A Woman’s Worth

Earlier this semester I had to visit an art exhibit at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art entitled Beloved Daughters for a class assignment. I will admit that I wasn’t too enthused about going to the museum on our “day off” from class. I went to the exhibit and read the synopsis, which described a photographic display of images by Fazal Sheikh that examined the lives of women in certain sectors of Indian society. Unfortunately the exhibit is no longer on display, but the images really stuck with me. I think the reason that this exhibit hit so close to home is because the majority of my family is female. My grandpa had 3 daughters who had a total 10 children among them — nine of which are female. I have 3 sisters. It made me think about how different my life would be if I was a woman in India.

I walked around the exhibit and started looking at the pictures of the women, children and widows. To say that the pictures were powerful is an understatement. As I was reading the stories of the women and children I got sad. I thought about all the things we take for granted as women living in the United States of America. In certain parts of India, women and children are looked at as burdens and men don’t want to deal with them. The abortion rate in India has increased because women were being forced to abort their unborn female children. I was in shock while I was reading these stories. I read stories of adult women who were almost murdered by their husbands because these men could receive money if their wife died. Also, there were many stories of women who had lost female siblings because they were drowned by their fathers when they were born. These stories were so unbelievably horrifying.
I stopped and thought about my life here in America and felt bad for taking things for granted. I do know that women in America face many hardships and discrimination in the work force, with reproductive rights and many other things. I am not trying to undermine the struggles that women face here; but for me, personally, I just thought of how glad I was to be a woman living in America. I may not get equal pay here in America, and that’s not right, but I would rather fight for equal pay everyday instead of fighting for my life.

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