Scorpio Risen

Honesty, My feminism, My Blog…

Posted on: 16 June, 2007

So, I was reading Belledame’s blog, and this particular post, and then I clicked on the link to the original post at Bastante Already.

A woman finally gets the nerve to leave her abuser.
“Come to shelter, we will help you!”
Except, after her time at the shelter has run out, she is homeless.
We need separate subsidies for victims of domestic violence.
Even six-months to a year of subsidy would help so much.
Why are there not separate subsidies for victims of domestic violence?
Why are the victims put through this housing nightmare, rendered homeless?

This really got me, and it knocked me for six. Maybe I’m naive, maybe I’m stupid, maybe I’m selfish, maybe I’m ignorant…but I think it sure as hell just goes to show how imperfect a feminist I am. Y’know…and I am going to be honest, straight up, here…I had never thought about what happens next? What happens once the women get the strength to leave their abusers, go to a women’s refuge centre. What happens next?

Well, obviously they can’t stay there forever. Resources, and all, for one thing. But, what happens next?

I haven’t really read up much on domestic violence, honestly, I don’t know much about it. I tend to shirk away from subjects I don’t know much about – I guess, the few times I have considered, as a response to some piece of news about a domestic violence case, expressing my feelings about it would be inadequate, and insignificant, and I wouldn’t be able to put to the table anything worthy of discussion.

As a blogger…I have, thus far, focussed on issues such as pornography, rape, femininity/gender roles. I do think these issues are important. I’m not a world-leading authority figure on any of them, but I know enough, read enough, to write a bit about them. 

But domestic violence? Nada. Anything to do with class or ethnicity? Nada. I certainly don’t feel I have experienced enough, and I certainly can’t talk for any other classes or ethnicities, or even others belonging to similar class/ethnicities to me…I don’t try to. This is not to say that these are not important issues to discuss, debate, or blog about. But, they are often sensitive (as are other issues I have blogged about, such as rape and pornography). With class and ethnicity – I don’t think you can be too theoretical about it, I think a large part of it is through experience. And hell, I’m white, middle class – I’m one of the more privileged ones, what right do I have to talk of other classes, or ethnicities, just ‘cos I’ve read about ’em.

But I am beginning to digress way too much.

Where are the lobbyists, the demonstrators for these women?
Where are the letter writers, the activists for these women?
Where are the non-fun kind of feminists, who claim to care so very much about abused women?

While I do not particularly care for the dig at radical feminists…well…This message really, really hit home to me. Where am I?! What am I doing about it?!

I want revolution – it’s why I rant and rave and care so much about the small things, because I believe in identifying, analysing these small things, then thinking about what the hell to do about ’em. What revolution would mean. I don’t really blog so much about my thinking about these things, because, well, I’m still working on it.

But…y’know, while I’m rabbiting on about the social constructs of femininity, and media representations, well…there are women out there who are living and just about breathing the real shit about a patriarchy. And there are women out there who need our help, my help, and then there’s me going on about leg shaving.  I’m sure there are many bloggers out there who do take a more active role in these women’s lives. But, thus far, I haven’t. I’ve been considering doing voluntary work – do I have to be over 18? Are there any near me? Y’know, I’m really inspired now to actually get off my fucking blogging arse and do something. Now, that would be revolutionary.

Her income is approximately $700 per month state assistance/TANF.
She is currently unable to work due to childcare needs and lack of transportation.
She will need at least a two-bedroom apartment, ideally three.
Average market rent for a two-bedroom, non-subsidized apartment in this area is $600-800.
A three bedroom is nearly $1000.
At $700/month, therefore, a non-subsidized apartment is not an option for this family.

Sure, it’s all dollars…but I would not be at all shocked if the situation isn’t similar for so many women (and their children) in this here country. I’m going to research it, and yeah, y’know what, I’m going to fucking write some letters about it, and bother my local MP (I have sent him already 2 bothering emails about 2 other issues). Now, that would be revolutionary.

Feminism means a lot to me. My sisters – fellow feminist blogger, career woman, rape and/or domestic violence victim, sexworker, housewife, whatever –  mean a lot to me.  This blog means a lot to me.

But, I have been mulling around in my head recently about this here blog. I kind of feel a bit of a failure, to be honest. Now, I am usually pretty damn hard on myself, but still. The thing is, I rant and rave, whatever, I muse. But what am I actually doing? How am I changing things? Things that I constantly highlight in my blog – and yeah, to some people, they may seem trivial, but hey, I look at their meanings, and their meanings in relation to being in a patriarchy. I mean, the majority of the audience of this blog are most likely feminists anyway, most probably feminists of a similar perspective to mine, then there are a few anti-feminists and/or trolls who really could give less of a fuck, and then there are random people off of Google who were trying to find their horoscope, but got me…or, and I must be a huge disappointment, looking for “scorpio pornography” or something along those lines. This, of course, doesn’t mean I will stop blogging – have never considered it thus far – because I enjoy it, it’s good for me to vent, I just don’t think I have much of an impact.

So. I did actually have some points I wanted to write out, all mapped out in my head like, but I have forgotten them – am particularly tired tonight.

Kim’s post was almost like an epiphany to me. I had been wondering to myself previously, “hmmm, what the fuck am I doing? ‘Cos, besides blogging, it’s like I’m doing bugger all about issues I care about, I should get more active”, and had been considering voluntary work. It has been one of the posts with the most impact on me.

So yeah. Honestly? I’m not a great feminist. I’m probably not even a good feminist. Yet. I kind of figured that I would do activism at some point. I will. In fact, next week – protest a-go-go. My blog? Has definitely lost focus recently, largely due to damn writer’s block, but I’m not going to say that I write “too much” about “trivial” issues, because to me, they’re not “trivial”.

I think I live too much in my own dream world.

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8 Responses to "Honesty, My feminism, My Blog…"

Well, I think doing all these things would be great, but it does sound like you’re being a bit hard on yourself.

and, y’know. i don’t think it’s about “no roses, just bread.” just–she’s tired of the constant Wars, i think, and a few specific things.

btw, hadn’t seen your banner–*great* pics!

Hi Amy — I responded to you in my comments and am right now working on a post inspired by your comment.
THANKS!
(You’ll see why “THANKS!” when you read my comment and post!)

“but I think it sure as hell just goes to show how imperfect a feminist I am.”

None of that talk! You are not a “bad feminist” or “imperfect feminist.” None of that self-debasing talk! While there are some out there would gladly yank my Feminist Membership Card away and burn it, as 20 year feminist this very post in the most feminist thing I’ve read all damn month.

Clap, clap, clap!

“As a blogger…I have, thus far, focussed on issues such as pornography, rape, femininity/gender roles.”
Nothing wrong with that – I think that a blog is a forum where you write about what you *want* to write about. And if some stupid troll shows up telling you to that he doesn’t like what you’re writing about, he doesn’t have to read your blog! Feminist blogs have been incredibly useful for me to share ideas with other feminists and just figure things out, and I’ve corresponded with a lot of fantastic people. Since feminism is also so unpopular in patriarchy (esp. radical feminism), sometimes it’s also comforting to know you’re not the only one.

“With class and ethnicity – I don’t think you can be too theoretical about it, I think a large part of it is through experience. And hell, I’m white, middle class – I’m one of the more privileged ones, what right do I have to talk of other classes, or ethnicities, just ‘cos I’ve read about ‘em.”
The American feminist blogosphere kind of tore themselves up about this a few months ago.
I’m a nonwhite woman and the way I look at it is, I would encourage white feminists who are interested in race/class/ethnicity issues to read nonwhite feminist blogs to be exposed to different perspectives and experiences. One thing I am concerned about are white feminists defining a woman as a “woman of color feminist” who only has x,y,z concerns because of her race and getting preachy about women of color issues. (BTW, you’re not in any danger of that at all 🙂 )
I mean, I’ve blogged fairly exclusively about beauty in my short blog life, which is fairly trivial, and that’s apparently something that women of color don’t care about. *shrugs*

Littoral Mermaid: It wasn’t a troll, at all. And I wasn’t personally being criticised. I’d read a post over at another feminist blog, which just made me think, and look at myself and my blog.

“Feminist blogs have been incredibly useful for me to share ideas with other feminists and just figure things out, and I’ve corresponded with a lot of fantastic people. Since feminism is also so unpopular in patriarchy (esp. radical feminism), sometimes it’s also comforting to know you’re not the only one.”
Ah! That was one of the points I had wanted to mention but forgot!!!

Hi Amy,

I know where you’re coming from – I’ve also been thinking about this too. I don’t feel I can talk about or comment on blogs (on my blog, I mean) by women of different ethnicities or women of different classes because it’s very much removed from how I’ve experienced the world. I haven’t been reading many blogs recently but I do read WOC blogs from time to time. I agree with Littoral mermaid – women of colour tend to get pigeonholed even when they write about a great many things, and that’s really unfair.

Don’t feel like you’re a “bad feminist” or whatever, I find your blog thought provoking and that is so important! If someone stumbles upon a feminist blog and reads something they didn’t expect to be reading, I think thats a really good thing because we’re educating people even if they don’t agree with what we say.

And activism? It is important, and I’m ashamed to say I haven’t been very activist. Part of that is because I’m deaf and I’m worried about not being able to lipread people or know what’s going on. But I think I’ll feel better once I’ve been to my next protest and have met more feminist women, whenever that is! Reclaim the night was fantastic because I was pleasantly surprised by how welcoming people were, using some sign language etc. But my Mum had to be my lipspeaker when the speeches were being made, so I do think things could be a bit more accessible, even though I understand funding issues can be difficult! 🙂

Having your own little dream world is great – the world needs more people like that 🙂

Hi Amy,

I got here via Kim’s blog and just wanted to say I really like the way you write. I don’t think you should feel guilty about your lack of real-life activism, or allow anyone to make you feel guilty. Sometimes it’s just not practical, or it can’t happen. There are lots of bits of feminism I just don’t know enough about to comment on without generalising enormously. Sometimes I try, sometimes I don’t bother. At the end of it, it’s your blog. I use mine partially to develop as a feminist and clarify where I stand on a number of subjects, as well as using it as a bit of a soapbox. And that’s valuable. If it’s valuable to you, there’s no need to justify what you write about to anyone.

Feminist blogs have been incredibly useful for me to share ideas with other feminists and just figure things out, and I’ve corresponded with a lot of fantastic people. Since feminism is also so unpopular in patriarchy (esp. radical feminism), sometimes it’s also comforting to know you’re not the only one. What Littoral Mermaid said!

Activism doesn’t have to only mean doing the big stuff i.e. marches, demos etc, although that’s all good. It can mean writing a letter, signing a petition, talking to someone about an issue important to you, boycotting, all kinds. Where writing and blogging come into this, is that they can inspire you to get up and do some of these things in the first place!

And the voluntary work sounds like a great idea!

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