When we moved to London, we had two young children. I spent the kids’ nap times writing letters to friends about comparative culture and politics. My husband thought I should blog it. It was 2006, when blogs were booming. I thought I was too busy—and then we got pregnant with twins, that was 4 babies in 5 years, and I really was too busy. I didn’t act on his advice until 2010.
That blog begot my freelance career a few years later. After our move back home and growing annoyance with the technical shortcomings of Blogger, I left An American Housewife in London for a plain An American Housewife here at WordPress.
Looking back, I probably should’ve stayed. People liked the title. Casual comparative culture and politics is interesting, and I can still do those posts from personal experience. (I fly back to London occasionally because I, conveniently, started working with a London company the spring after our return to Houston.) While there are many things I love about being home in Texas, I miss being An American housewife in London, so I borrowed my post-repatriation title from my old blog for part of my tag line.
I had been blogging for about a year when Yasha made a trip to Turkey. While there, he had some time to catch up on reading his wife’s blog. He couldn’t. On March 31, 2011, I got this email from him:
You are apparently banned in Turkey. If I try to access the blog from outside our VPN, through a Turkish ISP, then I get this message: Bu siteye erişim mahkeme kararıyla engellenmiştir. Google translations thinks this means something like “by court order this site is barred”.
In the months prior, I had posted many links to stories about brave Muslim women such as, Shaista Gohir and Veena Malik. Those posts bounced around Turkey. For a short while I had close to a third, a third, and a third traffic for the UK, US, and Turkey. But someone didn’t like that. My old blog was not only blocked, but also someone made a fraudulent copyright claim against that blog for credited excerpts from The Times of London. Yasha hasn’t been back to Turkey in a while so I don’t know if this blog is blocked, though I’ve not stopped writing about brave women so it is a good bet.
In 2014, the censoring powers in Turkey got tired of trying to block all sorts of little sources of inconvenient information, so they started blocking Twitter. This will not likely succeed. As for me, getting blocked in Turkey was one of those moments when I realized I must be doing something right, blogging wise. We are known by our friends and our adversaries.
I’ve been looking for a tagline for a while. I already had it.
UPDATE: As of May 2105, Persephone (one of my sister-in-laws) tells me that my tagline remains accurate. I am still blocked in Turkey.