Eesh. This is a difficult topic to cover, but I wanted to share my thoughts on an interesting topic that Vix shared in her Exciting Email newsletter. She talked about how people have complained to her that her content isn’t representative, and some have even accused her of showing off her privilege.
UH HANG ON A MINUTE.
Our blogs are our blogs. Our blogs reflect who we are, and our interests. Yes, to some degree they also represent the readers’ personalities and interests because why the heck else would they keep coming back to read?
But let’s face it, most of our blog readers are very much like us. They usually either relate or aspire. In my case, I can safely assume that most of my audience relate because I’m so darn #relatable.
But the idea that we need to adapt our content to make it represent every minority group, or that we need to use entirely inclusive language that doesn’t necessarily reflect our everyday vernacular is beyond ridiculous.
Maybe my own privilege is showing here, but I don’t feel it’s my place to represent anyone and everyone in the experiences I share and the language I use. I can’t. I don’t truly know about the experiences of other people and their struggles. I know about my own. They may not be as significant, but they are mine to share here.
I feel like my role as a blogger is to share my own thoughts, feelings and stories. It is my responsibility to not be a dick (as I’ve talked about before here), and it is my right to share inoffensive content on the web without being hounded for it.
Representation is important in blogging – and it is “out there” in the blogosphere. If you look for it, you’ll find it. When you find it and you like it, champion it. Make the point to celebrate difference. Like, comment, share, shoutout… whatever you can do to lift others to the forefront. Find the voices you want to hear, and put a microphone to them.
That’s how we can create a more representative community.
Not by changing our content to fit the mould and give in to the professionally offended who get off on complaining.
Not by being afraid to cover particular topics through fear of not using the right language.
Not by fearing the fact that we are perhaps more privileged than others and that by sharing a wishlist or haul we are “rubbing it in people’s faces”.
If you want to take responsibility for representation, go for it. If you just want to blog by sharing your own experiences, go for it. Just don’t attack others for not doing what you expect from them.
Trust me, you’ll be a lot less angry and a lot more inspired to do your own thing if you just let them get on with theirs.