Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dear Girl Without Voting Rights...With No Rights-This is for you precious angel.

I sat on the couch tonight with one of my twins in my lap, flipping through the channels, trying to avoid the last of the political ads before election day tomorrow. Elizabeth Warren promises to fight for equal pay for women and Senator Brown assures us he is on the side of women for their rights to choose. I'm so sick and tired of all the ads. I stumble through more channels and land on BBC World....and now I'm ruined. The story is short but so gruesome; I can't get it out of my head.
They interview the murderers. I've never witnessed humans so callus. There is no sign of remorse, no emotion on their faces. The father, in cuffs and chains, does weep when his younger children come running to him with tears streaming down their faces. What is going through his mind as he comforts the siblings of the daughter he has just killed? A 16 year old daughter killed at the hands of her cruel father and heartless mother...in the name of honor. Yes, by now, I know that we've all heard about these "honor killings," but tonight I'm beyond disturbed. 

I'm disturbed that this is our world and while I can exercise my rights as a free, educated woman tomorrow and go to the polls and vote, my vote won't stop these crimes from happening. In my country we aren't trying to insure women have access to education, we just want them to have access to contraceptives. And the right to vote? Well, women gained that years ago. We're on to bigger and better things. We aren't concerned about women being killed by their families, we're just trying to maintain a woman's right to kill her own babies. Am I insensitive, naive, not explaining the whole story? Oh, I'm just getting started. While untold numbers of women are beaten and killed around the world every day, we sit. 
          And we dance around the topic. 
We ignore their suffering, their entrapment in a culture where the men dictate it all and there is no escape for the women. 
And I just want to scream. I want to scream and cry at the total injustice, at the utter lack of respect for women...no, "respect" doesn't even encapsulate it...

I can't fathom loathing life so much that you would commit something so cruel. The mother's words chill me to the core and wring in my ears over and over as I wash my organic, carefully-balanced snack for my son's preschool class tomorrow. 
You know what she said? 
The murderous mother said, "It was her destiny to die this way"...with no tremor in her voice...no tears in her eyes. 
I take a break from washing the fruit and I nurse one of my twins back to sleep, his soft warm skin, the innocence of a babe...he pulls off my breast and smiles up at me. 
                                                            And I'm crushed. 
Utterly crushed at the thought of this other mother, around the world from me, pouring acid on the head of her firstborn. Her firstborn, the one she should have shared a magical bond with, a love so deep that nothing could ever come between it...and she burned that precious skin. 

What was the girl's "crime"? She didn't run away with a boy and get pregnant out of wedlock. She didn't do drugs and no filthy language spewed from her mouth. No, her parents were too scared of these greater sins and thought best to preempt something so rebellious. So they killed her when she merely glanced at a young man as he approached their house. A glance...a look over her shoulder but in clear view of parents just waiting for her to "slip."

Her father began beating her, her mother ran to get the acid. Why in the world do these people keep acid on hand? For such a time as this.
She pleaded with her parents that it was an accident and as her father beat her, she promised that she would never do it again. The mother insured her promise by pouring the acid over her head.

There are things that compel me to write, things that haunt me until I purge my being from the thoughts and questions that won't stop.

I haven't blogged in a year...scared to offend. Scared to be vulnerable. But this girl rattles me...how can I ignore the horrible agony in which she died? I won't. Not this time. I will repeat her story and I'll feel sick all over again. She deserves our attention, not our indifference.

And she deserves it from conservatives and liberals, democrats, republicans, independents and whoever else has a voice....she deserved it all. Oh, God, help me do her some sort of justice by repeating her story. And God you know I can only hope now that the life she stepped into is a paradise so wonderful that it erases the 16 years of torture she stepped out of.

I'm not scared of offending; I'm already offended.
I'm so offended that these killings go on. This family weren't radical terrorists, living in a training camp, plotting evil schemes. They were hidden away in a small village. In fact, that's what they did to their daughter, they hid her away and refused to seek medical help for her...they let her slowly burn for hours before she died. I can't stand this.

I can't stomach it.

Yes, her parents and OUR indifference, just offended me out of my silence.

* Editor's "reflections"*
I wrote my initial post in a wave of intense emotion after hearing about this young girl's death in light of my own freedoms as a woman about to vote in the U.S. As a VERY busy mom of twins, I also wrote quickly and with little editing.  My desire, in this post, is to raise awareness of women's rights globally while being thankful and responsible with our rights as American women.  My heart breaks all over again for this girl....trapped in that family and in that culture...in all that. I mean no offense to those loving souls in any culture; I do intend to offend our hearts into action when human rights are violated in any "setting."

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