Community Update

Digital Empowerment Toolkit Now Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits aim to provide the resources you need to advance your social change work.

We are excited to introduce our Digital Empowerment Trainers’ Toolkit, a dynamic resource to help you bring the benefits of connecting online to women in your community. Check it out today! »

"Invisibility is an unnatural disaster"

Speaking to "My Challenge"

Growing up I never said very much. Partly because I never had to -- my father and my brother did it for me. And partly because no one thought anything of it -- it's perfectly acceptable for a girl to be "shy,"so demure, so obedient. It makes me recall Mitsuye Yamada's "Invisibility Is an Unnatural Disaster." It has helped me become aware of the conditions in which I am visible and the conditions in which I am invisible. Or alternatively, legible or illegible. I realized so much of it is out of my control. I didn't get to determine who I am, say what I want to say, when, and how. As Yamada wrote in that seminal essay, "To finally recognize our own invisibility is to finally be on the path toward visibility." My voice is weak from lack of practice, but I try to raise my voice a little more each day, even if (or especially when) it makes people say "this is so uncharacteristic of you."

Comments

Fatima Waziri's picture

Well stated!

Women in Africa have long being be told to be seen and not heard. To be care givers, home makers and nothing more. Luckily for me, i grew up in a home where they was no stereotyped roles for males and females. As much as the girls cooked and cleaned, the boys also cooked and cleans. As much as the boys wanted to go play outside, read a paper in front of the television and play video games, the girls did same. I am fortunate to have grown up outspoken and very opinionated. I cannot not say same about most of my friends and contemporaries. Invisibility makes one forgettable and is truly an unnatural disaster.

Peace!
Fatima

nwan's picture

Your story affirms for me

Your story affirms for me that there is another way for families to be structured (many ways, in fact), and it is being lived out every day in different parts the world. There is nothing natural or inevitable about patriarchy.

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative