The sound of respectful listening is silence. The sound of complicity is also silence. I've been silent a lot lately. And sometimes I can't tell which is which.
There has been a cascade of awfulness lately—from privileged cluelessness, however well-intentioned but inexcusable, to flat-out racist anger, and everything in between—and I've been reading, mulling, planning, discussing, in striving to figure out what to say. That post will happen. This is not that post, because I haven't listened and discussed enough to be able to write it. But complete silence is not the proper way to respond to the news that the influential and inspirational Brownfemipower has shut down her blog. There is nothing for me to add to what others have said, nothing I can say that others have not said many times, better than I could. Read their powerful words.
Huge gratitude to the folks who have discussed these topics with me, and to the women who I don't know personally but whose intellectual and movement-building work, blog writing, and blog comments I have been learning from: INCITE! activists and writers, Sudy, Blackamazon, Belledame222, Aaminah, Adele, Nadia. (This list is incomplete and yes, I know, it can sound like facile name-checking, but it is my attempt, however imperfect, to acknowledge and amplify the words that I have been trying to listen to.) (And a note to readers who may be visiting these sites for the first time: I wish it went without saying but sadly, it does not—listening respectfully means reading deeply in a blog community before commenting. If you find yourself wanting to argue, please check yourself for defensiveness and take it elsewhere.)