Monday, March 31, 2008

Brainstorming For Speak

It was wonderful meeting so many of the WOC I have come to know and love at WAM! I was glad we had the time to just sit and decompress on Saturday. I wished we had more time to discuss the Speak project. Don't take that as a criticism, we really didn't have more time and probably need a whole week together!

I know that some of this we already discussed about what our vision is for the site, is it just another blog? Is it a zine? etc and what are our goals? But we probably should start over again in case our ideas have evolved since we first started kicking the idea around.

The one thing I want to discuss is the name of the site, "Speak", I'm not so sure that's a good idea. Maybe "Speak Out" or "We Are Speaking" or "Listen Up You Goddammed White Woman"...ok maybe not that one. The reason why is because Speak makes me think of the dog command.

I like the idea of doing interviews or even full blogs for women without access to computers, like the women in prison project. For me I was thinking of interviewing women from my reservation, especially the older ones like my mother who are afraid of technology! My sister gave her a computer but she refuses to hook it up to the internet, she says she is too busy with other things and isn't interested, but I'm not so sure of that, or if it is more she is afraid that learning to use a computer is too hard. I probably shouldn't second guess her because she is a busy person, but having a computer online would be great if only for email once or twice a day.

I think that goes with the "We Are Speaking" but you can't hear us idea. We can give women who aren't online a voice if the idea is geared towards those without internet access for whatever reason. I also like us as an aggregator for WOC online because many of us have a voice that isn't being heard because our readership is small or we are just starting out. Maybe I shouldn't say "we" in that one because if I'm not being heard it's because I don't update enough, but that's beside the point! Our project could be like advertising for new and little known WOC blogs and websites, with a feature that gives a taste of what is to be found at the site and then link to it and encourage our readers to read more and blogroll these sites.

The last thing I was thinking about is that we should have a section for children and young women where they can feel safe to blog. I was thinking of Bint's daughter here, I think she would enjoy a large readership and she writes some amazing stuff especially when she is on a political tear, but I think that when we host stuff by children and teens it is very important to protect them from the assholes and so their blogs should have mentors who must moderate comments to keep our young writers from being attacked. It's horrible enough the things that full grown adult WOC have had to put up with, children don't need to be exposed to that.

Oh wait, the real last thing. If it wouldn't be too much to ask, I'm hoping that Lex will do the graphics for the site. Broken Beautiful is a gorgeous site and I'd like our website/blog/zine to look alot like that.


Sudy said...

I am TOTALLY with you on this about doing something for young girls.

It was SO great to finally meet you in person, Donna!

I hope you are feeling better.


Aaminah said...

Wow! Ya'll have some really exciting ideas about the direction of your blog. I am excited to see what transpires. Please do let me know if there is any way I can support your efforts! :)

Donna said...

I'm doing better now but earlier today I wasn't feeling very well and went into my physical therapy appointment. She asked if I had a headache, which I did, and she said she could tell from my eyes (bloodshot maybe? I thought it was a weird thing to say but I didn't ask what she meant.) I showed her my hands and told her whenever I am in alot of pain I start shaking. She said she wanted to take my blood pressure, it was freaking 150/110! She was a little alarmed but wanted to go through with the physical therapy because she said it could bring my blood pressure down. It is very relaxing, ultrasound, traction, massage, and heating pads. She took my blood pressure again and it was back to normal. She said if I start shaking again to call my doctor or get to an emergency room since it probably means my blood pressure is getting dangerously high and I don't need a stroke. Holy shit! No I don't!

I'm ok now, the pain level is always much better after physical therapy and so no more shaking or headaches either. I should just change my name from Donna to Drama. It's something all the time with me!

Aaminah, I'm sure you are more than welcome to support the project in any way you want to. Do you have some suggestions for the project? I think the question you should ask yourself is if you were a part of a big WOC website what would you want to see there? How would you want the site and the women there to support you and your efforts?

We've come up with some ideas, like a news aggregator, message boards, etc as well as some directions we personally would like to take the site in, like making the issue of violence against women a central theme. Mentoring youth, teaching them to make their own blogs and zines and vlogs. At it's very basic, it's a women of color media resource center. Where would you want to see a project like that go?

Aaminah said...

OMG, Donna, I so didn't realize how sick you've been! You are in my thoughts and prayers.

You know, I will have to think more about your questions. I was just excited to read what you had already posted... I guess I never really thought about a site like what you are describing, because I am a self-absorbed thang that worries too much about the direction of my own blog, LOL. But really, everything you are writing about, what you are suggesting, it all just sounds amazing and important.

Sylvia/M said...

lol, I'd love it if the name was "Listen Up You Goddamned White Woman" because it rolls off the tongue.

But we definitely need to create something for young women and for older women. We can't forget our mothers and grandmothers, aunts and "aunties" and "godmothers" and friends in the creation of this project.

Tigera Consciente said...

Ok, I'm trying to sort out the ideas...

A lot of this is starting to sound like what BFP does on her own blog (WOW, yea.. by herself, like featuring new rwoc bloggers, becoming a feed for indy news media coverage, etc.

I love the idea of getting the young rwoc involved, creating an online space for the unheard voices (our sages, and locked up sistahs, etc)... It just sounds like a lot of different things. Maybe this could be a place where we let readers in on all these different online (and other offline) projects, iono... this is me just brainstorming...

Ettina said...

The 'we are speaking but you don't hear us' thing reminds me a lot of a problem autistics have, of parent-run autism societies portraying themselves as speaking for autism. For example, there's Autism Speaks.

bint alshamsa said...

You know, I've been trying for so long to build/find some sort of community online for young radical women of color. I know I'm not the only WOC momma on the web. The safety factor is probably the biggest issue.

I know that not all mom's have the time to devote to monitoring comments. Still, the internet isn't going away and will probably play an even greater role in the next generation's lives than it does in ours.

I really want her to grow up understanding and feeling that she is a part of a something bigger than just the streets and neighborhoods she sees on her way back and forth to school each day. I want her to see herself as a member of a worldwide community. I don't want her to grow up viewing herself as a "minority".

I often feel as if she lives in a very "whitenitized" world. Her school does have some children of color but very few in the the gifted and talented program where she spends all of her day. Plus, since Hurricane Katrina, many of the RWOC mommas that I knew have gone.

I don't know. I just wish that we could find more young voices because their views are so often ignored.

bint alshamsa said...

By the way, I am TOTALLY jealous about you getting to meet so many of the other brilliant women writers that I adore!

lex said...

Yes on creating a space for younger ones and elders. And yes for blogging with/for/through interviews with the womyn on the reservation. And yes and more yes. I think imma repost the "taking care of ourselves" post I wrote about my Nana right now.

Donna said...

Oooooooh I haven't checked back here in awhile! Thank you for the prayers Aaminah. I got those trigger point shots in the back today and my back feels like it's all black and blue. I had to pick up the kids from school but it hurt too much to drive so I made my oldest drive. He has driven three or four times before but very close to home, less than a mile, on roads with no traffic. Oh boy was that fun! He was so nervous and upset and I was too, but I laugh when I am nervous, and he kept yelling, "It's not funny mom!" which of course made me laugh more. He did fine, drove slower than normal, the speed limit is 30 and he did 25. Since we passed a cop he did great! lol I would have probably been speeding and might have gotten a ticket.

Tigera Consciente, it sounds like BFP because I'm repeating the ideas all of us came up with in the "dreaming and scheming" stages. BFP was involved in that. I don't think any of the ideas originated with me, even the one about interviewing my mom and others on the reservation came from somewhere else. I think Lex said we should interview those who don't have internet access or might not feel comfortable writing their own blogs.

Now I'm embarrassed that I made it sound like I'm brilliant and came up with all these ideas myself! No! I just wanted all our ideas on the public blog that we had thrown around in private emails so that everyone could be involved and come up with more ideas and/or refine some of the ones we already had. My major contribution was saying, "Oh yeah! I like that idea!" when everyone else was coming up with great ideas.

aoc gold said...


In April,

Come he will,

In May,

Sing all day,

In June,

Change his tune,

In July,

Prepare to fly,

In August,

Go he must!
~by maple story accounts

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