Kanyadaan I, Oil on panel, 10"x10", 2011
On Saturday night I read this post by Kimia of Alkeemi. She is a beautiful artist and has been living in India for the last year with her husband. I also read this article she linked to about the most dangerous countries for women and I went to bed sad and angry. Then I woke up at 4:16am pissed and I could not go back to sleep.
I faded in and out thinking of how unfair life can be, especially for those who were born in these countries. The woman and girls whose own fathers let these brutal things happen to them, sometimes by their own hand. In moments like these it has me wondering, where is God? Many of these countries are very religious, how can they worship a God when the things they are doing are so clearly evil?
I tried to think of ways they could fight back, take control of their bodies. Refuse to have babies? How could they when they're already being raped, don't have access to birth control and health services. Or are being brutally attacked and killed because their dowry isn't large enough? I couldn't think of anything and finally succumbed to sleep. I felt like I had given up.
I work for a company where I see so many different cultures come through looking for jobs, looking for a better life. Sometimes I get frustrated because there is a language barrier or I feel like they are taking advantage of social services, but they are just trying to survive. I need to remember that when I've given the same "you need to speak English" spiel for the 100th time that day. It was a stroke of luck that I was born in this country and I take it for granted.
And yet I remember while I was watching The Help with my Mom that I felt like we have not come so far, we have a long way to go. Sure we are the land of the free, but we're still fighting for equality and control of our bodies. Will there ever be resolve in these countries? Will we always be fighting for our rights as women and be viewed as the weaker sex? I wish for the women in those countries to have what we have, it may not be perfect and the woman in my past had to fight hard for it. I have a Husband who loves me, a community I feel safe in and help should I need it.
My heart hurts for these women and I hope that we can find a way to help them, that we don't give up and turn our backs on others and that we can make the whole world a safer place. I think we have to start by not giving up on our own freedoms and rights, by raising each other up instead of tearing each other down. That's all I can think of right now, that and donations. How do you suppose we help these women find a voice?