I had a dream. And considering the amount of negative comments encountered by women online these days, it is probably not a dream -or nightmare- that belongs to me alone.
I dreamt/dreamed that someone (male, I think) called me an impostor. Somehow a lot of women -professionals, artists- often seem to think that they don't have enough knowledge or skills or even talent to be doing what they are doing, that they will be "found out" by someone who will expose them for the charlatans -charlatanesses?- they are.
So I went over my qualifications carefully. I identify as a writer - a novelist and a poet. Okay - my MA was in Creative Writing. There's the academic qualification.
And I've even written. Poems in a number of journals. Edited and contributed to two anthologies. Wrote two novels and am working on the third of this trilogy. Gave workshops.
And I am fat, so I am not lying or pretending about my personal knowledge of what I write and teach.
So how could I be an impostor?
I came to the conclusion that perhaps it goes deeper than published work or a degree or teaching. It is something internal, something that the heckler was grabbing for. It is the utter confidence and conviction that one is what one is meant to be and what one helps the world by being.
So if the heckler and I hold different opinions about what is going to improve the world, but I follow mine up by writing about what I think will improve it, for him I am an impostor? If Fat Acceptance is my goal and not his..
You see where this could go.