Monday, November 7, 2011

Half the Sky

Sunday was a fairly busy day. Sister was on a mission to get casual cool boots--a mission that we accomplished at Nordstrom. (High-five, Sister.) Because I knew we were going to Nordstrom, I wore one of my most recent purchases from there.
Cardigan - Banana Republic (Present), Black cami - Express, Tunic - Arden B., Skirt - H&M, Boots - Vince Camuto
I'm also just trying to wear these boots more because I love them.
The wedge heels! The laces! The color!
I got a round of compliments on the entire outfit later that night at my book club meeting. We were discussing Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.
Though I think there were some looks: Is that a dress? How short is that skirt? Is it see-through?
The book of course inspired me to wear this blue sweater on my top half (sky-colored on my top half), but most definitely and more importantly, is making me think more about human rights. 

For me, a recent reader of The Blue Sweater and Unbowed, this book's ideas were already familiar, but not boring. I read new stories of real women and their struggles, in quick chapters. The book was surprisingly fast, the only times I slowed down was when I kind of felt like throwing up. It was truly disgusting and horrible to read some of the things that women go through--women and girls repeatedly raped, punished in the name of "honor", and going through overly difficult childbirth.

Something new I learned about was the massive problem of fistula--the amount of women that have to deal with this, and the additional effects, such as abandonment by spouses and family, unable to care for these women. Something else I also learned/liked was the authors making it clear that though it might be easy to blame men, the problem is bigger than that--women feed into the problems too. These are cultural issues that governments, well-meaning families, schools, many feed into. A good example of this is female genital cutting. Many people feed into this problem by even tossing up their hands and backing off as they say, "Well, it's a cultural thing." The authors make it clear that just because something is cultural, doesn't mean that it's right to do.

And by the way, these are not just "women's issues" because as the authors make very clear, these are problems that affect men as well, and deprive us all of a better world. Read it as good introduction to human rights issues, and to learn what you can do to help (I think reading something to educate yourself is half the battle). I've already promised to myself to donate to at least one of the fistula foundations mentioned (Fistula Foundation, Heal Africa, or Worldwide Fistula Fund) as well as another good organization (Tostan or Women for Women International). I can't wait to research to learn more.


  1. I meant to tell you, you looked so cute that day! Thanks for your help with the boot shopping!

  2. You're so sweet. How are the boots?!