I grew up and went all the way through school without a computer. No TV before I was six years old. No cell phone. No Wifi. Typewriters had inky ribbons, but then the electric typewriter came in. How smooth and easy, even typing with two fingers. In my early days of activism in the Women’s Liberation Movement here, we felt brilliant to figure out the “telephone tree”. One woman calls a few friends, they call a few, who call a few more, and we could gather for a meeting or demonstration, within a few hours. Long distance telephone was too expensive, so we wrote letters and learned how to publish newspapers to stay in contact with like minded sisters across the country. Whenever we travelled, we tried to meet and deepen our connections. Little was reported on the conventional news, so we found our own ways to be in touch and make things happen.
In the late 1960’s I heard about a giant computer, one of a few built, and that it took up the space of a whole room. I later learned that scientists had been developing these computers since 1949. The year I was born.
By the late 1970’s computers had made it into women’s centres, but having gotten along without them, it took me awhile to explore the cyber world. A friend finally sat me down and began to show me what was possible. A new world began to open for me. What an amazing leap from a typewriter! And what an expanded world to be able to search for news online. Way beyond what was covered on radio and TV.
It was right around the same time that this same friend told me about World Pulse. I was immediately amazed. Finally, here were women’s voices from all over the world. Our news, our stories, and all set up for us to be aware that as change makers, we are truly everywhere. All set up for us to discover where we all are, what we have been through, what we are doing about it, and what needs to happen. All set up so we could be in touch, publicly and privately. Not only that, set up so that we can all share ideas, have discussions about what to do, know where the priorities lie, share our news far and wide on the internet, challenge the conventional media to listen to women’s voices, create Global Marches, create #OneBillionRising, #MeToo, #HerToo, #TimesUp movements, and even make plans to meet in person.
And I continue to learn so much from you all. What happens when young women get computer savvy, what happens when stories come alive through videos, what happens when equipment is put in the hands of girls, what safety has been created through Emergency Apps, how strong and interwoven our community is now. A full documentation of every aspect of what needs to change, and what is possible. Through training offered by the World Pulse Team I got through some shyness in writing. I watch your adeptness with cameras and am teaching myself what is possible with my cell phone video, so that I can better document change makers here.
Through technology we have proof now of our numbers, and of our collective passion and determination to create change. We are creating that Shift, a vibration beyond technology, strong enough to create these changes that we know are critical, these changes that we collectively hold as priorities. I am ecstatic that we have this now, together.
I make no apologies for the time I spend online. I celebrate every time I open my computer and find you all there. I love all the photos of happy children surrounding powerful World Pulse Sisters. Of women standing together looking so strong. Of men who understand that this benefits us all. I leap forward in my thinking every time there is a new Skype, a new Zoom, a new discussion online. I celebrate every hello, every bit of news from sisters now interwoven in my heart, thanks to technology, and thanks to World Pulse.