I am adding my voice to those who welcome Malala Yousafzai’s award of the Nobel Peace Prize, which she shares with children’s rights advocate Kailash Satyarthi. It is a tremendous boost for the cause of children’s rights (and in particular, those of girls – yesterday was the International Day of the Girl Child). This blog post raises the interesting point, however, that we should not “sanitize” those human rights icons that we look up to. The principles and beliefs they represent are usually far more complex and nuanced than the simple, beautiful beliefs that they are recognized and lauded for. Let us listen to everything they say, and engage with them, rather than just picking out what is more “digestible.” Having said that, many congratulations to them both on winning the Prize and for all the incredible work they have been doing!
Helen Keller from the USA is very famous as a champion of blind and deaf people. In the Capitol, where the United States Congress meets, a statue honours her.
Another famous woman from the USA is Katharine Lee Bates, author of the very well-known poem/song America the Beautiful. Ms Bates was a feminist, a lesbian, a Christian socialist, and an anti-imperialist. All of these now conveniently ‘forgotten’ by United States Right wingers, who, when singing America the Beautiful, conveniently forget its later stanzas, so inconvenient for them.
These two women have been dead for a long time…
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