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Being the Change

There is so little respect for personal stories, and yet that is where the greatest answers lie, waiting and dormant because no one asks for them. And as they gather dust, the world assumes their nonexistence and continues on, unchecked, to preach a reality incomplete.
There is so much power in the most basic aspect of Web 2.0 in that it creates a space of equality. It is a utopian dream world where every thought we have can be shared and heard equally and peacefully. That is not the way of our true world. But it is a picture of a future that we may someday see. Oppression is silence and pain. What happens to oppression when it is given a voice? What happens to pain when it is shared and validated and used as lighter fluid for change? These are the keys to a future where women are not afraid to tell their stories and thus, are not afraid to walk down the streets alone at night.
Here in Ann Arbor we are grieving over the numerous sexual assaults that have happened on campus. We are reminded to be fearful and hide in our homes in the evenings. We are told to live narrowly and suspiciously. We become victims of violence twice: we endure the physical violence in our world and the violence of silencing that is forced down our throats as a survival technique in the wake of violence. But disappearing does not reduce violence. Some men on campus feel that their actions, assaulting a woman, will go unpunished. They assume our silence. But that cannot be a means of silencing us. Web 2.0 allows us to be fearless in a way that we can’t always be in reality. Late at night, I can wander the streets of Web 2.0 and feel strong and safe and connected. I can remember that I am a strong person, even if am told daily otherwise. It is the hiding that weakens us and delays our progress. Web 2.0 is a way of living the future we seek to create. And in this living, we develop and strengthen our voices, we remember to trust ourselves, we remember that this is a world worth reshaping, and we remember that we deserve the future we seek.

Ann Arbor: Assaulted
You knew me in urban
But you didn’t know me
In person

“I just mean—keep an eye out, ok
We love you, and we want
And eye on ya”

When the light
Is dull
And the day is dead
And the mountains
mumble around us

Free they be
From none to none
And we
Drawn and weathered
“Goodness”

Poised. So close
To poison

Comments

Cali gal Michelle's picture

response from a sister

Thank you for your story. May your be lifted up by being connected.

Peace-

M.

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

Listener
Sister-Mentor
@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

akaneko's picture

Thank you for sharing your

Thank you for sharing your assignment with the forum! Silence and fear can be stifling and it's wonderful to hear that you can find safety and strength in connecting with others through Web 2.0. I hope that this process and program with World Pulse encourages you to find this comfort and strength not only at night, but that you can share this newfound outlet for your voice with others in the community!

Lisa T's picture

Strong vision

rfentin,
Thank you for sharing your story. You have such a wonderful and strong vision of how Web 2.0 can empower you and other women. You also pose many thoughtful questions to consider. Thank you also for sharing your poem!

Sincerely,
Lisa

susa's picture

streets of Web 2.0

Dear Rfentin,

Thank you for your personal and compelling writing here, and for the poetic style that clearly comes from deep within you. I loved your metaphorical language of wandering the streets of Web 2.0 in safety. Let's hope your desire to give voice to oppression and fear will help us bring back the real streets through our sojourns on the virtual ones. And thank you for sharing your poem.

All the best,
Susa

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