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.

Advertisements

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.


The Case For Climate Change 3 (Last)

January 21, 2011

(The third and LAST in a series of posts, the first can be found Here, the second Here)

Originally, “The Case For Climate Change” series, was intended to be a thorough debate.

In this post I was going to talk about practical solutions to Global Warming (such as deforestation).

BUT, after watching a 20 minute lecture on TED-Women, given by Naomi Klein, I have decided to end the series with this:

a recommendation to sit down with a cup of tea, relax, and watch THESE 19 minutes.

If this doesn’t do it for you, go back to watching FOX-news or to reading the newest on NASDAQ. I’ll probably be meeting you sometime soon in the hospital, totally confused as to why you have cancer, even if you never smoked.


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.


#HumanityFail

December 29, 2010

Post-WW2, Baby-Israel was born as a Jewish and Democratic state. Why was it declared Jewish? For 2 reasons:

(1) Advertising– if you wouldn’t call it Jewish, maybe not all the Jews would realize this is where they need to go and some might end up in NY or Toronto by mistake. NYJewsFail.

(2) “Ghetto Syndrome”– sticking together as a unified Jewish entity. Creating our own Ghetto, on our own terms and with a standing army so that no one can ration our food for us. USAidFail.

But then, why was it also defined as democratic? Judaism is a moral religion, is it not? It has values and principles we’ve been living by for centuries. Democracies are loosely based on the ten-commandment pattern anyway, why did we need to define ourselves as an official democracy?

Starts with an M. Mo. Mon. Money makes the world go round. Or, in this case, money makes Baby-Israel settle. Would the United Sates and the League of Nations have financially supported Baby-Israel’s existence had it declared itself a Jewish Theocracy? I don’t think so. I could be wrong, they were feeling mighty guilty back then, who knows. Maybe we should have declared ourselves a Banana Republic and waited to see the reaction. Just think, we could have been a Banana Republic!

So anyways, we end up in 1948, (post secret-local-population maneuvers and re-settling) with a state that has conflicting interests. And for no reason!

Had Israel declared itself a Reform Jewish state or even a Conservative Jewish state, the distance between religion and democracy wouldn’t have been unbridgeable, it would have been like the Gibraltar crossing- long, yet still possible. But Baby-Israel went ahead and declared itself an Orthodox Jewish state. That’s right, Orthodox- the one stream of Judaism that cancels out almost all major democratic principles: Freedom of Movement, Freedom Of Choice, Freedom regardless of gender or ethnicity. Those people actually believe that god pointed a finger at Moses and said “you are the chosen ones, you’re better, you’re worth more, you deserve more, you should take more”.

And we’re back in the 21st century. With the Israeli Right Wing being very straight forward and honest and saying ‘look, we want to continue being a Jewish state (even though hundreds of thousands of us aren’t actually considered Jews by that state, small potatoes), in order for that to happen there needs to be maintained a Jewish majority, and in order for that to happen we have to distinguish different rights to different people.’ Racist, but honest. Restepca.

Then we have the Zionist Israeli Left. Those Arab lovers that want equal rights for all, but whom simultaneously declare their support for Israel as a Jewish state. And for Israel to be a Jewish state it must maintain a Jewish majority. And for Israel to maintain a Jewish majority it must distinguish between its Jewish and Non-Jewish citizens. LogicFail.

Now, in the name of  the ever-so-holy Jewish majority, Israel sacrifices the rights of its Arab minority (and other non-Jewish minorities) in order to maintain its Jewish identity. Just like Saudi Arabia sacrifices its women in order to maintain itself as an Islamic Patriarchy.

So you’re not an Arab-lover, why are these sacrifices still problematic? Because when it comes to sacrificing in the name of maintaining Israel’s Jewish identity, not only the Arabs are crapped on. Jewish women are being sacrificed as well. That means, that a MAJORITY of the JEWISH MAJORITY is being sacrificed in order to maintain a JEWISH MAJORITY. LogicFail2.

Israel has reached the point where, in order to uphold itself as a Jewish state, it feels it must sacrifice not only others, but even many of its much needed Jews. Jewish women are counted in the national census in order to maintain a majority, but aren’t afforded the same Freedom Of Movement (BackOfBusFail) or Freedom Of Speech (NoWomenInShasFail) as Jewish men.

In fact, the last group of people left in Israel to represent its Democratic character are White-Jewish-Men. This is the only group with democratic rights, and it’s using them to overwrite everyone else’s rights so that they can form a little religious dictatorship, in which they will continue to prevail as the strongest, only this time, with less public disturbances such as moving and talking women.

When rights can only be found for White-Jewish-Men, that’s what I call a HumanityFail.


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.


I Have The Right To Remain Silent

December 7, 2010

That’s it. That was my last right and I just used it up.

Which is why, this next post will be a silent one.

This is me, exercising the only right my Govt. advocates- my right to remain silent. In this world:

Women at the back of the bus.Tear gas kills kids. Men and children are in prison without charges. People refused building permits based on ethnicity. No equal pay. No transparency.  Individuals jailed for revealing information they didn’t steal and aren’t legally bound to. Protesters jailed for singing in support of peace in public gardens. Some can’t marry based on their religion. Religious men paid not to work. Bus company doesn’t accommodate handicapped because of rabbis. Men, Women and Children can’t visit family because of a wall. They also can’t leave their neighborhood. No public outcry. Zero accountability. Concentration camps for refugees. Deportation of kids based on religion. Funds cut for theater companies presenting shows that don’t fit in with govt. line.  Citizens not allowed to refer to historic events in their own cultural language. Citizens not allowed to criticize govt. Loyalty Oath to govt. as precondition for human rights.

Silence is golden. Which means you can count the value of silence in gold. But I prefer measuring the value of silence in bodies: Dead bodies as the result of silence, Suffering bodies as the result of silence, Living bodies that are silent.