Fourth Wave
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Fourth Wave

This is an email from On the Crest, a newsletter by Fourth Wave.

Once We Dreamed the Web Would Connect Us

In Fourth Wave’s tiny pocket of the world, that dream comes true

Photo by Luiz Felipe Zirbes on Unsplash

I’m old enough to remember when the Internet was first invented. Or at least, when it was first made available to the common people. We called it the Worldwide Web back in the day (hence the www), and the name alone conjured wonderful images of a better, more connected, more humane world.

There were early indications that the web would be a force for good, like when people used Twitter to organize a huge protest against an oppressive regime. With the same optimistic linguistics, we called the protest Arab Spring. It was only afterwards that we heard of the gang rapes, the violence, and the changeover to a not-much-better regime.

But now, in 2021, most of our original hope for the web is gone. Now I see the internet as primarily evil, a money-making tool of manipulation that turned half of America into violent conspiracy theorists, fueled a genocide in Myanmar, and empowered hate groups and trolls around the world.

But there’s one tiny corner of the internet where the original dream is being realized, and that’s here in this humble publication.

When I started Fourth Wave in 2019, I thought of it primarily as a way to organize my stories more attractively. Yet in the back of my mind flickered the hope that it could become an international community of women and their allies, a place where we could share stories and hear voices raised for fairness and equality from around the world.

That’s why I want to start today’s newsletter with the contributions of people outside of the U.S. I hope Fourth Wave readers and writers will support our international contributors — read some of their stories and clap, comment, or highlight resonant lines— to help nourish and strengthen our growing band of people who are bringing more light into this dark, disturbing world.

It’s been a long time since the last newsletter, so there will be a lot of links. I hope you find a few that you want to read.

From Romania

we welcome LucianG, who examines the classic feminist debate about pornography and sex work. Is it empowerment, or oppression?

Sex Work Should Never Be Considered A Career Choice

From Malaysia

Returning contributor Yong Yee Chong graces us with two poems she translated to English from Chinese

Fleedom, Nur Sajat!
Against the Dying of the Light

From Australia?

I thought I had an email exchange that included the information that Autumn Karen lives in Australia, but now I can’t find it. Wherever you live, Autumn, we’re glad for your contributions!

Self Doubt and Saggy Boobs
Breaking Free from Abuse Only Starts When You Walk Away
Why the Male-Dominated Reviews of The Eternals are Problematic

And From Elsewhere

I don’t always know where contributors to Fourth Wave live, but judging from details in their stories I’m guessing these two writers live outside the U.S. (Attention writers: we’d love to hear where you live in the comments.)

Welcome to Swetha Soundararajan, who gave us
5 Reasons to use Menstrual Cups and 5 not to

and Alwia Al-Hassan, who brought us
A Westerner’s Guide to Arranged Marriages

And last but definitely not least are our beloved and valued returning contributors who bring so much wisdom to our community. Thank you for making Fourth Wave a rich and interesting place to spend time.

Vena Moore who graces us with
Why It’s Hard For Me To Be Friends With Men

Evelyn Jean Pine who brings her excellent poems
I’m Happy With My Life . . . in Theory
I Love My Way of Life

Alan Tabor, who gives us the deep and provocative
Am I Part of a Secret White Guy Death Cult?

L. A. Jackson, who blesses us with
Sunday Morning Breakfast
Jesus, the Virgin Mary & the Black Revolutionary

Rivka Wolf, who gifts us
My Not-so-little Mermaid Heart
Parenthood and TV’s Women Problem

G.L.Vyvyan, who gives a sweet tribute to her brother
My Irish Twin

John Kruse, who tells us why he’s
Leaving San Francisco

Author changing the narrative about older women Vicki Larson, who’s been busy writing a new book (which you can pre-order here) yet also finds time to write the FW story with the most views this cycle (7.5k)
What Do Older Women Want Men For?

as well as many other great reads
Julianne Moore Doesn’t Want to ‘Age Gracefully’
You Don’t Need Courage to Age Naturally
Women’s Relationship With Money Hurt Them Even Before the Pandemic
Women, Repeat After Me: ‘I Think I Look Good
How Menopause Impacts a Woman’s Romantic/Sexual Relationship
Gen X Women are Realizing the Upsides of Being Middle-Aged
Spare Us the Misogyny When it Comes to What a Woman Wears
Middle-Aged Married Women Are Having Major Crushes

It’s 9pm on Thanksgiving night here in San Francisco as I wrap up this newsletter. On this holiday when Americans are encouraged to appreciate our blessings, I’m grateful for the delicate yet powerful world-wide web of (mostly) women writers that we are weaving together here on Fourth Wave.

Patsy Fergusson

Click here to join Medium and help support my work at the same time. For an email when I publish a new story, click here. And for more of the good stuff, follow Fourth Wave, where we’re changing the world for the better, one story at a time. Got one of your own? Submit to the Wave!




Changing the world for the better, one story at a time, with a focus on women and other disempowered groups

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Patsy Fergusson

Patsy Fergusson

Tree hugger. Tour guide. Top Writer. Feminist. Newly-baptized Bay swimmer. Editor of Fourth Wave.

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