One of the best things about blogging challenges is that each writer is given a title and then has to find their own interpretation.
I’m supposed to be giving you a list of 5 to 10 things that inspire me about blogging today. Now, I could probably give you more – since I often use current affairs or things I see in my life as prompts. However, it’s harder to write coherently about the actual subject.
Basically, I like to write. I like the freedom. I can say what I want, write about what I want and work when I want. I only answer to my lovely readers. They’re quite the most wonderful people. They must be – they like me.
I have to say, though, that the thing that I really love is the power. Not all the time – I can’t be walking around carrying a metaphorical whip every single day.
What I mean is that, to a lesser or greater extent, I can influence people. If you read the Sophie’s Voice Facebook page, you will find that I’m quite outspoken about a lot of issues. I’m nothing special but – thanks to a network of engaged readers – a few posts have gone viral and a couple of petitions have seen spikes in signatures after I’ve linked to them.
I’m not drunk on power – I save that for my private life – but I am passionate about some issues. I want to see a lot of things change but I can’t do everything so my area of interest has ended up being what is broadly termed ‘sex positive intersectional feminism’.
Breaking it down, I believe that everyone is equal but – until socioeconomic conditions, culture, the law and attitude changes – that isn’t possible.
I hate the word ‘privilege’ but women only got the vote in the last century. Maternity laws still mean that I’m expected to hold the baby. Societal expectations mean that I constantly feel like I have to justify my domestic choices and I get paid less than a man – despite the fact that I work in an industrial sector that is top heavy with women. Well, until I can guarantee that my daughters won’t live like this, I will do everything that I can to change things.
I’m going to give you an example of what I can do with my voice. It’s a post from the Sophie’s Voice Facebook page but don’t let that put you off – I’m happy to précis the piece.
Recently, I saw a shared item in my personal Facebook feed. It was a picture of a plus size woman posing alluringly on a table. It was accompanied by a quip regarding her weight – you really should click – and the comments from the original post were horrible.
With my rapier wit and that riding crop that I only carry in the event of such infractions – I swear – I managed to knock the imbecilic caveman who wrote the post back as far as the 1980s, at least. Silly man…how did he expect to compete with this response…
‘This cropped up on my timeline this morning.
It’s a portrait of a man who can coldly display a photo of a woman who made herself vulnerable to him for everybody to laugh at.
The accompanying ‘dialogue’ is presented as an amusing joke but the tone is cruel. The comments that followed the original post were horrible so I’m just going to waste some time telling people a few things that we believe at Sophie’s Voice:
Nobody is perfect.
Sex is a beautiful, valuable thing – and it’s just as much so no matter what size, shape or sex you are.
Mocking people’s appearance is nothing more than bullying.
Intimacy is a rare and precious thing.
We don’t have so many very close relationships that we can afford to throw a partner’s perceived weaknesses back in their face.
Violating trust is disgusting.
There are some things that you don’t bounce back from easily – if I was the victim of a similar violation, it would take a lot of work to persuade me to get out of bed at the start of each day.
So, if you want to share the original post, look at it twice. Ask yourself a few questions – do you think you look like Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt in the sack? Is it even possible to be graceful while engaging in an activity that is essentially our most animal instinct? How do you feel about commenting when it could be your sister / daughter / niece / whatever that gets caught out by a twat like this next time?
Are you thinking of scrolling on by now?
Yes? Good. Excellent decision – you’ve just elevated yourself to the status of ‘human’.
The guy who shared this has the morals of a cockroach.’
Now, I prefer to work in a collaborative style. I love my co-writers and the little band of ‘colleagues’ that I work with every so often. I have learnt so much from them all.
It just turns out that, sometimes, I have to be the ringmaster. And, yes, since you ask, I do like the costume. I have the legs for it.