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My Feature Story Idea - Feedback request

Dear all,
Thanks to all of you for your lovely comments and feedback on my recent adventure in NYC. You are all amazing and I love being a part of this.

My idea for a feature story was to discuss my experiences being here on this program. I wanted to talk about some of the relationships I have formed here and what I have learned from them. But the feature story is not written from a first person perspective so now I'm a bit lost. So please give any and all thoughts you may have on the following story angle:

My first idea was to write an inspirational story about my relationship with one, two or maybe all correspondents on this program. What I have learned about world affairs, about the long term impact of western foreign policy or even its corporate greed, on other countries and cultures; And how difficult it has been, at times, to hear some of the comments on this site concerning the west or the western people as a group. One comment in particular continues to rattle me to my core, in response to one of your stories, a reader congratulated the author on not letting the evils wished upon her land by the colonists get to her. Over and over I kept wondering why the woman commenting thought that the former colonists actually "wished evil" upon anyone. It has made me feel quite sick to think that there are people who believe this and I have spent a great deal of time trying to figure out if there is anything I can do to widen the perception of the west to include the good as well as the bad and the ugly.

To end the story I would talk about all the great work being done by women in America right now to raise the voices of other women around the world as well as our own. (World Pulse included) How there are many of us "westerners", who don't always get it right, but we are continuing to try and learn, a little more every day, on how best to work in concert with, in equal partnership with, in continued support and encouragement of, our sisters, our global family.

Any ideas on how I may be able to broach this subject? Should I include the stories of other correspondents in mine? with their permission of course! I really want to begin a conversation about this and just don't know how. If not for a feature story then maybe for something else down the road.

Okay, enough from me today. Thanks for listening!
Tina

Comments

jap21's picture

Hi Tina

Even if you don't decide to make it your feature story, I think it would be great that you write about your experience here, and specially your personal relationship with the correspondents. I encourage you to do it, as I think the result would be awesome, as has been each of your writings. You have a lovely, easy way to get to our hearts and minds.

So, even if just for fun, please produce that piece for all of us!

I don't have many ideas for feature stories, as I am kind of lost too. So I will leave to the more knowledgeable to make suggestions on the subject.

Lots of love and hugs to you,

Jackie

Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva
Tarija - Bolivia
South America
www.jap21.wordpress.com

Tina's picture

Thanks for your thoughts

Thanks for your thoughts Jackie. I think I shall leave this story until afterwards and think of something else for the feature.
Good luck with yours. I'm sure you will come up with something fascinating.

Nusrat Ara's picture

Dear Tina, I agree with

Dear Tina,

I agree with Jackie, It will make a great story . Do write it I mean if It can't make a feature story. I think it will make a good story in first person so you can save it for later, after you finish the current assignment.

Best of luck for both.

I am with Jackie. I don't have many ideas and I amlost too. YOu are not alone Jackie.

Love

Nusrat

Tina's picture

Thanks Nusrat. I shall save

Thanks Nusrat. I shall save it for another day. I'm sure you will think of something amazing for your feature story.
Can't wait to read it.
Tina

Maria de Chirikof's picture

Write it sometime

I think it will be a fascinating one to read whenever you write it! I think it is something we should all write too though on how meeting the amazing woman and reading their stories and getting to know them changed us.

For the feature one, maybe write up on the Irish/English conflicts a sort of then/now one since I know you are researching conflict resolution on that area so probably already have enough material to get an idea of a topic to write about.

Or maybe about how the economic crisis effects woman in NYC now that things are starting to mellow a bit and see how much damage was caused and if the shelters and centers for woman are managing to continue and what changes they have seen in who comes to them for help. I read several stories about the middle classes there facing real hardship for the first time so it would be interesting to see how they have dealt with it. Are the ones who were poverty stricken before the crash getting pushed to the side a bit to help those newly impoverished?

Let us know what you come up with!

love,

Maria

Tina's picture

Hey Maria, You have some

Hey Maria,
You have some really great thoughts for a feature here. All of those would be good. Hmmm. Now which one.
Tina

malayapinas's picture

Hi Tina! I'm really so glad

Hi Tina! I'm really so glad you open up how you feel about being from the West and having a government that cause miseries to peoples of the South. I do have lots of Western friends who feel the same way as you do upon knowing how their governments and their foreign policies made us from the South suffer. It's but understantable because you feel how we feel and you want that this should not happened and will never happen again. I admire you for this.

Yap, i do agree with you writing feature stories of " Western" women who join hands together with us women from the south and challenge their government's foreign policies. I'm sure their revelations about their advocacies will made you understand deeper our situation and our struggles here . We need to strengthen our ties as intenational movement for women empowerment to end unequal foreign relations that keep us women oppressed and discriminated.

Congratulations and best wishes!

Malaya

Tina's picture

Malaya, Thanks so much for

Malaya,
Thanks so much for the encouragement. My eyes have been opened wide being here and I've still alot to learn so maybe I shall wait a while before I write this idea and choose something else for my feature as others have suggested. Perhaps a bit more on how the Irish English conflict plays out on the streets of the Bronx. Hmm. Back to the drawing board.

malayapinas's picture

Hi! That's Ok! I'm happy

Hi! That's Ok! I'm happy reading your stories and I'm always looking forward for your beautiful articles.

all the best,
malaya

Tina's picture

Hello Malaya, My feature

Hello Malaya,
My feature story idea has morphed somewhat into a possible story on how western prejudice and hegemony has affected women in other countries. Would you have any examples of how this might have happened in your country that I could research some more?
Much love
Tina

malayapinas's picture

I'm so glad you have such a

I'm so glad you have such a great topic! Yap for us here in the Philippines, we had been under the colonial rule of US for more than 50 years after the Spanish Occupation since the 16th to 19th century. The US- Phil War in early 20th century was the first " Vietnam War " . Up to the present US colonial powers is still very deep entenched in all spheres of our lives as Filipinos . We have at present , the concrete symbol of US hegemony - The Visiting Forces Agrrement (VFA) between our country and the US government (previously it was the presence of US Military Bases here) . We have several documented cases of women being raped by US military servicemen . the latest was of Nicole and the court declared the US serviceman Smith not guilty and is now free.

I'm sure can find several materials about the US intervention in our country and how it affects our women and children. In Asia, the Philiipine is the closest ally of US.

Hope your research will lead you to a higher plane of advocacy in terms of Western governments foreign interventionist policies among the developing countries like the Philippine.

God Bless and more power!

love,
malaya

Tina's picture

Thanks Malaya, best

Thanks Malaya,
best wishes
Tina

JaniceW's picture

Feature story

hi Tina..... I have been reading these comments but also see your passion for the PulseWire community and the dialogue it stimulates. I am wondering if you could take your original idea and develop a story on stereotypes and how damaging they are to international relations. You mention the view one member had about colonialists and how we, as "westerners", don't always get it right.

I am thinking that your angle could be the major setbacks for the advancement of women in the global south resulting from a lack of understanding coming from the western world, as well as the inability for some women to gain support for their causes due to their rejection of what they see as western imperialism. There have been numerous incidents that have reinforced how stereotyping has caused breakdowns in communities, from the holocaust to the internment of Japanese in the US to the current western anxieties over Muslims. The broad strokes of prejudice that are swept over whole communities for the actions of a few have caused so much damage to international and community relations, and perhaps you could examine this from the perspective of women's voices.

Just a thought. Bear in mind it is early here and I have not had coffee yet!
Janice

Tina's picture

WoW!

And that was before coffee!!!?!! You are on fire! Thanks your thoughts have helped to clarify a potential angle here. I really like this. It could be a really great way to inspire more women in the west to take action on international affairs. It was the inspiration and the women's voices part that was missing from my initial thought. Thanks again. I think I might be getting somewhere. But lots more thinking to do....
Have the rest of a great day!

Maria de Chirikof's picture

Wow, fascinating!

That sounds very interesting actually, I especially liked how she wrote it as "rejection of what they see as western imperialism". That would be a very excellent angle, I think! But what so fascinates me is how, it seems, that woman raised in this viewpoint don't see it as such...I mean, what do you call it if not "imperialism"? Do you just view it as an 'impartial capitalism' open to all willing to accept this viewpoint? And what of those who do reject it for whatever reasons? Does their circumstances then become their fault? The more I think of it the more I would love for you to write it.

I especially like that phrase "The broad strokes of prejudice that are swept over whole communities for the actions of a few..." since I kind of view that as a very important point that should be explored in your article. How it can seem that 'westerners' don't want to accept responsibilities for what occurs yet enjoy the benefits of what "the few" have done... and I guess that is just my viewpoint as an American Indian/Alaskan Native...

It would be great as the positive things happening as all the woman from different cultures reach out to understand each other and working together to change things... How meeting woman from around the world and reading their stories does help show that the 'prejudices' we feel, however valid we think them, do need to be changed to truly change things to a more global way of life. I look forward to seeing this one either as your feature or a future one!

Maria

Tina's picture

Hey Maria, Thanks for coming

Hey Maria,
Thanks for coming back and seeing how this has been progressing! I would love to hear more of your thoughts actually, for this article or a future one.

Perhaps I could interview you? To see how the prejudices of "the west" have directly affected you and your community. Or would that be a bit weird? What are your thoughts on what needs to be changed?
Tina

Maria de Chirikof's picture

Interesting idea

I wouldn't mind being interviewed for it, actually. But you would also need to interview one from a younger generation (for an Alaskan angle at least) to show the differences. I wrote in one journal how mine that faced such a terrible prejudice in Anchorage and were encouraged to be disgusted by our cultures worked hard to fight this and the younger generation is being raised with Native Pride as the idea. How things have changed a bit for the better and we somehow need to let the hurts of our own go a bit to let the true healing of our cultures happen. What I always find a bit funny is how the white people who grew up in this same time never remember any prejudice and some have even said they never felt it. I usually just smile and move on but sometimes really want to shout 'Duh! You are white not native!" but whenever you mention that they are white they seem to automatically go into tuning out anything you say afterwards...

What I found interesting was the lady I work for watches Oprah sometimes and the last one we saw had a 30 something (I think) singer, Jay Z, on and they talked. One point she made was how the "N" word for her still held all the images and feelings it was meant to have and it was usually the last word a black man heard while he was being lynched. How he was saying that his generation uses the word to take back the power of it and change it from one where it meant hate and prejudice to one that they create the meaning for. They agreed to disagree on the use of that word.

I guess it shows how progress and changes are happening so the context of what I would say would probably be seen a bit differently from even my own girls... I was telling the girls the other day how hard it is sometimes to try to bring up these topics without seeming anti-American or whatever! I think I see it as seriously flawed "viewpoint", the western one I mean, yet how it seems that those seeing the damage it has caused do not want to change to another one but think it can be "fixed' somehow.

But I think it would be a great one to do since it would be interesting to see if we define some ideas or words differently... I would love to hear what you think ones like 'systematic oppression' mean to a western person since it often seems that the idea is that we mean something like someone said something mean to me once when that is not the case.

Let me know your thoughts on how you want to do it! Sorry if it is a bit confusing but I have to leave for work in a minute but wanted to respond before I go so typing and thinking as fast as I can... :)

love,

Maria

Tina's picture

THis is really important!

Hey Maria,
Thank you so much for responding so honestly. What you have said here gives much food for thought and is really very important. I am scared of coming across in the wrong way too but I'm glad that we are having these discussions, and that the conversation goes both ways too!

Your question is interesting. I see the words "Systematic Oppression" as meaning the work done by governments and other large groups of individuals (clan like, tribal or nations) to extinguish the cultures and identity of another group of people. There is a long history of this having happened in the United Kingdom, where the celtic cultures were systematically destroyed over time with laws and policies that forbade the traditional music, clothing and speaking of languages other than the nationally agreed upon tongue. I strongly believe that this history of the British Isles has had much bearing on the subsequent "systematic Oppression" of other cultures and nations overseas. The history of this policy and the development of the "western mindset" as being superior over another is something I have become more and more interested in but I don't know enough about it. I need to go back to college and do a PhD on it I think!!!

So now I'm interested. Is this how you see the words "systematic oppression." Is my definition and viewpoint different?

What you said above about people in the west, who see what has been done to other cultures, feeling that they need to fix the problem is interesting. I agree with you, we do need to change our consciousness. Telling our stories might just begin to do that! I hope so anyway!

Will a skype chat be a good way to talk some more about this? Please feel free to email and let me know what time is best for you.
Love
Tina x

Maria de Chirikof's picture

Hi there

Ooops, just realized I never responded to this! I think I mostly agree with your definition, the forbidding of the traditional is only a part of it, there is the ridiculing and trying to make ashamed and showing it in that light and the effect this has where it is everywhere you turn and you can't get away from it.

I think for the Irish they did have their own lands that were not totally taken over, I think it was mainly the major cities there, right? I can't wait to read your articles on this! It really interests me and I always think that the peoples there, what is it the Scottish, Irish, English and Wales(?) cultures should be written about more. Have you been talking and learning about the Irish when they first came here? There is such an interesting history there too!

One good thing is I have been thinking a LOT about it when you asked me if I thought I was, you know, perhaps a bit prejudiced and I always think of it as not prejudiced but seeing clearly. I think it might be a thing to explore further at some point! I do tend to see it as not having "blinders" on and that history has taught us to be "wary" like the Greeks bearing gifts idea... but that does seem to be a bit rude when I stop and think of it...

One thing interesting is the UAA up here is doing a series in conjunction with the natives to develop the youth warrior idea where the youths learn how to be both native and modern and what that means. They are doing a series of workshops on it. What gets me is where they say they realized the "gap" between the elders knowledge and views with the younger generation and stop there. That could give the impression that the youth (while I am not a youth anymore, I fall into that category of the uninformed though this is meant for my girls' generation) just did not care about it when that is not the case. You know, how it is somehow our fault that this gap exists at all. When it is part of that systematic oppression I mentioned before... It is that kind of thing that sooooooooo irritates me about it, can you see that too? I don't know, I do not think I am being over-sensitive about it but it irks me when it happens like this... It is open to the public so it will be interesting to see the turnout at these things! I hope my work schedule permits us to go to them!

One I hope to attend is one they call the getting over the injuries of the past to heal as a culture... So much bad happened yet we are still a strong peoples so move forward sort of thing that should be fascinating!!

How is your article coming and what did you decide on writing about?

Maria

Tina's picture

Dear Dear Maria, Thank you so

Dear Dear Maria,

Thank you so much for getting in touch and for once again being so open and honest about your experiences. I have learned many things from you about you and your community but also I have learned alot about myself. I thank you for all of that, and for reaching out and showing me your truth - as difficult as it has been to hear sometimes!

I have read many personal stories about injustice before, but when that injustice comes so intensely and passionately from a group of women that have become my friends, it is much harder to swallow. I am sure this is all going to have a profound impact on both my life and advocacy in the days to come. But for now though, I find myself simply working on finding my voice again! I'm not sure how I lost it, perhaps there are many reasons, but I am determined though to finish this assignment. It may not be on time and my final story may not be of much interest but I will finish somehow. But that's a topic for another time...

As for being prejudiced, you have every right to feel all that you have been feeling. I just hope that I have shown you that we are not all the same and in fact for every one idiot (excuse me) who treats you badly there are (at least) a thousand more who are able and willing to treat you well! (I hope that didn't sound patronizing. )

At the moment I am going for the title: In search of a mother's voice in America!! with the angle of the challenges American women and especially mothers face in becoming activists. I would talk about my work with Mothers Acting Up, some of our survey results, some of the problems we've faced as we've gone on along the way and then about the programs and solutions we've developed and are continuing to develop to address the larger issues of what prevents mothers from stepping into the public arena in North America. I have no idea if that is going to be a good topic or not, but at least it is something. I hope I can finish it. I keep staring at the title and keep writing and rewriting the first paragraph!

Your story sounds absolutely amazing. I am so looking forward to reading it! I hope the group you are hoping to interview are welcoming you into their fold so to speak. You deserve it.
Much love and many blessings to you and your family
Tina

I know I am not the only woman on here who thinks your voice is beautiful, so find the confidence in yourself that you so richly deserve to feel!! I think you are a great person, if that counts for anything...

Oh, that will be great to have the Mothers acting up highlighted like this! I think before it was partly how they tried to keep us divided by making us feel there was a great distance between moms who chose to take care of their kids and family and those who chose a career instead. I think that has changed though, just as activists used to be mainly white woman and their views and it is more encompassing now, so things are getting better as we speak up and listen to each other!

Oh funny, it is a bit hard since I have not been in close contact with Aleuts for ages so most do not know me very well though luckily they do know who my mom was and all my cousins and such. So on that part they will eventually trust me with their stories for print. Most I have talked to don't want to be in a story yet but have wanted to talk a bit. I asked about if any are going back to the ancient religion since that is of great interest to me. My cousin wrote me a thing about how most are all Russian Orthodox, by choice. I plan on writing to the Aleut_L list why I am wanting to go back.

I think once they understand that I am not against Jesus in any way and do still think that the Russian Orthodox is the one true Christian faith and that he I do believe he is a God and how he is my friend but not my God and believes in what I want to do... I plan on writing a thing where I believe all that has happened was to prepare us for this coming of the Americans and allowed us to survive it. How our Gods foresaw it somehow, so brought us the Russian Orthodox priests so we would already be Christians when the Americans came and not lose everything. I have been thinking of that a lot and how to say it so it makes sense to them... How i believe it is like a shipwreck and the Russian Orthodox faith was like a life-jacket when we got tossed into the Oceans but now we are on dry land and catching our breaths and can rebuild all that was lost... our true selves, undiluted so to speak....

Not sure how it will go over though...

I am hoping I can get enough to make it a feature though since that so fascinates me and what it felt like to believe you were the last of your kind then to meet your relatives again! Not sure if I can get enough in time though so may do another one for the last assignment still..

I look forward to your draft!

love,

Maria

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