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's. And 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.