I have been thinking all week about the topic for the next scientiae-carnival, "Transitions" and what I might write about. I had thought I would write something about the transition from health to disability, from employed to jobless, from known career to uncertainty about just what to do with my life.
But I didn't get it done and I don't have the heart for it right now.
What I'm thinking about instead at the moment is the transition I made with my blog from relative obscurity at the old site on Radio Userland, to the somewhat more visible position here on Scienceblogs. It's been good in a lot of ways. I love the software, I love the community of Sciblings (even if once in awhile someone goes ballistic in the comments). It's nice to have a wider readership; everyone who writes wants to be read, at some point.
But I'm also thinking that the transition has not come without a cost. The cost is the sensation that I have, quite often, that I am writing while sitting in a glass box in the middle of a busy thoroughfare, and many of the passersby are annoyed at the sight of me, and all have stones. I never felt this way on the old blog site. Possibly because few people read me and fewer left comments.
Writing the blog before always used to invigorate me. Writing it now often drains me - and that's before I even read the comments. But you may be surprised to know that it isn't just angry comments that drain me. It's everybody else's vision for what the blog should or could be, everybody else's need for the blog to be some particular thing or address some particular topic. It's the need, and desire, and requests, and demands, that sometimes push me to certain topics and away from what I think I want to be writing about. And always, always, always, I'm not being nice enough, I'm not saying things the right way, I'm turning away potential allies, I'm doing it wrong in this or that or the other way; the statistical evidence is manipulated, or you can't rely on anecdotes, or if I discussed item X, I should really be talking about Y, or you can't address A unless you also take into account B, C, and D, and how can you claim to care about M if you don't simultaneously show your deep abiding concern for N, O, and P? And by the way, so and so wants to let me know he (it's always he) calls bullshit.
It's times like these that I think: thank you, sweet Jesus, for making me white and straight, for having me raised in a christian family. At least there are times of the day when my privilege makes me forget about racism and homophobia and religious discrimination, and a whole host of other isms I'm not even thinking of right now. Because sometimes I am just sick to death of thinking about gender, and I can't seem to unknow that perspective on the world anymore. I can still slip out of the others if I'm not careful, which, I must admit, is restful at times. That's what's so very, very cozy about privilege. It's not disturbing at all, if no one (including yourself) forces you to think about it.
When I feel this way, I ask myself: what is blogging for, anyway? Everybody else has an opinion on what I am supposed to be doing; what do I think I'm supposed to be doing here?
Though I have struggled throughout my life to make change happen, I am a pessimist about how much change is possible in my lifetime; I sometimes think we are going backwards. So I am here to write what is on my mind and in my heart; both, alas, are full of hard-earned anger. Angry, angry women are one of the side effects, if you will, of gender inequity. It sucks. I do not like being angry. I would rather garden.
Regular readers know I have a generous comments policy, but I am not interested in comments on this post. If you really have something you absolutely need to say to me about what I've written here, send me an email.