Thứ Ba, 25 tháng 9, 2012
With the upcoming election and continuing pressure from all sorts of media - it has become obvious that women’s issues have become a battleground. Women across the world have been rising up against issues that are influential for women. In the United States, a common topic has been birth control and abortion, with Senators voicing about issues that they have never directly decided. Given that most men are senators, it has been apparent that the focus of their remarks is to make policy, but based upon opinions that are often not facts. Senator Akin made comments about how a woman’s reproductive system shuts down during rape, making pregnancy improbable to try and pass a piece of legislation. The problem with this statement is that research shows that it is false.
Research has shown that a way to lift society is to lift it’s women out of poverty and give them resources to teach themselves and their communities. Greg Mortenson wrote about this in his book “Three Cups of Tea”, educated boys often leave their communities to seek jobs in cities, but educated women stay in the community and teach everyone around them. He argues that educating girls has a lasting benefit for the community.
A woman in New Zealand is funding a project to create her own magazine because she is fed up with reading about only sex, boys, and being skinny in magazines. Even in our own Utah, Beauty Redefined is taking a stand against companies and ad campaigns that are damaging to our view of our own bodies. Women in Iran “put the jab in hijab” when they reacted to a man telling them to be more modest and to cover up their eyes. They sent him to the hospital after the two beat him up, making this battleground a lot more literal.
So how do we, as mostly educated women in this war of naivety, make a difference without getting violent?
1. Women can vote. We should not take this for granted. We should be voting in both national and local elections to set the tone of what we want our leaders to be like, and we will not stand for. You can get registered to vote here.
2. Women are usually the ones in a household who handle money for shopping - groceries, clothing, etc. You support who you want with where you spend your money. Don’t agree with a company’s ad campaign or vision for your family? Put your money where your mouth is and don’t shop there. #NotBuyingIt
3. Give a little. Want to help educate or help a woman or family go to school or grow their business? Kiva.org is an organization that let’s you give very small loans to people in the developing world. Give to organizations that you believe in. My mother has been donating handmade quilts to women’s shelters and hospitals for years and her small contribution makes a difference in someone’s life.
4. Let your voice be heard. Do what I’m doing - writing, blogging, and talking about issues that you care about.
5. Get educated. Go to the library and read about history, laws, research - whatever fascinates you. I love reading biographies because they give me a glimpse into history and our heritage. Learn about advertising, writing, art, etc. and spread your message in whatever medium is best for you.