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This blog has existed since early-to-mid 2005. Those of you who have been reading it or are new to this blog but have known me for a long time know that the past six years have been full of a lot of difficult times and change. As I’ve gone back through old entries to categorize ones I was too lazy to categorize when I made them or ones that I imported from the blog before this, I’ve had the changes in my life made all too clear.
Mostly, it’s a problem of language.
You all know that I love words. I love stringing them together. I love shouting them like they are all onomatopoeia. I also love that words have meaning. Specific meaning. Yes, language is always evolving but that isn’t an excuse to take a word and change it because you want it to mean something else, something with fewer consequences. Words still mean things, even if the language and definitions of words change. Words have meaning.
I read some cringe-worthy things in old entries that made me really, really, really ashamed (most notably: calling Ann Coulter ‘Mann Coulter’. Yeesh), but those things also served to show me how much I’ve changed, how much my own language and usage have evolved, and how it remains true that we never stop learning, we never stop growing, we never stop changing. Or at least we should, or try to, because life is constantly evolving, even minutely, and as a species, we are capable of learning. You can teach an old dog new tricks. She might not like it but she can definitely learn.
It’s a little timely, the rejuvenation of this blog. Remember the whole Huck Finn/n-word debacle from several weeks back and how so many of us don’t want it revised or edited to hide a shameful part of our nation’s past? That’s a lot like what I went through when reading my old entries. At first I wanted to change them all. Some I wanted to delete outright. I wanted to erase my mistakes and make myself look more awesome, always cool, always correct and sensitive and intelligent.
But that’s not right.
My ignorance at the time does not excuse the sexist, sizeist, ableist language that dots my old entries. Now that I am a little wiser, I can begin anew with my evolved language and try harder not to offend, belittle, erase, and demean others. It will be a constant effort because just like my language, my thoughts are always evolving. I meet new people, thanks to the internet, who introduce me to things I hadn’t noticed or realized yet, given my privilege as a white, (mostly) straight, cisgender woman. They force me to think. I am grateful to them for that, whether or not they know it, whether or not they know me.
Part of my plan for restarting this blog is to take old entries and show you how I could change them if I wanted. I won’t actually edit the entries permanently on the site; instead, I’ll do it in a new entry or a pdf or a Google Doc, depending on the length of the entry and number of problems I find.
I’m sticking this post to the front page so everyone will always see it. I know it will get annoying. Maybe I’ll turn this into a page if people actually start reading this blog and complain about having to scroll past the same entry every single effing time.
If you notice something I say or use that is problematic for you, please don’t hesitate to comment on the post or if it makes you more comfortable, send me an email. If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email and I’ll try my best to answer it.