There Was 1 White Masai Woman, The Rest are Black

June 17, 2012

We’ve all been somewhat educated about Imperialism in Africa. In non other than History class which is ironic in and of itself seeing as we are still putting up puppet leaders, funding wars, controlling resources and attempting to westernize them.

Several years ago I happened upon Corinne Hofmann’s book The White Masai. It told her story- the story of a Swiss woman that had followed her Masai lover into the bush.

While we invest so much in modernizing Africa, when it comes to the bush-tribes, we’ve (relatively) chosen to leave them alone. Is it perhaps because the main sufferers are women?

Masai women are raped on a daily basis (according to western definition and law). They don’t have any remote chance at education, equal opportunity or decision making within their tribe, let alone within the country they live in.

Was imperialism not entirely in the wrong and, more importantly, should we perhaps bring some form of it back (publicly, admittedly), to those specific places where ancient practices blatantly come at the expense of women’s basic human rights (as defined by the united nations)?

You may wonder why I’m already jumping at the western world and not initially claiming we should encourage their local governments to get involved. My argument rests on the fact that though in some countries (Liberia is a prime example) women are making advancements, those are women from the big cities, women from villages where modernizations’ grasp has reached. Not bush-women.

Women in the western world have gained more power than women in Africa, as a whole. We have more say in our politics than they do. Dumping this responsibility on African governments is bound to produce (if at all) results that wouldn’t come anywhere near our definition of basic women’s rights. Not anytime in the near or distant future.

Which in my opinion leaves it up to us. Bringing back the dilemma of whether this would be ‘moral’ according to our western moral codes of conduct.

I tend to always go with helping every single woman on the planet. Even when it comes at the expense of cultural identity, because in a vast majority, this cultural identity was developed and promoted by men that always held the upper hand (literally).

Islamic women are finding a way to gain their rights within Islamic culture, as are religious Jewish women within Judaism.

It’s time to interfere, send in the ‘morality army’ and save these women.

Right Now.

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ProLife*

March 6, 2011

*see next post for clarification on human-made exceptions to the wisdom of god

Blood Money: The Business of Abortion is a documentary that came out last year by a “Pro-Life’ advocacy group. The movie is narrated/guided by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece.

There we have it: a black woman, Dr. King’s niece, descendant to a long line of black women that were most likely raped by their white masters and forced to have their children, dedicating her life to, um, I’m not gonna say bullshit cause that’s not very intellectual of me. So instead I’ll go with crap.

Here’s what she managed to come up with in the 15 minutes I survived watching (the movie is an hour and a half btw, I dare anyone to watch it full length):

(1) the opening argument: “as far back as the 1860’s doctors announced that life begins at conception”. Well, up until 50 years before that some scientists were still quoting Aristotle’s theory of spontaneous conception. I guess this was progress? I guess it stopped there.

(2) She goes on by introducing random people (with no degree in medicine, or anything related to science for that matter) that tell us: “its definitely not the woman’s body then, the embryo is a separate human being”. I guess the term “embryo” is unnecessary. It’s those damn liberals and their “embryo” propaganda!

(3) The next moment of genius quickly presents itself in the form of consecutive interviews that contradict each other: one minute some guy is telling me that whoever doesn’t know when life begins biologically is ignorant because the science is there, while the guy after him explains why the courts should never rule on the matter because no one knows when life begins. Yes folks, these are the same people that base their entire life-style and moral-code on an invisible force that they claim doesn’t need to be scientifically proven to exist in order to believe in it.

(4) Next in line is another pearl from the niece and a mustached friend of hers: “The court gave women a right that had never existed”, “if you compare at the earliest stage, the mother’s and the embryo’s DNA, you’d see that they are 2 different individuals”. Interesting to hear a woman proudly claim that she never had, nor wished to have, any right to her own body. not to mention the genius mustache man that seems to have read up on his biology, however apparently got caught up in the first page and never made it to the second one mentioning that since embryo’s can’t order take out, they rely on their different DNA’d mothers for existence.

(5) A random pearl: “why do our representatives ignore something that is so obvious to science? in my view, they would be admitting to the slaughter of 50 million lives. ” Ya well, those are the politicians. Doing everything they can to stop this 50 million baby genocide from reaching the front page.

(6) Wait! I have a question: what’s the difference between a malignant tumor that is independant and feeds off its mother and an embryo that is an independant entity that feeds off its mother? how come its ok to “abort” tumors”? Maybe we should only do it in men. (Just a thought).

(7) Hold it! I have another query: if you’re already going so far as to not only call them humans, but to call them “children”, then why don’t we have preschool classes for them? don’t they deserve an education?

(8) And finally, 30 seconds before I gave up, in comes Ronald Reagan: “up until the point it’s proven that it is not a human being, its right to the pursuit of happiness must be protected”. I’m sorry, did I just hear what I think I heard!?! the right of an embryo to pursue its happiness? Suddenly, I’m intrigued! Does Mr. Reagan have secret neuroscience research information that hasn’t yet been shared with the world? Well, it’s been 30 years since that quote, and I’m still waiting…


When Vaginas Are Politicized

January 25, 2011

22 year old Palestinian man from East Jerusalem has been indicted of either rape (in the Hebrew version)  or sexual assault (in the English version)- but, as you can see, the “main” crime he was indicted for, is apparently not the main issue. Not for the media, and better yet- not for the court of law.

Thus goes the article:

According to the charge sheet, Abu Zabarg pretended to be a Jewish 19-year-old named Amir. He allegedly sexually assaulted the girl on several occasions in his car and in hotel rooms.

So, before even accusing this man of sexual assault/rape, he is accused of impersonating a Jew. Something, that in the state of Israel, apparently takes precedent over sex crimes against women.

And this is yet another case, in which Israeli women rights are shoved aside, in order to advance government policy that dictates doing anything and everything to paint anyone that is not a white Jew as an enemy of the state and of the people.

Of course, this case is reminiscent of the demonstrations held just a few weeks back in the Israeli city of Bat Yam, in which white Jewish men stood from both sides of the street and yelled at each other who they think Jewish women should be allowed to date. It’s of course ‘understandable’ why the religious guys were there, but why was the Israeli Left there? Because, once again, it was an opportunity to shove aside women and belittle them in order to make a political point.

(Let it be noted, that had those religious Jews said “Non-Jewish Italians” instead of “Arabs”, I remain skeptical as to whether the Left would have gotten off the couch for that).

Speaking of these cases, this reminds me of the the Transportation Ministry recently being taken to court, over a decision to force women to sit at the back of the bus, since religious men don’t agree for them to sit up front. What does the court do? Say that it’s technically not legal, so they can’t officially approve of this by law, but no worries! They made up for it by stating that even though it isn’t legally Kosher, they officially recommend that be the course of action, and that women should willingly sit at the back of the bus.

On some buses, not only are women sitting in the back, they are sitting behind shower curtains separating them from the men up front.

Women Rights in Israel? I think not.


“My Mother with Her Hands as Knives”

January 22, 2011

Eve Ensler, an activist (among other things), famous for “The Vagina Monologues”, published in 2007 a compilation of stories titled: A Memory, A Rant, and a Prayer, which I am currently reading.

Last night I read one of the most disturbing, beautiful, sad, and inspiring true story I have ever read.

I found it online and have pasted it into here with the introduction explaining the background.

My Mother with Her Hands as Knives/ Dave Eggers

In researching WHAT IS THE WHAT, my book about the life of Valentino Achak Deng, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, I traveled with Valentino back to his hometown of Marial Bai, in 2003. There we located his family, whom Valentino had not seen in seventeen years. While in Sudan, I interviewed many women who as young girls had been abducted by militiamen—the same militias who now plague Darfur—and who had been forced to act as servants and concubines in the households of military officers in the north of Sudan. That prompted more research into the experiences of Sudanese women.

The passage below, which was cut from WHAT IS THE WHAT, is an account from a young woman shortly after she was freed. In this passage, I framed her story as if she were telling it to Valentino while they were both living at Kakuma, a refugee camp in northwest Kenya. Because this passage was cut at an early stage of the book, it’s a bit rougher than it might otherwise be.

I was born in Wunrok, in southern Sudan. When my mother was young she was blessed by great fertility. She gave birth to twenty babies, and I was the sixteenth. Most are gone now.
Our father was a successful farmer. He kept 180 head of cattle and raised groundnuts, sorghum, maize, okra, and sesame. There was plenty to feed us, and he traded the rest for luxuries
like mattresses and dresses. When I was very small I had a doll made in China. You know how rare something like that is, Valentino.
In 1983 the war was on and the militias, the murahaleen, came. I was one or two years old, so I remember none of this. The Arabs killed twenty men, including my uncle, my father’s brother. They took most of my father’s cattle and kidnapped three of my siblings—two brothers, five and seven, and one sister, who was eight. I don’t really remember them, just as you said you do not remember your older siblings, Valentino. There were four of us left, all under five except my brother Jok, who had escaped the murahaleen by hiding in the river. He had used a pole to breathe. I don’t know where he learned to do that. When he got home from the river, my mother sent him with the walking boys, like you. She wanted him to be safe and to study in Ethiopia.
Our family moved to Panthou, where there was no SPLA. My father thought we’d be safer there; for a time we were, and my mother was blessed with more children. In 1986, the murahaleen
came again, this time taking my two eldest sisters. They killed another uncle, my mother’s brother, as he tried to defend the family. He threw a spear at one of the Arabs, and the Arabs cut off each of his limbs one by one, and then threw him on a fire. Everyone in the village could hear him screaming. They threw his limbs down the well, poisoning all the water for the village.
My sisters were gone and my father was furious. My father then did something unusual. He followed the murahaleen. He took his spear and all the money we had and he went north, because he knew that very often the murahaleen didn’t travel fast, because they liked to make the Dinka slaves walk.
My father spent a year in the North. He went as far as Khartoum, looking on the streets and in the peace camps for my sisters. He returned a year later, and when he did, he seemed defeated. It appeared that he had aged ten years in one. He spoke to no one. He wouldn’t eat. He had been a prominent man and now he was so skinny he looked like a boy, in his body, though his face was so very old. He died two weeks after coming home.
After my father died, there were five of us left, all girls. My mother used to lament having so many girls. We couldn’t defend ourselves. Panthou was raided four more times as we lived there. We worked the farm with help from boys in the town who had been orphaned. Then the Nuer raided. It was very strange, because we didn’t know to fear them.

But they arrived one day and they raped many of the women and took all they could carry. I hid in a hole under a tree. In 1988 the murahaleen came again. They came straight to our home, three men on horses. They wore white and approached our mother silently. We were hidden among the livestock and they entered the hut as if they knew where we were. This is how they took my sisters and me. Five of us. They told my mother that they had been told by Bashir that all Dinka girls
were to be impregnated with Muslim babies and they were doing their duty. My mother asked them if they intended to rape us there and then. The man said that no, we would be impregnated
on a proper bed, and that the babies would be brought up with the civilization only Islam could provide. They tied our hands and tied us to one another and we waited in a cattle pen until the
next morning, when they were to take us north. My mother came to us that night as we waited with eleven other girls. “I will come to get you girls. Just be patient. I will see you soon and bring you home.”
In the morning we were walked out of the village on the main road. Most of the men had ridden ahead and we were guarded by five young men on horseback. They poked us with their swords when we walked too slowly. When we stopped to rest and for water, they insisted that we show them our genitals. They told us that we would soon be freed of the sinful parts of our genitals that made all of the Dinka licentious. Otherwise they didn’t touch us, and every hour they did not touch us I thanked God.
After four days we stopped at an Arab town, and we were brought into a building that was cool and dark. It was a school. There were desks and chalkboards. We were seated on the floor and left there for half a day. We heard the activity of the town; everything seemed very normal. Sometimes an Arab boy would peek through a window at us and hold his fist up to us or spit on the window.
Men were brought into the school, escorted by one of the young Arabs who had kidnapped us. The men would confer, and twice they left with one of the girls. We didn’t see them pay the kidnappers. But soon there were only fourteen of us. My sisters and I stayed close and argued over the best strategy. We had been told that the Arabs liked to split families, for fear that siblings would conspire against them, so we worried that they would see us together and guess we were related. In the end we split into two pairs.
At the end of the day there were no more visitors. We did not eat that day. We slept there, on the floor, with our heads rested on one another’s thighs and stomachs. In the morning we were made to walk again. There were thirteen of us now. I don’t know what happened to the youngest girl. She was taken as we slept I guess.
We walked for four hours that morning, tied together in a line, following the Arabs on their horses. It was very hot that day, and one girl was very sick, very weak. She could not walk, so she was thrown onto one of the horses and we continued. Late in the day, the Arabs began to trot their horses, to make us go faster. I think they needed to reach a certain town by nightfall, so the pace was now faster. After some time at this pace, when the day was very hot and we were feeling faint, I heard a voice. The voice said “Stop.” The voice was very distant. I turned and saw a figure running to us. It was a Dinka woman, we could tell; her face was uncovered. “Stop!” the woman said again and again, as she ran to us. The Arabs stopped and everyone turned around. The Dinka woman came closer. She ran like my mother ran, with her hands very straight like knives. She ran closer and it was her. The woman was my mother. She had been following our trail. Our stay in that trading town had allowed her to catch up. She yelled at the men. “Give me these girls!” She pointed to us and she wept. “You have taken four others. Four of my children are gone. My husband died looking for them.” The Arabs sat on their horses and said nothing. They were very young, these men. They looked at one another, and then one of them turned. Then they all turned and started their horses again. We walked again, too. She was not finished. She walked with us. She began to walk next to my sisters and me. She said nothing; she only walked while holding our hands, becoming part of our group. She walked for an hour before the men realized she was still with us.
One of them turned and saw her. Then they all began to talk loudly to one another and then to her. My mother spoke some Arabic and she told them that she would continue to walk wherever we went. She held on to the rope that bound us all and said that she was part of the rope now. She said she would walk as we walked, and would always be with us, unless they killed her. One of the men went for his sword but he was restrained. One man, who looked like the youngest, got off his horse and cut the rope. We were the last five on the rope. He cut it and kicked my mother in the stomach. He got on his horse and spit in our direction and then the group walked on without us. They were finished with us. “Fuck them!” they all said and rode off. We ran in the other direction. My mother led us, running with her knife hands. We got off the road and ran through the grass and we slept in holes as we traveled back to the South. We ran for two more days until we saw our village again.

The day we returned, it rained heavier than I have seen in many years and this was God crying with joy. He cried and cried for us, for a full day he cried while my mother danced and sang and ran around the village like she was possessed.

 

**Another beautiful story I warmly recommend is “Dear Ama” (p.24)**


Dear Danny Ayalon

January 6, 2011

Dear Mr. Ayalon,

I am Jewish, Israeli, former IDF soldier, bituach leumi payer.

I have visited Gamla, Mesada and Tel-Hai, planted trees with Kakal, volunteered with Magen David Adom , Yad Sara and Variety.

I have repeatedly sung the national anthem in public, have worried over the fate of Gilad Shalit and participated in Memorial Day gatherings.

I have put on my gas mask when you asked, ridden the bus in hard times because you wanted to show the world we are not afraid and have spread Shlomo Artzi’s music worldwide.

Does this, in your eyes, grant me permission to speak about MY country?

Are you, a grown educated man, capable of understanding that this is also MY country? That I have the same right to it that you and residents of Efrat and Tekoa have to it?

The feeling the government you’re serving gives me is that of abusing me, first and foremost because I am a woman.
You label me as Jewish in my ID, without asking. You draft me to your army. You tax me. You count me as Jewish in your national census. All because it serves your purpose of strengthening the Jewish Majority in Israel. Yet:

  • when it comes to my right to freedom of movement in Jerusalem- you don’t fight for me
  • when it comes to my right to be elected to parliament- you sit in a coalition with parties that deny me that right
  • when it comes to securing my safety, both social and economic- you install a rapist president and show no interest in my salary

I am ashamed of you Sir. Of you, and of your entire government.

You can continue to abuse all groups of society in favor of your Jewish State, but to the point where you are abusing Jewish women? At this point, the privilege the Jewish-Israeli Public has installed in you, the one that enables you to rationalize every action you do for the sole purpose of maintaining a Jewish state, is revoked. Because a Jewish state includes me too. Not just you and the rest of your male-chauvinist-power-hungry-Jewish-men that can’t recite the ten commandments to save their life.

Have you no respect for your wife or daughters? Have you no respect for you mother, grandmother or sisters? Have you no respect for more than half of the population whose welfare and representation you are responsible for?

I will fight for my dignity. Even, and especially if it means exposing your inherent Chauvinism and immorality. I have paid the price long enough.


New-Age Feminism as Modeled by Dog

December 26, 2010

This is Puszika.

She’s a Hungarian Mutt.

She understands all the doggy commands in English, Hungarian, Norwegian, Hebrew and Arabic.

She’s talented as can be seen Here.

She’s blind.

And she’s black.

For all these reasons, I find her the best possible representative for new-age feminism:

  • speaks many languages of the women of the world
  • is a mutt of women needs from all over the globe
  • sometimes its black (though usually not Hungarian!)
  • and most importantly- it’s blind. can’t see a thing. can’t help itself but put on a T-shirt with an old-school slogan and sit in it waiting for something to happen.

Ms. Steinem- You Fell Into The Trap

December 18, 2010

I’m about to argue that women figures like Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan and their likes, contrary to popular opinion, were and still are a huge setback for the women’s movement.

No, I’m not the feminist Antichrist, I’m the new generation attempting to point out where I think things went wrong.

Most respectable universities today offer courses in “Women’s Studies“.

What are these mysterious courses? Courses that have become so inherently popular not with society as a whole, but mainly and only with feminists.

Must I hold a degree in women’s studies in order to become a full-fledged feminist? Will this degree help me better explain to women in the work place that they are being mistreated (as if they don’t already notice it these days)? Will it change the image of women in the media?

And anyway, was being born with 2 X chromosomes not enough for my brain to realize it was that of a female? Will “women’s studies” help my ovaries secrete more estrogen? Or perhaps enforce my menstrual cycle? And enforce the women-spirit that’s within me?

See, for me, the idea and ideology of Feminism isn’t theoretical. It’s not something to write a masters about. It’s an act. The act of seeking equality for me and for the women around me.

Being a feminist isn’t knowing Elizabeth Blackwell‘s biography, it’s striving to become the next one. Something I’m obviously not going to be able to do if I’m busy reading how many kids Elizabeth Cady Stanton had and why regardless of that she was still a feminist.

Someone’s going to have to explain to me how spending my life analysing how men treat women, how they put them down, how women put themseleves down, how we’re portrayed in commercials, etc. contributes to my active search for equality in my surroundings.

Now, if those spending their time on this were men and women that didn’t realize the importance of women’s equality, I would say we’re making progress. But when the majority of people investing their time in these courses are feminist-declared women and men that believe in equal rights and understand there’s something wrong with the way society treats its women- I think we’re wasting valuable intelligence.

Breaking News Alert!

B.A’s, M.A’s, PhD’s, books, articles, movies, songs and slogans in women’s studies aren’t going to strengthen women working in male-majority workplaces and they’re not going to change the image of women in commercials.

Writing about integration and equal pay doesn’t add more female doctors to the hospital staff and doesn’t add money to their paychecks.

You! Yes you, young woman in the “women’s studies” dept. of whichever university it is you’re going to- you are setting the worst possible example for my sisters. You are teaching them to spend their life complaining, talking, doing all those passive-yet-still-rather-graceful things that are so stereotypically female- you fell into the male-set trap my darlings.

You think the existence of a women’s studies course means we won? means we got men to see the rightness of our chosen path? Wake up call!

I thought we were fighting for our right to become engineers, not for our right to write PhD’s about it.

If all you “PhD feminists” invested your time in getting a job, forming women’s unions and fighting for your rights and for your co-workers’ rights, you would achieve a whole lot more than if all of us went to count the number of cents that are wrongly missing in other women’s paychecks.

If u don’t set the example for women to become engineers, you’ll soon have no female engineers to be able to complain about being mistreated.

Somewhere in the last 50 years you forgot to go out and fight for equality and instead, sat down to write a book about it.

That’s when you lost the battle, for all of us.