To Chris Clarke's excellent blog policy, which I am co-opting in full as of right fucking now and retroactively, I append only one item:
I am not a role model: You'd think people would have wrapped their heads around this back when Charles Barkley first said it, but no. Some people still think that if your audience is large enough, you're a role model regardless of your own wishes in that regard, and you'd better behave in accordance with the bylaws of Rolemodelville, population You.
This blog is small. And something I've realized over the past couple of weeks is that I unconsciously work to keep it small. I do this in one way I can't help and in one way that I can. The way I can't help is, I'm not very good at this. The way I can help is, when my traffic levels get beyond my comfort zone--and that zone is tiny, I mean under 100 visitors a day if you strip out the search engines, because I basically relate to other human beings from a position of terror*--I stop posting. I tell myself I don't have anything to say, even though I usually have TONS of things I'd like to post about at the time, and I just fuck off for a week or two or, as has been rather acidly observed by readers in the past, months.
And I do this because too many people, myself included, have begun to treat the internet like their televisions. I don't care what you want to blame for this; the point is, it happens, and I contribute to it myself. I ripped into a woman blogger on another site recently in a way that I am ashamed of and appalled by. And I did this because I had stopped seeing her as a fallible human being with a weblog and started seeing her as That One Actress (Character?) on That One Show Who Really, Really Pisses Me Off.
That's dehumanizing. It is also unfeminist.
So I write this as much to remind myself as anyone that blogging is not my prime-time drama, or yours, but there is good news: It turns off almost as easily. Do that before you start putting people who write for free on pedestals just for the fun of knocking them off of them whenever they fail to satisfy you. Because if I ever overcome my meager abilities and my fear of being widely read, I can promise you one thing: I will not be a role model. If I have 1000, 10,000, or 100,000 visitors a day, I will not be a role model. And I will have nothing but contempt for anyone who tries to force me into being one.
As usual, this has all been said better already, here and here.
*Feel free to discuss how this vantage point might or might not contribute to my putting off posting my five things feminism has done for me, for example. I am scared that my five things are going to suck all kinds of ass in relation to everyone else's five things. Or I am just lazy. Or both.