Nearly four years ago, Joe Carter noticed that there were relatively few women contributing their opinions to the exchanges happening in the Christian blogging community. To solve the problem, Joe hosted and sponsored “Intellectuelle,” a community of women bloggers, here at Evangelical Outpost.
For four years, those women diligently and faithfully contributed their voices to the conversation, functioning as a band of “Nancy Pearceys” for the rest of us. But with the redesigned site, it became clear that what was originally an act of generosity had now become a liability. Intellectuelle needed an identity, a platform, that it could call its own.
The prospect of change also allowed the ladies at Intellectuelle to revisit their vision. Judging by the ratio of men to women online, the question of women’s participation online is, sadly, still a question. They are attempting a new answer.
In short, they have shed the name in favor of Et Elle, et al.–loosely translated, “and she, and others.” The same insightful commentary of Bonnie Lindbloom, Sarah Flashing, Letitia Wong and the rest of the crew will remain, but with the added contribution of Collin Brendemuehl and others. The result is a website that approaches delicate and difficult questions without ignoring or denying gender, but without privileging one over the other.
The internet is a vast space, and there are countless Christian blogs. But there are only a handful destinations where you can consistently find rich, robust, and interesting conversation that is reasonably conducted and respectfully handled. Et Elle, et al. will doubtlessly be one of them. ‘