Ann Althouse has caused quite a stir by deigning to marry one of the commenters on her eponymous blog. Is there any female writer who is allowed to be happy in her personal life?
Because from the backlash coming from (mostly) male bloggers over the announcement that Althouse had corresponded in and out of public view with a commenter on her blog, met him in person, realized that the feelings she thought she had were only enhanced by the reality of interacting with him in person and thus decided to marry him, you would think she had committed some cardinal sin. I'll be the first to admit that going out on a date with a commenter on one's personal blog can have some pretty ugly unintended consequences, but (and maybe I'm just projecting here), I don't think that, in this day and age, there are too many people who can throw stones at people that date people they meet on the Internet — and Match.com and eHarmony and all the rest of them have the balance sheets to prove it.
And not that I agree with Althouse on terribly much from a political perspective, but her comment to the New York Times was spot on:
"If a male blogger found women to consort with by going into his comments, I think he'd be congratulated."
That seems to me to be the crux of a lot of the backlash, even more so than Althouse's supposed political views. I mean, just look at how Jan Hoffman's piece starts out:
The blogger is boss, a salon host with wit and whip. Certainly a blogger thrives on commenters - who wants to declaim to an empty e-room? But let's be clear: blogger, sovereign; commenters, courtiers.
Althouse is presumed to be in some sort of more powerful, dominant position over her financé Laurence Meade. Thus, by marrying they're subverting the idea that the man should be intellectually superior and/or the bread-winner of the nascent family and that the woman and her ambitions should be somehow secondary to the man's.
And, OH NOES, he reads her blog. I mean, Jesus H. Christ, people, if you're a blogger, I guarantee, the next person you date, or try to date is going to become a reader (if not a commenter). It's practically a guarantee unless you date someone who barely uses the Internet (and where do those people exist anyway?). So I guess I don't understand all the tittering about the fact that they met online; she's in some sort of supposedly dominant position in their relationship; and he comments on her blog.
However, Althouse and Meade do seem pretty damn happy, so we're looking for suggestions over here. Maybe we're going at our lives all wrong! Which commenters would you pair up in holy (or unholy) matrimony with Jezebel editors — regardless of marital status or the status of Prop 8? Dodai and Tscheese? Me and Pilgrim Soul? Anna and Nefarious Newt? All proposals are welcome.
Commoner Captures Princess, Blog Version [NY Times]
Related: 500 Miles Later, I'm Back In Madison. [Althouse]
No Comment Possible [Andrew Sullivan]
The Althouse Timeline [Andrew Sullivan]
Earlier: Did Someone Forget To Tell Jessica Cutler She's Not Allowed To Be Happy?
Conservatives Think Feminists Should Stay Away From Marriage
"Having Lived Out The Fantasy Of Fucking You, I Don't Think I Can Date The Real Girl"