You know how all bloggers who aren’t US based, or even Canada, or UK or Australia based are called International bloggers? Yeah, I’m starting to feel not so okay with that.
I’ve referred to myself as an international blogger before, and a lot of people do too. That’s how we identify ourselves. It’s a general term that respresents basically the rest of the world.
It’s more or less like how it irks me that Nanowrimo has a forum for each country and then it’s something like Central America, South America, and Elsewhere. With them I guess it’s a bit more reasonable because in that way they save server space, and also, those countries aren’t that active in the forums, but still.
Getting back on topic, I’ve decided to stop thinking of myself as an international blogger. I no longer like this concept. It makes me feel like an outsider. I’m not sure who started it. Maybe it was publishers, or maybe it was ourselves, for lack of a better term.
But I do have a better one. If you’re a blogger from China, you’re a chinese blogger; if you’re from South Africa, you’re a south african blogger. If we really need a name for technical purposes such as chats and that sort of thing: ‘Bloggers who are not from the US’?
Now that I think about it, maybe we’re dubbed ‘international’ because that sounds nicer to everybody.
Why I think it’s important to redefine this concept
Because not calling things by their name and generalizing is very, very harmful. Calling posts that are not discussions as such is actually pretty harmless, but it’s just an example. But how about the concept of ‘privilege‘?
There’s been a lot of talk about the super white, super americanized publishing industry, and how to solve this problem, and what publishers can do to fix it. But we can do things too. We’re part of the publishing industry too. A really important part.
And subconsciously, we’ve been building a barrier between US, and the rest of the world. There are some things that aren’t that simple, like getting books, getting translated books, getting authors to visit us all. Those are expensive. But this we can do.
We can’t continue being: There’s the bloggers, and then there’s the international bloggers.
‘International’ is a matter of perspective
Why? Because we’re international in relation to something else. I study International Business Management, what they teach me is about the rest of the world. The other countries are the rest of the world in relation to us, Ecuador. So, if we’re calling ourselves International Bloggers, what it means is we’re international in relation to the US, which is so very wrong to do.
So, what are we doing by doing that? We keep unknowingly spreading the culture of U.S being default for everything. I mean, US folks are amazing. Their movies rock, and they give us BOOKS, and have Disney :3, but this is a real problem. Even though the U.S is certainly important in the publishing industry because that’s where most publishers are based, our community itself, the book blogging community is supposed to have no barriers, no boders. Internet makes that possible. Sure, when it’s about giveaways it’s complicated because of shipping prices, but besides that, there really is no reason for this division.
I understand that being a country with a lot of resources, gives it certain power, but not the power to make everyone else an outsider. The book blogger community can be hypocritical, mean-girly and scary sometimes, but in spite of everything, we always find the way to stick together. We can bridge at least this one unnecessary self-imposed gap.
Maybe I’m overanalyzing and being dumb, and making it a huge thing that doesn’t matter at all, but that’s not what I think.