A sobering note

Dedicated to the author’s mother, with a traditional Somali prayer. In spite of my own cushy American upbringing, I hope it isn’t too presumptuous to say that it reminds me of my own parents and certain family and friends:

Oh, you are a kilt which a young dandy set out to choose

Oh, you are like a costly rug for which thousands were paid

Will I ever find your like– you who have been shown to me only once?

An umbrella comes apart; you are as strong as looped iron;

Oh, you who are as the gold of Nairobi, finely molded,

You are the risen sun, and the early rays of dawn,

Will I ever find your like, you who have been shown to me only once?

How I wish I could own every book ever published by Virago Press!   Perhaps as a book dealer I can. And what a dream, to read them all! As it turns out, they are celebrating 40 years in business. What a wonderful publisher they have been.

I just listed Waris Dirie’s Desert Flower The Extraordinary Life of a Desert Nomad. It is 15 years old, but it is still a must-read for anyone who is interested in human rights. Yes, her amazing story includes something that is very difficult and painful to talk about, and yes I prefer to focus on the positive most of the time, but also yes, sometimes we need to go ahead and confront painful realities.

Women and girls all around the world still at best put up with BS and at worst suffer unspeakably just because they were born female. Some feel it is just the way it is, the way it should or must be, and harm their daughters physically or emotionally to protect them.  I would argue that it isn’t just girl children. Boy children suffer in myriad emotional and physical ways as well. Women and children are second class citizens in almost every nation, developing or advanced.

When will it end? When Jesus comes back, probably… which is another way to say, depending upon your beliefs, either never or when the world ends.

Some articles:

Rosamund Urwin: FGM is not the only barbarity women face

Female Genital Mutilation: ‘Mothers need to say no’

Betty Makoni the campaigner challenging female genital mutilation in Britain


With hope,  and love.


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