I often wonder about pieces which are critical, topics that are taboo in a community and the consideration that needs to be given when publishing a piece of writing.
For example, a particular outlet published a piece on FGM a while back that I was then told was originally written by and for a particular community. The article was picked up by said outlet and I felt it contributed to stereotyping and generating racism toward Muslim women. Written for an entirely different audience, it missed the mark when published by a mainstream publication in a different country.
I remember I created this blog with the sole intention of hosting my own thoughts, for me. That I found a (very modest) audience has been gratifying, but I haven’t sought out the mainstream in any real way aside from one or two half-hearted attempts at being published on White alternative news sites.
I have ideas for really large stories, or pieces that are critical, or pieces that are opinionated and it always comes down to where I should publish. Do I go for community publications like Tracker, Koori Mail, NIT or do I try to get published in things like The Guardian, Crikey, New Matilda and the like? This debate always makes me second guess – Who am I writing for? How do I reach them? What is my motivation for writing this?
If I write something exposing a taboo subject, or something that is critical of a community norm – Am I exposing the community to an unwanted and unduly harsh outsider gaze? Is my opinion reaching the community?
Legitimacy is also a consideration for me. Do people in our communities seek out opinions that have been legitimised by the mainstream? If so, do I then have to write in the mainstream to reach them?
It’s a fine line between wanting to be recognised for your work and pitching your work at who you want to be the ultimate reader. I guess that is the problem with being part of the ‘minority’…
Would love to hear more thoughts on the matter from those around me. Let’s start a discussion on this.