read about it ad nauseam (Bill Simmons and Tony Kornheiser are two are my favorite writers … when they’re not writing about sports). An editor just turned me on to an online magazine that launched last June: The Good Men Project, which certainly seems on the right track. The big topic dominating its homepage right now is intense and serious discussion of a Men’s Rights Movement, while its blog carries a rage of topics, from Europe’s highest-profile openly gay soccer player to maintaining guybrows, along with a whole section just for daddy bloggers.

As Diana says, it’s a matter of creativity of content and figuring out what dudes want to read about it. “Maximand AskMen.com and the like assume that it’s sports, chicks in underwear, and tips for getting laid, for the most part. But if the non-bros DON’T feel like those publications speak to them, then what topics are left? Of course, there are niche interest publications out there, too —style blogs and whiskey magazines and sports magazines, etc. — but those are general interest, not gender-specific. I think the challenge is figuring out what a ‘male issue’ is and then writing about it in a way that doesn’t speak down to men.”

Abortion policies affect us too, ya know, especially those of us who are terrified about unplanned pregnancies; war affects us more: out of my five friends who served in Iraq, four of them were dudes. Our generation is strung up by the new estimation of masculinity that can be every bit as confusing as puberty: where our fathers were forged in a past world of patriarchy, we’re living in a present where taking your husband’s name seems increasingly anachronistic and quaint. 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.

So we know the publishing world/everything throughout history has cowered in the shadow of male ego, and that’s why women’s sites have sprouted and grown in the underbrush. But the emergence of clever, well-written dude blogs will act as the appropriate counter balance: with a men’s site that’s a fun, educational read like The Hairpin or Heartless Doll, we can recognize that coping with being a man in the modern world is challenging when you veer from the path paved over by generations of watch-coveting, tits-gawking, fantasy football playing, Ed Hardy-covered knuckle draggers; that it’s OK to be a guy who questions sexism and doesn’t assume the world is his personal cum rag. And in the space that emerges between two poles of gender blogs, we’ll realize there’s a lot more things that are just “people” issues.

I asked Diana what she would envisioned as content for a hypothetical dude blogspace.

“I would LOVE to see men reading smart advice—on style, on women, on sex, on how to order wine, on books to read this month, etc.—written in a tone that doesn’t assume all men are either Don Draper or
complete morons.”

Here then is my proposal for a what a possible dude blog would look like:

  • Possible names: Dudeist, The Rockstrap, Manscraping, Machopocalypse, The UnChauvinist, Do Not Pass Bro, The Manist, The Blog Lebowski, Genderation Y, Dudegasm

Feature/post ideas:

  • How to tell her you’re not going to cover the check
  • Etiquette guide: talking to your high school friends about war after they return from Iraq
  • Etiquette guide: being a dude at a pro-choice rally
  • Why The Neg actually works, and why you should never ever say the words “The Neg.”
  • Did that NY Magazine cover story on the effects rampant online masturbation has on Actual Sex Life cause people to rampantly masturbate less? (yes)
  • Tested: recreational Viagra
  • A long self-indulgent Gchat interview with a dude author: T.C. Boyle? Is Chuck Klosterman up to anything lately?
  • Actually we should probably have regular Chuck Klosterman updates. He’s the dude’s blog dude that we love to idolspize.
  • Female fashion experts explain to us those trends we can’t wrap our heads around, from gladiator sandals to tights-as-pants (butseriouslywhat’sthedealwiththat).
  • Can you wear her …? (A style guide to borrowing your girlfriend’s clothes)
  • Cheat sheet: what are you supposed to know about sports this week?
  • How to be a volunteer firefighter
  • Japan’s fear of “grass-eating” men who don’t want to breed: is this happening in America too?
  • The Big Lebowski and the sum of all human wisdom
  • The backdoor: vastly overrated
  • The pacifist’s guide to being prepared for a street fight
  • The status of a male birth control pill, and why this writer can’t wait for that day
  • And, of course: How to Survive as a Stay-at-Home Boyfriend TC mark
image – WWE

More From Thought Catalog

  • 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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