O Feministes! My guest blogging time here is about to expire, and I just wanted to say how wonderfully engaging it’s been for me here.
I’ve had my beliefs both challenged and supported, and through both of those I’ve come to remember one of the central tenets of the way I live my feminism: Feminism was born from authentic reactions to injustice, and for feminism to continue to thrive, we must continue to draw from that well of authenticity. And in my first post here I strayed from that core authenticity, proclaiming a more dogmatic stance stance than, upon reflection, I actually believe. I’m looking forward to sussing out where I really do stand on issues of appearance and visibility as far as beauty work goes (in fact, that’s the entire purpose behind The Beheld), and I’d like to thank all the astute Feministe readers who supported and challenged me on it.
I’d also like to thank everyone who shared their experiences with relationship violence. When I hit “publish” on my post on the topic my fingers were trembling: My experience isn’t a secret, and I’ve written about it before, but neither is it something most people who know me know about. I don’t have a lot of practice in disclosing that part of my history and willingly entering that realm of vulnerability. Hearing all the stories from people who, unfortunately, shared my experience in some way—whether as a target of abuse or as someone who watched someone they loved disappear, or, in one case, as someone who was worried about her own tendencies—reminded me that our stories, our authentic stories, must be shared in order for us to figure out what the hell to do next.
And finally, a self-promotional push: If you’re interested in issues surrounding the experience of looking and being looked at as a woman, examining the words we use to describe women’s appearances, beauty labor, and other concerns that often feel simultaneously peripheral and central to our lives and experiences, please come over to The Beheld (or Twitter, or Facebook) and say hello. Though I can’t bake you all cookies, I promise to do my best to be a gracious hostess nonetheless.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.