Ahhhh, Nipplegate 2012 (or, as someone near and dear to me called it, “Nips for Dips”) . . . how you piss me off and delight me all at once.
I’m pissed because an important voice in, advocate for, and leader of the FS community has been told that her awesome blog is just a tad too personal for the likes of the FS blog-roll and that her writing about things like nipples might not “resonate” with folks looking to join the FS. Mind you, she’s been told this by people who aren’t actually in the FS so how, on this gorgeous and vast green earth, they can decide what it is folks in the FS can relate to is entirely beyond me and it leaves me somewhere between scratching my head in confusion and wanting to give some sort of low, guttural, straight from the stomach frustration filled grunt/scream/crazy giggle.
However, it delights me because I’ve seen fellow FS bloggers not just express support for Jen (who details the difficulties caused by the word “nipple” here) but take action to demonstrate their support and friendship. They’ve used humor, stories, and blog postings–and they’ve expressed their friendship, frustration, and anger in ways that make me proud to be a member of this community.
I was reminded today by someone I call a friend, despite the fact that we’ve never met, of a remarkable coincidence. I gave birth to our third child in Malta because my father, now retired from the FS, and step-mother were posted there when we were living in Guinea. During this time this woman and I e-mailed back and forth because she and her husband were preparing for a posting to Malta and I was doing what folks in the FS do, answering questions and giving my opinion on various things about the country. Fast forward. We discovered, not very long ago, that she and I gave birth to our youngest children not just in the same hospital, with the same doctor, but also on the same day exactly one year apart–in Malta. How cool is that? In what other lifestyle could you tell a story like that?
My point is that we in the FS community are bonded in special ways even though many of us have never met, we’re there for each other, we have each other’s backs. We will stand firmly behind Jen now, and whenever we need to in the future, and shout out “NIPPLE!” to whomever questions our relevance to the Foreign Service. Don’t like my opinion? NIPPLE! Think I’m too mouthy for the FS? NIPPLE! Think I should write less about, say, how we helped our daughter deal with bullying and, say, more about the gorgeous rainforests of Costa Rica? NIPPLE! NIPPLE! NIPPLE! These are our blogs, our lives, our experiences–take em or leave em. Nipple. Dammit.
And, now, for your listening pleasure . . . (don’t listen if you have a problem with foul language because the song is pretty much filled with it but Mr. Minchin is awesome and it’s just too perfect not to post–how can I pass up a song about boobs right now?)