How could I not talk about women at a time like this? First the incredible tragedy in Isla Vista, then the death of Maya Angelou and I just read about the death of Karen DeCrow.
The tragedy in Isla Vista does not belong to women. Seven people lost their lives and although a lot of Elliot Rodger’s hatred was focused at women, the pain he inflicted affected men and women alike, the families involved, the community they lived in and the world. I think all of us expressed shock and dismay upon hearing the news. I would rather this had never happened, that those families were sitting around right now in California having another happy day, but it did happen and I am glad #YesAllWomen came out of it. I hardly ever use Twitter. Spending even more time on social media than I already do does not interest me, but #YesAllWomen has kept me checking back for more. The things that these women have said are things I never realized other women felt. That it wasn’t just me “being emotional” or wimpy or another negative words that we associate with being female and upset.
It makes me angry to read these things. It makes me sad but it also makes me feel connected. I feel connected to this community of women who can all relate to these core feelings that exist in all parts of the world. It has also left me with the very disturbing question- How have I contributed negatively to our culture? I want to take back every time I called another woman a bitch or somewhere worse. I want to take back every time I smiled at a man because he asked me to. I want to take back saying I had a boyfriend instead of saying I wasn’t interested. I want to take back pretending I was on the phone walking to my car instead of being able to just feel safe. I wish I could take back letting any man, stranger or friend, treat me poorly, talk to me inappropriately, or make me feel unsafe. Because Fuck You to them. You know better and I do too.
If you haven’t read this from Huffington Post I highly recommend it:
I’m not sad the world has lost Maya Angelou. She lived enough for five lifetimes and that she passed in her home in her late 80s is more than so many people get. Also, she brought more wise words and beauty into this world than most of us combined. I’m not sure we deserved to have her even this long. Dr. Angelou lived in my hometown for the past thirty years and she will be sorely missed in our community, especially in the Wake Forest community but around the world as well. I couldn’t find an article that even begun to sum up her life so you can click here to learn a little more about her and her service. Or you can read this poem “Alone” by Maya Angelou instead:
Lying, thinking Last night How to find my soul a home Where water is not thirsty And bread loaf is not stone I came up with one thing And I don’t believe I’m wrong That nobody, But nobody Can make it out here alone. Alone, all alone Nobody, but nobody Can make it out here alone. There are some millionaires With money they can’t use Their wives run round like banshees Their children sing the blues They’ve got expensive doctors To cure their hearts of stone. But nobody No, nobody Can make it out here alone. Alone, all alone Nobody, but nobody Can make it out here alone. Now if you listen closely I’ll tell you what I know Storm clouds are gathering The wind is gonna blow The race of man is suffering And I can hear the moan, ‘Cause nobody, But nobody Can make it out here alone. Alone, all alone Nobody, but nobody Can make it out here alone.
You’ve probably never heard of Karen DeCrow. I hadn’t either. Isn’t that sad? She was president of the National Organization for Women during the 1970s. She also led campaigns for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and against sex discrimination in education and sports. She passed away on June 6th at the age of 76. In 2008 she was quoted as saying
“I am lucky enough to have been involved in a movement that really moved,” she said. “But then, are we done? No, we’re not done.”
There’s a lot going on folks. Our country has lost some great people in the last few weeks- young people who hadn’t had a chance to make their mark yet and two women whose marks will live on forever. And that’s only those that I’ve chosen to speak about here. There are fathers, mothers, sisters and daughters who have also been lost that we may never hear about it. Maybe someone you know. I hope we can make them proud.