Monday, April 30, 2012


I stepped away from this blog last week because I found this space…a space I created…unsettling.

This has happened before…

…and it will happen again.

Knowing that it will happen again is what gave me pause and prompted my inner work.

A dear friend has often said that people of color need our own online spaces because wide-open dialogue too often becomes a Q&A session that makes a body feel like an exhibit on display.

I see the value in having safe online places for people of color to dialogue free of outside commentary…just as I see the value in open dialogue.

But I’ve got to tell ya…open dialogue is emotionally grueling and a little over a week ago it just became too much.

Well, that’s not exactly true.

I could have blogged last week.

But I honestly think I had crossed over from anger into rage, which isn’t what this blog is about.

So I stepped away and spent the week pondering whether my voice matters…whether this blog is worth it…and whether it is time to shut the school of bitchitude down and move on to whatever the future has lined up next.

Because this space...a space I created...had become unsettling.

I decided to keep blogging here and to give myself permission to step away when I feel the need.

I know that the unsettled feeling is part of the struggle.

But that doesn’t make it easy.


Sip coffee.



Feminema said...

Please don't close down the school of bitchitude! Your voice is so astute, so important.

I've decided at long last that it's a fallacy to think this is an either/or question -- it's not about either open dialogue or a closed community. I've chosen to moderate comments and delete the ones that don't participate in a conversation in the same way I wouldn't let an irrational, hateful student hijack a class of mine -- We have a social contract when we enter the room, and some people by their comments show themselves to have suspended the rules of that contract.

I love your posts, and I look forward to years of more of them.

Richard said...

I'm happy you decided to continue this blog. I love reading your posts. I respect your point of view and often find I agree with you. You have also opened my eyes to a lot issues. I thank you for continuing my education.

Anonymous said...

Is this your Blue Monday Blog ?

Unknown said...

Like anybody else, you are allowed
to have a "down" day or week.
However, don't give up; you
articulate feelings that I have
and cannot formulate. I quote you
and forward you. I look forward
to many years of your postings.

Margie said...

I look forward to your comments, especially when I am in a rage. You put humor and wise woman thought into your page. I understand when you need to take some time to regroup.

Twain said...

Don't you even think about going away! I enjoy every post and miss you when you're not here. Never back down - never give up.

Anonymous said...

Missed your voice and would hate to see you gone so take time whenever you need.

Joy said...

I only stop by every couple of weeks, not as often as I should, but I really hope you don't take down the blog for good. I don't know what your moderating load is like, but given the unholy shit that goes down in unmoderated comments sections, I can only imagine what kind of godawful tripe you wade through. If you need a break from tripe-wading, you've more than earned it with your amazing writing and insights over the years of this blog. But please do know in your soul that your voice is valuable, and it has touched this reader.

SimplyStated said...

If you close it down, its like you are giving into the trolls. I know you must get some of the most vile and ugly comments submitted...I see them everyday in unmoderated blogs.

The clarity of vision and unrelenting truth you(and the other stand out blog authors) bring to the impossible and immature crap the world throws at us on a daily baisis is what keeps me halfway sane.

For your sanity, you do what you have to do. I Back you wholeheartly. But just know you are loved, respected and first class with how you stnad up to injustice and stupidity.

Yvonne Rathbone said...

Taking care of yourself is the foundation of the work. You can't do anything positive if you're getting broken down by what needs doing. Sending you blessings of peace and beauty to help restore the spirit. Your voice is heard. The world needs it. In your own time.

Anonymous said...

Please stay! I welcome your analysis, insight, and humor.

Anonymous said...

So glad you decided not to quit. Your voice is relevant and needs to be heard. It provides hope in a world filled with crazy hatred. You provide evidence that not everyone is crazy.

DesertRose said...

I'm glad you took some time for self-care, and I'm glad you're back too.

Take care of you first. The rest of it can wait, much as we all love our dose of bitchitude. :)

Patti said...

This longtime lurker wishes she could think of something witty and original to convince you once and for all. You're on my must-read-everyday-list because you GET the whole picture: feminism, race, disability, economic inequality, etc. You know how all this stuff comes together to make life more difficult for average anonymous folk, and you don't let it go unnoticed.

You're a hero to me because of the way you refuse to pretend that bs isn't bs, and beyond that, you actually work to make things better, unlike too many people who see the flaws in the system but never take action to correct them (like myself). You make me want to put on my grown-up pants and be an asshole-fighting bitch too!

Don't let the trolls win. Slap down the ugly words with more and better words. Please stay!

Anonymous said...

Enuff said!

Laura said...

Aw, honey. Don't let the jerks get you down. Delete, delete, delete. I check your blog every day, and a new post ALWAYS makes me smile. You give me lots to think about! Know that you are loved and valued by your many fans.

Shark-Fu said...

Thanks so much for the support, y'all! I'm gonna keep on keepin' on...promise!

sealinc2 said...

Hey Pamela:

I'm sorry your space got so complicated for you.

You know, at one point in my blogging my space got comment bombed and it really made it hard to keep going. They're not the same situation, but what I did was shut down the ability to make comments.

I learn a lot from reading in this space. My learning wouldn't be diminished at all if I wasn't able to comment for awhile.

Hattie said...

I don't blame you for hating the ugliness. The enemies are closing in for the kill, so the impulse to flee can be strong.
This is going to (already is) one hell of an election season.

Unknown said...

When you need to take a break, take a break. But do come back.... we'll miss you. And your words do matter.

the bewilderness said...

Always do what is best for you pls.
You matter more to me, a faceless person on the interwebs, than your blog does, because of your blog.

dinthebeast said...

Do you think that something changed up in the blogosphere recently? I noticed a few months ago that some of my favorite blogs had started moderating comments. It seemed to me as if it happened all at once, although I don't comment that often so I could have missed a more gradual trend. Anyway, thank you for hanging in there: your voice is unique and delightful, and my day is always better for having read it.

-Doug in Oakland

Shark-Fu said...

Doug, I think it has something to do with the election year...something about it stirs up the worst in people. But there are always trolls out there who love to drop nuggets of hate in comments just to hurt others. Tis pathetic but as predictable as the sun set. Sigh. Thanks for your support!!

Colonel de Guerlas said...

"So I stepped away and spent the week pondering whether my voice matters…whether this blog is worth it…and whether it is time to shut the school of bitchitude down "

Whatever your decision might be, I would like to thank you for three points:
a) I learned a little American English from your blog, though I am too old to make a great profit
b) while reading you, I became more persuasive and efficient on commenting French blogs.
c) I could learn a little about Black Americans (the situation of European gipsies worse, now, but, if I had not read you, it might have been able to understand it)

I saw some very good blogs disappear because of frustration, and that made me sad..

Anonymous said...

As one of your Canadian readers, your voice matters. I watch what is happening in the US, through your eyes, and it inspires me to get more involved in protecting human rights in my own country. Your voice is so important and I agree with the rest, take a break when you need, and we'll be waiting here for you no matter what.


Anonymous said...

Please don't stop blogging. I love reading your thoughtful posts. Moderating the comments is probably a lot of work, but I would be so sad to lose your voice.

Carol said...

Many wise people have already acknowledged that self-care is necessary and good - even if it means that at some point in the future you shift your efforts in a different direction.

I just wanted to add a comment letting you know that I am a long-time lurker who values what you say and what you do and I appreciate the opportunity to learn from you.

Thank you.

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