(No, I’m not pregnant.)
I’ve decided, after a period of switching on and off, to leave this blog open for anyone who feels like reading, but not to write for the next three months. It’s for various reasons, mainly to do with my own well-being, my constant sense that I owe people things which I probably don’t, and my need to stop feeling that, in terms of how feminist debate works, I’m never good enough (if only I said it better, people wouldn’t think x about feminists, gender, sex blah blah blah… As if that will ever work!). I need to concentrate on things that make me happy (i.e. wine and knitting, possibly also my children if I can be arsed).
Feminism makes me happy, when it is positive — but not when I feel I am watching women get hurt and cannot do anything about it. I worry a lot about young women not feeling they have a right to speak or to place their experiences in any context nor even to admit they feel pain. I worry about all the same patterns being played out time and again, as women take steps forward and are vilified for doing so, so much so that others watching decide that being “one of them” is the worst thing possible. I have been one of the women who felt this and then I’ve also been “one of them”. Finding the words to get beyond this — persuading women that it is safe to speak and that they will be understood when, to be fair, it isn’t and they won’t — is not something I can do. The fact that it seems no one can is, at the moment, truly heartbreaking.
The reasons I am announcing this is not because I feel I owe it to my legions of fans <grandiose nod to the non-existent masses>. It’s because I rarely stick to things I say I’m going to do, even if they’re for my own good. I felt that if I announced this here, fear of public embarrassment would prevent me from going back on it (like many people, I find embarrassment avoidance far more motivating than concern for my own well-being. And yes, like many people, I may not appear to be someone who cares about embarrassment, but actually I do – I’m just generally crap at avoiding it unless the rules are really obvious).
So anyhow, I’m off, for now (although I may pop up writing for places where I get paid, obviously, what with all the knitting patterns and Soave I have to buy).