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When they take your right to speak you still have your right to write

You are a woman. Just a woman in the man’s world. There is no reason to hide or pretend we have equal rights. Men will always be the kings of this life. At least they think this. But we, women, have one of the most powerful weapon. Is our words.
Women by nature are physically weaker than men. So during centuries we develop our skills to protect ourselves, to reach our place and to receive our right to be heard. And sometime even to change the world.
Years pass by. New Media comes to change the traditional ones, which are still the prerogative of the chosen. More women receive the right to speak, to be heard. And more often women take this chance to change the world.
Sometimes, even in these days, men can try to take your right to speak. But if you are strong enough or just understand that there is no other choice, you find the way to shout so loud that the whole world can hear you.
I want to tell you a little story. One Ukrainian woman was so brave to come to play the most man’s game called politics. She was so brave that fought for the Presidency. And two times, just because she was a woman, she lost. The second time was fatal for her. Men decided to show to her who rules this world and where is her place. They brought her to the court and made the show from the process. It was obvious that she didn’t have a chance to be heard by traditional media because in this country they blocked all her rights to raise a voice. All that she had was just her cell phone.
Every day, even during the court process, she wrote her chronicles using New Media, using Twitter. It was the only way to show the other side of the process. And this brought the world support to her but from the other side played a bad role. Prosecutor tried to use her words written in social net against of her. But even after this, despite of all difficulties, her voice, the voice of Ukrainian woman, has been heard by others and brought her global support and condemnation of the governmental actions.
The name of this woman is Yulia Timoshenko. And her blog in twitter you can read today. http://twitter.com/#!/yuliatymoshenko
What is the most important that New Media gives to us is that once after your voice was heard by the world is impossible to erase it.

Comments

shaygalto's picture

Interesting perspective!

Iryna,

This is a very thoughtful piece. I really like the way you have traced the oppression of women and defined how women's voice can break through the barriers of male dominance. I love how you took a negative example and made it positive. Also, I really enjoyed how you started at a macro, societal level, and narrowed it down to a mirco level of Yulia Timoshenko. What Yulia did was truly inspiring! I am curious, however, how you plan to use social media? We have seen how other activists have employed this new media, but how will you decide to use it? Thank you for this story, it was wonderful!

Best,
Shay

Shay,
Maybe I am a little bit naïve for my age but I really believe that not only famous person can use Web 2.0 tools to raise their voices. THE MOST IMPORTANT IS THE MESSAGE NOT THE MESSENGER. I really believe that if someone has very strong message to the world, he can do it. I work in environmental NGO, and so many times in my work I met the situations when was impossible to get support by traditional way. Mass media refused to cover our street actions and appeals, people were afraid to participate in them because scared since Soviet times of prosecutions. What we used? E-mails to our friends from other cities, even other countries. We used our web-site. But that time we didn’t hear about Web 2.0. Now I think we have the great chance to change the rules of this game, to change the world.

ddegarm's picture

Web 2.0 Empowerment

Iryna,

Your story about Yulia is inspirational and shows the need for women to empower themselves through various means to fight oppression. You discuss the various ways in which women's voices are not heard or incorporated into mainstream discussions. I am curious though as to how you would use technology to make your voice heard? How would Web 2.0 help you take part in the discussions you cannot participate in? Additionally what is your end goal? What do you hope to achieve in the use of Web 2.0?

You have a great base to work from here. I just want to learn more about you and your goals and this could be done by providing some more personal experiences with the technology at hand and how social media can more specifically be used to achieve those goals.

Peace,

Denise

“Women have a special capacity to lead us to a more peaceful world with compassion, affection and kindness. And there is no more important time for that than this moment.” - Dalai Lama

Iryna's picture

Say it topless?

Dear Denise,

I am thankful for your attention to my post. And for me this issue is very interesting. You know, when I was choosing the idea of my post I was thinking a lot about how many things changed in last 20-30 years. I was born in Soviet Union and I perfectly remember what it means when you know only the one side of events. Traditional media in Soviet times was strongly censored. And I must confess that even now, after more than 20 years since the USSR was ruined mass media are under strict control. But…

There are official leaders and there will always be unofficial leaders. There are traditional media and there are Web 2.0 tools. There are official discussions and there are alternative ones. And who can say that tradition in this sense stronger? Here we say if they close the door you still have a chance to enter by window. Not participating in official mass media coverage not takes from you all chances to be heard like it was years ago. Even my post is the best example how the voice of one Ukrainian woman was heard from the other side of the world :)

About my end goal. Looking at map people think Ukraine is almost Europe, but by nature there is still a question is closer to Europe or Asia. Or maybe it is the closest to the ghost of the USSR?.. Yes, we know that world changes with incredible speed. Yes, we know what is Facebook, Twitter or Blogspot. But could you tell me just one name of famous Ukrainian blogger? How often you can hear news about Ukraine? Believe me, here not so many people use even Facebook, I’m not even talking about such things like Twitter. And much less do it in English. You know what is sad for me, these days the most famous from Ukraine in other countries is movement Femen. You want to know why they are so popular? The only way they found to attract the attention of the world to discrimination in Ukraine was to make protest actions topless. Every time watching them I want to go to my laptop and begin to write. But I understand I don’t have enough of knowledge to make my voice speak loud enough, to use Web 2.0 with maximum result. That’s why I’m here. And this is my strongest wish, to know not only how to speak but also how to be heard. And then – to speak with the whole world and finally to change the it ;)

ddegarm's picture

Thanks for the insights.

Iryna, thank you for giving me additional insights as to how you navigate in your world. I think it would be hard to live in a country where only one perspective reaches you. It does occur in the United States as well. You have to be careful to examine several sources of news to get an idea about the truth. I appreciate hearing about the use of social media to get your voice out. I think this is an important piece to write more about. For someone who has easy access to the web and technology, it is important for me to better understand the challenges other people face. I think you have a strong voice and one that will be heard. Don't be afraid to share your insights, thoughts and feelings. You are not alone in this big world. I can learn alot from you and look forward to reading your blog.

“Women have a special capacity to lead us to a more peaceful world with compassion, affection and kindness. And there is no more important time for that than this moment.” - Dalai Lama

aimeeknight's picture

Hi Iryna, Welcome to World

Hi Iryna,

Welcome to World Pulse and thank you for sharing such an inspirational story. She is a wonderful example of just how powerful a woman’s voice can be.
I encourage you to let more of your own voice be heard. You have a story to tell and we can’t wait to hear it! I look forward to reading your next assignments. Keep up the great work.

"One shoe can change a life" ~ Cinderella

Iryna's picture

Hi Aimee)

Thank you, Aimee, for your interest to my post and for your support :)

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