We live in a world in which women are the preferred target of different types of violence: physical, sexual, psychological, economic, symbolic and structural, among others. A type of violence we are not talking so much about is spiritual violence. This can be defined as using a person’s spiritual beliefs to harm, manipulate, dominate or control the person.
Spiritual violence includes, but is not limited to: disallowing the person to follow his or her preferred spiritual or religious tradition; forcing a spiritual or religious path or practice on another; belittling or making fun of a person’s spiritual or religious tradition, beliefs or practices; and, using one’s spiritual or religious position, rituals or practices to manipulate or alienate a person. Continue reading “God, Gender Violence and The Male Ego by Vanessa Rivera de la Fuente”
Patriarchy is a system of male dominance, rooted in the ethos of war which legitimates violence, sanctified by religious symbols, in which men dominate women through the control of female sexuality, with the intent of passing property to male heirs, and in which men who are heroes of war are told to kill men, and are permitted to rape women, to seize land and treasures, to exploit resources, and to own or otherwise dominate conquered people.
As the discussion of patriarchy* I began last week and the week before shows, patriarchy is not simply the domination of women by men. Patriarchy is an integral system in which men’s control of women’s sexuality, private property, and war (including violence, conquest, rape, and slavery) each play a part. These different elements are so intertwined that it is impossible to separate one as the cause of the others. Patriarchy is an integral system of interlocking oppressions, enforced through violence, and legitimated by religions.
Can women have it all? Possibly. Can men ever have it all? Maybe. Regardless of however we put it, the are ills to every good deed in the world and we need to get back to understanding how and why we use each other in order to fully understand that behind every good man might be a good woman but also behind every good women there might also be a good man.
Growing up, my favorite movie was The Associate staring Whoopi Goldberg as a woman at a Wall Street firm attempting to climb her way up the corporate ladder through hard work and dedication. Her character Laurel Ayres does all the work and comes up with the ideas that clients eventually invest in, her partner Frank takes all the credit and eventually surpasses her at work by getting the promotion she had been vying for. In a prodigious scene that I still vividly remember from my childhood, Laurel quits her job and starts an investment firm on her own; betting every cent and piece of property she has on the eventual success of her new business adventure.
In an attempt to break through the proverbial glass ceiling and play with the big boys of Wall Street, Laurel eventually discovers that although she can be (and is) the genius behind many of the great ideas that would save companies millions, she still needs to have her ideas expelled by a man she creates in order to win over clients, which eventually leads her to become successful. However, while Laurel is reaping in the benefits of having Mr. Cutty, her made up business partner, by her side, she eventually learns that no matter what she does she will always be secondary to her male business partner. Continue reading “Why Men (and Women) Can’t Have It All by John Erickson”
It is our moral responsibility, whether we identify as Christians or not, to pray for not prey on the victims of tragedies.
Over the last month, dare I say years, society has witnessed or been subjected to an all out war from radical Christians across America deploying the wrath of God and reveling in the tragedy of others to perpetuate their apocalyptic message of rhetoric and terror. As I hear the news over the last few months, an old Billy Joel song starts to play in my head “We didn’t start the fire.” Whether we started the fire or not, we should not feed the flames of hatred but figure out a way to extinguish it.
Here is a brief synopsis of current events that reflect this hatred and radicalism perpetuated in the name of God – examples of Christianity terrorizing or preying on victims through their actions.
The Westboro Southern Baptist Church: Preying on Victims at Funerals and Thanking God for their Tragic Deaths
Their web address says it all: www.godhatesfags.com. This group, which one cannot call Christian but rather “hate-mongers,” threatened to burn the Qur’an, was banned from Facebook for spreading hatred against homosexuals, and recently had the audacity to picket funerals of Americans killed in natural disasters, most recently, a teen-age shooting victim, Daniel Parmertor (age 16), from Chardon, Ohio. Thankfully, volunteers across Ohio and a local group of bikers formed a human barricade to keep these people away from the funeral and grieving family and community.