9/11 what would happen if we said, enough?

Part of a series in tribute to the 10th anniversary of 9/11
Years ago, I saw the documentary by Wide Angle (PBS) entitled, Ladies First, about the women of Rwanda putting their country back together. One of the most striking segments of the film was about the role that contrition and forgiveness was playing in healing the devastating wounds left over, not only among the Tutsi survivors, but among the Hutu as well. With the majority of the Hutu men in prison for their war crimes and the majority of the Tutsi men dead by the hands of these Hutu men, women had to run their lives, their communities, their economy and their government without them. There was no choice—they would pull their lives and country together or perish.

How did they accomplish this? They had been mortal enemies. There had been enough atrocities committed by neighbor against neighbor that it's inconceivable to imagine how the Tutsi and Hutu women could have even sat in the same room, much less worked together and cooperated for their collective welfare. They did something that is unimaginable to most of us... the Hutu women asked the Tutsi women for forgiveness for the atrocities their men committed. And the Tutsi women forgave them. I'm not saying that it happened in one day. Or that it was readily accepted. It happened over time, begun by a few individuals.

Another documentary, Pray the Devil Back to Hell, chronicles the journey of the women of Liberia, who’d had enough of the years of war, of losing their children and men, of starving, of living in fear twenty-four hours a day. They determined together to put an end to it. They achieved this the way that women always do—by working together. Christian and the Muslim women put aside their differences and discovered they had more in common than they imagined. They stopped the violence with non-violent protests. They refused to be silent any longer, refused to be intimidated by the men, and even refused to sleep with their husbands until the violence ended. They used prayer, chanting and non-violent sit-ins. They did not back down. They would not go away. This is how they ended the war in their country.

It made me wonder. What if mothers, sisters, daughters, grandmothers all said, “Enough!"?  Enough violence. Enough sending our sons and husbands off to die. Enough wasting our country's time and resources on wars that never end.


What would happen if the mothers of Israel and Palestine stood together and said, “Enough”?

Better yet, what if the women of the entire world simply refused to cook or clean or have sex with their men until the war ended everywhere?

I'm sure women across the world have smiled to themselves during a quiet moment stirring a pot of soup, and fantasized about what might actually happen if all women, everywhere, were to simply stop—even for one day—taking care of minor things—like food, shelter, clothing, and raising children. How well could men run all those the important things, like politics, government and business?

© 2011 Stephanie Ericsson

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9/16/2011

    Ah! An ancient theme but a good one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysistrata
    In an ideal world (that would be one lacking in psychopaths)this stratagey would be the one to bring sense to a tortured world. The existance of those who are manifestations of the ultimate evil do not invalidate nor diminsh your article nor the strategy. They simply make the strategy a bit more difficult. A very wise woman once told me that women civilize men. They also provide a window to reality that men are not capable of apprehending on their own. If as a part of the "Lysistrata Strategy", men could be made to see that following psycopaths will not get them laid, the rest of the strategy would have a real chance.
    If our culture can begin to form real men instead of overgrown spoiled boys, we might just have a chance.
    Real men are in my opinion those who live withing the contradictions. We care and protect with violence and anger when required. Then we step back and respect the integrity of our charges in most things. The anger and fury have an evolutionary place. Remember the women of Sparta's reply to the question from the women of Athens? They asked "..how can you live in such a male dominated militaristc cilture."(slight paraphrase here) the women of Sparta replied "No Spartan woman has seen the campfires of an enemy in a thousand years"
    I think when we have enough men who realize that power and fury are to protect rather than dominate the the withholding of loving & the prospect of cold beans for supper will disuade men from following the madness of our inevitable psychopaths.

    As to my identity
    You can call me Woffie mighty warrior, teller of tales to small children, and maker of pancakes.