Book review: I am Malala

Better late than never, I finally read I am Malala and I am finally blogging about it!

I am Malala

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani teenager who was shot in the head by the Taliban on her way to school in 2012. The Taliban did not approve of Malala encouraging girls to go to school to get an education. Thankfully she survived and now resides in the UK. She still campaigns for women’s rights and girls’ education. Her work earned her a Nobel Prize in 2014.

Reading Malala’s own words was fascinating to me. I was surprised to realize that Malala has not been back to her hometown of Swat Valley and her house since the day she got shot. Logically it was something I assumed happened but only by reading her words did I realize the magnitude of how her life changed on that fateful day. Even now, 4 years later, it is not safe for her to return to her country, her home. I can’t imagine what that must feel like.

I don’t know if others are like this, but if you are let me know! When I get into something, I must learn everything about it. Once I finished I am Malala I was on Wikipedia researching Swat Valley, the Taliban’s invasion of Swat, watching videos of Malala, reading articles of hers, and so on. I was fascinated and needed to know everything there was to know. Do any of you guys do this too?

Autobiographies aren’t usually my favorite things to read, but I really enjoyed I am Malala. The cause of women’s rights and education is something that I am passionate about. It was eye-opening to read in Malala’s words the things she went through just to be able to go to school. It makes me very thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given. There’s so much in my life I’ve just been given and didn’t even have to ask for that I realize how much of a blessing that is. Growing up education always felt like a chore, but now I realize that to many it is a privilege. It shouldn’t be that way. Everyone should have the opportunity to go to school regardless of their gender, where they live, their skin color, etc.

It was really nice to see interviews of Malala where she comes across like a normal teenager who makes fun of her brothers, get stressed about school, and what not. It made me respect her even more, to read what she has gone through and how she doesn’t let it change her in a negative way.

If anyone is interested, The Malala Fund is doing great work and is a worthy cause to donate to.

Have you read I am Malala? What did you think?

Advertisements

HelloGiggles

I follow a lot of blogs and websites, and enjoy reading the interesting articles they have to offer. A new site was recently added to my rotation: HelloGiggles.

HelloGiggles, a website mainly centered around/for women, immediately caught my attention because of the variety of content.  The site, which was created by actress Zooey Deschanel, Molly McAleer, and Sophia Rossi, touches on the different interests that appeal to women today.

The topics range from beauty, recipes, cuteness (seriously), entertainment, and a section titled Women Working to do Good. They also discuss social issues facing women and society as a whole. (It was actually an article on HelloGiggles that inspired this post.)

It has become the site I go to for a pick me up. It offeres me a giggle or two, but even more than that it is inspiring to read stories about everyday independent, and creative women. The articles are well-crafted, witty, and informative.

Here are some of my favorite articles:

Women Working to Do Good: Hannah Bencher 

Help! I’m addicted to Chipotle! 

Learning how to love the staycation

What are some of your favorite sites? Why do you like them?

Forever (except not really)

I admit I used to be a Chris Brown fan. I loved the song “Forever”; I would sing and dance when the song came on the radio while I was driving. I recall being excited that The Office used Forever in Jim and Pam’s wedding. And then the news broke that Chris Brown had physically assaulted Rihanna on the night before the 2009 Grammys.

After that, I stopped listening to him. Instead of dancing every time his song came on the radio, I would swiftly change the station. I understood that this is no way affected Brown, but it was my way of protesting him and his actions.

Fast forward three years later to last night’s Grammys, where Brown was in attendance. It is unfathomable to me how he can be asked to attend, perform, and even win. Not only that but the Grammys executive producer is happy about this fact, stating “If you note, he has not been on the Grammys the past few years and it may have taken us a while to kind of get over the fact that we were victim on what happened.” Say what.

So the Grammys are the victim because they were left scrambling to fill the spots set aside for Brown and Rihanna in the 2009 awards and not Rihanna, who was hospitalized.

What was more disappointing to me, however, were the comments from my peers. They ranged from “I can’t believe Chris Brown won for best album..it wasn’t even that good” to “Chris Brown is not a good live performer”. Very few people expressed disgust at the fact that Brown was even at the Grammys.

Does anyone not remember how badly Rihanna was beaten? Do they not recall his lack of remorse in the weeks after? Is everyone suffering from a case of short-term memory loss?

Many people would defend Brown by saying they separate the artist and the person, but I don’t buy that for a second. Two reasons why: Isaiah Washington and Michael Richards. Washington, who played Dr. Burke on Grey’s Anatomy, was promptly fired from the show for using a gay slur against a co-worker. Richards, who played Kramer on the hit show Seinfeld, went off on a racial rant during a stand up show and was videotaped doing so.

Both actors have virtually disappeared in Hollywood (with good reason). No casting director in their right mind would hire them; their careers are essentially over.

So why is Chris Brown still famous? By letting him still make music and attend high-profile events like the Grammys, society is saying that it is okay to hit a woman — there are no repercussions. What kind of message is this sending to young girls everywhere? This is an idea. Sad, isn’t it?

I can’t see myself ever liking a Chris Brown song again even if it is the most amazing song ever, but that’s just me. How do you feel about this? Do you still listen to Brown’s songs? Why or why not?

For more on Chris Brown, read Sasha Pasulka’s well-written article on the topic.

It’s a Girl! Documentary

In following up with my book review on Half the Sky, I wanted to share the preview for an upcoming documentary entitled It’s a Girl! I’ve seen the trailer making the rounds on Facebook, but I am posting it here in case anyone hasn’t seen it yet. It’s a harrowing look “gendercide”, the term that has been coined for the preference of a male child versus a female child. Approximately 200 million girls in the world are missing because of gendercide in countries like India and China.

Here is the trailer:

Upon doing research for this blog post I stumbled upon the fact that today, January 24t, is National Girl Child Day.

What are your thoughts on the trailer? I’d love to hear them in the comments!