Every day on my way to and from work, I listen to NPR podcasts. Especially recently, I've had a deep sense of sadness as I listen to story after story about women and girls. The story of the recent gang rape and death in India. The story of the recovering 14-year old Pakastani girl shot by the Taliban. The recent explosion of sexual bullying of young girls online. Even Obama's lack of women in his new cabinet. These stories have had me simmering with petulance and disbelief.
I am heartened by articles like this highly circulated article in the NYTimes by a woman who survived a gang rape: I Was Wounded; My Honor Wasn’t (in response to reactions to rape like this). She articulated something that I've felt hearing each one of these stories: that the most difficult thing might not actually to be the victim (an impressive assertion coming from a victim of a gang rape), it would be to be the parent of the girl who lives these things. I've been a feminist for a long time. For those who think that the world no longer needs feminism, I would ask them to simply read the news - just a daily glance. As a mother to a daughter, my belief in feminism and advocacy for women has been buttressed in every way. Much more difficult than my own struggle in being a woman, in whatever form that might take, would be to live through Colette being disadvantaged, mistreated or harmed simply for being born a girl.
Heartening are articles like this one: The Internationalization of Women’s Issues, that the outcry country-wide in India over that rape/murder and the exposure events like these are getting in international press and that people are thinking in different ways about gender and how gender relates to humanity.