I don’t know if this is odd,but my TV shelf also serves to accommodate books.Indeed just under my TV,there is enough space to place a large collection of novels.For a little more than a year,this space has been occupied by the whole ValueTales series.These books are simple autobiographical stories that spotlight how a positive value of a person helped him or her to accomplish great things.For instance Terry Fox the Canadian amputee who toured Canada to raise funds for cancer research is our hero in ‘The Value of Facing A Challenge’.
Recently,some movie my father was watching began with a quote from Margaret Mead,and I couldn’t help but lower my eyes on the ValueTale dedicated to her:’The Value of Understanding‘.There was a smile at the corner of my mouth and I prided myself on knowing who Margaret Mead was.But this feeling of innocuous vanity soon gave place to one of discomfiture and sadness.How many persons know about Margaret Mead?How many persons are willing to know about her? Not many I dare say.If such a lack of enthusiasm for history is a sad thing for our world,it is all the sadder for those women who went against the odds to achieve greatness.
Some of those ladies accomplished things unparalleled by men.For instance,born into a wealthy family and related to the Barclays,Elizabeth Fry forsook a life of comfort and luxury to instead dedicate herself to improving the treatment of prisoners,so much so that she was called the ‘angel of prisons’.While others did things which,at their time,were beyond the bounds of possibility for any human.Helen Keller,for example,overcame both her deafness and blindness to become a Radcliffe graduate.And how can we ever forget Nellie Bly,the first person to tour the world in less days than Jules Verne’s fictional character Phileas Fogg? There was also Eleanor Roosevelt who,although being the First Lady of the US,contested the decisions of her husband Franklin when they were not in favour of the poor.Moreover Franklin’s extra-marital affair was kept secret from his wife and deemed natural for a man who married the ‘ugly’ Eleanor.Yet she didn’t let that affect her and never ceased to manifest an unqualified concern for others;she worked at the UN,taught at schools she set for poor kids,ran factories for jobless men and always advocated for equal rights.
Oddly enough the only woman in history who is constantly glorified by the media and laymen alike is Marilyn Monroe,the total opposite of those ladies.Yes I find it ironic that girls will post her quotes everywhere,will get her picture tattooed on their bodies and will read books about her.What happened to those ladies who actually made history for good reasons?They are so poorly known that,at times,it seems to me that they never existed,that they never left any footprint in history.It is a sad state of affairs that those women,who never got the recognition they deserved at their time,are now shunned on the account that not one of them epitomized sexiness and glamour,which apparently are what the modern woman should strive for.