Readers may have noticed that Tiger Beatdown is a little more awesome lately. And there is a very awesome reason for that! We have a whole new team, these days. In addition to the ever-lovely and stalwart Garland Grey — whose guest blog at Bitch, the charmingly entitled “Sexual Inadequacy,” you should all be reading — the following people have, inexplicably, decided to sign up for this ramshackle little carnival ride we call a blog. AND THEY ARE!
- s.e. smith, whose credentials are too many to list, and whose patience and sagacity are infinite.
- Emily Manuel, for whom I have worked many a time, who is quite possibly the busiest woman in the whole entire world, and who still took me up on the offer to post here.
- Flavia Dzodan, whose blog I read obsessively, and whose offer to post on THIS blog was like manna from Heaven.
I love all of these people! You should love all of these people! You should express your love for them, loudly and without reserve, in the comment section!
Perhaps now is also a good time to remind you that Tiger Beatdown, to a startlingly large degree, relies on user donations. We are like NPR, but for shouting! This blog is coming near to the end of its third year, and it is time to make some decisions about what to do with it next. I feel very lucky that this little nothing blog has been able to grow up, to provide a space for some amazing writers, to start some conversations, and hopefully to help a few people. And I’m proud of what we’ve managed to do, in the year or so since our last pledge drive. We’ve raised funds for RAINN and local rape crisis centers, the Bradley Manning Defense Fund, and NYAAF. We’ve gotten people mobilized around media coverage of the Assange rape case, and around H.R. 358. We’ve told everyone why that thing they like is terrible, whatever it is, we’re just pretty sure it’s not that great. (Okay, so less of that would be nice.) We’ve done more than I could have imagined, frankly, since I kicked this whole thing off.
And I don’t know what we’re going to do next. But I do know that I’ve been lucky. I’m lucky to be talking to you; I’m lucky to know all the amazing people listed above; I’m lucky that there is such a thing as a Tiger Beatdown. There was a time when I thought that Girls Would Save The Internet, and a time when I thought that The Internet Would Save Girls, and I don’t think that I believe either of those things fully any more. (I mean. Two of our contributors are not girls, so. It might have been a pretty narrow mission in the first place.) I’ve gone from believing that I had none of the answers, to being pretty sure I had all of the answers, to being pretty sure that no-one will ever have all the answers, and that all that matters is asking questions. Because asking questions, at least, is a way of keeping the conversation open. Of caring, even when caring is painful or complicated or doesn’t seem to come with any built-in rewards. Of putting your faith in something, even if that something is just the possibility of change — saying that maybe the world won’t always keep the same shape, maybe nothing is as sure or as true as we think it is, maybe no form of human unhappiness or cruelty has to be taken for granted.
Writing about it may change things, and it may not, but it is a way of keeping the questions open. And a way of keeping each other company. All we do, when we write, is put a part of ourselves out into the world, in the hope that someone else might be able to use it. And in the hope that they might respond, might bridge the gap with their own insights or challenges or support. We provide company to each other. We all have the power to make things worse for each other, and we all have the power to make them better, but the most important thing we can do is to make each other less alone. The company we provide each other can be painful, or it can be joyful, but it’s always potentially transformative. At least you’re out there, bumping into other people, letting them leave a mark. Keeping another commitment, to that faith: Maybe nothing about the world is unchangeable. Maybe nothing has to be taken for granted. And maybe nothing about you can be taken for granted, either.
I’m so, so happy to have these people in this space. I appreciate s.e’s relentless commitment to challenging orthodoxies; I appreciate Garland’s huge, unbelievably generous heart; I appreciate Flavia’s bravery, the fact that she will not let necessary shit go unsaid; I appreciate Emily’s strength and perspective, the fact that she knows how much everything matters, how much is on the line, and still knows that you can’t let it corrode you. I appreciate all of these people, for how they can challenge me, and for how they can get through to me. I’m happy for the fact that my answers, or questions, are not the only answers, or the only questions, that matter. I’m happy for their company.
And I’m happy to have your company, too. In the next year, who knows? Maybe we’ll form some manner of Voltron and SOLVE FEMINISM FOREVER. Or something. But your company is appreciated. So, if this space matters to you, and you would like to have some way to keep it going and fuel it, please donate what you like, if you can. And no matter what you do, please, please welcome all of these lovely people to Tiger Beatdown.