There is the pc version answer to this question, which I hear myself giving when I don’t know someone too well, when I am completely sober, when it’s been 24 hours without a confrontation about gender discrimination that ended as blindly as it began.
The PC version goes something like this:
I went to Mills for my MFA. There was a very supportive and female-centered atmosphere there and my writing and my sense of self benefited from it. After graduating, I lost that. I had trouble finding a similar dynamic in the literary scene of the bay area, a place where I felt belonging and had a voice. I had the sense, and then the verification, that others felt the same. We were in need of a space such as this, a place where a community of people who identify as feminist or want to explore what it might look like to engage with feminist notions in their creative\critical work can do so. SO I created that space.
My California friends nod their heads. The people who know me are quite impressed with my transformation. My ability to, as I call it, “coast switch.” I can almost blend in. My New York friends are confused. What the hell happened to her? They ask.
The Un-PC version goes something like this:
These “talentless peni” that run the literary scene in the bay area were driving me to regress in my humanity. Attending and trying to infultrate their readings and series led me to drinking, throwing lilac colored shoes Austin-Power’s-style at white boys’ heads, being completely uninspired to write and walking around with a face that was constantly twisted into the uncomfortable place it goes when all of its sensory organs are trying to pile up on top of each other to escape the smell of a particularly offensive and stagnating fart. After telling off plenty of turds and burning a significant amount of rickety ass bridges because the dynamics they were perpetuating were not only invisable to them but they had no desire to see anything besides their own pumped up images and the squimish blonds they populated the space with to further create an image that they mattered at all, I started LIMINAL to preserve my insanity and keep me from mauling people on the regular.
I was tired of hearing the same people talk. It is time for different voices to get some airtime.