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Posts Tagged ‘politics’

I regularly feel as if my head will explode as I observe how women are still being treated and judged, and today – after watching the latest Bridgett Jones’ movie with a friend this morning, seeing the predictable and “happy” ending where she has no job, but has the man and the baby so obviously, what more could/should a woman want? – feel motivated to write something that I’ve written before, and no doubt will write again.

I am fed up that leaders of nations and those who aspire to be leaders of nations can only see women as sexual beings, or in the context of their relationships with men (as wives, daughters or mothers), rather than as real, conscious, responsible, intelligent, contributing and equal human beings

I am furious that so many men only feel personally feel offended by poor treatment or attitudes towards women if they think that their “wives and daughters” might be treated badly, but didn’t feel any concerns or were not motivated to do anything about it previously when their wives and daughters or all the other women around the world were and are still denied the right to make decisions about education, or family building, or their own bodies.

I am overwhelmed with frustration at the fact that women are still criticised for sounding strident or aggressive when a man will be called strong, that their ideas, thoughts, and voices are dismissed until a man comes up with the same idea, that their diplomacy or tact is seen as a weakness, and that these are all injustices that I have endured, and that I have seen my female family and friends endure.

I want all girls and young women (including but not only my nieces and daughters of my friends) to grow up and inhabit a world in which they are seen as individuals, not as extensions of men as wives and daughters and sisters and mothers, and not as women whose value is determined by their size and shape, their looks, or their behaviour that has to conform to a different standard than that of the men around them.

I want all girls and young women (including but not only my nieces and daughters of my friends), to have outstanding role models of both genders who are respected and fairly treated and free of judgement and harassment and stereotypes, and to grow up knowing that they are free to choose their own paths in the world, in their everyday lives, and private lives.

And I want all boys and young men (including but not only my nephews and sons of my friends) to see women as individuals in their own right, to respect and treat them fairly, never to judge and harass and impose their will or ignore their voices, to be confident enough in their own skin to never put a woman or girl down because of their gender, to see their friends and colleagues and family and community members who are women as equal as their friends and colleagues and family and community members who happen to be men.

Thirty years ago, I was a new graduate, a young feminist who was full of hope that all this would and must become a thing of the past, and now I am a jaded, tired and disappointed woman, but still, and always, a feminist.

 

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After Things about America Kiwis Love, you must have known this was coming.  Apologies in advance. 

  • Tipping.  How can visitors ever figure out when, or how much, or who, we’re supposed to tip.  It’s a minefield we’re doomed never to understand!  Why not just pay people a decent wage and charge a little more?
  • Adding tax at the check-out, not on the price-tag.
  • Pennies.  What do you do with them all?
  • All the banknotes look the same.  Do people ever make mistakes?
  • US spelling.  Yes, I know I’ve said this before.  But it’s just wrong!
  • Wearing green on St Patrick’s Day.  It’s an excuse for green beer here and a lot of over-indulgence, but that’s about it.  I’m of Irish descent, but never really knew about St Patrick’s Day until I got to university.  It is promoted mainly by bars and clubs for obvious reasons.  No-one else makes much of a fuss.  (Well, except for two dear friends of ours who met on St Patrick’s Day ten years ago).
  • The message that “America is the best place in the world.  Everyone wants to move here.”  (Blame the media, as this is where we hear it.  All the time).  Umm.  Well.  Sorry, but no.  We don’t.  I guess what we really don’t understand is why it is so important to emphasise this all the time?  Is the country that insecure?  How can it be when it is so large, so powerful, and has George Clooney?  (Though I will add that I’d love to live in DC for a year or two).
  • The “right” to bear arms.  Huh?  We really don’t get that.  What about the right to safety, the right to live in a society where guns aren’t routinely carried by police or criminals?  Where you don’t hear fireworks and automatically think of gunshot?
  • The right to free speech, as long as you don’t criticise the USA, the flag, the troops, or God.
  • The US political system, and US politics (the two things are different, but equally puzzling).
  • Politicised news media.  What happened to the idea of the Fourth Estate?  (which brings me to …)
  • Fox News.
  • Donald Trump.
  • Donald Trump’s hair.
  • The strong role of religion in society/politics/the sheer number of people who identify as religious.  We don’t realise this about the US – and even when we do, we don’t understand how it is possible, given the whole “separation of church and state” idea.
  • Peanut butter and jelly.  Peanut butter and chocolate (way to spoil the chocolate).  Oh heck, just peanut butter.  (Yes, I know we have Marmite and Vegemite.  But this is my blog, and I don’t understand the attraction of peanut butter!)
  • Bucket-size cups of filter coffee.  Shudder.
  • Cheerleaders.  My feelings about cheerleaders are worth an entire post on their own.  Nope.  I don’t understand.
  • Baseball caps at the dinner table.
  • Why a main course (on a menu) is called an entree when it is not.
  • Graduation at many different levels of education.  (We only have university graduation ceremonies with cap and gown.)
  • How big the US really is.  We forget.  The scale of it is hard to get our island-bound heads around.

Disclaimer:  Forgive my observations and inevitable generalisations – I know that many Americans, including many of my readers, struggle to understand/accept some of these things too.

Note to my Readers:  Believe it or not, I self-censored.  A lot.   And I love you all! 

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