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VOF Week 3 : (Personal + Politcal ?)

I had to laugh as I scrolled through some of the assignment entries for this week. It is so freeing, yet a little funny to know how often our secret fears are shared by others! How amazing it is to read exactly what I am thinking in someone else's blog - insecurities I am too scared to express, but easier to acknowledge when braver souls than me give them voice!

I am one of those who have great trouble writing! I even went so far as creating a blog on Wordpress many months ago. But I didn't post a single entry! Figuring out the title alone took me two solid days! It has to be clever, and eye-catching, I thought; And representative of me; Not too self-involved, though; But I don't want to reveal too much about myself, either; All in one brief, catchy, poetic phrase! Wow! I felt defeated before I had started.

When it comes to actually posting something, I second-guess myself constantly. There is something inherently narcissistic about writing, especially writing on a blog. It is just my opinion, after all. I get a sudden attack of humility and my writing seems trivial. In the next few moments, paradoxically, I am struck by the power of my potential words. Perhaps the chosen topic of my post is too controversial. I worry about compromising my professional colleagues, or offending a reader with a tactless turn of phrase.

I realize that anyone who knows me only through my posts on PulseWire will imagine me to be shrinking violet, a shy, meek person. In reality, I am a bold, strong, passionate woman who makes courageous life choices, is dedicated to fighting injustice, and inspires people around me with the power of my voice - spoken, that is!

In all seriousness, the permanent and semi-anonymous nature of writing on the internet gives me pause. It is so much easier to soothe hurt feelings in person, explain a remark, or clarify a position when conversing face to face. Additionally, I know that giving context to my voice by being transparent about my name, location, personal history and professional affiliations lends more authenticity to what I have to say. On the other hand, what if I want to post about something that is not a popular opinion or the 'party line' at my job? In fact, even though I work for a feminist organization, I keep my personal, much more radical activism separate from the organizationally constrained feminist politics of paid work. I believe that this revolution needs both civil society organizations that are funded by governments (and therefore are sometimes compromised in their ideals), as well as on-the-ground grassroots movements that can speak truth to power. And when I blog, the fine line that I tread in belonging to both, gets just a little harder to walk.

However I just posted my first ever blog entry (other than required assignments) on my journal on a controversial topic related to my work. As the only racialized woman in my office, I doubt I have the power to challenge this status quo.

Wait, did I just compromise my anonymity in order to challenge authority? :-)

Thanks, PulseWire!

Comments

Maria de Chirikof's picture

Nice!

It is funny how different people are, in person I have such trouble voicing things. I never want to seem rude so don't say half the things I am thinking and put the things I do say into as neutral way as possible. One of my sisters was forever coming over wanting lots of food so I always shared what I had. Then one day I saw her at the store and she was buying expensive foods for her and her son. I said I was amazed she could afford such food since I could not even afford it. I was even more amazed when she came over a few days later wanting food again. I said, being extremely polite and diplomatic, that I found it very hard to get ahead and save any money since my food always seemed to go so fast. She pretended she did not understand and still wanted some food. So I gave her just a bit instead of half my cupboards and she looked offended! Like I was the one being rude. After she left I went to my room and exploded. My girls were amazed and said they had no idea I was so angry since I was so polite and nice to her. It is something I need to work on I guess but I would rather people learn good manners then me forcing myself to become a bit ruder!

I loved your article! I know there are several other woman on here who prefer talking to writing and I wish I had their gift of free speech like that!! I smile and nod and I guess it is by the eagerness of my nod that I am either being polite or angry and trying hard not to show it...

Maria

ShukThi's picture

thank you for sharing!

Dear Maria

That can be hard, to have your generosity taken advantage of. It sounds like it might be helpful for you to have stronger boundaries. I have the opposite problem in my verbal expression. I share so much sometimes, and come across so strongly that I scare people off! i need to pull my boundaries in more, as well.

love
Soumya

Nusrat Ara's picture

Dear Maria I love your posts.

Dear Maria

I love your posts. I am like you more of a writing person than a vocal one. I really got angry about your sister. What really bothers me the today people don't let you be nice and polite because if you are surely you will be taken for a ride. I think you should not have even just a bit. Having said that I know how difficult it is for a person like you. Remember give them a inch they will take a mile. and yes your family too. Keep the strength and faith and teach your daughters too. Keep writing you write very well.

Love
Nusrat

Nusrat

meg.peterson's picture

Hi Soumya, I just read

Hi Soumya,

I just read through a number of your posts and am left feeling empowered and invigorated by your voice! Although you say you have trouble writing I find that hard to believe. You express yourself so well and with such confidence. I also really appreciated your blog on the high heels event and also your response to the strong comment left by a fellow blogger. As I am reading through your writing I find myself nearly exclaiming "yes" outloud. Your life experiences and decisions of how to fight discrimination and violence are inspiring for me as a fellow queer woman (I am still learning to embrace this title as a facet of me and not a category I belong in). Thank you for sharing your voice and knowledge. I look forward to reading more of your writing.

Cheers, Megan

ShukThi's picture

blushing..!

Or would be of my skin wasn't so brown!

Thanks for your kind words, Megan. I am glad you found something helpful out of my journal entries. I have never done this before - writing for an audience, I mean. Term papers squeezed out at the last minute don't count, right?

I find it way easier to speak. And writing is certainly a very different process. But I feel like I am learning a lot about it through this application process.

oh yeah, and the self-categorization can be problematic. But it's useful to find community, I find :-).

thanks for sharing
Soumya

mrudberg99's picture

Familiar...

Dear Soumya,

You are a wonderful, witty writer!

As I was reading about your fears around writing, I couldn't help but remember back to so many moments in my own life when I felt those same things when attempting to write. I assume that every word written needs to be meaningful to everyone - I lose focus, lose momentum, lose the stories, the meaning behind them, etc. - such a frustrating process! I didn't realize that if I'm writing about what's in my heart, what I feel is right, truthful to me and honest, I write some of my most beautiful work. This is clearly true of you, too.

I appreciate your vulnerability. Thank you for sharing your struggles around writing with us. It reminds me, I'm not alone in my own.

Keep writing!

Molly

Molly Rudberg-Leshnock
Curator of Leadership
Brand Storyteller
mrudberg@mrlpro.com

ShukThi's picture

thanks Molly!

My confidence around writing has improved by leaps and bounds just going through this process here at Pulse Wire. I am glad I came across the announcement and psyched myself up to participate!

I find talking so much more easier, because I don't second guess myself!

soumya

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