Evolution of a Blog: From Scholar to Activist
Posted by Avory
I don’t normally get this meta, but I’ve just read or skimmed through the past few years of this blog, which started in 2008 as “A Lesbian & A Scholar,” and it’s been interesting to see how things have changed over the years. Besides the obvious fact of my gender and sexual orientation being different now from what they were four years ago, I’m realizing that a reader who once e-mailed me, asking why my writing had become less scholarly over time, was right.
I started this blog when I was in law school, and many of my posts were comments on something discussed in class, something I read, or a lecture I attended. I don’t exactly read less now, but I do much more skimming. In the Twitter age, much of what I read is quick and opinionated, and my reactions are similarly quick and opinionated. While a scholar has time to research and develop a thesis, an activist in the 21st century has to constantly be reacting, assessing strategy, using the news as leverage for change-making.
Is one approach better than the other? Not necessarily. I have learned from other writers and from reading my past material that I could stand to use more links and references in my writing here, like I do when I write for other sites. I used to do more writing about law, and now it’s more about culture, policy, and theory related to gender and sexuality. I’m happy with that shift, but I have been craving more action, less writing about problems and more writing about how we might solve them. That said, I do enjoy cultural commentary and critique and I’ll keep doing that.
I’ve done some messing around with categories this week to better reflect what I’m actually writing about, and to make it easier to find old posts. I do want to note that if you’re looking back in the archives, there are plenty of opinions that I no longer stand by. I’ve left them up because I prefer that approach to “editing the past,” but some of what I said then makes me cringe. It’s pretty amazing to see how my attitudes on gender, feminism, sexuality, and relationships shifted so drastically in the space of a year or two. In a way, I think it’s inspiring, because it means that when folks fuck up, we can change. We just have to do the work to get there.