Why Do We Need Blogs?

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As the end of her editor role draws to a close, Rosie Plummer looks at the importance of the Blogs section.

People have asked me several times over the past year which section I edit, and visibly lose interest when I reply ‘blogs’. For a while I bought into this disdain. I began to accept that perhaps people’s lives and views aren’t as important as science or news.

Two new ‘blogs’ have come into my life recently. Many people have probably heard of them but, if I’m honest, I usually use social media to look at Game of Thrones memes, rather than to actually educate myself. So exploring  @nowhitesaviours on Instagram and the podcast ‘How to Be a Girl’ have really reminded me of the importance of listening to others. 

@nowhitesaviours is self-explanatory, calling out white people’s undeserved saviour complexes every time they sponsor a goat in Africa, or use a black child as a prop to improve their Instagram. I’m not sure whether this is officially a ‘blog’ as much as a social justice movement but, whatever it is, I am on board to listen.

‘How to Be a Girl’ is generally a bit lighter-hearted, a podcast and blog run by the mother of a transgender girl in America, discussing the questions many cisgender people have about raising a transgender child: such as, “how do you know?” and indeed pointing out how trivial these questions seem when asked to cis people. As well as making you explore your own identity more deeply, this heart-warming blog also sheds light on the scary reality which trans children face in a world of bathroom bills and hate crime.

‘What’s the point in blogs anyway’

Now, while I consider myself a tolerant person, what I have become increasingly aware of during my final year at Uni is my lack of education on the struggles of others, and indeed how my own privilege enabled this ignorance. I guess I’ve spent so much of the past three years studying History that I’ve forgotten to stop and look at the present. 

A few months ago, when someone asked me ‘What’s the point in blogs anyway’, if I’m honest, I struggled for an eloquent answer. At the moment I don’t really get a big kick out of hearing someone’s new make-up routine; not that there’s anything wrong with these kinds of blogs, but, like the boy who asked me, they just aren’t my thing right now.

I suppose what I should have said is that I love hearing other people’s stories. People have so much to say and it’s vital that we acknowledge others’ views, experiences and backgrounds. Because, so often when I read blogs, I find a new perspective on a topic, or an angle I’ve never considered: What’s it like to be a student raising a toddler? Is coming out really a one-time thing? These are just a couple of the topics our wonderful writers at The Gryphon have educated me on this year. As a straight, childless student, these are experiences I had never even considered before. And I expect the guy who asked me ‘what the point in blogs is’ hadn’t either.

As @nowhitesaviours and ‘How to Be a Girl’ have both been teaching me, there is much more I need to learn about the world. So many stories that have long been silenced that we all need to hear. And blogs are helping me to work on that.