Grandmother Spiderwoman Weaves 2.0
I have eternal gratitude to my friend Mark for his wise response to my eager inquiry:
“I'd like to have a computer; what can I find on a student budget?”
“Oh that's easy, just build one yourself!” I took a long deep breath. It wasn't the answer I expected. Yet, I am adventurous and determined...
So I mustered up courage – tiny electronic bits and wires (and connecting them) were not in my comfort zone - and wed it to my deep curiosity and there began my journey. With the help of Mark and the super helpful tech (a woman, to boot!) at the parts store, I labored over and metaphorically birthed my very own 486.
And while I could be considered an “exception” - as a brown woman in a white male-dominated society - to the access I had to education that afforded me the opportunity to have experiences with computers and new technology, I was very aware that this didn't happen with every historically marginalized student. Even within the context of the University and higher education, equity was not the norm and access to resources and technology was a privilege for some and an answered prayer for others.
And so from this place I share my perspective, owning my relationship to the academy which I'm a part of in some ways and an outsider in others. The innovation of social media, virtual learning, information sharing, to name a few treasures of Web 2.0, has offered an opportunity to bridge the equity gaps that prevail, even in higher learning institutions.
For example, blogging and engaging in passionate and sometimes heated conversations with an avatar and a username (because often, that is all the information we might have about a person) does not render a conscious or unconscious preconception about someone based on their physical appearance. We can only derive information from their words, their sentiments through language. Somehow, our hearts are the only part of us that is really “seen” by the other people with whom we are in communication. Yes, we insert egos and personalities, yet ultimately, we share our personal stories, our heartfelt opinions and experiences. We are actually coming together in dialogue, however virtual it may seem. And through dialogue we connect; and through connection we ask questions of each other and consider solutions that effectively transform our world. We transform the power-over into overpowering love through technology. One web 2.0 strand at a time.
Like Spiderwoman's web, we connect to what can nourish us, open our hearts, heal us. And this is our Women's Work 2.0 – banding together in technological bliss, firing up our keyboards (hearths), grinding our corn (editing editing editing!), and passing down language and sharing oral traditions across continents, dreaming for our communities (Facebook & Youtube!).
A beautiful web we weave.