Blog baby,Blog ! Gender & Representation-Part I

 

One of the best things I ever did for myself was to start a blog. It is a wonderful feeling to have a space online that is solely mine, where I can critique, share and narrate experiences. I started this blog when I was a college sophomore, and I feel as though I’ve grown, not just in terms of readership, but also in how I see the world. Having this blog is empowering and liberating, and hard. Hard because your opinions are out there and trust me, they come back to haunt you.

“Hey, did you really mean what you said on post 56 posted on January 13th, at 11:40pm”?

I don’t even remember!

“Hey, I really loved when you said blah blah blah on post 23 on December 5th! Spot on!”

Thank you! Wait, did I really write that? Wow!

But I love it, love that people are reading my ideas and are encouraged to think about something differently, or inspired or feel that their experiences are also somehow represented through m writing. And this is important for me. Why? I am a Sierra Leonean woman, with very unique experiences. Unless I share my story or put out my own opinions, my experiences and narrative are not really out there on the blogosphere.  I don’t want someone else to do the talking and writing for me, so I am doing it myself. Apart from the daily struggles of slow/no internet access, and power outages, there is also  a stereotype that when West African women take ownership of a space online-it has to do with fashion, food or beauty.  And power to my sisters blogging on that, but African women are very multi-dimensional and we can also blog about politics, religion, careers,sex and sexuality, literature, and philosophy – there should no boundaries.

So if you’re out there and sitting on the fence as to whether or not to blog-I encourage you to do it. It does take time and dedication, but it will serve you a lot to own your space online. Don’t think too much about it, don’t think you need to have the perfect name for your blog, or have 2,000 followers ,or achieve instant celebrity status, or that nobody will ever read your blog. People search for blogs every day and read every day. Trust me, what you post doesn’t even have to be relevant or impacting, but your ideas and experiences are valid, and they matter, and even if 10 people ever read that post you’ve shared ,that’s a lot, and that matters the most.

As one of my African blogging icons, ms afropolitan says

To author a blog is to own a space, however humble or significant, in the most revolutionary medium since the printing press was established.
Furthermore, it is to continue a legacy of female writing, an é
criture féminine of sorts, championed by Audre Lorde, Anne Frank, Mary McLeod, Adelaide Casely-Hayford, Virginia Woolf, Nuha al-Radi, Anaïs Nin and other women who could be seen as some of the first “bloggers”

So be encouraged, own your space, try and overcome the challenges and obstacles, and write, sister, write. The world needs to experience your voice-it is valid and necessary.

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