Middle East ChickSwagger vs. American ChickSwagger

I had my post all prepared, a light hearted look at another American frivolity, Reality Shows, until I logged on this morning to be moved by the story of 17 year old Afghan woman Sadaf Rahimi.

I know little of political affairs in the Middle East, being sheltered here in the US by an excess of opportunities for women, whether they be political, educational, social or financial.  Like many American women, I often take my freedoms and opportunities for granted, and find myself complaining of what I don’t have.  I want to change that. 

Being given the chance this morning, to be reminded of all my blessings and opportunities compared to women in other parts of the world, it encourages both my desires to be thankful, but also my anger toward Americans who cannot see all they have and who continue to be driven by greed and a sense of entitlement.

Quoted from the Associated Press, “There are female Afghan success stories, yet most women in Afghanistan remain second-class citizens, many cloaked from head-to-toe in blue burqas, some abused or hidden in their homes.

Rahimi, a determined 17-year-old student, wants to become the new face of Afghan women, gaining honor and dignity for herself and other women in here war-torn country and improving their image worldwide.

She will get her chance this summer in London, where women’s boxing makes its Olympic debut.  Sadaf Rahimi is the only girl who will participate in the games hearing you use a grappling dummie not in a pointless way,” Sharifi said. “She will represent all Afghan women, which makes her the biggest female personality in Afghanistan.””

This is what Chick Swagger is all about, a young woman, fighting to find her true purpose in a country where the opportunities for women are non-existent.  I can’t think of many American women (or men) having the strength or motivation to accomplish what this young woman has.  Not because they are not capable, but because most of us have never been challenged to have to fight for our lives, our freedoms, our opportunities.  This work was done decades ago by our ancestors, and the opportunities for Americans and assistance programs available here in America are abundant.

So why are there still men and women in this country sitting around complaining of all they don’t have?  Collecting from social services, refusing to work at McDonald’s because it is below them?  Spending $100 per week on cigarettes, getting tattoos, claiming bankruptcy for charge card debt then filing for free lunch for their children?   

Because they do not know the meaning of oppression. 

Generationally, they have been conditioned to feel entitled to have others provide for them.  And American policies do exactly that.  They provide. 

 On paper, I believe it is suppose to appear the policies teach and encourage these people to learn to provide for themselves, but in reality, the loopholes are enormous.   Many Americans have made free-loading a lifetime career.    

Quoted from the Associated Press, “Recently in Baghlan province in the north, 15-year-old Sahar Gul was locked up, beaten with cables and tortured by her husband and in-laws after she refused to work as a prostitute. They deny any wrongdoing. She became the bruised and bloodied face of women’s rights in Afghanistan after being rescued in late December when an uncle called police.

Her story shocked Afghanistan and prompted calls to end underage marriage. The legal marriage age in Afghanistan is 16, but the United Nations estimates that half of all girls are forced to marry before their 16th birthday.

In Kunduz province, also in the north, a 30-year-old woman named Storay was killed last month because she gave birth to a third baby girl, instead of a boy. Storay, who used only one name, was slain, allegedly by her husband, when her third child was 3 months old. Her husband has left the family.”  He remains a free man.

It saddens me to think of the future of America. A sense of entitlement is so demeaning.

It encourages me to want to make changes in my small world to somehow reach out to people, to help them see how much they have to offer the world, to help them learn to help themselves and make this country into what it could truly be, a place of pride, production, and strong character.  If a 17 year old woman in a Middle Eastern can fight for honor and dignity why can’t we?

 What is wrong with asking a welfare recipient to volunteer ten hours a week at a community daycare center?  Or having a food stamp recipient work a few hours a week at the local food pantry?  Does Social Services see the number of Americans receiving assistance driving around in brand new expensive cars using their I-phones?

Is the government with me on this?  I don’t think so, but I never did understand politics.  Someone involved is always out to gain something for themselves instead of doing what’s best for the greater good.

I worked 3 jobs to put myself through college.  I’ve been working since I was fourteen.   What makes me any different than others out there?  I never felt entitled.  I had a sense of pride and community.  I worked, lived within my means, and educated myself.  No one did it for me.  But this, I was taught by my parents.

Chime in people.  I’d love to hear your opinions on this.

What do you think of American policies on: welfare, temporary assistance, child support, bankruptcy, foreclosure opportunities…

Do you think the system works?

Should welfare recipients be required to pass mandatory drug testing before they receive their checks? (your govt. doesn’t think so…)

Spread the Swagger girls, be an example of strength and pride.

Love, Josie           



  1. I will certainly be watching for Sadaf Rahimi in the Olympics! That is so inspiring!! As an American woman it’s hard to believe there are still countries that repress and abuse women. I hope Rahimi’s story is one more arc in the revolution of the big wheel of change (holy prepositional phrases! lol). Emancipation can be achieved through brave individuals like her.

    As far as our welfare system? It can only be sustained for so long before the whole bloated structure collapses. Something drastic has to change. People need to reclaim a sense of pride in being productive. How to go about that on a big level, I have no idea. But we can each do our part by modeling and encouraging. 🙂

    Great post, Josie!!

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Politics is NOT my thing Misty, but I feel pretty strongly about this being I work with many people recieving services in my everyday job. Needless to say, after a day of counseling and teaching and trying to make a difference, nothing makes me happier than a frosty cool Coors Light. It’s a never ending battle until we find a way to change the ‘entitlement’ gene. Most of these families have been living off the system for generations. Asking for some sort of service in return is a good place to start in my mind.
      Thanks for the input,

  2. Josie Matthews says:

    A good friend wrote me this to post for her!

    My oldest daughter was on welfare for a few years. I must say
    she was also on drugs those years. She is a strong person, but never believed
    it whenever I would tell her that. Finally, she decided she was not going to
    be like some of her friends who’d been on welfare all their adult lives as
    were their parents. She pulled herself out of drugs with the help of an
    organization called First Steps. She went to college, got a job first with
    CPS, then with First Steps. She gave back to the community what she’d taken
    years ago and has been a drug and alcohol intervention officer for sixteen
    years, the past two with the probation department.

    I do believe welfare can make some people resign themselves to living that
    way. There are fewer people who are strong enough not to want that kind of
    life than there are weak people who rely on it. I’m probably mud slinging
    here, but most of the people I’ve met who are and have been on welfare for
    years have become lazy and dependent. Or maybe they’ve always been that way.
    It’s sad, but true.

    There are the weak and the strong and sometimes the weak outnumber the strong.

    JMO. Thank you for letting me give it.

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Ginny, I’m so impressed with your daughter. Id love to have her come meet some of the people I work with and tell her story to give them the motivation to improve their circumstances. Your daughter needs to know how special she is and much of her strength and determination to better herself and work hard Im sure came from YOU!!! You must have taught her well and she must have listened to you somewhere along the line. 🙂

      Many of these families, as you have said, have been doing this for generations. They teach their young ones how to ‘work’ the system and the cycle continues. Nothing will change Im afraid until the system changes and gets ‘tighter’.

      Love Josie
      PS…Don’t quote me on this because I am still doing research, but I have heard from numerous sources that illegal aliens are entitled to medicaid, food stamps and possibly other governmental programs? Americans are paying for people who are not even citizens of this country? If anyone has the facts I’d love to hear them…And how this all works.

  3. Stepping in here to speak from the other side. A year and a half ago I was fired–not for anything I did wrong, but because the place where I worked looked at their budget and I was one of the more expensive employees. Since that time, I have been collecting unemployment while looking for work with NO success. And if you think people are living high off the hog on unemployment, try living on $300 a week for 18 months. It sucks! Pay the mortgage or eat? Hmm. Interesting choice. Now, in a week or two, I will be out of benefits. The only thing that will save me is that I can get social security, money I’ve earned for all the years I have worked. Now, I get to live on $350 per week. Big whoop! And there are still no jobs out there that pay a decent wage. I’d be delighted to flip burgers if it didn’t cost me more in gas to get to work than I would earn. And this whole employment mess was brought about by greed. The 1%ers wanting to suck the blood out of the us 99%ers.

    After reading this over, I’m not bitter, even though I might sound that way. I am angry, however, that the people that caused this have faced no consequences at all, while I, and millions like me, have faced consequences for doing nothing wrong.

    As a footnote, there are people of color in this country–and women and children–still fighting for equal rights and equal treatment. It’s just that much of it is now hidden. Discrimination has become very subtle, but it’s still there.

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Such an emotional, eye opening post. Your situation is exactly where Government programs should be stepping in and helping. I cant help but think if the programs were run effectively, there would be less abuse, therefore, less people taking unfair advantage, therefore, more money available to hardworking Americans like yourself who are in very real need of temporary assistance!
      I often talk with people who say it doesn’t pay for them to go to work because the minimum wage they would receive is not enough to live on and govt assistance pays more. This is something that definitely needs to be addressed. It’s such a complex problem that delves into so much more than mathematical figures. Politicians need to start considering cultural values, but that certainly won’t win the majority of the votes.

      We have become the land of ‘opportunity’.
      To me that means; work hard – make something of yourself.
      To many living in this country, legally OR illegally, it means; sign up – get stuff.
      They are not like you, where there is truly a need. Many are working under the table, selling ‘things’, making a good, illegal buck AND collecting assistance that should be going to hard working American’s such as yourself. I’ve seen so many with their real Prada purses and $250 ‘7’ jeans leave my office with money in hand for christmas, then climb into their Cadillac Escalades to go shopping. Maxing out charge cards, claiming bankruptcy then timing the applications for new charge cards before the bankruptcy goes through has become a fun pastime for many. This hurts us all in the long run.

      You have every right to be frustrated. I know many people like you who have such difficulty getting appropriate assistance when it is truly nececcesary. Then there are so many out there getting way more than their share because they are capable of sheming to work the system to their advantage. I, for the life of me, can’t figure out how they do it! Especially how they live with themselves.

      Political corruption is everywhere, and when I hear stories like yours it angers me even more that this country has become a country of greed and lies. If your willing to scheme and cheat, you’ll do well. If your honest and hardworking, good luck to you. The government has to step in and do what’s right for this country, not what will get them votes. We are in for a collapse and wonderful, hard working citizens are the ones who will be trapped under the rubble.
      This is just my personal opinion.
      I truly hope your situation improves soon.
      Love and prayers, Josie.

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