Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Scary Thoughts

Tickets to the gun show? Me at my strongest.

It wasn't so many years ago, but right now it feels like it.

Once upon a time, I was a strong girl. Physically, visibly  strong. I worked really hard to be that fit. I was really proud of myself and had a lot of confidence in my athleticism. I have had a life long love of athletes and the human body. Particularly athletic women. I was pretty sure I would never be model thin, and honestly I wouldn't want to be. But an athlete? In my dreams, I could be. I have always been amazed at what people can do if they are focused and work hard. Boy did I work hard. If I won the lotto today, like a set for life amount, I would start training to be an Iron (wo)Man. But I digress.  

In that picture I weight 125 lbs. I was a strong woman, more athletic and stronger than some men. Occasionally in the back of my mind though, I would still know that if pinned down, I might not be able to get away. Some person, could assault me and rob me of all my security. I hated that feeling. 

This week, driving to work I heard a story on NPR about women in Cairo being sexually assaulted at protest (and how they are fighting back). In some cases gang raped in the streets as they fought for their (Egyptians) collective rights. I felt sick to my stomach for these women, and sicker as I heard Egyptian politicians and even other women saying that if these women didn't want to be assaulted they should stay home. Worse, if they were respectable, honorable women they wouldn't be getting raped (as stated by a 53 year old woman). I teared up as this woman's belief was translated. Luckily I had already pulled into the parking lot of my work. 

I thanked God that I had a son. Then felt ashamed. Horrified at myself, that my first thought was that Animal wouldn't know the fear that sometimes comes with being a woman. Sad, about all the women in the world that know that fear daily, not in the back of their minds. Weak at my inability to protect them. Embarrassed that I don't fight for women's rights. Not in any small way.

I hope and believe, I (and the hubby of course) will raise a man that respects women. That treats a women as an equal and wouldn't take advantage of his size or strength to take anything from any female that wasn't willingly giving of herself. Is that enough? In my heart I know it isn't. Not nearly even close to enough.

I used to do volunteer work, and that always made me feel like I was contributing to the greater good. I don't do that anymore.

I wanted to be a revolutionary. To fight for social justice. For civil rights. For humanity. I don't do shit. Not really. The occasional good deed doesn't do anything to fix the systemic problems of this world.

So I kind of do the only thing I feel like I can honestly do.

I keep my eyes, my mind, my heart open. I watch the documentaries, read the articles, see the homeless on the street. I don't pretend they don't exist. I give when I can, what I can. I think and am heartbroken, and am enraged. I pray.  I try to learn what's our there in my community that I can get behind, where I can refer someone if they confide in me that they need the help. I read, research and campaign for the causes, props, and politicians I believe in.

Is that enough? No. I don't know another way to be. Without dropping out of "life" how can I do enough?


  1. I think we all feel this way at some point. Where do you start? Who can you help? Who needs your help?

    Sometimes I am so sickened and overwhelmed by the corruption in some big "charities" that I brush away the whole idea of volunteering.

    Some heavy thoughts my friend - but they need to be thought. Good for you for trying to sort it out.

    1. Thanx. I also remember that if I ever win the lotto, you're the one with a great idea for an awesome organization!

    2. great! let's partner and make it happen! :-)

  2. I feel the same way quite often! It is so much harder to help than it should be! You don't know exactly how to get things where they need to be; rules and regulations get in the way when you simply want to feed someone who is hungry, etc. I think all we can do is what you are doing--keep our eyes open and help in any way that we can--no matter how small. Sometimes when I make a meal for someone in town who has just had a baby, I realize that yes, it's small, but still, it's something that I can do. I always hope I can do more and bigger things, but I just take the opportunities that come to me the best I can. It sounds like you're doing a great job!!

    1. It sounds like you are too. Usually I'm happy with the little good I can do here and there, but sometimes it's just overwhelming to think how many ppl need help.

  3. It is scary how this is becoming an everyday reality for a lot of women across the world. Rape is a constant factor where I live. I hate to admit it because this is a beautiful country. People have 100's of reasons as to why it is that way but no one can say for sure what needs to change to improve it other than the mentality we are giving our boys as we raise them. I cannot run too early or once it is getting dark at night because it is not safe. Even walking in the daytime can be challenging. I had a group of men try to steal my purse in broad daylight on a crowded (I'm talking at least 200 people within 100m of me) street. They don't try this with men. Only women because we're viewed as 'weaker.' Physically, yea, some of us are but in today's society I view women as emotionally and mentally and often spiritually stronger than the men we are raising. What is the worse is I can only see it getting worse unless we start taking action. As a mom of boys I strive to teach them respect towards women and appreciation above all!!

    1. Man that sounds scary! I feel ya on the running, I had to get a partner to feel safe. I recommend it.

      Also I think you're right about women often being stronger (maybe not physically) but in all the other ways you said.

      Action, you're right we have to take it. But what exactly? I like the being a mom of a boy is a good place to start!

    2. I moved here to get involved, do charity work...ect. But after living here I am genuine when I say the MAJORITY of the people you go to help only want the free handouts. They don't care really about improving their situation. If you could see our news, not what they show in America, you'd see that it isn't how they publicize it!
      It's hard to want to help and make a difference when you are trying to teach life changing skills and VALUES and all the people your helping care about is what they're getting free.
      Not all, but yes the majority are like this here. Last year the goverment put up 1000's of toilets in the townships. The people tore them down and broke them because they wanted them built with brick walls NOTHING else. This is the mentality!

    3. That is so sad, and probably very disheartening. That's what I mean about the systematic problems. those are the ones we have to change. But how? Where's our Cesar Chavez? Our times MLK Jr?