Luna recently wrote a thoughtful post in which she asked why she found herself unwilling or unable or unprepared to approach certain topics on her blog. "Is it simply a matter of time? too soon or too late? too personal? too overwhelming, complex or confusing? Am I too lazy? too defensive or protective? too afraid (and if so, of what)? Am I not in touch with how I feel enough to articulate it? Am I trying to retain some sense of privacy that is forever lost when sharing an intimate thought or fear? Am I simply trying to exercise some discretion? Or are there just certain words that must remain unspoken, at least for now." She came to the conclusion that it was perhaps "a bit of everything".
I too am struggling with similar questions. I started blogging in a bid to try to make sense of what I was going through, and also as a means of connecting with others who were in a similar situation. And in the process I have found myself part of a much larger, grass-roots movement. It strikes me that part of what is happening here in the blogosphere is what second-wave feminists might have termed 'consciousness raising': in sharing and analysing our own personal experiences, we are in the process of creating a discourse on infertility and pregnancy loss, and that awareness of these issues is - however slowly - beginning to filter out into wider society.
On another level altogether, I often experience a sudden flash of recognition when reading other people's blogs. Sometimes it seems that others are able to articulate what I cannot: it is only through reading other women's stories that I am able to gain access to parts of my own life narrative.
What we cannot or will not say can be as revealing as what we do say. I often have ideas for posts that I don't write - this may be because I simply never get round to it, or because after a few days whatever it was I wanted to say no longer seems that important. But there are other things which I consciously avoid writing about, most notably my work. I am anxious lest anyone should search for either my real name or my research topic and be led here to my blog.
And yet it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to maintain such a clear cut separation between my interests as a feminist academic, and my lived experiences as an infertile woman. In the spirit of Mel's latest initiative, I want to try and build bridges between these two areas of my life. And so I am beginning to gather material for a book that examines the feminist discourse on infertility (or, perhaps more accurately, the lack thereof). I'm interested in the fact that, while feminism has been quick to embrace the possibilities represented by ART (ART has been seen by many feminist theorists as a positive thing, in that it loosens the ties that bind motherhood to biology), it is noticeably silent on the impact that infertility can have on our identity as women.