This letter was so out of character with all the other stuff in my mailbox, and so unexpected, that I was taken aback. I’m so used to threats and hatred and ranty angry petty bullshit pouring in that I was left confused and wondering how to reply.
Dear PZ Myers,
I read your blog. The place from which I love and appreciate your blog is deep, deep within this 59 year old woman’s self. I started reading your blog because of my interest in science. I am an amateur follower of anthropology news and started out reading John Hawks’ blog, then somehow ended up at Panda’s Thumb and then at your blog; and those 3 blogs still remain a core reading set for me.
But your blog has held me captive more intensely than any other and I return to it “religiously” in ways I don’t with the others. The reason being–you publicly stand as an ally of women and feminism. That is a new thing to see happen in the world and was not around when I was growing up and attending schools. It was deeply longed for, though.
I do not comment on internet sites but I wanted to let you know in a private setting how much I appreciate your fierce defense of women and feminism. I have sent your link to many friends.
BTW–I love this idea of Atheism+! I love the strong women I read about within this new push for social justice in atheist/skeptic movements. I was so let down by Dawkins’ reaction to Rebecca Watson. It was your defense of her that gained my trust and secured me as a repeat visitor to your blog. And your continued tough support has kept me reading you. I find it so healing to see a man choose to lend his influence in public support of women/feminism under attack. Girlhood in the catholic church, in a catholic family, in the world at large, leaves many patriarchal wounds that would like to be healed, even the ones we have blown off as we stomp our way through survival. For that is what we mostly do–we survive and find the ways we can best thrive by creating the love and nurturing we always wanted, despite the awfulness.
Wait, wait…there’s something. Something from a long, long time ago. My mother might have told me how I was supposed to respond when someone says something nice, but man, that’s been ages and I’m struggling to remember it. Something complicated? Something really tricky and difficult?