Susan Boyle and the Women and Girls of the World
“I’m going to make that audience rock”, proclaimed the obscure, very plain, heavy-set, “never been kissed” 47 year old Susan Boyle as she half lumbered half strutted onto the stage to sing “I Dreamed a Dream” for Britain’s Got Talent.
Sniggers and chuckles. Embarrassed rolling of eyes as she swiveled her hips. Yes, I am woman, she seemed to be saying. And then the first note came out and the rest is history. Nearly one hundred million views on the YOUTUBE internet. Worldwide publicity. And Susan Boyle’s talent, voice, and cat Pebbles have been discovered.
Over the past few weeks I’ve gotten in the habit of watching once a day. It’s a fairy tale with a deliciously happy ending. And the song echoes through my brain, and the joy of not only Susan but of judge Piers Morgan (What a voice!) and of the audience as they rose to their feet in sudden adulation brings thrills and chills each time I watch.
And then about a week ago it hit me that millions of women and girls out there somewhere have hidden potential, hidden talents, hidden possibilities, hidden creativity, probably not even discovered by themselves. True for men and boys too of course, but somehow the pervasiveness of gender inequality probably makes it truer for us females.
I think of the words of Hillary Clinton in her testimony to become Secretary of State: “Of particular concern to me is the plight of women and girls who comprise the majority of the world’s unhealthy, unschooled, unfed, and unpaid.” You don’t have a voice if you are sick, illiterate, hungry and poor. It is really that simple.
So world, let’s go on a quest to discover the myriad Susans among us. We all, women, men, girls, and boys have a little Susan in us. Deep within, we all have a special voice in need of discovery. In our world today, we are all in desperate need of a few fairy tale endings.