Beau pantalon Lubna Hussein

Currently I'm more likely found at my computer making stuff up than arguing with people in glass walled conference rooms about making stuff up. Consequently, I am less directly involved in the flows and woes of the greater world.

Calendar dates are mostly relevant for client appointments and social engagements, so I didn't wake up this morning with today's anniversary on my mind.

Amazingly, eight years later, so much is not different.

On the surface the political landscape hasn't changed. The red and blue teams are still going at it, crying foul whenever the other team might get a flag for what they themselves did during a previous administration. (Obama focuses his comments on grade schoolers - early work on a second term? - and is excoriated until the Reds realized that Bush Sr. did the same thing in 1991.)

Health care is still a massively complex subject with clear moral imperatives and astoundingly fuzzy math. My only hope is that the solution isn't worse than the problem we're trying to solve.

And predictably, the global back and forth shoving match of "here's why you're so wrong" isn't moving much along. Fortunately for U.S. politicians, that whole shoe throwing thing didn't gain much ground in domestic forums. Although had it caught on in America, there would probably have been a sponsor promoting the loft and ease of handling of their shoes for pummeling speakers with whom one disagreed.

Thousands more innocent and some very guilty people have died around the world for sketchy reasons and despite the protests, videos, news updates, name calling, effigy burning, rigged elections, Twitter trends and hand wringing, people are still dying today.

For unjust and noble reasons, for random and specific acts, by accident, by careful planning, for no good cause and with no solid answer "why". People around the world continue to suffer and die.

Ever thus. No matter who's on television explaining the details.

Which brings me to Lubna.

The following news bite comes from The Economist - one of the few sources of global news that is so well written, no matter what monstrous horrors they report, you actually feel somewhat empowered for having read it.

Here's what caught my eye in this week's issue. "A Sudanese woman, Lubna Hussein, was found guilty of wearing trousers, a practice said by the authorities to be indecent. Her case has sparked an international furore. She was freed from prison after journalists paid a fine of $200 (against her wishes). She also faced up to 40 lashes if convicted, but that punishment was not imposed."


Did Lubna know when she got the trousers that there was a law against wearing them? Were these contraband pants that were snuck into the country? Was she encouraged to wear the pants by a covert group of revolutionary pant wearing women? Was she a pawn or a prophet?

Could we infer that the US Secretary of State's ongoing commitment to pant suits could have been a factor?

Were the trousers even hers? Or did she sneak out of the house in her husband's pants, just to run down to the store?

Of course there's more to her story, and Sudan has many greater tragedies than this one.

But I remain perplexed in that she was freed against her wishes? Because she wanted to go on a hunger strike? Was she working on something in jail? Radio interview scheduled? Didn't have time to build up material for her book?

Or was she afraid to return home since she got busted, lost her pants and may face public stoning or being shot by a male relative who's been embarrassed?

Whatever her motivation, Lubna Hussein's story connected with me and reminded me of where I stand today.

I firmly disagree with imprisoning people for their choices in clothing. Much less lashing them with a whip. Regardless of the time and place, that is just not okay.

And whatever values, God or Goddess may rule the heavens and earth for you, my Beloved encourages me to be comfortable. And sometimes only pants will do.

So when I think about the many aspects of today's tragic milestone, I will add Lubna to my prayers for peace and wear pants in support of her struggle.

Eight years later and there are women on our planet who are imprisoned and threatened for their choices in clothing.

Sad, sad monkeys.

Thank you Lubna, for reminding me of the freedoms that I take for granted and just how different my world would be if I had been born at a time in a country where my choices in life were violently constrained by my gender.

Thank you Lubna, for reminding me that hatred is the product of a mind gone mad.

Thank you Lubna, for your courage in the face of this insanity and cruelty.

Beau pantalon.

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