Pondering new projects

Wow, long time, no write!

But not to worry – I haven’t completely abandoned Pondering Postfeminism.

Photograph of a derelict abandoned train carriage.
(abandoned train carriage, image source: redserenade)

There are a number of reasons for the lengthy gap between my posts. Firstly, I suppose I became a little bit sick of pondering postfeminism. Having spent several years writing a thesis on the topic, it is sometimes difficult to summon enthusiasm to keep writing about it.

I also haven’t taught any gender studies for a while, which was a good source of inspiration. Teaching sociology and gender was a great way to keep me thinking about feminist debates, and helping me discuss them in a straight-forward (and hopefully engaging) way.

Of course, a large reason for my absence has been a distinct case of writer’s block. For the last eighteen months or so, I have found it challenging to write entries for this blog of mine. I suspect that the primary cause was the fact that I’d begun to include the URL on my resume. In applying for academic jobs and grants, I’d mention this blog as evidence that I have the ability to engage with the public – something that is an increasingly important part of an academic’s job. The downside to this, though, was that I then imagined the audience of my blog to be potential employers. Every word had to be perfect and every post needed to be a dissertation-quality argument. Hardly conducive to productive and carefree writing!

So, they are my excuses.

My final reason is a much more exciting one. I am now a mother! My daughter was born in June, so I am in the early stages of first-time parenthood. It’s certainly a rollercoaster ride. It’s amazing and challenging and beautiful and exhausting and life-changing… and well, there aren’t really enough words to describe all my recent mothering experiences.

I am considering turning this blog into a bit of a motherhood/feminist blog – Pondering Post(natal)feminism?! – but I’m not sure at this stage. There are so many mummy bloggers out there, I’m not sure what my contribution would be. Perhaps I’ll just continue with similar themes as before. I like the idea of a mini-project to get me writing again, even if it’s once a week or fortnight.

My one idea at the moment is to write a series of critiques of advertisements that target mothers. I’ve been watching quite a bit of television in recent weeks (couch time while breastfeeding!) and there are so many questionable ads regarding women’s roles and women’s lives. I’m inspired by the very clever and very funny series of videos by US comedian called Sarah Haskins.

She challenges the sexism of television advertising in America. Watch some of her clips – they’re fantastic!

One of my favourites is this one about the way advertising markets yoghurt to women:

I thought I might pick an advertisement from Australian TV to pull-apart each week. It won’t be an amusing Haskins-esque video, but hopefully it will get me writing again.

I’m also open to suggestions about what this blog should be about and what projects I could start. Comment below!

4 Responses to “Pondering new projects”

  1. Deborah Says:

    Congratulations! What lovely news.

    Yes, there are plenty of mothering blogs, and even feminist mothering blogs, but the personal is political, and it will be very interesting to hear about your experience of becoming a mother, and how it impacts on your thinking, and how your thinking impacts on your mothering. I found that my blog became a very useful space for reflection, ‘though my children were school aged by the time I started it, and I found that other people valued my reflections too. Plus there will be other new mothers who will want to hear from another new mother, someone who is finding her way into being a mother to her particular child.

    The advertising pull-apart sounds like a good project too. And of course, anything else you care to write about.

    • doctorpen Says:

      Thanks Deborah! Yes, you’re right – I think it could provide a very valuable space for reflection – and allow me to share my thoughts/experiences with other new mothers. It’s always encouraging to know you’re not the only one going through something… Thank you for commenting. I’m inspired to keep going when I know that people are reading. :) Cheers.

  2. Melissa Says:

    Hi,
    I have been reading your blog for quite awhile and have wanted to contact you but haven’t been able to find out a contact email for you. I am working on my dissertation on postfeminist composition studies (I am in the U.S.) and am interested in talking to other researchers/theorists who do work on postfeminism. It is a very little researched/talked about seriously topic here in the U.S. but I have seen some interesting international work on the subject, like your own. I was wondering why this is true and if there is a wave of research on the subject I am unaware of….
    Thanks,
    Melissa
    melissa_miles@yahoo.com

    • doctorpen Says:

      Hello! So sorry for the very late reply!!

      It seems to be an emerging field. When I was finishing my dissertation a couple of books came out on the topic (so annoying when people beat you to it!) and it’s gaining momentum. I think the UK has more than the US at this point. And I know of at least two other Australian researchers who focus on postfeminism. Drop me a line at: drpen AT gmail and I can give you more details. :) THanks for getting in touch.

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