There’s a blogging habit that I try to avoid, but I’m going to dig in a little bit now, and I hope you’ll excuse me for it.
1. Something happens
2. Someone writes about it
3. Someone acknowledges that it was written about
4. Other people write about it
5. Group think
I was really excited to see Angelina Jolie writing about her struggle with breast cancer, even though it was potential breast cancer, and preventative work. I thought that it was interesting to read about what she went through and get it straight from her. Often these things come second hand, with some measure of guess work. The internet immediately broke out into a series of celebratory messages. She’s so brave, it’s so wonderful, breast cancer is so scary, what a powerful thing to say as a woman.
A couple hours later the tide shifted. Who can afford that? She got her breasts back, of course she feels good about herself. Suddenly people realized hey, fuck her.
I think there are two important things to think about. The first is that everyone has an important story to share and Angelina Jolie’s story is no less special or important just because of the way it ended. She had the means, others don’t, but she shared her story. It was just one story. She isn’t deserving of that kind of backlash. She’s one of the good ones.
On the other hand, I also think it’s important that we are able to do what we’re doing when we look at something like this and break it apart. Yeah this is sweet but… also, what does it mean? How does it reflect on privilege and class and how does it reflect the state of our healthcare system?
The problem I have with writing about these things is that someone else has already done it. I’m not bringing anything new to the table. I’m taking all these ideas people had and I’m saying “nanana, here’s what I think” rather than “I have a story too.” I don’t have a story. I’m not saying anything.
How can we process the stories that we read and then become inspired to share our own stories instead of vomiting back out how we feel about someone else’s? While, still, being able to think critically about what we take in?
I think in writing about sexuality that is particularly important because all sexual relationships are different and what is true for one person or one couple might not be true for another. When I read other people’s blogs I don’t come back to mine and say “so and so said this but let me tell you what I think.” I’m going to write something different. I’m going to pose new questions. I’m going to get a different conversation started.
I think that there’s something powerful in maintaining the original content on the internet and I think that bloggers have some responsibility to balance how much they talk about what they want to talk about and how much they talk about things that are relevant in the world.
Are you acknowledging what is going on around you, or are you just repeating what everyone else is saying? Are you giving something new? Seems like a good thing to think about this week.