Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Five Paces Behind


My almost-80-year-old friend Betty keeps me supplied with nuggets from the Internet.  Many of them are things that make you smile, like cute animals or scenes from around the world.  This one is a little more serious:

Barbara Walters, of 20/20, did a story on gender roles in Kabul, Afghanistan, several years before the Afghan conflict.

She noted that women customarily walked five paces behind their husbands.

She recently returned to Kabul and observed that women still walk behind their husbands. Despite the overthrow of the oppressive Taliban regime, the women now seem to, and are happy to, maintain the old custom.

Ms. Walters approached one of the Afghani women and asked, 'Why do you now seem happy with an old custom that you once tried so desperately to change?'

The woman looked Ms. Walters straight in the eyes, and without hesitation said, 'Land Mines.'

It’s somewhat bittersweet that what was once tradition has now taken on a greater significance.

5 Comments:

Blogger Kristin said...

I wonder if the husbands have noted the change in reasoning or if they're just doing what they've always done.

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And maybe the woman Walters spoke with was not representative of Afghani women in general. That being said, I did smile a sort of grim smile reading of her reply!

F.

12:02 AM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

That response made me laugh out loud. Smart women, hopefully the men won't catch on.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Merle Sneed said...

Me too.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

That was a punch line if ever I heard one. Do they still have arranged marriages in Afganistan? If so I can easily imagine preferring to walk five paces behind.

2:40 PM  

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