Women of the World
When I got home this evening and opened up my laptop for a little blogging time, I wanted to write to you about International Women's Day. I wanted to teach you about the plight of women across the world. I wanted to let ring in your minds the startling statistics surrounding domestic violence, oppressive labor conditions and gender inequality. I wanted to stir your emotions and share all these things with you.
But the truth is, I'm just learning about all these things myself.
I read books about women in this country and abroad who were forced into trafficking circles and other violent situations. I went to Cambodia for a year and looked in the face of these women quoted in statistics about poverty. I talk to people in my own city in Kentucky who interact on a daily basis with women who live in desperation. But despite all this information I take in - despite how much I want to care and sympathize and seek justice - I cannot REALLY understand what it means to bear the burden of a woman in this world.
You see, my reality is an easy one.
From day one, I've had no other option than to choose the high road. I grew up in suburbia, and while those of us who grew up there complain about how dreadfully boring it can be, suburbia presented us with endless possibilities. Girls in suburbia are taught they can achieve anything they want. They can be a doctor or a lawyer or a race-car driver ... it doesn't matter which destiny they choose; they can achieve it as long as they put their minds to it.
I was raised thinking there was no other real options than to go to college, get a job and start your life. And of course, I complied, because achieving anything less would be tragic.
I fulfilled my destiny. I wanted to go to college, so I went to college. I wanted to travel the world, so I traveled the world. I wanted to become Ms. Editor at a Magazine, so I became Ms. Editor at a Magazine.
This is wonderful. Each and every day I feel blessed that this is my life. But when I read a statistic such as 60 percent of chronically hungry people are women and girls, I can't help but feel guilty and a little sad that I don't have the ability to understand what this reality is like. So while I want to seek justice and take action on the wars women face, I find myself hitting brick walls, because to me it isn't real.
But on this day, International Women's Day, a day when we attempt to make the future better for the women whose lives haven't been so easy, I want to say thanks to all the women I've met who are doing amazing things to improve the woman's condition. You ladies are my reality. You are fighting on the campaign field, bringing joy to others through dance, educating people in all walks of life, raising kids who aren't your own, sharing your faith in a foreign land, advocating for the disadvantaged, and making use of a beautiful language. You are the true loveliness of this world.