A version for tumblr that can be read without opening a new tab, since plenty of people would scroll past this story otherwise.
The bravest woman on Earth.
Today is Women’s Day- a good day to celebrate this incredible young woman.
As I said after Malala survived: Congratulations Taliban, you just made an enemy of a girl who took a bullet to the head for her right to an education.
Start running. >=D
writingronin, I think you should check out this post: http://goldenheartedrose.tumblr.com/post/44905917816/an-official-says-malala-yousufzai-who-was-shot-by
Not that it’s a bad thing that you’re aware of issues like this, but this kind of attention is endangering people’s lives.
This shit be officially complicated.
First off, thanks for pointing that fact out to me. I didn’t know about the Swat Valley college, and that certainly is a relevant fact that renaming the college after her did make its students feel threatened, so renaming it was a smart move to protect the students. It…still runs against some of my personal ideologies, but it’s not my way to slam the choice of others for acting in their own safety.
Also, second thing, reading that article actually made me go and do more research on the subject. To put together what I’m about to write meant checking ABC, Al-Jazeera CNN, the BBC and CNN just to make sure I had all my facts together. So if nothing else, I got updated on the status quo on the situation
But that author telling everyone else to “shut up, Malala doesn’t want to be a symbol?” Thaaaaaat’s more complicated, and reads like a extrinsic interpretation of a specific action rather than looking at a bigger picture.(Also, ‘raging liberals?’ I see more “personal agenda” in that post then elsewhere)
A month ago, AFTER the college renaming incident, this video went up on Youtube, where Malala announces organizing the Malala Education Fund to fight for girls’ right to an education:
(Also, just by thirty seconds of watching that video, I am already building even more massive respect for Malala ‘cause holy crap she sounds like one of the smartest young people walking the face of the earth)
So…there’s a discrepancy here, and I don’t think the argument that “she doesn’t want to be a symbol so shut up you’re putting her in danger” holds up.
Now, as to the Swat valley college, I think what Malala was extremely concerned about was that her name was making people scared of inviting easy retaliation. A school with a big sign up there can be a target. That strikes me as her being savvy and recognizing that not all moves in defiance of the Taliban are equally smart decisions.
There is a point that I don’t think she “wants the attention” either. I think she wants an education. I think she wants EVERYONE to have an education, especially women, who are being denied an education right now in her country. I think she understands that wanting that, and being vocal about it, do put her in the spotlight, (‘cause holy shit if she didn’t by now I’d be worried), and she wants to use her time in the spotlight as best she can. Hence, the education fund, returning to Pakistan, and most importantly, saying that this is the path God has chosen for her.
(Generally, when one says God puts them on a path and she got here thanks to the prayers of others, they tend to be pretty determined people.)
That’s not the mindset of someone who’s given up the fight and wants everyone to go away. That’s someone who wants to rally support for what she believes in. Given that she asked the school to change its name so that the students would feel safe, she also understands where and when her message is most valuable, so I’d say she’s also just being smart in general)
So I don’t see this comic as “using her for other people’s purposes,” or putting her in danger. (Any more danger given the fight she’s already fighting every day) I see it as celebrating her and what she’s fighting for, because she’s still clearly fighting for it. She didn’t flee the country and continue her life elsewhere, she went back into the heart of the storm and is still fighting right now, using her story to help other people.
To make a final summation, it appears to me that Malala asked for the school to change its name because the students who studied there thought it would invite attack, and she didn’t want her name being used without the student’s cooperation, and especially if it would make them scared.
But given that she’s gone on the news, that she wrote for the BBC several times times, has been the subject of a documentary, tells me that she still wants her voice, her message, and her cause to ring out into the world. And I think this comic does that.
(For more information on the Malala Fund, see here: http://abcnews.go.com/International/malala-fund-supporting-girls-education-globe/story?id=18399402)