The greatest insights emerge in writing. It is this culture of writing that brings forth self-discovery, critical awareness, and self- reflection which is necessary for us to gain a kind of literacy that empowers people and women.
The launching of Pen & Ink seeks to provide a space where this culture of writing can flourish. It envisions a world where women can empower and be empowered by their conversations and associations as they write and learn more about women in and of themselves, and make these experiences and insights available to the entire world.
Pen & Ink then is created first and foremost as a forum for:
It is a forum that engages dialogue among women of diverse cultures and identities. It is where they could gather to share their experiences and learn about how their stories portray the negotiations that women go through in their everyday lives with respect to different factors that contribute and inform their sense of self.
As women gather together, they practice radical self – questioning as they try to listen and identify with other women, facilitate the creation of shared values, and develop a more encompassing vision of liberation for women – that which recognizes that while individuality is important, individual empowerment is not fully realized without the empowerment of all women. And that this can only come as a result of personal, cultural and systematic structural change.
Genuine Women’s solidarity
In this endeavor, Pen & Ink recognizes the need to stretch the boundary of this community and include in the women’s discourse the intersectionality of different social identities, such as gender, sexuality, race, class and ethnicity as we try to be mindful of women’s different realities.
As we try to build relationships with other sisters across the world, Pen & Ink members remain aware and in touch with the context of women from the third world and women of color which calls forth understanding of differences in terms of women’s struggles.
While solidarity calls us to unite, critical consciousness also calls us to be more cautious in terms of understanding how differences are framed and interpreted.
As awareness of people increases, more and more people have come to realize how this framework of differences have also been used to support and justify various form of oppression between and within societies.
In Pen & Ink, we strive to strike the balance between contextualizing women’s many inventive ways of resistance in their respective culture, but at the same time is critical of how certain groups also use this politics of difference to perpetuate oppression of women.
Pen & Ink believes in the emergence of an organization of women writers. A movement that promotes a culture of writing that results to critical consciousness, collective action and genuine women’s solidarity.
We hope to meet and inspire other women in the Philippines and across the world, as well as work with other stakeholders in the community to realize this dream – of forging a community where women are empowered, where their stories are recognized and where their voices are heard.