This social news site emerged out of despair by some writers, feminists, activists and, (as they call themselves), witches rolled into one. Some months ago, a news site where we honed our skills as writers and which we continued to support, through falling revenues, readership and enthusiasm, had closed down. Its demise was inevitable for reasons that we rather keep to our sad selves. It’s safe to say that it reached a cul de sac and the barrier was quite high to hurdle. But as the ink has started drying, we grew restless. We wondered if we could live without writing as women and for women. How do we recreate a community of women writers and connect with new ones. Is a community of writers still relevant in the age of social media when one can easily have a platform for airing one’s views and assemble followers who could click, like, tweet, retweet one’s words? Fake news sites, for example, would buy bots to make their accounts viral.
However a community of women writers is a different space. First, it is a space for teaching and learning. We learned that long ago when we were starting out as writers. We watched how seasoned writers polished our stories, taught us the basics, and tempered our idealism with reality. Second, it is a space of resistance. For example, our editors helped us make sense of the women’s movement in the Philippines and convinced us why writing about women crucially contributes to strengthening the struggle for equality of women and men. We allowed our stories to reveal various forms of sexual and structural discrimination as a function of societal differences like gender and class. Third, it is a space for empowerment. Through our writing, we enacted our politics and registered our protests against injustices and gender oppression that we saw and experienced in our lives.
Having experienced that kindness, it became apparent to some of us, younger writers, that perhaps it is our turn to do the same. After some false starts, we finally have this social news site running. We want to make a case that women’s voices in the media, both in legacy and social media, remain to be a crucial tool in ensuring that the rights, welfare and agenda of diverse women’s groups and movements are heard. We are aware of the many things that divided women – politics of identity, ideologies and access to resources, to name a few. But unless we hear the women speak and tell their stories, directly or through a writer, we would never understand them or build an accord we call Sisterhood.
What do we intend to write? Nothing extraordinary but perhaps everything that touches our lives and our communities. Maybe the things that are weird, grandiose, subtle or inexhaustible. And who knows what songs, stories and metaphors will come out of our writings and leap at all the possibilities that this social news site would offer.
We want women who love to write to join us. We are interested in your stories, not simply to fill up the space or drive traffic to this site. We offer a community for women writers. How we imagine this community would shape the way we act on it. Happy Women’s Day.
*Inspired by the article “Senate Votes to Silence Elizabeth Warren for Quoting Coretta Scott King“