Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #2

In the United States we not only see that religious groups become endangered. Also the female person seems to be placed in a secondary role. We see the growing tendency by several American citizens to consider  the female being as second-class citizen whose place belongs in the kitchen and by her kids. the woman according several man should be subject to a strict social hierarchy. This hierarchy can be observed in every stripe of fundamentalism, from Islamic fundamentalism to Christian fundamentalism and it goes like this:

God/Jesus is the head of the man

Man is the head of the woman, subject only to God

Woman is subjugated to a status which is wholly reliant on having “faith” that her husband will do the right thing because he is specially influenced by God by special decree of the Bible.

Fundamentalist website after website counsels women that if her husband does wrong that the only thing she can do is pray that God will guide him to a different decision, that she is not to disagree with him publicly (or in front of children). She is free (sometimes) to give an opinion, but the ultimate decision is the man’s, because he has special dispensation by God to be in that position. The equal status of women is a threat to this hierarchy, and thus, a threat to God.

According to several writers on the net there is “Anti-intellectualism” at the base of the extremist behaviour of so many evangelicals and for others it is a matter to have everything in control. In order of occupancy of the Oval Office, there is an inverse relationship between the number of Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Baptist presidents of the United States and the percentage of each of those denominations in the broader population. As if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, there are no evangelicals among the current justices of the Supreme Court!

In fact, there aren’t even any Protestants these days!

Dakota O’Leary believes this is why America is seeing so many attacks on women, from trying to pass laws that undermine Roe v. Wade (personhood laws, restrictions on abortions, waiting periods, attempts to push laws to punish abortion doctors, restrictions on being able to get birth control, etc), to going to the trouble of redefining rape as being the woman’s fault, even part of God’s plan, while pushing to give rapists parental rights, to the unfortunate proclamations of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, et. The present president of America even boasted that girls love it to receive the male’s attention and being the prey man has to conquer. Nobody called yet to bring him before court for molesting women, though several women came forward with their story and some even with proof what this man had done to them in the past. To no avail…. He seems to be untouchable.

Many (conservative and evangelical) Americans are convinced that women dress in such a way they demand to be played at and to be raped and that babies born of rape are either a penalty for their attitude or are a blessing from God, (that the female body shuts down its reproductive system when a woman is being raped, etc.).

Controlling women’s bodies while at the same time denouncing “big government” is the popular meme of the fundamentalist mind. Women are simply not meant to destroy that Godly hierarchy set up by the Bible, and in their minds if you can control women, you’ve got half the populace conquered for God.

Fundamentalist anti-intellectualism often manifests itself in a sort of “pseudo-intellectualism” by which those with little or no educational background read a few articles or watch a few videos about a particular subject (usually published by their own religious compatriots, particularly about what a scientific theory is and evolution), and consider themselves “educated” because what they read agreed with their worldview, or, if being highly educated, usually get that education in a fundamentalist educational setting. They even go so far to say that scientists forge or falsify research to mislead pepole and to bring them away from God’s Word. They will then take that “evidence” and proceed to use it against empirical evidence that directly contests and even eviscerates the arguments they have carefully set up around what they have read or seen, and the argument invariably ends with ad hominem attacks against reason, facts, and education — because they have no actual evidence outside of the Bible to use to “win” the argument. A favourite tactic is to call the opposition an “atheist” (or a “liberal”) if someone disagrees with their worldview.

Rick Santorum by Gage Skidmore 12.jpg

Richard John Santorum

By the extremist evangelicals we also may see that education is then “demonized” as being a covert movement to “indoctrinate” the masses in the secular worldview, and thus, part of the forces of Satan. The American attorney, author, and politician Santorum demonstrates this principle admirably. Although he himself is highly educated, with a bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree and JD from Penn State, his Biblical worldview clearly trumps his empirical education and allows him to disregard it as a fly in the ointment in the “light of Biblical truth,” which is, of course, only empirical in that it is in print, in black and white, not empirical that it can actually be proven.

Faith is evidence enough, and reason becomes a threat to faith, thus, reason is from Satan, not God.

A good case in point is the persecution of Copernicus and Galileo by the Catholic Church, regarding the revolution of the Earth around the sun. This old argument, which has been proven in favor of Copernicus and Galileo, has arisen once again to haunt us.

According to a recent National Science Foundation survey, over twenty percent of the respondents believed in the geocentric model popular during the 1500s, that the sun revolves around the earth instead of the other way around. This is old, disproven thinking that comes from the idea that since humanity is God’s creation, naturally, everything revolves around humanity, with humanity at the centre of creation.

Humanity is thus, special. Anything that challenges the idea that humanity is special is thus a threat against God. After all, you can’t feel the earth move, so it must be stationary. You can’t see the stars move (well, you can with a telescope, something called parallax), but you can’t see it with the naked eye, so thus, the earth must be stationary with the sun moving around it.

This is an example of pseudo-intellectualism. You know what you see, but you don’t investigate to see if your assertions are valid under close scrutiny. Fundamentalists cannot afford to indulge in close scrutiny of their ideas, because close scrutiny would most certainly disprove most of what they believe, and they fear, more than anything else, of the erosion of their own faith.

In 1982, forty-four per cent of Americans held strictly creationist views, a statistically insignificant difference from 2012. Furthermore, the percentage of Americans that believe in biological evolution has only increased by four percentage points over the last twenty years.

Susan Jacoby, author of “The Age of American Unreason” and “Freethinkers” sums up the problem of fundamentalist anti-intellectualism succinctly:

This mindless tolerance, which places observable scientific facts, subject to proof, on the same level as unprovable supernatural fantasy, has played a major role in the resurgence of both anti-intellectualism and anti-rationalism.

Copernicus and Galileo were persecuted by the Catholic Church for suggesting that humanity on earth was indeed not the centre of the universe. Copernicus did not suffer much persecution while he was alive, but after he was dead, his hypothesis that the earth revolved around the sun certainly did. Galileo dared to revive Copernicus’ idea, and packaged it in a mock debate between characters in a book he wrote called Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo) in 1632. The Catholic Church’s militaristic arm, the Inquisition, caught wind of what he had written, and banned his book, and placed Galileo under house arrest.

Now, the Catholic Church’s disagreement with Galileo and Copernicus did not make their ideas less true, which the idea certainly was, and revealed to be true through empirical scientific investigation over a period of years. Instead, the Church deflected the facts as “heresy,” which is something fundamentalists are particularly adept at doing. Ken Ham’s Creation Museum is a testament to this deflection of scientific facts as heresy.

By dismissing evolution as nothing more than a “theory,” (which goes to show pure, deliberate ignorance of what exactly a scientific theory is), we see again the application of the ad hominem attack Christian fundamentalists so love to employ when inconvenient facts get in the way.

The fundamentalists of today are a hardy lot, and they will use anything to win this battle for God — the Bible, which is the ultimate authority, the Constitution, revisionist science textbooks, and revisionist American history (a la David Barton) that “proves” America was a nation founded to be their brand of a “Christian nation.”

Their view of a Christian nation is a very restricted view where there is only place for their Christian conservative doctrinal teachings and where there can only some place for other trinitarian christians as long as they do not go against their views.

Never mind they are not Constitutional scholars. The Constitutional scholars are a threat to them because even though scholars have differing opinions about interpretation of the Constitution, any opinion that differs from the fundamentalist worldview is a direct attack on God. Never mind that the fundamentalist that lives in the general population is not a scientist.

They know better, because the Australian Christian fundamentalist and young Earth creationist living in the United States, Ken Ham and the Bible tell them that there is No Way God would use evolution to create (even though the Bible says nothing on the subject of evolution)

The Bible is black and white. God created the world as it is now in six days, and rested on the seventh.

You will rarely see a fundamentalist in a secular college or university because secular universities and colleges do not agree with their worldview (logically). This is why for the most part they are homeschooled, and go straight from homeschool to fundamentalist universities that teach their worldview.By presenting homeschooling by the parents themselves, who did not receive any educational formation to be a teacher, the kids are squeezed the truth and deprived of sound formation. Opportunities to go to a proper high school or to a good university is taken away. For such children is there only an opening to  universities and colleges churned out fundamentalists who are schooled in law, but only an interpretation of law that fits their Biblical worldview. Lawyers or judges who disagree with them, particularly in Supreme Court cases are dismissed ad hominem as “activist lawyers” and “activist judges” (i.e. enemies of God).

This lack of empirical education is changing American society into one that has eroded science education, particularly with their attempts to force the school voucher issue, which is nothing but a bid to get taxpayers to fund fundamentalist education, yet they object to taxpayer funded public education because “secularism” is persecuting them for their beliefs by simply disagreeing with them (because again, nothing they believe is based on empirical evidence).

Jerry Falwell Jr. has ambitious plans to affect life, law and culture in America, and it’s all being germinated at Liberty University, the fundamentalist bastion his father founded. (Source: Americans United)

The lack of empirical education is eroding American society in favour of a “faith based” education that has nothing whatsoever to do with facts that threaten their worldview. Liberty is something they interpret as the freedom to live in a society based solely on their Biblical worldview and does not at all give any liberty to free expression or freedom of thought. Freedom of religion for others in an inclusive society is anathema to them, because such freedom threatens to sideline them to the fringes. Individual liberty does not exist except for them, because they have an inherent distrust of the individual to make reasonable decisions, unless those decisions are based on their interpretation of Scripture. Thus, mainstream Christians are not their brethren; mainstream Christians are simply misinformed individuals who have deluded themselves into believing they are of the family of Christ, and only the clear lens of fundamentalism can see that mainstream Christians have been deceived by the enemy of God which is secular society. In this lies a big problem. They think they have to spread their ‘true religion’ all over the world and consider themselves as the chosen people of God and therefore they also consider themselves as the connected with the Zionists aiming to have peace in the Middle East. Though they do forget that by their refusal to see and understand that Jesus was not his real name, but that is was Jeshua and that he spoke Aramaic and as such used the word “Allah” for “God” plus that in the present day still millions of pepole use that word “Allah” which disgusts those American fundamentalists. And by their action against that word they bring resentment in several believers their heart. Their action against the use of non-english words for “God” gives not only peevishness, but lets many wonder if they belong to the right Christian religion of worse should not become a worshipper of the Only One true God and have to become Jew or Muslim and leave the Christian Trinity doctrine aside. A pity not more by those extremist Christians offended Christians go looking for an alternative Christianity where there is praised the God of Jeshua (Jesus Christ (Allah, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah) and where they still can use their Catholic or protestant Bibles with that word “Allah” in it when it talks about The God.

The extremist fundamentalist Christians say their sole aim is to “obey” God in creating conditions favourable to the return of Christ – and this one thought, this one design drives American foreign policy with Israel (they believe that when the Jews all return to Israel and the 3rd temple is rebuilt that Christ will return, (but not without sacrificing 2/3 of the Jewish people in the process), then all the remaining Jews will become Christians.

American fundamentalists are only interested in Jewish people and Israel insofar as it furthers the return of Jesus Christ. That is all.

Dakota O’Leary is convinced that because fundamentalists are engaged in the idea that they are warriors in a fight for God, (something Christian fundamentalists hold in common with Islamic fundamentalists), and says

they have the sort of mindset that if it came to it (which it has not yet, I do not think), they would not afraid to die for their faith. Proof of this idea was given a disturbing form by a video game “Left Behind: Eternal Forces,” which advocates killing anyone who doesn’t agree with them (i.e. can’t be converted to their idea of Christ):

Katherine Stewart writes

Aimed at conservative Christians, the game’s story line begins in a time after the “rapture”, when fundamentalist dogma contends that Christians will go to heaven. The remaining population on earth must then choose between surrendering to or resisting “the Antichrist”, which the game describes as the “Global Community Peacekeepers” whose objective is the imposition of “one-world government”.

“Part of the object is to kill or convert the opposing forces,”

Simpson said.

This is “antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said, adding that he was dismayed by the concept in “Eternal Forces” of using prayer to restore a player’s “spirit points” after killing the enemy.

In the game, combatants on one side pause for prayer, intoning, “Praise the Lord”. A player can lose points for “unnecessary killing” but regain them through prayer.

But Simpson counters,

“The idea that you could pray, and the deleterious effects of one’s foul deeds would simply be wiped away, is a horrible thing to be teaching Christian young people here at Christmas time.”

Troy Lyndon, CEO of Left Behind Games Inc., which is promoting the new video, has defended the game as “inspirational entertainment” and said its critics were exaggerating. The game is based on the popular “Left Behind” novels, a Bible-based end-of-the-world-saga that has sold more than 63 million copies.

Dakota O’Leary reacts

Now, while this is a disturbing element, and the Left Behind books have genocidal scenes that seem to justify killing masses of unbelievers because they are incorrigible (not ever going to convert to the fundamentalist mindset), it should be reiterated that fundamentalists are not yet at the point in the US where they want to kill people, so let us not be alarmist. However, that being said, the way some fundamentalists are choosing to portray institutional racism and genocide (as punishment for sin and disbelief) to school age children is disturbing, and it is the belief of this scholar that the elements for radical action portrayed in the video game are there – but would need utter desperation in order to explode into being. It is the opinion of this writer that fundamentalists are not yet this desperate, but attempts to normalize killing for God are disturbing, to say the least. The Guardian had this to say about the subject in May of 2012:

The story of the Amalekites has been used to justify genocide throughout the ages. According to Pennsylvania State University Professor Philip Jenkins, a contributing editor for the American Conservative, the Puritans used this passage when they wanted to get rid of the Native American tribes. Catholics used it against Protestants, Protestants against Catholics.

“In Rwanda in 1994, Hutu preachers invoked King Saul’s memory to justify the total slaughter of their Tutsi neighbors,”

writes Jenkins in his 2011 book, Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can’t Ignore the Bible’s Violent Verses (HarperCollins).

In the fall of 2012, more than 100,000 American public school children, ranging in age from four to 12, were scheduled to receive instruction in the lessons of Saul and the Amalekites in the comfort of their own public school classrooms. The instruction, which features in the second week of a weekly “Bible study” course, came from the Good News Club, an after-school program sponsored by a group called the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). The aim of the CEF is to convert young children to a fundamentalist form of the Christian faith and recruit their peers to the club.

There are now over 3,200 clubs in public elementary schools, up more than sevenfold since the 2001 supreme court decision, Good News Club v Milford Central School, effectively required schools to include such clubs in their after-school programing.

The CEF has been teaching the story of the Amalekites at least since 1973. In its earlier curriculum materials, CEF was euphemistic about the bloodshed, saying simply that “the Amalekites were completely defeated.” In the most recent version of the curriculum, however, the group is quite eager to drive the message home to its elementary school students. The first thing the curriculum makes clear is that if God gives instructions to kill a group of people, you must kill every last one:

You are to go and completely destroy the Amalekites (AM-uh-leck-ites) – people, animals, every living thing. Nothing shall be left.

“That was pretty clear, wasn’t it?” the manual tells the teachers to say to the kids.

Even more important, the Good News Club wants the children to know, the Amalakites were targeted for destruction on account of their religion, or lack of it. The instruction manual reads:

The Amalekites had heard about Israel’s true and living God many years before, but they refused to believe in him. The Amalekites refused to believe in God and God had promised punishment.

The instruction manual goes on to champion obedience in all things. In fact, pretty much every lesson that the Good News Club gives involves reminding children that they must, at all costs, obey. If God tells you to kill nonbelievers, he really wants you to kill them all. No questions asked, no exceptions allowed.

Dakota O’Leary writes

Educating Christian fundamentalists simply doesn’t work. They do not accept any education that is in direct conflict with their worldview. What remains is to educate the rest of the American populace about Christian fundamentalism and dominionism, educating the American populace about the David Bartons of the world, so that when elections occur, an educated populace can reject the infiltration of fundamentalism on the rest of American society, which will, given the right opportunity (usually in a climate of fear like 9/11), erode American democracy entirely and push our nation into the fringes of the world into irrelevance.

Every American should know that Anti-intellectualism – as advocated by large and vocal elements within the Republican Party is dangerous to the future of their nation. but they also should know that those fundamentalist Christians threaten world peace, by their continuous actions against Muslims and against people who use the word “Allah”.

For the future of the States there is also the education danger, by having the students not to see how the world evolves and how everything is related with each other. Students who are protected from “globalist” views and real science will not grow up to be leaders. If the Americans themselves do not take care of providing a sound education to their children and to give them an understanding of other peoples and other languages they shall have to face a downfall of their nation.

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Dakota O’Leary is a freethinker, and often sassy, scholar of theology and literature. She got her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Theology from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, and her Master of Arts degree in Theology and Literature from Antioch University-Midwest. Dakota is a co-host of the God Discussion radio show, offering insight to the news stories of the week.

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Preceding

Act of Faith held on February 6, 1481

American Christianity no longer resembles its Founder

Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #1

Science, 2013 word of the year, and Scepticism

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Additional reading

  1. Religions and Mainliners
  2. Migrants to the West #1
  3. Migrants to the West #2
  4. Migrants to the West #7 Religions
  5. Migrants to the West #10 Religious freedom
  6. A last note concerning civil rights
  7. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  8. Religious Practices around the world
  9. Religious Freedom in a Multicultural World
  10. 60 years after creation of European Economic Community, Europeans skeptical about one of their biggest achievements this century
  11. You might be an extrimist if …
  12. Responses to Radical Muslims and Radical Christians
  13. Liberal and evangelical Christians
  14. Christians fail there where Muslims succeed
  15. Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
  16. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  17. Full text of Pope Francis’ Interview with ‘La Vanguardia’
  18. Consequences of Breivik’s mass murder
  19. A New Reformation
  20. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
  21. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  22. Catherine Ashton on the EU annual report on human rights
  23. Where is the USA wanting to go with the freedom of their people

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Further related

  1. On Biblical inerrancy and the priorities of fundamentalists
  2. Are there dividing lines between Mainline and Evangelical?
  3. How America’s Endless Civil War Between Protestant Sects Is at the Heart of American Identity
  4. Where Is Reality, as Fundamentalist Christians Think They Are More Discriminated Against Than Muslims?
  5. Christian, Jewish and Muslim Fundamentalists Agree that Natural Disasters Are God’s Revenge on the Modern World
  6. MainlineDecline, Decline-Talk, and Decline-ism — Sightings (Martin Marty)
  7. Sorry LGBTQ People and Fertile American Women
  8. Hate speech is acceptable in Trump’s America – as long as it comes from Christian fundamentalists
  9. Are Christian Fundamentalists Driving Our Country into the Dark Ages?
  10. Christian fundamentalists are driving our country into the Dark Ages…
  11. More about Christian Nationalism and President Donald J. Trump
  12. Hate speech is acceptable in Trump’s America – as long as it comes from Christian fundamentalists
  13. Trump is not a nativist
  14. Party Like It’s Armageddon?!
  15. Chris Hedges: Home Grown Hatred–Anger and Alienation in the US (2009)
  16. Christopher Hitchens and Michael Parenti Debate: Iraq and the Future of US Foreign Policy (2005)
  17. Betsy DeVos and The Christian Right’s “Big Ideas”
  18. Abby Martin and Chris Hedges: Donald Trump and Christianized Fascism
  19. These are the alarming parallels between the views of Steve Bannon and those held by Islamist jihadis
  20. Adsorbing/Deflecting a curse
  21. Satan Sprinkles A Few More Stegosaurus Bones Across Nation To Test Christians’ Faith
  22. The Handmaid’s Tale – An American Dystopia?
  23. Typical Examples of Christian Fundamentalist and Conservative Evangelical Hate Mail
  24. The Evangelical Identity Crisis
  25. Jordan Peterson – Atheist Researchers vs Christian Fundamentalists
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A British judge rules that mother can’t indoctrinate son with religion

A problem may arise when civil courts come to intrude with the upbringing of children about what to believe or what not to believe. But in the case of the JW mother judged about the upbringing of her son it has more to do with bringing up the child with discriminative ideas. Discrimination does not suits our civil society. All children should have the right to have contact with both parents whatever faith they may have.

All children also should not only learn about learning about mainstream Christianity or Christendom, but also about all other sorts of believes (atheism, Buddhism, Hinduism , shamanism, etc.). All children should learn that in this world there are different opinions and that every one should have respect for the different beliefs of others.

Though our society should also allow parents to bring their children into those communities they like to bring their children in, as long as they are not damaging the child. Kingdom halls are not a damaging environment. They are even less damaging than what can often be seen on television.

Taking a child away from the mother and the father is not at all a good idea and is not at all helping the child plus giving wrong signals to society in general.

As the writer of the article rightly says:

“Truly enlightened parents either tell kids to investigate different religions on their own, or help them do so without promoting one over the others. “

In several countries, like in Belgium ethical and religious education is part of the education program, giving all children the opportunity to learn about all sorts of religions, humanitarian and atheist visions. States should help the weaker ones, children, to receive an unbiased education, free from brainwashing and making the pupils strong enough to detect such forms which limit the right to think freely and to detect discriminating thoughts even by their own parents.

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Why Evolution Is True

Perhaps the statement from a New Atheist that most angers believers (or faitheists) is Richard Dawkins’s characterization of religious indoctrination of children as “child abuse.”  Yes, them’s strong words, but there’s something to be said for their truth. Of course it depends on the religion, but nearly all forms of parental teaching about religion abuse the intellectual curiosity of kids by taking advantage of their natural credulity. If you’re a Christian, you teach your kids stuff that is regarded by Muslims as not only false, but worthy of death. If you’re a Christian Scientist, you teach them to reject scientific medicine, a decision that can ultimately harm or even kill them. Further, religions can instill in children horrible feelings of guilt (ask an ex-Catholic), fear of hell, and a moral code that is bigoted, irrational, and hateful.

I don’t know how to remedy this problem, because clearly the state doesn’t want to…

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Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality

Experiences and Interest in philosophy and spirituality

I think it is wrong to think philosophy can not go together with spirituality. I also think it is wrong to assume that when a person is interested in philosophy, he would not be interested in the spiritual or the religious.

Expérience

Expérience (Photo credit: Saturne)

The world itself presents itself in a succession of pure experiences which we should see. We can either ignore what is going on in the world or look at it question the what and why’s and how’s. Often the human beings can not qualify these experiences in a way by which all would agree with.

Should we not recognise that those things which come along our way are always felt and undergone by our own self, which was constructed by previous experiences and learnings. In a way this may give us always the way of the subjective choice and subjective sense or experience. Each is simply a pure impression that is made upon us at some point in our life, where we do have a certain education or development which shall obey the laws of our state at the moment.

Experiences and Impressions

Reality appears to us first as an unqualified multitude of original impressions that cannot be compared or ordered in anyway without our previous learnings. Is our experience not mere juxtaposition in space and succession in time; an aggregate of utterly disconnected particulars?
Living in this world we can not do without seeing what is happening around us. We can not merely observe the things, and not bring them into thought-relationships.

The things which happen in our lives shall give us our experiences. Those experiences will create senses and shall be our best teacher, experience being the mother of wisdom. To take on any qualities or relationships whatsoever thought or reason must act upon them. It is the process of thought that attributes qualities to pure experiences and relates some experiences to others to build an understanding of the world.

Conscious or unconscious direction with second nature

Our way of thinking or the process of thought should proceed through certain ways be it our conscious or unconscious direction. Our brain should go on working, considering what happened and analysing everything. Probably it shall order everything, classify it. This using some organic laws of interconnection. These laws are part of the world of thought itself and not completely within our control. Pure experience presents itself in a spontaneously emerging stream and thoughts grow out of that experience making it distinguishable to us and situating it in relationship to the rest of experience.

Some do consider the process of thinking not a human activity. We may say that thoughts emerge out of pure earlier experiences and are dependent on our upbringing or rearing and the language we learned, both becoming a second nature.

Out of body experience

Out of body experience (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our religious thinking and being should also become such a second nature. From the Bible we can learn that the ‘soul‘ is not an external element in our being. Many Christians and Muslims imagine there are a good and a bad angel sitting on our shoulders and talking to a soul which can go out of our body when we die. For them this human soul is to be a phantom-like inner being that contains our conscience and moral fibre. It is the element which can let us do good or let us do bad, under influence of other spirits called either angels, for the good ones, and devils, like Satan and Lucifer, for the bad ones.

Breath given by Creator

Those people forget that it was God Who blew his breath in the nostrils of the first man and woman, to bring them to life. The Pneuma or spirit in those first human beings was not something separate from them. It was their breathing, their being itself.

The soul is not a specific element as such but the transcription of the inner being and the thinking which happens by ‘electronic actions’ in our brain and by breathing. Without breathing we shall not be able to give oxygen to our brains by which they will not be able to work, and with a non-working brain we are as good as dead.

You could say that the soul is our “background of our being”. This ‘being’ has to be fed to stay alive. And because it is not a material element it has to find its food in the immaterial. therefore we as human beings should also give food to the immaterial elements of our being, our “body and soul”.

God gave breath to all creation, but the difference between man and the other living organisms is that god has given more power to man. He has received the power to think, to make choices, to make decisions, to give names and to handle like he wishes to do. But all his actions will create experiences, be it nice or bad ones. He shall have the choice to learn from them or to continue his life without learning more from those things that overcame him.

Material and immaterial being and understanding

Like the soul in an immaterial thing, our thinking its coming to understand something is an abstract element. Understanding is “an abstraction which the human mind forms by reflecting on its own thoughts and forms of thinking.” This knowing is a natural product of the process of mind and it is bound up in, and limited by, language. {Coleridge}

Coleridge asserted that it is a process that requires no “self” to enact. It is a natural process of the lawful interaction of mental elements, a simple unfolding of the characteristics of the mind in nature. But I do think we do have a responsibility and we do have the choice and power to have the self to come to understanding.

I believe when we do open our mind to different thoughts we can enable ourselves to learn more. I also believe this is one of the tasks God has given His creation in the Garden of Eden. We can only give the plants and animals name and classify them in groups when we do have the knowledge and skill to do so. This would not require that we all have the same certificate of proficiency or that we may excuse ourselves when it is not in our domain.

Given brains and reason

An illustration of the Cartesian theater, wher...

An illustration of the Cartesian theater, where a homonculus sits in a person’s head seeing and hearing everything that he experiences. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Because God has given us brains to use, we should use them. So we should think about matters and question things. This questioning things may fall under philosophy. Today many may say “Reason is a direct product of the reasoning faculty.”, but that is not taking the Creator in mind. He had a reason to place human beings on this earth having a brain to reason. Reason is a direct product of the power of creation, Who Himself is Spirit. God is not a man of flesh and blood, but a Spirit without a beginning and without an end. His breath gave us spirit, making us capable to reason, to become reasonable figures in that Created World.

It is not an “accident” that reason comes to us. Reason is breathed into us by the Creator. Though many may think it is just something what happens accidentally, it is something which is in-breath in our human constitution. It may appear spontaneously without warning or precursor, but it is grounded or part of a growing seed, which can only come into existence when the person is willing to use his brain. It is from all the previous experiences, the teachings a person got, that he or she shall be able to think. Though this would not be possible without the Power of the Most High, the Spirit God. Without Him we are nothing. It is the Holy Spirit Who can give us ‘spirit’ to think about matters and to come to reason. God has implanted ethic thoughts in us. He has created us all in His image, so we all do have certain elements of the Supreme High Being. We do not all have the same elements, but somehow we all received enough elements to become full human being who can think properly and who should be able to find God. The Reason as such becomes Spontaneous Knowing. We all have received the power to get to Knowing. Some may think it is not an understanding that is constructed through any thought process, but they should remember the Creator who build in His creations the possibility to think and to come to conclusions. In our inner being we do have the key to come to understanding. It is the direct and self-authenticating recognition of truth.

Different ways to go giving different opinions

From the beginning of the world mankind questioned the Spirit God and for that reason Jehovah God gave man the possibility to work it out himself. Woman would bear children in pain and would find they all could be different, going their own way or helping each other. All had to make their own decisions and could think their own way. God allowed it to be so.

Because we all went different ways on the paths which lay in front of man, different opinions came into the world, and people could choose between many theses or postulates.

The direct knowing of truth is build in by the Creator and could happen spontaneously and also compulsively. The reasoning faculty is ‘knowing’ itself. It is not a process that leads to knowing. This implies that there is some part of us that simply knows the truth and cannot help but know it. But we are stubborn beings, though we do not want to admit it. We have direct sense impressions – smells, tastes, sensations, sounds and sights – which simply appear in awareness. We don’t call them into being and we cannot alter or avoid the way they present themselves. Ideas and intuitions also – upon their initial appearance – share the same unalterable immediacy of presence.

With this awareness of things, matters and background knowledge, we can hear others and see what others do or create. Seeing what happens in the world we can not ignore the inner language of thought. We can only deny our interpretation of experience, not the fact of having it.

Trying to perceive more knowledge

So we may experience a lot of things in our life, encounter lots of publications and thoughts. By tackling our taste to get more knowledge,we are not going against God His wishes. The opposite I would say. We should learn and we should try to get more knowledge.

With philosophy we may come into the domain of the seekers who search to get more wisdom, knowledge and understanding about reality. Did or do not many philosophers try to get to answers about life and about why and how things are? They do like to offer an explanation of the way things are where spirituality is a description of a position that we as a human being should take in relationship to the way things are.

Trying to become one with self and environment

Experience

Experience (Photo credit: Kaptain Kobold)

In the action of Spirituality a person tries to become One. Bring mind, soul, thinking in unison with his being, material body. By the spiritual action we do want to go to the source from which everything else originates, whilst by the philosophy we want to come to an understanding why and how human being went away from its source and how it can come back to this source again.

While Philosophy is generally in the mental state of consciousness, the mind taking efforts to know, the spiritual would love to come to that Source of knowledge, believing that there exist something more than the material being its consciousness that exist above the mental ranges.

Trying to transcend domain of rationale and intellect

Moral philosophy

Both the philosopher and the spiritualist may be willing to come to knowledge which transcends domain of rationale and intellect. The philosopher not so much concerned by the own individu or individual, person, character, his identity, but preferring to give objective pictures of reality without telling us explicitly (although often they do implicitly) how we should be in relationship to that picture. Even in moral philosophy generally what we get is an explanation of why certain things are right and others wrong. What we don’t get is someone telling us that we should do the right thing. What we do with morality is left in our own hands.

Spirituality resides in higher regions and has much more to do with the own subjective personality. From the subjective point of view the spiritualist tries to go deeper into himself, looking for the realm of truth there and not as such by others. He knows that the soul is in each of us and is inseparable joined together with flesh and blood. In that casing of human flesh there is our way of breathing and thinking, spirit and moral judgment.

Trying to Relate things

We may be interested to see how we can relate to things, and therefore we can look what philosophers do have to say about that. Spirituality wants to go a step further than just knowing how things are related with each other. It tells us how we should be in relationship to the way things are. It can show us how we should react and by knowing what actions we do have to take we also shall be able to choose if we are willing to use such a knowledge to take on an attitude and to build up a religious field. Spiritualities always include philosophical explanations of the world, but those philosophical aspects are the backdrop for the main event which is direct instruction about how to live.

Door to transcendence

Understanding, intellect and the mind is one door to transcendence. From philosophers we can learn a lot, and we should take the opportunity to learn from their writings. But they will never be able to give the full answer. They mostly do not look for The Divine Source. In our normal consciousness people are so caught up with their emotions, sensations and thoughts and their own mind, they get full of themselves in the emptiness of the world. They become so active that there is no room for the Divine. There the spiritual person wants to go against. He wants to have his wondering not taking him to put Him in the chains of life.

No reason to be afraid of philosophy

To see clear
Man thinking on a train journey.

Man thinking on a train journey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christians should not be afraid that the philosophy would carry people away from the Divine. When this would happen it is because the person is not prepared to sincerely look for the Divine. Often the person going away from religion is because he does not see clear the difference between philosophy, religion, religiousness and spirituality.

The philosopher may have the love and intellectual search for wisdom. The spiritual minded person knows or believes there is something extra in our life than just the knowledge of the material world. The spiritual person does want to find knowledge to come to wisdom, but understands that wisdom is more that putting all facts together. To come to spirituality there must be more than the willingness to come to understand the own being. Besides the willingness to come to get to know the inner-self there is the love and opening of their hearts for the wisdom and the willingness to have it taking part in the relationship with others.

Sister and brother

We should understand that the religious person may like to look into philosophy and at the same time may look into spirituality. The two approaches can marvelously be like sister (heart) and brother (brain) in the process of coming to the point of Being part of the One on one side and then Becoming part of the big thing on the other side – in being active in life.

Relationship of unity and Oneness

So, I would say, do not mind letting philosophy going hand in hand with spirituality and making a person to become religious in the good sense of the word, finding and loving the Only One Who is One and wants us to be one and worshiping the Right One in a relationship of unity and Oneness.

The only thing a Christian should be careful for is that he does not get carried away with human thinking, but keeps himself concentrated on the sacral and spiritual matters, looking for the Most Important Being making our self being possible to be a being, the Only One God, the Adonai Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

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Preceding articles:

Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro

Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite

Looking for True Spirituality 3 Mind of Christ

Looking for True Spirituality 4 Getting to Know the Mind of Christ

Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit

Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer

Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News

Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up

Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful

How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice

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Additional reading:

  1. A concrete picture of what is to come in the future
  2. Migrants to the West #7 Religions
  3. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  4. Women, conservative evangelicals and their counter-offensive
  5. Lying in the senses in matters of love
  6. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  7. Separation from God in death, the antithesis of life
  8. Fragments from the Book of Job #7 Epilogue
  9. Exceeding Great and Precious Promise
  10. Wondering
  11. Believing to understand
  12. Light within
  13. Let tomorrow be sufficient
  14. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  15. Don’t let anyone move you off the foundation of your faith
  16. Know Who goes with us and don’t try to control life
  17. Know by trying
  18. Knowing where to go to
  19. Think hard before you act today
  20. Disappointed expectations
  21. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  22. Put on the whole armor of God
  23. Weapons of our warfare
  24. A call easy to understand
  25. Getting of at the fence
  26. Hope as long as you live
  27. A goal is a dream with a plan
  28. Lying in the senses in matters of love
  29. Be humble like Christ
  30. The way God sees us
  31. Two forms of Freedom
  32. Altar everything in life
  33. Duty of encouragement
  34. Establish Priorities
  35. Luck
  36. Joy: Foundation for a Positive Life
  37. Nothing noble in the flesh left to itself
  38. Determined To Stick With Truth.
  39. Created to live in relation with God
  40. God’s promises
  41. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  42. A love not exempting us from trials
  43. Call unto God so that He can answer you
  44. Life in gratitude opens glory of God
  45. Do not be so busy adding up your troubles
  46. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  47. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  48. Dying or not
  49. What happens when we die?
  50. Dead and after
  51. Sheol or the grave
  52. Satan the evil within
  53. Soul
  54. Destination of righteous
  55. Destination of the earth
  56. God’s design in the creation of the world
  57. God His reward
  58. Is there an Immortal soul
  59. The Soul not a ghost
  60. The Soul confronted with Death
  61. The soul has no rainbow if the eyes have no tears
  62. Trust God to shelter, safety and security
  63. God wants to be gracious to you
  64. Invitation to all who believe

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Women their education and chances to become a parliamentary

While in Jerusalem some ultra-Orthodox women may have their growing desire fulfilled to meet the standards of beauty in the secular society that surrounds them – without compromising the religious requirement for modesty, in several Muslim countries women are more and more pushed in the corner, not having any opportunity to have some beauty adjustments or to have their brains filled with more knowledge.

In Israel we do find a third of Jerusalem’s Jewish population belongin to the ultra-Orthodox community, known for its stringent observance of Jewish religious law, or halacha. Its members are strongly committed to preserving tradition, often by remaining separate and distinct from Israel’s secular majority. Many of them demand male-female segregation in public places; are intolerant of exposure of the female body; censor photographs of women in their publications and advertisements; and believe that men should not listen to female singers as this may arouse lustful thoughts.

Second to Israel in its receipt of American foreign aid Mubarak’s corrupt and often brutal rule could survive for 30 years thanks to U.S. taxpayers. There the women a few years ago like in Lebanon could walk freely and have to work hard like their male counterparts.  Only 18% of working age Saudi women are part of the workforce in their country where they are not allowed to drive a car. Saudi women earn an estimated $7,156 annually, while Saudi men made around $37,661 on average — one of the widest gaps globally.

Women made up almost half of the workforce last year, and yet were paid only 77 cents for every dollar men made. This wage gap varies considerably among states. Women in Maryland and Vermont, for example, make 85 cents for every dollar men make, while women in Wyoming and Louisiana make closer to 65 cents.

Income inequality is only one of the challenges women face, as is shown in a recent study by the Center for American Progress (CAP). The study, “The State of Women in America: A 50-State Analysis of How Women Are Faring Across the Nation,” examined the challenges facing women throughout the United States by measuring their economic security, prominence in leadership roles and the current status of women’s health issues. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the states that scored the worst in the country by these measures. {Click here to see which states are the worst for women}

In many countries we see, like in Mali, that Low educational attainment is a major contributor to gender inequality. Although educational attainment is poor among both genders, Malian girls and women are less likely than their male counterparts to be enrolled at each level of education. This disparity worsens at higher levels of education. In addition to a wide gender imbalance, the country has recently had to deal with considerable internal unrest.

In many Islamist countries we can feel the ground shivering by Islamic extremists who took advantage of the instability in those countries where the people did not agree any more with their government. The uprisings or coups are used by the fundamentalist as an easy target to get their dreams spread.

Iran, standing on the 7th place of inequality, received some of the lowest scores in the world for its gender disparities in economic participation. In the country, where in the sixties girls ran in bikini and took on all sorts of high jobs, just 17% of working age women participate today, against the will of the Taliban. Estimated earned incomes differ considerably between both genders, as well, with men earning nearly five times what women do. Politically, the nation is male dominated: Just 3% of members of parliament are women, and men outnumber women in ministerial positions ten to one. A recent report from a U.N. representative noted 30 female presidential candidates were all ruled ineligible for the country’s presidential election due to their gender.

To talk about that inequality in the jurisdiction of a country, standard bearer Malala Yousafzai, who first came to public attention in 2009 after she anonymously wrote an affecting BBC diary about life under the Taliban, came to Brussels to give a voice to all those oppressed women in the world.

This courageous girl was at 15 shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in October 2012 because of her campaign for girls’ education in her country which after Nigeria has the second highest number of unschooled children in the world. As young as 11 Malala began blogging for the BBC’s Urdu site, she brought a convincing voice writing about her ambition to become a doctor, her fears of the Taliban and her determination to not allow the Taliban — or her fear — to prevent her from getting the education she needed to realize her dreams. She got on television, where we could see the Taliban men standing behind at the wall, annoyed but not knowing what they should do. Her television debut in Pakistan was quickly followed with more opportunities to give women a voice in the East. She became a well known figure in Pakistan, but also a target for the Taliban who are totally against the woman having a voice at all.

The attack on her, a shocking act on a child (against Koran teaching) catapulted her to international fame. Today we still can see the damage in her face, caused by that dramatic assault, in which a militant boarded her school bus in Pakistan’s north-western Swat valley and opened fire, wounding two of her school-friends as well.

The attack on Malala exposed not only the dark side of an army unable to provide security but also the abysmal quality of education in Pakistan. Only 2.3 percent of its gross domestic product is allocated to education. Pakistan spends seven times more on its military. According to a recent U.N. study, 5.1 million children are out of school—the second-highest number in the world—and two-thirds of them are female.

Halima Mansour in the Guardian heralds Malala as a young “Pakistani heroine” for her bravery and independence.

“Malala doesn’t want to play to some western-backed or Taliban-loved stereotype. She shows us that there are voices out there, in Pakistan, that need to be heard, if only to help the country find democracy that is for and from the people, all the people.”

Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States says:

“We have a national lie. Why do we have to tell the truth to the world?”

“The national lie is that the Swat Valley has been liberated from the bad Taliban. Young Malala and her father mess up that narrative.”

Indian schoolchildren pay tribute to Malala

Schoolchildren around the world voiced their support for Malala after she was shot

The Taliban almost made Malala a martyr; they succeeded in making her a symbol.

“Malala was the lone voice in that wilderness,” writes Feryal Gauhar in the local Express Tribune.

“Hers was the voice which made us consider that indeed, there can be alternatives, and there can be resistance to all forms of tyranny. Today, the attempt to silence that voice shall only make her stronger; the blood stains on her school uniform shall only feed the conviction that as long as there is breath and life, there shall be struggle.”

The story of her slow recovery, from delicate surgery at a Pakistani military hospital to further operations and a programme of rehabilitation in the UK, has since been closely tracked by the world’s media. Named one of Time magazine’s most influential people in 2013, put forward for the Nobel Peace Prize and has reportedly secured a $3m (£2m) book contract for her life story.

The memoir she is writing to raise awareness about the 61 million children around the world who are not in school indicates she accepts that unasked-for responsibility as a synonym for courage and a champion for girls everywhere. However Malala concludes her book, her story so far is only just beginning.

Two organizations representing private schools in Pakistan have banned her book, ‘I Am Malala’‎ from more than 40,000 schools across Pakistan. According to them the book is an insult to Islam and shows Malala herself to be nothing more than a tool of the West.

“The federation thought we should review the book, and having reviewed it we came to the decision that the book was not suitable for our children, particularly not our students,”

said the federation’s president, Mirza Kashif.

“Pakistan is an ideological country. That ideology is based on Islam…. In this book are many comments that are contrary to our ideology.”

Once again we see how the Pakistan government is pulled from one site to an other and how it is under Taliban dictatorship. The leaders of an important sector of the Pakistani educational world has chosen to ban Pakistan’s best-known and most loved proponent of education, not just in Pakistan, but all around the world.

Despite the largely secularist policies and intentions of Jinnah, Pakistan is still under the thumb of the holier-than-thou men in beards and turbans, men who always know more than anyone else, even the best educated, who are always closer to God than anyone else, and who reckon they know how to put their fingers on apostasy and unbelief wherever they rear their ugly heads. Even if they don’t raise their heads, the mullas can always make them up.

writes Denis MacEoin of the Algemeiner.

Now after her near-fatal attempt to silence the 15-year-old, she is more dangerous to Pakistan’s status quo than ever before and the Taliban is still trying to get her silenced. The world is willing to give this girl a voice and recognises what she has done for womanhood. For some it is very difficult to understand that gender equality may drive development (rather than the other way round).

for The Guardian wrote on Wednesday 30 October 2013 on Malala Yousafzai’s fearless and still-controversial memoir:

Malala Yousafzai

In Arabic, “revolution” is a feminine noun. This is fitting, as without women revolutions are sterile. They have no movement, no life, no sound. Urdu, a distorter of tongues, pilfering as it does from Persian, Hindi, but largely Arabic, uses the masculine word for coup d’etat – inqilab – for revolution, rather than the accurate feminine: thawra. Perhaps that’s why the Taliban were confused. Perhaps that’s why they imagined that shooting a 15-year-old girl would somehow enhance their revolution.

As the newly released 2013 Global Gender Gap Index — which measures gender parity in 136 countries — reminds us, gender equity isn’t simply a matter of equal rights.

From her book we can also see how dangerous it can be when there is no power fairly shared among the provinces of a country.  there is not only the deepening ethnic imbalance so profound that only an extraordinary common enemy could distract from it. The burgeoning power of the Taliban in today’s Pakistan should not be much of a surprise to those who understand, as Malala does, the need to redress these ethnic wounds.

After she got got the prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought she did not leave Belgium to leave it like it was before. Next she continued to speak in the parliament at the congress of the WIP: the Women in Parliaments Global Forum (from 27-29 November 2013). At that meeting is looked at reshaping society through female leadership; female empowerment for peace, security and integrity; impact of elected women in parliaments; fight against corruption; delivering on gender equality; gender studies in academics; and the use of technology and women’s political participation.

The intention of the summit is to consider the position of the woman in our society and how she can play a role in the development of the economical and political field of a country. Those countries bridging the gender gap will also receive awards for their leadership in this important task.

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Read more about the congress in Brussels:

Milestones for women ordered

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Please do find additional literature:

  1. Rise of the ‘secret’ ultra-Orthodox Jewish beauty salons
  2. The 2013 Time 100
  3. The Target
  4. The earth bleeds for Malala
  5. When gender inequality is good economics
  6. Gender equality and women’s rights in the post-2015 agenda
  7. Update: Malala Yousafzai “The Girl’s Hero:” The Ironic Gift of Glamour Magazine’s Woman of the Year Award

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  • Leonard Pitts: Malala Yousafzai’s courage (miamiherald.com)
    You may not listen to music or sing. You may not read. You may not leave the house except under certain strict conditions. You may not watch movies or television. You may not aspire. You may not learn.These are the strictures the Taliban seeks to impose upon women and girls in the places it infests, including the Swat Valley in Pakistan. And when she spoke against those strictures, when she gave interviews and wrote a blog asserting her right to learn and to be, Malala Yousafzai made herself a target of those men, one of whom boarded her school bus last October with a gun and asked, “Who is Malala?” None of the girls spoke, but a few glanced toward Malala and the gunman had his answer. He raised his pistol — it was a Colt .45 — and fired three shots. One bullet went through a girl’s hand. Another ended up in a girl’s right arm. And one went through the socket of Malala’s left eye.
  • Malala, Pakistan, and Israel (algemeiner.com)
    She has been given enough prestigious awards to last her several lifetimes, and may well enter the Guinness Book of Records for their sheer number. She has been received by the U.S. President and the Queen of Great Britain, by Prime Ministers, and innumerable dignitaries everywhere. She has spoken to the General Assembly of the United Nations. No matter where she goes, people listen to her. She talks of peace and education, and her message goes deep. Instead of silencing her, the Taliban turned her into a megaphone to trumpet aloud the emptiness of their philosophy.You would think the Pakistanis would love her to bits, and, of course, large numbers of them do. She’s bigger than all the Qawwali singers put together. Her name is everywhere. One day, she could stand for the post of Prime Minister. And God help the Taliban if that day ever dawns.
  • The creation of a Malala (maheshwarigangadhar.wordpress.com)
    The title of the autobiography, I am Malala itself indicates that the main idea is to present people with a photograph of the girl and tell them that she is Malala, with nothing else being revealed. She is the girl who spoke against the Taliban, but not the only girl; a fact that the world has not been enlightened with. Idolising her father, and with an interest in politics, Malala today is the West’s role model of what a young, school-going, oppressed (by Taliban) girl would be, if she ever spoke up and made herself evident to the world. She becomes a commodity through which the West can maintain an argument of international relations with a prosperous outcome and likewise.
  • Girls’ education in Pakistan – Malala Yousafzai (libraryeuroparl.wordpress.com)
    During their brief rule over the SwatValley, the Taliban destroyed more than 400 schools. More than half of these were girls’ schools. They argued that women (and girls) should stay in the home. The European Parliament stated in a 2012 resolution that violent extremism in Pakistan continues to impede the rights of girls. Since the government regained control of the region in 2009, it has rebuilt most of these schools, but there is still high inequality: there are 717 primary schools for boys, but only 425 for girls. Talimand Khan, from a Pakistani think-tank, adds that along with the number of schools, the quality of education has to be improved, too; some Pakistani religious representatives stated in interviews that girls should not receive the same education as boys, but be prepared to become ‘obedient’ wives and mothers.
  • Inspiration or danger? Private schools in Pakistan ban Malala Yousafzai’s book – The Independent (independent.co.uk)
    Yet in Pakistan, the reaction to Malala and her book has been mixed. Many have claimed she has been used by the West for its own interests. The Taliban threatened to attack bookshops that stocked it.Mr Kashif, who said 25 million pupils attended private schools in Pakistan, claimed that in the book Malala had defended the writing of Salman Rushdie on the grounds of free speech and had failed to use the abbreviation PUH – “peace be upon him” – when referring to the prophet Mohamed. He said there was a sense that Malala had not written large parts of the book, because it referred to things that happened before she was born.Observers say the ban comes amid discussions in Pakistan about Malala’s actions. It also follows recent controversy at a celebrated Lahore private school that started teaching sex education.
  • Education is a right, not a privilege. (laurenradmer.wordpress.com)
    The most valuable gift any person can receive is an education. In many African and Asian countries, women are discouraged or even forbidden from obtaining an education, in an attempt to spread male dominance and keep women ignorant. Many of these countries, including Pakistan, impose force and violence against women. According to a documentary created by the Department for International Development titled “Afraid and alone: Violence against women in Pakistan”, a woman in Pakistan is raped every two hours, 4,500 women experienced violence during the first 6 months of 2009, and roughly 1000 women are murdering in “honour killings” each year.
  • Malala (exploredreamexamine.wordpress.com)
    From my perspective, the gender gaps in women’s education Malala discusses are far closer to home than Pakistan is. As a student at an all-girls school that focuses on educating girls, I’m lucky. Girls don’t fall under the radar here as much as in co-ed schools, but are encouraged to take math, science and subjects typically considered to be “male- dominated.” But both in schools and in the workforce in the US, this is still a problem. Women are still paid less in the professional world, even when equally qualified as their male counterparts. Girls still are expected to be “worse” in math and science. Often stereotypes dominate our culture so much, it is hard to remove them.
  • Women need a voice and a seat at the table (theguardian.com)
    This week, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA) will bring together parliamentarians from around the world to discuss the post-2015 development agenda, with a conference on gender equality and women’s empowerment.Part of CPA’s work is aimed at empowering women leaders. This is about tackling a basic injustice, but it’s also critical to making the best, most informed decisions about poverty.
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    While most international leaders are happy to make a broad commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment, they have been too vague on the detail of what should be done and how. It is imperative that countries commit to specific, measureable outcomes, because, in the words of Hillary Clinton: “What gets measured gets done.”
  • Why Gender Equality Is Not Just About Equal Rights (theage.com.au)
    Women of the world: pack your warmest sweaters, and head immediately to Iceland.According to a newly released report from the World Economic Forum [pdf], Iceland is the No. 1 country in the world for gender equality, for the fifth year in a row. And that equality is helping propel Iceland and its fellow Nordic nations to new economic heights. Turns out, the smaller the gender gap, the more economically competitive the nation. Even when that nation is totally freezing.(The report puts Australia at 24th place on the gender gap index, just below the United States but below Burundi, Cuba and New Zealand. Australia has moved up in the ranking one position from last year, but that’s not so good when compared with the No. 15 ranking achieved in 2006.)
  • Gender Equality and Equality (aclarioncallforgenderequality.wordpress.com)
    he’ and ‘she’ they both have quality,
    they both have ability
    so we should prefer gender equity and equality….!

A New Perspective

More people should see the advantage they get when they can stay at home to spend time with the children. Taking time to teach the Word of God is one of those very important tasks given to us all, men and women. The stay-at-home mother with the right attitude can show the child how a Christian has to behave and how we as human beings can bring the Word of God into action, making the works of God visible to others.

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  • Changing My Perspective (mixwilliams.wordpress.com)
    I think all of us have had “stuff” in our past that has caused us to have self-doubt and not believe God’s promises.   We need to let go of our past, let go of our self-doubts, our disappointments, our baggage and anything else that is causing us not to believe God’s promises, move forward and stop questioning Why!  It’s not where we have been, where we started, but rather how we finish that matters.  It is changing our perspective and running the race with Him, letting go of our ugly pasts and basking in His Word today moving forward!
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    Did you know we were planted or born to display His splendor?   What a verse!  It does not matter if I am having a bad day, it does not matter how I am feeling, it does not matter if life is hurting, that verse says we should be displaying His splendor through it all. We are not to give up and wither when we are in a drought, but rather let our roots of our knowledge in Him draw us closer to Him.
  • Let’s Get Fresh Perspective (supportinggodlywomen.wordpress.com)
    Did you know the key to power is the renewed mind? The definition of a renewed mind is putting the Word of God in mind and acting accordingly.
  • Empowerment Café: Perspective (pinkcandyandstilettos.com)
    “This goes out to some of my favorite mommies…keep pushing you ARE making a difference. I admire your strength and perseverance!!!”  The message was timely, unexpected, sweet and extremely thoughtful.
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    While we are obsessing over the fine details of being a perfect mom, our little ones think that their “good enough” moms are simply perfect.  So moms, know that even in your imperfection, you are making a significant difference in your children’s lives.  As my girlfriend stated, we deserve to have those reminders every now and again.

It's All Grace

Imagine going to a job each morning where you can set your own schedule. You arrive when you want, take breaks whenever you want, and leave for an extended lunch hour without anyone breathing down your neck. Answering your phone calls and emails is regulated to a minimum each day, and the work responsibilities and goals you have are varied. There is no dress code or security passes to wear around your neck, and no one cares if you eat at your desk or play your favorite radio station. Your boss is off-site, and you can manage your workload to best suit your needs. Your work is rewarding and exciting, and you usually see immediate results from your efforts. Wouldn’t we all love to have a job that fits this description? As a homeschooling parent, you do!

Many homeschooling parents get caught up in the fact that they never receive…

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Gender roles and Multitasking parents

Women and/or men who choose to remain at home to look after their children face a torrent of prejudice.

Motherism or fatherism

Dr Aric Sigman, at a conference convened by Mothers At Home Matter warned of the rise of “motherism”; a prejudice against stay-at-home mothers, but for the same matter he could also have spoken about the stay-at-home fathers.
The “motherism” he is talking about could as well be called “fatherism” which is as dangerous for the men as the “motherism” is for the women. Both puts women and men off being stay-at-home parents, which is the developmental ideal in the present society.

There is not only a prejudice against stay-at-home mothers, also fathers who decide to spend some time off work to have more time with the kids are scammed.

writes:

There is a presentation of women who look after their own children full time as air-headed, spoilt and dowdy. However, there is also a prejudice against women who look after their children but aren’t dowdy (yummy mummies); women who go back to work after having had children; women who stay out of work but also employ nannies; women who work part-time and look after their children the rest of the time.

Wanting to stay home

How many mom’s would like to be stay at home Mom’s and how many Dad would like the be stay at home Dad, wonders Colleen Fassler of  Mom Wife Family Health Life.

In Belgium that answer would be clear: No body would dare to say they would like to stay at home to take care of the kids. The few who say that they would prefer to stay at home are looked at and considered to be the weaker elements of this society.

Our youngsters will have to work already until 67 before they can retire, but will only receive retirement allotment for the days they really worked to earn money, over their full career. The kids brought up in a one child family did not learn to share and do not want to share much with others. Many of them do not even find a reason why to marry when it is easier and with no strings, just to enjoy sex without any commitments.

SDT-2013-05-fertility-education-01The after babyboom generation with other aims

From the previous articles you can make up that today moms are different from those of the baby boom generation. They are not only more likely to have gone to university, they also want to realize their assets. To convert their knowledge into cash they are more likely to work full-time, less likely to have more than two children, and less likely to be married than previous generations.

In the United States, Pew Social Trends revealed that, from 2008 to 2011, the number of new mothers (women between the ages of 15 and 44 who have given birth in the past 12 months) with less than a high school diploma declined 17%, and the number with only a high school diploma went down 15%. By contrast, the number of new mothers with some college education fell by 6%, and the number with a bachelor’s degree or more fell by just 1%.

Marital status depending upon educational attainment

Although less educated women are a shrinking share of all new mothers, less educated women still have a higher average number of births throughout their lifetime than more educated women. By the end of their childbearing years, women without a high school diploma have on average 2.5 children, and women with a bachelor’s degree have about 1.7. This gap has closed only slightly over the past 25 years.

There are significant differences in the marital status of new mothers depending upon their educational attainment. While about six-in-ten (61% in 2011) women with less than a high school diploma are unmarried when they give birth, this share declines to only 9% among women with at least a bachelor’s degree. {Record Share of New Mothers are College Educated}

Experts have identified a strong linkage between child well-being and maternal education levels. On average, a mother with more education is more likely to deliver a baby at term and more likely to have a baby with a healthy birth weight. As they grow up, children with more educated mothers tend to have better cognitive skills and higher academic achievement than others. It is difficult to determine whether maternal education is causing some of these outcomes, or if it is serving as a proxy for some other causal factor (for example, economic well-being). What is irrefutable, though, is that on average the more education a woman has, the better off her children will be.

Working as hard as ever, but not at home

Moms are working as hard as ever — but they’re spending more time in offices than at home; as a result, moms and dads are more similar now than ever. For most of the 20th century (and before), parents specialized. Dad worked for money. Mom worked at home. But as female education increased — and mid-century technology made housework less time-intensive — moms and dads became less specialized. More moms worked more for money. More dads worked more at home.

At the moment we still may find many families where mothers are much more likely to do the “dirty work” of child care while fathers are more likely to spend a greater share of their time playing with kids or doing home maintenance, like mowing the lawn. But it’s a closing gap, whereby we have developed to a society where the household jobs are considered the ‘dirty jobs’ or jobs to be done by the uneducated and not useful persons. Being a mother or a father, staying at home is by many considered as profiting of the society and not done.

Social media fakes

Illustration of Facebook mobile interface

Illustration of Facebook mobile interface (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today it is just not done to become a parent or not to be able to show off with all the material wealth we can get today. Instead of spending time to create a real family people prefer to have a virtual circle of friends on Facebook. On Facebook a nice world is presented where the lives are consistently full of happy and wholesome family outings, when there are kids in the house, but mostly it are kidless photo-shoots of far away places with ever changing girlfriends or men.

Allison Hart, who says she loves her children, and who has also learned that motherhood is a series of shocks and disappointments, disgusting things under her fingernails, horrifying smells and constant irritation, writes:

In between those smiling moments are thousands of other moments which go undocumented on Facebook.

We all want to share our best moments. We all want that person we knew 22 years ago and haven’t seen since to think that we are living the life. We aren’t bored. We haven’t watched 13 hours of TV today. Our kids are as charming as they are cute so I’m never, ever jealous of your child-free globe-trotting life. The world can wait! Right now I’m doing the most important and fulfilling job a person can. Oh, and that one picture of me that I’ve posted within the last three years? That old thing? Gosh, I think the kids must have snapped that one while I was composting our garden. Yes I do that in silk and heels. Duh.

Preferring not to tell

Many mothers and fathers dare not to to say the things that most mothers and fathers have thought, but few have had the courage to admit. Telling others to chose for motherhood or fatherhood is like throwing oneself in front of the lions or facing the jaws.

The ones still daring to become a mother would like to become hyperefficient, which makes them only to fail in their made up world. They suddenly want to do everything at once. Some may learn to delegate, prioritize, negotiate and, when necessary, take the wrong choice to give up seeing friends, hoping to get themselves more time with their partner — hardest of all — sleep.

In one survey  posted for working parents, 88% of the nearly 500 respondents said they had suffered stress-related health problems (like anxiety and depression) since having kids and going back to work. One woman told her that at the peak of her working-mom stress, she started having seizures at night.

Most hostile country in the developed world for working parents of all income levels

Alcorn writes:

Studies like “The Three Faces of Work-Family Conflict” explain that America may be the most hostile country in the developed world for working parents of all income levels. Low-wage workers contend with rigid schedules, no paid time off and a lack of affordable child care, while professionals are often expected to work grueling hours and travel for business. Although we experience the problem in different ways, the result is the same: chronic stress.

To be sure, this is not only a women’s problem. As men become more involved at home, studies show that they too are struggling with work-family conflict. And often they work longer hours than women do. But mothers still do more housework and child care, even when both parents work. Mothers multitask more than fathers and enjoy less leisure time than fathers. And mothers experience more guilt about working full time than fathers do.

It makes sense, then, that women are more at risk for the health effects of stress. We are 60% more likely to suffer an anxiety disorder and 70% more likely to suffer from depression than men. Women may be four times as likely as men to suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome. Women are also more likely to suffer from eating disorders, sleep problems and substance abuse as a result of workplace stress.

Showbizz kids

Natalie Portman encounters the Berlinale audie...

Natalie Portman encounters the Berlinale audience and media (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jerusalem-born 32 years old Natalie Portman revealed that she loves being a mother and has learned to be less judgmental in the years following the birth of her son Aleph, two. She had to accept that parenting is an individual endeavour with no real rules of engagement.

‘I love being a mum,’ Portman said. ‘I’m less judgmental than before I had a kid. The biggest thing about parenting is that it is a totally different experience for every person.

‘Everything is cool, there are no rules – I mean, apart from not hurting your kid. Some people breastfeed until their babies are five, and some don’t breastfeed at all.

Showbizz people do not mind letting the world know they want some time to spend with their children. From those actors and actress it is accepted they may take sometime for their children. People are willing to give them some basic support to meet their competing obligations. But for ordinary folks the competitive world have created an impossible situation.

Young having to take care of the older ones

Our society if it is going to have enough young people to work for the payment of elderly their retirement and the non-active population, shall have to review her stance against married couples, parents and parenting.

We do not claim that it is better that women don’t work. They do have to play their role as well as the men and should be able to share the same duties. that means that men also should become equal to the women, and should also have to do tasks people considered a few years ago only for women, now also to be done by men.

Equality of gender a coin with three sides

The equality of gender should go both ways. the population has to give everybody the right to make their own choice about work and leisure? Everybody should be allowed to choose how much time to spend at a job and what to do in the unpaid sector, be it voluntary work or household work.

says:

  • we can’t keep going at this pace. We need more fathers to share the work of raising a family (which means, for many men, working less).
  • We need employers to offer options like telecommuting, flexible scheduling and better part-time jobs to protect all workers from burning out.
  • We need better government policies: things like paid sick leave and paid parental leave, something every developed country in the world except the U.S. offers its citizens.

The bottom line is this: we have to stop making mothers choose between financial stability and their own health.

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Young Woman Mother with Daughter Girl

Young Woman Mother with Daughter Girl (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Preceding articles:

Connection between women and environmental sustainability

Having children interferes with work

Poverty and conservative role patterns

Surviving Motherhood: things to get excited about, right now

Gender Roles, What?

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Please do also find to read:

  1. Parenthood made more difficult
  2. Gender equality and women’s rights in the post-2015 agenda
  3. Do stay-at-home mothers upset you? You may be a motherist
  4. Motherhood Gave Me a Nervous Breakdown
  5. Avoiding the big questions
  6. How Motherhood Is Changing Dramatically—in 11 Graphs
  7. I want to get paid for changing diapers, but i don’t want to run a day care
  8. I started off with the little things….
  9. I’m not a Mooch

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  • College Education – Talking It Out With Your Folks (degreesinusa.wordpress.com)
    the rising costs of getting college education can be daunting for some parents to bear. If your parents were not able to save for the day you have to go to college then it will be all bad news. That is why before you set your sights on getting post-secondary education, it is best to consult your parents about your decision. Here are some great tips that you can use in order to convince your parents that getting a college education can immensely make your life better.
  • No more apologies (inadifferentvoice.co.uk)
    Instead of being able to identify with any positive model of what I’m currently doing with my life, I frequently feel obliged to delineate all of the things I am Not. Granted, in small stages, and in comparison to the enormous inequalities of the world, these niggles are a drop in the ocean. I move on with my colossal buggy to face the tuts of another innocent childless pedestrian. It is only when I stop and consider the bigger picture, or talk to other parents, that I find that it is the experience itself which is mind-numbingly pedestrian. To be a SAHM mum is to be a disparaged vacuum.
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    I find perspective in unexpected places; conversations with older women for example who have highlighted that in their day it was the working mums who faced approbrium (thanks Norma), or from men who want to be more involved but feel childcare is still left in a box reserved for women.
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    Feminists are fairly agreed in their critique of the 1950’s housewife model (despite that many women couldn’t afford not to work anyway), yet it seems to have swept over the fact that despite six decades of development, much of the actual work of the SAHM remains unchanged. I cook, bake, organise activities, tend to children, shop and clean (for visitors, sometimes). I do many housewifey things. But when I look to feminism for positive reinforcement of that, I often feel there’s just a dark swirl of snarky remarks, lack of understanding, and an image of Audrey Hepburn in a flowery frock, shrugging vacantly.
  • The rise of ‘Motherism’ – prejudice against stay-at-home mums (telegraph.co.uk)

    Dr Sigman, a fellow of the Society of Biology and associate fellow of the British Psychological Society, has argued in the past that evidence about the long-term effects of sending very young children to full-time day care is being ignored because of a political and economic agenda.

    Addressing a conference organised by the Mothers At Home Matter group, he said that evidence from biosciences showed that mothers provided “unrivalled benefits” to young children that other people, including fathers, cannot.
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    Many working families see “full time” parenting as a luxury enjoyed only by those wealthy enough to live on one wage or those on benefits.

    Dr Sigman, who has four children, said that the derogatory attitudes towards stay-at-home mothers appeared to be the result of a mix of political and economic agendas.

    “I suppose the older feminism, liberal-Left feminism, has ended up a strange bedfellow with Right-wing capitalism.”

  • Comment: In pursuit of gender equality and work-life balance (sbs.com.au)
    Sociologists have spent decades looking at work-family conflict and the stress associated with combining work and family roles. The bulk of the research identifies which individuals report the most work-family conflict. Not surprisingly, they find that women, professionals, people who work longer hours and people with greater workplace flexibility are more likely to say family conflicts with work.This research, of course, validates many of our experiences. Yes, there is gender inequality. Yes, people in professional positions struggle with balancing work and family roles. Yes, your boss can hear your toddler harassing the kitty while you are on the phone. And, yes, these are real problems that deserve real solutions.
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    in the most gender-equal societies, such as Sweden, Norway and Finland, this pattern changes. Fathers in these countries are the most likely to report family interferes with their work life than are mothers or individuals without children.So what gives? Why are Swedish dads having such a hard time? We suspect that Swedish men may not be able to opt-out of childcare responsibilities while at work like men in lower gender-equality countries because they have an institutional structure that encourages gender equality.
  • “Superwoman: Can Today’s Women Have It All?” (katelynbudroe.wordpress.com)
    The history of women working outside the home began when women entered the workforce during WWII. Men went to war and vacated jobs which required a labor force. In a world where the average housewife did not work outside the home a marketing campaign ensued. The U.S. government lured women with the iconic symbol of “Rosie the Riveter” with the underlying message that it was their patriotic duty to work. After the war when men returned to their jobs there was a new social shift in America and a new generation of women. America had to contend with a new playing field as women’s outlooks and attitudes toward work were born.
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    In real life there are far too few women among the highest ranks of the professions, and millions of everyday women struggle to make ends meet and to juggle work and family.
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    The increase of women working outside the home has caused an increase in divorce rates. During the recession when many men lost their jobs, women were able to find work quicker than men. This is usually attributed because men could not find jobs that paid them the same salaries as they had before they lost their jobs and women were filling jobs at lower wages. The realization by women that she can be a good provider may be an indication that a working wife will choose divorce over and unsatisfactory marriage. But the reverse is equally probable. Financial problems cause tension and often play a key role in ending a marriage. The lack of two incomes forces men to stay home and sometimes causes a rift in a marriage as the gender roles are reversed and men feel less competent and is no longer the provider. For married women it is difficult to maintain a happy marriage as she becomes the primary breadwinner and more independent.
  • Why “Working Mother” Is A Redundant Term, Part 2 (sarahsiders.com)
    When one of my best friends, someone who vigilantly linked arms with me in our efforts to empower women, decided to leave the workforce and stay home, we both had some philosophical wrestling to do.
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    Being a stay-at-home parent sounded impossible. In fact, my day job felt like an escape. I got to run off into my area of competency all day, got to look knowledgeable and pretend to be “the expert”, with opportunities for acknowledgement for all my contributions.
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    So back to the “working mother” business. This term has got to go. It not so subtly implies that stay-at-home moms like my friend aren’t working, that they are just sitting there catching up on 30 Rock episodes while their Roomba vacuums and a nanny totes the children about to various activities. Hardly.
  • Why Gender Equality Is Not Just About Equal Rights (theage.com.au)
    According to a newly released report from the World Economic Forum [pdf], Iceland is the No. 1 country in the world for gender equality, for the fifth year in a row. And that equality is helping propel Iceland and its fellow Nordic nations to new economic heights. Turns out, the smaller the gender gap, the more economically competitive the nation. Even when that nation is totally freezing.
  • Motherless Mom. (tdawneightyone.wordpress.com)
    For me, there are no words available that will allow me to convey what it is like to be a motherless daughter.  It means something different at every stage in my life.  Hope Edelman wrote in her book “Motherless Daughters” about wanting to shout to everyone that her mom died because it sums up so much of who she is and I get that. The only thing that has impacted me greater than losing my mom at the age of 15 has been becoming a mom myself.
  • Breastfeeding support for mom (utsandiego.com)

    Breastfeeding. Women have been doing it since the beginning of human history, though the practice has gone in and out of vogue many times since then. For some women, it’s harder now than ever to take on the task.

    “There is definitely a very clear understanding in our society … that breastfeeding is absolutely best for babies and mothers,” said Diana West, media relations director for La Leche League International, a mother-to-mother breastfeeding support organization that formed in the 1950s.“The problem is mothers understand that intellectually but then the baby is born and they have difficulty.”

  • Lessons in Feminism, From my Father. (thisclimbingbean.wordpress.com)
    It was the mid-80s. We were Anglican Church-goers, and the idea of women in the priesthood was not new, but it was by no means widely accepted, especially not in our small West Australian diocese. My father was a deacon by then, having assisted as a lay person during services for some time. But even though women did help in the service occasionally, and were involved in other areas of the church family, they were not in leading roles.Yet my father didn’t go into any of this. He simply told me that if I wanted to be a priest, then I could. By the time I was grown up, he suggested, there might be lots of women who were priests.
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    once he had showed me that the world could certainly use more strong women, and that I could be one of them, he would turn this around on me. I’d bring home a report, I’d do well in a competition, and he would shrug, then say, eyes twinkling, ‘Yeah, it’s alright I guess. For A Girl.‘Because he could throw that line at me now, knowing that I got the joke. It’s not that others had moved beyond that attitude, that prejudice. It still existed. It still does. But it was his way of pushing me, and of praising me without having to say the words.