I used to pride myself at my ability to accumulate a readership here that spanned across all genders and similarly diverse backgrounds. Next to writing and getting very kind responses sometimes, my greatest source of achievement and glee at building this blog was its diverse readership. And I knew why it was so. I am, more or less, anonymous here, and I am not a person of any online consequence to begin with. I also wrote asexually and gender-neutrally. I tried to identify with no gender, or address any specific gender. I also did not discuss subjects that would bring perspectives into gender and sex directly which, as we all know, is possible to consider in any scenario. However, without any deliberation, it started to change after a while. I would sometimes pop in a sentence, or an entire post about some aspect of being a woman. Getting a little extra-attention November onwards, I felt compelled to tell a little bit of who I am but, only to the extent I was comfortable with. And, I’ve noticed, my readership has slightly lost in diversity since. Now, is that because of more target-able subject matter, or because of a clearer sense of who is writing it?
My take on feminism is very simple. I see no logic in one half of humanity being denied the privileges of the other half. Before some of you come up with a defence by mentioning men’s rights, let me clarify, that my take on this works both ways. For example, if a parent can prove themselves to be adequately responsible for taking care of their child, I don’t understand why their gender should be brought into question. It seems words like equality and humanism have also gone out of fashion, i.e., received a lot of flak, but my soul is still old-fashioned and hopelessly idealistic like that. And, it is that soul which writes with the express interest of sharing its thoughts without having any notions of background or gender to inform it. Even when I write about female experiences, my agenda is still humanistic. I feel plenty of bias from both genders regularly. There are many things I do that are mildly or grossly expected or unexpected of me. But, these experiences are very specific, and often not found in the broad generalisations or check-lists that you find in any organisation working with gender issues. So, do I still ask for some cause to fit me in or leave me out? Do I start my own cause? Or do I accept my situation and use my faculties to do whatever it is I have the capability of doing?
The third question seems most reasonable but, that does not mean the other ones aren’t potent enough. This is where my background comes into question, for it was middle-class and thus, reasonably privileged. Most of all, I was always taught to look outwards instead of in, which means helping others instead of asking for help. And it was that kind of an education, both home and school, which really drilled this into the fibre of my being. Today, this would qualify as a humblebrag, I suppose, but the general idea is, anytime you whine and become the lady that doth protest too much, you look around and count your blessings. Which works as a fine strategy, until you may have, perhaps, ignored the lady inside way too much. Then, you start seeking therapy.
So, why I write, and the way I write has changed in nearly nine months. Leaving the obvious gestation analogy aside, spending so much time alone writing for myself, often about myself, has made me realise, that there is more of the natural woman in this writing than I gave credit for. Its asexuality was such a clever disguise, for it meant that it could speak to anyone. And make them feel at one. But, that writing being was outward-looking, and I’ve started to, while still being very aware of the great outdoors, look inside. Look inside, witness that person, and give that person a chance to speak. It isn’t so much about being a woman, as just being me. And letting that me be seen, to come out and shake hands. Telling people about her thoughts, her concerns. What she likes, what she finds difficult to live with. Being just an incorporeal human voice meant I had the complete freedom of talking about anything. But, being this, closer to what living experience truly is, lets me talk more honestly and feelingly. It feels riskier, but it also feels more right.
How do you feel about your writing voice?