“Exercise your rights. Never take them for granted. That’s the day they’re taken away from you. Living in a democracy is not a privilege. Living in a democracy is a huge responsibility. If you have a voice, honor it and use it.” Manal Al-Sharif, the woman in Saudi Arabia who filmed herself driving (a crime) and posted it on YouTube and Facebook
Would I ever be courageous enough to film myself breaking a law and posting the video on social media because that law was wrong and unjust?
I haven’t had to do that in my life. Yet. I’ve never engaged in civil disobedience. I wonder what would finally make me do that?
If I lived closer to Washington, D.C., would I join those who, before Covid, were willing to get arrested for standing up for the environment?
Had I been older, would I have joined the Freedom Riders?
There are so many people who have been willing to put their safety and well-being on the line for the rest of us.
The most I’ve done, really, is go to rallies and marches in D.C.
I definitely haven’t put myself at risk for being arrested.
After a march in Washington for abortion rights our local newspaper covered the story using a picture of me at the march, front page headline story. At that time, the PTA of the school where I taught did a display of teachers in the front hallway—I don’t remember the theme of the display but it must’ve been about our activities away from school—and they posted that front page. I did get a threatening, unsigned letter from someone because of that, but I certainly didn’t ever feel as if I were in danger. My attitude was essentially, “So someone who’s against abortion because s/he thinks it’s murder is okay with murdering me? Hmmmmm.”
So no, I haven’t put my life on the line to stand up for what I know is right.
I know it can work. Women in Saudi Arabia won the right to ride bikes.
But would I do that?
I hope so.
I also hope I never have to find out.