Monday, July 20, 2009

Weeds Are On the Rise!

JULY has been an exciting month for women’s progress in the world.

First, SARAH PALIN removed herself as a target for hate groups by announcing her resignation as governor of Alaska. She will no longer cost Alaskans money to defend her against mythical ethics charges that must by law be investigated. So far, those complaints have amounted to nothing more than bills for taxpayers and the Palin family and a repudiation of the accusations.

By acting outside the politically acceptable behavior zone, Palin once again has shown that she does not necessarily abide by tradition, either political or cultural. Her choice to abandon her post in favor of her state’s right to have a governor spending time on state issues rather than her personal issues is a first.

The observer does not have to like Sarah Palin in order to admit this is an unusual action that deviates from the male norm. It remains to be seen if this is the proper course of action for both Palin and for Alaska.

The second stunning announcement came from former President JIMMY CARTER about his departure from the Southern Baptists because of their treatment of women. This is a major step forward for the restoration of females to their rightful place in the world as primary rather than secondary citizens. When any prominent male issues a challenge to his fellow compatriots as Carter has just done, it signals a change in the status of women on the horizon.

Carter says the subjugation of women is based on skewed biblical interpretations, and that there are biblical stories suggesting not only is slavery acceptable but even oppression of the populace by tyrants is permissible. Most people would not go along with either of those actions but they have yet to stop viewing women as inferior.

A careful reading of the story of Adam and Eve by male religious leaders (and they have been all male until the last few decades) results in an interpretation that Adam was tempted by the serpent through Eve and mankind fell from grace. That one story, and no proof has ever been found that it even happened, is the basis for the subjugation of women worldwide.

A lack of proof of biblical stories requires strong faith to believe they are accurate recitations of past events. What is shocking is that faith is required to believe that women are subservient to men.

It is painfully obvious that males wrote this story because Adam did not accept responsibility for his actions and Eve got blamed as an all-time temptress. This ancient metaphor is undoubtedly the forerunner to history’s judicial and religious placement of blame on the “temptress” female in rape cases. In the Middle East, the policy on rape is that the female who tempts the male always causes it. Looking at rape cases in the U.S., it is possible to see a version of this same policy in effect.

Carter cites a group he belongs to called The Elders, an independent organization of eminent global leaders founded by Nelson Mandela. This group works at building peace and addressing the causes of human suffering in an effort to promote the shared interests of humanity. The Elders have now published a statement that declares it is unacceptable to justify discrimination against females on the grounds of religion or tradition or even on the basis of a Higher Authority.

When THE ELDERS allow world women leaders to become a part of their group overseeing humanity’s problems, they will reach the epitome of perfection.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Judicial Appointments and Women

What is the desirability of having a majority of white males making all judicial decisions, both in the upper and lower courts, as has been the case since the founding of the country 233 years ago?

Have these courts always ruled judiciously with decisions that stood the test of time? Nope. Could any such body always rule judiciously with decisions that stand the test of time? Nope.

There is no way the Supreme Court can be diversified by quotas. Presidents must always look at the composition of the Court and fill in the gaps with qualified people where possible. The question of “qualifications” is the culprit: Women were allowed to vote only 89 years ago so how can they be qualified as compared to males?

It may come as a surprise or shock to some, but women have always been involved behind the scenes through the males in their lives. Learning by osmosis and trial-and-error is how the first women in public office achieved because they had no other way.

There is no difference today in the qualifications of women and men because women have 89 years of experience as openly contributing members of society. Those who prepare through education must be given equal opportunity to achieve political success whether male or female.

Women make up about 53% of the population in this country. It is time they were adequately represented in every branch of government on all levels.

No, women will not always be the best choice, make the right decisions, or avoid the controversies that plague males. Women deserve the opportunity to give it a try just as the other half of humanity has had that chance.

The problem remains: Cultural messages about women’s inferiority have blocked women from leadership in this country. It is time to end that bias.