This blog is about things I like. It is about words, and language, and books. It is a female-ness, being a woman. (Being a man is, I am sure, pretty damn cool too--but it just wasn't how I came out this time around). It is about other things that are basically good things: food, music, television, pop culture and the occasional rant. Because ranting about things that are annoying or ludicrous, but essentially unimportant, is one of life's true pleasures.
But sometimes I come across something that is the pure and utter dark side of all of these things. Like a bill being passed into law in Afghanistan that removes all rights of custody from mothers, does not allow them to work without a husband's permission, and allows a husband to refuse to give his spouse food until she consents to sex. The selfish use of force can spoil anything. It says motherhood is unimportant, food is a weapon, a woman is a sexual amenity without free will, marriage is slavery and the law is a mechanism for the oppression of the vulnerable.
This is so saddening and perverse I cannot even enjoy complaining about it. Because it is not unimportant. It cuts to the heart of what we should be as people. Men and women. This law suggests not only a horrible role for women but a terrible identity for men and I do not see why either would tolerate such a law, let alone write, support, vote for or celebrate it.
I am grateful not to live under such a law which would make the independence I experience as a single professional woman literally impossible. But I should not blithely enjoy my status without aome gratitude, and some obligations. My pleasures are allowed to me as a virtue of my culture, not the birth right of every human being. It makes me realise that each of my pleasures (freedom from oppression, education and literacy, self-determination, ample food) is also a privilege, and not one to be taken for granted.