Women’s Boxing: The Brave, The Few.
First off a huge shout out to the BBC for their article on my favorite women on the planet the members of the Afghan Women’s Boxing Team. The article by Mike Thomson, entitled, Afghan Women Strike Blow for Equality, brings focus once again on these remarkable athletes who are no less brave than the denizens of Virgil’s Aeneid, when they don the gloves. The quote from the Aeneid, a favorite of boxers around the world, not to mention the words printed on the back of every Gleason’s Gym T-shirt are worth repeating in the context of these very courageous young women:
“Now whoever has courage, and a strong and collected spirit in his breast, let him come forward, lace on the gloves and put up his hands.”
There are no words than can truly describe the tenacity and grit of these young women — but I shall extend that to any women who overcomes adversity as a metaphoric taking up of arms.
Think of this.
Think of the violence that women are subjected to by lovers, husbands, fathers, stepfathers, cousins, uncles and so on.
Think of Rola El-Halabi who has had her career taken from her by her stepfather who shot her in the hand, the knee and the foot.
Think of Christy Martin who was left for dead after being stabbed, beaten and shot by her husband.
And yet both these women have arisen.
Both stand tall and proud as beacons of hope for the hopeless.
The young Afghani girls who have taken up the gloves are also symbolic of hope; hope for their Afghani sisters who in many parts of the country are still terribly brutalized; and hope for all women who continue to be at risk for violence and abuse.
Sometimes all it takes is one step — and if in taking that step one finds oneself knocked down, there is always, always, always the next step to take to keep us going. In my view, those young Afghani girls are showing the way of just how to keep those steps coming.