Monthly Archives: September 2013

Save the Date: Global Citizen Festival – 9/28/2013

aa fest

Please inform yourself and pre-register at http://festival.globalcitizen.org/!

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Changing the Game: $1 Million Media Grant Contest to Fight Global Injustice

Thank you @therealswizzz for your dedication to creating a better world by using your manifold talents and multifaceted genius to effect positive and long-lasting change!

Please take a few moments to see what Global Citizen is up to and take action and VOTE! By the way, if you have seen Half the Sky, you will recognize and distinctly remember Somaly Mam and her organization.

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When Half of Us Are Held Back

“We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” – Malala Yousafzai

A few days ago, there was widespread reporting of a new era which may be beginning in the Catholic Church based upon interviews and statements given by Pope Francis. Pope Francis’ professed stance on abortion, birth control and gays as reported in a  New York Times article gives us some insight into his willingness to admit the need for the Church to reevaluate and, in some instances, reprioritize its attentions in order to bring about change. More importantly, at a recent gathering in Sardinia, he justly identified and attacked the current global economic system as the motor which creates poverty and injustice.

Like many people around the world, I was happy to learn of this. However, upon further consideration of what else he said in regards to women and the need to incorporate the “feminine genius” as well as their specific “place” in Church considerations, I became increasingly aware of a deep underlying exasperation. How can a group or beliefs system effect any positive change globally if it lacks the basic framework necessary for creating justice, in this instance, the acknowledgement of gender equality? As a result, I took to my Twitter and Facebook accounts and posted the following:

If the Catholic Church is changing its focus to eradicate poverty, it must show its commitment through sincere practice. This means that it MUST make itself knowledgeable about the root causes of and solutions to end poverty paradigms.

As the empowerment of women through education, decision-making power over reproductive rights & maternal health and equal participation in ALL aspects of society is essential in eradicating poverty, the Church has to change within. I.e., it must shed its archaic, man-made, destructive and gravely false beliefs on women. Women are not by-products of men as certain scripture implies. Eve was not made from Adam’s rib. Women are the gatekeepers of life. In the womb, all boys are girls until the change.
The Church must recognize this and understand that in order to bring balance and peace to this world, it can no longer propagate ideology and dogma that disempowers & marginalizes women and views them as by-products of humanity. The Church can no longer support policies within its ranks, in sovereign nations & throughout the international community that marginalize and oppress women.

This means women must be allowed to participate fully and at EVERY level within the church as bishops, cardinals & Popes.  This also means the Church must aggressively and sincerely work to right the wrongs of millennia by ceasing its collaboration with other religious and political groups & beliefs whose goals are to oppress the physical as well as spiritually divine rights of girls and women.

Right the wrong.

With love,

XX

As I sit here and write these words, I am becoming increasingly aware of how deeply and thoroughly I personally have been groomed to quietly comply with this theology on many levels in my daily thoughts although I am not religious. Spiritual, yes. Religious, no.

In industrialized nations, many of our mothers teach and show us that we are equal. Societal dictates and expectations based upon patriarchal Judeo-Christian theology, beliefs, ideology and policies, however, tell us we are not. We have been brainwashed to believe that physical strength and domination are the measures by which we should compare our strengths. We have been canonized as the “weaker vessel” and less worthy sex spiritually and mentally. While some women, however, willingly and gladly play these roles, we all pay the price for our willing or unwilling acceptance of a physical, spiritual and intellectual inferiority ascribed to us in some Abrahamic religion-based teachings and practices. This is evidenced by the violent physical and mental acts committed against us, the denial of full participation in education/work, the oppression of our rights to determine our reproductive rights, the unwilling acceptance of lower pay for the same work or in important fields that are dominated by women as well as the objectification of our beings.

We also continually buy into the “shame complex” which has been built around our feminine mystique. This complex makes us believe that we are somehow innately worse and more prone to “sin” than men and have problematic issues that we have to diligently work hard at to rectify. In order to be as good as or worthy of the other sex, we have to primp and preen ourselves, dye and fry our hair and skin, workout until the six pack is evident and matches the perfect onion behind not to mention plasticize our faces and breasts to get that extra attention or to hide our maturity. On top of all of this, we also should be smart, sophisticated, capable of wearing impossible heels (which make our ankles and calves look more appealing as well as lend us the much-needed height to qualify as a bombshell), capable of running a masterful household, independent but yielding, follow moral instructions well and god-fearing.

In developing nations, I can only imagine what a woman’s life and prospects are like based upon what I have read, heard and seen on the silver screen. I do know enough, however, to assume for the most part that it is not better but much worse. That is what disturbs me the most about the role that the Catholic Church wants to play in these societies to end poverty in the future. The propagation of patriarchal Catholic doctrine and beliefs will further obstruct the opportunities of girls and women. The Church will not be capable of evolving into a true home for everyone until it itself becomes a home of gender equality. And, as long as it retains its restrictive practices towards and archaic views on women, it will remain a part of the problem and neither be able to positively nor justly contribute to constructive global development goals which unequivocally and absolutely require the empowerment of women and girls  

Important links regarding gender and empowerment:

Half the Sky Movement

Girl Rising

UN MDG- Gender Justice: Key to Achieving MDG Goals

The Chalice & the Blade and The Power of Partnership

The Athena Doctrine

African Union Chair-Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Xuma on Women’s Empowerment

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Chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction vs. Chemical Weapons of Mass Healing

Although the need for the existence of this film is fathomless and highly disturbing, I am unbelievably grateful that Fire in the Blood has been made.

It is of utmost importance that we understand that we are all interconnected and that corporations should not exist for the sake of themselves but for the sake of people. As long as intellectual property rights to pharmaceuticals persist as impediments to the effective and broad treatment of diseases, pandemics such as HIV/AIDs will thrive and acute or chronic treatable illnesses will go untreated.

More importantly, companies and governments continue to serve the antiquated, greedy, narcissistic and protectionist ideals of the outdated sovereign state model and aggressively block access to vital drug treatments for masses of people through ratified and “legal” domestic policies, trade agreements and World Trade Organization (WTO) policies and regulations. As long as they continue this, all of the justified indignation emanating from world powers against the utilization of chemical weapons of mass destruction is hypocritical lip service which distracts from the daily and global crimes being committed against humanity caused by obstructing the release of chemical weapons of mass healing.  

Today’s world powers need to take a long hard look at themselves and what they purportedly stand for and begin making deep and long-lasting changes to our current socio-economic systems internationally (and domestically especially in the case of the United States) not only to govern us justly and progressively but to escape the imminent decay of global democracies.

India at the forefront of the fight against the damaging effects of patents:

Using loopholes in WTO regulations to provide pharmaceuticals to those in need…

Pharmacy to the World in action

India has been blacklisted by US due to its policies regarding generic drugs

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The American Way of Poverty

a sasha abramsky

What Poverty Looks Like in Modern America gives us a little bit more insight into our poverty paradigm here in America. I am looking forward to reading Sasha Abramsky’s The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Lives.

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With My Full Respect & Love

A few weeks ago I tweeted this: Just saw today’s The Talk. I want to thank Heidi Klum for cherishing something that so many of us don’t. With my full Respect & Love, Kristi in response to this:

Sheryl Underwood Slams Natural Hair (please pay no regard to some of the comments as they are unfair and hateful)

If you haven’t seen Good Hair yet, please do so.

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So Rich, So Poor

a poverty brain2

Common sense and our own personal experiences tell us that when you are hungry or dealing with an all-consuming crisis, you can not be on your A-game in order to learn or effectively deal with crises because you are mentally and physically weakened or distracted. Imagine what your life would be like if you were continuously hungry, thus malnourished, and dealing with the effects of poverty on a daily basis within your household and community?

Here is a recent study that quantifies what we already know Poverty Reduces Brain Power and have either internalized and set ourselves in action or have turned our backs on resulting in inaction and a silent vote for the further stigmatization of the poor.  Have you asked yourself if you contribute to the stigmatization of the poor and, if so, how and why? Then ask yourself what if you had lost in the lottery of birth and been born into the vicious poverty cycle. Ask yourself what are the real odds of escaping poverty in this country and in 2nd & 3rd world nations without the intervention of government programs, activist and charitable intervention and/or international aid?

Food stamps work, so why are we cutting them shows how effective and successful this  mass stigmatization has been and it is clearly reflected in the character of the people who have been sent to Congress to represent us and our interests. We, in this inordinately GDP rich nation, have not chosen wisely nor in our short- and long-term interests.

Facts About Poverty in America:

  • FACT:  Almost 80% of people receiving SNAP (food stamps) are children, elderly or disabled.
  • FACT:  The rise in SNAP participation has clearly tracked the rise in unemployment and poverty during the Great Recession.
  • FACT:  Families receiving SNAP get about $3 per person per day on which to survive.
  • FACT:  In 2011, 46.2 million people (15.0 percent) were in poverty in the U.S.*
  • FACT:  In 2011, 50.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 33.5 million adults and 16.7 million children.*
  • FACT:  In 2011, households with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 20.6 percent compared to 12.2 percent.*

            *Stats provided by FeedingAmerica.org

Literature:

So Rich, So Poor: Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America

Professor Peter Edelman Discusses Poverty in the United States: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IC_dKf232H8

 

 

 

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