Interesting article, lilithezine. I knew that Afghanistan frowned upon any efforts to expand women's rights, but didn't know they viewed them as blasphemous. With all the talk about how oppressive Islam is (whether exaggerated or not) to women, though, it doesn't sound too surprising.
What I found more interesting in your article, though, was the way you draw a direct correlation between how many female heads of state there are as a marker for how far we have come in securing women's rights in our culture.
Although I definitely feel as though the world could do with a more equal representation of the sexes, I'm not inclined to believe that such a correlation is logical. Think about it: What is the cornerstone to Democracy ... the power of the vote.
With suffrage well past us, isn't it our "fault" as to who is elected into office, as a mass of voters that is? Demographically, there are just as many women voters as there are male voters. So, women and men alike have the chance to vote women into office, don't they? Yet, we somehow continue to vote in males over females. Why is that?
You could argue that men don't believe that women are made for politics, or something to that extent. But what about all the women voters? They have the power to vote women into high offices, yet they still choose the men candidates.
Frankly, I believe that no candidate should ever be elected due to the ethnicity or gender. That's completely blind-sighted. That's why, as a citizen of the USA, I don't declare a political party that forces me to vote on party lines. It is simply irresponsible citizenship to vote that way. It is more important to look at a candidates history and stances on the matters that concern you most. If that means voting for a Republican when the Democratic candidate just doesn't hold up to your liberal standards, then that means voting for the Republican.
Nothing is so black and white that you can break it down to race or gender. Sure, their are struggles and privileges associated with both, but as the saying goes, "Actions speak louder than words."
Thanks for blogging on this, and for including links to other articles you have on the web. The article on Yahoo! banning Pro-Ana sites was well written, and left me in conflict. I mean, on one hand, I'm highly anti Pro-Ana and would love for the trend to fade into obscurity. On the other hand, as a democracy-minded sort, it has me cringing a little that Yahoo! would restrict free speech. They do this periodically with groups that focus on alternative sexual expressions as well.
2008-02-10 12:47:35 Posted by roguewriter ()
Sometimes it is all about degrees of censorship.
We censor things like pedophilia, rape, snuff, hate speeches, racist propaganda, etc. because we know they are harmful and promote violence and abuse.
Banning pro ana websites makes sense to me because it is also harmful to those who get into it.
If it was websites promoting suicide or terrorism we wouldn't be surprised if they were banned either.
It is basically a form of constructive censorship, and it is the only kind I see that actually makes sense.
With regards to voting however, I am in favour of legislative assemblies, no presidents or prime ministers, and equal numbers of female and male delegates who are elected to office. It would be basically be a two vote system where you have one vote for a male candidate and one for a female candidate.
Of course, some people would argue that we should also split things up by race and religion based on proportions, but those things are not finite. A person can be of mixed race or a person who has been raised with two or more religions they have somehow merged and now celebrate both traditions. So I see the need for equal representation for the sexes and I think a lot could be accomplished under such a system.
Getting rid of presidency is a whole other matter. Presidents feel too much like dictators and I would rather see governments ruled by the will of the people rather than one man or woman who managed to only sway 40% of the popular vote (thanks to vote splitting and multi-party systems).
I'm also in favour of getting rid of organized political parties. Too many people focus on whether someone is liberal or conservative and never bother to look at the person's election platform. They could be centrist or bi-partisan, it wouldn't matter. Vote for the person who makes sense, not for what their party is or what their party did in the past.
2008-02-10 13:27:20 Posted by Suzanne MacNevin ()
"Presidents feel too much like dictators and I would rather see governments ruled by the will of the people"
Yeah, this is a big no-no according to the US Constitution. In regards to the government system I live under, the president is most certainly not supposed to act like the supreme ruler. The president is supposed to be just one part of a three-part system based on checks and balances, with each branch keeping the other in check.
That's why I am so disgusted with the way our Congress has bowed to Bush Co's demands, or the way the Judicial branch upholds the Administration's flagrant disregard for even the most basic of US (human) rights. My country's government has lost sight of it's most basic tenets.
A truly terrific book is by a fellow named Jeff Golden called "As If We Were Grownups." Golden calls for politicians to 1. treat their constituents as though we were grownups and 2. remember that they work for the people and not the other way around. If you ever get a chance, I highly recommend it.
Have you heard about the tri-presidency system that has been presented as an alternative to the current US system?
2008-02-11 16:36:27 Posted by roguewriter ()
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2011-04-19 17:21:18 Posted by February 2008 ()