Saturday, December 02, 2006

Me, moi, violence & ICTs / TIC

J'ai connu beaucoup de violence dans ma vie, principalement dans mon enfance. Mais je suis toujours là, j'aime, je milite, je travaille, je marche, je chante, je pleure : je vis ! C'est possible de passer à travers ça, et de vivre.

As an adult, I have made choices which have lead me away from violent people and situations of abuse, but as a child, one does not have a choice: I had to live my young life in the environment that I was provided to grow up in. Despite many strengths I developed from living that life, despite some wonderful experiences that I can't regret having, and despite whatever good qualities I inherited from my parents - it was a tough childhood, with alcoholism ever-present, physical and psychological violence, as well as sexual abuse.

Je dois composer au jour le jour avec les émotions pénibles qui découlent de ce que j'ai vécu. Certaines journées, cela veut dire que j'ai de la difficulté à continuer, à me concentrer, à passer au travers de mes journées, à ne pas pleurer et avoir des pensées noires. Je pense que ce n'est pas normal de penser encore chaque jour à ce que j'ai vécu dans mon enfance, de penser que les personnes qui devaient s'occuper le plus de moi, être les plus proches de moi - mes parents - m'ont soit négligée, soit abusée.

But other times, on other days, I feel strong and proud that I am still here, a survivor, with pain and sadness and certain emotional handicaps, perhaps, but here, contributing as a feminist activist.

What does this have to do with ICTs? Not much at the time I was living the violence, since it was before the technology era, plus I was completely alone in what I was living. No one knew about the abuse - or they pretended not to know, because how can neighbours not have heard my screams and hysterical crying? How could family not have known when they saw my hair falling out in clumps on one occasion, and on another, my face covered in scratches. I can't help but wonder how things might have been if the Internet had been around at that time, for example. I'm sure I would have searched online for resources, support, something. I wonder if my life would have been better.

Maintenant, je suis convaincue que l'accès à Internet, et l'accès à l'information au sujet des droits des femmes et des enfants, et au sujet des ressources qui existent et qui s'adressent à elles, je suis certaine que c'est une bonne chose et que cet Internet-là, ça doit se développer et prendre plus de place à l'avenir. Je suis convaincue que les femmes, on doit se le réapproprier, cet Internet-là, se le créer et le diffuser.

I yearn for an Internet where there would be no violence against women (harassment, defamation, threats), against children (pornography), against minorities of any kind (racism, homophobia...). I love for women to take their place online, to set up women-positive and safe spaces. I do that myself in my work and private life - it is my life's purpose and gives me meaning in my daily existence.

Courage to all of us who know violence so intimately and try to rid our lives of it forever,

Solidarité avec celles qui avons vécu la violence, et celles qui la vivons encore - on peut s'en sortir !

-- FeminisTIC

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