So there are all these THINGS going on, and I really feel the need to discuss/share because it's an important conversation we're having--a conversation that needs to continue to be had, because sometimes the world and the people in it kind of suck.
It started with a blog post by Shannon Hale about boys who weren't invited to attend her school presentation because basically guys can't learn anything from women. (I'm paraphrasing, but that's what it boils down to.)
I blogged about it in my Boys and Books post last week, and here is the link to Shannon's post.
And then there was a great follow-up from Andrew Harvell, who WAS that boy.
And then I stumble across this amazing Ted Talk about a girl in Pakistan who is educating women so they have a voice--so they can speak up for themselves and their rights.
And then I read all about this mess with Curt Schilling's daughter, and how congratulatory tweets on her college acceptance turned into this nightmare thread of hateful, violent postings. Read the tweets, you guys. They're disgusting.
So we have first world problems and third world problems and things that don't seem like problems at all, but there's a common thread here, and a root belief:
Women Don't Matter
Boys don't have to attend a presentation by a woman, because what she has to say can't possibly apply to them. She doesn't matter. Men can gather their sons to stone their daughters because they have dishonored the family. She has disgraced them. She doesn't matter. Snarky frat boys can say whatever they want about Curt's daughter because they're protected by a computer screen and first amendment rights because they don't care what she (or anyone else) thinks because she doesn't matter.
(I mean, COME ON! What boy in his right mind tweets something to a DAD about raping his Daughter?!? Would you really have said that to his face? I hope so. Then I hope he would have knocked you out.)
And yes, there are some extremes here, but it's all the same to me.
And I am so thankful this week that we have this author, and this girl halfway across the world, and this former athlete-slash-father who are raising awareness. It's a serious problem, and it manifests itself in a variety of ways.
I'm not into man-bashing. I realize that not every guy is like this--I am truly thankful for you. I hope to God my daughter finds her way to one of you (many, many moons from now). I'm also not into women who tear down other women (but that's an entirely different post).
But I daresay those boys who made those misogynistic comments were the same ones who were allowed out of Shannon Hale's presentation, because that's what happens when you perpetuate the belief that girls don't matter.
Curt apologized to his daughter in his blog. As a teen, I know I would've been embarrassed. I wouldn't want my dad to make a scene. But, in defending his daughter, he's defending the rights of all women--the right not to be called names or threatened in any way. I hope she knows this.
And I hope this doesn't blow over.
And I hope people realize that actions have lasting repercussions. (It's funny how quickly names were being changed and accounts deleted once Curt stepped up and started calling people out.)
And I hope that girls all over the world realize they DO matter, and they don't have to put up with this.
No truer words were spoken than when Curt said this:
"There is no situation ever in your life, where it’s ok for any ‘man’ to talk about you, or any other woman this way (and truth be told no real man would ever talk this way anyway). It truly is time this stopped."
Or when Shannon said this:
"The belief that boys won't like books with female protagonists ... leads to rape culture. To a culture that tells boys and men, it doesn't matter how the girl feels, what she wants. You don't have to wonder. She is here to please you. She is here to do what you want. No one expects you to have to empathize with girls and women. As far as you need be concerned, they have no interior life."
Or when Khalida said this:
"Women have so much status that we have not been hearing, that they have not been hearing, and we needed to tell them that they need to know where their rights are and how to take them by themselves, because they can do it and we can't."