I’ve been thinking about starting this blog for months. Not always in a deep focused way, but I’ve circled around it long enough that I have accumulated a substantial collection of bookmarked webpages, starred posts from other blogs, and general mental detritus on topics I’d like to tackle. I even bought a special Moleskin notebook to jot my evolving blog thoughts in: with a built-in elastic strap to hold itself closed and thick, creamy pages that demand the flowing ink of roller-ball pens of 0.7 mm or higher. No ballpoints or fine-point nibs for my blog thoughts, no sirree!
The trouble of course–and it’s a fairly familiar corner I’ve risked painting myself into here–is how and when exactly does one start the actual work, when the preamble itself has been so lingering and loving? And then about a week ago, this happened:
Mind you, the uncle in question is a person I haven’t spoken to in the past two decades. He embodies the 1% (and imagining the angry denial with which he would greet such an assessment only further confirms my sense of the egocentric myopia of these folks). My uncle’s politics are as repugnant to me as I suspect mine are to him–which is why last fall, at the height of the presidential race, I blocked his posts from showing up in my feed. In the weird algorithm that dictates Facebook postings, I still get the occasional update about his gallbladder treatments or his wife’s recovery from knee surgery, but I have been mostly spared his hateful and paranoid spewings about society’s “takers.” All of which is to say: I care not at all what this man thinks, or how he uses social media.
So why does he care how I do?
My first reaction was puzzlement. “So much?” True, I had been posting a few items a day for a stretch of 3 or 4 days–but this was after almost a month’s absence. And isn’t Facebook the place to go for amusing trivia for most of us? Then I began to reflect on the precise nature of the “trivia” to which my uncle was objecting, which included:
- gendered advertisements for cheese and mid-20th century douches
- comedic reflection on women’s relationship to their pubic hair
- a fascinating art project that links women’s orgasms and literature
- photos of men wearing dresses unironically (note: I’ve been known to like this sort of thing before. More than once.)
- video of the people yelling from the gallery as they took Wendy Davis’ filibuster across the finish line
And the final affront,
- a thoughtful–and skilled–approach to cosplaying a gender-bended Slave Leia (though most likely my uncle simply reacted to the picture–with its “inappropriate” sexualization of a man’s unclothed body. Hard to imagine he clicks on any of my links!)
Now, a mild–if highly entitled–scolding from a distant relative who fancies himself something of the clan patriarch hardly puts me into Anita Sarkeesian territory, in terms of the feminist activism that attracts internet trolls. But it seems to me a start.
And clearly I’m moving in the right direction…