I have not felt the inclination to write recently. There have been seismic shifts in my industry that have kept me from wanting to fill the pages of my blog with annoyance, frustration and fear. When Fosta/Sesta passed I think that I at least did not understand the full scope of what it would attempt to do our industry and our peers, especially those residing and working in the USA.
Now that many of us are not in such a reactionary state it is easier to see how these legislation effects will be felt in Australia and further afield. I think many people have decided to wait to see what happens rather than act in perpetual reaction. Many of us have set up protonmails, backed up websites, looked into alternative hosting etc. This tech knowledge and learning has taken up a lot of time for many of us and therefore our output has been lower. So this is the background to understand why writing blogs has been hard for me. If you would like to learn more about Fosta/Sesta then I suggest checking out some great podcasts about it such as the Reply All Podcast (although the name is hugely misleading), the Stuff Your Mom Never Told you podcast and the OurKink podcast. But basically by conflating sex trafficking and sex work, the new legislation makes tech companies liable for all the content they manage and make them liable for sex trafficking charges for hosting sex worker content. This is closing peoples websites, driving workers onto the street where they cannot screen in the ways they have in the past, shutting down screening websites, closing directories, all in the face of evidence that shows that since Craigs List started an adult section that domestic violence (including murder) dropped significantly. Let's not pretend this is about people's safety, this really is legislation dressed up as feminism which is about limiting people's choices. It's puritanical. It's dangerous and already workers have been killed due to this legislation.
In the last week, I have been to Bathurst to meet a wonderful gentleman and spent an inordinate amount of time indoors at the #Sydneywritersfest. I really enjoy visiting rural towns and you might see more of me going to rural towns in the upcoming month before I leave to return to London for July.
Bathurst is a really beautiful country city and the first white settler inland city . It was built during the gold rush, the Main Street, Keppel street has wonderful wrought iron street lamps and there are lots of colonial style building dating from around 1820-1860. I was brought up around Georgian buildings so these types of buildings make me feel quite nostalgic (with more than a hint of anger/sadness/remorse due to the colonial past). I will be back again soon.
I returned to Sydney to the Sydney Writers Festival. I was brought up in a bookshop so being surrounded by old and new tomes makes me feel both nourished and inspired. I made it to 6 talks over two days and every one was fascinating. In the last two years I have concentrated on reading and listening to voices of intersectional minorities over white male voices in terms of what I read and when I went to the Sydney Writers Festival I used the same premise. I mainly went to hear intersection POC writers covering topics such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait rights, optimism in the face of fundamentalism, grief and trauma, the queer and gay influences to their writing, science fiction. It was a fantastic festival, I only wish that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait topics were in larger venues as many of them sold out. Thank you for creating such a wonderful festival. Truly a joy to be at #nerdygirl