Where does an atheist or humanist female blogger belong?

I have a puzzle for you all. Recently, I have been looking at the BlogHer website. BlogHer is a community for women who blog. It aims to create exposure, foster networking and build a community through a blog directory, featured posts, bloghosting and forums. Sounds great! You register with the website and then you are free to list your blogs in the BlogHer directory under the relevant topic(s). In addition to this, BlogHer bloggers will be writing about the interesting posts that they come across in their topic areas. It all sounds pretty straightforward and productive, except I have one question: What topic would This Humanist come under?

Religion & Spirituality?
I suppose this is where most people would put a humanist blog, but humanism is a philosophy not a religion.

What doesn’t come under this? Or do they just mean journal blogs?

Race, Ethnicity & Culture?
To some degree, it is a community of people building a culture based on rationalism and compassion, celebrating nature, art and the world.

Research, Academia & Education?
Education and scientific method are certainly integral to the humanist way of life.

Social change, Non-profits & NGOs?
Humanists would like to see a society which includes universal human rights, free speech and secularism among other things.

Politics & News?
Religion has exploded into the political sphere making secularism a hot topic.

In case you’re wondering, there is no philosophy category, but you can put something under more than one topic. I know where this blog would be placed, but I don’t really appreciate being put in a category that doesn’t really describe me. Who needs spirituality when you have plain old earthly compassion?

Any suggestions or thoughts on this conundrum?

8 Responses to “Where does an atheist or humanist female blogger belong?”

  1. 1 Hugo August 12, 2008 at 8:22 am

    A thought, but not a useful suggestion: it just goes to show how all-encompassing the humanist lifestance is! 😉

  2. 2 Clare August 12, 2008 at 9:35 am

    That’s true. I also presume that Philosophy then falls under the Research, Academia & Education category, which I’m sure will disappoint them.

  3. 3 Stephen August 13, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    “Spirituality” need not remain a religious monopoly. While I dislike using the word to refer to humanism (since it does have so many religious connotations), I think a case can be made for a “humanist” kind of spirituality — and I think Doug Muder at his Free and Responsible Search blog does it best.

    “Humanist Spirituality: Oxymoron or Authentic Path to Enlightenment?”

  4. 4 Clare August 13, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Thanks for the links! I shall definitely be reading those. I haven’t worked out where I stand on the whole ‘spiritual’ issue. I can see how people object to an idea that is closely linked to religion and easily misinterpreted. At the same time, there are plenty of instances where we do use it in a non-religious fashion, e.g. high spirits. I suppose it’s handy to refer to matters of a higher level than the everyday and those subconscious needs, wants and processes. Time for me to get down the reading…

  5. 5 Tim August 13, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    Heh, this reminds me of the book I recently read about on Boing Boing, “Everything is Miscellaneous”:

    Choice quote: “[…] every field of human endeavor is tinged with hierarchy, and every hierarchy is under assault from the Internet. One impact of this change is that it reveals the biases lurking underneath the editorial carvery of our systems.”

    Taking a look at the categories you highlighted, I get the impression that other people have had the same difficulty – things rarely fit into a convenient pigeon-hole. It seems the category gives a vague gist of the topic, and for anyone browsing that category the titles of the blogs are their next clue to the content. This works in your favour as your blog title is quite clear and concise (unlike the blog “A Squirrel’s Adventures”, say, which it seems is about child adoption and not squirrels at all).

    Given this and the topics you tend to cover, I would suggest listing yourself in both the “Religion and Spirituality” section and the “Politics and News” section.

  6. 6 Clare August 14, 2008 at 12:50 am

    I did find myself surprised that you couldn’t tag blogs according to keywords. Then ‘this humanist’ could be under the category of religion and spirituality but tagged as humanist, so you could refine the search, or take it larger and search for the tag within all categories.

    The ideas in that book also reminded me of the whole debate about how words are stored in the brain. There are the proposals for prototype theory or distinguishing characteristics, e.g. bird: (robin) or flying, feathers, small. Then there’s evidence that activation in relevant areas of the brain when a word is accessed, e.g. ‘listening’ would light up areas associated with auditory processing. I can see the brain being a similar mishmash of ideas and associations like the internet in a way.

  7. 7 grammarking September 8, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    If it were my blog I would have no problem sticking it in Religion and Spirituality, but that may just be because it’s so irreligious, I generally like offending people’s sensibilities and I’d want to attract as much of a religious audience as possible :D.

    It’s difficult where to categorize humanism in general though, without the haven of ‘philosophy’. I don’t like the idea of taking back words that have traditionally been in the religious domain like ‘spiritual’, I’d rather just leave them behind completely and coin new words to avoid confusion.

  8. 8 nathan Bailey October 3, 2011 at 3:32 am

    I believe it is difficult for certain groups to find a blog niche and I definitely understand you problem and encourage you to continue your blog effort. I am definitely interested n hearing your perspective and would be a client of your blog.
    I am in a weird philosophical/religious niche myself. My philosophy is one that is best described as Agnostic but with spiritual winds that oscillate between a Thomas Jefferson and Rudolf Bultman type Christianity (Christianity minus the mythology) to a Secular Humanism (similar but not as cynical as Bertrand Russell) to occasionally reading and enjoying the works of Deepak Chopra, Buddhism, and dabbling into Existentialism and Epicureanism. Thus the span of my philosophical – religious inquisitiveness would make me a prime customer for your blogs. I am sure there are many in my category.


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