Several things came together in my head today. When I was visiting my friend I gave her an update about my Inspired 2 Write challenge. The group I set up has been writing every day since the first of January and we are nearly at the end.
I’ve been enjoying reading what people have been posting. I can see the progress they are making in finding their writing voice. Talking to my friend I was explaining how I was inspired by a challenge to search for my own writing voice. And how, now that I have found it, I want to write a lot more. I love being able to share things my way. Even if I’m only sharing them with myself. We drifted into a conversation about the Women’s Marches last weekend. I’d read an update that 673 marches took place. It felt to me that here were many thousands of women finding their voices too. Not necessarily in writing but in taking some form of action.
I watched the update of number of attendees pop up on my social media on Saturday mesmerised by the tide of peaceful protest. By the power of collective action. There were some inventive signs. Lots of comments and clever ways of expressing their concerns. Our language is a wonderful gift. Expressing ourselves can be such a positive force for change. So our conversation took me all the way back to the writing challenge. I know that I will be running more writing challenges. I feel strongly that the internet can be a force for positive change. But only if people are prepared to raise their voices so to speak.
Every time I update my social media feeds I can choose to post something positive or negative. That seems simple. It’s up to me how I express myself.
I also know that whatever energy we give out we get back. So my writing is generally positive. I want to encourage not dismiss. It’s important for me that I show my daughter how to communicate in an empowering and supportive way. And especially that I am comfortable with the fact that people may totally disagree with what I write. But that I can respond positively to their world view too. Which is why it was disappointing to see some conversations about the marches descending into personal attacks. Everyone has the right to voice their views. Even the most offensive to me. And I have the right to voice my views in return whether anyone agrees or not.
Only by listening to the views of others will we make radical changes to the way we relate to one another. I would expect the same respect for marches in support of Donald Trump. Because in the end, one way or another, we all have to learn to get along. And sometimes it takes someone to be the voice of unpalatable opinions. If only to get us to realise that to get along we need to change our deeply held beliefs about the world. I feel the way to do that is to have lots of voices speaking, a great big debate and plenty of understanding that reaching a consensus point may take time.
Big changes do take time. Getting us to update our world view of women is a starting point.
I would like many more women to be heard. So my challenge, in part, has been to get other women confident in their writing voice. Because women do see things differently than men. I feel it’s one of the best things we have about being human. This ability to have both a creative and a make it so input into our lives. Yet the voice from women has been subdued for a long time. I know it’s time for us to update our view of what women contribute to the world. It needs women themselves to share their voices. Our daughters, granddaughters and great-grand daughters need an example to follow. So my challenges continue. For myself and for anyone who would like to share this journey with me.
Day 436 of my blogging challenge.