About twelve years ago I wrote a book about the experiences of women who had endured domestic violence. I prepared a proposal and three chapters and sent it off to a publisher. About a week later, I naively rung them to ask if they had a chance to review it. The woman at the end of the phone told me that it would never be published because I didn’t have ‘a profile’. She explained that I would need to produce an academically referenced text and prove my knowledge on the field before any of my writing would be considered. She wasn’t rude or condescending, just matter of fact. It was as if a microscope has been applied to the dysfunctional nature of my life to date, something that I had never taken full responsibility for, and all the gaps highlighted in neon yellow.
I was angry at first, but eventually embarked on a twelve year, sometimes turbulent but often affectionate, relationship with knowledge which reached its pinnacle yesterday. It was such an emotional moment for me, the girl who was told by her parents and teachers at the age of sixteen that she would ‘never amount to anything’, that I burst into tears. It’s been hard work and in the process I have become a different person, now I am on the brink of publishing a major theory in identity construction, I realise the journey adage ‘it’s not where you get to, it’s where you came from’ applies to me and my work. The two most important words I have learned during that time are: social construction.
The book is mostly written and is due for delivery to the publisher next year. In the meantime, I will adapt it and hone it and dedicate the work to every person everywhere who has been held down by assumptions about class, gender, sex and social status, and particularly women who suffer the medicalisation of natural transitions in women’s health.
I’m so grateful for the chance to do this, and for patience I learned along the way that has helped me to understand just that little more about life and truth.