I was eighteen when I had my first son. I did not know what it felt like to love someone unconditionally until I met him as he grew in my womb. He was born on November, 22nd 1987, the most beautiful baby boy the earth had ever seen.
I had a toothache and it was after ten at night. There were no pharmacies open in those days, so my boyfriend decided to take us to his family home for medication. The house was quiet when we arrived, and it was after 12am. I went immediately to the bathroom for medication leaving my son and his dad on the sofa, their backs were facing the sliding doors which I heard close, as I hurried to get some toothx lotion. As I made my way after a few minutes to the front, I saw someone with a kerchief covering half of a face, and movement outside the door. Before I could respond, thinking maybe his brother was playing a joke, three men stormed in. The look on my face caused by boyfriend to hold onto our son and all the air and time stood still. I remember thinking, pay attention, don’t panic, do as they say, don’t panic, pray, note everything, do not scream. It took one second – everything flashes in and out of one’s mind. Will we die, will I be raped, will my baby or boyfriend be hurt, I must save them. The first man came towards me quickly, and I saw the gun for a moment, before he placed it against my lower back nudging me to listen, and do as he said. “keep quiet, where is the money, do not speak, tell me where is the money?” I did not know what he was speaking about, and before I could respond, he advised me not to speak. He walked me through the house never moving the gun from its position on the lower portion of my back. They were pulling open drawers and moving things around. All this time, the gun remained waiting to be used. The barrel was probably no bigger than a couple inches in diameter, and I knew it was hard, heavy and alive. The second guy had placed a long shiny blade at the back of my boyfriend’s neck, and told him not to move or he would kill our baby. The third had another knife and kept saying, “let’s just cut them…”.
After what seemed like an eternity of walking throughout the house with the robber as he searched with one of his accomplices, they made me knock on two of the bedroom doors where my boyfriend’s brother and sister were asleep. I was left in his sister’s bedroom with her, and then the two brothers and my son were brought into the room. The guy with the gun said to my boyfriend, ” see we have not hurt your women.” They locked the door and told us not to try to get out or we would be killed. I cleared out one of the cupboard shelves, and rocked my son to sleep, then placed him hidden for safety, without blocking the air. We prayed aloud. They returned soon after, and left again after looking at us. We continued praying. That night they got just over one thousand dollars in cash and some jewelry. I am glad they got something, or it may have ended differently.
I’m sharing this experience, because I know what it feels like to be confronted by bandits. I know what it feels like for the police to come and rescue us, after we got an old telephone below the bed to work- no mobile phones in those days. I know what it is to feel paralyzed with fear every time a door opens. I know how many years it takes sleeping with the lights on and constantly locking doors, checking windows and needing to know my children are okay. I saw the resemblance on the faces of strangers, and could feel the gun barrel for over a decade. This is not a fairy-tale.
The dark side of social media – Kim Kardashian West
Life on social media reflects the society we live in. There are highs and lows, good and bad, and then there is the callousness of humankind when shit happens. Everyone shares a lot, sometimes way too much. This is the culture developed, by the incessant desire of living within the reality of others.
The dark side of social media attracts a lot of attention. In fact many make a living off perpetuating violations and lifting the bar over things and situations which are socially, psychologically and morally harmful to others. Sometimes it’s for a ‘harmless laugh” and at other times the reasons can be warped and sinister. This should not excuse criminal behavior, but we have to be aware of the impact of social media on our safety.
Trending in the news is the robbery of Kim Kardashian-West. My heart goes out to her. She is a mother, daughter, sister, wife, friend and a human being. I’m not into reality shows but from time to time I see her sharing her life. This lady is resilient, and she has the boldface bravery to stare a lot of negative things in the face, and turn them around to her benefit. For the most part she lives a life of drama and perseverance. She is no different to the wolves on Wall Street or politicians who decide to pursue dreams and possibilities. She is ambitious, innovative, and declares herself selfish, and open to scrutiny. She is a public figure. I am not a fan but know a lot of people who are, including my nieces. While many choose to see the negative impact of the Kardashians ascent into this world, let’s be objective and admit, they are successful because they are good at creating something, many dream of and live vicariously through. Many women would like to have some of their opportunities… including the things frowned on. Whatever your personal thoughts, the Kardashians make the role of family support in today’s society relevant. Whatever the crazy scandal or situation, they own it, and break it down into digestible pieces, thus creating a media maelstrom. Social media is their domain.
Kim was robbed at gun point. She was tied up gaged and endured a ‘lifetime of moments’ uncertain if she would be raped or killed. As the news made all the social media sites, and the comments, and twitter storm took over, I thought about this woman. I felt close to her, because I understand, and do not wish this experience on anyone. Her wealth does not make her immune or set apart from humanity when she is a victim of a crime. What has she ever done to hurt you, the person tuning into the channels to watch her life or checking out her twitter feed, or reading all the gossip about her. That some would wish for her to be harmed is a painful read, and gut wrenching, the way it was initially assumed to be a publicity stunt. The price of this reality aspect of a Hollywood job, shows its dark side of inhumanity.
Hillary Rodham-Clinton is another lady who has had the boldface bravery to be ambitious. She has worked hard towards her dreams, fight for her friendship and marriage, and have the audacity at the peak of her career to run for president of the United States of America on two occasions. To top it all off she has drive, determination, character, stamina, and love for the people of her country, to stand in firing line and take all those darn bullets of words like a man. She is no coward, but she is a mother, wife, friend, grandmother and a human being. She has a warm and loving light which shows, because she cares for people. Like many US presidents and leaders before her, she has made mistakes and is not perfect. It seems that because of her gender, and tenacity to keep going, she is judged more harshly than the men who went before her.As a woman who dares to stand up in a world carved out for men, she is perhaps, an outcast because she can do this job of President and has proven time and time again, that she will make the hard decisions… whatever the outcome on her. She is prepared for a moment such as this.
Hillary has spent most of her life in public office and has the scars and the experience of a veteran of politics. I have watched, read and followed her career throughout the years, and though, I do not agree with her many times, she consistently gets up and fights. Never giving up, and always with dignity, grace and good character.
A Tale of Women
Traditional ideas, societal norms and customs are twisted when it comes to women and ambition. If we decide to be housewives and homemakers there are those who will ridicule and condemn us as having no ambition, skill or progressive modern behavior. If we choose to pursue dreams, we can find ourselves the target of feminist jokes and sexist antagonism. If we should prove ourselves capable of being a leader in the government, military, civil society, religious group, our lives and character are targeted by those of lesser self-esteem.
There is ‘political power’ and ‘social business power’ which can be commanded by any gender to come forth to attain. As I read an article by Richard Cohen, Washington Post, July 25, 2016, ‘If Hillary Clinton were a man’, I wonder would people view her the same way. The prejudices of this US election, makes it more apparent that society has challenges with women in powerful roles, and attaining personal goals, or even being ambitious.
There are many male business moguls, rappers, singers, and public figures on social media and prior in print media, who are celebrated. They rise above sex scandals and other activities to become celebrated business icons and public figures. For Kim Kardashian- West, maybe its time we look at how she has developed an empire and business career all her own. How Kim and her family started their business and careers are different from what is considered traditionally acceptable. Many are shocked by the very public expose of their very personal and private selves, and they are labelled. Hugh Hefner was never labelled the same way, and he was not showcasing himself, but many ‘vulnerable others’.
I do not personally know these women, nor do have any association which would bring us into contact. Like the rest of the world looking on, their headlines drew me in, and with a different lens, compassion, respect, and deep understanding, I see this part of their journey. I do wish their was a lot less prejudice and a greater willingness to embrace the brave and bold warrior spirits of these very different women. Their impact on global society is defining. When you come across them, you will feel something. Love or hate, they epitomize resilience and perseverance in today’s society. Women are more than able.
These are my thoughts and observations, which, may differ from others. Different is good sometimes, its all about perspectives! Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing if you are moved to do so.
Credits:If Hillary Clinton Were a Man Washington Post, Richard Cohen
Photos: free4kwallpaper.com Kim Kardashian West
Politico.com- Hillary R Clinton
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