Pakistani teenager, shot for wanting to attend school, the definition of a feminist
Published: Monday, October 21, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 21, 2013 00:10
People don’t like to use the word “feminist.” Some people see or hear that world and they automatically roll their eyes and turn away.
So why do I drag such a controversial word into the story of Malala Yousafzai? Because Malala is a controversial girl ... but how could she be?
Let’s back up a bit by asking: who is Malala?
Malala is a 16-year-old girl from Pakistan who just wants to go to school. She has dreams just like any other person right here at ETSU. She wants to become a doctor.
Except there are a few things standing in her way, mainly the radical beliefs of the Taliban, who are present and active in the area in which she lives.
Another thing, oddly enough: her vagina.
She was born a girl. How is this controversial? Over half of the entire population of the world is female.
But the Taliban beliefs differ from ours. The Taliban believes women should not go to school.
The radically traditional beliefs the Taliban hold is that a woman’s main priority is to be a mother, a wife and caretaker of the household.
Women belong to their birth father, brother or their husbands for their entire lives. A woman isn’t suppose to go to school or become a doctor, and that was why she was so controversial where she lived.
All she wanted was to go to school, and she was very outspoken about her right to her education, much to the Taliban’s dismay.
While she was riding the bus in Oct. 2012, a couple of Taliban men boarded the bus with her and shot her in the head.
But did that stop her? Absolutely not! She was flown to a hospital in England, where she was able to fully recover from her bullet wound.
Her next task was to go back to school, and talking to the United Nations about the freedom of education for all women and girls.
She is now working on a book, “I Am Malala,” which recounts her experience being shot for wanting to attend school.
In my mind, Malala is the definition of a feminist. She’s a real hero for women and girls all over the world. She is almost superwoman, taking a bullet to the head and living, and she’s now more determined than ever to go to school and get the education that she rightfully deserves.
It’s women like Malala that make me proud to be a woman with an education.
There are still women all over the world who don’t have the strength and the luck of Malala.