I found a 1987 magazine named "Woman of Power" tucked among the old paintings, papers and piled up journals in my studio crawl-space. The picture I have posted here got me thinking, ( again; still ) about the way women are treated all over our world. From disrespect to outright abuse and everything in-between, it's all degrees of the same affliction. Cruelty, greed for power, fundamentalism, self-grasping. Would it be the same world if women had the same rights, and equal voices to men? Surely not. What if we experimented with a new idea? A paradigm shift that breaks away from the values that hold us down, trapped in patterns that are at best destructive and at worst tyrannical and brutal.
Last night, listening to NPR, I was moved by the story of Maria Toorpakay, the Pakistani champion squash player who, with her brave father and mother's approval and help, dressed as a boy in the Taliban-infested area of Peshawar's tribal lands in order to be able to play outside and compete in sports. She won medals in weight-lifting and ultimately, mastery in Squash. You go, girl, I thought, as I remembered my sister's and my own athletic abilities being frowned on when we were kids. But this is America and at least there's change. Slow, but change.
I am heartened by young women I know. They are smart and aware. They are seekers and their lives are filled with choices. They are lucky. Not so in many, many parts of the planet. Not so in 1985 in Nicaragua.