WARNING: Brace yourselves people, this post is likely to create a small storm .....
My cyber friend ‘Reluctant Memsahib’ wrote a post the other day with regards to the anonymity (or NOT), of being a ‘blogger’.
It seems a friend of hers was concerned that she was not as anonymous as perhaps she should be because of the abuse that I’ve been receiving over here about being white, and therefore ‘obviously racist, elitist, Euro trash,'…and the rest ?
Anyway, back to the point, I, like many other bloggers out there I’m sure, started out on the ‘anonymous’ route – I even gave an interview on CNN and another on BBC Radio 4 all under the moniker ‘Mzungu Chick’ and ‘The Lost White Kenyan’, back in January. Then I met a fellow who challenged my anonymity and persuaded me to creep out of said closet, and what I realized was he, and others I have since met through this common link, are incredibly interesting, diverse characters that I would probably never have had a chance to meet in ‘my other life’, and so for that I am grateful.
Since then a couple of very close friends and a couple of my family have also been let into the shenanigans that I get up to in cyberspace. And the Reluctant Memsahib is right, you do need to think of these people and their feelings and identities before and as you write;
“The thing is: it’s not what other people think about me that I mind. (I stopped caring about that sometime in 2001, when most of the people I knew had a view on an action I had taken and most felt at liberty to vocalize their disappointment and disgust vociferously). No. I don’t care what anybody thinks of me. But I’d hate anything I said about the lives of any of those I love most in the world to impinge upon them. I can spill my own secrets, that’s my prerogative and I’m big enough to cope with the fallout. But not theirs. Never theirs. Because then they won’t be secret anymore. They won’t be secret enough.”
I also would never want to do or say anything that would hurt those I have let into my little secret, or our relationships. Since getting all those nasty comments on free flow, I’ve even felt guilty for the links to fellow bloggers sites that I have on my side bar – lest they have these anonymous idiots divert their way and start their nonsense somewhere else on one of those innocent sites that I just linked to because I thought they were fab.
But then, I had an idea (not dissimilar to Janelle it seems); “a cheerful two fingers up to stuffy conformity” is most definitely the way to go. This blog is just my thoughts and feelings, it is not the way anyone else needs to see the world, but the last time I looked, it was not against the law to say what you think, and basically we are all very different and between us ALL, the world goes round.
I am not advocating that we should all write hate messages because that is how we feel about the world, but I’m not sure that all those comments were thrown at me because of what I had to say, but because of the fact that I have given more information than they wanted, in other words, I have said I am ‘white’ – god forbid, and that, naturally, makes me an elitist racist. If I said I was a shade of brown from the Middle East – would that have made me an Arab extremist? And if perhaps I’d have said I was black from Illinois – would that make me an Obama supporter??
The only reason I ever called my blog ‘The Lost White Kenyan Chick’ is because that was exactly how I felt at the time. Lost because I am a single white girl from an African country (who has roots in no other place in this world), living in a black Kenyan male dominated society (- although please peeps, before you blast me here – this is changing as we speak I do agree, but it is still the majority – have a look at those seats in Parliament right now), and I that is exactly how I felt – LOST; where do I fit in to the bigger picture?
The fact that this name has caused so much controversy was totally unintentional, although I’m not really sure that I should be apologizing for it.
I am WHITE, KENYAN, A CHICK and totally LOST in life, and if you don’t like it, I’m really, really sorry but, *said in my most polite voice*,
I shall do an ‘Uncle Bob’ on you and skip into the distance care free;
“La, la, la, la, la” ……