One of my ongoing self-improvement goals is to read more novels. At the moment I’m struggling with the preliminary chapters of Pride and Prejudice. It’s good, but difficult to follow at times (especially when characters are repeatedly referred to by their surnames – there are FIVE Miss Bennetts, which one are you talking about this time?!) and sometimes my concentration span just isn’t up to it. But I am reliably informed by the members of the Book! club at the Panic! at the Disco threads (yes, I am a fan and proud of it, so shut up) that it gets much better after the first 100 pages. I look forward to that. I’m determined to finish this so that I can read The Happy Feminist’s review of Pride and Prej and know what she’s on about. I’m trying to read ten books over the summer – Zadie Smith’s The Autograph Man as well as Harry Potter 7 are top of my list. I shall keep you updated.
It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to Who’s the Grown-Up, a delightful mother-and-daughter blog that I had the serendipity to stumble upon this afternoon (I hope that’s the correct use of the word “serendipity”). I love reading parenting blogs (such as Offsprung) but what makes this one different is the fact that it’s a dialogue between a mother and her teenage daughter as well as the fact that the mother is a lesbian and lives with her partner of 25 years.
I have been fascinated with gay parenting issues for years now. I myself am bisexual and although my position on the Kinsey scale varies from time to time (as in, sometimes I have a slight preference for men, sometimes I have a slight preference for women) there is a good chance I might end up settling down and starting a family with another female.
I was brought up in a religious and homophobic family where gay is seen as wrong and gay parenting is seen as wrongness squared. Now, ever since I came out (to myself) at 14, I’ve worked hard to rid myself of internalized homophobia, and succeeded for the most part. However, this self-acceptance did not necessarily extend as far as LGBT parenting. I definitely want to be a parent some day (not for another fifteen years or so though!) and there’s no question about it:even if I settle down with a woman I’m still starting a family. But my parents’ ‘gay parenting is bad’ schtick was very deeply ingrained. I started thinking “yeah but what if they’re right? what if a child does need a father-figure?”. I guess since my parents are very happily married and have provided an almost perfect environment for me and my brothers to grow up in I figured this is probably the best way and anything less wouldn’t be right. So there’s been this ongoing struggle in my brain between the side that still hangs on to what my parents have taught me and the side that says there is nothing wrong with a same-sex couple raising a child.
Anyway, when I was 17 I went to my first pride festival. At the launch, there was this little three year old running around handing out fliers for a picnic for lesbian mothers. My reactions were (a) omigod he is sooo CUTE! and (b) I’m so going. So I went along on the morning, and it was one of the most liberating experiences of my life. There was only one actual couple with babies there, but their kids were so nice and so cool with their parents being gay that it completely dispelled any of my fears. The oldest kid, a 9 year old boy, was a bit shocked when I said my parents would be funny about me being bi. I thought that was sweet.
Anyway, I’ve got a particular interest in reading stuff about gay couples having kids, not least because it scares off any internalized-homophobia shiznit about not having kids, and renews my convictions. This particular blog is just adorable, cos it shows just how normal, and – dare I say it – outstanding citizens, kids of LGBT parents turn out. Another reason I like it is that it’s very American – the way those two argue in their video blogs reminds me of how my American friend Sarah and her mum argue. There seems to be a particular way that American ‘moms’ and their daughters debate things and it’s so cute.
Anyway, I urge you all to check it out, it’s a really cool blog.
Come on in and make yrself a wee cuppa tea. This is a brand new feminist blog so I thought perhaps I should introduce myself. I started toying with the idea of starting up my very own feminist blog about three hours ago, literally. I have a mountain of coursework to hand in in a few days time that I really should be doing right now and I am forever trying to come up with new ways to procrastinate about actually doing it, so here I am with my new putting-things-off toy.
In all seriousness though, I wanted to start a blog because I have many thoughts and opinions about the state of the world that I don’t really get the chance to share with the world (I have very few feminist friends; moreover, very few of my friends are political in any way at all so I have nobody to discuss things with). I’ve been getting more and more involved with the blogosphere recently (delurking in some of my favourite blogs such as Feministing or Pandagon etc) and it’s been very cool to actually get the chance to voice my opinion on things that matter to me in a way that I don’t get to do in everyday life.
I’m a student living away from home, in my second year studying Film and French, and since starting uni I feel I have become depoliticised to a certain extent, partly because my friends over here are less politically aware than my friends at home and partly because I have ceased to do stuff such as discuss my ideas on political forums (such as the afterellen.com forums where I developed many of my opinions on queer issues). I wanted to get back into writing about and discussing my thoughts on the world, perhaps developing my views and my writing skills in the process as well. Most of all, I want a place where I can vent my frustration at the world.
My short-term goals for this blog are threefold:
1) I’d like a post of mine to be included in a Carnival of Feminists
2) I’d like to build asmall but dedicated fanbase
3) I’ll know I’ve made it when I’ve got my very own troll, so I’d like some abusive emails from misogynistic assholes!
What am I likely to blog about? I’m a feminist, so I hope to work on refining and defining my idea of feminism. I’m a pop-culture whore (and, as I say, currently majoring in film) so expect musings on pop culture stuff (including film reviews!) from a feminist point-of-view. Being bisexual (and from a homophobic religious background) I will probably natter about queer issues quite a bit too.
What else can I say about myself? I’m quite young (as in, fall just short of the “twentysomething” category), I’m from Northern Ireland but currently residing in South-East England, I am the oldest of three kids and come from a very close-knit family. I’m a very happy person about 90% of the time and have been pretty lucky in my life so far, but this happiness is tempered by the realisation that I am privileged in many ways insofar as I am white and middle-class. My main interests are film (duh) and music and someday I hope to combine the two by becoming a music video director like Sophie Muller or Michel Gondry (don’t know who they are? YouTube!)
Oh, and I’m a natural redhead, hence the name…