I went to a party last Thursday, a party unlike any I had been to before. The Valentines Day Feminist Love In was a Twitter party. I took a bottle of sloe wine and my home made coffee and walnut cake and sat down by my laptop. For nearly an hour I chatted listened to music and had a fun time. Afterwards i reflected on what I have got out of Twitter.
I was late to Twitter and, I have to admit, shared some of the popular prejudices about it, dumbing down and so on. After all what can you say in a 140 word sound bite? Then I thought that it might be useful to promote my writing or such of it has been published. So I signed up tweeted a few times and nothing happened, at least not until I started tweeting more often, following people interacting with them, and slowly getting a few followers. Very little of what I tweet has much to do with promoting my writing. Instead I have had an education through the people, mainly women, I speak to in this virtual world.
I never considered myself to have led a particularly sheltered life but have had my eyes opened, for example, to the battle for sex workers’ rights or to the joy and the pain of being a submissive woman. I have learned too that there are loads of clever passionate and committed people out there writing about sex and sexuality and the experience has changed me. I realise, as I didn’t before, how political many of the issues surrounding sexuality, male and female, are. I now find my views radically opposed to those of many people I socialise with and no longer bite my tongue at cheap comments about sex workers, gay men, submissives or whoever. I have been involved in more than one heated argument recently but don’t regret it.
Sexuality is a more wonderful thing than I ever imagined. I want to say thank you to those I talk to on Twitter, those whose blogs I read, for helping me to see this. Our sexuality is so wonderful that I wonder whether I could ever do it justice in fiction. But I’m determined to try.