Are you ready for this? This is The Sin City Siren’s ninth birthday!
That’s right. The Sin City Siren started on May 6, 2007 – a month before the first iPhones went on sale and the same summer that J.K. Rowling released Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was also the same year that No Country for Old Men, Juno, and There Will Be Blood were released. And 2007 was the year that some guy named Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize.
If I’m being honest, I can hardly believe The Siren is nine years old. It’s the longest I’ve ever worked at the same job and it’s a job I made for myself! (That’s still true even if you subtract the yearlong hiatus I took in 2014-15.) The fact is I’ve spent almost the entirety of my 30s with you, dear readers. (I turn 40 this fall!) This blog has been part of my identity — pre- and post-baby, through lawsuits, activism, and syndication. More than anything, The Siren has been the proving ground where my mettle has been tested again and again. This is where I have stood vigilant against ignorance and fearmongers and those who threaten violence in an attempt to silence the people and ideas that disquiet the powerful and disrupt the status quo.
I don’t know if it’s a testament to my staying power or a sign that I don’t know when to quit (probably both), but for better or worse The Sin City Siren is one of the defining experiences of my adult life. I say experience, but really this has been a relationship. I’ve always thought of The Siren as more of a conversation – a give and take. In the age of social media, a click is never simply a static destination. Maybe I get the ball rolling with a campaign or a silly video, but really we’re all in this vehicle moving together toward (hopefully) a better understanding of this thing called life. There are times when I plant guideposts along the way, because there’s something really important worth seeing or discussing. It doesn’t all come from me, though. I am always listening, even if you think I’m not. As proof of that, my thinking on some issues has evolved over the years. And I’ve pushed at times when I think apathy or manipulative machinations is hurting the cause.
Still, I really can’t tell you how I have managed to keep The Sin City Siren going for nearly a decade when most bloggers quit in the first six months. Being stubborn helps. Having a truly loyal and supportive fan base helps the most – and I thank you for that!
It hasn’t been easy being The Siren. There have been some scary and powerful trolls out there. I’ve taken the heat because I refuse to be silenced and because I fight for those who do not have a voice — the Lorax of the abused. While I don’t speak for all survivors of sexual assault, I believe in the power of speaking my truth out loud. I believe in the power of coming out, if you will, because I am not ashamed of what was done to me. And I believe that if raising my voice has helped even one victim by validating their anger, by encouraging them to stand up when they’ve been beaten down, or to simply decide to keep breathing – then every piece of wrath and hate mail I’ve ever received is absolutely worth it. I never wanted to share my personal history of violent trauma, but I have found some kind of meaning to it in becoming an advocate. It’s a heavy mantel that chafes a raw edge, but the flipside is that now anyone who has found this blog can’t say they don’t know someone who has survived that bloody knuckle fight. You know me.
I have no idea what will happen next for me or for The Siren except to say I see no reason not to keep going. I’m still outraged and I still care too damn much to quit now. Whatever youthfulness I lose every year I get older, I find a really satisfying sense of ease taking its place. There is something delicious about realizing your own power and not feeling intimidated by the possibilities. I dont know when it happened, but it’s a very liberating place to be. I guess when you’ve had everything about you criticized and trolled and threatened for this long, it has the unintended consequence of releasing you from worrying about wherher that will happen. (It will!) I’m sure the internet is not done shoveling shit in my direction. I just don’t see any reason to let that stop me. I feel like we’re just getting to the good part of this conversation, Sirens. Don’t you?
Besides, how can I stop when my 10th anniversary is in sight? Let’s pencil in plans for a 10th anniversary party in 2017!