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Half the Sky; turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide

Women should read Half the Sky. (Men should too.) I don’t normally read non-fiction. This title was on a recommended reading list of my college-aged daughter. (Her degree is International Policy.) It intrigued me just reading the synopsis and to think these stories are REAL. Heart breaking, horrifying, intense and true life…

This book tackles the atrocities that women in developing countries face on the daily. Did you know the sex trade/trafficking of young women is a bigger problem today than the slave trade was of the nineteenth century? Did you know the mortality rate for young girls is significantly lower in developing countries? One’s got to stop and ask why don’t girls get taken to the hospital when they are sick? Why they don’t get immunized like their male siblings? Why is it rape victims in developing countries endure the wrath of their president, abductions from the government and dehumanization tactics? Again, this is not fiction, this is real life for many women all over the world.

More horrors for women of the world are prostitution, obstetric fistulas, genital mutilation, acid attacks and no means for fixing what gets broken, physically, mentally or psychologically. The sad truth in many of these places is laws ring hollow if they are not enforced. Traditions, rituals and customs are difficult if not impossible to change.

The second part of this book tackles the difficulty of just that; change. I’ve always been one of those people who want to save the world. This book poignantly points out, sometimes the world doesn’t want to be saved. In Half the Sky, the husband/wife authors describe their own attempts to buy prostitutes out of slavery, and the social conditions that make restoring these women to a normal life so difficult. Beyond that, they delve into the inadequacies of laws and who are (or aren’t) enforcing them.

When you get down to the root of the problem, it’s the invisibility of the oppression. The answer is to expose and educate those that are hidden and ignorant. These stories are more powerful than statistics, they bring to light what is happening to the women of these developing countries and what can be done about it. (donate here) Kristof and WuDunn make the moral arguments these ladies can’t, they speak truths that are hard to hear and almost impossible to believe. This is the start of making real change, real growth and real progress.

 

 

 

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Carrie Underwood’s Handwriting Analysis Birthday Shoutout

Happy 34th birthday Carrie Underwood (Fisher)!

Ever since I watched the movie, God Bless America, I’ve sworn off reality shows. However, in 2005, I was swept up in the fourth season of American Idol like the rest of the country. Carrie Underwood was the obvious choice and I cried along with her when she was announced the winner. It’s been lovely to watch this all-American girl rise to become an iconic figure in the Country Western music world. Watching her succeed and be successful, rise to super-stardom, fall in love and become a mother gives us all the sensation dreams do come true. She’s a class act with humble roots who loves animals and has a true-to-herself style. (Author to author…) Check out her book-folio, Carrie Underwood, Some Hearts. (Reader to reader…) She loves Stephen King!

When we look at her autograph, we can see the changes money and fame did to this wonderful woman as well as the traditional background she was raised with. The C is the letter of femininity, hers has a sharp edge to it. Perhaps she’s been burned by a woman or has ‘walls’ built around her in regards to girlfriends or female co-workers. This has not changed over the years. It’s been in her personality since before fame. She’s optimist and in general, happy.

The animal that coordinates with the letter C is the White Buffalo. Carrie’s C is all it imbues, quiet confidence, a-subtle-storm-not-to-be-messed-with plus pride of her heritage and family. The rest of her first name is basically a squiggle and a loop. The signature of her first name shows she’s private (and was before she became famous), has a great compassion for others and the ability to listen. She forgives but doesn’t forget, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

The Underwood part of her autograph shows she’s determined, may worry what others think of her, and is highly protective of her family, (a trait in common with Michael Jackson) I love the way she is resolute in what she wants, for example, being vegan and Christian.  Regardless of her religion and eating habits, she remains open-minded and is equally ready to teach as to become the student. Traditional and polite, her writing shows manners and respect. My guess is, she may have been a border-line introvert before she took the spotlight. Money has changed her core values very little. Since she is naturally caring, she views her wealth as a tool to make life better for her and those she loves.

Cheers Mrs. Underwood-Fisher! Enjoy your special day with family and everything that makes your heart sing!

Quotes

Sometimes that mountain you’ve been climbing is just a grain of sand, and what you’ve been up there searching for forever, is in your hands. When you figure out love is all that matters after all it sure makes everything else seem so small.

I am grateful for every scar, some pages turned, some bridges burned, but there were lessons learned.