Friday, 4 March 2016
It's been a little over 5 years since I set up this blog. Mostly I felt sorry for the Writer by Night having to put up with me ranting about the gender politics in every film we watched and the world around me, and decided I needed another outlet. I didn't really expect to change the world.
Then a few things happened - I got pregnant, I got trolled, I lost the troll and then the babies. I got pregnant again, and mostly wished I could conduct the next seven months from under a duvet, and then I guess I just lost the art of blogging. I've started to write several blog posts since, which have never made it to completion for a host of reasons. I've felt guilty about not putting writing, or any kind of creative work, to the top of my list in such a long time. I've struggled to find the space in my head and the time in the world. And the time in my head and the space in the world.
Now a few things have happened - I'm just about to return to work after my youngest child has turned one. I'm beginning to feel the urgency of having conversations about how society responds to gender in public rather than just in my living room. And this afternoon I dipped into Amanda Palmer's Art of Asking, where she talks about the process of creating art dividing into three categories: collecting, connecting and sharing. And this gave me a bit of an epiphany: over the past five years, I have been collecting. Collecting many thousands of experiences, many mundane, a few hyperbolically extraordinary. Suddenly I am not guilty of laziness, only hoarding. After reading that, it was like finding the loose bulb on the fairy lights, one little twist and suddenly, the whole string lit up, connections firing instantly and I was ready to share.
So I'm going to be writing more. And it's going to be a bit different, probably, because a lot has changed for me since I set the blog up. And discussion about feminism has changed too - finally, there are regular news stories about continued inequality, and the public reactions to women who highlight and try to change that continual inequality. Things are better, and worse. One of the things that spurred me on to write was a debate about periods on Channel Four news tonight. Really, they weren't debating periods exactly, but whether or not we should talk about them publicly, and the consequences of not. This tapped into a discussion I've been having with female friends recently about our bodies and how we didn't as children, and still don't, have words we feel comfortable with for our, well, parts we don't feel comfortable naming. Now raising our own daughters, AND sons, we want badly to fix this, with words we don't have.
I don't expect to change THE world. But I am determined to change my children's world. I've recently joined a political party, and have been chatting with another member about how, time and again, it's the male voices we hear in the room at meetings, even when there are roughly equal numbers of men and women present. If I want Batgirl and the Boy Wonder to grow up hearing female voices too, mine must be among them, discussing the undiscussable, facing the unfaceable, naming the unnameable.