Monday, October 8, 2012

No Legacy Here - More Reflections on "Half the Sky"

The Fredricksburg, Virginia, showing of "Half the Sky"

"No legacy here."  Nope, not one daughter that I can dream will one day go off to college and find support from a group of women with the same values, character and love of “Doing Good” as I did. No passing on my anchor badge, no sharing my memories of late nights filled with serious and silly conversations, and no sharing the experiences of personal growth that I gained as a part of Delta Gamma. Nope, God choose to bless me with three very active, loveable, active, thoughtful, active and independent boys – did I mention they are active? A blessing times three!

So then what is my legacy? A more fitting question may be WHO is my legacy? My three beautiful boys will always be my greatest legacy as my husband and I do our very best (on most days) to raise them to be sensitive, responsible, accountable, aware-of-the-world-around-them young men with servant hearts.

Nothing made this more evident than viewing the documentary of “Half the Sky” at an event organized by the Fredericksburg Delta Gamma alumnae association. I left feeling a mixture of inspiration and anger, while also feeling blessed for the healthcare and education that we as women have available to us in the U.S. I was almost ashamed of having all this at my disposal while women around the world don't have even the very basics as many women are still dying during childbirth. I was overcome with guilt and shame as I reflected about those who are constantly arguing about rights, rights that if explained to the women who we met in the film must seem like luxuries.

Upon returning home, I posted on Facebook to encourage my friends to view the documentary or read the book. After some interest from girlfriends, a comment appeared on my page from a college friend, Greg, who wrote, "Wait - am I supposed to be holding up the other half? Oh crap! Gotta go!" Although Greg is always making me laugh with his brilliant comebacks and humor on Facebook, this comment was more insightful than I think we both realized in the moment. This is not just documentary about women's issues; there is a telling side story of how other cultures raise their boys to be men who show either honor or dishonor to the girls and women in their family, their communities and within their cultures. 

It is my hope that Delta Gamma, as well as other sororities and fraternities, continue to support such worldwide movements as “Half the Sky” to heighten awareness of such atrocities and disparities occurring among women and children throughout the world. We also need the support from men in our lives: our husbands, sons, brothers, fathers, and friends. Then, and only then, can we continue to raise our sons to value the women around them while acting compassionately and generously to those less fortunate in our country and abroad.  Our sons will eventually raise their own children with these same values and inspire HOPE to others. It is a circle - a circle of sisterhood - that permeates both genders and generations to come. After all, when women hold up half the sky, who is holding up the other half? My boys will be.

Erika Marcus Wright
Zeta Gamma-Richmond

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