It’s What I Need To Do

Bibiane is one of the women interviewed by Addario; her husband left her after learning that she had been raped.

“With each new assignment … I felt more fortunate to be an independent, educated woman.  I was thirty-one years old, and I cherished my right to choose my love, my work.  I had the privilege to travel and to walk away from hardship when it became too much to bear.  Most people on earth didn’t have an exit door to walk away from their own lives.”


As a white American woman, Lynsey Addario knows that she will never have to face the injustices that the people in her camera lens experience.  Chapter 8 of her book “It’s What I Do” opens with her expression of gratitude for the life she is able to lead, following her account of Congolese women who had been raped.


Kanyere was also interviewed; her three year old daughter was raped.

The stories of these women were the most intense part of the book for me; I do not connect to things easily, but the rejection of these women by their families brought me to tears in anger.  Lynsey tells their stories of hardship and cruelty, and through her words I could feel their anguish.  When she then contrasted the stories with her gratitude for the privileges she had been born with, it made me realize just how lucky I really am.


In my passion blog, I hope to address the conflict between privilege and discrimination the way that Lynsey Addario discusses rape in her book.  I want to shed light on the prejudice that people face without sensationalizing it, to remind those who are not targets of discrimination that it is still their responsibility to oppose it.  As a white American woman, I have privileges that many others would never dream of having, and it is up to me to use my gifts to make the world a place where equality is a reality, not a distant dream.


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