I realized something about myself today which I think I have known for a long time — I am a coward. I have been afraid to write this piece because I was afraid of how my readers would react, how my friends would react – and maybe that no one would react. But today, something changed. During Mass, I was reading the prayer intentions – asking the congregation to prayer for various blessings, healings, etc – and I realized that I was being a coward by not asking for prayers for something that has been eating at me for a long time. It’s not just asking for prayers — I’m being a coward by the very fact that I have not used whatever resources I have at hand – no matter how small and insignificant – to voice my outrage on what is happening around me. I have become part of the problem by the very fact that I am not brave enough to voice my own outrage. But no more — I understand this is out of character for what I usually write — but this is the only venue open to me – and therefore I will use it. If not me — then why would anyone else step forward to ask – Where is the Outrage?
An old besotted fool makes racist remarks while his very, very young girlfriend tapes him and the world comes unhinged. Every news outlet covers the story, players threaten to strike, he is stripped of ownership and banned for life. People are OUTRAGED at his behavior.
An extremist kidnaps 300 young girls, forces the Christians among them to convert to Islam and demands payment or they will be sold to the highest bidder – and the most anyone can muster is a Twitter campaign. No one has threatened to strike, no one has been stripped of any power and the only people who seem to be truly OUTRAGED are the parents of these girls.
A celebrity is constantly in trouble with the law, eggs neighbors’ houses, gets arrested constantly and people are OUTRAGED at his behavior and want him deported back to Canada.
A young pregnant Sudanese mother is sentenced to death for refusing to give up her Christianity. She has already been flogged for having intercourse with her husband because Sudan does not recognize her marriage to a Christian man because according to their law she is “really” Muslim because her father, who abandoned her at birth was Muslim – and therefore she has broken the law. This only warranted a small article on the newspaper and no one is particularly OUTRAGED by this incident – except maybe the young woman’s husband and small child.
A celebrity’s sister gets into a drunken brawl in an elevator and everyone is so OUTRAGED by her bad behavior that they keep showing the video over and over and over on television.
Women are dying, being tortured and imprisoned all over the world for standing up for their rights to think for themselves, pursue their dreams and just live the life they deserve and the lack of OUTRAGE is deafening. There are no protests about the flogging of women for driving or not wearing the right clothing in public. There are no sanctions against countries where women who have been raped must be hidden away so their families won’t kill them to preserve their “honor”. There are no repercussions for governments who strip women of all of their rights and treat them as a man’s property.
Where is the National Organization for Women which is supposed to stand up for women? Are they so focused on making sure that American women have the right to choose and equal pay that they have lost sight of the fact that if women are mistreated ANYWHERE in the world it is not good for ANY WOMEN ANY WHERE?
When will the people in power in ALL countries – not just the United States – get OUTRAGED enough to take a stand – or have our leaders become the same kind of coward I am — afraid of what other countries will think – afraid that other countries will not follow.
We dishonor these brave women by our own lack of courage and lack of OUTRAGE at their treatment. I may be naive about how to stop the treatment of these women – but I can no longer be silent. I will let my OUTRAGE be known by anyone who will listen and if nothing else, I will know that I have honored their sacrifices and acknowledged their heroism.
I no longer wish to be part of the problem by being silent.