CAN YA HELP A SISTA OUT?

Hello there and welcome! I’m hoping to connect with other female bloggers out there. Men, of course, are welcome and encouraged to join the conversation, too! This blog is part of my doctoral (PhD) research. I’m trying to find and collaborate with cool, interesting, hip, etc, etc, female-gendered bloggers of the 21st century. Sound like you? Say hello and point me to your site. I’m really interested in today’s feminine lives (however you wear your “feminine”) and female individuals who are telling their stories, struggles and successes in new and unique ways online. We’re all individuals, but we’re part of the social network–what a conundrum! How do we make our voices heard? How do we speak our truths and get folks to listen? How do cyborg-feminists of the 21st century use technology to write against and resist oppression, racism, sexism, heterosexism, disease, agism, war, inequality, hurtful power structures and all that other crappy crap out there? How do we do it together?

Say it plain. Say it loud. Or just say it your way. I’m listening. (And I’ll write some, too.)

In fact, here’s a little background for you (but I’ll begin with a quote)…

“So while the main parameters of life are fixed, and no person can avoid resting, eating, interacting, and doing at least some work, humanity is divided into social categories that determine to a large extent the specific content of experience. And to make it all more interesting, there is, of course, the matter of individuality.” — from Finding Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1997)

Pronounce that name correctly and you’ve got yourself a doctorate, baby! Sometimes, I feel like that’s exactly what this academic thing is about. Pronouncing names correctly (it’s mee-shell foo-ko, not mike-al fow-calt) and knowing the club lingo is part of the game, indeed. I do love language, though, so it’s fascinating to me to hear the amazingly different (and sometimes infuriatingly confusing) pronunciations of names, terms, and jargon in the academy. Recently I heard a professor claim that a particular writer had “beautifully captured the angst of a generation” in his essay. But she pronounced it ONGst and pulled her chin close into her neck when saying it, giving the ONG some serious depth. Rock on. Wacky stuff.

As a lover of language, I’ve already launched two blogs. One cataloged my journey across the US and back and one was about becoming a writer. But this one has a different purpose…to connect and collaborate with other divas (doctoral or not), to learn and share across gender divides and oppressions, and to think and write about female lives (mine being one) in the 21st century. I’ll write some autobiographical pieces (like about being a doctoral student and turning 40 in August–woo-hoo!) and I hope to connect also with female bloggers (like you, perhaps?), especially feminist bloggers who write cool and interesting stuff about their lives. So basically this blog is going to be feminist (in whatever form that takes—what is feminism, anyway?) and autobiographical. I’ll write a little about my own life in the hopes that you’ll share some of yours. I’ll also review, write about and promote other feminist autobiobloggers as I come across them in the hopes of creating a web of connection!

I felt like today was a good day to launch this blog–July 4th, 2012. My mother passed away 12 years ago today from a respiratory aneurism while undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer that had metastasized to her liver. She actually passed away sitting in an Adirondack chair under an apple tree in our front yard while awaiting a fruit smoothie from my sister. Though her death was unexpected and very difficult for us all, it is some consolation to know she was poised in anticipation of something sweet, cool and relieving. I like to think that in passing away before her cancer got the best of her that she did in fact receive a sweet, cool relief. Her death altered my life in so many ways…and continues to do so.

SO…in the spirit of remembering the awesome women in our lives, I’m going to dedicate this blog to her–she was a true DIVA, my MOMMA DIVA, Carol Jean.

I’m sure she’ll come up in a few blogs.

(What about you? Are you blogging about mothers and daughters in the 21st century? I’d love to hear about that!)

As for my PhD work, I’m currently a “3rd year,” which means I’m in the third year of my studies–out of how many years?…well, that will depend on how, especially, this next year goes. I’ve completed the mandatory two first years of coursework (aside from one seminar paper I have to finish this summer, which is related to this blog!) and now am moving into the comprehensive exams phase. Let’s call it COMP PHASE I. Comp Haze. Confuzed Dayz. Confound. Configure. Finish! That’s the goal. To finish this PhD and get on to teaching college, which is what I love best. But writing and research is pretty cool, too. I’m always working on research ideas. It ain’t easy to “say something new”! I’m hoping this blog will help. Maybe YOU can help!

Happy Fourth of July and I do hope to hear from all you 21st Century feminist/female/fabulous divabloggers and fellow word travelers of any persuasion out there 🙂

Thanks for checking in!

Peace and blessings,

DD

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9 responses

  1. Feminists come in all shapes and sizes (and genders, intellects, and passions), and I look forward to hearing more about your experience, DD, of this political and philosophical attitude. I am proudly a feminist writer, wino, foodie, and general lover of life–all of which is shaped by being a woman and an intellectual. I am moved by the source of your inspiration–a beautiful, strong woman, just like you. Keep writing & we will keep reading!

  2. As the father of three daughters, three pets (all female), a wife who is well with breast cancer discovered seven years ago, I will speak as a feminist. I read and re-read your paragraph describing your dear mother’s death and can say I understand your position and support you completely. Having witnessed too many cases of this terrible disease and its impact on their families, especially the children, my patients, I can grieve with you. However, the overwhelmingly positive tone of your new blog makes me look up, not back. Thanks for all you do and will do for women.

    • I love that you’re a feminist, David! That’s very cool. And it’s great to get a first response from a man, too 🙂 I welcome them very much! Thank you for sharing your personal story and your grief. I am glad you hear a positive tone in this blog’s start–that is what I am hoping for. All my best to you, your wife and all the lovely women (and pets) in your life!

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