If you don't like messy situations that have no clear-cut answers, don't read this post.
If you don't like raw emotions that won't disappear with the flick of magic wand, don't read this post.
I still have to write it though. Not for anyone in particular. Not to get a pat on the back because I care. But because I am still having trouble processing it all.
Last week another little girl's life was cut short. The incident was brutal and it rocked France, a country small enough in terms of population to mourn these losses on a national level (whereas they are sadly more commonplace in the US, five times larger in its population).
When I heard about it the next day while driving to work, I felt tears come to my eyes immediately. I have a little girl a few youngers than the sweet Chloé who was murdered. But you don't have to be a mom or a parent to feel moved by something like this. I'd say you just have to be human.
I was shaken up for several days and said a prayer before bed for that lost little soul and her mourning family. I couldn't get the sadness of the events out of me.
Then I read something else that haunted me nearly as much. It was about the treatment of women and girls by ISIS. (Note: the article I read was in French but this one tells a similar story.) I'd heard about this before, but the article confirmed again how horrific it is for females who fall under the hand of these terrorists. They are raped, treated like objects and property. Sold to be wives for men in this group or given as "presents". I was sickened again.
Somehow we identify more with one little girl than with the thousands of women and girls being treated like this. Perhaps we can't process the sheer horror of it happening on such a grand scale. But what's happening in Irak and Syria is just as bad. It is setting the position of women back centuries. It is saying that we women aren't worth anything except our bodies.
And in both cases I don't know what I can do. I feel helpless. And angry. I don't want to sound anti-male, but the majority of violent crimes and sexual violence especially, are committed by men. Why are we allowing this?
Like I said at the beginning of this post, I don't have the answers. There is no quick fix to this kind of ugliness. I hold tighter to my own girl and try to teach her (again) about strangers. I hope she will know that girls are just as worthy and smart as boys and never let one boss her around. I pray we will all stand up to oppression and bullying, be it in the schoolyard or on a global scale.
I hope we can pass tighter laws that don't let those convicted of crimes against women and children just go back on the streets to start again. I hope that good will win against evil. That right will eliminate wrong. The battle is long, but we have to keep on fighting. For Chloé and for the nameless girls in Irak and Syria. And for our daughters.
Keep fighting the good fight, my friends. For more information, you can check out the UN site.