Secretly, or not so secretly, I don’t like blogging at all.
I have very little faith in my ability to communicate with words. All women have been systematically told that we are terrible at everything, and women’s writing has been suppressed for centuries through lack of access to literacy as well as direct subterfuge (keeping her busy with chores and children and un/paid labor, telling her she’s no good at writing, claiming she’s crazy for writing or wanting to write, pretending she didn’t write what she actually did, etc) — and while I consider myself a pretty hardcore feminist, sometimes it still gets to me.
Men always undermine women’s writing. That’s a given, almost like background noise. I’m used to that. But I still take it hard when other women do it. Even women who are not feminist, or who are fauxfeminist.
A female commenter at Zuska’s blog once told me I was “incoherent” when I was trying to talk (in complete, grammatically correct, well-punctuated sentences) about what I like to call “class camouflage” (dressing in nice, albeit secondhand and therefore inexpensive, clothing to pass as someone of a higher social class and thus avoid some of the petty discrimination that goes along with truly being of a step-above-homeless social class).
Commenters elsewhere have ripped into me for being too poor, too rich (because I don’t work, therefore I must have a secret trust fund somewhere?), too uneducated (which therefore means ‘unable to understand anything and also inarticulate’, of course), too PTSD, too young, too delusional (for thinking women can take direct action?), too strident (for saying women might think about eschewing penetrative sex and all forms of sex with men), too lax (for still talking to men sometimes), too lesbian (thus unable to understand ‘het’ women), too straight (because I am not gold star and am celibate and unpartnered), etc.
Sometimes criticism is warranted, of course — I’m still learning, as we all are. But I take even the unwarranted criticisms to heart and play them over and over as my internal monologue whenever I try to express myself. I think, “Joy … there’s no smoke without fire …” and then I despair so hard I want to cry. Which makes me feel all the more “crazy”, emotionally unbalanced, and therefore unworthy of writing.
That, and I primarily communicate in what is apparently abstract language. Like most abused children (read: most female children, and I also had an extra helping of abuse on top of that), I’ve spent most of my life inside my own mind, and the richest parts of it have therefore been internal. I’ve had a lot of time to be alone with my thoughts and I take for granted the way I communicate with myself. What I mean with language is not what most people mean with language, and by the time I stop to explain that fact, I’ve run out of time to write about anything else.
To be honest, I hate blogging and have a small panic attack every time I log in to see that someone has commented. That’s a stupid response, but I just know that I will be unable to respond or communicate properly and it gives me the cold sweats as well as a sense of grief. I’m a writer — communicating with words is what I do. I just can’t seem to write about feminism, which is one of the most important things to me.
I’m hoping I grow out of it.