Today is one of my favorite days of the month! That’s because it’s the day we publish our monthly series, Bring It Like a Broad! I love it because it’s a chance to celebrate females, and all we are capable of .
Remember, the purpose of this series is to highlight real ladies who are doing or have done the extraordinary. Our goal in celebrating these special people and their accomplishments is that each of us will be encouraged to believe in the possibility of our own goals and dreams. We also hope that seeing these women changing the world will blaze paths for all the little girls out there who will grow up someday and want to join their ranks.
This month’s Broad is actually one of those little girls. We’ll call her a Bitty-Broad. In fact, when the following events unfolded, she was only in 7th grade! Which just goes to show, we can learn things from our kids every day. Sometimes they display wisdom and courage far beyond their years, as did our Bitty-Broad.
Imagine being named after an Egyptian goddess. Now imagine that goddess represents magic and healing, and was one of the most important deities in Ancient Egypt. Pretty cool stuff, no?
That’s how our Bitty-Broad, 14-year-old Isis Brown felt. In fact, people would often tell her how beautiful and unique her name was. She was proud of her name.
Statue of the goddess Isis, courtesy of http://www.resurrectisis.org/
Then, around 2013, her name became famous. Unfortunately, as I’m sure you know, it wasn’t the kind of “famous” a 7th grader, or anyone, wants. The news outlets began extensive coverage of a terrorist group called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. If there’s one thing the media loves, it’s nicknames. So the term ISIS became a household name.
Little Isis Brown from Oklahoma was suddenly thrust into the spotlight at school. People no longer complimented her on her unique name. Instead, they called her a terrorist. They accused her of killing Americans, saying they saw her on the news. She could hear the kids whispering behind her back, calling her a killer and anti-American.
It began to have a detrimental effect on Isis. She started avoiding certain classes, hiding out in places where she wouldn’t be bullied. She would often come home from school crying.
Photo courtesy of www.news5cleveland.com
But it didn’t just affect her school life. Kids took to Facebook to make fun of Isis. The bullying even began to destroy one of her favorite hobbies, deejaying. Many gigs she had lined up dropped her because of her name. Music was one of the biggest parts of her life. Can you imagine having so much of your life turned upside down, just because of your name? Now imagine that happening to you at 14-years-old. It would almost be impossible to bear.
Finally, our Bitty-Broad reached her limit. She could not go on letting these kids bully her, without sticking up for herself. Isis didn’t go to her principle privately, or ask her parents to intervene. No, she was even more courageous than that. She took to Facebook and created a video to address her tormentors.
In the video, she encouraged other people who share her name to be strong, remember what their name means, and not cower or avoid places where bullies will be. “No, you be the bigger person and show you’re not putting up with this anymore.” she stated. “That you can fight this battle, that you’re not going to let some wannabe bullies pick on you.”
She concluded the video by saying, “So you kids out there with the name Isis, “Love your name, cherish your name. I’m still learning – and I know you guys are too – but, in all reality, you’re named after a goddess. You’re not named after the terrorist group.”
Do you know what happened? The kids at school apologized! They now describe her as being brave and strong.
There are a few things I really love about our Bitty-Broad’s experience.
First, it is incredible to see such a young girl gather the amount of courage Isis did, and face her fears. Remember, courage is not lack of fear. Courage is taking action despite being afraid.
Second, Isis went through three years of torment before she made this video. Sometimes, it takes us a while to get up the gumption to defend ourselves, and that’s okay.
Third, you don’t have to save the lives of thousands of people, or become the CEO of a huge company to be considered brave. Sometimes, a little girl in Oklahoma can show just as much courage as anyone else. In fact, when you show courage in the small things in life, it helps you to stand tall in the bigger things.
Lastly, you never know who you can learn a life lesson from. It’s not always the old experienced people that have profound wisdom. Sometimes we can learn as much from the bravery of one little girl, as we can from volumes of historical figures that changed the world.
Isis Brown is one of my personal heroes. She has taught me that your voice, no matter how small, can influence and help others. She also reminds me that your name isn’t who you are. No, it’s the way you live your life that defines your true character.
***Watch Isis Brown’s video response to her bullies here.***
Is there a woman you know personally who inspires you and others in some way? Is there a woman from history that you look up to? There are no guidelines–if a woman is inspiring to you in ANY way, it counts!
Please email me if you have a lady you want to see featured in Bring It Like a Broad.
You can also email me with any questions or comments you may have: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you liked this post, you’ll love reading about the other amazing women in this series:
- Irena Sendler Saves 2,500 Children During the Holocaust
- See the World Through Madelyn May’s Lens
- Grace Garfield Lends a Helping Hand!