Women, as Apple used to say, “Think Different.” Thank heavens for that difference. I think it might save the world.
As I say in an article which I am honored to say was selected to be live during the inaugural launch of the Generation Fabulous site,
Women’s culture, which had been desperately filling every small crevice not already claimed by male culture, was bursting at the seams – and when the electronic niche of a globally interconnected world wide web opened, we flooded in with blogs and e-books, and all the knowledge, skills and strategies that we as women have been trying to keep alive in a world where ubiquitous limiting constraints worked against us.
This quote is wordy, and a bit intellectual, but what do you expect when we are describing one of the most significant spin-offs of the early electronic age?
Women’s empowerment and equalization of women in history were not among the intentions voiced in the planning of ARPAnet, Mosaic, and other defense and education communication technologies that led to what we now know as the internet, inter-webs, web, net, cloud and/or information highway. Cultural evolution is tricky that way. If you try to constrain, control, channel or “pipe” it, it will spring a leak, wriggle away, or morph into something completely different. Go with the flow.
Women flow, women think different, women persist. There is a flow or an energy among women of a certain age. I’ve written about it before.
No matter how troubled, unappreciated, stressed, overworked, or underpaid we women writers of a certain age may be, we are creating the structure of future with the paths we walk, the words we write, and the myths we disintegrate with our raging ray-guns powered by the energy released during hormonal fluctuations.
Zeitgeist is the word that comes to mind. The “spirit of the times” is real and perceptible to people who are aware of trajectories and trends as they emerge. I became aware of a group of women acting on Zeitgeist at the BlogHer conference last year who formed a critical mass. I was planning to launch a site, Done Nesting at that time, and found a group of women of a similar age to me, women who are of a certain age, and who were all, each and every one of them, ready to act or acting on the need for a non-Mommy-Blogger community, alliance, group, recognition… I spoke to many folks about how we, women of a certain age, felt about the how some of feeling that the unofficial but widely known target audience of BlogHer being Mommy Bloggers. I talked to Lesbian Dad, aka Polly, who is of a certain age, about this; but she is a mommy blogger even though she calls herself a dad. Even though Polly understood what I was talking about, and she was the only one besides Denise who understood what I, and other women who do not have children living in their household at the moment, were talking about when we said we felt excluded and ignored.
I do have to say as a disclaimer that there was one session at this conference last year, that addressed an older mommy blogging constituency, “Blogging into Midlife.” I missed it. Duh. I thought it was for 30 or 40-somethings. Yes, I am 50 something. I am still 24 in my head but time passes. So, I attended “Strength in Numbers” because of my interest in online organizing.
I met several other women, of a certain age, I had followed, read, admired, or just discovered at the conference at the Birds of a Feather Breakfast, and at another event that had nothing to do with BlogHer that was in NYC at the same time: a “Bloomer” gathering put on by the Boom Box Network.
There was change in the wind. Soon after the conference a group, GenFab, popped up on Facebook and I had found my Homies/Tribe/Peer Group.
I ruthlessly read and share with this group. Competition be damned! We are all Fabulous women writers who are for the most part of a certain age. Knowing what other women who were similarly motivated were doing helped me hone my ideas for a site. Done Nesting is on hold and I am moving forward with BoomHer.net. No writer creates for exactly the same audience, we all fill different niches. Few people, or marketing agencies, are skilled enough to even know how to determine real market share or audience and then create something that would target exactly the same group. If you know of anyone who can do this, please let me know! I want to work with them.
I choose to move forward together, create synergy, and increase the momentum of the trajectory of women creating their own legacy, in searchable form, on the internet. I am absolutely pleased as punch that Generation Fabulous, the site, (apart from the Facebook group) launched today. Women know how to coöperate, if we didn’t the species would have died out ages ago. So when asked about how I feel about great sites that might be viewed as competitors, I respond that we are not competitors, but rather, are smooth operators and cool collaborators . (Cue Sade here.)
Very inspiring words Nancy. It is an encouragement to do what we love -whatever our talent is -with confidence, without asking permission.
Thanks Annick. Yes, I think this goes beyond writers to most other fields.