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TOO many women in too many countries speak the same language of silence. My grandmother was always silent -- always aggrieved -- only her husband had the cosmic right (or so it was said) to speak and be heard.

They say it is different now (after all, I am always vocal and my grandmother thinks I talk too much). But sometimes, I wonder.

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When a woman gives her love, as most do generously -- it is accepted.

When a woman shares her thoughts, as some women do, graciously -- it is allowed.

When a woman fights for power, as all women would like to, quietly or loudly, it is questioned.

And yet, there must be freedom -- if we are to speak. And yes, there must be power -- if we are to be heard. And when we have both (freedom and power) let us not be misunderstood.

WE seek only to give words to those who cannot speak (too many women in too many countries). I seek only to forget the sorrows of my grandmother's silence.

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