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Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Educate, Elevate, Empower, Inspiration | 0 comments

No, We Will Not “Calm Down”

No, We Will Not “Calm Down”

 

I just received a private Facebook message from a woman who asked me when we were going to “calm down” with the posts about the stolen schoolgirls from Nigeria. Rather than respond privately, I want to share my answer with you.

We aren’t going to calm down. We will not stop posting stories, images and #BringBackOurGirls. Not until every single one of those girls is back where she belongs, safe and unharmed. Because if it were 300+ American girls, there would be armed citizens out there searching for them. They would not sleep, or eat, or stop to rest until they were all brought home. Our National Guard, first responders, multiple agencies and other armed personnel would be sweeping streets, listening to calls, filtering through interwebs and searching homes and businesses. We would be vigilant and unapologetic about our pursuit of both the kidnapped girls, and those who perpetrated such an atrocity. So why should these girls be treated with any less energy or enthusiasm or fervor?

Because they aren’t First World children. Yes, the media is giving it sound bites, but certainly not the same level of attention, again, that American girls would receive. Or any other First World nation for that matter. You, the woman who asked me to calm down, get to enjoy your civil liberties. The ones that were {and are} given to you freely. You get to enjoy the technology that you sent me the message on from the comfort of your home with your pretty granite countertops and your white vinyl fence. You’ll get in your car in a few hours and drive to the carpool line to pick up your children, knowing that they will come out of the school unharmed and ready to head to their next activity. You’ll go home tonight and feed them, help them with their homework and tuck them into bed, without a worry of anyone coming in the night to snatch them. You don’t have to worry about whether or not your 16 year old daughter will be sold into slavery and used as a pawn in an increasingly rabid human trafficking enterprise. {Though statistics support that 1 in 100 children in the United States will be a victim of human trafficking before the age of 18.} Those girls are your girls, they are my girls, and they are our future.

I am left to wonder if you have even a tiny grasp of the gravity of what these girls are facing. These faceless, nameless girls that you clearly don’t consider important. What value you place on their lives, or the media attention they receive, or the actions taken by any nation to help rescue them from their captors, is a direct reflection of the value you place on your own life. As a human, as a woman. Yes, we may still make .30 less dollar for dollar, but the women in this country are collectively raising their voice, increasing their opportunities and broadening the vision of what we are capable of. We are taking on bigger roles, fighting bigger fights and affecting masterful changes. What you asked of me, and this organization, diminishes that effort. It shows me how little you think of women, and of yourself.

And to that I say, join us. Join us in being a voice for change. Join us in playing a bigger role in creating solutions, rather than asking others to shrink. Join us because when you are feeling small, we will help lift you and you will RISE. It is why we are here, among so many exceptional female led organizations working to make a difference. Join us in shouting from the rooftops until these girls are safe! Your voice matters. Please, I ask you, use it for something meaningful. Repeat after me: #BringBackOurGirls

joannasign