In Bangladesh a recent protest over Islamist fundamentalists demanding passage of an anti-blasphemy law. This law would alter the “Bangladesh’s Constitution to be drastically amended with a 13-point program that would ban intermingling between men and women and punish by execution Bangladeshi bloggers accused of blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad”.
A New York Elementary school will be the first to go completely meatless in its cafeteria. The school will serve “options like black bean quesadillas, brown rice, falafel, roasted red potatoes, and tofu”. Childhood obesity has become a major issue in the U.S with there being a relationships between poverty and obesity. Poor children consume less fresh fruit and vegetables, a limited variety of produce and food consume high amounts of sweetened beverages and processes food. they also have diets low fiber, low iron intake, and a deficiency of vitamins.
Childhood obesity and poor nutrient leading to lifelong disabilities and poor nutrients in children has been linked to poor academic growth. A move like this on a national level could be an important step in advancing the health of children.
It is important to note that this school is a small private one, meaning the children are likely already benefiting from healthy food via their social class. Healthy food should not be a resource of the affluent, but should be made widely available for all to consume.
In their struggle towards gender equality, women in Turkey face two obstacles. The first stems from a historically male dominated society in which the women do not have equality in their marriages. The second problem is related to laws implemented to banish the practice of veiling. These problems originated from the Ottoman-Islamic rule prior to Turkey becoming a Republic.
Until a civil code was put in place in 1926, married women had no freedom in their marriages. Previous laws legally labeled the husband as the head of household, allowed for separation of property in marriage, and polygamy. These problems mixed with women’s inability to earn wages were the primary sources of women’s oppression in the Turkish Republic. It was necessary for Turkey to approach issues of gender inequality and discrimination in order to join the European Union. Even after the civil code was implemented, there were very few cultural changes and the laws were used as pacification and as a means to achieve their goals of becoming more modern and democratic.
In 1982, a law was passed in the Turkish Republic banning Muslim women from wearing the headscarf in both public and private universities and institutions. The law did not go over with Turkish women well because many of them still chose to wear the headscarf for personal reasons. Specifically, they argue that it is a matter of human agency and is used to protect women’s modesty, and to help them to identify themselves as Islamic women. The Turkish government argues that allowing women to continue to wear the headscarf poses a threat to their desire to be a secular democracy. Western Feminists argue that it leads to continued subordination of women and that these women are not expressing their freedom of religious expression. Due to this consensus among westerners, the headscarf has also been banned in other, non-Islamic countries as well. Do you feel that imposing a ban on wearing the headscarf undermines women’s right to choose in the same manner that other cultural practices related to women have? Do you feel that the government should be able to make decisions on these women’s behalves? Is this simply another form of oppression for Islamic women? Are these practices equally oppressive?
Tiffany C. Moore
Articles: “Politics of the Headscarf in Turkey: Masculinities, Feminism, and the Construction of Collective Identities” by Valorie K. Vojdik.
“Women’s Rights and Islam in Turkish Politics: The Civil Code Amendment” by Yesim Arat
I thought this was a very interesting and timely article on women’s roles in the future and present. Warren Buffet brings up very good points regarding the “funny mirror” that women, particularly in the past, have viewed themselves from.
I wonder what sparked Buffet’s article and what does this mean for women moving forward in areas where we are largely outnumbered. It is nice to have Buffet’s approval as a “great investment.”
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski who was in charge of the air force’s sexual assault prevention and response team has been charged with groping a female. I think the irony in this case stems from his position in the airforce. You would think that he would be particularly conscious of the harrassment and abuse that women face. However, I guess this article goes to show that no one is untouchable.
In doing research for my final paper, I have come across this issue quite frequently. Women who return from combat or are actively enrolled in military service face sexual harrassment from their fellow male soldiers. Do you think that this is a serious problem that the US needs to address more directly? Do u feel that he will be fully repremanded/sanctioned, considering he was only charged with a misdemeanor? Should he receive more serious sanctions given his experience with issues specifically related to women?
Tiffany C. Moore
The article is about the achievement of sports for girls in private schools. I am always amazed at how these governments become accommodating to women’s issues and issues of gender equality once they gain national attention or find a way to profit from its implementation. I feel that this action is a result of the success of Sarah Attar’s, who participated in the 2012 Olympics, notariety. A common theme found in gender studies is the government’s willingness to change their point of view based on media attention. We have also seen from the discussion with Sharif Petty that males who aren’t affected by these restrictions seem nonchalant or even ignorant of issues related to women. As stated in this article, Eman al-Nafjan feels that it’s “no big deal”. Regardless of how it was achieved, I feel that this is a success towards women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. Do you feel that media attention and national acceptance is enough of a reward for Saudi Arabia to continue with a movement towards westernization? Is this simply a form of internal pacification? Is this likely to transfer over to girls public schools given the backlash?
Tiffany C. Moore
Women all over the world have gained a new outlet to speak about issues that are important and oppressive to them. These women have began to use the internet, specifically blogs, as a source to engage in free speech. However, in countries like Cuba, China, and Tehran they are forbidden from using these outlets because the government feels threatened by there ability to share the intimate details of their oppression with the world. They are imprisoned, beaten, and even pacified in certain ways to prevent them from being heard. These governments would rather allow them to leave the country than continue to speak out globally against issues of women’s rights. This article is very interesting because it brings into focus the effects of modern technology on historical oppression. Is it possible with new forms of technology like the internet to bring more awareness globally? Do you feel that the oppression of women in countries such as these will continue to go unnoticed due to the strong political power that they hold over personal space, lives, and interactions?
Tiffany C. Moore
This is an interesting expose of women in the CIA, etc. who work like crazy without credit and are never interviewed in the media:
The Invisible Women who Hunt Terrorists
“NBA’s Jason Collins decides to come out” is located at http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/9223657/jason-collins-first-openly-gay-active-player
I applaud Jason Collins for having enough confidence to come out publicly about his sexuality. He is the first major sports player to publicly acknowlege that he is homosexual. This has been one of the most widely talked about news stories over the past week. (I’m actually quite surprised that no one has posted about it). Social media has been both supportive and patronizing of Jason Collins since the story broke. President Obama personally phoned to show his support to the NBA star after the story broke.
The fact that he is 34 years old and has played professionally for 12 years says a lot about the climate of tolerance in professional sports over the last decade. What implications do you suppose that his “coming out” will have on his career being that he is now a free agent? I have heard many people say, particularly sports fans, that this is simply a ploy to gain publicity for Jason Collins as a aging, less relevant, athlete. What do you think?
Tiffany C. Moore
The sociocultural labor of queer invisibility is engrained in peoples of South Africa to the extent that individuals are unable to live an authentic life claiming more than one group of identity. If homosexual, one must choose between the queer community and black society. This very act, of choosing whether to be a gay man or a black man, is the stabilizing cornerstone of African masculinity. It is the obstruct force that defines the terms of freedom “where blackness continues to cohere around heteronormativity” (Livermon: 300). Nonetheless, South African queers have, and are in the midst of an identity crisis driven by longstanding cultural norms. Also relevant to the synthesis of African sexuality is the policing of homosexual bodies and the destabilization such differentiations of being can have upon postapartheid gender conformity. African relations of gender and sexuality, “rests on the racialization of the queer body as white and the sexualization of the black body as straight” (Livermon: 302). Therefore, the black queer body does not enjoy the fruits of black cultural belonging, and thus, does not benefit from political modifications functioning as inclusive measures.
In fighting for gay rights, black queer South Africans were, too, pushed aside. Much of the leading base in the liberation movement, were of a white male majority. For black queers, it is “white queer bodies who represent the litmus test for constitutional democracy while their own bodies represent the threat to social order” (Livermon: 303). It is on this fundamental notion, (though not specifically catering to blacks) black South African queers have found the ability to step outside of black heteronormative identity, and into the provisions of equality, provided the constitution protects their white counterparts. They have the opportunity to express an authentic form of cultural labor in the vernacular of their own terms while re-appropriating gender performance.
This idea of code-switching, multiple identities, and the yearning for a single identity presents itself in many societies. For gay African men, it comes in the form of overlapping moments of subjective oppression. Their race does not accept them for their sexuality and their sexuality distances them because of their race. We see this same overlap in the United States, recollected by Audre Lorde in her argument of lost voices in the politic-ing for women’s rights, as a lesbian woman. It gives the perception that one is less than because of other self-identified traits. That “blackness” encompasses sexuality — and in its purest form, is heteronormative. *cough, cough* I mean, heterosexual. But in fact, there a millions of blacks on the planet, which means there is more than one way to express identity. True identity is individual. It is not found in the homogeneous allegiance to a group. And this is the struggle for not only African men, but African American men, and white lesbian women, and transgendered voices. Needless to say, the issues of finding space to practice authenticity are global and continuing.