Looking for Not a Dirty Word? Don’t worry, you’re in the right place.
As you already figured out, Not a Dirty Word has been reinvented as Talkin’ Reckless. Here’s the deal: I’ve been thinking an awful lot about my professional/public web presence. As an online communications professional and so-called social media “specialist,” it’s important to have a curated online footprint that represents the image I would like the public, including potential employers and colleagues, to see. I want a blog to be part of that footprint, but I wasn’t sure that Not a Dirty Word fit the bill as it was. It was a little too political, a little too “in your face,” to represent my public image.
The second reason I made the change is that I wanted the blog title to be about more than just gender and sex. Feminism, women’s health, reproductive rights, sex education, and health communication are still my primary topics of interest. However, a slightly more vague title gives me the freedom to talk about a wider variety of topics. So, for instance, if I want to talk about Jewish issues, labor issues, animal rights issues, etc., it wont feel out of place.
I discussed this idea in a thread on Facebook. John, a good friend and faithful reader, wrote:
I’ll be sad to see Not A Dirty Word go. Taking it down to be more public-image-friendly seems to kill the thing that made it special, and to be admitting that they are dirty words. If they weren’t, would you still be inclined to change the title?
Here’s my response.
First of all, I’m not taking the site down. It’s still here, and all the old content is still here. I’m also going to continue blogging about feminist issues, sexual health issues, and other controversial topics. The main difference is that the site title and layout (bye-bye Not a Dirty Word banner) wont be so BAM! IN YO FACE!, and I might blog about other topics too.
I don’t think that by changing the title I am admitting that things like “sex” or “abortion” are dirty words. They’re not. I’m still going to use them – a lot. I suppose it’s the classic dilemma: do you choose to work within the system, or fight the system? By changing the name to something less IN YO FACE!, I am making a choice to work more within the system. For two reasons:
- I worried that the former layout and its emphasis on these emotionally triggering words was actually turning people away. One or two people told me that they didn’t feel they could read Not a Dirty Word at work because the banner was a bit too attention-grabbing in the wrong way. I could also see people who weren’t totally comfortable with those words being disinclined to read the blog. Hopefully, with a more vague but still totally awesome blog name, I will eliminate that barrier and gain some new readers.
- The second reason is about pragmatism and caution. The reality is that I am not a famous or successful blogger, nor am I independently wealthy, and I still rely on people hiring me in order to live. If I want to give myself the best shot at a career, it’s probably not the best strategy to have a public blog with all those words at the top, no matter how NOT DIRTY they are.
I hope my reasoning has made sense an that you will stick with me and this blog even if you don’t support my decision. As much as I am sad to see “Not a Dirty Word” go, I’m really excited about the new name. As my friend Aimee said, “Talkin’ Reckless” has a “renegade, badass feel.” I couldn’t agree more. In early 2009, I was teaching in an alternative high school program for at-risk youth. After telling my journalism class that I expected them to try writing a blog post, one student responded, “Ms. B, you talkin’ reckless.” He was right. I do talk reckless, and that isn’t going to stop. I’m just going to do it a little more carefully.