You could not have watched that 22-year-old young woman, Amanda Gorman, as she shared her heart, hopes and conviction by way of that enlightening poem, “The Hill We Climb,” and not appreciate the significance of women in the forefront of our democracy. At this moment in our history, she represents the potential of education, the potential of women and young girls that are free to embrace their dreams. She is an example of the amazing depth of thought possible when a women has access to a quality education, and the will and courage to share her talents. In Amanda Gorman, you can see a brighter future, but as many, her journey included tests and difficulties as she speaks of “a skinny Black girl” that bravely stood before the nation.
If you haven’t watched Gorman’s recital of the poem, I highly encourage you to do so at https://www.theguardian.com/global/video/2021/jan/20/youth-poet-laureate-amanda-gorman-recital-at-biden-inauguration-video.
Such a witness to love, skill and the respect she has for the art of words. She gave us this gift that is so timely, so appropriate, and so inspiring. Her words give hope that perhaps it is now time for women to take their rightful place in our society,
Sadly, history holds patterns of oppression of basic human rights for women. Women and girls have been denied education, subjected to violence and treated as subordinates, more so in some underdeveloped countries, but also here in our country. Women are greatly hindered by systemic racism and inequality; prevented often by abuse or poverty, or lack of hope, from achieving their potential.
While we have made great strides in America, especially, as more individuals are speaking out, but much is left to be accomplished. As evidenced in “The Hill We Climb,” there is hope. There appears to be widespread acceptance of equality in principle, but full equality has not yet been achieved. It is to everyone’s benefit that we must go further.
“There must be an equality of rights between men and women. Women shall receive an equal privilege of education. This will enable them to qualify and progress in all degrees of occupation and accomplishment. For the world of humanity possesses two wings: man and woman. If one wing remains incapable and defective, it will restrict the power of the other, and full flight will be impossible. Therefore, the completeness and perfection of the human world is dependent upon the equal development of these two wings. When the two wings … become equivalent in strength, enjoying the same prerogatives, the flight of man will be exceedingly lofty and extraordinary” – Adu’l-Baha, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 318.