i haven't blogged a lot recently, for a few reasons. holidays are busy, but also because i'm not sure what i'm doing here, frankly. i rant & rave, but i often end up only feeling worse after. what is really changing in the world for women? i saw this article yesterday and it just sort of hit me: what good am i actually doing? i'm not despairing of the work of feminist organizations, foundations, and individuals who care about eliminating sexism and inequality...but of my own role in the pursuit.

"This month over 350 girls have had their sexual organs mutilated as part of the
traditional practices of their culture."

and this is only one indicator, of course. i feel powerless to make any real change. i follow (and am endlessly inspired and incited by) a number of outstanding feminist bloggers daily (Feministe, I Blame the Patriarchy, Feministing, Shakesville, Fannie's Room, Madre, NOW, V-Day, Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History), but even those eloquent and vocal advocates...individually and collectively...what are they (we) changing? i know i don't even keep up with a tiny portion of all the incredible voices out there in the world, calling for change, but all those voices still seem so quiet sometimes, in the face of the unrelenting and brutal violence, discrimination and degradation of women: every day, in every city and town, in every country, all over this world. WHY is it so impossible to comprehend that women are beings of EQUAL value, worth and dignity, and should be treated as such, in every way? WHY is respect such a rare commodity? WHY is brutality against women and girls considered inevitable, just a part of life, something WE (women) need to be vigilant in order to avoid? (don't walk to your car in the dark, take self-defense classes, don't wear short skirts, etc. etc. etc.)

"...we categorize brutal violence against a partner or spouse as "domestic
issues" ... as if they bear the same level of importance as sweeping the floor
or doing the dishes. "

WHY hadn't i thought of that?? wow, that just pisses me off. i'll do my best never to refer to violence against women as DOMESTIC ever again.

in 2010, i want to be more active, think more critically, and be less tolerant of discrimination (in every form).

this could very well be the cheesiest thing i've ever written, but recently i just can't stop listening to Defying Gravity (of course i've loved the song - from the musical Wicked - since i first heard it a couple of years ago, but maybe it's because i just got the Glee soundtrack for christmas, wahoo!). the lyrics just could not be more apt to how i'm feeling right now:

I'm through accepting limits
'Cause someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know!
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well, if that's love
It comes at much too high a cost!
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
And you won't bring me down!

i let things get me down, for sure. but in 2010 i want to try to make a difference on a personal, local level, where i can (maybe) see the ripple effect of my efforts more directly. i know this about myself: i tend toward being darkly pessimistic, or at least staunchly cynical. i've been feeling that pessimism lately, and i want to swing back toward optimism in the new year.

i've been considering some new ink, and i believe i may have decided on what to get, which coincides with my feeling of surging determination.

just one word, reminiscent of one (or 2) of my favorite songs, as well as our daily struggle for our rights.


rise up in 2010!