Enjoyed this post, very thought provoking but have to challenge you about some of the judgmental assertions you make in the article. For example, I have to take issue with your statement that people in the US are “bored out of their minds”. You may have been bored, I might be bored, but that doesn’t everyone is bored living in the west. I think you are projecting how you feel in your own culture on the entire US population. You see, when I was young, I thought like you, but now I’m 50 I see we arent all wired the same way, many of us preferring the ties of home, family and security over adventure. And as for imagining laws and social stigma weigh more on people in the west, I think you couldn’t be more wrong. When you look at a culture from outside and not live it from the inside it looks good because you don’t fully understand the cultural mores and pressures people are experiencing.
Lastly as a woman, a feminist and a teacherI am terribly grateful that I can live the life I have. I chose when I had children, they all grew to adulthood, I was able to move out of a bad marriage and get a degree in my 30’s- all these things would absolutely not be possible for most women in the developing world.
Thanks for stirring me up to think again about all this and I do appreciate the call to action. By the way, I’m not from the US but the UK, but I’ve lived in the US, a couple of other countries and now live in NZ. I’m actively considering doing a stint working with women in the developing world.