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I went to a play this week about women in Juarez who are being brutally murdered and overlooked by authorities. Their stories are being brushed aside, forgotten about. The play was a staged reading that was performed by an all female cast in the library of my school, and contained actual testimonials from these women’s mothers and sisters. There was even a diary entry read that was made by a woman just two days before her death.
The purpose of the play was to shed light and bring awareness to the plight of these women. Even living so close the U.S.-Mexico border, I had no idea that this was going on, so I’m sure most people don’t either.
When I left the play, I immediately called home and started bawling on the phone to my parents. I wasn’t crying because I was afraid, but for the first time, I was crying because of an injustice in this world that I thought was unfair. I was so angry and frustrated that all I could do was cry. My twentieth birthday was two weeks ago, and my reaction to this play showed me for the first time that I am growing up.
It used to be that when I saw scary movies or television shows, I would get scared that whatever was on the screen would happen to me. I assumed that I would have the same reaction to the play, but that wasn’t the case. All I could say to my mom and dad was “it’s not fair.”
Hearing the stories of these women, seeing girls my age act out their lives, made me proud to be a woman for the first time in my life. By no means have I been ashamed of being a woman, I just never really thought about it. I have been surrounded by strong women, by survivors, my entire life. As far as I’m concerned, to be woman is to be a hero. I just never felt it, until now.
My mom and dad both have always expressed to me the importance of finding my own voice and believing in it. But the voices of the women of Juarez have been silenced, and it is our job to speak up for them.
For survivors of all ages, races, genders, I ask that you believe in your voice. Be proud of who you are and where you come from. Be proud of what you look like. Be proud of the peach fuzz on your head that will sprout when you are done with chemo. And don’t silence your voice or stand for those who silence others’.
They are too beautiful to not be shared with the world.
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