I want to change the normal!
Do you think it is normal to, as a young girl, be afraid when walking to school because you might end up being pulled in to a car by men, locked in to a house and eventually forced into marriage?
Do you think it is normal, that if you as a woman are considered not to be behaving correctly in your own home, a suitable punishment is to be lit on fire or beaten or even killed?
Do you think it is normal to, as a woman, overhear your husband on the phone talking about how he will go about killing you?
Do you think it is normal for a woman not to able to go and see a gynecologist because then you are seen and treated as a whore?
Do you think it is normal, for a woman to be unable to tell the police about the situation you are in and the threats made against you without being called a liar?
Do you think it is normal for a woman to wish and pray that her pregnancy does not bring her a baby girl, just so she does not have to see her daughter go through any of this?
I want to change the normal!
I would say, that more than often the word normal is connected with a positive behavior. The RIGHT way of behaving within the society is the normal way of behaving. To be abnormal is to be outside of the frame of how we should behave and is often nothing we want to be associated with. I could even go as far as to argue that most of us strive to fit within the normal frame. I do!
Having studied international relations for a couple of years now I have however realized that what is considered normal is very different around the world, especially when it comes to how women and our rights are treated around the world. The normal behaviour is not something positive. Here I was, thinking that I was pretty clear on most of the issues considering how women are treaded and therefore not at all prepared on what I was going to feel when watching the movie Six Days. The feeling hit me like a hard punch right in the stomach. You know, one of those that knock the wind right out of you and leave you feeling nauseas for quite some time afterwards. I was and am mortified, saddened and angry that women today live these kinds of lives. Having absolutely no power and no status within the society. In some places, women live under constant threats and it has been allowed to become a normal way of treating women. Why? All I can think of is that this cannot continue. It has to stop. I want to change!
Six Days is a movie describing three women human rights defenders working hard to help women who are put in situations just like the “normal ones” mentioned earlier, working on increasing women’s rights and issues in the breakaway region of Abkhazia in South Caucasus, Liberia and the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The women and their organizations all being partner organizations to Kvinna Till Kvinna. These three women are all challenging and changing the normal.
Some people say that ignorance is bliss and I can understand that, even enjoy it but in the case of women’s situations around the world, I do not want the bliss I want the punch!
That’s why, the punch, leaving me nauseas and out of breath is a feeling I want to carry with me as a reminder in my work of changing the normal to becoming the abnormal. I realize this is not the easiest task but I am willing to try, hoping and knowing that I will not be alone with this desire to be change.
I urge everyone who wants to and can, to watch the movie Six Days that has been a production by Thelma/Louise on behalf of Kvinna Till Kvinna and had its premiere yesterday on October 22nd. I hope, while you watch this movie you feel like I do, that change is in order!