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My King is on His throne, and perfect love casts out fear. I am not afraid, yet I will fight and be responsible. Resting in Christ is not synonymous with political complacency… or complacency of any sort.

While Charles consistently reads Romans 13 to me, to keep my heart in check (it can be quite funny to see him following me around with his bible, while I’m fuming), we are agreed that when it comes to the government passing out laws and policies that are expressly against the law of God, we will NOT submit. We may have to move, but we will not submit. Of course, with a one world government looming, I’m not sure where we’ll move… perhaps a houseboat. I should start stockpiling Dramamine.

I am not a 9/11 “truther” I confess, I’ve not done the research. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, either. Not in any way, shape, or form. I am a Christian. I am a wife, and a mom. I want to be responsible and diligent. I want to do what I can to keep my children safe and secure. I am happy that God put me in America. I think of something Ayaan Hirsi Ali said, “I know that there are many things wrong with America, and I know there are many things wrong with Americans, but I still believe it’s the best nation in the world.” And I agree… as messed up as America has become, we are still the greatest nation in the world. I am happy, though, that my hope is not in America. My hope is not in Ron Paul and what he can do for America (though he is a practical tool in our call to diligence and good stewardship). My hope is in Christ and His finished work. He is my King and His is my Kingdom. I am an alien… a foreigner, just passing through. But I want to be a good steward with this gift that God has given me.

Oh my!!! In any case, I ramble… all of this to introduce a video. I think it’s worth your nine minutes… not to make you afraid… but to keep you informed and vigilant.

While you’re watching/listening, keep in mind… there are MANY things you probably don’t know much about. For instance… do you know anything about the Merida Initiative? The U.S. is giving $1.4 BILLION… yes… that is with a B… $1.4 BILLION of YOUR tax dollars to MEXICO to secure THEIR southern border. Oh! You didn’t know?!?

For crying out loud, I could rant forever, but I’ve loads to do today… I have other responsibilities! Laundry… reading to babies… etc, etc, etc.

Just watch this video and think… while it’s still legal for you to do so.

I have GOT TO GO!!!
But before I do… think about our good and loving God:

Of Benjamin he said,

“The beloved of the LORD dwells in safety.The High God surrounds him all day long,
and dwells between his shoulders.”

~Deuteronomy 33:12

Pretty hard to be afraid, isn’t it?!?

Okay! I’m really going now! Sorry about the rambling… It’s difficult to write with two adorable munchkins climbing on me and kissing me and begging for me to put together their kites! 🙂

©PortCityPrincess 2008
All Rights Reserved

Mind you, I missed the first half… bathing babies and trying to get CNN to load on my computer. 
Here goes:
This debate is absolutely comical! 
Are you not terrified of McCain’s “tamper-proof biometric documents”?!?  Enjoy your microchips, McCain fans!  Not for me and my house!

Huckabee said, “More equal or less equal”… how can you be more equal or less equal?  EQUAL- “to be identical or equivalent to”  *gah*
What do you think about McCain not questioning ANYTHING Ronald Reagan EVER did?!?  Oh my GOSH!!!  How much are you going to suck up, McCain?!? 
I felt like Romney was trying to get Bush’s endorsement.  Don’t be desperate, Romney!
Go RON PAUL!  “You’re arguing about who said what/when?!”  “We need to be talking about foreign policy and the constitution!”  Amen!
Go Huckabee!  “I didn’t come to umpire a ball game between these (McCain/Romney) two…”  Right on!  Now… I can agree with THAT!
Romney is a big eye-roller!  Have you guys noticed that?  He’s like the cute guy in high-school… Mr. Popular, class clown, prom king… so superior… saying with his eyes, “Whatever… just hurry up and let me talk.”  He needs someone to knock that snarky smirk off his face… it’s terrible!  It’s childish and unpresidential!  Whenever another candidate spoke, Romney kept looking as though he was holding back laughter.
You know, I don’t want to “look to a governor” OR  a senator… I want to look to a REPRESENTATIVE!  A man OF the PEOPLE, FOR the PEOPLE!   
The President is the commander in cheif of the MILITARY!  The president is not the commander in chief of me. 
The president is not the MANAGER of me or the rest of America!  The PEOPLE are to run this nation! 
Good grief!  I will NEVER elect someone who thinks I need to be managed!!!
Romney on the military… “it’s not like checkers”… “it’s more like 3-d chess”… is that all he’s got?!? 
He used Lincoln as an example… poor example. 
I wish Ron Paul would talk about more than the Federal Reserve, though…  ugh…COME ON, Dr. Paul!

HEY!  He just said what I did about the president being commander in cheif of the military…not the manager of the people! 

*sigh* 

Yep!  He’s my candidate!  :o)
OH!  I LOVED Huckabee’s point on the federal govt’s mandates to the states! 
GO Huckabee! 
That is RIGHT ON! 
The fed govt needs to leave the states alone! 
That’s why I’m voting Paul! 
That was good, Huck!  Really good!

What if Paul & Huckabee ran together?!? 
GOSH!  Disregard!  I don’t like Huckabee, though, right?!?

Gosh, that baby picture of my Aunt Lori is SO Huckabee (I type this as Huckabee is endearing himself to me, though)! 

I wish they had spent less time trying for a dead president’s endorsement and more time talking to the American people!

Huck and Paul got NO time!  Shame shame shame! 

♥

xoxox
tina

©PortCityPrincess 2008
All Rights Reserved

Because a lot of you have asked:
 
As though there were any doubt! 
I line up more with Ron Paul than with anyone else.
Granted… I know he hasn’t a shot… because, as usual, the people who love him feel as though he has no shot… or he’s too old… and so they will vote for someone ridiculous…
So… Ron Paul has no shot!
I say, if you line up with him:
VOTE FOR HIM!
If he’s the best of your choices:
VOTE FOR HIM!
It’s absolutely silly to vote for someone that doesn’t represent you or your best interests!
So what… he might not win…
but your votes will show the other candidates that they’re missing the boat!
They need to make some adjustments and quit pandering…
They need to step up to the plate and represent the PEOPLE!
blah blah blah.
I’m really pooped today.
It’s been a very stressful few weeks.
Even my body is sending me all kinds of signs to protest.
Anyhoo…
He’s my man.
But then…
I’m hungry for FREEDOM!
I LOVE LIBERTY!
I want my children to grow up in freedom… not a police state.
Do you really like the government butting into every aspect of your life?!?
Wouldn’t it be beautiful to hardly ever think of the government…
instead of to always having it breathing down your neck?!?
I’m suffocating.
Elect your statists.
I’ll still love you.
I promise not to tell you “I told you so.”

This will be very rambling… just that kind of day!

Okay… so a while back I wrote, asking for aid…

SOMEONE TELL ME THE NAME OF THIS ILLUSTRATION:

While it was opposite a poem titled “When I’m an Astronaut” I didn’t even consider that might be the title!

Hush! You know that I’m usually MUCH brighter than that!
In googling like crazy… I came to that conclusion, though.
So did my sweet pals, Wendy and Joy (Thanks, girlies! You are STARS!)

Even after emailing the Rockwell Museum… with no response… I couldn’t find a way to get the print!!!

The only info I found through google was that Representative Dan Bosley (Mass. D) presented a print of this very illustration to the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development and that the BOY in the illustration is Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli (D) who sits on the committee.

That’s it.

I WISHED I could find where on earth he got that blasted thing! I really wanted one! Can any of you blame me! You know our little Noah… HE is the one in that illustration… SURELY! :o)

Well… continual searching without success had me abandon my search. I couldn’t bother government officials about something so small and silly! Besides… they’re democrats! :o) Oh! Quit getting huffy… you know I love you!

At any rate! I quit searching. I let it be… decided I’d be happy with my little copy in the book. And think how fun it is it looks like Balboa. Done.

Not.

Cleaning my desk, I found all of my notes about the illustration… Bosley’s info… Pignatelli’s info…

What the heck… the worst that could happen is I’d get no response, right?

I sent the following email to Bosley (he was the one who presented the print, after all):

 

Dear Sir,
I am a Louisiana Libertarian and so will likely never have cause to vote for or support you, but I DO have a request! :o)
I discovered an illustration by Norman Rockwell that I would REALLY like a print of! No one seems to be able to help me, though!
In researching the matter, I’ve found that YOU were SOMEHOW able to obtain “When I’m an Astronaut” and that Rep. Pignatelli was actually the little boy in the illustration! What fun!
If you would find time to send me the info, so that I might obtain a print, I would be extremely grateful! We have the 1974 Childcraft book that the illustration is in and when we saw it, we knew we MUST have it… as it is EXACTLY what our son does, for EVERY shuttle launch! It even LOOKS like our little Noah (future Orion commander, perhaps?!?).
Sir, I’m certain you are very busy, but your aid in this simple little pleasure would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you for your time,
Tina M****
Tina M. M****
***-***-****
http://www.PortCityPrincess.wordpress.com
“I’ve read Alexis de Tocqueville, and I’ve read about democracy,
and I’ve lived in countries that had no democracy,
that had no founding fathers, that could not resolve,
so I don’t find myself in the same luxury as you.
You grew up in freedom, and you can spit on freedom,
because you don’t know what it is not to have freedom.
I haven’t. I know that there are many things wrong with America,
and I know there are many things wrong with Americans,
but I still believe it’s the best nation in the world.”
~Ayaan Hirsi Ali

I really expected NOTHING… not even a response…

YAY, though! Imagine my delight when ALMOST RIGHT AWAY this popped up in my inbox:

Tina,
Thanks for the email. I will pass this on to Smitty Pignatelli, as he is the one who actually had the print. I know that he got it out of a book, but am not sure which. He also has a copy of the painting done by Rockwell that his grandfather posed for. What memories for the Pignatelli family!Smitty has actually been in Louisiana several times over the past year. He is an electrician by trade and has been down to help the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans several times. On one trip he brought a lot of his friends and they did a lot of work. He is very committed to helping and is a great guy.And if you are near Baton Rouge, you can say hi to Mayor Kip Holden for me. He and I are old friends and went to South Africa together a few years ago.Let me follow up with Smitty and see if we can get a copy to you.Thanks again,
Dan Bosley

Okay! So now I’m thinking… HOW STINKIN’ COOL IS THIS?!?

I didn’t expect it at all!

WHAT FUN!

And HOW ROCKIN’ is it that Pignatelli has been helping out in N.O. ??? He’s not one of OUR Reps! AWESOME!

And his GRANDFATHER posed for Rockwell, too! TOO COOL!

I have loved Rockwell since I was a little girl! I poured over Mom’s big coffee table book of Rockwell…

ANYHOO… I HAD to send a response, because I’m me and that’s just what I do… I gush.

I know… it’s just the way God made me… I’m a gusher and some people like it! :o)

I emailed back:

 

Wow!
Thank you, sir, for your immediate response! I am blown away and VERY impressed!
Thank you, too, for your help in finding a print for me!
I really am in awe of your kindness!
While we are often in Baton Rouge, I doubt I’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting Mayor Holden, but if it should happen, I will certainly gush about your kindness!
Thanks again, sir!
Tina
Tina M. M****
***-***-****
http://www.PortCityPrincess.wordpress.com
“I’ve read Alexis de Tocqueville, and I’ve read about democracy,
and I’ve lived in countries that had no democracy,
that had no founding fathers, that could not resolve,
so I don’t find myself in the same luxury as you.
You grew up in freedom, and you can spit on freedom,
because you don’t know what it is not to have freedom.
I haven’t. I know that there are many things wrong with America,
and I know there are many things wrong with Americans,
but I still believe it’s the best nation in the world.”
~Ayaan Hirsi Ali

That was that, done deal… I figured he’d pass it on and it would get lost in the shuffle… and nothing would ever come of it. I’m nobody… this isn’t important… it’s an illustration… no big deal. It was a fun exchange. Woohoo… that’s it.

WELL… That’s NOT THE END!!!

Bear with me, people… I told you it would be rambling!

My sweet little sister Jessie came over for lunch today (broccoli soup– YUMMY!)

Just as we were sitting down to eat, my cell phone rang. I didn’t recognize the area code but instead of just letting it ring, I decided I’d pick up and let them know it was the wrong number…

…but it WASN’T!

It was “Smitty” Pignatelli!!!

NO WAY!

YES WAY! It was!

I know! I was incredulous! And an idiot! I don’t think I guffawed… but I was certainly shocked and amazed! What on earth?!?

WELL!

He was VERY kind and very fun!

We laughed about my libertarianism and I told him I still was NOT voting for Hillary or Obama and he asked who I WAS voting for… I confessed my disgust… that I had NO IDEA and that I might very well throw my hat into the ring and run. (I didn’t get into the fact that all of our choices are socialists. I did admit, though, that I am in love with Joe Lieberman.)

Shhhh! I don’t want to hear it! Let me be in love with him… it’s not killing you!

He asked about Noah and was REALLY kind and generous with his time and info.

ANYWAY:
He told me more about the illustration.

Rockwell had a contract with Childcraft and was paid $1500 for “When I’m an Astronaut” It was 1969 and Pignatelli was 9 years old when Rockwell saw a photo of his winning baseball team in the paper and decided that “Smitty” was the boy he needed to model!

“Smitty’s” grandfather, at 87, posed for Rockwell’s 1967 December Family Circle Magazine cover, “Space Age Santa”!!!

Too FUN!

At any rate… “Smitty” is going to be in New Orleans next week… he’s taking a crew to work! How cool is THAT!?!

I told him that if he is EVER in THIS area… he is more than welcome at our place for gumbo. Oh yeah… you KNOW mine is good! If you’re nice I’ll give you some, too!

Wouldn’t that be fun?

All of that to say, he’s going to send us a copy of BOTH the “When I’m an Astronaut” print and “Space Age Santa”.

Too neat! He told me to email our info to him… and I should have just emailed the info… but I couldn’t… because I can’t ever keep things simple… so:

 

Sir!
I am still stunned that you took the time to not only call, but to carry on a very FUN conversation with me!
Are you planning to run for president sometime… hmmmm…
No! I think you are just kind.
You must be just about the MOST FUN representative on the planet!
Both you and Rep. Bosley have been unbelievably kind and generous to our happy little family!
THANK YOU! A million times thank you! I could attempt verbosity… but I’d hate to overdo it, so just plain old THANKS!
Sooooo Sincerly,
Tina
The info you requested:
*****************
My son, Noah, is 5.
I’ve also a sweet little girl, Lydia (3).
Wow!
Thank you!
~tmm

I KNOW! I spelled “sincerely” wrong! Me! How embarrassing! Be embarrassed for me! Hug me! Okay… I’m over it!

Oh well… I am human! English majors are the WORST spellers, you knwo! :o)

BUT…

What a story!

Noah has no clue right now about how fun it is… but when he’s a bit older… it’ll be pretty darn cool!

I hope Rep. Pignatelli will sign it or something. That would be fun. If not… it’s still rockin’!!!

So… HAD to gush… I’m a gusher… That’s the way it goes.

Juice and I had a great convo, afterward… so fun that she was here for the whole thing… about how God just likes to do fun stuff for His people. TOO NEAT! We GUSHED about our King!

We were wooed by our Lover in so many arenas this afternoon.

What do people do, who don’t know Christ? Where do they get their joy?

Where is their delight? My joy and delight are not in this illustration… or in Pignatelli and Bosley… I am able to ENJOY them… because the SOURCE of my joy is Christ.

Think of my hero… Ayaan… think of all she’s been saved from… delivered from… but I wonder… where is her JOY? What is the OBJECT of it?

another subject… a fun one… I’ll go revel in the Object of my joy while I ponder it and finish studying for my S.S. lesson! WHERE is God?!? I know! Do you?

Oh! Before I close:
You must come see my fabulous print once it gets here and I have it on the wall.

Several rules, though:
You must gush about how much it looks like Noah.

You must NOT tell me about Bosley’s or Pignatelli’s voting records! Shhh! I know this is very unlike me! I’ve been restraining my hand… You MUST know my temptation to look… to be informed… can you imagine the agony… I don’t want to read anything unkind about these two sweet men!

Think of all the ill that could be plastered about you or about me on the WWW!!!

Oh! Come on! Imagine if the secrets of your heart were written for all the world to see! I know mine would be MUCH more atrocious than some lousy voting records and errors in political judgment!

You know, though… like Spurgeon said… a few blacker touches and it would be nearer the truth.

These men are doing something nice for someone they don’t know… someone who can’t vote for or help them in any way… just to be NICE! Wow!

YAY!

©PortCityPrincess 2008
All Rights Reserved

Listen

and read along:

Hosea & Gomer
by John Piper

The old man and his wife sat by
The winter fire and looked out high
Above the plains of Ephraim,
And saw around the last regime
Of Israel the shadows snake
Their way from east to west and take
Possession of Samaria.
“How long until Assyria,’
They thought, “would break Hoshea’s rod,
And violate the wife of God?”

But strange as it may seem, the doom
They saw across the land left room
For hope. And when they looked into
Each other’s eyes, as they would do
At night, they knew, as none could know
But they, that God would bend his bow
Against the charms of foreign men,
And take his faithless wife again.
They knew it could and would be done,
As surely as the rising sun
Drives darkness back unerringly,
And drowns it in the western sea.
They knew, because they had rehearsed
The tragedy and played it first
Themselves with passion and deceit.

“It’s true that life is far more sweet,”
Hosea thought, “when it is lost,
Then bought again at dreadful cost;
And love grows strong when it must wait,
And deep when it is almost hate.”

Such things as these he often said
To Gomer as they watched the red
And crimson echoes of the sky
Descend Mount Tabor’s cliffs and die
In darkness far below. And she
Would say to him, “Your love for me
Was like a mountain waterfall,
And I the jagged stone. Of all
The knives and hammers once applied
None made me smooth or clean. They tried,
But harlotry was in my blood,
Until your love became a flood
Cascading over my crude life
And kept me as your only wife.”

They knew as none but they could know
What it would mean that long ago
The Lord allowed his love to swell,
And married faithless Israel.

The passing of the years now found
The children grown and gathered ’round
This night: Jezreel and Loammi,
Hosea’s sons, and at his knee
Loruhamah. The room was sweet
With memories, and each replete
With pleasure and with ample pain.
Among the memories one main
Experience above the rest
Embraced them all. It was the best;
Indeed it was the mountain spring
Of every happy stream from which
The family ever drank, and rich
With hope. It was Hosea’s love.
The children stood in wonder of
The way he loved, and Gomer too.
But this had not always been true.

Hosea used to say, “It’s hard
To be a seer, and prophet bard.
The price is high when he must sing
A song of ruin over everything
In lyrics written with his life
And lose his children and his wife.”

And so it was, Hosea heard
The Lord. It was the strangest word
A holy prophet ever got:
And every pointed precept shot
Like arrows at Hosea’s life:
“Go take a harlot for your wife,”
Thus says the Lord, “And feel with me
The grief and pain of harlotry.
Her father’s name is Diblaim;
He makes fertility with cream
And raisin cakes. He will not see
Her go without a price, for she
Has brought him profits from her trade.
Now go, and let her price be paid;
And bring her back and let her bear
Your son. Call him Jezreel. For there
Is coming soon a day when I
Will strike and break the bloody thigh
Of Jehu’s brutal house, and seal
With blood the valley of Jezreel.

And after that, though she’s defiled.
Go in, and get another child,
And make your tender face like rock.
Call her Loruahmah and lock
Your heart against all sympathy:
`Not pitied’ is her name. No plea
From faithless Israel will wake
My sympathy till I forsake
My daughter in the wilderness.

Now multiply once more distress:
Hosea, go beget a son,
For there is yet one child to shun,
And call him Loammi, in shame,
For `Not My People’ is his name.”

Hosea used to walk along
The Jordan rim and sing the song
His father Beeri used to sing.
Sometimes the tune and truth would bring
Him peace, and he would pause and look
At all the turns the Jordan took,
To make its way down to the sea,
And he would chant from memory:

Think not, my son, that God’s great river
Of love flows simply to the sea,
He aims not straight, but to deliver
The wayward soul like you and me.
Follow the current where it goes,
With love and grace it ever flows.

The years went by, the children grew,
The river bent and Gomer knew
A dozen men. And finally
She left and traveled to the sea,
And sold herself to foreign priests
Who made the children serve at feasts
Until they had no shame.
And then
The God of grace came down again,
And said, “Hosea, go, embrace
Your wife beside the sea. And place
Your hand with blessing on the head
Of Loammi, and raise the dead
Loruhamah to life in me,
And tell Jezreel that I will be
For him a seed of hope to sow
In righteousness. Hosea, go,
The gracious river bends once more.”

And so the prophet loved these four
Again, and sought them by the sea,
And bought them with the equity
Of everything he owned.
That was
The memory tonight, because
Hosea loved beyond the way
Of mortal man. What man would say,
“Love grows more strong when it must wait,
And deeper when it’s almost hate.”

Jezreel spoke softly for the rest,
“Father, once more let us be blessed.
What were the words from long ago
That gave you strength to love us so?
Would you please bless us with your rhyme,
And sing it for us one more time?”

“Think not, my son, that God’s great river
Of love flows simply to the sea,
He aims not straight, but to deliver
The wayward soul like you and me.
Follow the current where it goes.
With love and grace it ever flows.”

“And children,” Gomer said with tears,
“Mark this, the miracle of years.”
She looked Hosea in the face
And said, “Hosea, man of grace,
Dark harlotry was in my blood,
Until your love became a flood
Cascading over my crude life
And kept me as your only wife.
I love the very ground you trod,
And most of all I love your God.”

Fun speech made (a year ago) by my hero!
:o)

My mom had a fun point.  She said, “Little does she know that it’s Christianity that is the foundation of the Ladies’ First mentality, certainly not feminism or atheism.”

Anyhoo… enjoy this fun tidbit!  It left me saying, “Whoa!  Right on!”

Ladies First

By Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Posted: Thursday, January 18, 2007
SPEECHES
Congress of Racial Equality  (New York)
Publication Date: January 15, 2007
Bigotry has not been eliminated, but a great deal of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream has been achieved in America. In large part because of the energy and activism of groups such as the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). But also, importantly, because the battle was being fought in a culture where individual rights had come to be understood and actively defended. A culture that values life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Dr. King, if he were alive today, would be delighted to see that little black children and little white children often go to school together, sit down together for meals, and play together. He would see it as his dream come true that black and white Americans are friends, colleagues and spouses.
 
But if Dr. King were alive today he would also notice that segregation still exists. Oh, he would feel the thrill of success to learn that there are no legal barriers in the US that put black people in a position of disadvantage. But he would notice that demolishing legal barriers between citizens is only half the battle. Nothing illustrates this invisible segregation better than what happened in New Orleans last year and how the nation in turn responded–or did not respond.
 
Dr. King’s dream for equality went beyond blacks and whites. The Jewish community, for one, can relate to it through their own struggles. Sixty years ago it was the Nazis in Europe who were bent on exterminating them in the name of racial purity. Today it is a global network of radical Muslims who call for a holocaust in the name of their faith. 

On a global level Dr. King Jr. would be pleased to note that Nelson Mandela is free and that apartheid was brought to an end with the minimum of violence. But he would be deeply distressed by the combination of slave trade and genocide that continues, day after day, in Darfur, Sudan.

***

What has all this got to do with me? I have only just arrived in America and I have never been a victim of racial prejudice. By the time I was born, the part of Africa I grew up in–Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya–was independent. The white man had gone home.

The generation belonging to my parents and grandparents talked of oppression by the white man. But when the white man left, he clearly didn’t take the oppression with him. Almost all the bigotry and persecution in Africa nowadays is committed by blacks against other blacks. Proof yet again that just as virtues of kindness, generosity and inclusion transcend skin colour, so do vices of cruelty, greed and exclusion.

I am being acknowledged here today because CORE wants to take Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream beyond racial inequality. CORE wants to be a platform from where the greatest inequality of our time, perhaps of all time, can be battled.

This is gender inequality: an inequality most obscene, expressed through acts such as mutilation, beatings, rape and murder–and almost all this aggression is justified in the name of culture and creed. Atrocities committed against girls and women in the most intimate setting of all: in the home; by dad or mom; by a brother or a sister; by a husband or his mother. The sort of persecution I talk about is one in which the religious leaders, the politicians, aunts and uncles, fathers and mothers, all share the staunch belief that girls–that women–are born of a lesser god.

I was born into this culture. And I stress my emphasis on the word “culture”.

When I first came to a Western country, I was astonished to find men who said, “Ladies first”–yes, ladies first. I was amazed because I was born and raised in a culture that put me last because I was born a girl; where I was confined, because of my gender; where all the burden of what is considered good sexual conduct was for me to bear because I am female.

Whereas here in this culture, where men say “ladies first”:

  • I saw how couples often struggle together to carry the burden of parenthood.
  • I saw how parents prepare their sons and daughters equally to learn the skills of securing a livelihood.
  • I saw how schools and even governments coach boys and girls in understanding and restraining their sexuality.

If I allow myself to be inspired by Martin Luther King Jr., then my dream is that those lucky enough to be born into a culture of “ladies first” will let go of the myth that all cultures are equal.

Human beings are equal; cultures are not.

A culture that celebrates femininity is not equal to a culture that trims the genitals of her girls. 

A culture that holds the door open to her women is not equal to one that confines them behind walls and veils.

A culture that spends millions on saving a baby girl’s life is not equal to a one that uses its first encounter with natal technology to undertake mass abortion simply because baby girls are not welcome.

A culture with courts that punish a husband for forcing his wife to have sex with him is not equal to a culture with a tribunal that decrees a young woman be gang-raped for talking to a boy of an allegedly higher caste.

A culture that encourages dating between young men and young women is not equal to a culture that flogs or stones a girl for falling in love.

A culture where monogamy is an aspiration is not equal to a culture where a man can lawfully have four wives all at once.

A culture that protects women’s rights by law is not equal to a culture that denies women their alimony and half their inheritance.

A culture that insists on holding open a position for women in its Supreme Court is not equal to a culture that declares that the testimony of a woman is worth half of that of a man.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of racial equality has become a reality for some and remains a dream for many. It has become a reality for the few people privileged enough to live in this culture that values the human individual regardless of race or gender. It is this culture that provides me with the vocabulary, the legal tools, the material resources, the platforms, and most of all, the opportunity to meet like minded individuals who will stand for the rights of those fellow girls and women who haven’t been as lucky as me or you.

It is within this culture that it pays to fight for equality.

Unfortunately, it is this culture that is under threat today. Many of those born into it take it for granted–or worse, apologise for it.

So dear men and women of colour, and dear women of all colour: Let’s join together to protect this culture of life, this culture of liberty, this culture of “ladies first.”

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a resident fellow at AEI.

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Source Notes:   A slightly adapted version of this speech was delivered at the Martin Luther King Jr. Ambassadorial Reception and Awards Dinner, hosted by the Congress of Racial Equality on Monday, January 15, 2007, in New York.
AEI Print Index No. 21149
You can find this online at: http://www.aei.org/publication25476
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