Every so often you run into fantastic news articles (that are longer than two paragraphs) that really renew your hope for humanity!
I ran into this article on The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/oct/11/nawal-el-saadawi-interview-do-you-feel-you-are-liberated-not
It’s about Nawal El Saadawi. A woman I had never heard of. Nawal is Egyptian, and an activist and writer. She is now over 80 I believe… Nawal fought and continues to fight again female genital mutilation (shocking this still happens in 2015) and women’s rights.
The article is worth the time to read. I believe that women (such as myself) are still oblivious to the reality of what life might be like if we had no rights. And, having older women who have lived through so much tell us a different perspective on veiling. While we do talk about free choice and I do not believe banning something ever works, we should understand the subtle pressure for women to hide, to be less than a man. These are all learned ideas and behaviours. If we teach them, then we are open to teaching new things as well. Our society, even in Alberta, is still far from treating men and women as people. We are still in this world of “us and them”. I have no idea how to get out of it but I really wish we could hurry it up.
If we did just view people as people, we could create so much on our planet! We could protect our natural world and participate in it without destroying it. We could live without poverty. We could explore our solar system. We could do amazing science. But instead, we focus on us, them, they are not like us. So we put our energy and money into hoarding, into making sure we have more and are more than others. We believe we are better than “other” people.
It is inspiring to read about Nawal and her spirit. She is someone who will never give up and will risk everything to send her message that people should be treated as people. That we all need to respect each other.