Sunday, August 23, 2009

9. Self-Empowered Rant

Dear Followers,

The book jacket is finally in a frame and Tony will place it near my other book jackets this afternoon. Seeing it on the wall makes it all the more real...

Started this morning (like every Sunday) with the NY Times and was very disturbed by the magazine cover story, which was titled "Why Women's Rights Are The Cause of Our Time." NYT columnist Nicholas Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn have been at the forefront of calling attention to women's issues, particularly in other cultures. The magazine was full of statistics and articles about the problems that women (particularly in Africa and the Middle East) endure. For example, did you know that the United Nations has estimated that there are 5,000 "honor killings" a year, and the majority take place in the Muslim world?

There was also a moving article about a hero of mine, Shamsia (an eleven year old girl in Afganistan) who was walking to the Mirwais Mena School for Girls on the outskirts of Kandahar when she was attacked with acid by Taliban men who disapprove of education for females. Today, she has raised scars on her face and her eyes are too damaged for her to be able to read, but her illiterate mother and father supported her. In Shamsia's words, "My parents told me to keep coming to school even if I am killed." No wonder I never take a woman's accomplishments for granted!

Were you able to guess what model Janice Dickenson, recording artist Fergie, writer Jacqueline Mitchard and artist Louise Nevelson have in common? They, like so many high-achieving women, endured "Hard Times." Of course, the difficult situations most women face don't hold a candle to the challenges chronicled by Kristof in his new book "Half the Sky," they are still character building and mettle-testing.
Thanks for the comments...

1 comment:

  1. Dear Marilyn- I've been thinking about sending this comment for a couple of days; and I hesitated this morning as I read about Shamsia. I'm familiar with her story and her courage and determination are extraordinary and a lesson for us all. And so is yours. You teach us everyday that "can't" should not be in one's vocabulary and "doubt" is bad idea. I look forward to reading your book because of you. So, with that being said, and on behalf of some of those of my gender who don't know you and are not yet enlightened, why should a man read a book about successful women? What will stop them from just blowing by it on the retailer's shelf, assuming they ever get into a bookstore? What can men take away from this book? Warm regards, Casey