Thursday, March 31, 2005

Rebecca notes women writers on Women's History Month

Rebecca (Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude): i want to note women who write for women's history. at my site, i did a women's history note for jane fonda and that's really all i had time for. i was thinking about posting this there but as a community member of the common ills, i felt i would share this here instead and take part in the community's salute to women's history month.

i want to recognize not 1 woman, but all women who write. that's the good writers, the bad writers. as the topic of where are the women bloggers buzzes and the issue of where are the women op-ed writers rages, the fact of the matter is that women have always been writing. we write today. we are out there.

instead of guessing that we need 'mentoring' or 'nuturing,' some would be better off realizing that what we need is recognition.

as bloggers (male and female) stand bemoaning the 'lack of women bloggers' sometimes adding 'blogging on politics,' they stand on the necks of all of us women who are blogging. they choke off our air. instead of whining 'where are they?' they'd do better to start noticing that we are out there. i hate doing links and i'm not going to push that off on c.i. so i'll just say that if you check the blogroll of the common ills, you'll find a number of women bloggers. not all. but some strong 1s like jude and leah and katrina to name just 3.

the bloggers who go out of their way to highlight talking points memo every day, when's the last time they bothered to read AND highlight katrina's editor's cut? do they have any idea what jude is doing? what pam's doing over at big brass blog. (note, i want no links on this post, please. i'm being lazy and not doing them, so c.i. shouldn't do them for me.)

women are out there. people of color are out there. but if you go to the same sites only or you count on who the mainstream media has recognized, you're going to be left with an awfully male, awfully white world. and because you've made that mistake, don't turn around and wail 'where are they???????????????'

we're right here.

and we were here before the net. this argument has been going on for years.

'i would recognize women, but they aren't working in this field.' whatever the field is.

we've written in every field. today, tomorrow and in the past.

but to be 'known' we have to be recognized. and we can support 1 another but if the opinion makers aren't recognizing us, that's really beyond our control.

yesterday, randall highlighted charlotte perkins gilman and i remember the 1st time i learned of her. i was reading a survey book on women in political thought and thinking of a professor (male) who'd taught a class where women weren't mentioned and he'd responded that women really weren't interested in writing about political thought.

that statement was loudly disproven as we rushed to name feminist thinkers we knew of (and guess what, we didn't learn about them in our classes). 'well,' he said, 'i mean classically speaking.'

there's always some reason we aren't included. but the thing is, that doesn't stop us.

i was e-mailing kat of kat's korner about this and she brought up 'women who rock' which is a headline that pops up every few years and in between those years the lament is 'where are the women who rock?' they're rocking their asses off, even though no 1 may be noting them.

she included a line from a stevie nicks' song 'who in the world do you think that you are fooling? well i've already done everything you are doing.' [Note: "Two Kinds of Love" from The Other Side of The Mirror.] exactly. women are already writing. they've always been writing.

and we may virginia woolf it in a room of our own, or we may get immediate and loud recognition. or we may fall in the middle, but we keep writing and we always will, not dependent upon whether some 'official spokesperson' decides we're worthy of recognition.

1 of the many great things the 2nd wave of feminism did was rescue women writers who were in danger of being lost to history. you can't read gerda lerner's writings without realizing how many women wrote in a period that we're taught is absent of women writing.

so my point in this is that we do write, we will write. and we do many other things. and a lot of us have pretty much given up on getting the 'official stamp of approval' because we know how this little game plays out. some 1 wrings their hands and acts all concerned but in a week, maybe 2, they feel the hand wringing was enough of a contribution, enough of an action and they return to the same mind set citing the same exact males and a year or 2 on down the line, they'll suddenly resurface wondering 'where are the women.'

so i want to salute all women writers in all mediums past and present who carved out a space for themselves and kept at it regardless of whether they were noted or not in their own time. i want to salute the voices that come in all varieties and with all opinions, voices we aren't afraid to share and don't do so with any hope that we'll suddenly be 'recognized.'

i write because i want to and it's great if it reaches people but i'm not going to stop writing just because i haven't been 'officially stamped.' and i think this attitude begun long before me. i think it would have to. because if i can note today how few women are recognized for their writing, i can only imagine how bad it was in previous time periods. so i will note the women who write and have written.