Hello to the PulseWire community,

For those of you who don’t know me, I am a volunteer here at World Pulse helping rock star Rachael and superstar Scott out with the Voices of Our Future program. I have volunteered with World Pulse off and on since 2009 and love being a part of this community. It is incredibly inspiring seeing so many of you share and connect on this forum, and I have, for some time now, wanted to engage more in this space but haven’t known exactly where to start.

In the role of VOF Listener, I read and commented on posts and offered my feedback to VOF applicants. In this role, however, I began to feel a disconnect between what I was hoping to see from others; that is, a personal engagement with the community through the sharing of stories, and what I myself was contributing. And I began to reflect on the fact that the building of relationships is not a one-way street. I must share parts of my self, of my own life, in order for personal connections with others here to begin to bud. And while this is something that comes more naturally to me in face to face interactions, it has been a challenge for me online. So, here I am, Emily Garcia; I am a voice of the Pulse and a woman deeply motivated by the passion and dedication I see exhibited here for the causes and empowerment of women around the world. And here is my voice. Here is where I’m coming from:

I come from a family of five sisters, a mother and a father, two sets of grandparents and an enormous group of aunts, great aunts, uncles, great uncles, cousins, first cousins once removed and second cousins. I have a big Irish Catholic family on my mother’s side and a Puerto Rican Catholic family on my father’s. While I grew up mostly with my mother’s family, my mixed heritage has been an important piece of my identity causing confusion at times, pride at others, and always motivating me to try and look at the world from multiple points of view...which isn’t always very easy to do.

I grew up in Southern California. I am the oldest and as follows was the bossy britches until I left for college at the age of 18. I love my sisters and feel so lucky to have grown up in a house full of intelligent, creative and kind growing girls. I myself have loved writing since I was a little girl and began writing stories in 1st grade. When I got a bit older, I grew terribly self-conscious and wrote less and less and hardly ever shared my writing with others.

In college I studied English and Global Studies, and in my final year of college I took a Women in Literature course and it was then that I fell in love with Marguerite Duras’ book The Lover. In fact I read this book as the author’s own coming of age novel in which she writes herself into being, and it inspired me. And so, emerging from my personal longing to find my own creative being, is my support (indeed my love) for women writers and story tellers who have overcome the obstacles to validating their being through personal testimony.

And this is one of the many reasons I love PulseWire. I see each story shared in this community as an act of agency validating one’s self worth and an act of resistance against the many discourses in our societies around the globe that say women are worthless. While these discourses are varied depending on the context and community and some seemingly more severe than others; for example, I do not feel that I as a woman am in constant threat of physical violence in my community, all discourses against women damage the spirit of both men and women. For me personally, my greatest struggle has been to remove that within my consciousness that says my self-worth is determined by my looks and my body. My rational self tells me all the reasons why this is absurd...and yet, someway, somehow (the potential sources for this irrational reasoning are innumerable in my society) it has become ingrained in my psyche.

I am currently finishing up a Master’s program in Global Studies, and for my thesis I began researching women bloggers in India and South Africa (as I attended university here in New Delhi and Cape Town this past year) and found a great number blogging about violence against women. In fact, here on PulseWire some of you have participated in blogging campaigns for the International Violence Against Women Act, for the 16 days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence (and today I see that this campaign is about to begin again!) and some have even shared their personal stories of violence that happened to them or to women close to them. These stories are, on the one hand, heartbreaking and infuriating, and on the other hand, cause for celebration in the sense that they are out in open, in public for the spread of awareness and the call for solidarity across-borders against such abuse.

I’m at the point in my research now where I would like to get in touch with the women who blog or have blogged about gender-based violence to ask about their experience of blogging on these personal issues, and yet, I hesitate not knowing how to approach such a sensitive subject without causing anyone any upset. I can see how some might question my motives, but my motives are sincere—I am researching this subject in order to evaluate new media’s role in gender-based violence. In some cases women are threatened by new media and in some cases empowered. So, this is what I’m exploring through personal narratives in order to get a humanist perspective. Any suggestions, thoughts or comments about this will be most welcome.

Thanks to all for listening! This has been a good experience for me sharing here with you.

I’m looking forward to connecting more! :)

Warm wishes,



Chica Bonita!

You express yourself so eloquently, no surprise considering the incredible woman that you are! I am so excited for your studies and where they will lead you. Any time you need someone to read over something, I would love to. Your voice is powerful and humble, I look forward to seeing more of your written voice here on PulseWire.

Love you! Megan

Megan! You're such wonderful support! Thank you for reading and for all your encouragement, hermana mia. :) I always appreciate your feedback and will try to continue writing here.

Good luck on your last week of yoga training and I hope to see you soon!



P.S. Today in yoga the teacher read this poem from Rumi...I love it!


A man sits in an orchard, fruit trees full and the vines plump. He has his head on his knee; his eyes are closed. His friend says, “Why stay sunk in mystical meditation when the world is like this? Such visible grace.”

He replies, “This outer is an elaboration of the inner. I prefer the origin.”

Natural beauty is a tree limb reflected in the water of a creek, quivering there, not there. The growing that moves in the soul

is more real than tree limbs and reflections. We laugh and feel happy or sad over all this.

Try instead to get a scent of the true orchard. Taste the vineyard within the vineyard.

Thank you, Jade, for your kind and encouraging words! Your message to me feels like a great big hug! I'm so glad I'm finally jumping that protective parent-like hurdle and sending my voice out into the world. I hope she grows up strong and beautiful! ;)



Dear Emily

I loved the observation you did and to be very honest, that's almost what I feel. I am talking about the way to communicate. I have been observing a lot, reading a lot too and getting involved as much as I can.And with pain I have to admit that a lot of us are acting in 2 specific ways - both faulty.

Group 1: only disseminating. This group is only delivering a message,but not asking others' tales which shows lack of interest in others. You are seeking an audience, but not interested in being a part of the audience. Group2.Only listening. Reading and commenting is good. But by not telling your story, you stay alienated. It shows as though you are a mere observer, you are not 'one of them'.

I think when it comes to talking of sensitive issues like gender violence, the 2nd group will have more trouble than the 1st.Why/ because here, in WP forum,women are coming to 'sisterhood', not to a counseling center. They are not looking to meet 'sympathetic listeners', but women like them who have felt the pain some way and are not ashamed/or snobbish enough to talk about that.

So, I really am happy that you decided to write this post. Its a symbolic shift from being outside the fence to going a little inside. I hope this will really take you closer to your goals.

On a related issue, I saw your question in India Cafe about dowry. Since its already a much talked about issue, I thought of writing a new post from a new perspective and some new facts.

Once again, am happy to see your post and hoping to hear more from you in coming days. Much love

Stella Paul Twitter: @stellasglobe

Dear Stella,

It's great to hear from you! Thank you so much for your comments and for making such good points. I can understand when you say that women join PulseWire for sisterhood and not for counseling and I agree with you 100%. At least, that is why I joined PW and I believe many more women have joined for this chance to connect with other women.

And if I'm understanding you right, I think you're saying that sharing stories of pain on this forum is one way of connecting--as people who have undergone a similar experience can relate to one another--but this sharing isn't done for emotional support but for that special bond that can occur when you meet someone who truly understands your experience... Is this close to what you're saying?

I also appreciate you taking the time to post your thoughts on dowry. I can't wait to read your new perspective with new facts... It's something that I've been thinking about a lot lately as it comes up so often in the literature I'm reading (and is discussed on occasion among blogs I've been following) which gives me the sense that it is still a widespread practice that results in GBV often. But sometimes the fact that so many scholars research something is deceptive...which is why I'm wondering if dowry still remains the way of life for most in India or if the practice is dying out or transforming in some way.

Well, thank you again, Stella, for sharing all these wonderful thoughts with me! It was so nice receiving a message from you today! Wishing you a beautiful day...



Dear Emily,

I think you work and interest on women rights is commendable. I understand your fears about requesting for information for your research, especially since some of the information is personal. In my experience, many people are suspicious of your intentions and in some cases, their personal security. I would suggest you prepare answers to possible questions that might arise and have a confidentiality document available so that you can also address such issues. You can prepare a plan for how to deal with request for Anonymity.

I am new to blogging but if you have a statement of purpose or a short concept note for your potential respondents, I can circulate it within my listserv and they can contact you directly.

I wish you all the best.

Best regards, Osai

Twitter: @livingtruely

Dear Osai,

It is wonderful hearing from you and thank you so much for your thoughtful comments! This is great advice you have offered. I can prepare a confidentiality document as well as clarify my research purpose in order to maintain transparency in what I'm doing. I don't yet have a statement of purpose to circulate among bloggers, but this is another great idea. That may be a way to get in contact with more people... I'll be in touch!

Thank you again for your help and wishing you a lovely day,


Putting into words the clouds of thought that pass through our heads may be scary at first. Daunting even. But there is such a freedom, isn't there, once it is done? Especially in such a forum as this, where I have found such absence of judgement, as there can be on other social network sites. So, when exploring the effectiveness, power, etc. of this newer media, I find one may want to get quite specific when discussing it. For example, the outcome or experience one emotes by clicking away at the keyboard may depend on what kind of person is at the other end.

Thank you, Emily, for taking the chance of putting your heart out there. I, too, have struggled with self-judgement of my body. Your honesty encourages me to be honest, too, and take risks while writing here.

Thank you for your work at WP. I'm glad you found your niche!

Peace and Hope-


Let us Hope together- Michelle aka: Cali gal Listener Sister-Mentor @CaliGalMichelle facebook.com/caligalmichelle Tweets by @CaliGalMich

Thank you so much, Michelle, for your kind words! Having supportive listeners can make all the difference, and I appreciate you taking the time to read and respond.

Sending you warm wishes!