Frightened of a 14 year old girl
I have a scar on my finger from the band saw. I got it when I was 11. My parents simply believed that we were capable, and that we should be able to use power tools. In junior high, my mother required that we take shop and home ec.
This is the home I grew up in. These are the parents I had. They assumed that we could do anything; that we should take the hard road. My father had first noticed my mother when she could long jump farther than he could in the fifth grade. He found this attractive. My mother was the first girl to take wood shop in her high school—not as an act of defiance, but because she wanted to learn to work with wood. I was expected to take the hard classes, to get good grades, to step up to a challenge. (Most of us did sports. I think they were mildly disappointed in me that I wasn’t a track star like my sisters.)
And yet, here is this world in which a 14 year old girl is frightening and must be destroyed. In the world of the Taliban, a girl who seeks education is a threat. Why? Because she might prove to be smarter than you? Because you might have to achieve something to prove your worth? She might surpass you, make you look small, refuse to worship your greatness and serve you?
My father and my brother have advanced degrees and were star athletes (handsome, to boot). They are proud of their strong, beautiful, accomplished wives. My father bought my mother her power tools as birthday gifts. He helped her with her projects, like evaluating the house plans to be sure the wall she was going to tear out was not a bearing wall. (She’s the artist; he’s the engineer.) They do not feel belittled or intimidated by their wives—because they have their own accomplishments, and a sense of self-worth.
So when you shoot that little girl, you are telling us something. You are telling us that you feel small, uneducated, worthless, powerless, and that you must keep her smaller, more ignorant, and even more powerless so that your feelings won’t be hurt. You have accomplished nothing to be proud of, so you must make sure that she doesn’t, either.
Now you have made yourself even less than you were with this act of supreme cowardice. I’d tell you to go and pick on someone your own size, but the cockroaches are busy.