Death by a Thousand Cuts
I read a lot of feminist blogs. Most of them are ‘small’ blogs, by which I mean they don’t pull in the thousands or millions of hits per day that porn sites do. But, in my mind, they are significant and vital to my life. I’m pleased to say that the many blogs I read and/or follow are just a tiny fraction of all the ‘small’ feminist blogs out there. I believe that strength does indeed come in numbers, and I’d rather scores of small voices sending the same radical message than one or two well-followed voices singing a weak and confusing song.
Most of the blogs I read do a few things. First, they talk about ideas. They may do this through an essay on theory, theory in practice, the relevance of themes, commentary on political or social events, etc. The other thing these blogs may do from time to time is to talk about personal experience. The experience may be provided as an example of an idea, or it may just be the relation of a personal story that is of significance to the blogger. Whatever the motivation, I enjoy both. I like the former because better writers than me may help clarify my thinking on things or may put a different spin on something I believe, or may introduce me to something I’ve really not thought about before. I enjoy the latter because I see the human in the writer. I sometimes find I’m not alone in having experienced something. I find ways to put words to the horrors that are womanhood under Patriarchy.
One thing I’ve noticed is that most radical feminists have done things and still do things that are decidedly anti-feminist whether they be acts of femininity adoption or subjugating oneself in a multitude of ways in a heterosexual relationship in order to preserve it. And there can be a lot of shame and guilt in the knowledge that one has capitulated. Shame and guilt for being a woman and then shame and guilt for giving in to femininity mandates. And then there is shame and guilt for not giving in to femininity requirements and hurting a poor boy’s feelings. We often end up giving in by apologizing for our militancy. Can’t win.
I like it when feminists write about these thousand daily humiliations. Confession is good for (I don’t believe in the soul) our social and intellectual development. I think by writing about them, we become more mindful of how we survive. We can measure our awareness and progress. Self-analysis of how we think and how we compromise our beliefs (or hold true to them) is important to the evolution of a being and a feminist.
To all writers of ‘small’ feminist blogs who wonder why you keep writing – you matter. You matter to your own personal development, and you matter to your audience, no matter how large or small, who are looking for validation, inspiration and kindred spirits and a reason to go on and/or start their own confessional.