Pulling Down the Shutters

One of my favourite blogs out of Melbourne is by a chap named Jeff Sparrow, editor of politics and culture journal

Overland. My reasons for fandom are two fold. Firstly, as Tamil activist in the loosest sense, I have been impressed by Overland’s consistent and nuanced coverage of the Tamil struggle. Secondly, I find myself frequently grateful for the no-nonsense approach Sparrow takes in his blog, particularly on the topic of the publishing industry, which sometimes finds itself victim to analysis by narrow minded, self-congratulatory types. I can’t find it now, but one sentence he wrote somewhere on the internet (perhaps Twitter) will always stick with me:

“there are so many reasons not to write.”

The man speaks the truth! So many reasons not the add to the cacophony. So many reasons to spend your time in other ways: reading, listening, recreating a recipe from Amy Sedaris’ deranged and amazing cookbook I Like You…doing nothing. Most of all, I am enamoured of the idea that writers (indeed, everyone) should constantly be re-evaluating the worth of work we do and whether it still needs doing — however obvious the reasons may seem. To me it is the only way to ensure an honest and useful life.

This is my last Funimist post. As such,  it seems fitting that I reflect a little on the reasons I’ve decided not to continue writing — at least at this URL, on this topic, under this name.

Influential feminist blogs are out there (Jezebel, the F-Word, Feministing) and they are group ones. It has become increasingly obvious to me why that is so.  A single-issue blog can be exhausting to tackle when a topic is so often explicitly emotional, and, frankly, can just as easily be boring to write when you’re basically trying to re-phrase what you’ve been thinking all day. There’s also an inherent feminism to a group blog: a communality that lends itself towards to solidarity and valuable conversations as opposed to singluar ramblings.

My last post was commented on almost exclusively by men. This isn’t just an anomaly, it’s become a trend on this blog and a distressing one, especially given the tenor of the comments themselves: a little silly right through to belligerent and thoughtless. I know women read my blog, because they talk to me about it in person, or I’ll hear about it from a friend of a friend, but they don’t seem to comment. I’m not sure why that is, but it’s starting to feel like it’s too late to reclaim my comments page from the Terribly Clever Boys who have taken over. Again, too exhausting for one person.

Lastly, I’m pretty sick of being the Funimist. We all know there’s  humour in oppression, but fun? Not so much. It was the wrong word to use: limiting, instead of freeing. Disingenuos even, given the kinds of topics a blog like this should cover.

Though I’m unlikely to stop writing about feminism anytime soon, it’s curtain call for the Funimist. I hope this has been a valuable project for youse guys, it certainly has been for me. See you around the Internet.


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13 responses to “Pulling Down the Shutters

  1. Bhakthi

    PS. Let it be on record that there are many kindly people who have encouraged me on this little adventure, knowlingly or not.

    In particular, I dedicate my last post to Andre Peach (http://andrepeach.wordpress.com/) who has provided both sanctuary and challenge. Here’s to you, Andrat.

  2. …made me think, and wonder how I came to your blog too late?

    Kudos, you.

    • Bhakthi

      Cheers, Ruby.

      Though, you will agree, that is the true beauty of Twitter? You may never again have to miss another rambly misplaced word I publish.

  3. Lucy H

    The only reason I’ve never commented is because all I would have to say is ‘here here’ and that’s not particularly enlightening

  4. gonna miss you BP. i always loved reading and re-reading M/NM.

    • Bhakthi

      You make it sound like I’m dying! I do appreciate the patronage, Cooney. Feel free to call me anytime you want to hear a femmo rant.

  5. Elizabeth R

    Exactly. Hear hear, Lucy H.

  6. Actually I reckon ‘hear hear’ is one of the best and most valuable things any writer can hear, even if it’s phrased in such a simple manner. It lets them know they’re not speaking utter shit, and that what they’re saying is actually making contact with someone, somewhere. So often the pursuit feels like shouting down an old well – entirely one-way and, in the absence of contrary evidence, pointless.

    Terribly Clever Boys are generally self-appointed as such, and are mostly showing off. (And yes, I absolutely count myself in that category.) It’s the same as the way they used to get hyperactive and run around being annoying as kids, when their sister’s friends would stay the night. Some very basic need for the attention of women, however they have to go about getting it. Anyway, it means they can very safely be ignored.

    Anyway, not every project can be sustained forever, so here’s to the bigger and better things you’ll do from here on in.

    • Bhakthi

      See what I wrote to Lucy and Elizabeth.

      Thanks for the rest of yo comments too, Geoff. I’m not always so hard on Terribly Clever Boys. They are, if nothing else, intelligent enough to be a malleable resource.

  7. Alpha

    But maybe the boys were all just terribly clever?

    Terribly, horrifyingly clever.

  8. Carnie

    Sad to see this blog end

    Thanks for writing/sharing/trying

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