Gender Crusade

“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world,” Malala Yousafzai.

The freedom to speak my mind is something I value greatly. That’s probably why I started writing stories when I was six years old, and ended up studying journalism in college.

I am the kind of person who needs to say what I think and feel; otherwise, I imagine that signs pop out from my back as they do for Wild E. Coyote in The Road Runner.

I grew up in a democratic country. When I was a little girl, I was able to go to school, read, and learn. As a teenager I could drive, go to dances, and try goofy hair-styles such as the “Alf.” As an adult woman, I lived alone, supported myself, and made all the decisions of my life based on my expectations… Nobody else’s.

The day I met my husband, it was pretty much love at first sight. And even though I “surrendered” to his lack of neatness, I think of it as a cheap price to pay for happiness. However, by accepting his “pig ways,” I didn’t choose silence. On the contrary, I chose a marital life in which I complain to him every day–regardless of his change in behavior—just so he knows what I think.

Thus, based on this, I can’t help but wonder what my life would be in a country under Sharia Law? I know one thing for sure, my life would be worth less than the life of a goat if I dared to contradict my husband.

Gender Inequality in America is a fight for many women, but not for me. The vanity of the arguments and the lack of perspective are appalling and embarrassing, especially after reading the story of girls like Malala Yousafzai who was a true victim of gender discrimination.

In October of 2012, when she was 15 years old, Malala was shot in the head by Taliban militia during her ride to school in a province in north-western Pakistan. Her crime? Being born a girl and refusing to stop going to school. Since that moment, she not only began a fight for her life, but for the right to obtain an education for every child in the world, regardless of gender.

Now, let’s talk about an example of gender inequality in the United States. On November 6, Sharon Stone’s rant against Hollywood producers and executives was considered an “act of bravery.” She denounced the fact that she was paid a few million dollars less than male co-stars throughout her career. What was the damage? She couldn’t buy the pink private jet she liked and had to settle for a white one.

The world changed forever on September 11, 2001 after the World Trade Center terrorist attack in New York City. We learned that radical Islam exists and that our free way of life is a bug they want to crush. The irony is that those 3,000 people who died 14 years ago were forgotten until 129 people were gunned down in Paris last Friday.

Once again, the desire for revenge and retaliation is part of political speeches, from both incumbent and aspiring officials. The unity of the world against this tyranny is in the headlines across the globe, and the promise that the perpetrators will be hunted and brought to justice is told out loud in many languages. Really?

I want to believe those promises because I don’t want to imagine the future my four-year-old will have to face. Nevertheless, as a woman I can’t help but feel betrayed, because in the end, the fight will be about conquering power and land while women and girls are raped in silence and controlled by men like cattle.

The recent video of a presidential candidate clarified for me the fog around radical Islam. According to him, the Jihadists don’t hate us because we have military assets in the Middle East; they hate us because of our values. They simply can’t stand that girls can go to school and women can drive. They despise that we have freedom of speech and religion, and that we all try to live together, even as we accept and respect our differences.

I believe in God and I am taught to forgive my enemy. But, if my enemy doesn’t consider me his equal, then why should I forgive him?

Thanks for reading and sharing.

Follow the links above to read the story of Malala Yousafzai, and the Marco Rubio Campaign video.

Xiomara Spadafora

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4 Replies to “Gender Crusade”

  1. I agree. The strangest problem is that within Islam, the vast majority of people are not radical. Those who are hateful are partially brain-washed into this by those who teach the radical interpretation of the Koran.
    Somehow there must exist within Islam some logic that rejects the radical thinking interpretation if over 90% of muslims reject the radical thinking perspective. I always wonder what is contained in that non-radical logic interpretation of the Koran.

    Liked by 1 person

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