Today’s prompt: Emerson says: “Always do what you are afraid to do.” What is ‘too scary’ to write about? Try doing it now.
What’s too scary to write about? Well, that depends on the venue.
In my personal journals – nothing. Nothing is held back, nothing is sacred, nothing is too scary. I delve right in and muck around in everything in my journals.
In my fiction? Not a whole heck of a lot. I tend to touch the scary stuff when I write fiction, because that’s what fiction is for, isn’t it?
What’s too scary to write about here? On my blog? Eeeeek! Quite a lot, actually.
You see, I do keep a good bit of information about myself outside of these “public sphere” sorts of situations.
For one thing, trying to retract a statement you’ve made on the internet is like trying to take the pee out of the pool. There are caches, indexes, copies and pastes, emails, feeds, RSSes. There is no really reliable “undo” mechanism. Besides, it’s just like recalling email messages – all it does is make people dig around all the harder to find out what you’re hiding.
Second, there’s the simple fact that this is a public place. It’s out there. My mom reads it, strangers read it, for all I know, an ex or two might read it. I have a few hundred Facebook friends, a few hundred Twitter followers, and a good pile of Linked In connections. They all know how to find me, and read my blog.
So, what’s taboo? The same stuff that would be taboo in a mall food court, and the same stuff I would steer clear of at the water cooler at work, the same stuff I would rather not discuss at a family gathering.
I don’t blog about sex, religion, or politics.
Well, I don’t enjoy debating. I don’t like getting fired up about that stuff. I know other people do. I know other people want to have these discussions. I don’t. So I avoid them.
There’s another reason I avoid entering debates about sex, religion and politics:
I have an inner activist buried inside me, and you don’t want to wake her up. She is like Snow White or Sleeping Beauty – vibrant, passionate, beautiful and magically asleep. She rustles around every now and then, when my hackles raise and my dander gets up.
Trust me: she’s better off left where she is. I’m better off with her as she is.
Please allow me to explain:
My life right now is all about seeking balance. Work/Life balance, bank balance, calorie/exercise balance, balance in creative versus logical pursuits… the list goes on.
Activista? She doesn’t know balance. She doesn’t understand balance, and she doesn’t respond to cues that say she’s going too far in a single direction. She is single-minded, crazy passionate, and unwilling to give up until she lands me overnight in jail due to insane protesting. (No, that hasn’t happened, primarily because I drugged my little inner lunatic before it could.)
Eventually, my goal is to have achieved enough equilibrium in my life to be able to wake her and still maintain balance with everything else. Ideally, I’d love to be able to throw my support and time into causes that I believe in. But without a good rein on her, I’d get all Joan of Arc up in here. And we don’t really want me to martyr myself for any cause, do we?
Because this is an exercise in facing some of those fears, though, I’m going to go ahead and throw out some of the topics that will eventually wake her because I do believe in them strongly. Note to trolls – I do moderate comments, and I will trash anything inflammatory without responding.
Feminism – I know it’s not normal anymore to self-identify as a feminist, but that’s what I am.
- I believe the government should keep its mitts off women’s reproductive parts and choices. (I don’t think that I would ever have an abortion, but I don’t think anyone in Washington or the GA state capitol building has the right to tell me I can’t get one safely and legally.)
- I believe in equal pay for equal work – and in support of that, I believe in more workplace cultural changes and social cultural changes to allow fathers to be more equal partners in parenting and marriages (rather than assuming they have wives who are stay-at-home moms, which is how most employers are set up). The reason women don’t make as much is because they are liabilities – they might get pregnant, they have to miss more work for childcare, the list goes on. If dads were able to pull equal weight, it would balance out eventually.
- I believe that poverty is a feminist issue. (Most of the people below the poverty line are single moms and their children.)
- I believe that there should be education and support and ways to prevent domestic violence among both genders (studies prove that women are more likely to be abusers than men – and less likely to get called on it).
Gay rights –
- I suspect that the reason why gay marriage hasn’t been passed is because the government can’t afford the tax breaks for those couples.
- I prefer to work for companies that offer domestic partner benefits and include sexual preference in their non-discrimination clause.
- I do think it should be legally harder for people to be fired, evicted or otherwise discriminated against because of sexuality or gender identification.
Animal rights –
- I believe pets are a big responsibility – one not to be entered into or given up lightly.
- I believe pets ought to be spayed and neutered. We domesticated these animals, and they are seriously overpopulated. Rather than allowing pets to run feral, or just let them get taken to the pound to be euthanized, I think that the responsible thing to do is limit the numbers of puppies and kittens that are being born.
- I also really hate puppy mills and irresponsible breeders. (I’m a fan of mutts, but that’s not really political).
- I believe that meat I eat should be humanely raised and humanely slaughtered
Environmental stewardship – I tend to choose cheaper over more expensive, and I tend to veer away from “lazy” reasons not to be environmentally conscious.
- I know that recycling isn’t being used as much as it could be – that recyclables are waiting for a use in a lot of cases. But I’d rather send my recyclables off to wait for a use than to a landfill.
- I prefer not to consume a whole lot of new stuff. I do this partially because it’s wasteful (watch The Story of Stuff) but also partially just because I don’t really need all that much stuff to be happy. I tend to use freecycle and buy used items before I buy new probably 50-75% of the time. It’s cheaper, anyway.
- I don’t own a car. I use Zipcar, I bike, I use transit. Brett owns a car, and I do drive it. I do try to make sure he maintains it well to maximize fuel efficiency and reduce pollution.
- I do try to buy local and organic food. First off, most of that is allergy-friendly, so it’s better for me. Second benefit is that it’s better for the world.
- Every update I make to my house is about increasing energy efficiency. Yes, part of this is because it gives me greater ROI in terms of immediate savings on utilities, and long term resale value. Part of it is because it’s the responsible thing to do.
Peace – Not War – Yes, I get it. War helps the economy. But I also see what it does to our international relationships, how it makes people think of the USA worldwide, and it makes me feel like the country I love is just a big, greedy bully. There is more to this (I was an international affairs major), but that’s the gist.
Those were all political – the activist is political. Those were the topics that can and will eventually wake her up.
As far as sex and religion? Ah, well. Perhaps I’m not brave enough to broach those today.