TALIBAN AND THE RISING TIDE OF WOMEN
Two women have captured my heart in the last few days, Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan and the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. I’m sure that most of you have heard about Malaya. She is only fourteen years old. She lies in a medical induced coma trying to survive gunshot wounds to the head and neck. She was shot point blank by the Taliban because she attended school and spoke out for the rights of other girls to attend school. If she lives, the Taliban has promised to try to murder her again. The bright spot in this, if there is one, is that Malala’s family is supporting her and her actions against the murderous threats of the Taliban. Another bright spot occurred in the Australian parliament recently. Prime Minister Julia Gillard gave the most passionate speech condemning misogyny in government I have ever heard. Check out Gillard’s speech attacking Tony Abbott (opposition) for his sexist actions and remarks in government on Youtube if you haven’t already. Julia Gillard is spell binding. The video has gone viral.
BC MP Elizabeth May and Premier Pauline Marois of Quebec are two Canadian women leaders trying to move governments to embrace a more egalitarian value system. Their efforts to increase respect for women, kids and the environment are of course severely hampered by our prime minister who belongs to a Christian evangelical fundamentalist church. The pastor and congregation of this church are heavily steeped in Biblical prophecy which they take literally. In my view this in turn fosters the belief that it doesn’t matter much about the environment anyway, or the needs of the poor, who are primarily women and children because it’s all going to end soon as we are in the End Times . According to scripture the End Times precedes the Second Coming of Christ.
Mary Daly, international Catholic theologian. Philosopher and feminist (she died two years ago) suggested in her book “Beyond God the Father” that the Second Coming so anticipated by Christian fundamentalists might be hugely surprised when it gets here. Daly suggests the Second Coming is really the “Be-Coming” of women in leadership roles demanding equality for all humans along with care for the environment. In other words, Daly thinks women will bring the end of patrarichary. In the meantime we have male Conservative politicians who are trying to bring back the debate on when life begins, which is of course, the angle they hope might eventually outlaw abortion. The question of when life begins for a single human egg is still fuzzy, but one thing is becoming clearer all the time, and that is how, when and where the first truly human person (Homo sapiens sapiens) was born.
Homo means man, of course, and Homo sapiens sapiens means thinking man (to differentiate modern humans from Neanderthal types). When these words are strung together they mean the human man, hence the term mankind. Women are supposed to be included in this description. The thought and image of women as subordinate to the male simply became part of religious thinking which eventually turned into civil law in Europe. Remember Adam and Eve? This myth is deeply embedded in at least half of the world’s brains, both male and female. But the entire world is going to have to rethink this Biblical myth, and other creation stories, because according to the geneticists at University of California, Berkeley, when Eve was born there was no Adam. The very first Homo sapiens sapiens wasn’t a guy at all…she was a baby girl. And she was a mutant, so to speak. That is, she mutated in her mother’s womb to become the first truly human being, one that differentiated her from all the other man-apes (and women-apes). According to these geneticists this happened approximately two hundred thousand years ago in Africa and all of the humans on earth today are descended from this first human female child. But after the rise of patriarchy female children were treated brutally as property of the men; this is still happening in many countries. Let us center our minds and hearts on the life and death struggle our little sister and daughter Malala Yousafzai is waging. More later about how and when the geneticists made this discovery of the first human. Oh, and this video was just sent to me from Silver Donald Cameron. Check it out, too, if you have time.