Today I had a win.
Not a 'hooray, yay, I won' kind of win.
More like a quiet 'that was worthwhile and I'm so thankful' kind of win.
I recently found myself censored in a research forum. I had assumed because of a reply I had given on gender issues, but I wasn't positive as nobody had the courtesy to contact me or respond to my queries. I simply had to wait out the banishment of 8 long days. While I waited, I posted to a separate forum about the censorship in academia.. and guess what?
Yep... censored there too.
I shouldn't be surprised. After all my entire PhD research culminated in a theory that includes what a necessary and powerful tool censorship is for those who want to control what we think, say and do.
It was however, disappointing.
So I waited.. 8 days.. then posted my question... why was I censored and by whom?
This elicited a long and highly participatory forum discussion where the majority were concerned about the censorship, some excuses were made, an apology proffered although one that at least initially was somewhat conditional, and quite a number of private messages sent to me in support.
Another member wrote of her own experience of the courage it took to speak up in opposition to a dominant discourse issue in a very public way.. the collective sighs of relief she heard from those around her and the private messages of support she received. She has courage. I would like to think that perhaps my speaking up, helped her to do so as well.
You see.. this is what it takes.. one person at a time, to speak up. Have courage. Those of us with less to risk may have to be the first. That's okay. I am happy to pave the way. If you can support me privately but not publicly that is awesome.
I hope though that at some point you will see that there are enough of us that you do not have to be so afraid.