About This Blog
About This Blog
I took a two-year hiatus because I was sick of blogging. I am not sure if I’m coming back. Once I remembered my email password and got in there, I found A LOT of people thanking me for leaving the blog up even though I wasn’t writing anymore. So as long as I can afford the domain, I’ll keep it up. And as long as it’s up, it’s representing me, so I need to maintain it here and again.
I’ve removed the “Runaway Slave” headline. There was a time when that meant a lot to me, meant more than the super valid criticisms that it was gross appropriation. Apologies for the gross appropriation. It wasn’t cool. When I started this blog, my alias was Harriet Jacobs. That meant a lot to me at the time, too. I also didn’t expect this blog to be read by anybody, so didn’t think too critically about what my alias or theme would mean to others. Eventually I changed it to Harriet J, in respect to the fact that, seriously? Harriet Jacobs? No. But I don’t think that’s distanced me enough from the original disrespectful alias, and people who didn’t really know the blog still (not incorrectly) assumed it was just short for Harriet Jacobs, and republished me that way.
So, now it’s Harriet Jay, which is hopefully a full enough name by itself to not have people calling me Harriet Jacobs anywhere anymore. I’ll try to update it on the blog where I run across it. The sidebar picture will take longer, because I completely forget how I made that and/or if I have any originals around. And, again, sorry for the gross, dopey white girl appropriation, and the white woman’s tears defending it. That was a time in my life where, well, that’s where I was. I’m not there now, and I will keep trying to find ways to figure my shit out without doing it on the backs of other people’s history.
Keeping the name Fugitivus, though, because jesus, I’m not buying another domain.
I updated my blogroll to reflect the things I currently read. That’s pretty much my whole criteria. Some are super NSFW, so watch out. I’ve added some blogs about sex work. If those blogs see an uptick in shitty people saying shitty things as a result, I’ll take them off the blogroll, and block whoever acted like a shit from my blog. That goes for the rest of the blogs, too, but feminists seem to combust on sex work blogs at a pretty high rate, so mentioning it specifically.
That’s it for now.
My original About This Blog is below. That was written the first day I started this blog, and a lot of things have changed since then. I wanted to address a few questions that get asked a lot, and also add a few things. None of this is in any particular order.
- I write from my own experience. It’s all I know. My own experience is white, female, middle-class, cis, and presenting heterosexual. So my posts are about a white, female, middle-class, cis, and presenting heterosexual worldview. I try not to address experiences outside of mine, because I feel like that’s appropriating a life that I don’t have and will never truly experience. If you have a different worldview, please feel free to share it. If something here makes you feel constrained from sharing your worldview, I would like to know (you don’t have to tell me — you’re under no obligation). It may be something I can change, or at least address. But in the meantime, understand that I do realize other types of people and experiences exist (usually — I fuck up plenty), but am consciously not addressing those experiences, because they are not mine and I do not know them well enough to assume I can discuss them adequately.
- You do not have the right to comment, and I do not have the duty to publish your comments. You also don’t have the right to an explanation as to why your comment isn’t being published — if I don’t like talking to you, or hearing you talk, I’m not going to talk to you more or offer you additional opportunities to speak. People who repeatedly attempt to comment and always get deleted (or people who have been banned) go directly to my spam filter. After that, I never read your comments again, which means you are free to write as many letters to the internet as you like, if that is what is working for you.
- When I started this blog, I was re-reading Harriet Jacob’s “Incidents In the Life of a Slave Girl.” I had also just discovered the word and the meaning behind the word “Fugitivus.” I was on the verge of creating a new blog, and was trying to think of a title and some acceptable, easy-to-remember, and possibly descriptive psuedonyms for myself and my ex-husband, who I knew I would talk about a lot. It all fit together nicely, so I called my blog Fugitivus, called myself Harriet, and called my ex Flint. I never expected this blog to get popular — it was just going to be my online diary — and if I had known, I don’t think I would have chosen that name. It bothers me that my blog comes up in google searches for “Harriet Jacobs”; she and I shouldn’t ever be on the same page together. It is what it is now, but just so you know, yeah, I have considered that it’s distasteful to name myself after a real slave, and I wouldn’t have done it if I knew that people would actually come round here calling me Harriet. This blog was really just supposed to be read by my mom and my boyfriend.
- I don’t edit posts. I like maintaining an accurate record of who I am and what I think. Sometimes who I was and what I thought is embarrassing to me, but I think it’s hypocritical to try and erase that evidence. I want to remember my mistakes. You will occasionally see old posts from me where I said something offensive, and was called out. I will never delete the offensive thing I said (likewise, I won’t delete the calling out). I don’t want to make it easy for myself or others to believe that I don’t harbor all sorts of bad prejudices. I also find the calling out to be really instructive, and find it just as useful to re-read those old comments as I do to re-read the things I used to say or think before I got schooled. In real life, if I were to say something hurtful to another person, that would never go away. I could apologize and try to make it right, but they would never trust me as much as they once had, and they shouldn’t. I don’t want to erase that consequence, especially now that people read my blog and like it. Some people really like me and really like my writing. I never want them to like me so much that they think I do no wrong, or defend me when I have. Everybody fucks up, and everybody is responsible for making their own amends.
- The one exception to my No Editing rule involves my new job, which has some highly confidential aspects to it. So you will occasionally see [redacted] pop up in old entries.
- Commenters are allowed to disagree with something I have said, or my take on a subject, provided they do so in a respectful way. “I disagree with what you’ve said,” “Let me explain where I’m coming from,” “Have you considered looking at it another way?” are respectful modes of disagreement. “You are wrong and stupid,” is not.
- Because this is my space, and because I have complete control over who gets to speak here, I extend my standards to others. I won’t allow other comments to speak to others in a way I would not allow them to speak to me. Respectful disagreement is fine. Insults are not. If you don’t know the difference, or are thinking up some wild hypothetical examples to illustrate for me why my personal standards are illogical, this is not the space for you.
- If you are seriously confused about what kind of commenting standards I have, but would genuinely like to learn more, I suggest reading some AA materials. I try to run my comment threads like AA runs a meeting. No cross-talk, no advice (unless asked for), and no judgments.
- There is one exception to this. Because this is a feminist blog, there are some things you are not allowed to disagree about, even respectfully. In this space, nobody is responsible for their own rapes, not even in the tiniest way. In this space, every woman has the right to access reproductive care (you can be personally pro-life here, but you cannot be politically pro-life). In this space, racism is acknowledged as alive and well and permeating almost every aspect of everybody’s lives. In this space (though I fuck this up sometimes), trans people deserve as much respect and consideration as cis people (please let me know if I’m fucking this up, I know I have a history of it). In this space, nobody is responsible for their own abuse, not even in the tiniest way. In this space, it is acknowledged that sexism is alive and well and permeating almost every aspect of everybody’s lives. In this space, women’s experiences are acknowledged as real and legitimate (men’s, too, but we talk about women a lot more). In this space, biological or evolutionary explanations for behavior are considered to be socially motivated. If you disagree with any of these statements, this is not the space for you.
- You are allowed to reproduce anything I have written here. Please just note where it came from. I wouldn’t have put it on the internet without understanding that it’s now public domain, so you don’t have to ask. Sometimes letting me know what you did with it is nice — my writing sometimes gets to places I would never imagine — but you don’t have to do that either.
- You can email me at harrietj at fugitivus.net. I don’t always respond. Sometimes I’m busy and sometimes I get emailed a lot.
- I don’t have a wishlist, and I don’t really need donations (though it’s awfully sweet whenever somebody offers). If you really feel a need to donate somehow, I suggest donating to your local rape crisis center or battered women’s shelter. The National Network of Abortion Funds could always use donations, too.
Original About This Blog
The title of this blog is Fugitivus. The Romans would brand this word, usually shortened to FUG, on the foreheads of slaves who had run away from their masters. I can’t think of a better collection of personal qualities than those that would exist in a slave who has run from their master. The term “fugitivus” has personal meaning to me; I ran away from an abusive home as a child, and I left an abusive marriage as an adult. Since then, there have been various smaller escapes; from friends who can’t cope with their own pain or my freedom from abuse, from ingrained concepts of worthlessness and self-hate, from the idea of a future I never really wanted, from a country whose ideology is as abusive as anything my husband or family could dish out. I view my life as one long jailbreak, day by day attempting to shed one chain or another, until eventually, inevitably, I shed the concept of fugitivus as well. Because who wants to be a fugitive all their lives?
My username is Harriet J, an homage to the author of an autobiography of a life in and escape from slavery. Harriet Jacobs was a helluva woman, and I don’t mean to insinuate that I have experienced a tenth of what she did, or have a tenth of the steel trap balls. But she’s worth admiring, as a slave who ran away from her master, as a woman who escaped sexual exploitation, who fought even being purchased by friends who would free her, because that would be admitting her life was a good to be bought and sold. I’m not trying to build up a comparison, even metaphorically. I’m just trying to tell you that Harriet Jacobs is the shit.
About myself: I’m a mid-twenties white girl living in the Midwest. I work mostly as a paper-pusher in the government, but am occasionally exposed to spicier things.
I’ve had a fucked-up life, and I wanted a space to talk where the fucked-up people who did the fucked-up things couldn’t find me and be creepy.
I am a firm believer in the idea of information and communication, and through my experiences, I tend to think the majority of fucked-up things continue to happen unabated because nobody wants to talk about them. The desire to cover our ears and eyes and mouth is just another master I’m trying to escape.