Admiration List: Alaa Murabit

Alaa Murabit has achieved some pretty amazing things. She’s championed the cause of women in countries where that sort of activism could get a person killed. She has lived through death threats and all sorts of challenges. She has also successfully improved the status of women, within Muslim countries, by leveraging the same tactics used  by her opposition – quotes from the Koran.

Her resilient personality, positive attitude and ability to take all of the challenges in stride are evident in her TED talk. There are many things to admire.

Having said that, I must admit that none of those accomplishments are the reason why she is included here. The primary reason for my own, personal, admiration is the fact that I watched this video and kept thinking: How do I expand my social circle to include more women like her? I need more friends like that.

 

Belva for President

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Barnes and Noble

Belva realized that though women couldn’t participate in the election by voting, there was nothing in the law preventing them from running for office. “I cannot vote,” she said, “but I can be voted for.

Ballot for Belva: The True Story of a Woman’s Race for the Presidency, written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and illustrated by Courtney A. Martin

Fight For Your Right To Vote

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Wordery.com

Elizabeth had learned long ago that only men could change laws. Because only men could vote. That was the one thing that could change everything. If women could vote, they could change all kinds of laws!

Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote, written by Tanya Lee Stone and illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon

Election day is November 8! Get out and vote!

The Reason People Do Not Trust The Police: Abduction and Human Trafficking

Having lived and worked in both the Fargo/Moorehead area and Duluth, MN, this story does not surprise me. Sadly, it is far from the first time I’ve run across an article like this. Also, this is neither the first nor the last woman to experience this problem, yet police continue to refuse to take it seriously: Crimes against Native American women raise questions about police response, The Guardian, by Zoe Sullivan (01/19/2016)

North Dakota nightmare: Lake Vermilion woman abducted, taken to Bakken oil patch, The TimberJay, by Marshall Helmberger and Jodi Summit (06/03/2015)

A woman was traveling through North Dakota when she found herself stranded. While contacting family on her cell phone she was abducted:

The man had snuck up behind her while she was messaging friends and family members on her progress and was focused on her laptop computer. It was the last message her family would receive for almost a week.

Somehow she managed to escape:

The following few days, she said, are lost in a fog, as her abductor may have kept her drugged. She woke up to the dinging of an open car door, and found herself lying in the backseat of a beat-up Honda Accord with a missing back window. With her abductor apparently outside the vehicle, she stumbled out of the back seat and crawled away. “I tried to run,” she said, but her vision was blurry. Despite that, she managed to make her way down a steep ditch and her abductor apparently didn’t pursue her, but her memory of her escape is far from clear.

And survived through the help of a Good Samaritan:

While she had begun her ordeal in Casselton, in far eastern North Dakota, after escaping her abductor she found herself in a remote part of northwestern North Dakota. She said she wandered for at least two days, without food or water, before finally being rescued by a North Dakota man, who spotted her wandering across open country near the tiny town of Wildrose.

Then the police do THIS:

While Edith had hoped her experience would help law enforcement officials apprehend a kidnapper and possible human trafficker, she soon discovered that officers at the Williston Police Department had little interest in her story. She said officers refused to take a statement about her abduction. Instead, they ran her own record and found a 2011 traffic violation from Grand Forks still outstanding—and arrested her on a bench warrant for the unpaid ticket.

“I kept trying to tell them that I’d been taken, but they wouldn’t listen. One officer told me I was full of __it and was just trying to get out of the warrant,” said Edith.

According to Edith, the Williston police offered no medical assistance. Instead, they booked her into a holding facility overnight and shipped her to a jail in Minot the following day.

This is just one of the many reasons why people do not trust the police. It’s also living proof that the militarization of the police force is ineffective. When police officers are so distanced from the human beings they are tasked to serve that they can’t recognize a situation for what it is…or take the OPPORTUNITY it presents to capture a REAL bad guy…then there is something seriously wrong.

Can’t Have It All

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The age-old question about women and the workplace is, Can you have it all? The answer is no. When you’re driven, something in your life does always suffer.

The Glitter Plan: How We Started Juicy Couture for $200 and Turned It into a Global Brand by Pamela Skaist-Levy, Gela Nash-Taylor, Booth Moore

From the first chapter:We just wanted to create something people loved and a work environment that made us happy. That’s our version of the American Dream. That’s the glitter plan.

Life As An Honorary Man

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Image Source: Wordery.com

“The men and women of one tribal village lived strictly separated, and when Carol was invited for tea in the women’s quarters, she was surprised to find a man living among them. The women called him “Uncle,” and he appeared to enjoy a special status in the village. The women served his tea and treated him with great respect. Uncle’s appearance was rugged, but he had a slightly softer face than the other men. It took a while, as well as a few helpful whispers, for Carol to understand that Uncle was actually an adult woman in a turban and men’s clothing.”

“In the small village, Uncle functioned as an intermediary between men and women, and served as an honorary male who could convey messages and escort other women when they needed to travel, posing no threat because she herself was a woman.”

“It was the local mullah’s doing, apparently: Uncle had been born as the seventh daughter in a family of no sons. As the spiritual leader of the village, the mullah had taken pity on the parents. So he simply designated the infant girl to be her parents’ son only hours after she was born.”

The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg

The Voices of Others: Rape Joke

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Following up on my post about taking a break from answering questions on Quora, I am posting the words of others. At some point I will get back into the social media fight, but right now (at 2 am in the morning) I’m listening to…and posting…the words of others. Sometimes, it’s good for the spirit to let someone else do the talking.

Sterilization Forced on Poor Women

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Barnes and Nobel

“Forced sterilization and welfare have been linked for nearly half a century. Mississippi state legislator David H. Glass instituted a bold experiment when he sought legal means to force sterilization upon welfare mothers in 1958. By 1960, his “act to discourage immorality of unmarried females by providing for sterilization of the unwed mothers” passed in the House by a vote of seventy-two to thirty-seven but died in the Senate as the black activist Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) protested and distributed a pamphlet entitled “Genocide in Mississippi.””

“In June 1973, the abuse of two young sisters in Montgomery, Alabama, exposed the decades of stolen African American fertility. A Montgomery Community Action Agency nurse took the girls to the hospital for a federally funded contraceptive shot and obtained the “X” of each illiterate parent on the consent form. But their parents later learned that the girls had been surgically sterilized, and they asked Atlanta’s Southern Poverty Law Center for help. When SPLC filed a class-action lawsuit to end the use of federal funds for involuntary sterilization, its lawyers discovered that 100,000 to 150,000 women had been sterilized using federal funds and that half these women were black.”

“Women were also forced into sterility by governmental welfare programs, upon which unskilled black women workers relied to supplement their meager wages. While a social worker in upstate New York during the 1980s, I learned from old case files that during the 1960s and 1970s, social workers conducted frequent late-night raids on the homes of aid recipients. If a man was discovered, the family’s aid could be cut off unless the woman agreed to sterilization, guaranteeing there would be no additional children for the state to support.”

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present by Harriet A. Washington

Shared Fantasies

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Image Source: Wordery.com

“Where a long lineage of tribal organization is far more powerful than any form of government, where language is poetry and few can read or write but it is common for an illiterate person to have memorized the work of Pashto and Persian poets and to speak more than one language, parameters for established truths and knowledge are manifested in other ways than those outsiders easily recognize. In Carol’s words, in a nation of poets and storytellers, “what matters here are the shared fantasies.””

The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg