In the 8 years that I've been married, my husband has gone to 2 or 3 professional conferences a year. I've been to several, myself.
My husband has never come home from a conference angry because one person got X and he didn't, or he got Y or Z instead.
My husband has never come home from a conference talking about who was sleeping with whom.
My husband has never come home from a conference and said anything about what anyone wore (or didn't wear).
My husband has never come home and complained that someone was invited to a party that he wasn't invited to.
My husband has never come home and criticized the behavior of his fellow professionals.
Don't get me wrong, I get a full breakdown of what happened at the conference, but you know what he's talking about, 99% of the time? He's talking about the topic of the conference. No gossip, no in-fighting, no bullshit. (The other 1% of the time he is talking about what he ate.)
And I don't think he's unique, either. I've wracked my brain trying to think of a time when my dad came home from work and said, "You won't BELIEVE who hooked up!" I'm driving myself nuts trying to remember a time when my brother said, "He had on the same outfit I did, and I died!" Try as I might, I can't think of a single time when any of my uncles have said, "And that bastard got the very last of the giveaways..."
What I'm saying, is that if we, as women, want to be taken seriously, then we need to quit with all the bashing and the gossip and the cattyness and the bullshit. WE create the glass ceiling with our behavior, ladies. At this point in history, I'm sure there are plenty of woman-friendly companies out there, but when WE act like 14 year old girls in the locker room, rather than like professionals, WE hurt ourselves.
A lot of the focus of BlogHer was on dealing with companies, "monetizing" our blogs, getting the opportunity to try products, etc. I mean this as the helpfullest hint possible - we are NEVER going to be taken seriously as professional writers or professional anythings if we don't knock it off.
I know that not everyone was there for the "monetizing" stuff - I wasn't, either (although I'm grateful to the companies I interacted with, and I believe that I behaved with dignity and treated all the vendors with respect). But I'm really disappointed that what was a really great experience, at first, is now taking on a different hue as I read all the bitching. My God, can we just quit with the bitching?
I hope by the time my daughters are adults, this sort of behavior is the exception, rather than the rule. Sadly though, more often than not, I've heard, "Well, what did you expect? When you get that many women together..."
We should expect more of ourselves.
If not for each other, then for our daughters.
And that is all I have to say about BlogHer. Next up, cute stories about the pretty babies of PrettyBabies.
(updated to fix an embarrassing typo - my proofreader is on vaca, y'all)