Speaking to a dear friend the other day, the issue of credibility came up: a man’s vs a woman’s credibility. It came up in a teasing way, as in a “when a man speaks, it’s different and people really listen” sort of thing.
When I raised my eyebrows at this comment I was told that I was still a radical after all these years.
I paused before I spoke.
After some thought I was compelled to put pencil to paper with love in hopes that this letter will help raise awareness just a little bit more, especially with our daughters, who need to believe that their value is certain, even when the culture they may be living in is still unsure.
To put this in perspective, my friend is a beautiful person with a compassionate and loving heart and has rescued, through adoption, a beautiful daughter from an orphanage in China as well as two boys from Asian orphanages.
This is dedicated to his daughter and my own daughters and granddaughters.
My Dear Friend,
Just a little clarification of my “radical” thoughts…
My concern about the marginalization of women is magnified in your daughter’s original situation in the orphanage in China, where females are often seen as a burden to society and often reduced with female infanticide.
History tells us that when a sex or a race has been determined by a society that it does not hold it’s own value, or is some way a burden to society, that members of that class will need the protection and/or the permission of the “ruling class” to progress safely and successfully through that society and life.
So why do I worry? I am an American woman with some of the greatest liberties women have ever experienced on this world.
I am obviously physically safe, well fed, educated, etc. For now I am part of the protected class.
Men have had these same rights throughout history but for women our rights are relatively new, and we are still fighting for equal rights.
And all of our rights have been granted to us by white men. They still happen to control our future.
Our rights could change in a heart beat. I worry about our daughters, yours and mine.
This keeps me up at night.
The bottom line is that even with affirmative action and women finally being “allowed ” in politics, white men are still the majority in Congress and still write the laws and enforce the laws, send our sons and now daughters to war and tax our incomes without any accountability.
And any time Congress wants to write our rights away, the power is still there to do it.
We are only one step away from being thrown back in time and not recognized as an equal citizen, which we haven’t actually achieved yet.
It is hard to forget all the countries that I have been in where women were not only not protected, but were servile, beaten, raped and essentially defenseless in male dominated societies and it was accepted as the norm.
I personally experienced a horrible week in Quatar. I was locked into my apartment for seven hours with the phone cut off and the deadbolts on the windows and doors locked with a key that was taken away, while my husband was taken on a sight-seeing trip.
I had no idea that when they left me there, that I would be basically held prisoner, as that is their custom. I have been told by others that it was also for my safety.
I know of no example where men have to fear being born or raised, living or working anywhere in this world, and just because of the fact that they are men, that their life could be terminated, in jeopardy or deliberately made more difficult and cut off from opportunity or safety. Or that they would be locked up with out being told, and have no ability to communicate or leave while their husbands were with were taken on a sight-seeing tour.
This in no way diminishes the love I have for the men in my family or my life. But I would like to help change the notion that somehow it is okay to consider women, even in jest, as an accessory or necessary evil to this world of men and that women can’t/won’t get respect for a good idea, equal rights and/or leadership opportunities until men deem it so.
Cynthia Lynn is married and a mother of four. She is a retired financial analyst and consultant. She is the architect and designer of her home, which is the award-winning, Columbia Inn at Peralynna in Maryland. She spent most of her childhood overseas between Saipan, Germany and Taiwan and designed Peralynna after her home in Germany. Her current occupation is Creative Director. She creates and innovates on a regular basis to keep the business of the Inn fresh, enticing and relevant to today’s travelers. Website: www.peralynnainn.com