Ted Talks: Shereen El Feki
I have been thinking about shame of late, where it rests in my heart and mind. Then I listened to Shereen El Feiki this morning on Ted Talks and realized one of the many gifts of my reality: my freedom to choose.
She speaks of a world I can only imagine as I doubt I travel there any time soon.
Years ago, when I was 17 years old, about 1977, I was in Brazil. There, I experienced how different things were in a then closed society. My girlfriend could go nowhere with her boyfriend without an adult present. Later that year, in Costa Rica I lived in a small conservative town where my friends were the only said group of women living on their own as adults without a man in the premises.
I don’t really travel much and all that was long ago. But when I listened to Shereen, I remembered the worlds I experienced in 1977. And I know the world she speaks of today lives today in a place I read about in the news and learn about through movies.
I have shame too—but my way out of my parent’s home was not go into my husband’s. I have never been forced by my religion or my politics to choose a mate.
I have a freedom the women and men and the world Shereen speaks of can only dream of…I admire Shereen for her passion and her questions, for taking a hard look at what isn’t easy to see in a world where the truths she speaks of could remain hidden if it weren’t for people like her speaking out to educate all of us.
Life always has challenges. But here at least where I live there is a realm of choice I often forget to notice. I also imagine shame for most of the women in Shereen’s world, is far from the biggest problem they face on a daily basis.
Of course, the problem is not just for women—the problem is larger and more pervasive. It affects men, it affects homosexuality, it impacts family structure.
It is, as she says, embedded in the citadel of politics and religion and sexuality.
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Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons
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