VOF Week 3 : (Personal + Politcal ?)
I had to laugh as I scrolled through some of the assignment entries for this week. It is so freeing, yet a little funny to know how often our secret fears are shared by others! How amazing it is to read exactly what I am thinking in someone else's blog - insecurities I am too scared to express, but easier to acknowledge when braver souls than me give them voice!
I am one of those who have great trouble writing! I even went so far as creating a blog on Wordpress many months ago. But I didn't post a single entry! Figuring out the title alone took me two solid days! It has to be clever, and eye-catching, I thought; And representative of me; Not too self-involved, though; But I don't want to reveal too much about myself, either; All in one brief, catchy, poetic phrase! Wow! I felt defeated before I had started.
When it comes to actually posting something, I second-guess myself constantly. There is something inherently narcissistic about writing, especially writing on a blog. It is just my opinion, after all. I get a sudden attack of humility and my writing seems trivial. In the next few moments, paradoxically, I am struck by the power of my potential words. Perhaps the chosen topic of my post is too controversial. I worry about compromising my professional colleagues, or offending a reader with a tactless turn of phrase.
I realize that anyone who knows me only through my posts on PulseWire will imagine me to be shrinking violet, a shy, meek person. In reality, I am a bold, strong, passionate woman who makes courageous life choices, is dedicated to fighting injustice, and inspires people around me with the power of my voice - spoken, that is!
In all seriousness, the permanent and semi-anonymous nature of writing on the internet gives me pause. It is so much easier to soothe hurt feelings in person, explain a remark, or clarify a position when conversing face to face. Additionally, I know that giving context to my voice by being transparent about my name, location, personal history and professional affiliations lends more authenticity to what I have to say. On the other hand, what if I want to post about something that is not a popular opinion or the 'party line' at my job? In fact, even though I work for a feminist organization, I keep my personal, much more radical activism separate from the organizationally constrained feminist politics of paid work. I believe that this revolution needs both civil society organizations that are funded by governments (and therefore are sometimes compromised in their ideals), as well as on-the-ground grassroots movements that can speak truth to power. And when I blog, the fine line that I tread in belonging to both, gets just a little harder to walk.
However I just posted my first ever blog entry (other than required assignments) on my journal on a controversial topic related to my work. As the only racialized woman in my office, I doubt I have the power to challenge this status quo.
Wait, did I just compromise my anonymity in order to challenge authority? :-)