In honor of Women’s International Day, I’d like to remind us all about the age of consent—and a young person’s ownership of her or his agency—across the world. In some countries (such as Yemen, Sudan, Phillipines) it is 12. France is working on moving it to the age of 15. In Nigeria, it is 11. Read that number again. Eleven. What’s clear about the way countries designate what the age of consent is the lack of the government’s concern about when sex is sanctioned. Or rather, how early, according to the law, sexual activity can occur. How early a girl’s virginity can be wrestled away from her. How a boy can be forced into a position. How acceptable that is. I don’t raise my eyebrows that people can come into their sexual selves in their teens; I am concerned at how lawmakers continue to disregard the safety of girls, in particular, worldwide. Girls who are raped, a brutal introduction into sexual being. Girls who are forced, coerced, manipulated into believing that they do not matter, that if they don’t go along with what the other wants, they are not worthy of anything but. In honor of Women’s International Day, we bear witness. We also bear the responsibility of fighting for the rights of women and girls.
Things you can do to help women and girls, on a global scale.
Girls and Women in Nepal need Hygiene Kits.
Donate feminine hygiene products and your bras to Dana Marlowe’s Support the Girls!
Condoleeza Rice: “Power is nothing unless you can turn it into influence.”
For a feminist pick me up, check out obits of Women Who Have Made Herstory.
Rebecca Solnit: “We have had too many stories about men who don’t feel comfortable because things are changing, rather than women who feel more comfortable than they ever have before, for the same reason.”
Michelle Visage: “Because I never felt pretty. I was never ever told I was pretty in school. My parents of course did, but you don’t listen to your parents. I was the most beautiful thing in that moment.”
I love this bag from Coach.
And now have a laugh with Amber Ruffin and Jenny Hagel.