Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Accountability

November 19, 2010

Yesterday I witnessed some Twitter drama go down between four women that I follow. One of them made a statement about men, women, and domestic violence, and another woman called her out for trans erasure. Everything went to shit very quickly after that. Some nasty slurs were tossed about from the woman who had been privilege-checked to the other three.

I was stunned. The woman who used the slurs is a mother of color and a lactivist, like me. She’s got a blog with a much larger following than this one, and she spoke at the Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association Conference – something that I was sorry to have missed when I couldn’t make it to the conference.

A dozen of the anti-oppression activists who follow me also follow this woman. People who blog regularly about oppression, marginalization, privilege-denying dude, and derailing for dummies. People who have no qualms about calling out folks who are not familiar with the dynamics of privilege and oppression quickly, loudly, and forcefully. People who pride themselves in their activism.

None of these people said a goddamn thing.

So what is this, then? What the fuck are we doing here? We bloviate on and on about how we’re gonna change this and that and the other fucking thing, and the importance of words and their impact on how we perceive the world around us, and the necessity of privilege checks, and blahfuckingblah. And when a stranger says something fucked up, we pounce on them like a trap snapping tightly over a mouse. But when our own fuck up, we look the other way? We don’t say shit? We give them a pass, why? Because we’re afraid that they might stop linking to our fucking blogs?

Personally, I feel like I’m at a crossroads. I started blogging, and then I started getting noticed by like-minded bloggers, and it was all very exciting and warm and fuzzy. But by saying something about this, I may be cutting myself off from those people. A large part of me doesn’t want that, at all. And another part of me wants exactly that, if this is the way it’s gonna be.

I get it. It’s hard to say this shit to your friends. To people you admire. To someone you wanted to meet in person someday. It hurts, it makes you sick to your stomach, you wonder if it’s even worth it. But if it’s not worth it to dig your heels in and say “No, that’s wasn’t right” in your own house, then what the fuck gives anyone the license to do it anywhere else?

This whole situation is so fucked.

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I Haz a Twitter

September 1, 2010

Follow me at twitter.com/shehasmyeyes.

It’s going to be a slow posting week. We moved (which took a hellish 10+ hours because I reserved a truck HALF the size that we needed), so now life is full of unpacking (we’re halfway finished unpacking already, which is AMAZING for us), cleaning up the old apartment, and moving stuff in and out of storage. Marcus and I are tense, stressed, and overwhelmed; poor Eve has been clingy and whiny, unnerved by all of the changes around her.

I would just like to fast forward to a month from now, when we feel more settled and are comfortable in our daily routines. I hate this transitional period. This is my third or fourth move in five years, and somehow it just never gets any easier.

Stage Fright

August 26, 2010

While I definitely appreciate the attention that some of my posts get, I kind of hate how it interrupts my flow when one particular post practically blows up. First, I’m caught off-guard by the fact that a certain post got ANY attention – especially when I never considered in the first place that it might be particularly popular. For instance, there’s What Happened to the Honey? which, since it was just a random rant and not anything I considered particularly special at the time that I wrote it, surprised me by getting more pageviews than any other post; it has apparently resonated with a lot of fed-up women of color.

After a post of mine gets passed around Facebook or linked to from blogs that I like and respect, I never know how to follow up. In fact, I usually don’t write anything for a couple of days, because I really don’t know whether I should attempt to write another strong post (but how do I do that when I’m not sure what it is that makes certain posts gain such traction while others languish, apparently not interesting to anyone but myself?) or just write what I would have written had that last post not gotten so much attention.

So far I’ve always elected to do the latter because it’s my blog and I don’t like feeling like I have to perform for anyone here. So even though Trans Women, Lactation, and Exclusion became my second most popular post just a couple days after I published it, I followed it up with a rather mundane entry about my hair and the geeky origin of my favorite tiny person’s name. Because – dammit! – it is my blog, and if I want to take a break from anti-oppression stuff to write about the X-Files, then I will godsdamn do just that.

What cracks me up actually, and prompted this post, is the fact that I was so pleasantly surprised to actually gain a blog follower after publishing the trans lactation post. It was my first, and I couldn’t help but think, “Yay! Someone likes me and is interested in my thoughts!” Because even though I like to think that I don’t care what people think, I apparently do to some extent (why else would I have a blog that is completely open to the public?). After the last two posts, however, that lone follower has disappeared. I have to admit that I am pretty tickled, and am wondering what they were thinking when my follow-up posts were somewhat less than what they had been expecting of me.

Despite the fact that I experience a sort of stage fright after writing a particularly popular post, I will still continue to write about any damn thing that I please, which will sometimes include things that are only of interest to myself. One of the things that killed my last blog was that I performed constantly; I censored myself heavily for the comfort and interest of my audience (mustn’t scare the white wimmins with my uppity negro anxieties!), which ultimately killed my own interest in writing for that blog at all.

I also dislike the thought of writing more than one blog (for instance, one which would have my anti-oppression musings and rants, while another would have my boring cooking and hair entries) because not only am I lazy, but I intended for this place to be a total and complete haven for me when I created it. It’s mine, and it’s not always going to be RAH RAH OPPRESSION because I am not always RAH RAH OPPRESSION.

And honestly? That’s good enough for me.

Props For a Radical Mama

July 30, 2010

Today’s post is kind of fanwomanish, I’ve got to admit. I visited Mai’a’s blog, Guerrilla Mama Medicine, and discovered that she collaborated in the creation of a web zine called Outlaw Midwives. Mai’a describes it as:

featuring visual art, poems, essays, and practical tips from women globally. about abortion, pregnancy, birth, and babyhood, colonialism, structural violence, anti-oppression work, and revolutionary love.

Which is right up my alley. I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye on thaura zine distro as well:

we, aaminah al-naksibendi (who lives in michigan, usa)  and mai’a (who lives in cairo, egypt), started this little zine distro to share zines, stickers and other cool stuff centered in the lives and work of folks living on the margins: women and genderqueer of color, third-world women, working class, mothers, and survivors.
in arabic ‘thaura’ means ‘revolution’.

I just love finding woman revolutionaries. You go mama!

Is It Wrong That I Find This Hilarious?

July 23, 2010

Description: A screenshot of my blog stats shows that at least one person has found my blog by Googling the phrase “I am sick of white people.”

Little Haters Hatin’

July 15, 2010

Jay Smooth puts words to why I sometimes go days (or weeks) without writing anything here. If you regularly create anything for public consumption, I’m sure you can relate. I don’t actually have writer’s block today; my problem lately is that I have too much to write about and just not enough time to put my thoughts down. But what Jay describes is exactly what caused the demise of my last blog.

Anyway, if you haven’t heard of Jay Smooth, he is definitely someone you ought to know. I’ve posted a transcript below the video.

Transcript of Jay Smooth’s video, “Beating The Little Hater”:

*rap*
Check it
New start, new spirit, new stamina
Same rap, same cat, new camera
Used to rep the hood,
Now I’m on a better block
And you know I’m serious now,
Cuz I’m letterboxed
*rap ends*

Jay Smooth: Ill Doctrine is back. I haven’t done a video in a long time, there’s few reasons for that. Reason Number One: Somehow both my cameras managed to stop working. Reason Number Two: I was busy with my first ever trip to Los Angeles for this big web video event called The Winnies. (Shout out to everybody I met over there). And the other reason I haven’t been doing videos for a while is basically, I don’t always feel like I’m cut out to do this stuff.

I’m sure there’s some people who wake up every day feeling confident that the entire world wants to look at their face and listen to them talk, but I’m not one of those people. When I’m in the groove of getting work done and I feel like I’m making a connection with you guys out there and my ideas are resonating with you, it feels natural to keep showing up and maintain that connection. But if I go too long without putting work in and it feels like that connection is broken, there’s a little voice inside my head that starts playing tricks on me and tries to convince me that the connection was never really there.

I think this is true for all creative people, that we each have a little hater that lives inside our heads and tries to set up traps for us. And the first trap he always sets up for me is perfectionism. Perfectionism – perfec – perfec – perfect – I’m not enunciating it right.

Whenever I go a few days without making a video I start thinking to myself, I need to do something extra special to justify that time away. And then the little hater starts telling me that none of my ideas are good enough to meet that standard. Then I don’t want to work, and I fall into the second trap, which is procrastination.

Procrastination is what they call it when you confuse being busy with being productive. And that’s a trap that’s really hard to avoid when the work that you’re doing involves the internet. Somehow that little hater always manages to convince me that those 25 browser windows I have open are making me productive. And I don’t catch onto the trick until about 48 hours have gone by, and then I realize I haven’t done a video in five days.

And that makes the perfectionism come back and tell me I need to do something even more extra special. Which means it’s twice as impossible to have any ideas that are good enough, so I fall right back into the procrastination trap. Next thing you know I haven’t done a video in like ten days. So then I’m feeling really stupid and guilty for letting myself fall into these traps, and I tell myself I’ve gotta make this stop.

But since I’m feeling like a loser who never gets anything done, I can’t build up the confidence to feel like I should be talking to you in the first place. So the spiral just keeps on going. You see how this works? It’s a conspiracy! All those little haters!

I’m not saying all this to fish for compliments because deep down where it counts, I know that I do good work, and I know that I’m blessed to have a whole bunch of you watching and responding. But I would like to hear from you because I know all of you are creative people too, and I bet you face a lot of the same problems. So what I want you to do is either leave a comment or post in your own blog. Tell us what your little hater sounds like, and what tricks you use to make sure he doesn’t win.

My little hater is about to take an L today because I’m uploading this video, but those little haters are always there waiting for you tomorrow. My fellow creative people of the world, we’ve got to work together on this! It’s us against them, people.

Link Self-Love

July 12, 2010

Today I’d like to highlight some of my favorite entries. I noticed while looking at my stats that for some inexplicable reason my entry Raising a Woman of Color, Part IV: Intelligence is by far my most popular post, with more than 3 times the amount of page views as my second most popular post. This is actually kind of bothersome to me since it’s not my personal favorite, mostly because I feel that it is unfinished. I rushed the end because I was tired and had been working on it for what seemed like all day, and I was eager to just wrap it up; someday I do intend to write a follow-up in order to further explore how the ranking of intelligence is racialized in an oppressive context.

I want to highlight On Identity and Telling the Truth, which I wrote while reflecting on the meme of trans folks as deceivers. All of my posts in the Raising a Woman of Color series have been quite popular with the exception of the first, which has received only a fraction of the attention that the others have. In My Lorde!, I expressed my delight in discovering the wondrous prose of Audre Lorde, whose writings have only affirmed why I left feminism for womanism.

I have to admit that I am curious. Which of my posts are your favorites, and why?

Absentee

June 18, 2010

I know it’s been slow around here this week. It’s been particularly demanding at both work and school (I got 100% on yesterday’s quiz, go me!), so I never found a moment to blog. Next week things should be back to normal.

I’d write a long and interesting post today, but we’re going to an amusement park (yay, a break!) and we’re already late meeting our friends.

I’ll catch up with you all next week.

Uppity

April 22, 2010

Hey, ya’ll. Allow me to introduce myself.

My name is August, and I’m uppity. I didn’t always used to be uppity; in fact, I used to be entirely too shy to even stand quietly in the same room as Uppity. Fortunately, that all began to change some years ago, and as time passes and I learn more and do more and trust myself more, I’ve found myself growing more and more agitated with the world as I know it and less fearful of my peers and authorities.

I’m angrier. I’m meaner. I’m more awake and aware than I’ve ever been in my life. And so I became uppity, although not nearly as uppity as I would like to be someday. I’m a work in progress.

The birth of my child is the catalyst for this blog. She is the reason that I aspire to be uppity, to be loud, and to be a thorn in the sides of those who would rather not hear her, hear us. Her voice is small and her hands are tiny. Fortunately, mine aren’t. So I aspire to do the work that her hands can’t grasp and make the sounds that her mouth can’t articulate.

My old blog, How To Be A Pregnant Lady, is dead* and gone. I censored myself a lot over there, because not rocking the boat used to matter quite a bit to me, even cloaked as I was in semi-anonymity. But the birth of my little one means that I have to change that. I have to force myself to say those things that may make others uncomfortable; I do this in the hopes that she will not have to do the same.

This blog isn’t going to be all heavy stuff like anti-racism and such. I’m also going to use it to talk about life, about cooking, about gardening (if I ever get around to it this year), about whatever comes to mind. And of course, about Eve. Because she is the reason I decided to start writing again in the first place.

Hopefully this is the start of something beautiful.

*It still lives at howtobeapregnantlady.blogspot.com. I used to have a direct domain (howtobeapregnantlady dot com) but I let it expire, and a porn site took it over just a week or two later. No, seriously. If you leave the “.blogspot” out of the address, you are going to see some hardcore pregnant porn. Just a warning!