Personalizing and de-centering
Isn't our new website pretty? I'm really excited about it. Except that when I clicked on the blog page, I freaked out when I saw all of our staff/founder images, with little bits of information about us. In fact I freaked out so much that I called our web design team and begged them to take it down; it felt so exposing and self-important! They suggested I write a blog post instead and ask some questions to y'all, so here's a stab...
I often think about how to build community around the work we're doing without replicating (among other things) the cult of celebrity. That's a tall order in our culture, where even in progressive and radical communities, we often see the same few talking heads saying the same things. But if we're committed to real systemic change, I believe we have to reckon with this.
Here at Bitch, we've always tried to keep our individual profiles low. We're in this work because we're committed to real social change, not because we're seeking fame.
At the same time, we obviously feel like we have important things to say and we want people to listen. We often have different perspectives and opinions on things. And we realize that for many people, putting faces to an organization sometimes makes them care more. That alone aids in building community.
So we've responded to requests that we put ourselves out there a little more, talk about ourselves and what we encounter in our work and in our lives, give our opinions on various matters.
But sometimes it feels creepy and wrong. Instead of personalizing our work, sometimes I feel like we should be an anonymous Bitch brigade, faceless and nameless. Because getting back to the root of what I see as our work, the idea of collective liberation, where does a concept like "fame," or even individual accomplishment fit?
Maybe it's internet culture that freaks me out. Maybe it's seeing my own name. Maybe I need a nap?
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