Introducing R Answers

I wanted to introduce myself to you all. I’m R, and I’m going to be writing a regular advice column for the blog, starting as soon as you ask me to.

I would forgive you for thinking that advice columns are trashy and exploitative crap, but obviously, I disagree. My love of advice columns and agony aunts has been a long one; from the time my body drove like a truck into the brick wall of puberty there has been something comforting in reading about other people’s problems. Perhaps, as a lonely child, the feeling of closeness created by empathising with a stranger’s problem was what I cherished.

As the person on the other side of this column I want you to be under no false pretences: I have no relevant qualifications. None. In fact, for the past few years I have volunteered for a deliberately non-advisory listening service. I am unqualified, unemployed, and begging you not to believe that everything I say is necessarily correct. The best I am hoping to do here is give you the blunt opinion of a stranger who has only your word from which to assume what is best.

I’m excited about this column, in particular about it being on a feminist political blog because I think advice columns can be feminist. I am asking you to share your problems not just with me, but with other readers of this blog, to air your problems anonymously in a community of people who are all striving for something, and to make it known that awkwardness, sadness, silliness are all things which are not just allowed, but to be expected and embraced. This frankness can bring sustainability to feminism’s fierce drive for change.

Anyone still reading this (thanks!) might wonder what kinds of questions I will be answering. Anything! Ask me anything! Submit questions to questionsranswers@gmail.com. Ask me about your relationships, families, ambitions, about your essay, whether it’s ok to be uncomfortable in particular situations, or even if giving head makes you a bad feminist. I promise you that any question you have is something that someone else will want the answer to.

So that’s me. I can’t wait to hear from you!

R x

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