The above quote is from “A Short History of Women” by Kate Walbert
What can I say about the incredible and honest discussion that has gone on in the comments of The Pain Olympics post? I have a greater understanding now for why they happen. More to come.
Today I read a post that was eerily familiar, by Courtney. Check it out.
I’ve had several discussions with Darcy about his utter bewilderment with my involvement in the ALI community. “When are we going to stop discussing infertility?” he wondered recently.
I try to steer clear of talking about my blog with him, which is funny because Darcy is in the blog business and it is he who first suggested I start one. He had no idea it would turn into the world of its own that it has.
And as I have stated repeatedly, I don’t want to blog solely about ALI. The truth is, I don’t. But my passion for advocacy remains. I do see writing as an advocacy tool. I am a writer, I have always written in my career and in my volunteer efforts. It makes sense that I would write to advocate for better public awareness of the disease I suffer from.
But I have to stop and always remember the long term. What am I doing? Has Faces of ALI done good work? Has it made a dent in how the general public sees infertility?
Eh. I’d say the verdict is still out. Those profiles do go (relatively) viral and get viewed thousands of times on Facebook and that can only be a good thing. But has it led to any of my subjects (or really ANYONE awesome in our community) being featured in the newspaper of record in an honest, accurate piece? Or on The Today Show or Good Morning America where the greatest visibility still exists? No. That is still the end game, in my mind.
(I will say that Pinterest is pretty great tool for advocacy I’m finding: tons of views of Faces of ALI come from there. So if you want to share any of the tales, please feel free to pin away! )
Here’s where I worry that advocacy takes away from the here and now. I agonized over stepping away from the Bitter Infertiles podcast as a regular panelist, but the truth was I could not sacrifice the time. The podcast needed several hours over the weekend and my family needed that time from me, too. I feel sad sometimes that I no longer get to discuss such relevant topics with those brillant, funny women.
In my comment to Courtney’s post, I noted that if I was alive in 1910, I would be working to try to get women the right to vote. In 2013, I work to try to open the public’s eyes to what infertility is.
Have you read “A Short History of Women?” It’s about the legacy of a woman who performs the ultimate sacrifice for her cause: she starves to death for the right for women to vote. Something that has many ripples in the subsequent generations of women, both within her family and at large. (Women DID get the right to vote, and you could argue that the “Iron-Jawed Angels” did play a significant role in obtaining that right.)
I do have a hard-earned family (arguably A goal of my cause, although not THE goal) and I do not want to lose sight of that in any way shape or form. So balancing my passion for changing people’s minds with just living a “normal” life needs to happen.
Do you find that you tip over the edge into too much advocacy? Do family members express bewilderment over your blogging?