Diverse Voices

What really excites me about writing right now is that for the first time in my life, I’m realizing how much of a privilege it is to express myself publicly, and I’m trying to take advantage of that.

In the not-too-distant past, writing for an audience – even a small audience – was difficult not only in a practical sense because of technological limitations; it was also doable only for a select group and nearly impossible for women, people of color, and people otherwise lacking in social power. For most of history, millions of voices were muted.

I’ve taken it for granted that for my whole life, I’ve been encouraged by my parents and teachers to read and write; so much so that as a child, I never once doubted that that path – education, independence – should be available to me as long as I work hard enough. Which is why I didn’t even think about feminism until late high school or the beginning of college – I couldn’t see that despite my own privilege, there is a need for it.

But now I appreciate when I see how many people are getting their voices out there through student publications, blogs, zines, etc., and it’s inspired me to do the same. The DIY attitude behind a lot of these things is great, because it encourages all kinds of people to express themselves regardless of social or economic constraints.

Even though this was written and published pre-internet, this article is an example (a rather grim one) of a woman, Sohaila Abdulali, who wrote about something that was previously unwritable, especially in India. You’ll see, if you read the piece, the extent to which she had been belittled and silenced after the event that she’s written about, but she made a point of including her name and photo to show that she owns her voice and that she isn’t ashamed of what she’s written.

2 thoughts to “Diverse Voices”

  1. What an insightful post, truly got my thinking. I’ve never truly stopped to consider how difficult it would be to write for an audience and have your voice heard before all of the advances in technology that we are accustom to. They always associate our generation with the negative effects of technology but I think you have a great point here, addressing how many more people are able to be heard because of these new platforms. We’re all able to learn from others’ diverse experiences.

  2. “What really excites me about writing right now is that for the first time in my life, I’m realizing how much of a privilege it is to express myself publicly, and I’m trying to take advantage of that”

    I really enjoyed the beginning quote from your blog, it really pulled me in! Yes, this should be important and exciting at the same time. This should be why some of us write, and this should be one of the main reasons whys e want to write to being with: because our voices are important and that self expression in a public sector should be sentimental to us as writers. This is an very inspiring quote and I hope you put this somewhere into your future writing.

    As for the blog in general, yes, writing for an audience is very difficult. Heck, finding what audience your writing tailors to is even more difficult! I have this problem ALL the time and just want to scream the question, “DOES IT REALLY FREAKING MATTER?” But of course, that would scare people away and make them think I’m a little weird, but I digress. The audience is the most important part of writing and I like the point you made to explain that here. Even if people are writers in a variety of sources (vine, twitter, blogs, etc.), they’re all aware of the audience they’re focusing on.

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