Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Women of Courage

Last night's dinner, Women's Equality, reminded me of a group of women I saw this spring in Thailand. The focus of the speaker and the evening in general was courageous women. The speaker, Megan Raphael is one of the authors of The Courage Code. Her topic was the feminine face of courage, the quieter side of courage...the side women usually display.

Although we all have plenty of examples of courageous women in our lives here in the US, I was especially drawn to these Thai woman living in Longneck Karen Village. Their livelihood and to some extent, the village's, depended on their willingness to keep their collars on. Our guide indicated the women thought it an honor to wear and it was perceived as a token of beauty, but I wonder. The perception, according to our guide, that the neck muscles are destroyed is simply (simply?) lowers the shoulders after years of wearing. They can and do take it off whenever they choose. An older woman also had brass rings on her knees and legs. This is a family tradition and we met three (maybe four) generations of collared women. They seemed to quietly celebrate this badge of courage.

But here and now? The quieter side of courage? Listen to one of our sisters in childbirth, protecting her young, mourning the loss of a child, speaking out for family, her beliefs, her rights...there's no whispering going on here! I'm proud of the outspoken women I've met over the years. I embrace their strength and congratulate them on their willingness to stand up and be heard. Maybe one day, Longneck Karen Village will find another shoulder to lean on...

Road trip 2021

 A picture review of 2021 Sister Trip. As baby of the family, I’ve committed to visiting my three older sisters as often as possible, before...