Taking a Break

I need to leave the internets for a while.

About a month ago, I arranged to have a guest blogger start today so that I have time to prepare for finals. So as you can see from the previous posts, Thomas will be covering for me for a while, and of course the other Feministe bloggers will of course hold down the fort. And the new Feministe blogger will also be starting soon. The original plan was for me to keep blogging, just lightly — one or two posts a day. But I’m going to cut myself off.

It’s probably no big mystery why I’m bowing out for a while, but I’m feeling an unusual confessional urge, so here goes: I am not cut out for this. I have a big bleeding heart, but no guts. And after the past few weeks, I know everyone is feeling shitty and licking their wounds. I sure am. And I feel like every step I take, I screw up. I’m really questioning my own judgment, and every time I try to fix a mess I’ve made, I walk away feeling worse. After putting up this post, which in my head was nothing more than an alert to a feminist event that I was attending, I felt like I sold out an entire community, which wasn’t my intention, of course, but it never is. I thought I would at least feel a little better once I apologized, explained my thought process and tried to set things right, so this post came next. Instead of feeling like I accomplished anything, I feel like an untrustworthy back-stabbing bitch who threw someone she likes and respects under the bus in order to give herself some undeserved moral superiority and undo un-doable wrongs. That wasn’t my intention, of course. It never is. But that’s what it feels like.

And no, this issue isn’t about me, and yes I am being self-indulgent and whiny, but I figure an explanation is in order.

That isn’t to say that I don’t stand by what I wrote in the apology post. I do. I just I feel like I’m spinning in circles and I have no idea what I’m even trying to accomplish anymore. And when I look around, the one thing I’m sure of is that I’m being thoroughly self-destructive (Example A: Writing this at 3am when I have to get up in four hours) and that I’m doing a lot of damage to other people.

So I need to just stop.

I also need to focus on my real life. I need to take exams. I need to write papers. I need to get up in the morning and study. I need to do the job I actually get paid for. I need to go to sleep at night, instead of tossing and turning and obsessing over what I broke today and whether it can be fixed. I need to graduate from law school in three weeks.

So I need to leave the internets for a while. I know it’s time to stop blogging when it’s doing me more harm than good, or when I’m doing others more harm than good. Right now, both of those things are true.

I’m putting a bunch of Feministe Feedback posts, short news pieces and link round-ups in the queue, so those will go up throughout the week under my name, but I probably won’t be checking comments or writing anything else (and definitely not anything analytical or long). I’ll come back in a couple of weeks.

See y’all around.

Author: has written 5289 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
Return to: Homepage | Blog Index

76 Responses

  1. Cecily
    Cecily April 29, 2008 at 4:09 am |

    I hope the break gives you all the space and time you need.

  2. Bobthemole
    Bobthemole April 29, 2008 at 4:16 am |

    Go sleep, dear. Good luck with Finals.

  3. Marked Hoosier
    Marked Hoosier April 29, 2008 at 4:39 am |

    Take care, we will wait for you. :)

  4. Zoe Brain
    Zoe Brain April 29, 2008 at 4:41 am |

    Don’t sweat the small stuff. You do your best, and your best is pretty good.

    Please have a good rest too, goodness knows you’ve earned it!

  5. Natalia
    Natalia April 29, 2008 at 4:56 am |

    Oh dear. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that it sucks to lose you too. I hope you’re back soon.

  6. Natalia
    Natalia April 29, 2008 at 5:03 am |

    Also, and you don’t have to take me seriously on this, but I’d like to say it nonetheless: you are a very important voice in feminism. You might not want to hear this right now, but this is who I consider you to be. And I will always regard you this way, no matter what happens next.

  7. The Vegan Revolutuion
    The Vegan Revolutuion April 29, 2008 at 6:00 am |

    I hope that you do well on your finals and that you get the break that you need. On a completely selfish note: I hope you are back quickly! I will miss my daily feministe perusals! You are an important voice, just like Natalia said. We need you!

  8. K
    K April 29, 2008 at 6:16 am |

    I’m usually just a lurker in comments, but this post has prompted me to participate, only to repeat that you will definitely be missed!

  9. Melody
    Melody April 29, 2008 at 6:36 am |

    I’m mostly a lurker, but I thought it was important that I commented on this to tell you how important your blogging has been to me. Feministe was one of the first feminist blogs I found, and through lurking here and then at Pandagon and Feministing and I Blame The Patriarchy (and then other blogs), I started to learn about how feminism needed to inform much more about my life than the way I was beginning to see literature as I started college (I’m graduating in 2 weeks with my BA in English, so although probably to a lesser degree, I feel your finals pain.)

    This discovery of feminism came from lots of places, but blogs were so important. The process of my embracing feminism started in the middle of the third year of a three year relationship. I was far from home, my head spinning about how I got myself into such an abusive situation. I was supposed to be smart and capable, not grovelling and bargaining with someone who was hurting me. True to abuser form, he pushed me to isolate myself from friends and family – the people who, even based on the limited exposure to our interaction, had long since started to worry.

    The blogs provided that lost voice of reason. Even if I wasn’t getting any mail or getting to see or talk to my friends, every day I had a new post reinforce my uneasiness with my relationship… my despair, really, that I was stuck. Blogs like Feministe by bloggers like you helped me say to myself, “Hey, there’s a whole lot of sexism in the world… and a hell of a lot of it in what’s happening to me… and god dammit, if these women can reject it, then so can I.”

    When I finally got out, posts about how women are often threatened online helped me deal with his cyberstalking and harassing phone calls. A daily infusion of feminism via Feminste, etc., helped me start to heal from that relationship, develop a more critical eye to protect myself from falling back into the same patterns, and seek out other feminists to contribute to my own community. Because of my ex’s hacking and harrassment, I stopped blogging on livejournal a couple of years ago after writing fairly regularly for about three years. But I’ve been inspired to put myself out there and try blogging again because it’s something I want to do, and its worth it to me that women and men like you keep doing it despite the hatemail, despite your own shortcomings. I mean, I certainly have many of my own, but as a mentor of mine would say, no one’s going to take away my feminist card.

    I don’t even know you, so I’m sorry for gushing like this, but I tell people that feminism saved my life (i know that sounds cheesy and pseudo-religious, but really… my life had been threatened), and you were a part of that. I guess this seemed like a good time to say thank you.

  10. New Feature: Flounce watch!
    New Feature: Flounce watch! April 29, 2008 at 6:37 am |

    […] of Feministe – This is only a semi flounce but I put it here for completeness in case it turns into a flounce in the […]

  11. Isabel
    Isabel April 29, 2008 at 6:40 am |

    I will miss your warmth and intelligence a lot, but you need to do what you need to do. Congratulations in advance, since you may not be posting about it, on graduating law school!

  12. evil fizz
    evil fizz April 29, 2008 at 7:17 am |

    Best of luck with the finals! Take care of yourself and let me know if you want to vent about law-related stupidity.

  13. rhiain
    rhiain April 29, 2008 at 7:33 am |

    You’ve demonstrated a remarkable ability to really listen to criticism and reflect, which, in my opinion, is more what being cut out for this is about than guts is.

    Take some time for yourself, good luck with finals (in the midst of them myself right now), and know that you’ll be missed while you’re away.

  14. Hawise
    Hawise April 29, 2008 at 7:47 am |

    There are reason that the concept called ‘vacation’ was instigated. You have earned a vacation from blogging. Get your life on track, make sure that you are going for your goals and stop and smell the roses, we will be lurking about when you get back. The last few weeks have been a bump on the road and unlikely to be the last so enjoy some time to yourself and let the rest of us worry about ourselves for a change.

  15. ottermatic
    ottermatic April 29, 2008 at 7:58 am |

    Have a nice rest, and enjoying being just a regular old law student for awhile. Good luck on finals!!!

  16. StarStorm
    StarStorm April 29, 2008 at 8:04 am |

    I wish you luck and hope you come back, well rested and ready to go. It really is sad to see you leave, honestly: you’re the one who got me into this blog and helped me understand what feminism is (and, more importantly, is not).

  17. woland
    woland April 29, 2008 at 8:19 am |

    Good luck on finals! I have tax today myself (tax makes me sad.) For what it’s worth, I think you’ve done a good job of listening and not getting defensive. Sure progressives have to look at ourselves and constantly try to do better, but please don’t obsess about being perfect; the only way to never make mistakes is not to do anything at all! You do great work here, and I hope the break from blogging helps you come back and feel good about what you do. And yay to being done law school!

  18. Lisa @ Corporate Babysitter
    Lisa @ Corporate Babysitter April 29, 2008 at 8:42 am |

    Jill, you will be missed. Perhaps a break will provide renewed energy and, more importantly, perspective. I know what it’s like to get caught up in a blogosphere controversy and what feels like your soul getting sucked out of you. Get some rest. We’ll be here if/when you come back.

  19. Doug
    Doug April 29, 2008 at 8:50 am |

    Good luck on your finals, and don’t get too down about this in the long term. I think anybody who has the guts to confront controversial issues and say things that not everybody wants to hear risks getting mentally or even emotionally fatigued by it; don’t let anybody make you feel like you’re letting them down by doing this. But at the same time, neither should you let anyone else’s disagreement or disapproval keep you away for too long. You’re too good at this to go on permanent hiatus.

  20. annaham
    annaham April 29, 2008 at 8:50 am |

    Best of luck with finals and everything, Jill!

  21. Kali
    Kali April 29, 2008 at 8:51 am |

    I know I am one of the people who has been very critical of you – it was easier to be hard because I don’t know you and have not been reading Feministe for very long.

    Taking a break is a great idea. While you are studying for exams and looking after your work and other life your ideas and resolve and judgement will work on these issues and arrive at a position and a balance that is right for you. Eat, sleep and especially exercise which the the brain needs to function well.

    I am sure you will be back stronger and wiser.Peace and love from someone old enough to be your mother.

  22. Nicki
    Nicki April 29, 2008 at 8:59 am |

    Best of luck on finals! I have my last final ever tonight – it’s a weird feeling.

    I’ll miss your posts on Feministe. It was the first feminist blog I ever read, and I credit this blog (and you) for making me realize how strong of a feminist I am. It made a huge impact on my life. Everybody makes mistakes and I think you acted with integrity and grace when you realized yours. Personally, I think that reactions towards you were overly harsh. Enjoy your vacation and I hope to see you back here.

  23. Kali
    Kali April 29, 2008 at 9:13 am |

    The post on The Church of the Latter Day Saints was timely and scholarly. Please read Apostate’s blog about her own experiences to see how much good you may have done to help women everwhere.

  24. Caro
    Caro April 29, 2008 at 9:29 am |

    Good luck on finals, Jill! And have a nice blogging vacation. We’ll miss you!

  25. Cizungu
    Cizungu April 29, 2008 at 9:34 am |

    Good luck with finals.

    I feel like I’m spinning in circles and I have no idea what I’m even trying to accomplish anymore.

    Things change very slowly, the same errors often reoccur and there are always many instances of déjà vu, but don’t bear the burden alone! No one person has the sole responsibility to defeat sexism and racism or transform society, tearing down oppression with their bare hands and biting patriarchy in the jugular and such, so no matter the goodwill, it’s a slow and often tedious chipping away. There’s only so much you can do with two hands and a brain, and limited time. And I think you’ve done a lot — with regard to the recent controversy, you’ve dealt with it in an open and thorough manner, not letting it fall by the wayside or dismissing it out of hand. The fact that readers seemed to be hashing out solutions in the comments also says a lot of good about the blog, so in the harm-vs.-good department, I think Feministe falls squarely on the side of the angels. (I may be biased by the fact that you were against the law banning the veil from French schools, my pet peeve at the time; but you recognized how it was impossible in that case to dissociate the feminist approach from the antiracist approach, and that’s why I’m a regular reader.)

  26. Ico
    Ico April 29, 2008 at 9:44 am |

    Just chiming in to echo what Kali said, FWIW.

  27. Jules
    Jules April 29, 2008 at 9:48 am |

    You are smart, reasoned, compassionate and kind. That equals guts to me. You’ve been brave in the face of fear. That equals guts to me.
    Take a good break, reconnect with your life, process what’s been going on, then please consider coming back.
    We need voices like yours.

  28. Tobes
    Tobes April 29, 2008 at 9:53 am |

    Jill, you are amazing, wonderful and thoughtful. Don’t let anyone tell you different. This has been a tricky time but you’ve handled it with grace. Give yourself all the time you need so that when you come back (I hope you do!!) you will be able to enjoy blogging again and not toss and turn so much. :)

  29. What’s a white woman to say? « In a strange land

    […] Marcotte apologised, Seal Press apologised, Black Amazon quit blogging, one of the Feministe bloggers has quit blogging, and everywhere, or at least, everywhere in the US feminist blogosphere, people are upset and angry […]

  30. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax April 29, 2008 at 10:13 am |

    Good luck with finals, take as much of a vacation as you need, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing you back soon.

  31. Hugo Schwyzer
    Hugo Schwyzer April 29, 2008 at 10:38 am |

    Jill, I am sorry — for selfish reasons — that I won’t be able to read your writing for a while. I’m also confident you’ll be back in the blogosphere or print before too long.

    You’ve been extraordinarily brave this past week in your willingness to acknowledge your imperfections, and your willingness to be so open about your doubts and your inner conflicts. That courage comes at a high price, obviously, and a break is very well-deserved. I’ve been reading you since you came to Feministe (when I kept calling you “Lauren”), and have been consistently moved and impressed.

    Congratulations on finishing law school — almost there! And enjoy the time off, and the freedom, at least for a while, of not struggling to find the right words.

    Cheers.

  32. tenacitus
    tenacitus April 29, 2008 at 10:48 am |

    I think you are wrong inthinking that you are all bleeding heart and no guts. I think that you have displayed real courage, honesty, empathy & compassion.

    Good luck with your fina;s

  33. Beth
    Beth April 29, 2008 at 10:58 am |

    Just reading through all that brouhaha was emotionally exhausting and draining so I can’t imagine actually living it.

    Honestly, I don’t understand the intense level of attack that goes on in the feminist blogosphere where women should be supporting one another. I understand that there will always be differences, however, being civil gets thrown out the window at the first sign of controversy. It’s almost as if some people enjoy the piling on and the accusing and the hurting and that’s just wrong. No one can speak their heart without someone telling them that they’re doing it wrong or in the wrong tone, or that what they have said is just not enough. From the outside looking in, it appears to be a lose-lose situation so where is the hope in that, where is the desire to keep working to make things right?

    Something that always comes up in these discussions is the importance of people listening to others, but listening should be the goal of everyone involved in the discussion and I don’t see that happening. People forget that there are humans on the other side of the computer screen and treat each other with such blatant disrespect that it is appalling.

    Y’all scare me.

  34. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne April 29, 2008 at 11:01 am |

    When you need a break, you need a break. Step away, study for your finals, and get your head clear.

    It’s hard to steer that middle course when there’s so much going on (I’ve been trying to do it myself) but someone’s try or we’ll all just turn into armed camps shouting at each other.

  35. Dianne
    Dianne April 29, 2008 at 11:04 am |

    I am stuck between two contradictory responses:

    1. Good for you for recognizing that you need a vacation and taking it. Good luck with your finals. Hope you’ll be back soon.

    2. NOOOO! Don’t leave us!

    Obviously, the second response is entirely self-interested. Good luck and hope you feel like coming back some day.

  36. jeffliveshere
    jeffliveshere April 29, 2008 at 11:04 am |

    We all forget, at times, to also take care of ourselves while we’re trying to be caring toward others (and while we try to change the world). It’s good that you’re taking some time, though I, too, will miss your reasoned, caring responses to things (even, and maybe especially, to your own mistakes).

    My heart was sinking until I saw that you’ll be back. Now I’m just happy you’re taking some care of yourself.

  37. Jeff in OH
    Jeff in OH April 29, 2008 at 11:14 am |

    Delurking just to say that the integrity demonstrated by your willingness to question yourself and work to maintain dialogue in the recent turmoil (as always) has been really impressive, Jill. Be good to yourself during your break. You’ll be able to look more clearly at whatever mistakes you’ve made with the persepective of a few weeks away. I really hope you’ll be back.

  38. Alexandra
    Alexandra April 29, 2008 at 11:20 am |

    Good luck. In my experience at another feminist community online, taking a break really can help clear your head. I’m trying to come back now, but whether I succeed or not, at least I know where I stand, and have made peace with myself.

    Good luck on your exams!

  39. SKM
    SKM April 29, 2008 at 11:40 am |

    Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! I’m sure your finals will go well, since you are giving yourself the space to focus on them. You’re smart to take care of yourself and thing things through. Here’s wishing you the best and hoping you return stronger than ever.

  40. Charity
    Charity April 29, 2008 at 11:42 am |

    You do too have guts, Jill. Your willingness to grapple with everything and change your mind / put it out there for the public to see, is admirable. That takes heart AND guts.

    I’ll miss your posts and hope you’ll be back soon. Good luck with everything.

  41. roses
    roses April 29, 2008 at 12:01 pm |

    Good luck Jill. I hope the break helps and you come back clear-headed and refreshed.

  42. D.N. Nation
    D.N. Nation April 29, 2008 at 12:03 pm |

    Good luck, but don’t let any dust-up leave you jaded. When sorry doesn’t cut it, it’s not worth cutting, or whatever.

  43. Laurie
    Laurie April 29, 2008 at 12:08 pm |

    Jill:
    Take your well earned vacation, take care of yourself and your finals and your job, and when you feel up to it, *please* be sure to come back! I think you are a very intelligent and well-spoken/written young woman** and I learn tremendous amounts of stuff coming here. Even if I don’t always step into the fray myself. ;)

    Thank you so very much for your writings — I have learned SO MUCH reading here and at Feministing! I’d hate for you to leave forever because, ahem, “mistakes were made”. Frankly, it’s Life and Shit Happens. As said above, the only way to never make mistakes is to never do anything, and I’ll add the only way to never offend anyone is to never have an opinion. You at least own up to mistakes and apologize when you have truly, deeply offended people. That does, in fact, take courage. it is FAR easier to just ignore that particular type of damage, especially if you don’t have to actually see the people with whom you are disagreeing.

    What I’m trying to say in my awkward, poorly caffeinated way is: take care of you, and come back when you are recharged. I’ll miss you while you are gone, and be very happy when you come back. But if anyone understands needing a break of this sort, it would be me. :)

    Laurie in Minneapolis

    ** Yes, I can say that. I’m zuzu’s age. :P

  44. prefer not to say
    prefer not to say April 29, 2008 at 12:51 pm |

    Here’s the thing about writing: it requires you to synthesize the information on which you are writing, and then communicate in a voice that implies you have mastered that information. After all, you can’t communicate anything if you can’t craft “the voice that knows”

    Here’s the thing about blogging: it requires you to do that at an incredibly fast rate. You have to internalize and get used to using “the voice that knows.” You have to have it available to you immediately.

    Here’s the thing about being a white woman who needs to listen to women of color: You have to let go of the “voice that knows” in order to make room for the idea that you don’t actually know. You — or maybe I should humbly just say “I” — can’t simultaneously write about “what women of color say” and make room for the possibility that I don’t actually know what any of it means for my own life and I don’t actually know yet the full contours of my own privilege.

    Too often in my own life I have refused the space for learning that silence makes. I admire you for being brave enough to not refuse silence.

  45. AJS
    AJS April 29, 2008 at 12:55 pm |

    Jill

    Never understood how you could do school and write in the 1st place. I was lucky not to have to do anything else during Law School and still felt I had no time.

    Hope you take some time before finals to relax and have some fun.

    Then gear up and kick ass.

    Life is too short to stress.

    I’ve only skimmed the flameouts here the last week. We had a new baby girl a week ago. The Internets sort of lost some priority..

    Time and perspective always helps.

    As others have said you will be missed.

  46. octogalore
    octogalore April 29, 2008 at 1:31 pm |

    Best of luck, Jill. I’ve often wondered how you do all this plus law school/work etc. I barely had time in law school to work my 10 hour/week auto co job (a large part of which was embezzling office supplies and taking experimental cars in the lot to show off at school) and party heavily with hot LLMs. That plus skimming the occasional outline — not much time for anything productive! So your feats are quite admirable.

    I understand how the recent fracas has had you pulled from both ends and feeling as if you weren’t pleasing anyone. I’m confident that not all the activism to which you lend your voice will pose this kind of dilemna.

  47. Storm at Sea
    Storm at Sea April 29, 2008 at 1:51 pm |

    Best of luck to you, Jill. This might sound stupid, but one of the things I’ve come to realize over the last few weeks is that bloggers are people, too. And by that I mean that I’m used to getting all of my information online, probably spending as much time reading blogs as formal news outlets. It’s so easy to forget that everything I read on my screen is produced by another human being. While for some people it’s paid labor (newspapers, etc.), for others it’s their own time and energy that goes into crafting the thoughts and arguments I spend considerable time reading each day. It was in trying to revive my own blog and feeling that I don’t have the time to write the way I would like to that the light bulb came on; people like yourself don’t have any more hours in the day than I do, and yet you manage to contribute to these wonderful sites and engage with your readers. And I have totally taken that for granted. So, not to make this all about me, but I understand that real life takes over and that you are not responsible to anyone but yourself. Thanks for all you do, all of you at Feministe!

  48. r@d@r
    r@d@r April 29, 2008 at 2:15 pm |

    rest up, come back.

    being wrong – even catastrophically wrong – is part of the human condition from which there is no escape. to be wrong with grace: that’s a whole art form in itself.

    i’ve been artless and wrong so much, the only thing that keeps me alive is being able to laugh at myself. but sometimes you need to get out of the ring and sleep and eat and all that other crazy meatspace stuff. sometimes you need to be an animal and get out of your forebrain.

    rest up, come back. we’ll still be here.

  49. Ismone
    Ismone April 29, 2008 at 2:18 pm |

    Jill–I hope you come back soon. I’ve always really liked your writing voice, you have a sort of calm about you, and a strength, that is infectious. And I’m older than you and already a lawyer! :)

    What you said about having no guts reminded me of a talk I had with a public defender and law professor (who isn’t that much older than you or I, and probably the finest young legal mind I’ve come across.) We were discussing what it was like to be a public defender, and how there was so much burnout, and how the best ones really deeply cared, but how exhausting that could be.

    You see, Jill, if it didn’t hurt sometimes, if it wasn’t hard, then you wouldn’t have guts. Having guts means pushing forward in the face of self-doubt, it doesn’t mean not feeling anything when things go wrong.

    Many of the strongest women I know lie to themselves about their strength. I see them behave in incredibly strong and fearless ways, and see them as strong, and they see the self-doubts and weaknesses, and describe themselves as weak.

    We are our actions. And, I am sure that before this time, you knew that you were not perfect. Your initial actions were not perfect, but instead of doing the intellectually and emotionally easy thing to do and lying to yourself about what your actions had inadvertantly done (and I realize that the inadvertance, at times, can be the part that causes the most harm) you took the path of most resistence and examined your actions and were more than truthful about the harm you had done. That IS strength. And for a while, you will probably feel weary because you exerted yourself so much.

    But please don’t walk away! I think you’ve done so much good, and now that you are more aware, I think you can do even more good.

    -Ismone

  50. belledame222
    belledame222 April 29, 2008 at 2:37 pm |

    crap. well, same as i’d said to/about bfp and BA: you need to take care of yourself, first. and if a break’s what you need, then by all means take it.

    but what everyone else said about not letting it crush you. you’re good people, Jill. you know, people fuck up, -everyone- does. what’s less common is being able to fully acknowledge it and take responsibility for it. so in that regard, you’re one up on, well, a lot of people.

    rest up, take care of business, and i, along with many others hear, would look forward to seeing you back whenever you’re ready.

    x

  51. amandaw
    amandaw April 29, 2008 at 2:59 pm |

    sometimes, that’s really what we need most.

    we’re losing too many valuable voices — please do make your way back here, at some point. but please do also make sure that you don’t go crazy first :) alls i’ve got to handle at home is a 20-hour job and two cats… i remember what college was like, and that was just beginning undergrad work. i can’t imagine anyone having the werewithal for law school, period. that’s not even factoring in all of this, which is a heavy hit to all of us (privileged and disadvantaged alike).

    rest. process. digest. and don’t forget to do some things you *enjoy.* it’s long been my view that people need those frivolous distractions regularly. whether it’s spa time or hiking or movies or sports or what. find something that makes you feel good, and immerse yourself in it for a while. you’ll be much more productive and useful when you climb back out of the water. (i dunno where that metaphor came from — roll with me here)

    anyway …

  52. stoneself
    stoneself April 29, 2008 at 3:19 pm |

    you have been confronted with putting your ideals into practice. in some places you ran into the fact that ideals and reality don’t always fit together. in some places you ran into the fact that your reality/actions give the lie to your ideals.

    * * *

    someone once asked me, “does taking a break set you back [wrt activism]?”

    and i think it doesn’t. what would set me back is burning out.

  53. N1nj4G1rl
    N1nj4G1rl April 29, 2008 at 3:47 pm |

    Like lots of others I cut my first feminist blogosphere teeth on Feministe. Jill you are one of my favorites to read, to me you provide a nice balance and your stuff is always so great. Thanks for everything you have done so far and an advance thanks for what will come (regardless of if you come back to writing or not). Enjoy your time as much as possible with being so busy and good luck with the finals. You will be missed.

  54. Clare
    Clare April 29, 2008 at 4:21 pm |

    Good luck with your exams. I lurk here, and occasionally comment. I will miss your writing, and I (selfishly) look forward to your return!

  55. Daisy
    Daisy April 29, 2008 at 5:03 pm |

    Dearest Jill,

    Old fogie that I am, I have seen political fights tear apart political parties, organizations, friendships, households, marriages, businesses. I know what it’s like, when it’s between doing what you think is right, and deep personal connections. It will always feel “wrong”–so you just have to be honest about everything. And you sound very honest to me.

    My love, warm wishes and best Deadhead vibes go out to you in this very difficult time! Now, go graduate, because we need you on the job! (((kiss)))

  56. brklyngrl
    brklyngrl April 29, 2008 at 5:34 pm |

    Best of luck, Jill. I’ve loved reading you. I hope your break serves you well and that I’ll see you around again someday.

  57. kalien
    kalien April 29, 2008 at 5:36 pm |

    You need to do what is best for you. Take a break. I look forward to your return, as you and Twisty are my favorite feminist bloggers. Good luck with your finals!

  58. MuscleDaddy
    MuscleDaddy April 29, 2008 at 5:47 pm |

    Sorry to hear about all your stress, Jill – get your head together, take a couple of deep breaths and be well.

    – MuscleDaddy

  59. AnonymousCoward
    AnonymousCoward April 29, 2008 at 5:59 pm |

    Take a break, do well on finals, kick ass on the bar, and enjoy your trip.

  60. Sjofn
    Sjofn April 29, 2008 at 6:33 pm |

    Take care, we’ll miss you while you’re gone.

  61. Grateful « Beware The Man
    Grateful « Beware The Man April 29, 2008 at 6:37 pm |

    […] then so did Jill at Feminste, and that did nothing but exacerbate the situation to the point that Jill has declared she doesn’t have the “guts” to be a blogger. She’s in law school. (Ed. Don’t hire her! And NOT because she’s a woman! ) […]

  62. jessilikewhoa
    jessilikewhoa April 29, 2008 at 6:50 pm |

    dear gawd woman! work and school and full time blogging?!! even without the mess thats been happening you deserve a rest. get thee to the wine and cheesecake and come back when its good for you(tho, in the meantime you will be missed).

  63. arisu
    arisu April 29, 2008 at 7:26 pm |

    Absolutely – wine, cheesecake, sleep and a nice cup of tea ftw! Like a lot of people here I’m a relative newbie to the feminist blogosphere, and I feel like I’ve learned a huge amount from your work, Jill. Feministe is continually loaded and refreshed on whichever computer I’m working on.

    More importantly, I’ve learned a *huge* amount from the recent goings-on, and while I’m sure it’s been completely exhausting for you and left you with regrets, I don’t think it’s all been in vain.

    And I respect your ability to recognise the need for a break – not everyone knows when to stop. I know you’ll be back to kick some behind. <3

  64. Harrison
    Harrison April 29, 2008 at 8:58 pm |

    I echo what has been said here. All good things to you, and I’m sure you’ll do well on your finals. Take care of yourself (that’s the most important thing; if you don’t do that, you can’t do anything else) and enjoy your well-deserved break. I say break because I do hope you decide to come back sometime. Your voice is too important to lose.

  65. norbizness
    norbizness April 29, 2008 at 9:29 pm |

    Good luck on the final finals and the run up to the Bar… I don’t know what I would have done if blogging were available in 1997 when I took mine… although AOL political chat room nearly drove me to the cutoff point.

    Chew up that bar exam prep info, prepare to spit it out, oftentimes in nonsensical sentences, and then execute a memory wipe about one hour after it’s over. I used a big fat joint and a pony keg.

  66. Danakitty
    Danakitty April 30, 2008 at 4:05 am |

    We’ll miss you, Jill! Take care, good luck, and congrats!

    I hope you recover and come back all refreshed. And thank you for being a great role model. :)

  67. Roxie
    Roxie April 30, 2008 at 5:00 am |

    rejuv well!

  68. Tom Head
    Tom Head April 30, 2008 at 5:20 am |

    Wow. Jill, this was an amazing post. The circumstances surrounding it are a bummer, but reading this explains so many things about other folks’ participation in the blogosphere and, frankly, my own.

    I look forward to having you back because your posts are consistently thoughtful and wise, and this is one example among many.

  69. B. Dagger Lee
    B. Dagger Lee April 30, 2008 at 12:36 pm |

    Jill, I think you are wonderful; I’m a big admirer of you, your writing and your conscience. –BDL

  70. Amber
    Amber April 30, 2008 at 4:56 pm |

    I know how you feel, Jill. It can be draining. Take the time you need for YOU.

  71. aurora
    aurora April 30, 2008 at 5:10 pm |

    I have been consistently impressed by the thoughtful commentary you have been able to share while dealing with law school! I can’t wait to be done, but have one more year. Best of luck on finals and congrats on graduating!

  72. Victoria Marinelli
    Victoria Marinelli May 1, 2008 at 1:27 pm |

    Well, it could be argued that what you’re doing is a thousand times more sensible than when I’ve done recently (in mid-April, deleting 4 + years of blogging, then started over), though I’m still not regretting that. I do, in any case, deeply sympathize with the issue of losing one’s grip on what one’s intentions are in the midst of a huge swirling controversies of this nature. So go, do what you’ve gotta do, find your center which perhaps had gotten away from you while you were being spun a hundred times over in the sometimes nausea-inducing centrifuge that is the feminist blogosphere, and come back when you’re good and ready.

    Or, if you have more questionable judgment, do what I did and reincarnate as something no one expected. :)

    Just take care of yourself, and know your voice is appreciated by many.

    And recall, too, what Adrienne Rich had to say about some of this (this will be from memory, so may not be exact; from “North American Time” in Your Native Land, Your Life):

    …Everything we write
    will be used against us
    or against those we love.
    These are the terms,
    take them or leave them…

    One line typed twenty years ago
    can be blazed on a wall in spraypaint
    glorify art as detachment
    or torture of those we
    did not love but also
    did not want to kill

    We move but our words stand
    become responsible
    and this is verbal privilege…

  73. Bloix
    Bloix May 1, 2008 at 2:43 pm |

    We’ll miss you, Jill.

  74. Rachel
    Rachel May 5, 2008 at 5:34 am |

    I’ll miss your posts. I hope you have a great refreshing break.

  75. esal
    esal May 6, 2008 at 5:55 am |

    another lurker– but I read your blogs all the time and I have really gotten a lot from them. hope you have a nice break– good luck with finals (I’m in the midst of a 2-week-long finals anxiety attack, so I know how it goes). hope you’re back soon!

Comments are closed.

The commenting period has expired for this post. If you wish to re-open the discussion, please do so in the latest Open Thread.