Most of us would I imagine be amazed and shocked by the news yesterday that a young British woman not only joined IS but took her small child with her as she journeyed to Syria!
This plus the news a few months ago about a young woman who took three toddlers to join the jihadists has made me wonder about how these young women were not only radicalised but were prepared to sacrifice their children for the cause.
Social media is supposed to be the main catalyst for this sort of extreme behaviour but I wonder if the truth is nearer to home.
If you are brought up in a society where women are second class citizens, not encouraged to think for themselves , where your face has to be covered, and your role is to stay at home and look after your children and husband, then maybe this flight to a war zone can be seen as an act of extreme rebellion.
A determination to be seen as someone strong, someone who matters, who could make a difference.
At various times of most of our lives I think us women may well have experienced the need to assert ourselves...
I certainly did after my attempt at buying a typewriter on the never never was blocked by the news that I had to get my husbands signature on the HP agreement!
If even the law supports the idea that women are second class citizens then the need to prove it wrong becomes strong!
The woman now found guilty of becoming a jihadist is facing a severe penalty for her rebellion. I doubt if a spell in prison will cure her of her radicalism...
To suppress a race, a sex or a religion seems destined to force those who suffer into a defiant mood which sooner or later will be acted upon.
Today's climate of opinion means that the voice of western women is heard loud and clear. I hope for the same for all those who do not enjoy this freedom, without having to travel to a war zone in order to express it!
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