Sunday, September 8, 2013

reflections on an intermittent voice

Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.  It's fantastic and really important and I'm so glad we got it as part of the Book Discussion Scheme for the local book group I go to.  Thinking about what to do next in terms of the challenge to action against injustice to women (specifically, sex trafficking, maternal mortality and female genital cutting) and how to involve my own children in understanding and making links.

I'm not quite ready to give up blogging.  I started six years ago and that's a pretty good haul in my view.  But whereas then my blog gave me an outlet for my thoughts and to develop ideas and responses to my world while I was in the thick of nappies and kindy, my situation has changed a lot over time and staying up late to reflect on this blog is something I opt not to do, favouring instead getting some sleep or going it to work to get things done at a time when no one is around to give me more jobs, or doing laundry or organising hockey trips (not the whole team, just our little section of it!).

So at the same time as I opt not to share much at all in terms of deep reflection, I also get less satisfaction from the blog experience.  Gut instinct says not to give it up completely.  When I read yet another magazine article or book review on feminists and/or 'career' women giving the workplace up to embrace a home-centred life of gardening, making food from scratch, etc., I'm pleased for all those women - I did that to a large degree myself.  But given I've been reading these articles at least as long as I've been parenting, I wonder, what happened to those women?  Some of them have chosen large families and the project continues.  Some have chosen to home educate and the project continues.  But what of those women who made those choices and now their children are at school?  Are they now more involved in the community and still keeping themselves distant from the workplace?  For those women who are back at paid work in whatever form, what are the changes they have taken with them from their home-based experience?

I do get it that they may well be in a different kind of busy track in terms of blogging or sharing their stories.  I absolutely get that.  But it's the interest in those stories, and therefore in trying to share the tiniest bit of my own, that I choose not to close my blog or my blogging days.  If anyone has something to share on this in the comments, or blogs to direct me to, I'd love to know.  One example which does spring to mind is Pea Soup, a really gorgeous diary of a beautiful knitter, paid worker and Steiner School supporter.  In terms of working woman/feminist/home life sharer, another blog I enjoy is A Bee of a Certain Age.  A feminist blogger who joyously embraces crafting and shares her own raw and powerful stories who I like to read is Craft is the New Black.

Not quite in the same vein, but a new favourite nevertheless is Sarah Wilson's A Sweeter Life.  Her post How Hiking Heals inspired me to go walking along Rapahoe Beach this afternoon.  Beautiful it was too.

George Bernard Shaw is quoted in Half the Sky
Reasonable People adapt themselves to the world.  
Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves.  
All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.

and Derek Bok is also quoted in Half the Sky:
If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

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