Contestation in power relationships involve strategies that include court action by others associated with a work related blog post. The story of Jessica Cutler finds a day in court driven by an ex-lover/worker/colleague. They sure can be messy.
My last blog post questioned the motives of Jessica Cutler. Could she perhaps have been blogging for leverage in a relationship? What were her motivations? I’ll let Cutler clarify the matter in her own words.
“I don’t want to hear that I’m trying to embarrass anyone or get a book deal. That so isn’t what sex blogging is about! For me, it’s about writing realistically about sex so that people can take it in stride and not be all “Oooh, look what this slut is doing!” I may have failed at this objective, but it’s nice to know that others are doing it despite hostility towards sex writers, threats of lawsuits and so forth.”
Whilst Cutler’s explanation is hardly an insightful revelation into her motivations it nevertheless highlights the contested nature of the blog as a space referring as she does to hostility and lawsuits that may arise from personal blogging.
Jessica Cutler, blogging as the Washingtonienne, described in reasonably graphic details her alleged sexual encounters with a number of people in and around Washinton DC. She was fired for the misuse of government property (computers) as she kept her private blog updated during working hours and using work computers. But reading through the archive of her blog (the blog was removed on the day of her sacking) I could find little that would support an assertion that she was blogging as a means to achieve enlightenment, self awareness, or emancipation. To the contrary, the blog posts are non-reflexive and merely descriptive of her sex life. On a couple of occasions she justifies receiving money for sex on the basis of her meager salary.
Clearly Cutler’s blog was a personal blog and she blogged about her work. These two facts place the blog in the domain of investigation for my research. But I would be hard pressed to support an argument that it was even a site of contestation in a power relationship in that she appears to be driven by little more than the achievement of self-gratification. I wonder though about her motives in providing an obfuscated description of each of the people she claims to have been involved with. Was it attention seeking? Was she developing a means by which she had leverage over one or more of her partners?
These questions bring me to the question: What of all the work-related personal blogs that don’t lead to a person being sacked? Are these sites of contestation in a power relationship? If an employee blogs with the knowledge and approval of their boss have they already submitted themselves as subjects of an existing power relationship?