It Gets Better For Us, Too

When I sat down to write something last night about the rape in New Delhi, I didn’t want to. When I finally started writing, what came out is not what I eventually posted, but a very sad reflection on how the feminists I mocked in college were proving to be right about so many things. When I began seriously to track women’s rights in the media and society, I came rapidly to the conclusion that the problems affecting me were just the tip of an iceberg, far too much of which was invisible. I think it’s important to call attention to those issues, but others are doing that quite well. The Women Under Siege project is just one of many to focus necessary attention on issues surrounding rape. Plenty of feminist blogs with a clear political agenda are offering insightful commentary on the problems in our society. That, however, is not what I set out to do.

I am here to advocate, to make us think, but most importantly, to inspire you. As I am interviewing many women on the front lines of public policy careers, I am encouraged by their stories of perseverance in the face of hardship. Determined to “have it all” – to contribute professionally toward making the world a better place and raise children who do the same – they have blazed trails in so many new areas. They are proof that no matter how difficult the circumstances, we can make the world a better place. I plan to collect these interviews in book format, but in the meantime, I want to find a way to share more of them with you. 

I leave you for the weekend with the testimony of one such woman: Shabana Basij-Rasikh, a young woman who had the opportunity to study in the United States thanks to a Congressionally-funded, Department of State-operated program called Youth Exchange and Study, which for several years sent talented Afghan youth to live with host families in the United States. They came back profoundly changed and are making profound change in Afghan society. If they can do it, well, so can we.

I hope that this holiday finds you all free from suffering. While I am not suggesting we turn a blind eye to the obstacles, I hope that we will all learn how to steer around it, to press on, and, when possible, to break a path so that others can follow. No matter how bad things are, we can always make a difference.

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