My blog is a bit of a public diary. On Sunday, it’s one year old – and while the book’s spine is quite alright, it’s a gotten a little fuzzier ’round the edges.
Despite the intrinsically political nature of the topics talked about here (and yes, the old classic: how can you separate them from the “private” ones anyway…?), it is a public diary.
The personal detachment I pictured myself having from the posts and the supposedly “objective” [sic] political analyses did not work out in the least; apparently, this is not what personal blogs are about, no matter how much some people might want to make me (and you) think it is.
Not having come to this meager realization is probably the main reason for actually having followed the wild impulse to start a blog by registering this one in October 2010, but taking more than 6 months to get to the point where it became clear that social network rants are not enough for whatever latest incident, and that I could actually write something about it…
Incidentally, the more personal posts are also the most popular ones, because people seem to be able to relate to them more, I presume. I get it – I like pieces of writing, be it personal and/or political, that are honest, straight forward, and connect you to the author in a sense – I suppose this is simple psychology and a more intriguing writing technique.
Don’t get me wrong: my blog is aggressively unpopular and extremely tiny :)!
I basically get the traffic of other bloggers’ “Tuesdays” in an entire year, and yet (or maybe: because of that), I have virtually met very interesting and awesome people through blogging here and am grateful for that.
The name, “Stop! Talking.”, was the poor attempt of a self-ironic double entendre… It, first and foremost, means “Stop! We’re gonna talk about that now.” It (…increasingly so… ;)) means: “STFU, you’re making my head hurt, and this is why…” And, obviously, it’s showcasing the fact that calling a blog “Stop Talking” makes little to no sense, because virtual talking is all I do here, all the time. Simple – no hidden agenda, that’s all, despite the need of some people to muse about it… Subtlety was never a strong suit of mine, a fact that cannot have escaped anyone.
The “public diary” thing and the inability of personal detachment from it, obviously, has had other consequences as well. Not once had I thought that the pseudonym I chose to write under would be kind of useless in certain contexts as soon as some people just have to find out who this is, and think that is welcome behaviour or might even impress me. Not once had I thought that this tiny and unpopular blog would actually attract the amount of trolling it does (…and that I delete…. Whoah! Censorship!1!). Not once had I thought that this trolling would not primarily come from Men’s Rights Activists [sic], but from very ordinary people who cannot stand a woman of color writing about racism and sexism, and who show how very real and very ugly privilege(d) get(s) when someone even comes close to calling it out and, seemingly, threaten it. So, this blog is a bit of a political diary, but a diary nonetheless; it is about virtually sharing your thoughts with whoever might be interested, which offers a great opportunity for conversations and learning; it also offers the opportunity to experience what some people deem the inevitable consequence of internet (pseudo-)anonymity and the possibility and urge to be as hurtful/disgusting/violent as possible.
To me, this combination is just a catalyst, not the reason for the sheer amount of discriminatory behaviour online: people seem less inhibited to “say” what they have been thinking all along, and while only a limited number of people go online and, even more so, then comment on blogs, the ones who do usually are a fine cross-section of non-marginalized people within a given society. Even if the more extreme verbal forms of racism, sexism, heterosexism, cis-sexism, ableism might be perpetrated online and not your typical real life encounter, the mere fact that these words are followed by very real and violent actions, perpetuate and, whenever questioned, re-instate the discrimination of marginalized people, and are waved off as generic “internet bullying” and politically correct oversensitivity, shows that there is such a long way to go, more off- than online.
Nevertheless: after a year and 41 posts (…extremely few and yet, more than I ever thought I’d write; especially not about essentially the same topics over and over again…), I think that blogging, for me, is helpful in processing experiences with the common -isms and making this accessible to other people, in occupying a little bit more space where certain forms of discrimination will not stand and will be called out and countered, in getting more into contact with people from around the world. Many thanks to every reader and commenter – I appreciate you taking the time to take in my ramblings (…despite the obvious fact that I’m a big ol’ meanie towards people I declare trolls or assholes)!
From a lurker to an angry facebook shouter/sharer to the occasional blog post from someone who was very afraid of linking to her ramblings at first, and very nervous about what people who know so much more about this might say…: this is fun! Exhausting fun! Infuriating fun! Exciting fun! Necessary fun!
After all, I am happy about the fact that last month’s stats show how people from 89 countries have come by this peculiar diary at some point :)… Thank you for bearing with me!