sassysage's Blog

Archive for May 2017

‘you never expect to be killed by your own father’  says a teen girl living in syria who was interviewed by katherine zoepf, a journalist who spent many years covering the middle east. 

katherine witnessed the strength and courage of women who took tiny but mighty steps to elevate the lives of girls/young women despite the odds.  she yearned to tell their stories which are often unheard.   i had the chance to attend a reading and q & a about her new book, excellent daughters: the secret lives of young women who are transforming the arab world.  

during the reading, katherine describes interviews from girls at a juvenile prison.  in addition to teens who have been caught in illegal activity, this prison also houses girls who are in danger of being killed by their families.  they were afraid of being murdered as part of honor killings which are allowed in some parts of the middle east. an honor or shame killing is when others believe the victim has brought dishonor to the family or has violated the values of the community.  this is often done to girls/women for reasons such as refusing to enter an arranged marriage, being in a relationship that is disapproved by their family, becoming the victim of rape or even dressing in ways which are deemed inappropriate.

as katherine reads, i’m in horror at the fact there were enough girls in danger of honor killings to warrant a special place to house them.  i’m also struck by sadness at the fact their place of refuge is a prison.  but because of the stigma of being a girl who has dishonored her family, it was the only place that would take them in. despite the harsh environment, the girls are given sewing/knitting classes, food and love by mona. mona and other brave activists spoke up to provide a place for the girls. mona tries in her small but mighty way to make a difference.  

mona and stories of other courageous women are told throughout the book.  these women speak in a world that often tries to shut them out. they are fearless leaders creating change and shaping a better future for their communities from the grassroots up. 

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can we give shea moisture another chance?  i know many of you are shaking your heads no.   but hear me out…we have all made mistakes in our lives including offending when we never intended. this is what it seems happened to them.  

if you haven’t heard, shea moisture is a natural hair care company that has primarily been focused on products for women of color, specifically African American women. they’ve had a huge following for decades. so much so the company has soared.  as with any company that is looking to grow, they decided to expand their market.  they were about to roll out a new ad campaign and when one of the ads came out, it featured little to no African American women.  this angered a lot of women (and men) in the African American community who decided to drop the brand. 

the company has apologized saying they never intended for the ad to be viewed outside of the context of the entire roll out.  giving them the side eye for sure…but this is a very real possibility.  they are a growing company and perhaps they weren’t quite ready for the big roll out.  perhaps they didn’t have as tight a vetting process as they should have. perhaps they hired the wrong marketing firm to assist the growth campaign.  but these things happen with any organization or company or person as one learns what and how to do next level things.  

growth takes risk and being places that are unknown.  that will lead to mistakes, mistakes that may unintentionally upset others.   if you are willing to fly united again after their fiasco, shouldn’t you be willing to give shea mositure another try?   if they had a track record of delivering high quality products that work for so many years, isn’t it worth giving them a second chance?

listen to ceo rich dennis on the breakfast club and decide for yourself…


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