Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Catholic Masculinity & Virility in St. Blog’s

Eric Scheske of The Daily Eudemon writes a monthly column on blogging for the National Catholic Register. In the March 11-17 issue, Eric asks "Real Men Don’t Write Blogs. Do They?"
...Virility in St. Blog’s

There aren’t a lot of manly blogs in the Catholic blogosphere, in the sense of men talking about manly things. Think about it. You can quickly find a lot of Catholic mothers who blog about motherhood and the feminine genius. Now try to name a masculine counterpart to any of those.

I occasionally talk about fatherhood at my blog, and it’s a frequent topic at Pro Ecclesia (proecclesia.blogspot.com) and Thoughts of a Regular Guy (regularthoughts.blogspot.com), but it seems the list thins out quickly after that.

The Catholic Blog Awards used to vote for “Best Blog by a Man,” but they stopped this year for some reason. Last year’s finalists were Jimmy Akin (jimmyakin.org), Mark Shea (markshea.blogspot.com), Domenico Bettinelli (bettnet.com/blog), Gerald Augustinus (closedcafeteria.blogspot.com) and Dale Price (dprice.blogspot.com).

Good men all, but none of them emphasizes the sort of fatherly virility I’m talking about here — with the possible exception of Augustinus, who looks like he could break a heretic over his knee.

Perhaps the most traditionally manly Catholic blog is The Lair of the Catholic Cavemen (catholic-caveman.blogspot.com). This blog is run by former U.S. Marines who write like they’re still in the barracks and would welcome the chance to back up their words in the boxing ring. The blog is probably a bit too Tarzanish for some readers, but I find it refreshing.

If you like The Lair approach to blogging, you might also enjoy Dad29, The Carolina Cannonball , Suicide of the West and the Crusader Knight, a blog with a martial approach to religion and culture.

My Comments:
Thanks for the mention, Eric. I cannot even begin to tell you how gratified and humbled I am to have this blog mentioned among the manly blogs of the Catholic blogosphere. And I'm sure that I'm not speaking out of turn when I say that I am confident that Regular Guy Paul and Cavey feel the same way.

And by my count, that's the Caveman's third mention in Eric's column. Caveman, dawg, you got it goin' on!

Although he wasn't featured in the Register piece, I will say that I believe our friend Tony over ManlyMen.org has, as the name suggests, a very manly blog. And our friends over at Fumare have quite a manly blog as well.

Carolina Cannonball, whose blog was also mentioned in Eric's article, notes:
I found it especially interesting that the article was about 'manliness' and that I was the only female blogger mentioned... Seems I got big enough Cannonballs to run with the boys, either that, or I am a brutish woman. I'll take both because "I'm strong like bull". Yee Haw!

Dom Bettinelli raises some valid points contra Eric's column, and singles out a few other blogs as worthy of the "manly" appellation, which happen to be some of the exact same blogs that come to my mind. But Dom has some pointed things to say about the blogs that did make Eric's cut:
[Eric's] thesis: There aren’t many Catholic men writing manly blogs. Huh? He even singles out the finalists for last year’s Catholic Award for Best Blog by a Man as not emphasizing “the sort of fatherly virility I’m talking about here”: Jimmy Akin, Mark Shea, Dale Price, Gerald Augustinus, and me. (Let’s set aside for the moment the fact that Jimmy is neither married nor a father and that Gerald was only just married in the past year and does not yet have kids.)

Does Eric actually read these blogs? Just in the past week, Mark has written about his oldest son and his pride at seeing him leaving the nest on a missionary journey and Dale was just writing about building a model tank with his son. Both men often write about their children and families. For anyone paying attention, Jimmy is clearly a real Texas cowboy and a Catholic gentleman. Eric does give Gerald a partial pass based on looks alone, I guess.

So who does pass the manly blog bar? The
Lair of the Catholic Cavemen is one. Pro Ecclesia is another. Thoughts of a Regular Guy is another.

I’m not sure what Eric criteria were since I’m not an NCR subscriber and don’t have the whole column, but a recent
Caveman post on the LA Religious Education Congress had the following snippet:
At the L.A. Edjumacation Congress, is Liturgical Pole Dancing one of the subjects taught? Possibly this is just a flashback to my beer drenched younger days in The Corps, but I’m all of a sudden gettin’ a hankerin’ to whip out a handful of dollar bills. Is it just me, or does this chick look about ready to start sliding up and down those poles strategically placed around her? Spiked heels, a sexy shirt and tight pants… the only thing missing is a heavy bass guitar beat.
Look, I like the Cavemen and the other blogs he named, but if the definition of Catholic fatherly manliness is stripper jokes and calling people names and posting photos of nearly naked models who profess to be Catholic and seconding Ann Coulter’s insult of John Edwards as a “faggot” and other locker room behavior, then I think you can count me out. (Clarification: “photo of the model” does not refer to the LA Religious Ed Congress photo on the Cavemen’s blog. It’s something else I saw on another blog some time ago.) [ED. Hmmmm. I wonder whatever Dom could be referring to?]

Eric should have been paying closer attention to fathers like
Papa Familias and Sirach 4:20 and Mark and Dale and the Irish Elk and, well, too many to name. There are plenty of men of masculine virtue in the Catholic blogosphere if you stop to look and don’t define manliness so shallowly.

I have to address one thing that Dom said. At his blog, I responded to his supermodel comment by noting that the post to which he was referring is hardly representative of what this blog is about.

Dom responded: "Jay: I want to be clear that I don’t think that the post was necessarily inappropriate, but that the question of manliness and virility and masculine virtue should not hinge on such things. In other words, posting such things doesn’t make you manly, even if it’s not particularly wrong."

Dom misses the point. It's immaterial whether some post of mine from a year ago was inappropriate or not. And who said "the question of manliness and virility and masculine virtue hinged" on such a post?

The implication seems to be that the Adriana Lima post alone is what merited this blog's mention in Eric's column, and is sort of dismissive of any other reasons for which Eric might have mentioned this blog. This is a blog called Pro Ecclesia * Pro Familia * Pro Civitate, which discusses the intersection of faith, family and politics from the perspective of a husband and a father. It's not outside the realm of possibilities that perhaps this fact is what Eric thought merited some mention.

After all, this blog is hardly a St. Blog's version of Gentlemen's Quarterly.

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At 3/06/2007 5:38 PM, Blogger Dad29 said...


Followed the "more" link and found I had to register.

Shot my computer instead.

At 3/06/2007 6:22 PM, Blogger Darwin said...

Heh. So much for my efforts to cover booze and guns as well as philosophy and politics.

That's it. It'll be tea cozy and cat blogging for me from now on out... :-P

(I thought the reason they dropped the "by a man" category was because _most_ of the blogs were by men.)

At 3/06/2007 7:47 PM, Blogger Pro Ecclesia said...

Too bad because your blog is mentioned in the article as well.

When you blog with your better half (and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that), the testoterone sorta gets lost in a cloud of perfume.


At 3/06/2007 10:06 PM, Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

And I'm sure that I'm not speaking out of turn when I say that I am confident that Regular Guy Paul and Cavey feel the same way.

Quite right. Also in your remarks about Tony at manlymen.org.

At 3/07/2007 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On my little blog I'll have to punctuate things with *ggrrrrrrr* from now on to increase my blog-manliness!

At 3/07/2007 9:35 AM, Blogger Darwin said...

That's it. No more photos of the kids will be posted unless they're holding part of the gun collection!

At 3/07/2007 9:42 AM, Blogger Kevin Whiteman said...

It's gonna be rough, but I'm sure everyone you've listed will all do an excellent job of holding the banner of dude-dom high!

At 3/07/2007 9:46 AM, Blogger mrsdarwin said...

Did the dude notice that the "best blog by a woman" was also dropped?

When you blog with your better half (and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that), the testoterone sorta gets lost in a cloud of perfume.

Hey! Hey! Hey!

Does that mean that Darwin should buy me perfume?


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