Saturday, October 13, 2012
The Bullies and the War on Girls
When I came home from work this evening, the CN tower was still glowing pink in honour of the first ever International Day of the Girl Child.
A day to honour all the girls in the world, and remember all those whose lives are brutalized or diminished by discrimination, and other horrors like child marriage.
Approximately 70 million young women today were married before age 18, according to the UN, which notes that child marriage denies a girl her childhood, disrupts her education, limits her opportunities, increases her risk of being a victim of violence and abuse, and jeopardizes her health.
But all I could think about tonight was two of those girls.
Malala Yousafzai,14, who is fighting for her life in a hospital in Pakistan.
Shot by the beastlyTaliban bullies because they are more afraid of her and other teenage girls than they are of soldiers.
A teenage girl speaking out for girls’ education is just about the most terrifying thing in the world for the Taliban. She is not some Western NGO activist who just parachuted into Pashtun country to hand out ESL textbooks. She is far more dangerous than that: a local, living advocate of progress, education, and enlightenment. If people like Yousafzia were to multiply, the Taliban would have no future.
And Amanda Todd,15, of Port Coquitlam, B.C., who was driven to her death by a bunch of bullies for no good reason.
"I’m sorry Amanda Todd. I’m sorry you had to go through all that, I’m sorry that people are that horrible and cruel, I’m sorry you had to experience being that alone and I’m sorry that you had to end your life so short of its potential.”
And now everybody is sorry, or looking to blame someone, or the web, or whatever. But of course it's too late for Amanda. When she needed help nobody was there for her. And as society we should all be blaming ourselves for not doing enough to fight this horrible problem.
You know how I feel about bullies. It's one of the main reasons I started this blog. And one of the main reasons I despise the Harper Cons so much. Because they are the worst bullies I've ever seen. And they have never lifted a finger to help the bullied children of Canada.
But on the occasion of the first ever International Day of the Girl I want to end on a positive note by saying to any girls out there.
If the cowardly Taliban thought they could silence Malala's message. Other girls in Pakistan are showing them how wrong they are...
And if they can stand up to those bullies so can you. For you can do ANYTHING. Never settle for anything less than complete equality. Fight for your rights. Don't be cruel to each other, support one another because you still have far too many other enemies out there.
But also know that you have the support of many men, including me and my ragged gang of gay rebels. For even in our dumbest guy moments, of which there are unfortunately many, we know that those who would diminish young women, would diminish us ALL.
Just like we know that together we WILL defeat them. You can be sure of that eh?
Let poor Amanda move us to do more to help bullied children in Canada. Let Malala inspire us to change the world.
And as I've always said, and now more than ever.
Bullying is evil.
And bullies are LOSERS...
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