Malalai Joya Is A Very Courageous & Brave Woman

Written by Thom Hartmann Thursday, 03 October 2013 00:00

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thomhartmann.com, Oct 3, 2013

Malalai Joya in New York

Here is a woman who showed such courage in the face of a male dominated fundamentalist society, that every American should learn from her what it means to speak truth to power. Malalai Joya, stood up to the Taliban and the warlords of Afghanistan, and spoke her mind, (it seems the American people have lost their tongue to do the same toward the government).

The U.S. is supposed to be the “land of the free, and home of the brave,” yet this brave woman (she was just a girl when she spoke up in the Afghan Parliament against the warlords, drugs, corruption, persecution of women, and U.S. occupation) has raised the consciousness of the world, and has been named one of the most influential people on the planet.

Western women seem a pampered lot in comparison, especially when compared to the barren lands of Afghanistan, where water is a precious resource, and staying alive in the face of overwhelming male opposition seems a never-ending chore. Women are not only raped and murdered by their fellow countrymen, but have also been put upon by U.S. occupation forces. Not treated as equals, and forbidden decent health care and education, it becomes next to impossible to raise a family in an environment where war, violence, and drugs are commonplace.

Comparing the harsh land of Afghanistan to the U.S. is like comparing night to day, yet we have lost something here that this brave woman has brought back to our attention. To speak one’s mind in the face of overwhelming opposition is not only a person’s right as a living sentient being, but an obligation of each of us toward the human community of all our brothers and sisters the world over who are suffering under the heel of oppression.

When the “brave” men and women of America are able to break themselves away from their iPhones, iPads, Reality TV, and recognize their responsibilities to the world community, maybe we will once again be able to raise our heads in pride as a nation in common with the rest of the world. When Western women stop trying to emulate Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, or Nicole Richey, and instead take up real role models whose values are of substance, and not decadent hedonistic self indulgence, maybe, just maybe they can once again regain some self respect.

Being modest is something that seems to have fallen out of vogue in the West, where modesty in both lifestyle and dress were once considered a sign of self respect and decency. Not only should men not be led into temptation, but women should not attempt to lead men into temptation either. It seems nowadays that it’s hard to differentiate a “street walker” from a “soccer mom” by the clothes they wear in public. That doesn’t mean that men and women need to go back to the 1800’s in dress or attire, it simply means that some good, decent common sense should be used when dressing to go out in public. When a woman wears sexually revealing clothing that attracts the attention of passing men, especially if they are married, it begs into question what are their motives for doing so? No one is asking women to wear an Abaya, but Western women could learn a thing or two from Muslim women when it comes to decency and decorum. We have become such a materialistic and decadent society, using Hollywood and TV as a guide, that we have forgotten what it means to be decent!