LEXI ABRAMS on the anonymous gay blogger who is just “crying out for attention.”
Writing is one of the most productive and cathartic activities possible for the inhibited student. It allows one’s innermost thoughts and feelings to glide proudly onto paper, creates a reality out of an overflowing imagination, and provides an endless forum for debate. Most importantly, it cries out for attention. Especially when posted expectantly on the 21st Century’s Speakers’ Corner: the internet.
This week Cambridge was rocked by the appearance of Joseph Jezabel. A fictional character brave enough to be honest about the lives of the clever little souls of tab students. He has taken the stage and ignited what can only be described as a pointless – but oh so interesting – revolution. Last year, one fearless girl showed the world that Oxbridge students do know how to have fun. Her blog ‘Sex at Oxbridge’ stirred up media controversy and outrage among the not-so-proud parent circles. That students who should spend their entire early adult lives gracefully engrossed in books (we are the cream of the crop, after all) are having sex and writing about it!
To be honest, these blogs are hardly that outrageous. Yes, their subjects are slightly too contentious for the innocent and humble mind of the average Oxbridge student, but there is nothing that scandalous divulged. Jezabel describing how, “I was getting turned on and could feel my erect cock pressing against my boxers”, may be entertaining, but it is generally uncomfortable – and pointless. He is writing for the book deal rather than to express his sexuality. Does he not realize that his attempts to make being gay ‘okay’ are hindered by his fear of revealing the truth about his identity?
Indeed, the anonymity of both writers is detrimental, creating a barrier between them and the real world, a gap waiting to be filled by the reader’s imagination. No one knows who they are, so they can say and do as they like. The likelihood is that such blogs are written by shy young boys in between rounds of World of Warcraft, sitting in their dark rooms and shrinking away from the sunlight of real life. They have probably never even had sex. Their blogs are a way for them to get them attention and potential cash, whilst keeping them mollycoddled from the world, wrapped up in a blanket of anonymity.
Nothing is more liberating than remaining unknown and having the freedom to say and do what exactly as you feel, without the judgemental hand of recognition squashing your activities. After all, as this column proves every week, people love to attack someone with ‘a name and face’. All one has to do is read the comments I receive to realize this – I have even been compared to Hitler and Stalin! No one would be brave enough to be so candid in their blogs if their names and faces were to be put at risk.
Obviously, us ‘writers’ are out for one thing, and one thing only – attention. Perhaps those too afraid to reveal their identity should realize that the beauty of literature is that it is a river of expression, allowing one’s ideas to float in whichever direction they wish. If one can articulate oneself in such a way, why hide the person behind the words?