september 23, 2012 by camille hayes leave a comment
I used to use a pseudonym, but that’s all over now.
I love a good fake name as much as the next gal, and they definitely have their place. That’s especially true now, with everyone trying to juggle their work personae with their more bitchin’ online selves, in a way that strikes that elusive balance between “pursuing their awesome extra-curriculars” and “getting their asses fired.” When I started Lady Troubles, I knew that what I’d be blogging about—politics, women’s issues—would overlap with my work in the domestic violence field. So rather than having to censor myself, as in I wonder what my boss would think of me calling that Supreme Court Justice an asshat? I opted to hide behind the fake name, assuming that anonymity would free me.
But the fake name didn’t liberate me, it bogged me down. For one thing, it’s harder to promote an anonymous blog, and I found I wasn’t really up for going around creating phony email addresses all over the place, so I could publicize myself to bloggers and online outlets. In daily life I am the blunt, opinionated opposite of clandestine, and I never took to the cloak-and-dagger routine. So I basically didn’t tell anyone about the blog, with the unsurprising result that nobody read it but my sister and my Dad (they’re big fans, though; they recommend me highly). In retrospect that’s just as well, because I didn’t yet know what I wanted to say.
I still find the earlier posts amusing (I am the worst about laughing at my own jokes), and a couple of them are even kind of interesting. But they are essentially just expanded versions of what I often do on Facebook, which is react to news stories, and while that’s entertaining in a bite-sized way, there’s only so far it can take you. All the while I was bitching about Charlie Sheen or castigating Congress there were questions, BIG questions, skittering around in my dark brain recesses, questions that challenged the whole basis of my career as a women’s advocate. Things like: “Are political advocacy groups the best way to create social change?” Or, “Is domestic violence even actually a women’s issue?”
But you can’t pose questions like that until you have at least some preliminary answers, however wobbly-legged and tentative. For example, my answers to the above are “not necessarily” and “not exactly, conceptually speaking,” which is fairly flimsy as these things go, but at least I’m starting to understand myself. What I’m hoping this blog will do is bring me a few steps closer to knowing what I think about the aforementioned Big Questions, while still leaving room to occasionally mock our public officials, because they really are kind of asking for it. I can also pretty much guarantee that at some point I’ll share photos of Things I Have Cooked, because I’m a canner and jam jars are adorable, and my will to resist posting pictures of them is weak. But what I really want to use these posts for is working out my thoughts about gender, culture and individual psychology, and answering the looming question of how we’re supposed to get anything done when we’re all so mired in the very mess we’re trying to clean up. And because gender and culture and psychology and all that gets kind of heavy, I may also talk a bit about my dog, just to keep things in balance. He’s pretty cute, so you’ll want to stick around for that.