Y’all, this has been a loooong time in the making.
As the internet evolves, and as our social conversations and tools evolve, SOAM has slowed down significantly from when I was getting multiple entries daily.
In addition to the aforementioned reasons, I recognize that my inability to keep it up has contributed to this. I don’t usually get too raw here about my internal struggles because as the owner of this site I always feel an obligation to present a positive attitude, but the truth is I have been struggling with how to move forward for a long time and my childhood trauma of internalizing my failures feeds on this like Hexxus in Fern Gully, growing larger, looming, and destroying. It’s not a super functional way to try to be a successful person, turns out.
I’m not shutting SOAM down or anything, don’t worry about that! And I believe I even have some entries waiting to be posted.
But I’ve been somewhat uncomfortable with the shift here from a website focusing specifically on postpartum body image to a general feminist educational site. Obviously the one is inherently enmeshed with the other so it’s not exactly that feminist education doesn’t belong here. It’s more that feminist subjects vary so widely that postpartum body image is merely one facet of feminist education.
Part of this is obviously that “mother” doesn’t describe all of those who experience pregnancy, birth, and thus have a postpartum body and I have been increasingly uncomfortable with the name of this site because I realize that even if I say “I welcome trans folx” there will be some who will be triggered and cannot benefit from the work I want to be accessible.
I think part of it may also be my autism desiring clear distinctions between what is for SOAM and what is for something else.
But I’ve been clinging to this particular website because it once had a big audience and audience is everything online.
But as I become increasingly frustrated with the algorithms of the big social media sites, I find myself wanting to be able to write words without trying to figure out a new and inventive way to trick the algorithms while still remaining understandable to my readers. Knot seas, Yahtzees… Further, perhaps these euphemisms don’t do anything to slow the fascism and white supremacy that is spreading like wildfire. Perhaps they minimize, make silly, things that should chill our hearts?
I hold a minor in Women’s Studies and I believe the lessons that (intersectional) feminism teaches us are so vital to fighting the systems of oppression that I desire to make accessible all of the theory and lessons that feminism teaches us. Where oppressors try to hide information, or lie and twist truths, feminism thrives on transparency and bringing information to light. Where oppressors sow fear, feminism breaks down those fears and unites us in all of our diversity. I have known for some time now that I want to spend the rest of my life fighting patriarchy, white supremacy, racism, and fascism by helping to educate the world about feminist philosophy. And I’ve known for about a year that ultimately that would require a new place under which to organize. I’m keeping SOAM for what it has always been – and I absolutely mean to keep it inclusive despite the archaic name – but now there is also a new place I am basing on a formal education in Women’s Studies – but for inclusivity I’m calling it Feminist Studies 101.
Will I succeed in this new venture? Fuck if I know. My brain is telling me I’m never going to be successful; it’s just listing all of my previous failures, throwing them in my face and reminding me that, ultimately, I’m a fraud.
I fight back against that because, frankly, it’s all capitalist lies. If the information I provide helps even one person, that makes it worthwhile. If I let this new website sit where it is and never touch it again, it is still something I can be proud of.
That said, I do need money to live in this capitalist hellscape and I hope that you will consider supporting me financially for the work that I do because what better way to take down The Man than to support individual artists and activists.
On that note, I’ve set up a Redbubble shop with some feminist designs. I’ve got stickers up and you can slap those babies on anything. But there’s other merch, too. Mugs, water bottles, totes, etc. So many options to tell the world “Fuck Nazis!” And if you have a good idea for a design you’d like to see, let me know!
PS, this is not an April Fool’s joke, hahahaha I just wanted to take advantage of April to get some stuff about autism published at the new site for Autism Awareness Month.