A Hawaiian Proverb states: “When one becomes a warrior, one must run.”
This proverb can quite simply describe the life of a woman, whether a women of color, a younger woman, or a mature woman. Historically, in many cultures, women’s lives have restricted either by law, custom, or common practice. Women in some cultures were considered property of their husbands and were bought and sold, married off with or without their consent, abused mentally, and physically, and denied common human pursuits such as an independent identity or access to basic or higher education.
In the U.S. people react with shock and amazement when presented with the facts of these atrocities on women, yet the physical violence and psychological abuse more commonly reported in local newspapers, and on national news broadcasts should never be viewed with any less condemnation.
Women Warriors around the globe are lifting their heads, and strapping on their sneakers. Their ranks are growing. They are running faster and running often. Their running is physical through the streets of their towns and villages refusing to be silenced. Their running is through college campuses gaining the knowledge and expertise to mount legal challenges and attacks in the political arena. Their running is in standing up to the old guard, shouting we will be silenced no more! Their voices are heard across oceans, and over mountains creating a global chant.
They are not the same women since they began to run. Now they have morphed into fighters using the tools of their voices, and the strength of their numbers, utilizing their entire bodies as weapons. They are now warriors; women who fight battles, women of courage.
If asked if she intended to become a warrior, most would respond no, that they were only doing what they had to do at that moment, and that single action took on a life of its own. They cannot and will not stop running. This is their true identity. Remember this…once the warrior is born, she will forever after run and will inspire others to do the same.