Men saying hank tou to the midwife who gave birth to fathers. This short video was made in solidarity with Agnes Gereb, the imprisoned Hungarian midwife. She advocated for the presence of fathers at births in hospitals.
Hungarian is the language of love. Not French. You will fall in love with a person speaking French. You learn Hungarian after you fall in love with a person when you discover their Hungarian origin. I did. And the language and the country and the man I fell in love with still leave me speechless at times.
Today I am using my voice in solidarity with a Hungarian woman, Agnes Gereb, who was sentenced to two years in jail for charges relating to her practice as a midwife. Hungary, led by the nationalist, Viktor Orban, has passed public policy that encourages birth. For a country that knows its population (and power) are decreasing, there are seemingly only two responses: women have to give birth and refugees have to be turned away. In this country that seeks to create a culture that values family, at least procreation, it seems the ultimate irony that they simultaneously persecute a midwife.
Yet it is far from ironic. It is cynical. It rings true for the famously pessimistic, long-suffering Hungarians. It is worse than cynical, however. It is tyrannical. It is the establishment (patriarchy, government, medicine) exercising power. It is rape. We should not limit rape to the invasion of a body. It does not do justice to the systematic abuse of power that seeks its own existence rather than serving the people. It is illiberal. Which is exactly what Orban has articulated. He seeks to create an illiberal democracy that controls its population rather than defends its citizens.
Times up, Orban. My Hungarian friends in Budapest, where I lived with my two children for five years, see themselves as citizens first. They are outraged at Agnes’ incarceration. Their message is clear: We see Orban’s duplicity. We stand with Agnes Gereb and demand justice for her, for all of us. Hungarians need to act with their hearts, speaking the language of love, to defeat the cynicism that defines and limits them.
I attended the Sunday 1:00 pm performance of the Wizard of Oz at the Opera House.I bought four tickets and attended with my daughter, a friend, and her daughter. The tickets were $119 and we were seated in the orchestra, row u, seats 105,106,107,108. We experienced two problems:
Handicapped seats were placed on both ends of our row. Both patrons were unable to stand once seated. This forced us to awkwardly crawl over an elderly lady to enter our seats and at intermission, even at the end of the show. Surely there must be a better solution?
Also, at intermission we went directly from our seats to the women's restroom. Nevertheless, my daughter and friend (who needed the facilities) were unable to do so in time. They missed two major musical scenes because of the long lines or lack of suitable women's restrooms. This is infuriating. After spending nearly $500 on tickets, I feel this is an unacceptable way to treat a patron. Especially a nine-year-old girl.