September 9, 2013

3.5 Billion

There are 3.5 billion girls in the world, give or take a couple. I am blessed enough to not only get to be one of those 3.5 billion, but I also get to parent two of those girls as well.

Today, I had to break one of my girls' hearts--she won't get to take a big class trip with school because we just don't have the funds. This, my friends, is a life lesson. She would have to work for the trip, and she simply didn't have enough time to do that. She's alright with it; and she'll eventually understand the power of saving and planning and accepting the answer no.

I also got to sing karaoke with my younger girl. We sang Abba's "Waterloo." We sang as if the entire neighborhood needed to hear our voices ... I'm sure they enjoyed it as well. Who wouldn't? She went to bed still singing "Waterloo." I hope she'll always sing loud and proud regardless of how on-tune she is or much she botches the lyrics, even though they are right on the screen.

My guess is that this scenario is not any different for most of the 3.5 billion girls in the world. I say "most" because I know that not every girl is in a healthy, fun, encouraging situation. I'll offer sincere prayers for them and their situations tonight.

I tell you all of this to explain to you why I didn't write about that horribly horrific (yeah, yeah, yeah--dissect my word choice later) performance by Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke.

As a blogger, the minute the tweets and updates about the performance hit the social media scene, I wanted to take it on. But there was something in my heart--something in my core--that wouldn't let me. The words that I wanted to say were so deep inside my soul that I had to search for them long and hard.

I thought about going for the laughs; the obvious ones were taken, though, and I couldn't really explain clearly how much I love to joke about twerking. I twerk in my house. I want a pair of twerking shorts and everything--this is not a joke. (Ask my real life peeps.) So when Miley Cyrus made it so yucky, I felt robbed.

I also felt robbed by Robin Thicke. "Blurred Lines" is one of the only songs of his that I really like. Of course, I never really listened to the lyrics. I sang them kinda like this: You're a good girl. blahblahblah  want it. blahblahblah want it. The way you grab me. blahblahblah want me. Don't be spastic. You're a good girl. The fat girl in me thought the song was being sung by a big ol' package of Double Stuffed Mint Oreos. That little scene stole that pick-up lane song from me.

But really, that wasn't what I wanted to write either. I spent the last week or so trying to find the words I was looking for to address the situation.

This weekend, I attended the Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged Conference at Ferncliff Retreat Center near Little Rock. I got to dine and chat and walk and think with 100 of the coolest 3.5 billion women on the planet. I recognized some of them who had blogged about the VMA spectacle. I got to listen to a wise woman talk about being true to your own voice. I got to hug the neck of a woman who selflessly brings together women in the spirit of camaraderie. I got to share a ride with a fellow momma who gracefully handles her life and has her family at the front of her every thought. I got to share pillow talk with a kindred spirit and talented worddress (it's like a seamstress for words) who is my bloggy wife. I got to walk with a very funny and absolutely darling friend on a beautiful morning through a beautiful forrest. I got to talk frankly with a woman I've long admired--and not just because she's the mother of twins, but because she has a sweet, sincere and delightful voice that made me want to move her next door to me. I got to sit on a panel of talented authors who made me feel like I belonged with them.

Being in the presence of these (and many other) wonderful women, it became clear. I am angry about the whole hoopla that has invaded our lives since the VMAs.

Really, really angry.

I'm not just enraged because Mylie is a young girl who is going down a road that I don't ever want my own daughters to go down.

I'm not just mad because my love of twerking as a middle-aged woman and a silly little dance song has been tainted.

I'm resentful and outraged because out of 3.5 billion women on the face of this wonderful world we occupy together, we have devoted so much of our words, so much of our time, so much of our energy on a three-minute, crappy cry for attention.

We should have been writing about the girls who volunteer their time at animal shelters and homeless shelters and orphanages. We should have been writing about the girls who carry water on their shoulders back to their entire village and girls who carry their babies to doctors to fight diseases and illnesses and disabilities. We should be writing about the girls who make earrings and lemonade and scarves and hats to benefit girls who have less--significantly less--and whom they have never met. These girls, these girls we already know and love, are worthy of our space and our time.

There are at least 3.49 billion other women who have a story that's worthy to be told. And my space will be occupied with those women. Starting with my deepest love, admiration, adoration, and devotion to these two of the 3.5 billion ...



Tell me about the amazing girls in your life ... Really, I wanna hear about them.

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