We were floored this week by the posts we came across on WordPress.com. This community is full of different voices: bold, opinionated, and honest. You take risks and put yourselves out there. You offer perspectives on issues that matter to you. You use your blogs and websites as platforms to share your insights and musings with others.
If you’re looking for reading material, here are four recent posts to consider:
I have been Muslim for about two and a half years now. About 6 months after that, I began dressing more modestly, wearing long sleeves, looser fitting clothes, etc. I knew then that I would eventually want to/ need to wear a hijab, but wasn’t ready for that.
The writer at Meditations of a Muslimah explores life as an American Muslimah. In this post, she describes how she’s thought about wearing hijab for a long time, but has always come up with excuses: it could be a distraction at work, where she deals with clients in social work, as well as in her community. “Living in the ‘Bible Belt,’ people can be pretty judgmental here,” she writes, “though they won’t always admit it or blatantly say it to your face.” Writing with both eloquence and honesty, she concludes that these are all just excuses — “excuses for not doing what I’m supposed to do.”
As such, I’m not sure I would go as far as to say that gay celebrities have a social or moral duty to be open about their sexuality. But I am prepared to argue that by refusing to acknowledge that they are gay — or that once, not that long ago, they were scared to admit it in public — they’re perpetuating an inhibiting and heteronormative status quo.
It’s film awards season, and last Sunday Hollywood rolled out the red carpet at the Golden Globes ceremony. In a personal and emotional acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award, actress Jodie Foster talked about a whole life lived in the public eye — and the value of privacy. Josef Church-Woods, a writer at LGBTICONS, appreciates Foster’s speech: “We need all the positive, gay role models we can get, flying the flag for ‘modern families’ and the notion that love is love, regardless of sexuality.” But he goes on to explain how important it is for public personas to speak up — and to see that talking freely about sexual orientation doesn’t imply an invasion of privacy.
Social agents constantly feed the young with sugar-coated phrases. You may have heard them before; they appear on posters sold in stores that target teachers. “You are special,” “The world is your oyster,” “You are unique,” etc. Everyone is being told they are special. Everyone is unique.
Michelle, the university student behind The Grumpy Giraffe, tackles social issues, particularly in education, and we enjoyed reading her take on individualism, entitlement, and today’s youth. She is critical of educators who “feed pretty phrases” to students, making them believe they’re innately special, and urges them to provide specific, behavior-targeted feedback instead of meaningless phrases that set up students to fail.
Two months into our new life in Munich, two months after burying our son in another country, and my parents have not contacted us yet.
From the very beginning, we were locked in to Melissa’s personal, sad, but beautiful piece at Melissa Writes of Passage about grief and dealing with the death of a son. Intimate and painful, she tells a story that has to be told, with honesty and carefully crafted dialogue. She also writes about how things are not said: parents and friends who keep their distance — who give her breathing space — when the opposite is needed and craved. “If we think it’s better we all pretend nothing happened, and that we as friends are safer staying far away, we are also terribly mistaken.”
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For more inspiration, check out our writing challenges, photo challenges, and other blogging tips at The Daily Post; visit our Recommended Blogs; and browse the most popular topics in the Reader. For editorial guidelines for Freshly Pressed, read: So You Want To Be Freshly Pressed.
Love the range Cheri… Impressive and distinct.
Thanks, Cheri, for these sensitive and thoughtful choices. I want to read all three!
Again, not a single poet. We do have some good ones here, you know.
Your neglect of poets continues! Here’s one that deserves to be featured http://shonadaowna.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/i-will-kill-my-rapist/
I liked the silence for gays one, but I’m curious about something. Why do celebrities need to speak out when we can start in our own communities? I bet if at least one person in each community started a protest or an awareness group we would be heard. It’s a long shot but hey it takes one to be heard and many to make a change. Oh and why not also start with our youth? I mean it is the youth who make and break a society. So teens could start groups in their schools about the gay situation or any for that matter.
The knee-jerk response is that blogging is for egoists, so nice to see that the people inside the blogging world have real values. It’s been a real eye-opener for me to join in this kind of conversation. At its best it touches the soul, which is a good ambition to have.
Blogging isn’t for “egoists” in many cases. It’s for people who feel they have something to share with others. One big reason why I like to blog is I want to start conversation and interraction and on variety of topics.
In reply to ‘silence of the gays’ – I have to say that in my personal opinion whether a celebrity or not, you should have the right as a human being to be who you want to be/are, being gay isn’t something you wake up one day and decide. I understand that a lot of celebrities wouldn’t want to ‘come out’ as they’re probably worried that it would ruin their reputation, and they’d be less respected by the population, it’s horrible really to think that these days society is so f****d that people can’t even be true to themselves for fear of how others will see them.
So how does one get freshly pressed and who decides? I was asked recently by someone how they could get freshly pressed and my response was I have no idea. The I see some blogs by people who have been freshly pressed several times. It can’t be because my posts are boring, I get lots of likes. So it really is a mystery. Perhaps a bribe. Though after 2 and half years on WP, I won’t hold my breath for it to happen.
I enjoyed reading the post about the woman’s journey into Islam and her decision to cover. It’s definitely refreshingly to get an “insider’s” perspective — as in college I had a friend who was born into Islam but only started covering after her 2nd year, and I always wondered why…since she was Americanized did she want the freedom not to? Well as it turns out it’s all about the freedom to express religio-social traditions and go on a truly spiritual journey and awareness of self. It was nicely written!
Great picks. The Cult of Individualism: I’m Special and You’re Not; and Disregard, Dissociation, Distance these are worth reading. Thanks.