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Women Helping Women

May 17, 2019

I taught her. Now she teaches me.

Dr. Roozehra Khan mentors the author in web publishing

Once upon a time I had a website. I started it in 2005 at the request of my students, who told me they wanted to know what I thought about things happening in our culture when we weren’t together in the classroom to discuss them.

So I started to blog. Built by two USC students, “The Adventures of Dr. Diana” focused on our society–advertising, films, current events–as interpreted through the lens of feminist theory by this academic feminist.

I nattered away in relative isolation, enjoying the outlet and the small community that grew around the website. Isolation, that is, until the day my friend Kelli called me and said, “there’s naked pictures of you on the 5 o’clock news.”

Thanks to boobs, particularly those attached to a scholar, the isolation ended and the world came gushing in. Over a million people clicked on my Flickr site, hoping to see “me,” I guess; truly what they were hoping to do was participate in a scandal, exercise their opinions, get out of themselves for a while.

Ultimately I didn’t mind, and in fact I enjoyed the ride, for a ride it was. Thousands of commenters appeared, journalists called, my university was forced to release a statement saying they were not the boob police (my rather fanciful paraphrase).

I kept blogging in the face of massive hatred and approbation, and gobs of love and approval too. The whole thing ended after a few years not with a bang, but a whimper, when the site got some STD, and I, too lazy to pursue a cure, let “The Adventures of Dr. Diana” sink into “404 Not Found.”

Each year, though, I renewed my precious domain name, dianablaine.com, because, for one, I didn’t want to find some reactionary troll pretending to be me, and secondly, I always wondered if the day would come when Dr. Diana would rise from the ash-heap of cyber history and soar again.

My friends, that day is at hand!

When the forces of the universe knocked and let me know I was to start to wade out into the fray again, I knew I would need help getting the website up and running. (And now Instagram! And Twitter! And even Facebook.) So I have been asking for it, and it has been coming

Yesterday one of my former students, Rozy, sat with me for three hours in a Dripp while we built (rebuilt?) my website. This website. The one that is making me smile right now. How I relished the time we spent together, Rozy and I, figuring things out, frustrated, relieved, laughing, high-fiving when one of the cyber-riddles was solved and we could log in. It was exhilarating (and exhausting–I’m not the young pup I was when I first had a blog). It was also in defiance of sexist patriarchal norms that relegate females to the domestic sphere, playing supporting roles to males and their offspring.

Did I mention that Rozy is now Dr. Roozehra Khan, physician and creator of TheFemaleDoc.com? She says I was an important touchstone on her road to owning her own life. That debt has been well repaid by yesterday’s mentoring of me, back on my road, further down than I was before, but definitely still on the journey!

Thank you Rozy! Thank you readers! I am looking forward to what the fates have in store for dianablaine.com this time around.

p.s. follow me on Instagram and Twitter @DianaYorkBlaine and Facebook too as soon as they approve my photo (I guess I have a reputation??)

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