Thursday, March 10, 2005

International Women's Month

March 8th

International Women's Day (International Women's Month)

Louise Bernikow explains the origins of this celebration.

  • http://www.alternet.org/rights/21445/

    "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world."
  • http://www.theotherpages.org/poems/wallace1.html

    It was wonderful of the poet, William Rose Wallace, to have written such glowing words regarding women and motherhood. It is surely a wonderful fantasy, isn't it? For in truth, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world only as long as within lies a babe of the male gender.

    Now, now, some of you will say, what of all the strides women have made in the last centuries! We have women in positions of power, why we are even speaking of perhaps nominating a woman for President! And I would say, in reply, why has it taken so long for a woman to BE in a position of being nominated?

    So, as I can look with pride at what my sisters have accomplished in the arts, law, medicine, politics, I can then look just half way around the world and despair. I think back to the Holocaust and all my sisters who lost their lives in the ovens of the Third Reich. Those women whose only "crime" was being Jewish. Women in Iraq who see, on a daily basis, the slaughter of their loved ones. Women in Afghanistan who are subjugated by a male dominated theocratic society in which they are hidden within the folds of the burka, and whose very footfalls must not be heard. Whose existence, if they are widows, is somehow sinful.
  • http://www.hrw.org/press/2002/12/herat1217.htm
  • (http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/engASA110111999

    Women in Saudi Arabia who, even in the 21st century, perhaps see, as punishment, being stoned to death for a peccadillo.
  • http://www.globaleye.org.uk/secondary_spring03/eyeon/women.html

    I look at Darfur where women are being slaughtered in a genocidal craze.
  • http://www.darfurgenocide.org/

    Female babies In China who are killed at birth simply because of their gender.
  • http://www.gendercide.org/case_infanticide.html)
  • http://acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~phalsall/texts/c-wnhol.html

    Female genital mutilation is still practiced in many Arab and African countries, a definite way to control a woman's innate sexualtiy.
  • http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/jc.htm

    India, where if not murdered at birth, females are subject to much violence and coercion.
  • (http://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/india/India994-11.htm

    We have come a long, long way in many societies but it is glaringly evident that we have much further to go. Violence against women in our own country is still runs rampant, with the victim, oftimes as not, made out to be the cause of it all. As much as we pride ourselves on being an enlightened society, one in which many women are on a par with their male counterparts, even in this country many women still do not speak with an entirely unfettered voice. If they do they are apt to be greeted with a stereotypical reaction from many, (men as well as other women) as if we have forgotten "our place".

    And as much as we might grimace at the religious totalitarianism of other countries, where a religion will use the word of God to keep women in control, we must look at our own house. Not too many years ago one religious denomination, in this country, sought to reinforce that wives must "obey" their husbands; take a back seat. Men still have the dominate role in the control over our bodies and selves.

    One day, hopefully in the not too distant future, we may be able to celebrate an International Women's Day, one which truly means that women all over this planet are the women THEY choose to be and not what others expect them to be.

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