Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   2 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

On the Assassination of a Woman

By       Message Ann Medlock     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It


“They got Pinky!" I was calling out to my husband after turning on the radio to news that Bhuto had been assassinated. No, we’re not among the seeming hundreds who have been writing about their personal relationships with her. We encountered her just once, in 1989. She was giving a commencement address and receiving an honorary LLD. Harvard was welcoming her home, with fond memories of the days when she’d been known to all there as Pinky.

I don’t even remember the speech. What I do remember is seeing her moving along a path in the Yard. Alone, small, beautiful, smiling, “Pinky" seemed enchanted to be back at this place where she’d come at 16, putting away the salwar kameez for sweatshirts and jeans. Now she’s been killed.

Public figures die all the time. Political leaders are assassinated. I had to understand why this feels so different to me.

I see that tiny, vulnerable woman, walking along in the Yard. A woman. That picture is quickly joined by one of an American soldier crawling under live machine-gun fire as part of her basic training. Her basic training. She looked so small in the combat fatigues. Another image roars in, the Newsweek cover of a wounded Iraq-war veteran, a woman—with her legs blown off.

I’m embarrassed by the emotions all this evokes in me. Seeing any young person, male or female, in harm’s way triggers maternal alarm bells—gotta help, gotta protect. Girls or boys. I’ve raised sons. It is agony to see them in danger or pain.

But. Girls. Women. My emotional wiring may never adjust. No matter that it’s been decades. Over 20 years ago Indira Gandhi was gunned down. (Her son took her place, and shared her fate.) Women have been in combat now for years. And I’m still not armored against these realities.

As an early and constant feminist, I knew this was coming, knew—still know—it is right and fair. If the women of the world are to have equal opportunities, we must also have equal responsibilities. Including that of serving in combat. Including becoming targets for assassins, if we take on great power. Why should men be the only ones to face such dangers? Unlock the doors and we’ll accept the consequences. It was a deal.

Thirty years on, young women soldiers lose limbs to IEDs and female aspirants to power--no matter how small and fragile--are shot. I understand. It’s just this mom thing that roars up in me and yells No! as I dive to snatch them all out of harm’s way. The girls. The boys. All of them, when their wild and precious lives are at risk.

May the deaths and maimings of our American daughters shock us into remembering how precious all our children’s lives are, never to be spent recklessly or venally. Our children are not cannon fodder. Not a single one of them, male or female.


Postscript: Pinky’s son has stepped into her shoes. Her boy. All of 19. Like so many a soldier—vulnerable, scared, brave. Oh damn. Somebody please be sure that kid has a first-rate security team.,

Ann Medlock founded the Giraffe Heroes Project, a nonprofit that honors people who stick their necks out for the common good and nudges others to follow their example. Her work history includes being a DNC staff writer (fired), speechwriter to the Aga Khan (fascinating) and editing Viet Nam Presse in Diem-era Saigon (scary). She blogs at,, & huffington as well as OpEdNews.



- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

Ann Medlock is a writer who founded the Giraffe Heroes Project to foster citizen courage by honoring people who stick their necks out for the common good. The Project encourages today's heroes and trains tomorrow's.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Joseph Campbell, Giraffes and the Holy Fool Heroes Who Save the World

Obama Surfs!

The Giraffe Heroes Project - EnCouraging Today's Heroes, Training Tomorrow's

Necks Out, Chins Up

Where are the Voices of -and for - the Poor?

On the Assassination of a Woman

Tell a Friend: Tell A Friend

Copyright © 2002-2017, OpEdNews

Powered by Populum