Happy New Year! What better why to start the year than with a checklist? You see I, like all writers, have resolved to write more this year but it has come to my attention that to be a successful or popular blogger you need to be a bit… well, trendy. You need to be in touch with the zeitgeist. And I have to be honest, I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer. Don’t get me wrong, I know what’s going on in the world it’s just I like to have a good think about it before I form any opinions.
But in the world of journalism – even online ‘citizen journalism’ – there are windows. There are hooks, there are angles, there are time-sensitivities and if you miss them, you’re out. No one wants to know. So sometimes, while I’m having a think, everyone else has moved on. As though the issue is dead, as though it’s solved, as though there is such thing as one concrete answer when dealing with politics and ideologies and emotions and psychological impacts and life experiences.
And sometimes the thing I want to talk about just isn’t the thing everyone else is talking about. I’ve got to be honest, I’m not always interested in the latest sexist remark of some Tory MP. Maybe I want to talk about the commercialisation of marriage or the morality of infidelity or anal sex.
Plus, I’m only in my 20s (just about). There’s a hell of a lot of sex and feminism that’s gone before me and I’m trying to catch up on it all. So yeah, excuse me if I don’t weigh in on that ‘controversial’ Comment Is Free piece, I’ve got Erica Jong and Simone de Beauvoir battling for space on my bedside table.
But what I have learnt over the last year or so of blogging is that if you want to be successful, if you want to build an audience and increase your readers (I’m loathe to use the word hits, call me old-fashioned but I like to think of you as real people, not just mouse clicks), you have to be trendy. To this end, therefore, I have created a checklist to which I shall refer regularly in order to ensure I am meeting the criteria. You can use it too if you like… then we can all be trendy together.
Things that are trendy
Saying you don’t believe in categories for gender or sexuality.
Slagging off the Daily Mail.
Accusing people of ‘mansplaining’.
Talking about your vagina in terms of its function.
Wearing sexy outfits because you have a right to express your sexuality and it’s about you and your identity.
Getting angry about the idea of shaving off your pubic hair.
Saying you don’t judge other women for their choices.
Making the political personal.
Making everything personal.
Saying ‘check your privilege’.
Getting angry about slut-shaming.
Writing earnest blog posts.
Things that aren’t trendy
Being unsure of what category your gender or sexuality fits into.
Kind of wanting a category for your gender or sexuality to fit into.
Disagreeing with trendy feminists.
Slagging off the New Statesman.
Wondering why so few men want to label themselves feminists.
Talking about your vagina in terms of its visceral, psychological significance.
Wearing sexy outfits because you want people to find you sexy.
Shaving off your pubic hair because you like the way it feels and so does your partner.
Sometimes judging other women for their choices, and saying so.
Having opinions on things you have not directly experienced.
Having opinions that differ from someone who has directly experienced them.
Saying ‘just fuck privilege for a second, I’m trying to have a conversation with you’.
Feeling jaded and cynical.
Writing passive-aggressive blog posts.