Protesting Misogyny in Music

This amazing performance piece by student Madiha  speaks for itself:

Originally Posted on Facebook by Usamaa Babar.

Bullies and Burdens…and Getting Even

A person who works with my husband had clipped this article, written by Laura Pritchett, from 5280 magazine (July 2013), and it caught my attention:

“Although both men and women can be bullies, [Huffington Post writer Yashar] Ali argues that women in particular are susceptible to gaslighting; it’s much more common in our culture to place our emotional burdens on the shoulders of women. “It’s a whole lot easier to emotionally manipulate someone who has been conditioned by our society to accept it,” he writes. “We continue to burden women because they don’t refuse our burdens as easily. It’s the ultimate cowardice.”

Here’s a clip from one of my favorite films, Amelie, about a man who gaslights Amelie as a young girl, and her delicious revenge.

A definition of Gaslighting from Pritchett’s article:

“‘Gaslighting’ is a widely used term these days. It comes from the play and movie Gaslight, in which a husband flicks a house light on and off and then teases his wife for observing it, thereby making her think she is insane and ultimately achieving his sinister goal of having her admitted to a mental hospital.

In real-world gaslighting, bullies do something malicious to create a reaction. When the targets comply, the “gaslighters” make them feel uncomfortable and insecure about their responses. If the poor souls feel absurd or start to second-guess themselves, the bullies have gained even more power. The term once described an extreme form of bullying; now, it’s become commonly used in clinical and research literature.”

Don’t Ever Let Them Take Your Heart

The FBI, in coordination with almost 300 local and state agencies, rescued 100+ children over the past 3 days thanks to Operation Cross Country, a nationwide initiative to help victims of human trafficking and underage prostitution.

One of the rescued women, Alexandria, talks about her experience and what she’s learned about survival and empowerment:

Operation Cross Country is a part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative, a joint program by the FBI, the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Since 2003, the Innocence Lost National Initiative has netted the rescue of more than 2,700 children. See Huff Post for more info.

Why Did the Woman Cross the Street?

Driving to work on a new street, diverted by construction, I already had a feeling it was going to be a detour day – full of thwarted desires & ideas.  Case in point: the next stoplight on the broad, suburban street was green but I had to stop before I turned left to give a pedestrian the right of way. It was definitely a day of delays & distractions.

Fingers tapping on my steering wheel to the rhythm of the radio, I looked closer at the girl in the crosswalk. A slim, white cane skimmed the asphalt just ahead of her steps, her thin brown hair swung shoulder to shoulder, and her face was creased with mortal terror.

My commute paused. My dissatisfaction with my day dissolved. My perspective shifted.  I’ve never had to cross a street with my eyes closed.

The world is a hard enough place for trust when you can see it, and faith is harder to find in the dark. As human beings, our paths intersect all the time in unexpected ways. Sometimes detours bring disasters, but sometimes they introduce something different, drastic, indispensable.

The moment passed – she made it unscathed to the other corner, while I turned left and drove through the detour – but her courage stays with me. I don’t know why the woman had to cross the street, but I’m grateful that she did.