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Keisha Merchant

Outrage? Courgae? Where Do We Go Now?


    The reason why I like this book “From Outrage to Courage” because as a black woman, I understand the outrage, I have been categorized as angry and outraged when I walk, talk and sometimes misunderstood.  I understand now more my sub consciousness.   These two chapters allowed me to connect my own life with these global women issues of health.  I understand the poverty practices of neglect and ignorance of our policy in our governmental standards, and leaders of levels of corporation and government.  I know the economic problems that sometimes get overlooked when it boils down to black women, and now women at large.  Some rituals used for other women in other countries are similar when I read these pages about the gaps with men and women in the work place and life.

                It is fascinating the focus on chapter two about preferences with men not women.  I understand the lack of equality that women experience with men.  I realize that in South Asia that woman are neglected, and so are the United States black women.  I remember when I was a child; my mother had to make sure her wardrobe and car was highly esteemed in the corporation she had worked in.  The costs alone to keep up the wardrobe left us without medical treatment and dentist or other basic needs of living as food, shelter and clothing.  (pp. 21) I remember when I was a child; these preferences of men had a huge impact on me as a woman.  As this chapter made notice and spoke about women coming into the world is a difference.  I remember when my brother was born; he was a man at birth.  He held position in power without hard work or discrimination.  My brother did not experience rejection as a woman.  He may have experienced rejection as a black man, but not as a woman.  I see the other consciousness this chapter speaks about and raises with the demonstrations and allies to build awareness of women welfare and wellness. (pp. 22-25)

                The self-help groups can be recognized as assistance to women with girls, but this I feel challenged that women are struggling to find rite passage in this globalization of male domination.  In this patriarchal society, I see the hostility hate, so my critical moment in this chapter is the women who are working against the work of liberation. (Lorde, pp. 8, 9, Sister Outsider)

                In chapter three, education and discrimination, I have found this to be true that women are not being educated.  The issues are not addressed in our culture or education.  Our education is male centered, where as men are taught to be dominant, and the education promotes the aggression for men.  It is obvious in our education war is taught more than five hours a day, and the reinforcements of war is supported and allocated.  The healths of men are focused in the science, medicine, and in health through our childhood education within the dynamics of men promotion for preference and exclusion.   Women are facing higher rates than men to be drop outs and high mortality rate at infancy.  It is not in women right to progress or aggress in rights for women as men due to the discrimination, lack of power and increase of programming of learned behavior that take women out of the equation of pushing or addressing the issues of women health.  It is also in my mind that women are punished, disciplined, and harshly violated with violence and ill treatment in harassment in work, education and home life. 

                It is very hard for women to make progress without sacrificing their lives to the progression of their gender without breeching their gender role losing power and privilege for the sake to help each other in other issues that aren’t addressed as other women in culture differences and ethics or values.  (pp. 41)  It is in my heart that we will as women; use these chapters that this book addresses these issues to stop neglecting and ignoring these promises for equality, health and wellness for women all over the world.  I think the collaboration will take women to choose a better life using equality and health as a good foundation.

                In the “Half the Sky,” I understand the focus for chapter nine is the misogynists.  I know the poor ethics of men against women.  It is obvious and evident that men had poor training and poor learning habits to show any healthy manifestations of valuing women.  It is in these religions all misogynists hide in the background as wolves in sheep clothing.  It is completely historical to see men raping women, even in the Taliban era, men found themselves grossed by women presence whether their presence showed some form of power or privilege these men used the Muhammad to continue these poor ethical and lack of integrity aggression and hostilities against women. (pp. 152-55)

                I enjoyed the examples of women who excelled in these hardships.  Aisha was a powerful witness that women are able to overcome their circumstances regardless the odds against women.  It is evident that women are wrongly accused in these accounts, but they still find strength and courage to rise up out of ashes.  “Donkeys and dogs…” Aisha is the visionary in this passage about women that could represent power and courage.   (pp. 153)  The Koran may be closely examined, but still these accounts are critically viewed as men who were full of hate and anger against women.  In my mind, these men were not trained or needed to unlearn what they were raised on.  It is also in my mind that I would like to challenge this material that our lack of organizing and commitment to find strategies that outstand these horrific outcomes of misogynists are misleading to the point women is still seen as weak due to the long process of our journey to liberation. (pp.  156-60)

                Deworming girls increased attendance by the millions. (pp. 171) I recognize the health of women will take more attention then what men are use to in this battle against poverty in our policy and education system.   In the international affairs of addressing issues of health, women and girls need to have competent doctors and medical attention to treat women on the commitment that poverty will not be the issue for treatment.  It is necessary to give medical treatment freely because it is a human right to have health, whether it is a boy or a girl.  Our grants programs are not enough. (Pp.173-75)

                I am concerned that our experience as a global community is still ignorant to the facts that we do not show any urgency to the systems of abuse, neglect and oppression.  It produces the high mortality rate, poverty and challenging the violence at the levels of violence against women, war and killing against each other is not only a tradition but a money system that seem to be the catastrophe of our environment in the present day. (pp. 177-185) It is in my mind, Aids, and all forms of disease, can be eliminated effectively if we are given to the organization against the economy, religious and science paradigm of who receives resources.  It is the experiments that control our distribution of resources because these programs are still undergoing the process of choosing or preferences that are able to receive treatment and resources.  It is in this recognition the fight against Aids and others battles against gender roles for healthiness will begin in the strategy of education and eliminating discrimination.

    “What is there possibly left for us to be afraid of, after we have dealt face to face with death and not embraced it?  Once I accept the existence of dying as a life process, who can ever have power over me again?” Audre Lorde (Lorde, pp. 12)


    Lorde, Audre, Sister  Outsider, Essays & Speeches, Crossing Press Berkeley, 1984.

    Murray Anne Firth, From Outrage to Courage, Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine, 2008.

    Kristof, Nicholas and Wudunn, Sheryl, Half the Sky, TurningOppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,Alfred Knopf, New York 2009.

1 comment
  • <i>Deleted Member</i>
    Deleted Member If we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem. You have shared a very powerful piece, Keisha. Thank you
    January 11, 2010 - delete