I’ve thought long and hard about what this, my first blog post, should be. Brainstorming sessions have turned into anxiety spirals centered around one question: What impression do I want to make? As I think about my intentions with this blog, I keep circling back to the same idea: obligation.
Throughout history the number of female writers/artists/creatives has been few. Unlike their male counterparts, female writers of the past had not many life experiences. They couldn’t travel without a chaperone, they were mostly prevented from higher education, they lived with their parents until marriage, and there wasn’t any casual dating. This limitation shows in their writing, as their works often revolve around family and community. Not to say that these topics aren’t interesting, but if the saying that “you write what you know” is true then these women had no choice BUT to explore these subjects.
Therefore, the one predominant theme that stands out to me in female literature is the everyday. Women writers throughout history are experts in the daily routines and occurrences that make up a life. Jane Austen wrote about love, family, and social class; Virginia Woolf wrote about the vague but significant meanderings of one’s consciousness.
And then there’s us, the women of the 21st-century. We have all the access to life experiences that these women never dreamed of: college education, careers, dating apps, and, perhaps most significantly, social media. We have the platforms to have our voices heard as widely and as loudly as we wish through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and, of course, blogging. We are our own content creators! Isn’t it incredible? In hundreds of years from now (assuming Earth is still home to humans), people will look back on this era and know exactly how women lived, as told by women themselves. Rather than have others record our lives as they saw it in history books, we have the capacity to construct our own narratives just as we want to.
It comes as no surprise, then, that women dominate social media. In college I learned that this statistic was because females tend to value community and social connections more so than men, but now I think it’s something else too. For thousands of years, women have been silenced, or told not to think too hard, or had their lives written about by other people. Perhaps we’re so invested in our Instagram filters and fashion blogs because they represent something that was barred from us for so long.
When I started researching how to make a blog, I was overwhelmed by all the other blogs out there. Then just as quickly I was overwhelmed by all the support out there among female bloggers. They made it seem like there’s always room for more. So here I am, recording the varied experiences of 20-something life in all its anxious, weird, and wonderful glory, simply because I can and so many others couldn’t and still cannot. What I’m trying to say is, if you have something to say, then say it. Post that selfie; publish that open letter; don’t delete that angsty tweet you wrote while drunk-listening to Arctic Monkeys. Just leave your real, authentic mark any way you can.
This post was completely inspired by Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. JUST READ IT, OK??