Gender Roles, Feminism and the Humanist Perspective
I was asked to comment on the Humanist perspective as it relates to gender roles and feminism. So, that’s what I’m doing. You might be unhappy to find out that we don’t really have a consensus on these issues as Humanists. For instance, some of us are ok with porn and some of us think porn exploits women. With that much range on some very basic issues within the Humanist community, it makes it rather hard to comment and make a blanket statement about the Humanist perspective on topics related to gender. But there are some basic concepts that almost all Humanists agree on, so I’ll focus on those.
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Honor Killings and the Rights of women
I was asked by a friend to write something about this issue. We have all heard the stories; honor killings and attempted honor killings are on the rise in western countries. Cultural practices being brought over by immigrant groups. And no, this isn’t just a problem with Islam, though those are often the most high profile cases of late. The UN Population Fund estimates that 5,000 women are killed annual in the name of honor.
Unfortunately, this problem is linked to that of forced child marriage. In England 100s of girls go missing every year, sent “home” to get married to men they don’t know. If they resist, they are beaten and sometimes killed. There are support groups across Europe designed to help young girls escape this fate, most notably in England, where hundreds of school girls disappear every year because their families take them out of the country to marry them to complete strangers.
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Two Can Play This Game
Obama is in a bit of a tight spot with Congress. He has presented a stimulus package that Democrats are a little uneasy with because he built in concessions for Republicans. Republicans are asking for even more while saying they have no plans to vote for it regardless. In short, Republicans leaders are not negotiating in good faith. The Republicans want to get their concessions and be in opposition at the same time. If Obama allows them to do this they will have no incentive to stop their partisan behavior in the future. Here is how I think Obama should play this. Offer no more concessions. Tell the Republicans you either vote for this or we withdraw it and put forth a plan the Democrats want and you get nothing. If Republicans do not vote for the stimulus package then the Democrats should vote it down. A revised stimulus package that Democrats really like should then be put forth and passed along party lines. We then get an economic package we actually can be excited about and the Republicans will have learned a lesson. You either play ball or you get nothing.
Misc. Political Musings
They all agree with Joe
Watching the recent Democratic debate, I was struck by one thing. Apparently, all the other candidates agree with Joe Biden. The most oft state phrase the entire night was “I agree with Joe.” And, this considering Joe only got about 6 minutes of airtime to speak in a 2 hour debate. (There were literally more commercials then time for Joe or Chris Dodd).
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