Double R Diner was on an unannounced and unplanned hiatus last week. If you missed us, I apologize.
We’re still a baby blog. We’re still trying to figure out what we’re doing. And if we should even be doing it.
Social justice bloggers often talk about the over-representation of privileged voices. The proffered solution to this problem is for privileged women to shut up and listen. [I realize I should be attributing this idea with some well-researched linkage, but I don't really know where to point, partly because so much of what I've been reading is on tumblr, and knowing exactly who said what within the tumblr format requires a decoder ring out of a box of Hipster O's and I don't eat sugar cereal. But looking back through my chat logs with Ramona, I think this Racialicious post by Latoya Peterson and the many links within (especially this) would be a good starting place if you need to educate yourself more about this problem.]
Ramona and I are both privileged in a lot of ways. We’re white. We’re straight. We’re middle class. We’re cisgendered. We don’t have visible disabilities. We’re highly-educated. We’ve got money in the bank. We were born in the United States. We live in the US and the UK. We’re oh so very privileged.
We have exactly the voices that are over-represented; the voices that by merely speaking hurt marginalized women. No matter what our voices say, just the sound of them is hurtful. And we know we’re not going to speak perfectly. We’re going to fail. Sometimes we’ll be privilege-blind or short-sighted or narrow-minded or ignorant or selfish or flat-out wrong, no matter how hard we try to never be any of those things.
And we mostly blog about culture. Popular culture. The Great Distraction from what really matters. The “Poem for Feministe Commenters“, which highlights many ways privileged women undermine feminist conversations, laments “There are one hundred new comments on the post about popular culture/and none at all on the post about women of colour being shot.“ And here I am writing posts about pop culture, which while they are lucky if they get commented on at all, are still distracting our readers from the real problems of real people. I don’t have nearly as much to say about news and politics and I do about music and movies. I don’t know if that is just a product of my privilege or a whole new dimension of why I am a bad feminist.
So I should shut up, right? It seems kind of obvious that is the solution. The time I spend writing posts about the gender politics of the en dash in Diddy–Dirty Money could be spent reading the marginalized voices of women of color or trans women or disabled women or working class women writing about issues that actually matter. Or the time I spend on the Internet could be spent in the Real World helping to solve Real Problems. Right? Right? Shouldn’t I just shut up?
But… I’m not. I don’t want to hurt or oppress anyone. I don’t want to weaken feminism. And I don’t want to be a bad person. But I still want to write long blog posts about things like en dashes in the names of pop groups. If I don’t write them here, it’s not at the expense of time I could spend on better things, it’s at the expense of me only writing them in my head. That’s why I started this blog. Because I love to write, because I love to blog, because I have things to say. I didn’t do it to fix the world, which I guess makes me a bad social justice blogger even more than my privilege or my frivolous focus.
But fixing the world, even in tiny little ways, still matters to me. So I’m leaving “feminism” in our blog heading because identifying as feminist matters. And because we’re still going to examine and criticize the patriarchy, and because despite our privilege we’re going to do our damnedest to give the same treatment to all the other dimensions of the kyriarchy. When we screw up, tell us, and we’ll try to be better. We’re still listening, even if we’re not shutting up anymore.