The first shows Lucie Myslikova facing down rightist thugs in Brno, Czech Republic.
The second shows Saffiyah Khan facing down rightist thugs in Birmingham, England.
It’s notable that the two pictures, while being ostensibly very similar, are actually very different. The first shows simple goodness refusing to back down in the face of darkness. The second shows contempt holding sway in the face of the same enemy. All the strength in this first picture comes from Ms Myslikova’s stillness. The second is all about the strength in Ms Khan’s eyes and smile.
I thought of leaving it at that, but there’s a third I couldn’t resist including. This one shows Ieshia Evans standing firm against dark-clad cops in Baton Rouge, USA.
It hardly needs any commentary, does it? Three big men protected by full body armour, and one supremely serene woman in a cotton dress. I think that says it all. And the one thing that’s common to all three pictures is this: all the fear is in the minds of the men on the dark side.
And that’s what makes me wonder whether the tide is turning against the masculine imperative which generally favours hate, division, brutality, and domination of the other. Could it be that under the influence of women like this, human society is headed for a better future than I usually imagine it to be? Hear two things which Lucie Myslikova said in a BBC interview:
You ask me if standing up to skinheads should be left to older people – well, us younger people are going to be living here a lot longer than the older generation.
Even if something had happened to me, physical wounds always heal in the end. But if I'd kept silent or if I'd decided not to get involved, it would have left a wound inside me that would never have healed.
She also explained that the argument with the unnamed man had been over refugees and migrants. She said she had told him that countries had a duty to help those fleeing war and conflict, and that in such cases borders do not exist. That’s the sort of talk which gives me hope.
And I’ve often referred to my long time fascination with the three queens of Arthurian myth. It’s featured in both my fiction and my blog posts. If I had to choose a trinity to take me to Avalon, these three would do nicely.