For some time now I have seen myself as a survivor. I survived sexual abuse. I survived being a teenage mom. And perhaps hardest of all I survived leaving an oppressive marriage. So for some years now I have understood that I am a survivor. But a leader? That idea is still taking root. Connecting on PulseWire with women across the globe who have taken their challenging circumstances and become agents of change has further awakened me. I can clearly see that these women are the leaders and healers of our world. And they have provided a mirror, showing me that I can use the strength and wisdom I have gained on my my path to be a leader, too.
To me this is the most exciting aspect of Web 2.0. The fact that it allows us to connect, and hear each other’s stories of courage and resilience. We can then start seeing ourselves as leaders in our communities and the world. This “new media” truly affirms the words of poet June Jordan, “we are the ones we have been waiting for.” If true equality for women is to happen, then we are the ones need to make it happen. Web 2.0 is a powerful way to rally, to learn from each other, and to gather resources. On the blog Feministing, I recently saw a video by vlogger 9teenpercent in which she delivers a scathing critique of pop artist Beyonce’s recent song, “Girls Rule the World”. 9teenpercent breaks down Beyonce’s song and provides powerful truths that show that, in fact, not only do girls not rule the world, they are still very much oppressed and held back by patriarchy. To date, 9teenpercent’s video has been watched by 572,586 people. This is a compelling example of how “new media” tools can provide a platform for us to speak our truths and how potentially this can then be heard by thousands of people.
Personally, these tools have empowered me to share some of my story through inspirational autobiographical reflections which I share with other women through HTML emails. As a daughter of Mexican immigrants growing up in Chicago, I often felt like an outsider and didn’t feel that my perspective was of value. Sending these newsletters and reading how they have touched others has encouraged me to keep sharing my story. As a holistic healer and mother of five, I am passionate about helping women and children heal from trauma. It is my vision to help women of color, especially those facing teenage pregnancy and domestic violence, become empowered and mobilized to heal themselves and our community. Already my mind is opening to the various ways that Web 2.0 can help me create a platform for women to break the isolation that so often accompanies these issues. It can also help me garner support and resources to bring healing to an area in the city which has very few holistic healing resources.
I am a survivor, and I am ready to lead.