Couple of days ago, while wearing my bozo look at the hair studio, I was reading an article in the magazine Real Simple. (Be advised: it is one of my most humiliating moments to have to sit for 45 minutes with hair dye on my roots, the rest of my hair sticking up all over and the brown dye around my hairline appearing to be a drawn on skull cap. That day, my brother-in-law walked by the window and then into the hall by the glass front door and I mentioned to my hair stylist as he passed by the first window, you know, a “that’s my brother-in-law” kind of comment. So, he starts for the door to tell him to come on in so he can meet him and I’m like totally going bonkers telling him to stop…I won’t be seen like this…my hair stylist, who is a man…did not understand my dilemma, even though I was sporting my bozo look. I suppose it grows on him and he thinks nothing about it.) ANYWAY…The article was written by a 40 something woman who was admitting that trying to improve her outside appearance was a losing battle. However, she found her mind was an open book and she was learning new things all the time. She was even studying opera… and enjoying it. The body battle would always be there. She would fight it with yoga and pilates and occasionally get to see results like a bit tighter set buns and of course, the consistent energy level it provided. The ability to study new things and become more educated in any area she chose inspired her. All in all it was an encouraging article written by an experienced woman who was finding educating the mind always has rewards…even up until the grave. I was almost finished with it and trying not to listen to the conversation going on with my hair stylist and another client. But we’re right there in the same room…and the things you hear in a styling studio can be very interesting. I was tuning them out rather well because of the good read in front of me until she started talking about the family (her daughter? Can’t recall) who home schools her children. Well, shiver me timbers, I couldn’t tune that one out on my stronger days. She went on to say that they have nine children. Awesome! I’m thinking…What a woman…what a feat…what a…What did she say? Did I hear her right? My hair stylist must have choked on it too, as he had her repeat it. Oh my gosh! I did hear her right…
“Yes, they home school but they don’t believe in educating the girls.” Did I just drop back into the past? WTF? “They believe girls do not need to be educated nor do they need college degrees…their role is to get married, have babies, be a good wife, raise the children and keep the house.” She went on to say, “They have mentors for the girls. Older women, like me, (reference to her), who mentor the females for their future role as wife, mother, homemaker.”
I tried to remain seated…but I found myself out of my chair and turned toward them…I am constantly aware of the fact that with my new job, my opinions must be censored…so I hung my head, with tears in my eyes I went to the restroom and fumed to myself and God. The African females who are suffer female circumcision surfaced into the mind battle and I was forced to stay in the restroom a bit longer so that my countenance did not betray me.
Of course, there mixed into the mind battle was the fact that I was raised the same way…and maybe, as a former smoker hates cigarette smoke more that a non smoker, due to the “been there - done that” effect, I was feeling more strongly about the issue than the average person would be…I seriously doubt it.
Whatever the case, I cannot understand whhhhhhyyyyy people, religious or not, come up with the notion women do not need to be educated. How can a parent decide something like that, that will affect their daughter’s future in such a dramatic way? How can they see female teachers, doctors, nurses, hello…police officers, lawyers, corrections officers, office executives, authors, etc…listen to female musicians, or even home school their children…and not see the need for females to be educated? We need skilled and intelligent females in every facet of life. It’s not just about baking cookies!
And that’s all I have to say about that.