Teach The Men and Boys . . .

“First and foremost, violence against women and girls, one of the most blatant and widespread abuses of human rights, must be eradicated. Violence has been a fact of life for many women throughout the world, regardless of race, class, or educational background. In many societies, traditional beliefs that women are inferior or a burden make them easy targets of anger and frustration. Even strong legal remedies and enforcement mechanisms will have little effect until they are supported by a transformation in the attitudes of men. Women will not be safe until a new social conscience takes hold, one which will make the mere expression of condescending attitudes towards women, let alone any form of physical violence, a cause for deep shame.”

Bahá’í International Community, 1995 Oct, Turning Point For All Nations

“They have been trained, with all means, and literally conditioned into resolving conflicts in a violent way. Through their parents and most of the adults in their life they have learned that the strongest prevail and that to use your power over the weaker is the way to proceed in life.”

From: In Search of Meaning Blog

“If a woman has done everything in her power to reduce her risk, then a man who has the proclivity for abuse or need for power will just move on to another woman or target,” Katz added. “It’s about the guy and his need to assert his power. And it’s not just individual men, it’s a cultural problem. Our culture is producing violent men, and violence against women has become institutionalized. We need to take a step back and examine the institutionalized polices drafted by men that perpetuate the problem.”

From: Jackson Katz: Violence Against Women Is a Men’s Issue

Video of Mr. Katz

COMMENTS PLEASE !


A Woman’s Bravery . . .

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Bushra Jamil

Winner of the Ida B. Wells Award
for Bravery in Journalism

Women’s e-News Video of the Presentation

From the OneWorld.Net story From Baghdad With Love:

“Former teacher Bushra Jamil returned to Iraq in 2003 to start the country’s first progressive radio station for women, which has flourished over the years despite the constant threat of violence and government opposition.


• Radio Al-Mahaba is the first radio station in Iraq designed for and by women.
• The station is credited with reaching out to and connecting women from all walks of life.
• Jamil has been commended with several congressional and journalism awards for her efforts.

“In Baghdad right now, refrigerators, electric stoves, heaters, air conditioners, televisions, and computers operate for one or two hours on a good day. There are plenty of days when it isn’t safe to go outside to shop or work or visit neighbors. And even when there’s light to read, Iraqi sources estimate that as many as 75% of women in Iraq are illiterate—a rate that has grown steadily over the past 10 years of warfare and civil strife. Here and in the rest of Iraq, people count on transistor radios for news and entertainment, to lift their spirits and to let them know what’s happening in the world….

“The station sees its mission as ‘contributing to the establishment of a secular democratic society where all are equally treated and their rights are protected by law… and as joining Iraqis with love, kinship, commitment, respect, and most important, cumulative knowledge.’ In an NPR interview, Jamil gave one small example of how that works in practice. ‘On our legal program, a woman called crying because her husband beat her. She had children and no job, and didn’t know how she could get by without him.’ The next caller and the one after that both asked the host to pass their numbers on to the first, so they could share experience and support.”

The Girl Effect . . .

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Both images (the same person) are from National Geographic. The one on the left taken in 1984, the right in 2002, in Afghanistan.

The woman was interviewed in 2002. Here’s an excerpt:

Had she ever felt safe?

“No. But life under the Taliban was better. At least there was peace and order.”

Had she ever seen the photograph of herself as a girl?

“No.”

She can write her name, but cannot read. She harbors the hope of education for her children. “I want my daughters to have skills,” she said. “I wanted to finish school but could not. I was sorry when I had to leave.”

Education, it is said, is the light in the eye. There is no such light for her. It is possibly too late for her 13-year-old daughter as well, Sharbat Gula said. The two younger daughters still have a chance.

This is a story repeated far too often in our world but there is strong reason for hope!

One among many reasons for hope is a site called The Girl Effect and I can’t urge you strongly enough to click that link and at least watch the really awesome video !

Here is a PDF file of their Fact Sheet and here’s an excerpt from that Fact Sheet:

The Ripple Effect

• When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children.

• An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25 percent.

• Research in developing countries has shown a consistent relationship between better infant and child health and higher levels of schooling among mothers.

• When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.

Population Trends
• Today, more than 600 million girls live in the developing world.

Girls Count !

Here are two videos from their site:

19-year-old Shumi from Bangladesh

18-year-old Addis from Ethiopia

“The world of humanity has two wings — one is women and the other men. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible. Not until the world of women becomes equal to the world of men in the acquisition of virtues and perfections, can success and prosperity be attained as they ought to be.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 288

As long as women are prevented from attaining their highest possibilities, so long will men be unable to achieve the greatness which might be theirs.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 133

Woman / Man / Art

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I found a wonderful site, Scribd, that lets you up and download documents.

I cruised around, uploaded five documents of my own, and ended up at a Shakespeare area. I immediately remembered my spiritual pleasure when I read Venus and Adonis, an epic poem.

The introduction starts this way (it was the 16th Century):

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE HENRY WRIOTHESLEY,
EARL OF SOUHAMPTON, AND BARON OF TICHFIELD.
RIGHT HONOURABLE,
I know not how I shall offend in dedicating my unpolished lines
to your lordship, nor how the world will censure me for choosing
so strong a prop to support so weak a burthen: only, if your
honour seem but pleased, I account myself highly praised, and vow
to take advantage of all idle hours, till I have honoured you
with some graver labour.

And this was a man who began this work with these splendid words:

EVEN as the sun with purple-colour’d face
Had ta’en his last leave of the weeping morn,
Rose-cheek’d Adonis tried him to the chase;
Hunting he lov’d, but love he laugh’d to scorn;
Sick-thoughted Venus makes amain unto him,
And like a bold-fac’d suitor ‘gins to woo him.

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Another very strong woman I’m familiar with is Táhirih.

Here’s some of what Wikipedia has to say about her:

While in Karbala in Iraq, Táhirih started teaching her new faith. After some of the Shi`ah clergy complained, the government moved her to Baghdad.[3] There she started giving public statements teaching the new faith, and challenging and debating issues with the Shi’a clergy. At this point the authorities in Baghdad argued with the Governor that since Táhirih was Persian she should instead be arguing her case in Iran, and the authorities escorted Táhirih and a number of other Bábís out of Baghdad to the Persian border….

After the Báb’s arrest in 1848, Bahá’u’lláh made arrangements for Táhirih to leave Tehran and attend a conference of Bábí leaders in Badasht. She is perhaps best remembered for appearing in public without her veil….

She was in her early to mid 30’s and was killed in the garden of Ilkhani in Tehran. A prominent Bábí, and subsequently Bahá’í, historian cites the wife of an officer who had the chance to know her that she was strangled by a drunken officer of the government with her own veil which she had chosen for her anticipated martyrdom. Afterwards her body was thrown into a well located in the garden.[5] One of her most notable quotes is her final utterance,

“You can kill me as soon as you like,

but you cannot stop the emancipation of women.”

What’s The Meaning of Life ?

Here are quotes from some of the major Faith traditions concerning

our purpose and the meaning of our lives.

DISCLAIMER:

“The truth is that all mankind are the creatures and servants of one God, and in His estimate all are human. Man is a generic term applying to all humanity. The biblical statement “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” does not mean that woman was not created. The image and likeness of God apply to her as well. In Persian and Arabic there are two distinct words translated into English as man: one meaning man and woman collectively, the other distinguishing man as male from woman the female. The first word and its pronoun are generic, collective; the other is restricted to the male. This is the same in Hebrew.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 76

“Having created the world and all that liveth and moveth therein, He, through the direct operation of His unconstrained and sovereign Will, chose to confer upon man the unique distinction and capacity to know Him and to love Him—a capacity that must needs be regarded as the generating impulse and the primary purpose underlying the whole of creation…. Upon the inmost reality of each and every created thing He hath shed the light of one of His names, and made it a recipient of the glory of one of His attributes. Upon the reality of man, however, He hath focused the radiance of all of His names and attributes, and made it a mirror of His own Self. Alone of all created things man hath been singled out for so great a favor, so enduring a bounty.

Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 65

“There is an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed. If there were not this Unborn, this Unoriginated, this Uncreated, this Unformed, escape from the world of the born, the originated, the created, the formed, would not be possible.”

“But since there is an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed, therefore is escape possible from the world of the born, the originated, the created, the formed.”

The Eightfold Path, Buddha, the Word

“…lo! my infancy died long since, and I live. But Thou, Lord, who for ever livest, and in whom nothing dies: for before the foundation of the worlds, and before all that can be called ‘before’, Thou art, and art God and Lord of all which Thou hast created: in Thee abide, fixed for ever, the first causes of all things unabiding; and of all things changeable, the springs abide in Thee unchangeable: and in Thee live the eternal reasons of all things unreasoning and temporal.”

Confessions of St Augustine, Book 1

“The Lord of creatures (Pragapati) created this whole (world to be) the sustenance of the vital spirit; both the immovable and the movable (creation is) the food of the vital spirit.”

Hindu, Laws of Manu

“I heard that an oppressor ruined the habitations of the subjects to fill the treasury of the sultan, unmindful of the maxim of philosophers, who have said: ‘Who offends God the most high to gain the heart of a created being, God will use that very being to bring on his destruction in the world.'”

“Fire burning with wild rue will not
Cause a smoke like that of afflicted hearts.”

Islamic Miscellaneous, Gulistan of Sa’di (Edwin Arnold tr)

Naked in Eden

Robin Easton: Author . Speaker . Environmentalist . Musician . Adventurer

I’ve done, as a man, many things “only” women do: cry, have deep concerns, love flowers, hug trees, and leave my ego behind to relate to children…

Robin Easton, as a woman, does many things “only” men do…

“Ere long the days shall come when the men addressing the women, shall say: ‘Blessed are ye! Blessed are ye! Verily ye are worthy of every gift. Verily ye deserve to adorn your heads with the crown of everlasting glory, because in sciences and arts, in virtues and perfections ye shall become equal to man, and as regards tenderness of heart and the abundance of mercy and sympathy ye are superior’.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 182

Here’s the link to her blog.

Check out her Immense Spirit !!!