Waking the World
What do you hear under the noise that bombards you every day? How can we balance staying informed and involved in the world with our need for beauty, love, joy and quiet? In America, we’ve become good at tuning out anything that isn’t positive, beautiful or happy probably due to the constant bombardment of negativity from our 24/7 news sources. I would guess that in one hour we can now hear as much horrific news as most people used to hear in a year, or maybe a lifetime.
The temptation is to shut everything out. “I just can’t hear one more cannibalistic or horrific death story.” Some celebrity gurus tell us that we won’t miss anything, if war breaks out someone will tell us. That sounds good and healthy on the surface. There are so many causes and people hurting, it is tempting to tune all of them out. We can’t help everyone.
My fear is that we have become addicted to the feel good puppy picture type posts and news in our world, shutting out the hard stuff, or we’ve become callous and immune to suffering seeing so much every day on the news.
The Federalist Papers
If you have ever read The Federalist Papers, you know that they were a collection of papers circulated among the people arguing for different sides of political issues. They were well written, well-reasoned and long. I have always been impressed with how much patience our forefathers had to read something so deep and detailed compared to our snappy sixty second news bites.
Despite all of our news sources, I think we are less informed on most issues than our forefathers were, at least those who could read. They didn’t face a flood of information and political stories that amount to chatter and unimportant temporal things or find every issue treated like a big deal. So, instead of trying to ferret through the chatter, we are tuning out. In tuning out, we are less informed on the things that matter and tend to know a lot about things that don’t matter.
We know all about “Dancing With the Stars” or “American Idol,” who won the ball game, and we know who George Clooney is, but we really don’t know what Susan B. Anthony or Elizabeth Blackwell did for the country. Instead of helping us be more informed the incessant demands for our attention blind us to things we need to know.
The Other Holocaust
Recently, I took up a cause for a very important issue that has absolutely no press in America and no celebrity endorsements-the extermination of baby girls AFTER birth around the world resulting in a shortage of marriage-age women in both India and China. The subject matter is gruesome, maybe more gruesome than anything this world has ever seen according to UNICEF. There is a mountain of baby girl corpses equal to those that died in the Holocaust every few years.
Everyone knows about Darfur and Syria, which is horrible, but the numbers of baby girls killed in the last twenty years dwarfs the deaths in these conflicts, indeed ALL conflicts combined in all of history. Why are you not hearing about this on the news, like you are Darfur and Syria? Why is it that when women and girls are killed there is no coverage even when the numbers are radically changing our world?
I decided to put up a blog and write a poetry book about this issue never thinking it would be political. I thought we could all agree that killing baby girls AFTER birth is not okay. Instead, I have been attacked on some poetry boards by mostly women, but some men too.
Part of what led me down this road of activism was a picture I found on the internet from a June 2001 Maire Claire article showing a baby girl beaten, naked and dying in a gutter in Hunan Province while a distinguished gentlemen strolled by without a care. The article said this was not uncommon. Finally, one woman stopped to check on the baby who was still alive. She called EMS. They told her baby girls were not a priority, they would be there when they could. In the meantime, an older man wrapped the baby in newspaper and put her in the trash. When EMS arrived, they were not concerned with who killed the baby, they had the lady who reported the incident arrested.
Given some of the responses I have had even in this country, I am shocked to report that there are many people who want to silence me and who want to shoot the messenger. Is this why you are not hearing about the issue in America? I have been told that there are people in some of these countries who would kill me for speaking up about the issue. The fact that I am being attacked shows just how far women and girls have not come in the world and how far we still have to go.
Some Things are Too Important to Ignore
Have we as a country become so concerned with our own search for happiness that we cannot care when a Holocaust far larger than anything Hitler did is going on this very minute all over the world? Can we not insist on human rights improvement for baby girls before we grant aid? Can we not stand up as a people and voice our disapproval? Two of the greatest offenders are India and China and they are up and coming powers of the world. Is it not time that we hold them to a world standard of human rights? The world was fixated over one male Chinese dissident, while millions of baby girls are murdered.
I understand the need to limit our exposure to the gruesome and sad, but 100 million girls are being brutally killed while we sip our margaritas and play video games. All that is needed to begin to shift this tide is to shine a light on it, get Americans talking about it, force our government to put a spotlight on it, get our news to cover the story. China and India are even getting concerned about the lack of women for their single men. They are taking some steps to correct sex selected abortion, but much more needs to be done about the killing of newborn and toddler girls.
Sometimes the big issues seem too big for us to think about. We wonder what can we do, so why hear these horrific things? Let me assure you that we can make a difference on this one, if enough people stand with me to push back those that would silence me. Don’t let the cacophony of chatter cover over the cries of 100 million baby girls. I hear them in my sleep. Help me help them.
You can help merely by tweeting about this, posting it on Facebook, talking about it to your friends. Follow the blog, 100 Million Girls, www.100milliongirls.blogspot.com and Like the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/100milliongirls to stay up to date and informed. I have put up tons of resources on the blog and post information almost daily on the Facebook page.
If we don’t stand up for baby girls and their mothers, who will? They can’t do it themselves. Can we get one person to stand up for every girl killed? Be the voice of one baby girl who has been brutally silenced and get two friends to be the voices of two more girls until we have at least 100 million voices speaking for them. If 100 million girls can be killed, surely 100 million people can speak up! If one person will speak up for every baby killed, we will make a difference that matters in this world and that, my friends, is something worth knowing and worth doing.
I am speaking for Neha Afreen, a three month old Indian girl tortured and killed by her father this year for several weeks because he did not want a girl. You can read a poem about his police report under My Poetry on 100 Million Girls. Who will you speak for? There are more than 100 million girls to choose from.