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Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Taking a stand

Check out this fascinating article on a Turkish family who can't stand.

And, for women and men standing up for International Women's Day:

by Anasuya Sengupta

Too many women in too many countries
speak the same language of silence.
My grandmother was always silent -
always aggrieved ?
only her husband had the cosmic right
(or so it was said) to speak and be heard.

They say it is different now
(after all, I am always vocal
and my grandmother thinks I talk too much).
But sometimes, I wonder.

When a woman gives her love,
as most do generously ?
it is accepted.

When a woman shares her thoughts,
as some women do, graciously ?
it is allowed.

When a woman fights for power,
as all women would like to,
quietly or loudly,
it is questioned.

And yet, there must be freedom -
if we are to speak.
And yes, there must be power ?
if we are to be heard.
And when we have both (freedom and power),
let us not be misunderstood.

We seek only to give words
to those who cannot speak
(too many women in too many countries).
I seek only to forget the sorrows
of my grandmother's silence.

As I was visiting my own grandmother over the weekend, I expressed again how proud I am of her for being a pioneer as a Mennonite woman writer (she wrote a column in the Parkesburg, Pa. paper using both her maiden and married names - not as tame then as now.) She nodded and smiled, and later asked my grandfather if she should wear a covering when we went to lunch, because he's "the man of the family." I sigh, and continue living in the tension of honoring the love and gifts my family has cultivated and working bit by bit among them for transformed attitudes about gender.

Also, thanks so much to all those who have congratulated me on getting into Medill. You'll always be welcome to visit in Chicago!

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