Why start this blog?
I have run rampant in the feminist/socialist/activist blogosphere for quite a while now, discovering new blogs every day (though rarely ever commenting). But every so often, I’d find something about a blog I’d previously liked that didn’t sit well with me. Bloggers getting called out for some privileged talkin’ on their part, and then their refusal to accept this… I’ve seen it on feministe and feministing with race issues, and just recently on my-previously-most-favourite-blog-ever-who-I-thought-got-everything-right Shakesville with trans issues.
I don’t think any of these issues I found were in bad faith on the bloggers’ parts – I think they legitimately didn’t realize that what they were doing was way uncool. The problem is not in making the slip-up with their privilege – it is, after all, a part of privilege to not be able to tell when you’re exercising it – but in how they dealt with it. When someone from the marginalized group tells you you’ve fucked up and calls you out on it, it’s probably a good fucking idea to listen up. Especially when you are called out repeatedly for similar things. It’s time to take a step back and seriously think about what you’re saying.
And fucking apologise. Gracefully. With no “buts”. No “you could have been nicer…” As feminist bloggers, you should know how angered you get when someone repeatedly exercises their privilege and then denies it. Of course people are going to be pissed with you. Don’t take it personally, because it isn’t. Or at least, it’s not until you continue refusing to give a decent apology.
So I realized, after all of this, that the number of feminist blogs that deal with their own privileges well dwindles the more time I spend in the blogosphere. And it dawned on me that, if I can’t find a blog that satisfies me… why not try to make that blog myself?
Thus Hot Air was born.
I can’t promise to never ever ever say anything privileged ever, because that’s hard for me to know because of the whole privilege-being-invisible-to-those-who-have-it shenanigans. As is proven by so many well-meaning bloggers getting it so wrong. I don’t think anyone can make that promise. I know I can promise to try my fucking best to always be aware of it.
And what I can definitely promise you is this.
My vow to all of you who may read this is to always always always listen when I am called out, to always always always be wary not only of other people’s privilege but especially my own, to never say “sorry, but…” and if I ever fail to do any of this, which I’m so scared I will… well the blog will be moot and I’ll close it. And do call me out with fiery, passionate, unrelenting anger.
I will hope to whatever deity(ies) there may be, that I never stop listening to other people. I don’t want to let you down like that.