Don't give up, You're doing Something Important
I've found out women involved in grass roots organizations and activism may feel uncomfortable talking about themselves, but they are beginning to do. The idea that the personal is political has became full circle: We don't only have the right to speak openly about what concerns us in our "private life" but we also have the right (and responsibility) to ensure that it is treated as important as our public work.
And this means that women's movements are realizing, with great force and increasingly greater extent, that it's time to make the welfare and sustainability priorities. Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi summed this up in a beautiful way in her eloquent call for change:
"Attention to the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of women has been one of the weakest points in our work as feminists. In their own social and institutional spheres in which they operate, the combined effects of increasingly strong reaction against the women's movement, harassment by the media, cultural and religious fundamentalisms, the pressures of having to leading organizations, and the challenges of finding a balance between family and professional obligations, make each one will be very difficult to conserve energy".
That's very true. Sometimes, in the many time I've been harrased for being a feminist and a muslim woman involved in activism, I've felt I want to quit and go back home. Sometimes I've cried hard alone in my bedroom thinking about how harmful some people could be. In those moments when my blogs or my facebook are full of insults and threats - yesterday november 20th was the last incident- I feel very confused and sad cause Is not possible to me understand Why? I am a simple woman from a worker suburbs trying to make things better and support other women. Is that such a big problem?
The real problem I see is the risk I could become exactly what I am fighting against for; the possibility to become myself an angry person acting in behalf of women rights moved for hatred against those hate my activism. As human being with weak moments like every one of us, I feel afraid of thinking how this hatred addressed to me could make me become just another hater. And be a hater is not what I'am looking for in my activities.I am a believer, a creator, a seeker of social equity. It would be unfair for me and my convictions letting me catch by the hatred of others, turning my call for justice in an echo of that hatred and the engine of my actions.
The worse comes when I talk to other sisters and activists. Many of us are tired, worn out, depressed, angry, and many have gone through periods of intense crisis characterized by ruptures in relationships, problems with families, betrayals of people they trusted, bitterness and grief. And while many are aware of this, rarely we talk about it.
We are whole humans not possible to be divided, or divide our life. Although ours is a movement (feminism) that has flourished on the basis of the slogan 'the personal is political', we have not given much thought to how much of what we do for and with others is both 'personal' and 'political '. We need to retake strategies of awareness and building self-esteem of women make them work for ourselves.
Also, is so true noone can take away our light and turn off our natural wisdom. The same I receive bad words I receive support from many women and yes, few men: "Don't give up, You're doing Something Important" is a repeated message I read every day more and more often. From friends, family, from people who just know me for my writings...
We need to teach ourselves to feel the pain and talk about things that happen to us, rather than deny or to seek relief in the wrong places or worst, rather than give up.
WE ARE DOING SOMETHING IMPORTANT. If we woman as activist or grass roots supporters are willing to encourage people to talk about their problems and we are trying to be always there to listen and give advice, energy, help; If we believe that personal is political let's start to support each other and give a space to talk about our experience and be the best resource of energy and relief for each other. Path is rough and still long; don't allow us to each other giving up.