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Can’t stop the signal

Saturday, March 10, 2007 by Marianne Elliott

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Welcome to my new blog home. I finally decided to make the move and Ive already worked out how to use the delicious banner Boho Girl mad for me, despite my complete lack of technical know-how. So this is a happy house-warming so far, no interruption in service. Can't stop the signal, it seems.

Today I was feeling a little sorry that my post for International Women's Day yesterday was so grim. I was rushed and coming to the end of a long and busy week. It had been a week in which the commanders and gansters of this town were flexing their muscles. In response to the risk of injury to pride or reduction in power, these men are threatening to take steps which could further destabilise the whole area and put the lives of civilians at risk. The developments remind me of the times when I have seen these men come to the point of all out battle, and the outcome of that battle. When th guns had stopped blazing the body count included an estimated 20 victims who were children, under the age of 18 years. These children and their mothers pay the real price for the ongoing conflict, a conflict in which they have no real decision making voice or influence.

I was tired, and I wanted to talk about the theme of International Women's Day (ending violence against women and girls) to remind myself and anyone reading this blog of the extent of this violence and to encourage us all to take the action that is within our means. But when I read it this morning it seemed heavy-handed and impersonal. I wished I had taken the time to right something more nuanced.

Then the Commander and I spent a wonderfully lazy day today, inside watching DVDs. I finally finished the TV series "Firefly" so that I was allowed – after great build-up of anticipation – to watch the movie that was made to follow the series, "Serenity". The Commander is a huge fan of Joss Whedon and especially of Firefly and Serenity so I've been primed for these DVDs for over six months.

Serenity is a great movie for lots of reasons, but the point that stood out to to me today (given my doubts about posting a list of horrifying statistics about violence against women) was the tagline "Can't stop the signal". The key message of the movie was that it is worth fighting for what you believe in (nothing particularly innovative in that, perhaps) and that people have a right to know the truth, no matter how ugly that truth may be.

So today I'll take it from Joss Whedon, the truth needs to be told. We all have the right to make our decisions based on as much information as possible. The truth is that violence against women and girls is endemic around the world, there may be prettier ways to say it but we all have the right and the responsibility to choose how to use our time and our talents with a full knowledge of that truth.

So some days my posts will be grim, this is my place to speak so if you read here you'll get the full range of my reactions to the life I'm living. What makes it okay is that the truth encompasses so much more than the suffering, it is also true that there are all sorts of wonderful people and organisations working to reduce the suffering. It is also trues that spring is arriving with the promise of new life, new energy and even new hope.

Fortunately all these things are true.


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9 Responses to "Can’t stop the signal"

  1. Paris Parfait says:

    Life is grim, sometimes. And these stories need to be told. As one French friend said to me, “if you don’t tell them, who will? These stories will be lost.” So glad you switched to Typepad! Am off to read your Intl. Women’s Day post now. xo

  2. Alex says:

    Look at you… Talking about truth… Just like me! 🙂 I loved your Women’s Day post. I admire your knowledge and your ability to inspire us to look more objectively towards action!!! It is a sad truth, but indeed, the raw message is what awakens the accommodated side of us and moves us to be more vocal, more proactive and help change things for the better! x

  3. Darrell says:

    Your honesty is wonderful. Don’t change it. Denial is just another form of dishonesty and self violence.

  4. Jolene says:

    If people like you were not blunt then other people will be allowed to do all the horrible things that they love to do with complete impunity. At least make them accountable in some way. You are my hero I hope you know that.

  5. I thought your post was just perfect- it needed to be told the way you told it. There’s no beating around the bush here- this is serious stuff. Again, I sit here, oh so comfortable, with never a thought as to my safety, but there million of women and children out there who do think about their safety- and lack thereof, every day. Those statistics were dire, yes, but also a wake-up call for all of us to be more informed- and with information comes action.
    Thanks, Frida- for being our wonderful signal light in a very dark world…

  6. susanna says:

    Hey there! First off, congratulations on your new blog home! I’m a happy Typepadder, too.
    Second, I don’t think you need to worry about sounding heavy handed or impersonal, Frida. You are a lovely person and your posts are always so interesting and honest. It’s great to hear a perspective of life in Afghanistan from someone who is actually living there. And you know, we (everyone who isn’t living there) need to hear about your experiences. So don’t worry and keep writing! 🙂
    Third, Firefly was a cool tv series! Just wait until you see Heroes!

  7. Mardougrrl says:

    Congratulations on finding a new home! I’ll have to update my links. And I love your posts, regardless of the subject matter, because they are so TRUE, and I can sense that. I’ve already learned so much from your perspective, so thank you for that.

  8. susannah says:

    love, i didn’t think your last post was heavy-handed at all. it was an important post, and the more we can do to raise awareness and effect change the better.
    and this is a beautiful new home, worthy of its owner 🙂 Typepad is so much better isn’t it xo

  9. I do agree. And hope you didn’t think I was criticizing you in my previous comment. I only mentioned what I did because I think that people like you and see a very great deal of sadness and day after day it is hard not to become engulfed in it.

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