America: The Third World

In 1993, when I came back from Africa, I went to the Mission Mall to get a haircut. I was early, so I headed to the ladies room to tinkle. In the stall, I discovered I was stuck on an island: no toilet paper. The dearth of toilet paper struck me as particularly funny, considering Africans referred to it as the American’s prayer flag.

But as I continue to notice the signs I have become alarmed to discover the United States devolving into a third world country.

Most frightening, as I was searching around the web last night, I looked up in time to see Elizabeth Warren being shut down and shut up by Mitch McConnell (and the other henchmen of the so-called President of these United States) as she tried to read Coretta Scott King’s 1986 letter in response to Jeff Sessions.

I was struck, again, by the parallels between this America and the Africa I’d loved and left in the early nineties. At that time, African women did not frequent bars, as patrons or as waiters. They didn’t routinely work outside the home except as domestics. There was only one other female University professor at the two branches of the National University of Rwanda. If they were married, women couldn’t open and use a bank account unless given permission by their husbands. Birth control pills were not available, nor were abortions, and, of course, if you could believe it, rape didn’t exist!

I should not be surprised that men are still trying to render us silent. After all, we elected a man who brags about “grabbing [women] by the pussy.” And so, I would like to say to men who try to silence women: if you are ever able to grow a pair of balls, I will happily grab them for you and squeeze…hard.









Author: Anita Leverich

In real life, I teach English at an urban community college in Kansas City. This semester I am living the Dream--Writing! This is all thanks to that savior of the academic--The Sabbatical. One part of my sabbatical mission is this blog where I intend to share my thoughts on, not only writing, but also the world. This beautiful life has been built on education--a BA in English Literature, an MA in Literature & Creative Writing from Kansas State U. and an MA in Creative Writing from the nationally rated program at The University of Montana. I’ve also earned a Certificate in Creative Nonfiction from the Stanford Online Writer’s Program. Not only have I been privileged to work with generous and thoughtful teachers, but I’ve also worked with Editor Barbara Jones in the One Book program at Queens University. The other part of my time between now and August is dedicated to finishing the manuscript I have been working on all these years (!) called Running After You: An Unrequited Love Story. Thanks for tuning in. Enjoy.

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