By Arlie Martin
Senior Opinion Writer
On Tuesday of last week, I went to an on-campus screening of the documentary, “Girl Rising.”
While I and my feminist self absolutely loved the film and its message, I couldn’t help but notice that of the fifty some attendees, less than five of them were men. I found it surprising and unexpected. This blatant show of apathy from the men of Asbury demonstrates a harmful attitude toward the global community.
For those of you who are unsure, “Girl Rising” is a film about nine young girls who faced high amounts of adversity in order to get an education. Their plights ranged from extreme poverty to natural disasters to sexual abuse, but each one pushed on, doing everything in her power to receive an education so that she could better the world around her.
How is that an issue that only involves girls? How does this issue not have consequences on a global scale?
We, here in the United States, take education for granted and often complain about the one we are given. Our leaders make the public education system out to be in shambles, and almost every student who receives homework complains about each assignment given. However, in developing countries, education is a privilege that few receive; the girls receiving this privilege are even fewer.
I’m just going to say it: when a topic centers primarily around females, and most of the guys here want nothing to do with it, I want to throw punches. If I tuned out every single time someone talked about the plight or achievements of men, I would spend most of my life in my own little world. I recognize that there is value in what both genders do, and I find it offensive that most of the men here do not.
I find it even more offensive that I as a woman am expected to care about the needs of my “Christian brothers,” yet very few of them seem to care about the needs of their “Christian sisters.” I understand that men are different from women and that I can’t understand exactly what happens in the male mind, but if my shoulders or knees cause a man to stumble, then he has things to work on with the Lord.
So, if I should try to support men with my dressing habits, then where are the men to stand up for the rights of my “Christian sisters?” In the words of education activist and Pakistani 16-year-old, Malala Yousafzai, “The extremists are afraid of books and pens. The power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women. The power of the voice of women frightens them.” Women, given the right tools, can change the world.
Education is a topic that concerns everyone and affects everyone. You never know who will discover the cure for cancer or develop cleaner energy. This person could come from any continent or socioeconomic background. Heaven forbid, this person could even be a girl. So isn’t it in our best interest for everyone to care about what girls’ education looks like?