Today marks my first year of blogging at SAFE Women and Girls. I’ve learned a lot about writing, the feminist blogosphere, Twitter, women, friends and myself. In this Blog-iversary special I’ll share highlights from my first year.
I started this blog as a supplement to my SAFE Women’s Self Defense classes at Villari’s Martial Arts, but it quickly morphed into something bigger than that. Check out my top 5 most widely read posts to see what I mean:
To the casual reader, these posts may not seem to be related to self defense. Where’s the screaming “NO!”? (Actually, you can just say it your normal voice most of the time.) Where do I tell women not to avoid alcohol and shadowy shrubbery? (I don’t.) Where do I say “Kick ‘em in the nuts!”? (Here.)
The reality is that self defense (while empowering) is a small part of the solution to some big problems in our society. If we want to create a world without sexual assault and other gendered violence, we need to open our focus. For example, one of my favorite writers Jaclyn Friedman (feminist and IMPACT self defense instructor) just published her second book– What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide To Sex And Safety (stay tuned for my review in a week or two). She has been one of the most prominent voices arguing what should be obvious– that we simply can’t have a productive conversation about sexual violence without talking openly about sex AND “that authentic sexual liberation is a necessary condition to end the systemic sexualization and violation of women.” (From JF’s bio)
I consider myself to be a person of above-average confidence, but blogging challenges a person to be confident on a higher level. You are putting stuff OUT THERE and anyone can read it and respond anonymously in any way they see fit. (Anyone follow the #mencallmethings trend?)
My friends know very well that I have two main mantras for life: 1) “Follow your heart” and 2) “Safety first”. (Okay 3 if you count my self defense mantra “HIT ‘EM IN THE FACE!”) In my writing over the past year I have done very well with numbers 2 and 3, but I have to say after starting to read JF’s new book that I have held back from fully expressing my opinions in some areas for fear that my blog will be seen as too controversial, too radical, or too sexy.
That brings me to my New Blog Year’s Resolutions:
1) I will no longer avoid writing what I know to be true even if it might make someone uncomfortable.
3) I will make more connections with like-minded bloggers.
4) I will write my first book. Or e-book. Wish me luck!
Thank you so much to those of you who have been readers and friends this year! I invite you to celebrate SAFE’s first blog-iversary with me by commenting, sharing, subscribing, or following SAFE on Twitter (a_tm) or Facebook (SAFE Women and Girls).