It was hard to find my voice for this blog.
For about two months, I’ve been going, “Yes. OK. This weekend. Gonna get that blog up and running properly. Mmmm-hmmm!” And then another weekend would pass, with me commenting blithely on Facebook, on Twitter, on my Wellington, NZ-based fiction blog, doing freelance web work, lifting weights, sewing, baking, having adventures. But not doing what I meant to do: creating an online voice as a woman.
It was the other voices that made it so hard. Not yours, reader – the other voices that we all hear inside ourselves, even though they aren’t ours. The ones that we sometimes hear as the devil and angel on our shoulders. The angel was saying, “That introduction of yours is intellectually pretentious! Immodest!” while the devil whispered, “It’s all too much for them, you’re too weird, they’ll never understand.”
It took some work to claim inside myself that I had the right to a space where I could talk about my femme side. With other femmes. A place to be playful and thoughtful at the same time. I wanted a ladyblog, damn it!
What I think of as a ladyblog isn’t just “women in social media.” It’s a specific online feminine presentation for the female gaze, the female voice for female listeners about what we want to talk about. This doesn’t mean that a lot of ladyblogs aren’t totally terrifying. Either someone is presenting a groomed, branded, styled persona, edited for taste and appeal, or they are serving forth nigh-insane levels of compulsive disclosure about topics like marrying, mommying, or making. I’m too clumsy for one, too private for the other. What will I bring you? We’ll find out.
A quiet, substantial portion of the ladyblog audience is on the queer continuum – I was touched and inspired by the out and proud discussions in one of my favorite style blogs, Already Pretty, in this discussion of butch style. And on another favorite, You Look Fab, the forum members encouraged a man exploring how to present well in a dress. Just because we’re queer doesn’t mean we don’t want to talk about vintage hats or getting the right swirl on a cupcake. (The wrong swirl? Oy!) I wanted a blog that included this up front. Serving it as part of femme realness.
And here it is.