Posted in Equality, Gender issues, Racism

“It’s time for action” ~ Huffington Post

(In solidarity with fellow people of colour and white supporters of justice and equality)

What started off seemingly as a comedy appears to end up as a tragedy, for at the beginning of the US presidential campaign, no one really took the controversial businessman Donald Trump seriously as a likely candidate. The fact that he did end up as a president reveals the proverbial elephant in the room that is increasingly brought to the fore in this day and age of the Internet.

The uncomfortable truth that is often swept under the rugs in mainstream media is that America has always – always – been built on the violence and bloodshed of indigenous people, of black and brown people, of those who don’t fit into the agenda of the white supremacy, Eurocentric capitalism, colonialism and patriarchy, which is rife with racism, sexism, misogyny and other forms of systemic and institutional discrimination.

As this article “Don’t be surprised. This is the America you have always lived in” noted:

“This is hatred on a level that that we have not seen since Jim Crow… We underestimated as Americans how deep out hatred was of the ‘other,’ how deep white uneducated Americans felt about the demographic shift. We underestimated that level of insidious hatred.”

Barack Obama’s eight-year service as the president of the US may have brought some semblance of justice, sanity, equality and progressive change, but it fails to contain the underlying destructive mindset that remains embedded in the majority of the population. Mass shooting, mass incarceration of black and brown people, white police brutality against unarmed black and brown people and US invasion and involvement in the conflicts and wars especially in the Middle East and Africa and its interference in Asia-Pacific continue unabated, and are likely to stay the same or increase during the new president’s four-year term.

Perhaps what is more frightening than a racist and misogynist man becoming the president of the US is the fact that he has the backing of the majority who supported and voted for him, who make up the demographics of those Americans who are:
Uneducated
White
Rural
Christian
Conservative
(as noted by a white progressive Christian man living in America)

Posted in Equality, Freedom, Gender issues, Inspiration, Racism

“Karma” by Dominique Christina

Giving voice to the voiceless, in an expression of empathy and rage, a cauldron of fire and hailstorm of ice, hitting deeply into the core of humanity

Karma
by Dominique Christina

We become poets in an attempt to tether words to righteousness,
Our notebooks to social consciousness.
Sitting cross-legged and anxious in wing bat chairs, we sip lattes to news of regimes,
firing American-made artillery into crowds of folk.

Dead bodies pickled by the sun,
they line streets in countries we never think about and we
suck our teeth and ask a thesaurus to become a machete
and as romantic as pacifism is, these days I dream of dictators falling headfirst into karma and forget to be afraid.

If I could write this shit in fire, I would write this shit in fire.
This ain’t poetry, this is rage unabated, a verb, a means and end.
This is my body.
This is Sankofa, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, South-side Chicago, Compton, California. Redhook Projects in Jersey, Roosevelt Projects in Brooklyn.

This is severed hands and clubs against flesh,
black boots to pregnant bellies.
Sterilizations masked as inoculations, leg irons and chains, the bit and the noose,
this is a war-cry.
Tell ‘Massa I coming back,
carrying fire in my knapsack.
Tell him “Patrice Lumumba, Steven Biko, Fannie Lou Hamer.”
Tell him “they have been born again in me.”

Tell him, “I found my mother tongue buried under the rubble of the World Trade Center.”
Tell him, “this shit ain’t no poem, this is me, running naked from sugar cane and cotton field having dropped my crocker sac.”
Tell him, “He can call me Karma, I am refreshing the bones of a witch, a root worker, a sorcerer, a priestess, a gangster.”

Tell him, ”this is the result of segregation.“
Tell him, “this is the result of integration.”
Tell him, “I have never been invisible.”
Tell him, “He has never been invincible.”

Tell him, “I am melting the barbed wires and steel bars of prison yards, they ‘gon flow over him like lava.”
I am returned, I am blood thirsty, I am fangs, and hooks and swollen feet in welfare lines, the gauntlet thrown down.
Lines drawn in the sand.
I am apocryphal-
Historical deletions gathering themselves up into textbooks.

I am the niece of exploitation on a rice and pancake box come to collect the royalties for Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben.
I am the line of smoke, a rain dance, the Tomahawk used to kill the first invader.
I am a passbook in South Africa, a Whites-only sign on a courthouse door in Mississippi,
The streets of Benghazi pocked in prayer beads and shell casings, the juxtaposition of faith and savagery.

Tell him, “I am African wide hips and American bulimia, peace symbols affixed onto assault rifles.”
It is the deepest kind of contradiction.
If I could write this shit in fire, I would write this shit in fire.

Tell ‘Massa “I’m coming back.
Howl in the wind I’m coming back,
Burr in your heels I coming back
‘Massa, I coming back. ‘Massa, I coming back.
‘Massa, I coming back.”

Posted in Gender issues

Why Should Guys Accommodate The Fears Of Females? – Elizabeth Dahl Kingery

“Currently in social media we’re hearing a lot of female cries for understanding from the rest of the world for what it feels like to live in fear. This particular fear of which we speak pertains to being catcalled on the streets, routinely objectified, intimidated at work, harassed in public spaces, threatened for having a strong voice and raped, among other complaints.

If you’ve been watching the whole mess, you’ve also noticed a brute backlash from many men who are confused as to why they should have to pay any attention at all to these fears. An example might be say, allowing a female to ride alone on an elevator so she doesn’t have to worry about you, a big or powerful strange man that could be really nice or really not so nice. Who knows?

And yet this scenario still provides the challenge for us all to balance our own masculine and feminine energies within, which can then manifest in a more respectful, harmonious world without. How does this happen? I’d say it’s through simple awareness. Awakening to the reality of what’s really going on here can naturally result in more empathy, understanding, sensitivity and respect in our relationships. It doesn’t take a bunch of money or brute strength to accomplish this – only enlightenment. And maybe that’s what this existence is all about anyway.

So it is what it is. These unconscious social discriminations are the natural challenges of life that make our evolving existence the adventure that it is. We can’t blame the victims. And yet it isn’t even the men’s fault because it’s an invisible social structure created by mental programming that most of us are born and raised in. It is both everyone’s fault and nobody’s fault. It is the current world in which we live.”

– Elizabeth Dahl Kingery

(Read the full post here.)

Posted in Equality, Gender issues

Identity politics and “crucified identities”

Identity Politics and its Limitations

I learnt from Wikipedia that identity politics deals with various socio-political movements that are based on group identities, which can be found in the feminist movements, gay and lesbian movements and so on.

“Identity politics are political arguments that focus upon the self-interest and perspectives of self-identified social interest groups and ways in which people’s politics may be shaped by aspects of their identity through race, class, religion, gender, ethnicity, ideology, nation, sexual orientation, culture, currency, information preference, history, musical and/or literary genre, medical conditions, profession, hobby, or any other loosely correlated yet simple to intuit social organizations. … It can most notably be found in class movements, feminist movements, gay and lesbian movements, disability movements, ethnic movements and post colonial movements. But wherever it is found it is also open to wide debate and critique.”

(From Wikipedia)

While these movements have their place in enabling the voices of the minorities and the marginalised to be heard and their issues of discrimination to be addressed in the society, I learnt that there are also limitations to identity politics, because it does not necessarily bring about equality. In this blog, the writer noted that Peter Rollins had explained how the scapegoat mechanism continues to function even when the mainstream tries to include minority groups into their circles as part of identity politics.

“This is why the liberal strategy of opening up communities to previously scapegoated others is not, in itself, sufficient. In religious terms we can note how some conservative churches are beginning to open up to the possibility that gays and lesbians can be equal members of their community. Just as they eventually learned to reject explicit racism and sexism now they are gradually learning to overcome heterosexism. But the problem is that the fundamental structure of scapegoating is not broken in the acceptance of the latest “other,” and if the underlying scapegoat mechanism is not decommissioned then new “others” will always arise to protect the group from its own internal conflicts.

There will always be an other as long as we refuse to face ourselves. For example in some of these groups gays and lesbians are now being accepted as long as they embrace the idea of lifelong monogamous marriage. This means that those, gay and straight, who don’t accept that lifestyle for themselves can be excluded as immoral, corrupt and a threat to the institution of marriage.”

(From “Identity Politics and the Cross: Peter Rollins on the Scapegoat Mechanism“)

So from my understanding, the more people focus on identifying minority groups and then trying to include them into the mainstream, without first accepting the otherness in themselves, the more they continue to discriminate the minorities based on their perceived differences. Another problem is that everyone assumes that all the individuals within a particular minority group must subscribe to the same kind of lifestyle or ideology, and so the people within that group lose their individuality. I came across this article in which the writer shares how marxism (or socialism that denounces classism) helps minority groups move beyond the limits of identity politics.

Similarly, in this article, the writer explains why identity politics does not liberate the oppressed whereas Marxism provides the theoretical tools for ending oppression.

The bulk of this article is a critique of the theory behind what is known in academic and left circles as “identity politics”—the idea that only those experiencing a particular form of oppression can either define it or fight against it—counterposing to it a Marxist analysis. My central premise is that Marxism provides the theoretical tools for ending oppression, while identity politics does not.”

(From “The Politics of Identity” by Sharon Smith, International Socialist Review)

From my understanding of the article, the theory of identity politics ignores the entire element of social class, which is a problem because class inequality causes oppression. So it is thought that Marxism or socialism that seeks to remove class inequality would serve to end oppression of the minorities and the marginalised.

Crucified Identities

I have checked out the above video and I think Peter Rollins summed up very well the significance of the cross as symbolising our crucifixion of various identities, which transcends our perceived differences and moves beyond the limits of identity politics. As long as people identify themselves based on social interests or political affiliations or belief systems or ethnic groups and so on, there will always be some forms of discrimination and conflicts and tribalism, in which one group tends to think they have all the right answers and others don’t. I like the scenario he gave about a minister who would supposedly confess publicly that his own uncertainty and unknowing and that he doesn’t have all the right answers, and in some cases, the church would fire him not because they did not know he does not have all the right answers but rather they do not want to face their own uncertainties and unknowing and would rather hire someone who appears to have all the right answers to preach to them. I also agree that unity and equality can be made possible that people come together and have deep conversations by laying aside their various identities, and learn from one another, and being conscious that in Christ, there is neither Jew nor Gentile, male nor female, gay nor straight, republican nor democrat, high class nor low class, feminist nor misogynist, black nor white, and so on, for we are all one.

As Peter Rollins also shared in the video, it is important that people hold on to their beliefs with a loose hand. If they hold on to their beliefs too tightly, they will not be open to learn from others. The same goes with group identities. I think that is why Peter Rollins does not want to subscribe fully to identity politics because the various group identities have their limitations and ultimately do not bring about equality that they desire because it can become another “us” versus “them” mentality. I think some feminists have probably misunderstood him in the past as saying he does not care about diversity or about equality of women or minorities when he did not want to subscribe to identity politics. But he was actually going beyond the limits of identity politics, beyond feminism, and so on, as much as these movements have their place, because he sees that true equality and unity can only be made possible when people lay aside their various identities and embrace the other. He also clarified in the video that it doesn’t mean people stop being men or women and so on, but rather people can choose to look beyond these outward differences and commune at a deeper level. So his message on crucified identities resonates with me as well because I too believe the gospel of our true identity shared among humanity is one way for greater peace and equality.

Posted in Equality, Gender issues, Identity, Origin, Unity and harmony

Reflections on the movie “Oz: The Great and Powerful”

On 12 March 2013, I went to watch the movie “Oz: The Great and Powerful” with my colleagues. It has been about a couple of years since I last watched a movie. For some reasons, I didn’t enjoy watching this movie. As a matter of fact, I hardly watch movies nowadays, compared to, say, 20 years ago when I was a teenager. Maybe I have grown up somewhat, and my perspective of life has changed. I still appreciate good, thought-provoking and meaningful movies, which are perhaps few and far between. I also appreciate documentary-movies such as “Zeitgeist: The Movie”, “What the Bleep Do We Know?” and “The Living Planet” as these are insightful and interesting, reminding us that we are all equal and we are all connected in the universe and there is more to what we see in the physical world.

“We are here to awake from the illusion of separateness”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

So, when I watched the movie “Oz: The Great and Powerful”, I felt that the whole premise of the story presentation didn’t quite sit well with me because it appeared to be based on classism, colonialism, imperialism, moralism, monarchy, hierarchical mindset, racial supremacy, and a dualistic mindset of good and evil. With due respect to the actors and actresses who have by and large done fairly well for their respective roles, and I do love fantasy stories that are filled with charm, magic, wonder and adventure, what struck a dissonant chord in me is that somehow the movie came across as a shallow fantasy movie based on racial stereotypes and superficial appearances.

For the past few days, I have been wondering whether I am being overly critical and sensitive to have such an unconventional view of the movie because it seems that the movie is generally well received by the masses in terms of box office figures. So, I decided to google the movie title and add “racism” as a key word, and I am somewhat heartened to know that I am not alone in detecting undertones of racial superiority and discrimination in the movie.

For example, one article noted that “Oz: The Great and Powerful, is based on the novels of L. Frank Baum. Baum was a white supremacist; a flaming racist who called for the extermination of all American Indians.”

Another reviewer wrote:

“I would like to think, as a society, we are beyond such childish and outdated tropes. I wanted Oz the Great and Powerful to take me back to the original movie, not the original time period in which it was released. This movie is damaging. Perhaps I’m over thinking it and taking it too seriously, but this is what we need to start thinking about when watching films, especially films aimed at children. What stereotypes are reinforced? What agenda is being pushed? Even if it’s not intentional, I think it’s high time we embark into a new era of films made for children, one in which expired ways of life and existence aren’t the norm. We should be challenging kids to think harder, imagine deeper and progress at a slightly faster pace. I’m sick of boring. I’m sick of mind numbing nonsense. You should be too. Oz the Great and Powerful is hindering progress with silly messages, racist stereotypes and sexist gender roles.”

(“Oz the Great and Powerful” Movie Review by Justin Taroli)

Yes, we need progressive movies, not retrogressive ones. As the world becomes more globalised and we are awakening to our oneness and interconnectedness, we need to find new ways to express art and entertainment that are not based on stereotypes and discrimination but rather diversity and equality.

ocean
ocean (Photo credit: Stephen Edgar – Netweb)

“All of us are made of the ‘same stuff’, having evolved from the same First Source. To use an analogy: When the ocean first appeared, and then expanded, it was not created as something other than its drops. A drop of the ocean is the same as the ocean. It is the ocean, in smaller form. No single drop is other than the ocean. All the drops of the ocean are One Thing: THE OCEAN.

It would not, therefore, be inaccurate for one drop of the ocean to say to another drop: ‘We Are All One’. The second drop would simply say, ‘Of course we are. Just because we have been singularized does not mean we are other than each other, nor are we other than that of which we are a singularization. We are all the same thing, The Ocean, in singular form.’

This is also true about human beings. We are all the Same Thing, simply individuated. We are not separate from That From Which We Have Emerged, nor are we ‘other than’ each other.”

(From “The Only Thing that Matters: Book 2 in the Conversations with Humanity Series” by Neale Donald Walsch)

Posted in Equality, Gender issues, Unity and harmony

“Man Prayer” and “Break the chain” – Ending violence against women

“Man Prayer” – A postmodern definition of masculinity

Video information

Violence against women hurts everyone, including men. We invite our brothers to take up this cause, and be free from the limiting structures of our modern definition of masculinity! #MenRise

http://onebillionrising.org

Here’s sharing this video on “man prayer” I watched just now, which is meant to “invite our brothers to take up this cause (of ending violence against women), and be free from the limiting structures of our modern definition of masculinity”. I agree with its postmodern definition of masculinity, which is about having confidence that comes from the depth of his being and understanding that vulnerability is his greatest strength. Yes, perhaps it can be said that a postmodern man is one who creates space rather than dominates it, who appreciates listening more than knowing, who seeks kindness over control, who cries when the grief is too much, who refuses any act of violence, who cherishes touch more than performance and the experience more than getting there, and is brave enough to share his fear and shame as well as gather other men to do the same, as mentioned in the prayer. Yes, and may the resonance of that love translates into loving all women and living things.

1BRSD “Break The Chain” Flashmob San Diego

Video information

The San Diego One Billion Rising Crew pulls off a “Break the Chain” flashmob in Balboa Park on February 2, 2013. This is part of ONE BILLION RISING, a global movement to end violence against women.

On 2/14/13:
STRIKE at 2:14 pm for 20 minutes. See our website for mini-rising locations.
MARCH at 4:30 pm at City Hall with Mayor Bob Filner. See our website for march route.
DANCE at 6:30 pm at the Organ Pavilion with a lineup of special guests and musical artists (free!)

www.1billionrisingsd.com
www.onebillionrising.org

Break the Chain Lyrics

Lyrics by Tena Clark
Music by Tena Clark/Tim Heintz

Intro-
I raise my arms to the sky
On my knees I pray
I’m not afraid anymore
I will walk through that door
Walk, dance, rise
Walk, dance, rise

I can see a world where we all live
Safe and free from all oppression
No more rape or incest, or abuse
Women are not a possession

You’ve never owned me, don’t even know me I’m not invisible, I’m simply wonderful I feel my heart for the first time racing I feel alive, I feel so amazing

I dance cause I love
Dance cause I dream
Dance cause I’ve had enough
Dance to stop the screams
Dance to break the rules
Dance to stop the pain
Dance to turn it upside down
Its time to break the chain, oh yeah
Break the Chain
Dance, rise
Dance, rise

In the middle of this madness, we will stand I know there is a better world Take your sisters & your brothers by the hand Reach out to every woman & girl

This is my body, my body’s holy
No more excuses, no more abuses
We are mothers, we are teachers,
We are beautiful, beautiful creatures

I dance cause I love
Dance cause I dream
Dance cause I’ve had enough
Dance to stop the screams
Dance to break the rules
Dance to stop the pain
Dance to turn it upside down
It’s time to break the chain, oh yeah
Break the Chain, oh yeah
Break the Chain

Dance Break Inst.

Dance, rise
Dance, rise

Sister won’t you help me, sister won’t you rise x4

Dance, rise
Dance, rise

Sister won’t you help me, sister won’t you rise x4

This is my body, my body’s holy
No more excuses, no more abuses
We are mothers, we are teachers,
We are beautiful, beautiful creatures

I dance cause I love
Dance cause I dream
Dance cause I’ve had enough
Dance to stop the screams
Dance to break the rules
Dance to stop the pain
Dance to turn it upside down
Its time to break the chain, oh yeah
Break the Chain, oh yeah
Break the Chain

(Repeat chorus)

Posted in Equality, Gender issues, Inspiration

Women will save the world – women’s progress is human progress

world will be saved by western woman - Dalai Lama

Here’s sharing this quote by Dalai Lama who said in 2009 that “the world will be saved by the western woman”.

“At the Vancouver Peace Summit September 2009, the Dalai Lama said something that ricocheted around the globe. He said that he is a feminist. And he opined that Western women will save the world.”

(From “A master’s words of wisdom“)

I learnt that a number of people have been encouraged and inspired by his statement. For example, according to the article “Women will save the world”, best selling author and Absolute Love Publishing Founder Caroline A Shearer “was struck by the profound implications of this statement and was drawn to explore the subject. Shearer joins essays from Olympians, Billboard-topping musicians, visionary media professionals, artists, authors, and more with profiles of historical women, such as Mother Teresa, Harriet Tubman, and the founder of Junior League, each who saved the world in their own ways.” Her book is called “Women will save the world”.

I suppose women in general, not just western women, have the potential to continue to make greater positive changes to the world. After all, it is well observed that with the rise of the feminine energy worldwide, we are moving towards a more compassionate, empathetic and nurturing global society, as stated by Dalai Lama.

“During that Summit, the Dalai Lama stated that we are seeing the rise of the feminine energy globally and that we are moving towards a more compassionate, empathetic and nurturing global society.”

(From “Dalai Lama – the world will be saved by the western woman”)

Likewise, this article adds:

“According to The Guardian report, women are more likely to incorporate community and environment into their business plans. According to his Holiness, The Dalai Lama, “Some people may call me a feminist….But we need more effort to promote basic human values — human compassion, human affection. And in that respect, females have more sensitivity for others’ pain and suffering.”

(From “Women will save the world! Really… The Dalai Lama says so“)

In the western context, he might well be referring to Hillary Clinton too when he said that since she can be seen as an epitome of a western woman who has made tremendous impact in addressing issues of abuse and inequality around the world.

“And maybe I’m dreaming, but the world needs Hillary not only to get herself “untired,” but in the next chapter of her life to become a role model for the idea that one can both be untired and successful.

Who better to lead the redefining success charge? “She’s the most important woman in America,” writes Michael Tomasky. “More: she is almost certainly the most important woman in all of our political history.” For an entire generation, she’s been the foremost example of the successful woman.”

(From “Redefining the meaning of success: Hillary Clinton’s next great challenge?“)

I think anyone can also be an inspiration in whatever capacity they are in. As a saying goes, one does not need to be a president (or prime minister or Secretary of State etc) to change the world – it all starts with the power of one, and it happens one person at a time too, according to Mother Teresa’s philosophy.

Hillary Clinton: Women’s progress is human progress

As Hillary Clinton shared in the above video, while much progress has been made to empower women and reinstate their full rights for voting, education, healthcare, holding prominent offices and starting businesses, there is still a long way to go in many places.

This article reinforces her message that ensuring women’s rights will further human progress.

“Women also foster global security. What data exists, shows that women make unique contributions during peace negotiations, then afterward, they help bring peace agreements to life at the community level, noted U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in remarks at the conference.

The United Nations Development Program’s “Human Development Report” shows how elevating the status of women in developing countries can deliver returns for the entire society. The report shows, Clinton noted, that inequality between men and women can reduce a country’s overall progress in health, education, and standard of living by up to 85 percent.”

(From “Women can’t count if they aren’t counted“)

I think and hope more is being done to address the problem of inequality around the world, and it is good that Hillary Clinton is contributing towards creating greater awareness so that more people can take appropriate actions to fight for women’s rights for our common good.

Update (9 Feb 2013)

Incidentally, I came across this blog entitled “ARE YOU RISING????? (A Call to all Women and Men)” in my WordPress reader, which calls for people around the world to rise up and take actions to address the issue of violence against women.

I learnt that there is a movement called “One Billion Rising” – here’s their website. I think it is good that this movement is helping to raise awareness and show support for the protection and well-being of women.

About One Billion Rising

ONE IN THREE WOMEN ON THE PLANET WILL BE RAPED OR BEATEN IN HER LIFETIME.*

ONE BILLION WOMEN VIOLATED IS AN ATROCITY

ONE BILLION WOMEN DANCING IS A REVOLUTION

On V-Day’s 15th Anniversary, 14 February 2013, we are inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers, our solidarity across borders.

What does ONE BILLION look like? On 14 February 2013, it will look like a REVOLUTION.

ONE BILLION RISING IS:

A global strike
An invitation to dance
A call to men and women to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture ends
An act of solidarity, demonstrating to women the commonality of their struggles and their power in numbers
A refusal to accept violence against women and girls as a given
A new time and a new way of being”

(From “About One Billion Rising“)

Posted in Equality, Gender issues, Psychology

Addressing the issue of objectifying women

20130109-225348.jpg

I have read the article “Women And Objectification: Brain Sees Men As Whole, Women In Parts (STUDY)“, and I noted that research findings suggest that the human brain (of both genders) appears to be wired to process images of women in parts rather than in whole, and the mass media has capitalised on this neuro-biological phenomenon to exploit images of women for profits at their expense, which is unfortunate.

As the article noted:

There could be evolutionary reasons that men and women process female bodies differently, Gervais said, but because both genders do it, “the media is probably a prime suspect.”

(From: “Women And Objectification: Brain Sees Men As Whole, Women In Parts (STUDY)“)

This exploitation of images of women in the mass media may perpetuate or accentuate the objectification of women in modern societies. Hence, unless men are taught to respect women for who they are intrinsically instead of discriminating them or objectifying them based on their appearance, they will continue to be sexist towards women.

I also think that in some traditional societies where both men and women wear few or no clothes, there are few or no crimes of rape or molest because the culture of respect and dignity is ingrained in the indigenous people since young over the generations. I think men in modern societies can also learn from these ancient cultures and be respectful towards women, and recognising their intrinsic value and worth as fellow human beings and fellow children of God/Universe/Great Spirit.

Women traditionally played a central role within the Aboriginal family, within Aboriginal government and in spiritual ceremonies. Men and women enjoyed considerable personal autonomy and both performed functions vital to the survival of Aboriginal communities. The men were responsible for providing food, shelter and clothing. Women were responsible for the domestic sphere and were viewed as both life-givers and the caretakers of life. As a result, women were responsible for the early socialization of children.

Traditional Aboriginal society experienced very little family breakdown. Husbands and wives were expected to respect and honour one another, and to care for one another with honesty and kindness. In matriarchal societies, such as of the Mohawk, women were honoured for their wisdom and vision. Aboriginal men also respected women for the sacred gifts which they believed the Creator had given to them.1

In Aboriginal teachings, passed on through the oral histories of the Aboriginal people of this province from generation to generation, Aboriginal men and women were equal in power and each had autonomy within their personal lives.

(From “Chapter 13 – Aboriginal Women” of “The justice system and aboriginal people”)

Posted in Gender issues, Philosophy

Feminism is about equal rights

I agree with the balanced view presented by the speaker, in that everyone has equal rights, both men and women. I suppose some feminist movements went to the other extreme by hating men and treating the opposite gender as inferior. So, it all boils down to having a basic respect for all peoples and not putting down one another, regardless of gender.