Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Malala Yousafzai

I had another post for today. You will see it tomorrow.  I wrote it, I sat with TBG to watch the NBC Nightly News, and I started to shake.

I'm quaking from the very inside of myself.  There's nothing I can think of to make it stop.  I'm deep breathing and I'm lowering my shoulders and I'm concentrating on the natural beauty surrounding me and I can't get the image of that lovely 14 year out of my head.

Watch this clip from Brian Williams's broadcast tonight... even if you only fast forward to about 1:30 to hear her talk about getting her education no matter what the obstacles might be, no matter what the Taliban might say. Watch her walk out of a gate on her way to school... an act which galvanized her classmates but infuriated the misogynists hiding behind the veil of religion who are running and ruining her country. 

They shot her.  An armed man walked into her classroom and shot her.

Read this article from The Guardian.  There is no reasoning with people like this.  To reason, you must be able to assume that the other's frame of reference is valuable...viable... defensible.  Words like these, used by the Taliban to describe Malala's diary, are unreasonable:
 "This was a new chapter of obscenity, and we have to finish this chapter."
So, a gunman decided that weaponry was the answer and he put a bullet in her brain... in her neck... and she's not a 2 minute med-evac helicopter ride away from a Level 1 Trauma Center... and she's 14 years old for crying out loud.

The doctors wonder if she will be able to speak again.

My bumper wears this sticker:
I didn't really need another vibrant young woman with a bullet in her head to keep me motivated.  Really, I didn't.  Not one little bit.

Will it never end?  Will the fact of women raising their voices, asking to be taught, demanding to be heard never cease to inflame the passions of those whose only claim to power is the oppression of others?

TBG is fond of saying that one can judge the success of a civilization by the way it treats women. You go ahead.... finish the comparison yourselves.  I'm shaking too hard to type it.

The Guardian article goes on to document a local jirga calling tribal leaders to account for the trading of seven girls - four through thirteen - to settle a blood feud. As if being called to testify will change anything.... change comes with thought... with consideration.. .with an acceptance of, perhaps, the fallibility of one's ideas. 

I just don't see it happening.

These are our allies.  These are our friends.  Yet, these are not people I recognize as kindred spirits... as honorable... as anything but afraid and petulant.

In their world, the words of a fourteen year old girl required weaponry. 

How sad.  How very, very sad.

The world's going to hell in a handbasket, and I can't say that I'm enjoying the ride.


  1. can't think of one damn thing to say.

  2. I saw this story yesterday and was just as upset as you are. There is no reasoning behind it. All they wanted to do was silence this young lady. Instead, they've drawn more attention to her and her voice. I'm reflecting on TBG's saying because I never thought of it, but it's so true!

    Feeling somewhat low today anyway. I'm tired of the attack on women by the GOP. They aren't shooting us, but they are trying to silence us and restrict our freedoms. And I don't give a crap if someone calls me a feminazi. Just because I stand up for women's rights, I'm somehow construed as someone who is dangerous. Ugggh!

    Off to get some tea.

    Megan xxx

  3. Malala would probably be called a feminazi too, Megan. You are in good company.

    Funnny.... TBG and I needed green tea last night, too. Hope yours was as soothing as ours was. It didn't heal the hurt, but it calmed the soul a teeny bit.

  4. It was a horrible thing and so typical of a certain mentality of people-- and not all live over there. TBG is right with how you judge a people. That and how they treat the weak and old. I read something recently, I think a Facebook friend posted it, that you don't have to respect all the ways people think. Listen maybe but respect-- no. Some is just plain evil and wrong.

  5. Completely agree with everything you wrote, and all the above comments. One clarification I want to make - you said that, "These are our allies. These are our friends." To be fair, if you're talking about the people who traded the girls for the blood feud that might be true, but the ones who shot that little girl were members of the Taliban, who most assuredly are not our allies or friends.

    I also saw this story on facebook, and the person who posted it commented that we no longer need to use Nazis as the go-to absolute evil group, the Taliban can just as comfortably fit into that role.

    Now, as anyone's who's ever seen The Princess Bride knows, military solutions aren't going to change much in Afghanistan, and I doubt we as a people have the stomach for the kind of civic engagement needed to effect change over there. Maybe some sort of open, all expenses paid immigration for any young people from that part of the world who'd like to come somewhere they'd be safe? I don't know, I guess thank you very much what-ever-higher-power-you-believe-in for my winning the genetic lottery.


  6. Rain, you are so right. I like the distinction between listening and respecting; I'm going to dance with that in my head for a while.

    Nice to see you here, Big Cuter. "A land war in Asia" was a mistaken venture from the get-go. I'm loving your immigration program as a use for those dollars.

    I struggled with the syntax re: "friends... allies" and I didn't get it quite right, as you so aptly point out (as usual). I should've gone back and worked on it but I was quaking too hard to approach it before bedtime. Thanks for clearing it up.

  7. This story broke my heart and made me so angry that I could hardly see. Such a threat this young woman was! It is a testament to her and her message, I supppose, that those on the other side of her society felt that it was so dangerous that the only way to respond was through violence. The hell that we are heading toward is coming much more quickly than a mere handbasket can carry.
    I also shared this on my FB page yesterday when I saw it. It is the kind of thing that you have to share with others, as it is too much to think about alone.

  8. Yes, chlost, it is too much to think about alone.

  9. It's even worse than you say--they went into a school bus full of children and shot her there, in front of every child in the bus.

  10. Did anyone see Lawrence O'Donnell's piece on Malala? It was heart-wrenching to watch. And he was just as angry as we all are. This was so utterly sickening what the Taliban did. I didn't realize Malala was writing for the BBC under a pseudonym. What a brave, brave girl. I pray she makes it and I love Big Cuter's idea of offering sanctuary to these brave people.

  11. MS...thank you so much for posting that link. I watched it and then posted it to my fb page with this comment.

    'I would like to see the non-Taliban citizens of Pakistan rise up in righteous anger and deal with this atrocity themselves!'

    If this doesn't move them to action, I don't know what will.


Talk back to me! Word Verification is gone!