A few years ago, I had a student walk into my Intro to Women’s Studies class – late – on the very first day. She was a non-traditional student, probably older than me by ten years. As is expected for first day “ice breakers,” I asked my students why they were taking my class, what they thought feminism means, etc. This student offered to start the conversation. She asked: My religion tells me that I should submit to my husband, and I believe my religion. Can I still be a feminist?
I’d never been asked a question like that before, and it was jarring, sure, but I knew the answer: Yes, of course you can!
This is perhaps an odd way to begin a post about the “authenticity” of being a writer, and yet, it isn’t. A few weeks ago, someone commented that Starcherone wasn’t a “legit” publisher. A couple weeks ago, the BlazeVOX scandal hijacked the writer blogworld. The issue of legitimacy came up again and again. Last week, an anonymous blogger made the argument that I participate in some type of elite cronyism because I said I don’t like to submit to journals. All of these events circle around the question of legitimacy and authenticity. And I wonder: what the fuck does it really matter?