HOW DO WE EXPECT PEACE TO BE THE OUTCOME FROM WAR? AND WHERE THE GIRLS ARE IN TODAY'S WORLD
We have just never given PEACE A CHANCE. We say we want peace. But we historically and currently try to get there by force. Personally anytime anyone has tried to force me to do anything when it wasn't something I had my heart or convictions behind - to be able to live with myself - I had to do the most difficult thing and not do what the parent, boss or group was pressuring or intimidating me to do. It is not something that we females are trained to do by many of our families, our work environments and society. Even, now. Even, here in the United States of America. To stand up for ourselves. To take the lead. To be courageous and speak out. To be strong in the face of someone else who, acceptably, is strong. We are expected to acquiesce. It is written in the Bible that we are inferior, basically. That we are to submit. I gag when I hear someone spout this stuff as anything other than rhetoric or a topic of discussion. It is no creed that I believe in. I loathe when I go to a wedding and this part of Paul's words in the Bible relegate a bride to the status of being subservient. I said to my mother after my niece of 21 years young just had her wedding with these words as a part of the ceremony homily, her other daughter (the niece's mother) and she don't live that way in their marriages - so why do they accept and put up with such nonsense in these ceremonies that are supposed to mean so much. There was no good answer. There was a flimflam, pretentious answer given, but I just shook my head.
I never had a daughter. I mentored a female teen when I was teaching. I met Sherry while I was teaching music in middle school while the regular teacher was in Italy singing opera for half of the school year. When I was about to leave the middle school and return to my elementary music teaching position, I asked Sherry if she wanted to get together every week and just be together. The most meaningful thing that I think I did for her was to drive her to some foster parents that she had had in the past who had meant a lot to her and reunite them. And also, take her and her younger sister to the park. I just found a lot of pictures that I had taken of her tonight. Sherry's mother was missing along with some other drug addicts and prostitutes in Massachusetts. The others had been found murdered along the highway, but Sherry's mom had never shown up. Sherry feared that her mother had abandoned her and her younger sister. Because her mother had once before, then she came up missing again. Sherry was apprehensive about getting her hopes up. No one really knew where her mother was. I mentored her for about 3 years while she went on to high school. Sherry lived with an aunt without her sister. A few years after that, I hadn't seen Sherry for awhile and I read in the newspaper that her mother's body had been found in Fall River, Massachusetts - buried in the yard of someone's house. I read Sherry's words in the newspaper, where she stated that she wanted to be a good mother to her little boy.
The reason I thought of her was that I gave her mostly my heart and my time, but once I gave her this advice: "Count on your own inner strength and integrity. Don't give away your power to others. Believe in yourself. Put your faith in your own perspective." I believe that is still good advice. I was amazed while I taught school to the thousands of students that I had, that the little girls, most of them, weren't being taught that they were just as good as the boys. And that they had the power to empower themselves.
Personally, I was given this message by society, but also my mother: That all I was ever going to be was someone's wife and some children's mother. No identity of my own. The thing is I never wanted that for myself. When I was in 6th grade (11 years old) I decided that I never wanted to bring children into the world that had so many problems. It just didn't seem fair to the children. And I certainly didn't want just to be a wife. I mean even when I was young, it seemed wrong that women were expected to give up something so personal and so identifiably them when they married some man - their name. Women were expected to forego what they had been named since the day they were born to take some other human being's last name. And all those meals that my mother spent so much time preparing and then the family ate in about 15 to 20 minutes - it just seemed, well, unappreciated. When I was selecting a college, my mother actually said to me that it didn't matter if I went to the college that I wanted because all I was ever going to be was a wife and a mother anyway. It rankles me to this day to think of that sentiment.
It is good to have Nancy Pelosi in the 2nd position of succession to be President, if the President dies. It is good to have Hillary Rodham Clinton running, although I prefer Barack Obama. It is important that women are given the status of "important human being" and not some second or third class citizen.
Around the world, women have been Prime Ministers and other women have had lower consideration than cattle. In China the boys have no girls to marry, because the female babies are/were not as desired as the male babies. So they have been shipped off to be adopted by foreigners or aborted. Personally, I stand on the side of abortion rights. To me that is for another post someday, potentially. However, girls, women around the world historically have been given a short-changed life and less respect by virtue of the fact that they don't have a penis. That may sound crude. But in reality it is just the truth.
To have Peace on this Planet it will take a mindset that we have never had before. And for starters we must include girls, women and all children with the same rights as any man.
As any white, caucasian man. If you are born a white man in this world - you are born in a position of socially automatic privileges.
So PEACE . . . how do we ever have it be a reality? Guns aren't the answer, people. Nuclear bombs aren't the answer. (And my dad's brother was at Los Alamos right out of Purdue University as a physicist helping create the bomb.) No war ever ended in peace. It just ended the war. We are going to have to learn to talk. And we are going to have to figure out what to do with those that we can't trust their words. Look I'm from the United States of America and I feel it very true that I can't trust my President Bush. We aren't all that high and mighty. Sometimes we stand pretty low to the ground. It wouldn't be a bad thing to admit when we've done the world wrong. Iraq. Need I really say more? I know there are those who still feel that the USA should have bombed Iraq. But I just don't get it.
"As soon as guilt and rage enter the room everyone wants to exit. Which means we never get the real issue-power: how to share it, how to relinquish it and learn to live with the awkwardness that comes with change . . . . as a country we’re still quite primitive when it comes to negotiating difference, we don’t seem to have the skills essential to survive the early steps of any conversation about race." (George C Wolf)
Even though, this quote ends with "about race" I think you could also substitute a lot of words after "about". And I don't think we need to limit this wisdom to the perspective of "country" only. It fits in our relationships and family environments just as well.