Why American Women Should Not Take Our Freedom for Granted

Has anyone else been surprised to see so many women taking to the streets in Iran, in protest of the election so obviously stolen by what’s-his-name-who’s-clearly-whacked? I am both frightened and relieved to see their covered heads, marching with fists raised…but it’s also a reminder of just how close we all are to chaos and a return to brutal oppression. All around the world women are still in trouble.

There are little girls in Pakistan who are having their schools blown up because some obviously uneducated “people” feel it’s dangerous to educate them. And it is dangerous to educate women, because once we are educated, we realize we have more power than we thought. Ladies in America, it’s only been about 100 years since women have been allowed a college education in this country.

All around the world, young girls are still being sold into sexual slavery…some of which is called marriage. As young as 8 or 9 years old, girls in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and who knows where else are being kidnapped—or worse, sold by their own families.

And forget about women owning property in many countries. Even in America and Europe, as recently as 150 years ago, if a woman got divorced, she automatically lost her children because they were the property of her husband. This is still the reality for many women around the world.

Genital mutilation for young girls is still the rule rather than the exception in Africa. Can you imagine taking your daughter out to your backyard and cutting off her clitoris, just so she will be more desirable and manageable to a future husband? In some parts of the world, it’s mothers who do this to their daughters.

Here in America, we obsess over our hair, nails, weight, skin, and reality television more than we think about what other women around the world are dealing with. And besides all that, we women are just so damn busy all the time…too busy to read about our history, too busy to remember just how precious this freedom is, too busy to help out other women around the world.

Let’s promise ourselves not to forget all this, because there is a very thin line between the freedom we have now and the freedom we could lose. We owe it to our daughters, our girlfriends, and all the women around the world to never, ever forget.

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6 Responses to Why American Women Should Not Take Our Freedom for Granted

  1. marguerite parelli June 29, 2009 at 12:14 pm #

    Excellent reminder of our precious freedom!

    Excellent summary about the plight of women in many countries.

    I plan to forward to all my e-mail friends.

  2. Maya June 29, 2009 at 2:30 pm #

    It is amazing to see how far we’ve come, and how quickly! It gives one hope for other women around the world who don’t have the freedoms US women do. Hopefully soon they’ll enjoy the liberty and freedoms we don’t always appreciate.

    One of my favorite stories from Iran was of one woman who left her children to fix their own dinner so that she could go out and protest. She said that was more important for their future. I think she’s right.

  3. Chris June 29, 2009 at 4:47 pm #

    Thank you for blogging on this important issue. It really bothers me when the some of the very same people who (rightfully so) campaign for equal rights for women in western nations are so quick to turn a blind eye to blatant sex discrimination in third world nations as “being part of the culture.” Women around the globe deserve equal protection and equal rights under the law, regardless of that country’s culture, traditions, or dominant religion.

  4. cw June 29, 2009 at 5:53 pm #

    WOW! so right.. I was more than appalled when so many are just excusing it as ‘their culture”. How can people even say that with a clear thought? Who’s culture? Does the woman even have a choice? I saw a documentary on the ‘female circumcision’, and it was just disturbing at such a level it still haunts me and makes me deeper than angry. A 8 year old girl was taken by her father and uncle to an open market, and “circumcised” with a piece of broken glass. No medicine no nothing. Held down… oh my I cannot even bear to think of the horrendous things being done to these little girls. The truth though is that even in the US, these people that come from this background continue to practice it here and of course illegally. Just as they murder their (of age) daughters for things such as dating. It happens here.
    Women who have their dowries taken by their husbands and then are cast aside left to beg on the streets. Forced to walk behind the husband or they and the young girls put out in fields to look for mines so to make sure it is safe for the cow to graze, the cow is harder to replace. Baby girls aborted because they are girls, and if they are born because they cannot afford to have an ultrasound to detect the gender, given hard peas to suffocate them or be cast out from their husbands for not bearing a son. Laying in the next room and within ear shot while your husband has sex with one of his other wives.
    We still have some ground to make up, but Maria is right, do not take for granted our freedoms and if given the opportunity do what you can to help those who suffer under the oppressive governments which seem to control to mass populations of the globe.

  5. CS June 30, 2009 at 11:32 am #

    I will never take my freedom for granted and my education as well as my two beautiful bright daughters. Women are so bright all over the world and it is beyond belief that any child or women is treated so horribly. I hope they continue to fight for what they believe and that God will somehow watch over these poor women and children
    until they are free to do what all women in this country are free to do.
    It is time for changes and time for these oppressive governments to
    respect everyone’s rights.

  6. Brehm Neel July 6, 2009 at 9:31 pm #

    Oh, I thank you so much for reminding us all about some of the things that much of the world still suffers with. The precious freedoms we fought for are being undermined as we read this. Many of our daughters have embraced the thought that they are here for someone sex toy. Pornography and sexting have found “acceptable ” place in their lives. Remind them daily of how wonderful and special they are. As their mothers we have so much to teach them and we can’t be afraid to talk to them honestly. If we don’t someone else will gladly”educate” them.

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