I am so tired.
I came back from Melbourne and came to realise that my blogging problem hadn’t gone away.
I had so much to say, all year, ever since I found these vibrant and thrumming communities of women and feminism. I said I wouldn’t contribute – not a blog post, not a comment – until I finished studying for the year, because there was just too much to do and I couldn’t shift my focus of action that much, because I was going to do the best I could for myself.
Even so, I read and read and absorbed as much as I could. From the sworn virgins of Albania* to domestic violence in Russia, to Gardasil becoming mandatory for US immigrants, to the dismissal and silencing of students sexually assaulted by their classmates in Australia, there was so much to know and so many people suffering through patriarchy and people working for them all around the world. The personal and the political came together for me more than ever before, and I learned so much about reframing language relating to disability, about rape apologism in the legal system, about honouring our menstruation. And there was much by way of self-examination in the feminist movement. I absorbed a lot of it and ignored much that deserved better attention and left a pile of it for later and grew and grew and grew in my consciousness and my capacity to SPEAK. And now I could begin.
Well, then I had a problem.
So overwhelmed was I by the mixture of a heavy year study-wise and the smart, engaged, dedicated voices I now had around me, I found my footsteps hesitating, fading into silence. Most pressing was the volume of work to DO. There were issues of law and popular culture and societal attitudes and journalistic codes and so many things and how these related to women, LGBTQI people, people of colour, people with disabilities, all combinations of these and all sorts of people. And nothing I could say would make any difference and it was all too much.
And there was a lifetime of engagement left when it would be so much easier to be complacent, not let it all bother me too much and let my voice grow dusty, to stay forever silent.
Which is nothing new. I’m whining here, but every feminist blogger has been there before.
So, for my sake, and for your sakes, and for everyone I’m fighting for, sometimes, I will take a breath. I will stop and think and remember that a lifetime spent at this is exponentially better spent than one in complacency, shouting down my conscience.
Sometimes it will be messy.
Sometimes I’ll feel embarrassed because I missed something important or my language wasn’t sophisticated or I just feel rotten. (Read this.)
Sometimes I’ll want to give up.
Sometimes I’ll be tired.
But I am keeping this blog and putting what I can out there, though it may be of questionable value in my eyes.
I’m committing myself. At least weekly, I’m going to form a piece I’m proud of and post it on this blog. Let’s see if I can do it for a year.
Note: The links I included in this post are not especially my favourites of the year and they’re not especially what I consider the best in social justice thought from this year. They’re just a sample of the writings I collected in my bookmarks.
*I’m uncertain as to whether Dan Bilefsky uses gendered language appropriately in hir article.