{ Under The Bluegums }

A personal blog with craft tutorials, reviews of books, films, and music, parenting advice, and opinions on society and politics.

June 29, 2012

Elephant Interaction

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elephant-interaction
@ChristieFynn's recent photo of an elephant made me realise I haven't yet talked about the elephant interaction I experienced at the end of last year.

After reading Lawrence Anthony's The Elephant Whisperer, I felt I had to meet an elephant. Even though the idea of animals being trained for entertainment purposes is unsavoury to me, it is sadly the only way for many of us to be with these wonderful creatures and share in their awe-inspiring auras.

Elephants are known as one of Africa's most intriguing creatures. They are rumoured to have a high regard for their dead; their heads are matriarchal; and just from reading Anthony's book, you can see that they have an intuition that is unparallelled.

Being with an elephant was such a calming experience. It feels like being with one of the oldest souls of the world.

I was sad about seeing the elephants under the guard of men with elephant prods. I know what they're used for, but I will say that the animals looked healthy.

What makes me more sad is the fact that one day, zoos, elephant interactions and the like might be the only way to experience these animals at all.

Anyway, here are some photos from the day. :)


My mom and dad. Classic.
Shaun and I with Themba.

June 28, 2012

Video of the Week

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I might not be an uber gamer, but I do enjoy a game now and then, and Diablo III is on my list right now. I can start playing on Friday night at 6 and continue right through till 2 in the morning.

Although this video doesn't really apply to me (because I'm a girl), I still thought it was really funny! :)

Tell me what you think of it? (Even if it is quite sexist...)

June 27, 2012

Misguided Fans

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r-kelly
I ask this question myself so many times.

We laud those celebrities who are rich and famous no matter what they've done. Look at R. Kelly: didn't he pee on underage prostitutes? Didn't he make Aaliyah, who was still underage, pregnant, and marry her to cover up the scandal? What about Chris Brown, who beat Rihanna to a near-pulp, but is still respected as a musician and even fawned over by young women the world over? The King of Pop was rumoured to have been a paedophile. What about Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and countless other Hollywood socialites who care not what they're caught doing?

These people should be shunned for their crimes, not held up on pedestals of adoration. What do you think?

{Image Attribution: Wikimedia Commons/Nicholas Ballasy}

June 25, 2012

Models Breaking the Mould? Hah!

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model
This article in the Guardian talks about five models who are supposedly 'breaking the mould' of what is acceptable in the modelling industry.

We have the older model, the overweight model, the black model, the 'feminist' model, and the androgynous model. But it seems one of the most important things in the article is not so much the models, but the food they eat. The article starts out asking if models eat biscuits, and we discover that indeed, they do, if they're Daphne Selfe, the older model. Oh, she also eats cake. What type of cake we're not told. Possibly a carrot cake? One made without sugar and cream cheese icing?

To make matters worse, every model is asked what they ate during the day. The meals are sometimes scant and depressing, and even when they seem to be large, like Daphne's "chicken or salmon with rice and lots of vegetables", I can't help but picture eensy-weensy servings. Controversial model Andrej Pejic even admits, "To maintain a 25-inch waist, you can't go round eating cakes and chocolate". Spot any contradictions at all?

And the buxom model says: "It was impossible not to look at magazines and look at my body and think, 'if only I was skinnier' or, 'if only my legs weren't so muscular", she says. So there is hope for the normal women, after all? Oh, wait, Sophie Dahl was also supposed to revolutionise the modelling industry. And we all know what happened to her...

And what did she have to eat the entire day? A detox juice and a coffee, a beet salad and pumpkin and tofu crepe for lunch, and a cornmeal patty for dinner.

I don't know about you, but the modelling industry seems to be so full of contradictions. No wonder women are so confused nowadays. These women have valuable insight, such as Tara Lynn's
"It's such a normal part of human socialisation to measure ourselves against our peers, thinking, 'Do I fit into that?' But it's valuable to have diversity. We have to celebrate our bodies. There is no reason to hate what you live in - the only choice is to take care of it."
but I feel that the article is so full of hurtful statements that completely drown out the positives:

- Andrej's statement about a 25-inch waist;
- Daphne's statements: "I think it's fine for a woman of my age to have long hair, but I think we should wear it up"; "What upsets me is the way older people don't bother any more. I never go out without make-up."
- Charlotte Free on not shaving his underarms: "I only shave them once in a blue moon for a really big job. I like to keep my body hair. It's a symbol of how I'm not going to conform to something that's so ridiculous" - those really big jobs are the ones that would matter in the greater scheme of things, surely?
- Jourdan Dunn: "Being away from my son kills me, but I do get to go to amazing places" - that's really much better, then.

Maybe I'm just being over-analytical because it's late and I'm kind of sleepy, but what do you think?

{Image Attribution: By CHRISTOPHER MACSURAK (Flickr: Andrej Pejić) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons}

June 23, 2012

Complete

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"When you realise there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you" ~ Lao Tzu

{Image Attribution: See page for author [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons}

June 22, 2012

Explaining White Male Privilege to the Average Straight White Male

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June 22, 2012 

I love this. From the annals of Whatever, this is how you would explain the idea of male privilege to the average straight white male of the world. It makes use of an RPG metaphor, and I love it. :)

Please do read it!! Here's an excerpt:
"So that’s “Straight White Male” for you in The Real World (and also, in the real world): The lowest difficulty setting there is. All things being equal, and even when they are not, if the computer — or life — assigns you the “Straight White Male” difficulty setting, then brother, you’ve caught a break."
via Feminist Philosophers

{Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Ignacio javier igjav}

June 20, 2012

Music Review || Fiona Apple's New Album

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fiona-apple-idler-wheel-cover
Fiona Apple is my favourite, favourite musician. I could not count the number of times I’ve listened to her albums on all my family’s digits. Her music has grown with me from high school to adulthood, and I’ve found a melody and a lyric for every mood and every situation.

Thus, I can’t explain the excitement I felt when I heard that the release date for her new album The Idler Wheel… was only in six months’ time. Yeah, that was a bit of a way back in time, and I’ve been waiting eagerly since then. I hadn’t even listened to the music they released ahead of it because I wanted to leave my experience of the album pure. (Yes, I am a little off-the-wall)

I was filled with trepidation on Monday morning: will the new album even be available in South Africa? Luckily I acquired a copy, and have been listening to it almost non-stop since Tuesday morning.

My first thoughts: different, but still Fiona. Is this art or music, or is it intended to be both? Why do I feel like she’s pushed me away? I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. What was the point of her vocal flourishes, and the sometimes-crazy instrumental interruptions?

After my first listen, I perused several reviews of her album. I could not agree with the New York Daily News’ view that you could respect the album but “never once listen to [it] again” because I was already dying to listen to it again, despite feeling a little overwhelmed and confused. And I’ve come to realise that this is certainly not the type of album you can only listen to once: it is saturated with little nuances of meaning and little catches of melody that you won’t hear the first time around.

Listening to the album is trying to discover the meaning of a poem; you have to hear the album, not simply listen to it, to understand what Fiona’s trying to say. Truly hearing the album is the secret to understanding those aforementioned vocal flourishes, which really fit into the entirety of the album beautifully, and it has a focus that Fiona herself has appeared to lack in recent years. But appearances are deceiving.

The more you hear her, the closer you get to her, so the idea that she’s trying to push her fans away has no support. You won’t find another album as introspective and self-obsessed as this one, and she’s as introspective and self-obsessed as all of us. Her intimate self-expression must be one of the reasons many of her fans, myself included, truly love her music.

I understand that many have been left disappointed – this isn’t the frank and direct album that was Tidal, nor is it the angry When the Pawn… - Fiona’s evolution has continued along the artistic road Extraordinary Machine took her, and not along the path to mainstream popularity many were perhaps hoping she would take.

Fiona’s newest album is full of energy, and fraught with emotions and tension. It filled me up so much that after my third listen I was overwhelmed, and when I tried to escape to another sound, I was left disappointed with the empty and dull electronic rhythms. They were too fake.

Perhaps I really am just a Fiona Superfan, but I’ve given it yet another listen. J

June 19, 2012

A Poem by Adrienne Rich

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June 19, 2012 

This poem by Adrienne Rich touched me when I read it. It made me think of someone I might lose.

For the Dead

I dreamed I called you on the telephone
to say: Be kinder to yourself
but you were sick and would not answer

The waste of my love goes on this way
trying to save you from yourself

I have always wondered about the left-over
energy, the way water goes rushing down a hill
long after the rains have stopped

or the fire you want to go to bed from
but cannot leave, burning-down but not burnt-down
the red coals more extreme, more curious
in their flashing and dying
than you wish they were
sitting long after midnight

by Adrienne Rich
via Feminist Philosophers

{Image Attribution: By K. Kendall [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons}

June 10, 2012

Knit a Uterus for a Congressman in Need

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June 10, 2012 

Knitting a uterus for a congressman in need, thankfully, doesn't really apply to South African women, as we don't have statesman interested in curbing our rights to contraception and choosing what to do to our bodies.

But in America, Government Free VJJ is hoping to stop these clampdowns on women's rights by knitting or crocheting a uterus for every statesman who is making rules about women's bodies without actually knowing anything about women's bodies at all.

It's quite a cool concept, and I think I might knit a uterus anyway, as a show of solidarity to women in America, and, because, you know, it would look awesome on my couch amongst my scatter cushions and cats. Join me by using one of these patterns.

Wait a minute... that made me sound eerily like The Crazy Cat Lady...

{Image credit: Wikimedia Commons\JMarchn}
Story via Jezebel

May 30, 2012

The Flower of Life

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May 30, 2012 

The Flower of Life is a design that has been stuck in my brain ever since I first laid eyes on it. It is so representative of everything in this world; of how interconnected everything is.

It represents sacred geometry, reflecting ancient ideas that the Creator had based all his plans for life on a certain geometric plan. The Flower of Life is also very often used in religious design, and for Judeo-Christians, the six petals represent the six days of creation.

Most importantly, the shape is also the basic shape of the snowflake, and the snowflake is made of water, something that is the most essential aspect of life.

Anyway, I ramble. My point is that I decided to decorate our bedroom with it.

What do you think?

May 29, 2012

Consumerism = The Rise of the Female?

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woman-shopping-bags 
It occurred to me that consumerism is closely linked to women and their rise in society.

The Victorian period ended sharply with the beginning of aggressive capitalism. Sure, it came about because of the rigorous industrialisation that was occurring at the time, but the consumer culture started to grow as women's cultural power did.

Think about it... Much of the advertising today is focused on women - we are bombarded with adverts about everything from how to get your bathroom and toilet spotless and germ-free to how you can dress up yourselves and your family, what to give them to be healthy, and even what kind of car you should buy. Enter any retail clothing store, and you'll battle to find a men's section that's larger or even equal in size to that of the women's section. Toiletries for women have wider ranges and more producers. Women need to indulge in sweet treats, slim down and exercise, plan the meals, decorate the home and garden, and even prevent time from marking their faces with wrinkles and sags.

Women are responsible for everything in society, the advertisers would have us believe. Women must be the largest consumers. And if we're the largest consumers, don't we drive consumerism? Was consumerism and the capitalist lifestyle invented because women - the gender of which there is the most in the world - are the most gullible?

PS This idea occurred to me while reading this on AlterNet.

{Photo: Dreamstime.com, Parrus}

May 25, 2012

I Love the Internet!

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25 May 2012

Here are some of the things I found on the Internet this week!






- A strange sea creature was filmed by underwater drillers. So far, the video has not been declared a hoax:
Via Discovery News

- How men's issues should not be ignored any longer.

- There were female gladiators, or gladiatrices! Though accounts of them have been found, this is only the second physical depiction found.

- This little girl even understands the craziness of gender-based marketing! :)

- An image that sums up the debate about criminalising rape victims via The Good Men Project

- Weirdest stories of 2011

May 21, 2012

Video of the Week

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21 May 2012

A pair of Jaguar cubs was born at the San Diego Zoo for the first time in 30 years.

The brother and sister, which were born on April 26, weighed about 2.3kg each as of May 20, but they'll soon reach about 113kgs when they're fully grown.

They pair haven't gone public yet; obviously they need some time with mommy first!

But you can see them below. Aren't they adorable? :)

May 7, 2012

Random? No!

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May 7, 2012 

"There are no random events, nor are there things that exist by and for themselves, in isolation. The atoms that make up your body were once forged inside stars, and the causes of even the smallest event are virtually infinite and connected with the whole in incomprehensible ways.

If you wanted to trace back the cause of any event, you would have to go back all the way to the beginning of creation. The cosmos is not chaotic. The very word cosmos means order. But this is not an order the human mind can ever comprehend, although it can sometimes glimpse it." ~ Eckhart Tolle

{Image Attribution: By Kyle Hoobin (twitter.com/kylehoobin)Gregcaletta at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons}

Video of the Week

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7 May 2012

Cats are not known for their love of water, but there are some who are the exception to the rule, such as this cute little kitty.

The cat also seems to enjoy doing chores, and is helping his pet clean dishes.

May 3, 2012

Polly

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2 May 2012

Walk Off the Earth surprises me every time they come up with a new cover.

I've never really been a fan of covers, but their unique compositions make for some really great music!



What do you think?

May 1, 2012

Sadness for Today's Youth

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surgery
I feel incredibly sad for the young women and men of today.

There is just so much pressure to be 'pretty' and 'thin', and I wish there were some way I could tell them all they're all beautiful; every single one of them.

According to reports, the teens and preteens of our day are pretty insecure: using the UK as an example, 50% of those aged between 16 and 21 have thought about undergoing some kind of cosmetic surgery; more than one in 10 girls between the agest of 11 and 16 also think about surgery to change their appearance; worst of all, the average age for girls to begin dieting is eight.

When I was eight, my last thought was to try to limit my food intake.

One of the big problems these young children - because they are still children - are facing is the fact that they are bombarded with images of beautiful people all day long - photoshopped beauties that don't exist are their idols. Cosmetic surgery companies also advertise relentlessly in the UK, and we're perhaps lucky in South Africa that the extent of marketing is not too bad here. The aim of the advertising is to urge consideration of cosmetic procedures to help women to stop loathing their bodies, to aid them in their lack of self-confidence and their feelings of insecurities. However, I believe this industry is just tapping into the natural feelings of insecurity we all face, promising a quick fix to what is sometimes a completely psychological issue. The cosmetic surgery industry is taking advantage of people who have body issues by manipulating them with marketing, and that marketing does not nearly reveal everything that goes on in the industry, even to the point of "normalising" cosmetic surgery, and making it a "normal" part of life, when it really is not.

Don't get me wrong; there are times when cosmetic surgery is very important: girls who grow up to have massive breasts have breast augmentation for relief; the issue is that there is a time and place for these surgeries, and I don't believe that adolescence and pre-adolescence is one of them.

{Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Victor Habbick}

April 30, 2012

What We Are

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"What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of the mind." ~ Dhammapada

{Image credit: Wikimedia Commons\Tevaprapas Makklay}

April 27, 2012

Video of the Week

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Reformed Whores' I'm A Slut YouTube Screenshot
April 27,2012 

I absolutely love this song by the Reformed Whores.

Their video is a response to the war on women that seems to be happening across America recently.

Women's rights to contraception, choosing abortion, education, and a range of other issues are being attacked by Republicans pushing against rights that women have been fighting for for centuries.

It would seem a lot of it started with Planned Parenthood's funding being pulled because women were having 'too many abortions'. Then the organisation was hit with an organised smear campaign that painted it as having a selective interest in only poor women's health.

Governments from several states have ruled that abortions are illegal, even if a woman falls pregnant by the travesty of rape, while others have ruled that women cannot have abortions unless they undertake an invasive vaginal sonar, and yet others are trying to pass rules that doctors may not recommend abortion, even if the child or the mother would not survive the birth. These doctors would also not have to tell their patients anything about possible illnesses the phoetus might have.

Women who go for abortions have been accused of being murderers and sluts, while there have been different campaigns about the fact that women should stay at home and raise the children, or struggle if they're single mothers, or that women who look to improve themselves and their lives are sluts.

This is why the Reformed Whores wrote the song, and why I like it so much. :)



What do you think of it?

April 25, 2012

Music Review || Markus Wormstorm

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markus-wormstorm-art
Markus Wormstorm is a South African electro artist, and is highly-acclaimed among some of the top musicians in the country today.

Although his name is not on everyone's lips, it should be - I am known for my varied taste in music, and his electronic sounds have managed to make their way onto my playlist with ease. And I'll be honest, I'm not really an electro fan.

You should definitely give his new album, called 'Not I, But a Friend', a listen - it's certain to expand your musical horizons.

Take a listen to his work on SoundCloud.

Incidentally, one of Markus' songs appears on the compilation CD of music inspired by Lauren Beukes' dystopian novel Zoo City (which is on my to-read list). The compilation isn't too bad either, though it eventually became a little too much for my alternative brain! :)

{Image credit: Facebook\Markus-Wormstorm}

April 24, 2012

Life

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"Life is not about answers. It is about learning to live in the middle of complete uncertainty, and doing so gracefully." ~ Swami Chetanananda.

{Image credit: By Kurt Stüber [1] [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons}

April 23, 2012

Just Read || Fairest by Gail Carson Levine

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fairest-levine-cover
It is appropriate though completely coincidental that I decided to read this novel at the release of Disney's remake of the Snow White fairy tale, and ahead of the release of Snow White and the Huntsman (an endearing characteristic of which is not Kristen Stewart as Snow White).

Levine is known for penning Ella Enchanted, which was rendered in the usual Disney style a few years ago, and although the novel is set in a similar world of fantasy, I think Fairest is a lot deeper than it may appear at first glance.

The story follows the familiar vein of the Snow White fairy tale, but its plot is completely different. The protagonist is Aza, who is not considered pretty in her world of Ayortha - she has pale white skin, blood red lips and dark hair that is not an asset in her kingdom. Due to some luck, she makes her way to the capital, where she happens to make friends with the Queen. It is the evil Queen of the fairy tale, but in a twist, it is really the face in her mirror who contrives for the downfall of the Queen and her kingdom.

It sounds interesting enough, but what makes this novel special is its link to song. Music is an important part of life in Ayortha, and although the stanzas of song can become tedious, if you can read Lord of the Rings, this is nothing.

The characters are also interesting and intriguing, and the story moves along very fast, so be prepared to finish the novel in one sitting!

April 19, 2012

The Truth About Gaddafi

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April 19, 2012 

This was one of those random emails that went around, but it still makes me think about what really happened in Libya?

"Zimmetro — The media has successfully painted Gaddafi as a hard-core dictator, tyrant whatever you want to call him. However, the media as usual has also failed to show the kind, giving Gaddafi we never heard of. Gaddafi unlike most dictators I will refrain from naming them has managed to show his humane side, the very side we dream of seeing in other dictators who just talk and talk.

I consider Libyans lucky to a certain extent and one wonders with the new democratic rule they cry for will it improve or worsen life for them. Yes, Gaddafi has spent millions of Libya`s money on personal ventures but is the average Libyan poor? We know others who take a country and destroy it until you feel like there is no hope of restoring this country… looting some prefer to call it. Did Gaddafi loot Libya in any way?

Now let us get to the unknown facts about the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi:

1. There is no electricity bill in Libya; electricity is free for all its citizens.
2. There is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at 0% interest by law.
3. Home considered a human right in Libya – Gaddafi vowed that his parents would not get a house until everyone in Libya had a home. Gaddafi’s father has died while him, his wife and his mother are still living in a tent.
4. All newlyweds in Libya receive $60,000 Dinar (US$50,000) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start up the family.
5. Education and medical treatments are free in Libya. Before Gaddafi only 25% of Libyans are literate. Today the figure is 83%.
6. Should Libyans want to take up farming career, they would receive farming land, a farming house, equipments, seeds and livestock to kick-start their farms – all for free.
7. If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need in Libya, the government funds them to go abroad for it – not only free but they get US$2,300/mth accommodation and car allowance.
8. In Libyan, if a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidized 50% of the price.
9. The price of petrol in Libya is $0.14 per liter.
10. Libya has no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion – now frozen globally.
11. If a Libyan is unable to get employment after graduation the state would pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until employment is found.
12. A portion of Libyan oil sale is, credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.
13. A mother who gave birth to a child receive US$5,000
14. 40 loaves of bread in Libya costs $ 0.15
15. 25% of Libyans have a university degree
16. Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man-Made River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.

Which other dictator has done much good to his people?"

{Image: Olof von Randow [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons}

April 17, 2012

Music Review || John Anealio's The Empire State

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john-anealio-empire-state-cover
John Anealio is a supreme artist. He specialises in writing songs for science-fiction themes, and is also Wired.com's GeekDad guitar teacher (which is quite cool in its own right!)

His music is reminiscent of 70s rock - I was transported back to wearing oversized headphones and listening to my dad's choice of music. Add to that his smart lyrics and smooth guitar riffs, and you have a recipe for something unforgettable!

Take a listen to his latest release, called The Empire State. It was commissioned by Mur Lafferty and Angry Robot Books for the Worldbuilder project, and the site urges listeners to think of it as taking place in Adam Christopher's Empire State novel.

What do you think?

April 16, 2012

Quiet

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"We can make our minds so like still water that beings gather about us, that they may see their own images, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer, life because of our quiet" ~ William Butler Yeats

{Image: William Butler Yeats, by John Butler Yeats [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons}

February 27, 2012

The voice of the mind

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"There is nothing more important to true growth than realising that you are not the voice of the mind – you are the one who hears it."

~ Michael A. Singer

{Image credit: Wikimedia Commons\Koba-chan}

February 25, 2012

The Curse of Eve?

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eve-artwork
It always strikes a nerve with me when someone talks about Eve's curse - the one God supposedly dealt her after she tempted Adam in the Garden of Eden to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. Firstly, Adam was an adult right? It's not like Eve forced him to do squat...

Anyway, many believe that God cursed Eve with painful childbirth. The pain she experiences, in most translations, is her punishment for her disobedience, while Adam's 'toil' is his punishment. However, we don't see the latter as a punishment - in fact, gardening and other such activities are seen in an honourable light. Meanwhile, pain during childbirth is seen as a 'curse'.

But was if this is not the pain God was referring to? I recently read a post on Feminism and Religion questioning this fact.

According to the author, it is possible that the word 'pain' was mistranslated, and it could have been 'sorrow', and in this way, Eve's punishment was that her children would forever be parted from God.

Although I personally believe that the Bible is one of the mechanisms that helped to inspire centuries' worth of the discrimination of women, it is an insightful idea about what the curse might really be.

On the other hand, there is the belief that humanity is actually a hybrid of one or more alien life forms with a creature from Earth, and because of this hybridisation, human women are actually not capable of giving birth. Without the advent of technology, women had a 50/50 chance of surviving childbirth. Strange odds if childbirth is a natural thing, don't you think?

What are your thoughts on this concept?

{Image credit: Michelangelo Buonarroti [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons}

February 20, 2012

Just Read || The Female Thing

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female-thing-kipnis-cover
'The Female Thing' is a somewhat controversial look at the psyche of the female, and how it has been determined by society and certain of its aspects.

The book's publisher claims that the work is in the vein of The Female Eunuch - a book that is on my shelf awaiting my attention - but I somehow don't think it's quite as interested in showing off its knowledge of feminism as it is interested in looking, with alternating humour and seriousness, at the way the modern female is structured.

I really enjoyed this book, and could practically not put it down: it is filled with interesting tidbits of knowledge and history; it takes a comical look at women's internal conflicts and their relation to men; and points out all the inconsistencies we supposedly represent in society.

The work is more about exposing feminism as another societal control mechanism, along with patriarchy, porn, purity, dirt, sex, and much more. She utters the horrible truth that society, capitalism, and feminism all depend on the female's sense of inadequacy, which always exists, and she also takes a look at how this construct possibly came about.

The book consists of four chapters: envy, sex, dirt, and vulnerability. I wouldn't be able to choose a single one, as every one of them hits various nails on the head that are all part of building the throne that women are at once placed upon and thrown down from. Kipnis talks about purity, rape, porn, control, independence...

There is so much information in the chapters that it bears another read, perhaps this time with pen in hand and sticky notes at the ready.

Have you read this, or do you have any suggestions for further reading?

February 2, 2012

Abortions Based on Sex Selection - Your Thoughts?

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ultrasound-scan
I just read a blog referring to an editorial called "It's a Girl - Could Be A Death Sentence", which talks about how the prevalence of immigrants in Canada aborting their phoetuses if they're female more often.

Reading this comes on the back of an article from my all-time favourite site The Good Men Project about how it feels for a woman to have a child, to breast feed, to have this connection with something so lacking personality and so dependent yet so loved.

When I think about becoming a mother, at the very back of my mind is how important the sex of my baby is. Personally, I don't mind whether it's a boy or a girl, as long as it's healthy.

But imagine falling pregnant and living with this fear that your child is a girl? Imagine how this fear eats away at you as you sit in the doctor's chair for your first ultrasound to find out what sex the baby is. Imagine carrying this little life inside of you - this part of you - but knowing it all - life, motherhood, parenting - depends on its gender. I cannot imagine what goes through a mother's mind to choose to kill their child based purely on its gender.

This is such a difficult situation, because some people would say aborting the child simply because of its sex is not logical, nor is it practical. But the problem is that, if this is what the mother wants, then who are we to tell her otherwise? If we are to deny her the right to choose, then we are simply "[perpetuates] beliefs about women's lives being less important and less valuable than those of men" even more so than the act of killing a female child itself.

Do you agree?

Image from Wikimedia Commons, Inferis