Archive for July, 2013


not free until we’re equal






Getting to the root of the problem. Or not.

In Sunday’s New York Times, Nicholas Kristof writes about a medical center in Danja, Niger, where heroic surgeons do fistula repairs on women from the age of 12 up.

I apologize if this is distressing and unexpected to read — fistulas are tears between the urinary tract and the vagina, caused when girls of nowhere-near adult size have babies (many of whom die in the process as they are unable to pass through the birth canal and modern medical care like Caesareans are not available). These pregnancies are often a result of the girls’ first ovulation, as they have been married off before their first menstrual cycle and are almost instantly impregnated.

These “women” are then shunned and ostracized, put out of their homes by their husbands, and forced to scrabble for an existence in a town that mocks them and forbids them from even gathering water from a public well if anyone else is around.

Kristof has written about this before, and NYTimes readers contributed upwards of half a million dollars to funding this medical center and paying the staff. He is writing about women going there to find healing and hope, while recounting how one of the patients, upon completion of her surgery, returned to the home of her uncle/husband, who immediately demanded he return to her bed, in effect raped her, and ripped open the fistula again. She is back at the hospital for a second surgery.

These funds raised, this center, these doctors, are all doing good things for people who obviously and desperately need it. But wouldn’t it do even more good if some of that money and time were spent advocating for these CHILDREN, preventing marriage before the age of 18, and giving these girls/women a place to live for 6 months until their surgeries fully heal so that they aren’t just re-injured, as happens so often?

Does anyone know how to create/contribute to such a thing? I certainly don’t have Nick Kristof’s audience.


we are all guilty, and we all acquit

Read this.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.


The Power of an Idea

Ideas are divine portals
into the potentiality
of our birth,
our civilization,
our truth revered.
Ideas gave us freedom,
gave us law,
and justice;
ideas are the reasons why
we never pull our punches.
Though they bring
and conceit,
ideas can also
set us free,
from believing that we
were born to stay
in a spiritual poverty
to the awakening of our spirit
to the birthright of man:
that we were born for liberation
to take it if we can.

The power of the mind
is the power to divine
a world in which principles
are not constantly
weakening in the hands
of an apathetic
A world in which
we would want to
raise our children
to believe
that we could live
not only peacefully
but lovingly with others,
independent of class,
or sexual orientation,
without the fear of economic,
psychological defamations.
Whether eternal,
and immutable
and morally irrefutable,
ideas changed man,
moved nations,
and turned history.

Some would tell
that reason is
a slave to our passions.
Are we dogs or men,
is the question that
we need to examine.
To truly be free
we have to learn how
to think.
An education isn’t just a means
for putting money in the pocket,
it should foster knowledge worth guarding
lest our ideas become
nothing more
than technological equations,
as our passions have
bent to the whims
of sexual stimulations.
Our culture started with
and is still in the hands of
our minds,
let us not disgrace
our forefathers
by letting this
precious commodity

 ~Reejit Poole

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