transcending silence... Spring 2008 Issue

 

Editorial

In this fifth anniversary issue, we spotlight women's resistance, both personal and political. Resistance manifests itself in multiple ways: through the various works published in this year's issue, we highlight women's acts of strength. This strength is also reflected in our e-journal, which has triumphed despite limited resources and lack of institutional support. The journal, like the contributors featured in this issue, will continue to persevere and to attract a global audience who will join us in transcending silence...

Laura Gallery's essay, "Mujeres en Acción: Indigenous Women's Activism in Chiapas, Mexico," discusses how the devastating effects of globalization have spawned the Zapatista social movement in Mexico, and how women have played a significant role in it. Through their participation in this movement, indigenous feminists demonstrate that there is no contradiction between challenging gender roles and preserving their distinct culture.

Elizabeth A. Becker's field notes on "Birth: Eight Women Tell the Truth about Birth in America," allow us to experience the play, engage in the panel discussion that occurred afterward, as well as understand the importance of making one's own decisions in a medicalized world. She documents the transformation of women's views of pregnancy from a model of disease to one of celebration.

Further complicating these views, the self-portrait, "What If...," drawn by Ana Gallira, projects her ambivalence over the possibility of pregnancy. Her artwork, done in charcoal, invites discussions on selfhood, the body, and the politics of expectant motherhood.

Finally, in the poem "Every Single Day," Kaitlin Boyle narrates the horrors of rape and her eventual triumph over pain and despair. In dealing with sexual abuse and adolescence, her sense of identity evolves from self-imprisonment to self-liberation. By taking her pain and making it her power, she has created in her self-portrait a hero and role model for others.

Through these diverse pieces, we hope that readers will question present-day standards, misconceptions, and gender roles, as well as find beauty and joy in the way each work transcends silences and transforms our worldviews.

 

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