Around the Institute

The Revolution Is Coming and It’s Wearing Pink Shoes

June 30, 2013  • Peggy Clark

Originally posted on The Huffington Post

On Tuesday half a million people tweeted their support for Texas state representative Wendy Davis in the first few hours of her historic filibuster to stop proposed restrictive abortion legislation. And she did it in bright pink shoes!

Just as the wave of support for this brave act was unfolding, I took the stage with two extraordinary women activists from Afghanistan and Egypt here at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Our conversation on the Aspen stage followed a showing of the film Girl Risingwhich tells the stories of ten girls and their brave efforts to overcome huge challenges to go to school. The panel speakers Mona Eltahawy and Shabana Basij-Rasikh told their own brave stories. The audience quieted into stunned silence as Mona told of being hauled off, sexually assaulted and beaten while reporting from Tahrir Square in Egypt, and listened rapt as Shaban told of being forbidden to attend school by the Taliban in Egypt so, in response, she cut off all her hair and attended school disguised as a boy for 12 years.

But these disturbing stories were not at the heart of their remarks. The heart and soul of their remarks were all about hope, and revolution, and bravery. As one of the girls in the film, Suma, from Nepal, said, “I have seen what change looks like. It is like a breath running through you. It cannot be stopped.”

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