WOESER, a Tibetan poet and blogger, is struggling for visibility. In today’s New York Times This Saturday Profile, Woeser (going by a single name as is tradition in Tibet) is highlighted as a Chinese woman of Tibetan ancestry who discovered her roots and moved back to Tibet. She began to research the history between Tibet and China and began blogging and writing about what she saw was happening. In 2003, her first book, Notes on Tibet, was published and quickly sold it. But before the second run could be printed, the Chinese government banned the book.
Needless to say, the Chinese government has gone to great lengths to silence her. They have blocked her blogs and her travels to Tibet are scrutinized.
From the Times, ‘Despite her relatively high profile both inside and outside China, she is well aware that her liberty is fragile. Since 2004 she has been waiting for a passport, which would allow her to travel and speak abroad.
“I feel so insecure inside,” she said. “I feel like I’m sitting on the edge of a cliff and I could fall down at any moment.”’
I feel great respect for Woeser for her willingness to write the truth as she sees it, regardless of the dangers she faces in direct response of her doing so. She is honoring what she knows to be true from within her, finding the courage to keep going in the face of strong condemnation from the Chinese government.
More and more women are finding the courage to step forth and speak out. I feel it is of utmost importance that we support these women in solidarity…all of us, both women and men. Women such as Woeser are exhibiting leadership of a new kind, leadership that comes from listening to what one knows to be true deep within and having the courage to express it from the heart.
What can we do to support Woeser in her vision to travel and speak in other parts of the world? I welcome your comments.