Tuesday, May 6, 2014

botched

We've been studying Shakespeare with a feminist twist, and I really believed I was getting somewhere with these kids.  One of my favorite boy students came up to see me during study hall.  He wanted to know if my husband would like to sponsor a hole for a golf outing to benefit the school's auto club.

What?  You want to try that again, buddy?


He didn't get it.  And after I spelled it out for him, my ability to write checks and sponsor a hole all by myself, he mumbled something to the effect of "Mr. D's a business owner and a guy, so he probably is more interested in cars."

I took umbrage at this comment and pointed out that I, too, earn money (77 cents to every dollar earned by a man, yo!) and when it comes to things mechanical my skills outstrip my husband'sAnd Mr. D could give a crap about cars.  Neither do I, come to think of it, but at least I know something about the auto club and I know the students involved in it.  He shrugged, unclear on how he'd offended me with such a simple request.  I huffed a bit longer about women and equality, and then I checked the news.

That's when this terrible realization hit me:

Almost two months ago Flight 370 disappeared, 239 people are missing and likely dead by now and the U.S. has committed millions of dollars to continue the search for remains.

Meanwhile, less than a month ago, over 300 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped from their school dormitories in the middle of the night, 276 of them are still missing, and finally today the U.S. has agreed to assist in searching for them.  Granted, Nigeria's government botched up their rescue from the start by spreading misinformation and blatant lies about the situation, but where's the outrage? 

Let's do the math: more people missing for less time, more likelihood they're still alive, but less collective effort looking for them.  Three hundred schoolgirls ripped out of their beds, victimized because they were trying to get an education.  

It occurred to me that the U.S. should commit at least as much money and manpower searching for living people as it has searching for dead people.  The U.S. government should be furious that girls aren't safe in all kinds of places in the world and ought to step in to save innocent people used as pawns. As we swing into midterm elections, it's worth noting that President Obama was urged to take action on behalf of these 276 missing girls by 20 female senators.   

Since I'm fond of bringing things full circle, I plan to decline sponsorship for a hole at the auto club golf outing.  Instead I'm sending the equivalent $100 to Heifer International's Women's Empowerment.  It's nothing personal against boys and their cars.  It's something personal about girls and their right to learn and live in a safer world.  



22 comments:

  1. Good for you! And excellent response!

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  2. And I just donated to Heifer International's Women's Empowerment as well!

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  3. While I am glad we are finally helping look for them, I don't think it is an anti-girl thing so much as a "money talks" thing. People who take international flights are relatively well-off, and they have well-off relatives/survivors to advocate for them. These girls aren't/weren't and didn't.

    At least, not until 20 female senators spoke up...

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  4. It's all a money thing one way or another. And, it is so extremely sad about the Nigerian girls. The plane was more than likely some sort of random act of nature while the girls were victims of, gosh I can't even think of a strong enough word, the most heinous sort of crime and then victims of an uncaring government and people who would not act to help find them. It's more than sad or unjust.

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  5. Everything right there: "It occurred to me that the U.S. should commit at least as much money and manpower searching for living people as it has searching for dead people."

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  6. Well said. Loopy and I are applauding from the safety of our sofa and we wish every woman in the world had the rights we enjoy. We love you too.

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  7. I know, I agree, why does so much money go toward things that helps no one living, or even why are girls and women so quickly treated secondarily?

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  8. The only coverage I have heard until now has been npr.
    It goes to my soul that someone thinks of these girls as commodity.
    I know this is a problem world wide, how do we help keep our children safe.
    Keep talking, maybe someone will listen.

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  9. I've not understood why there hasn't been more outrage about this horrible taking of young girls since I first heard of it. How could it be allowed to go unavenged? I didn't know Heifer had a women's empowerment group. Have donated for the animals but this seems a much better choice.

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  10. Absolutely! We're finally seeing this in the mainstream news and finally seeing something close to the appropriate level of outrage. I'm a about as pacifist as they come, but if there was ever a time to send it the special forces and elite military, I'd think this is it. Of course, that time was also a month ago...

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  11. The atrocities that occur daily in this world would blow most American's minds right out of their heads. It is frightening the crap that still happens. And for the most part we are all completely oblivious.
    I am glad this is finally coming to light. Something needs to be done IMMEDIATELY.

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  12. I'll donate a sum equivalent to $100 to a Swedish Charity involved in the fight for women's equality.
    Thank you for an excellent post and thumbs up for Karen who pointed me in your direction.

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  13. You go girl.

    Just got back from business trip to London - got to go to Stratford-Upon-Avon and see Shakespeare's birth home and where he's buried!

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  14. I agree that it is infuriating that girls, and really all children, are not safe the world over.

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  15. It is not only the USA that should be outraged and make an effort. It is the whole civilized world that should, but then again, they are only African, muslim girls, aren't they? They come a dime a dozen.

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  16. You tell 'em! And I do mean exactly that. Make your donation, and then tell the Auto Club exactly why you didn't send it their way.

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  17. Wonderful idea! Making a worthy donation

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  18. YES.

    I'm so sick about these Nigerian girls--and how they are a few hundred more in thousands of years of abuse of women--that I can't even read the stories. I can't. I feel nauseous.

    Kiva.org is also a wonderful place to make donations; you can choose the woman who receives a micro-loan with which to change her family's life.

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  19. You're not implying we're not in a post-racism, post-feminism world are you?

    It's been a disgrace.

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  20. I never thought of it this way...this is so dead on!! We spent so much effort/money/energy on a missing plane, which was likely to have been a lost cause from the start (sorry to all the families for simplifying it that way)....and those girls are very likely alive, hoping every day and night to be rescued!! Our priorities are so wrong.

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Spill it, reader.