Count Me In!
“When a woman rises up in her glory, her energy is magnetic and her sense of possibility contagious.” -Marianne Williamson
My friend at work read the text and announced, “It’s set, tonight, in front of the court house, along the Cape Fear River.” We were all going. Together.
Over two hundred women and men circled the wall which served a makeshift podium. The woman was yelling, “We will not let them speak for us. They will not make decisions for our bodies!” I felt tears welling up in my eyes. It felt so good to stand together with so many women-the energy really was magnetic!
The protest was against a local decision by an all-male County Board of Commissioners to refuse $8,899 in state funds for birth control and other family planning options for local underprivileged women. Video of the county commissioners' meeting posted on the web ignited flames on Facebook and the blaze hopped from post to post and text to text. The protest was coordinated all by using social media so fast (within two days) that there was no time to get the appropriate permit or approval for sound equipment. There was no need-our voices were loud enough....We were surely rising in our power!
~The next week...the county commissioners revoted and decided to accept the funds.
This kind of connection, support, and contagious energy is the power of Web 2.0! A local newspaper article didn’t ignite the outrage, coordinate the gathering, or insist on change in my county. It was one woman contacting another woman supporting another all through social media. It was a small victory. It was swift and efficient. I was amazed!
As a young girl, I dreamed of becoming a journalist. I wanted to tell the truth, expose injustices, and start revolutions with my words. I was young and naive. I didn’t understand the biases that exist within the structures of traditional, main stream media. Biases that led me to underestimate the importance of my voice. Web 2.0 can join my voice with other women across the world as easily as across town! New Media provides a platform for us women to tell our stories and take control of our narratives. The OpEd Project asked in 2012, ‘Who is Narrating the World?’
Count me in!