In Michael Kimmel’s book Guyland he tells of the naming ceremony for his son. He quoted the poet Adrienne Rich,
“If I could have one wish for my sons, it is that they should have the courage of women.”
Leonard Pitts Jr. reflects on Shamsia’s return to school. He writes,
But if there is a distance between what happened there and what happens here, it is just variations on a theme: the need to delimit the lives of women and girls, to say you may become this, but not that, go here, but not there, come this far, but no farther.
And closes with,
So this story for women and girls — and for men and boys who want the fullness of life for them — is offered as simple inspiration, a reminder to be defiant and courageous when others want them to be stupid things. The moral of the story could have been very different, after all. Shamsia could have hidden her scarred face at her home, could have folded down her personality and aspirations until she became the small, scared thing those vicious men tried to make her.
But the world those men knew is falling down around them. So instead, Shamsia went back to class. And each day, the school bustles with the activity of more girls than it was designed to hold.
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