Hello, friends and readers!
I think I will be starting the shift from SOAM to FS101 in my social media accounts soon. As things continue to shift and evolve with the work I do online and beyond, I think the time has come to begin to start the shift away from SOAM and towards FS101. For one thing, as I do more and more work for the trans community, I feel the name “Mother” is something that may lead the trans community to distrust my intentions. So many people claim to be allies, but folx in oppressed communities will inevitably find that the boundaries of that so-called allyship too often end far before the real allyship begins. As a cis woman, I know that trans folx do not owe me trust, I have to earn it. And for those who don’t already know me and my commitment to trans allyship, seeing “The Shape of a Mother” probably gives alarm bells. As this time in United States history, as we are moving to make laws against existing as a trans person, I want to work against that by being explicitly clear that I fully recognize that all genders give birth and parent children.
To anyone concerned that this move will lead to the erasure of women… It won’t. It doesn’t. SOAM has always been feminist. It is inherently feminist. But body image and postpartum body image are but one facet of what feminism actually covers and there is a LOT of work to be done.
I went back to college in my mid-30s. I was an English major and once I arrived at university, I decided that I wanted to do more. I came to choose between earning an editing certificate or taking a minor in Women’s Studies. The day that I met with the undergrad advisor for the WS department, was also the same day that Trump won the 2016 election. I watched the news in horror that night, but at least I knew what my decision would be.
We cannot continue compartmentalizing feminism because to do so divides our own power and weakens our ability to win this ultimate battle against patriarchy, capitalism, and white supremacy. Feminism is the anthesis to all of these evils because of its diversity. We cannot separate feminism from anti-racism work because some women are Black, or Indigenous, or other people of color. We cannot separate feminism from anti-capitalist work because some women are poor. We cannot separate feminism from environmental justice because women live in the environment and deserve a safe place to live. I can go on and on.
So I want to be very clear that the shifting focus from SOAM to FS101 is not erasing women in any way, but instead is an open invitation to all who want to work together for a truly equitable world. The tent is large and all are welcomed here, except those who work to divide and exclude.
I think I am formally closing SOAM. To be honest I wasn’t expecting that as I started writing this post, but the truth is that it’s been closed for a long time and that hasn’t been my decision. The lack of entries and my own disabilities and health issues made that decision for me. Maybe someday that will change. But right now I recognize that I need to face forward and move ahead with new, evolved work. Today is the 17th anniversary of the day I first started this website so it feels like a nice circle to end the project here. Will I stop doing work with body image? Absolutely not. If you have been following me on social media, you will not notice any difference except that the logo will change as we already do all kinds of feminist work outside of body image. It’s just that now everyone will know immediately that they are welcomed in my space.
Well, I think I’m gonna go sob now a little bit. See you around and I cannot wait to see what work we do together in the future!