feminist reprise
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Why does this blog no longer exist?

Back in 2009, I was having a rough year. I was diagnosed with a chronic illness that was making me feel like crap. My feline companion of 16 years died. I turned 40. I took a 13% pay cut at my job due to the recession. And I was involved in various brouhahas with other women, both IRL and online.

The last straw came when, just about two years ago now, I was informed, in no uncertain terms by someone whose opinion I respected, that I was most definitely NOT a lesbian, that I was appropriating the term from those to whom it rightfully belonged, and I'd better find something else to call myself tout de suite because "lots of other women" agreed with her and, I inferred, would not treat me kindly were I to persist in writing the way I had up to that point.

If you are a person of conscience, you can likely imagine the welter of emotion that occurred within me at this time. The one that stood out most strongly, though, was humiliation. I couldn't stand the thought of people who didn't even know me reading five years' worth of my intensely felt, personal thoughts and beliefs, my efforts which had always been intended in support of women and lesbians, and thinking, "I can't believe that chick thinks she's one of us! How dare she!" It made me squirm all over.

For these reasons, the thing that made the most sense to me was to remove my blog from public view. That way, it wouldn't be a source of pain and damage to lesbians who felt I was appropriating their identity. At the same time, my personal information and ideas would not be easily available to be, at best, rummaged through, and at worst, wilfully misrepresented, by people I no longer trusted. And I hoped that, without a public platform for responding to whatever I read that pissed me off that day, it would be easier to return my time, attention, and energy from my obsessive focus on internet drama back to getting the other areas of my life into some kind of order.

I've learned a lot about myself in the intervening two years. I've dropped a lot of labels, even as I came to understand more about why some people cling to them. I myself am done with trying to get self-esteem through belonging to categories created by the powerful with the specific intent of oppressing certain kinds of people. My relationship with my lover is stronger as we exchange kindness and support. My daily experience of my life is more orderly and productive, less emotionally out of control, and a lot less lonely.

I still believe wholeheartedly, as I always have, that everyone deserves to live in a world where no one exploits anyone else, where no one is anyone else's means to an orgasm or cheap consumer goods or a feeling of self-righteousness, and where no one is trained from birth to be anyone else's means to an end. I am trying on a daily basis to treat others as though I'm living in that world, while simultaneously acknowledging that that's impossible, given the existing system and the way it has damaged each one of us. I know who I love, who loves me, and whose side I'm on. I'll tell anyone who asks. I'll do my best to treat everyone with respect and make amends when I fail. And I'll do what I can to get away from anyone who is consistently disrespectful or abusive. As a life philosophy and even a political strategy, that has to be good enough, because it's all I've got.

The thought that I want to end with is the one regret that I have about all of this. Just a couple of months before I deleted my blog, I had opened it to comments for the first time. And it was lovely! I read so many terrific thoughts and ideas from folks I hadn't even known read my blog. The comments section was just beginning to feel, to me, like a wonderful cozy tea-time getting-to-know-you conversation. I miss that very much, and I am still sorry to have aborted that space and the potential it had for creating something different. I wish that we all may find it elsewhere.

I'm really thrilled that I woke up this morning feeling like I could write this, at last, after basically just disappearing when the shit hit the fan. I've been considering for a long time what my next step might be, blogularly speaking, and though I'm not yet sure, don't be surprised if some day soon you come across someone online with a different name and suspect it's me. It might just be.

With great affection for everyone out there trying to be her best self dammit,

the human being
formerly known as
Amy's Brain Today

July 15, 2011