Paraphrased from "The Peninsula", a Gulf newspaper:
In Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) unlicensed gymns for women are being closed down. Why?...
"Football and basketball are sports that require a lot of movement and jumping" Sheikh Abdullah Al Maneea, member of the official Supreme Council of Religious Scholars, said in a religious opinion published in Okaz newspaper yesterday.
He said such excessive movement may harm girls who are still virgins, possibly causing them to lose their virginity.
"Let her get fat" is the slogan used by some brave women who are trying to fight the idiotic ban.
oh boy... I just shake my head. sad, so very sad. They probably think young american girls who play basketball and stuff are a bunch of whores.
I have a question for anybody: Why do religious folks tend to selectively apply the rules on women but conveniently ignore the rules meant for themselves? And why throughout history(no matter what religion) it is always women who have the responsibility of upholding the morality?
The very simple answer: Pregnancy.
Other answers: Duality, brutality, stupidity
There are whole schools of thought in women's history concerning how culture was built up around/against the idea of women's great ability to create life...a death culture was created. However, this is not true of all cultures, at least from my reading (and I'm not that up to date on the study--I read a lot of Margaret Meade--just an author I encountered).
I'm gonna guess Pam knows more about women's history than I do...
It is funny that you mention pregnancy. I once asked this "sacrilegious" question to my Muslim friend from college about: Why Muslim men are officially allowed as per law in India to have more than one wife ( I believe 4 at a time are allowed)? She told me that for a child the paternity is always questionable hence only men are allowed since maternity is never questionable. I said nowadays when DNA tests can be conducted and she said when the rules were framed(in Quran) no such tests were possible hence that rule evolved.
PS: She is my best friend and hence I had this discussion otherwise normally I just keep such sensitive questions to myself.
I think this mostly has to do with the rise of patriarchal cultures and societies. These societies tended to be more successful at war and claiming territory, so I suppose, ultimately, they became dominant.
And to further cement their dominance, they embedded much of our culture and religion with concepts that reject or subsumed the more matriarchal beliefs of the conquered people.
I say let's blame it all on Rome
I've been a Christian for a year. Before that I was a pagan. You've read some of my hubs (or all of them) on the subject so you probably already know that.
When I first became a Christian I did that thing I do: I read. A lot. Friends tell me off for doing this because, frankly, I read too much and get angry when I do. I felt as though every book I read for Christian women was telling me about how much less important I was as a woman. It was aggravating and ultimately caused a huge rebellion in me.
I felt just like what you just defined/described. It's like being smothered by religion (which is part of the reason I don't consider myself religious). I felt as though everybody was pointing their finger at *me* (not women in general, but at *me*) and telling me that I had to change or the world was going to fall apart (or something). Really, really suffocating and truly unfamiliar stuff for me!
Over time I started to understand better what it was all about. I was so busy pointing the finger at others (mostly my husband) that I wasn't seeing my own faults. Jesus talked about not pointing out the speck in your brother's eye and ignoring the log in your own. I had a log in my eye. He might have had one too, but what the heck can I do about it? I can only change *me*.
Now personally I don't feel that I have all that much responsibility. My mother put a lot on my shoulders when I was still quite young. She expects me to somehow work full time (I don't, unless you count Hubpages), be a full-time mother (I am), keep the house spotless (I don't), dress well and take good care of myself, and still "serve" my husband. My mother is a very liberated woman. Somehow I think I've come to see things in the opposite way that you see them: I think that the more liberated women are taking on more responsibility than those of us who make the choice to be submissive and/or "repressed" (and I wouldn't really use that word to describe me, but I'm not going into detail, either!).
I do think that you bring up an interesting point though. I don't know about your culture and the prominent religions of India, but I personally feel as though putting so much responsibility on us is a compliment to our strength as women.
I really also want to say that I *love* seeing your perspective on things on the forums! You're interesting and refreshing!
EM- Thanks for appreciating my views. I also admire your perspective. I believe the concept of women to be providers and home makers puts so much pressure eventually that it becomes humanly impossible to handle. I agree women can be good at multi tasking but at the same time if it is the women's own choice so be it but if it is thrusted on us then it is a huge expectation to fulfill day in and day out. I already feel little short of time and hardly squeeze a few hours here and there for Hub pages unlike when I was single just a few months ago. I don't know if I would like my daughter(if and when I have one) to grow up like me. There is more to life than just being a "good" girl and doing things exactly as supposed to be done (or as expected by parents/husband). I agree I wouldn't want my daughter to be hurt or anything but at the same time expecting her to live up to my ideals would be asking too much from her.
There is often such a contradiction, it seems, countrywomen. I have long since given up on playing to the opinions of my female friends and have worked more on adapting my own philosophies on life.
I am lucky: My husband and I are usually in mutual agreement about anything that needs a decision to be made. Very rarely is action taken without agreement and we are usually able to reach one fairly easily. We both know that the ultimate decision is his (by my own choice to submit) but so far in five years it has never gotten to that point (lucky us!).
My mother, on the other hand, would have me "doing everything" and still submitting to my husband. It's overwhelming and often contradictory.
I'm not looking forward to Dinky being a teenager though. My husband and I differ in our opinion of how to handle teenage girls. I was one once. He wasn't
I can honestly say this is the dumbest thing I've read all week. I understand that the religious views of the area restrict women from doing many things... but THIS? This is overkill. It's glad to know that there are women over there who have the nerve to stand up to these kinds of things.
I can only hope that Islamic law is pressured into allowing women to have rights eventually, but I don't see it happening in the near future.
Maybe they could let women who are no longer virgins in?
This is the most ridiculous thing I have heard all week - except perhaps for Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, a member of Abu Dhabi's royal family caught on video torturing some one:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/w … 201333.ece
I suspect we will still sell them the secret of fire though
Does it mean gentlemen that we successfully managed to solve all the major problems Western civilization is facing, and now helping our good friends to solve theirs?
I must have missed the memo on this one. On the other hand, other people's problems are sooooo much easier to fix.
LOL! Unfortunately this is insanely true, Mark!
And my husband wonders why I'm a libertarian!
That is soooooooooo true. Other people's problems are more interesting, too.
I think this is true for all of us. We have a quick fix solution for others but our own problems.
Misha - I live about 50 miles from the Saudi border. You fix the West and I'll fix the Gulf, and see who's first to crack the perfect society, OK?
On the other hand, I'm 56, and I clearly remember being a teenager and girls not being allowed to go swimming on their periods or to wash our hair during that time either. I don't know what was supposed to happen if a girl washed her hair when she was on her period, but apparently it was pretty horrifying.
So here in the US we're more evolved for sure, but only fairly recently.
Really Pam? I wonder if that's not why my mother wanted me to understand periods and whatnot early on in life so that I wouldn't be so intimidated by them.
Washing your hair? Seriously? Sheesh!
Yeah, here's a weird tidbit: They used to make dry shampoo especially for that. It was like baby powder and came in a metal shaker. The idea was, you shook it on your scalp and brushed it out to clean your hair during 'that time.'
I was so happy when I moved out on my own and could wash my hair everyday without any of my female elders freaking out.
I wonder *why* though? I know that you don't know, but that's pretty crazy. Were we, as a nation, so repressed just that recently, really?
I know that very often this kind of repression is religious (as it is in the case of Paragliders original post) and it certainly does make religious folks look like they have some kind of a weird agenda. What I really detest is when one individual claims to speak for everyone on these subjects. Reminds me that I need to be more clear with a disclaimer in my hubs about the fact that they are mostly based on personal experience and that I can't speak for others.
Paraglider, what do they do about women who are born without a hymen? It happens... I'm pretty sure I never had one to stretch or break because tampons and sex were never painful for me -- ever.
Well, my family was Catholic, and they definitely were very repressed. I was a kid before Vatican II, when mass was still said in Latin, and it really was a very different time. The sexism then was very open and unapologetic, and there was this idea that what you did with girls was get them married off and then keep them at home and keep your business to yourself. The culture wasn't as open as it is now.
I don't know that Catholics were any more repressed during the 50s and 60s than other religions, but they definitely weren't any less repressed.
I just remembered the thing about patent leather shoes--maybe you've heard it. You know, the idea was that you don't let your girls wear patent leather shoes to church because they reflect up and people might seen their underpants in the shoes.
That's how people thought. Craziness.
Just another example of how religion confuses. I must say, I am not surprised.
My family is Catholic as well, Pam, and I went to Catholic school. The honest to goodness truth is that we were treated in much the same way except that for the most part our teachers seemed to be cloaked feminists. Girls were given the ultimate control, but therefore also the majority of the *blame*. That's part of why within my marriage I prefer submission -- I've got less responsibility and DH likes having the responsibility he has, so we're both happy.
We were often called names and made to feel dirty, though. We were somehow expected to control the hormones of the boys in our classes. It's funny, one of the boys in our class (Greg Kata, actor) stood up in defense of us and said that it was the boys' responsibility to control themselves, not ours. I will never forget him for that!
We didn't have sex ed at all in Catholic school of course. My mother taught me about periods when I was very young (young enough to catch it before it happened, as I was only 10 when I got my first). I was lucky in that regard. But I would never dream of sending my daughter to Catholic school. We're homeschooling (already).
Let's see, I rode horses, played soccer, used tampons, and was very active before I started having sex. So I guess I wasn't a "virgin" for very long. That just doesn't make any sense. In some countries I get that the bigger you are the sexier you are to men. But how healthy is that? Ugh. I would rather have healthy "non-virgins" (according to their standards) than a nation full of chubby chasers.
My mom tried to send us to Catholic school, but they only had room for my brother and she didn't want to split us up. I'm grateful for that at least.
It's understandable, the cloaked feminism thing. It used to be that if you had a girl (hundreds of years ago) and you wanted to protect her and get her an education at the same time, you sent her to a convent, made a nun of her. So there's this long strain of weird feminism in the female branch of the Church. Nuns have done some amazing things, and they've kept a lot of knowledge--general knowledge--that might otherwise have been lost down through the ages. But it's all very distorted, that life.
I don't see anything wrong with choosing a traditional feminine role, but it should be a choice. I think it messes people up when these things are forced.
I used to always say that every person needs to do what works for them. I've stopped saying it because it just seems so darned trite, you know? I have made my personal choices and my choices make me incredibly happy. I'm a bit of a control freak (read some of my posts here -- I'm sure it shows!) and being able to let go to my husband has really freed me to get some other (better) things done in my life. We argue a lot less, too!
I don't want my daughter being raised in a repressive culture though. I don't think my husband completely understands what I mean, though. Men don't understand some of the things that women experience and go through. He feels that she shouldn't learn about periods until she's 11 or 12. I had my period younger than that, so I don't think that's going to work for me. I also know that we can't force her to go our way, but that we need to support her if she stumbles and even falls. He's not gotten to that point yet, but his oldest is about to turn 12... It's coming!
We pretty much follow traditional roles in our home, but not because we have any beliefs about them, just because that is the pattern we fell into. I do the cooking and cleaning and 'woman stuff' and he fixes the cars and works on the property--but we help each other. He'll clean house if people are coming, I do heavy yard work when we need two hands. He used to cook but everybody likes it when I cook and I don't mind, so now I pretty much do all the cooking...but now we're fatter. (oops)
I think it's good to tell kids the truth about sexual matters as they ask from a young age. You know, don't make a big deal about it, just give them information as it comes up. I think it's making it all a big secret that does the damage.
I agree. I don't remember learning about sex, it was just one of those (boring, adult) things.
Mind you, telling children doesn't mean they will believe you. My best mate is due in a couple of weeks, and I was telling Isaac about it last time we met up, "Isaac, Auntie Becca has a baby growing in her tummy" that kind of thing. I got that super-patronising look only a small child can do, and "Mummy is very silly!" as a reply.
This is a very interesting thread. I've actually been laughing at some of the things I've read here. Wow... I grew up Catholic, but I never heard about the not washing of the hair ..how very strange. My mother was ODD when my sisters and I started our periods though--just stand offish about the whole thing. I remember she didn't use tampons and didn't know anything about them, so yeah, the "not going swimming" thing we were to follow.
A writing friend of mine who grew up in the 70's wrote an essay about Title 9 and how much it meant to her and her friends to be able to play basketball in school. Yep...it was the law that allowed for no discrimination against women in athletic pursuits. Before that, there weren't girls' sport teams. It was passed in 1972. Another interesting fact--as I used to be a very avid runner--is that women were not allowed to run the marathon, nor were there any long distance events for women UNTIL THE 1980'S.
Reality check, people. It was felt that running like that "would hurt" us. A priori knowledge, I guess. Oh, and what about menstruation? Ueeh. I remember reading that and being very angry. This was after running my first 10k. In fact, women who attempted to run the marathon in the US were run off the road--a now famous story.
So, no, don't think we are that particularly evolved here in the U.S...we are maybe two steps ahead, that's all.
That's a very odd thing for me to read - I presumed it was the same in the USA as here, that girls' sports had been big for ages.
Starting in at the latest Victorian times, exercise for girls was encouraged here, and popular and common at schools. If you read girls' school stories written and set in the 1920s, for example, sport is a serious and important element.
I have a photo somewhere of my Granny in the girls' hockey team for north Cheshire, when she was 10 or 11 years old (about 1925). And my Granny met her husband because they were both in the teams competing at and for a local tennis club.
My mother is a Cambridge Blue - an award for sporting acheivement at Cambridge University. She rowed for her college (Girton) and for the university, and also got painted oars when they won. She started there in 1966.
Yeah, LG. I'm learning from you just how off-base or behind sometimes we are...that's why I frequently ask you legal questions, etc., as I'm surprised how different some basic but very important things are. I mean, I'm American, and basically happy I am--it isn't like the conservatives say that we liberals worship Europe or anything--it just seems you are a bit more sane at this moment in history.
I feel American sports are/were very centered on men. So much so that in high school, I avoided them--it wasn't until later I got really interested in running, etc. Our excellent women's soccer team was something of a revelation and inspiration to girls here.
Actually, I proposed a series of sport books for young girls a couple years ago--because I think their is a lack of info. out there--as you see, nobody here knew about how recent the discrimination was. Almost got it, too--but the publisher ducked out at the last minute.
Lita, reading this made me remember my high school days in the late 60s (I graduated in '71), and how when we first got a pool the black girls WOULD NOT go in it. They could not be made to go in it. So of course, they'd get marked down and sit on the bench looking miserable. But what didn't get taken into account was how many of the white parents had insisted that their children (teens) not go in the pool if any blacks went in it. So the black kids knew this of course, and having no desire to get beat up or harassed stayed out of the pool.
Not like they were all that keen on the pool anyway, but it had an uglier undercurrent than what was apparent to the naked eye. We had a Natatorium (enclosed public pool) in the industrial midwestern city where I grew up, that had a notorious and violent racial past--segregated, unsegregated, violent protests, God it was awful.And that's in the North! In my lifetime!
So yeah, we're only just a bit ahead I'd say.
Pam, I understand what you are saying, but I think Saudi is in a place apart when it comes to repression. And not only of women. Everyone has to conform to extremely strict codes of behaviour or face pretty brutal but legal consequences.
But I didn't start this thread as a Saudi bashing exercise. I started it as an example of the danger of giving political power to any religious order. The US in particular needs to be very aware of the threat to liberty posed by the fundamentalist political lobby. If you don't like Saudi, don't follow their example. That's the message; that's why I posted it in Religion and not in Politics.
How quickly we must forget, Lita. I can't believe I'll be thirty this summer and didn't know any of that!
I find it very sad for the women in the mid east. They are very repressed. It just shows the world how insecurity brings out the worst in people nobody should think they have the right to dictate the lives of others I agree, the women who protest are quite brave. Says a lot huh
Many of the major religions are patriarchal based so there is some repression of women everywhere. And it is usually not just the men who are doing it.
That is such a good point. In my Catholic family, it was definitely the women who 'enforced' the most insane strictures on one another. My sisters and I used to joke about it and called it the 'ritual humiliation' moment at every family gathering. Mom and grandmas gather around each girl and start picking at her hair/clothes/makeup and criticizing. Often it would start out with "You'd be such a pretty girl if only..." It's funny now, but at the time we wanted to smack them.
Yes. It's a not-so-subtle way of making sure the girls know they are second place and inadequate, and it tends to be the other women who do the dirty work in these traditions--that is, who enforce the secondary status quo. In countries that practice ritual genital mutilation, it's the elder women who do it to the girls. They want them to get husbands, so they basically torture and mutilate them so they'll be compliant and not want their own sex lives.
We're different here only in degree and method, but we take much the same approach, and I do think it springs from religion. I understand the enthusiasm people feel after a conversion experience, the emotions. But the traditions of the Christian Church historically are not pretty. There's no way to slap lipstick on that pig and marry it off. It's horrible.
What amazes me is the amount of people who are prepared to write it off and ignore it as "mis-interpretation of the WORD" so it doesn't matter any more.
I cannot ignore it.
Even the Muslim traditions currently stem from the same basis. That this is the word of god and it should be obeyed. And they ignore the intrusion into politics and government as some sort of aberration - and these are not "real" christians or muslims. And the 0.000001% of christians they "know" would not do such a thing.
And the other 99.99999991% do not count.
Just look at he amount of threads here - the latest one from a muslim saying "should be be peaceful and allow "BAD" people to be in charge.?
Ignoring the obvious:
Religion = good
None believer = bad.
Yes. And they look at this virginity thing as a physical, real entity. So much so that there are operations in the Middle East, if a girl has torn her hymen doing something like horseback riding or strenuous sports (or even, gasp! had sex), there is an 'medical industry' out there that that specialized in 're-virgifying' girls. Yep, they're sewn on up so that their future husbands will get a 'pure' bride.
A woman I knew in NYC had had this done....yeah, in this century, too.
Talk about insanity.
Why would they *want* sex to hurt the first time? Good grief!
Speaking as the Original Poster -
Why the surprise? Did you not know the world was like this?
The older I get the more I realize how irrational people are. Taught to be a good girl, you know... Study, work hard--everything will be OK for you, lol.
Yes. And you see how some are so stuck on those old rules they can't make the mental leap (or something) forward--like mohamedmn with his rules. I frankly have no idea how their minds work--you can try to understand from, I guess, and empathetic point of view their situation, etc.--but still...
There is also some evidence that before our major religions, etc., societies were matriarchal... I do know that the Polynesian culture in the Hawaiian Islands was quite different in regards to sex, and controlling it, etc... Women were also the leaders.
Well I do sympathize with certain folks(due to there language ability or long held beliefs) but clearly there is a point beyond which it doesn't make much sense to even try.
Even in Hinduism before the more famous established Vaishnavism/ Shaivism schools there was the Devi (Mother Goddess) beliefs which consider women(Shakti) as the supreme. Now except for a few states in the eastern part of India where Devi beliefs are prevalent not much is left of that school. I wonder if women through evolution gave up there hold or the men took up the power? Even in some Pagan cultures it is women who are considered the supreme power. It is interesting to study when we were holding the cards and I would like to read Margaret Meade (can you tell me the title of the book)?
<muses> perhaps I should write about female Celts, some time?
In Judaism, Jewish-ness passes through the mother only, not the father. "It's a wise man who knows his own father"
Well, that's a mistake, I believe that is getting a lot of play these days--evolutionary psychology--and is truly a pseudo science that has sold a lot of books to make people $$, and also, to make sexists feel better about their beliefs (women like to shop because they were gatherers, men like to grill things because they were the hunters...just, lol, BRILLIANT--not).
It is culture and not biology ultimately, that has caused our triumphs and our evils.
Margaret Meade concentrates on all the different cultures and folkways that have been created worldwide & how different they are. That's what is so interesting--also show's how strong our minds really are, once you think about it. IE, in some Polynesian cultures, it was/is completely OK to have premarital sex..
It was a really old book--I get them at thrift stores--hold on:
Male and Female (1949) ISBN 0-688-14676-7, I think it was.
You need to be careful reading the original Margaret Mead.
Apparently, she wasn't terribly good with her field methodology. Some of the young girls she was interviewing later admitted that they had been lying to her about their early sexual experiences, in part because they were uncomfortable with the questions, and in part because they couldn't believe how gullible she was.
That's not to say that everything in her books is inaccurate, but you can't take it at face value. Mead fell victim to the "noble savage" imagery popular around the turn of the century, and saw what she set out to find. It's called "confirmation bias".
Professional sport is more for men than women in the UK, but recreational, hobby, teams, clubs, etc have been for women as much as men for a very long time.
Lots of fascinating responses on this thread. Just a couple of points about Saudi: It is not typical of the Middle East where the (gradual) tendency is towards more openness and equality. Saudi is probably going the other way. When I worked there, four years ago, I saw lots of old photographs - street scenes from the 50s, 60s, 70s. The women were all wearing headscarves, but of many different colours. There wasn't a veil or black abaya in sight. Now it is the norm, and enforced. The country is controlled by strict fundamentalism. The original post is just another example of it.
I'm old enough to remember considerable inequalities in the UK that have disappeared. But these were societal mores, not religious rules enforced by brutality. There's a huge difference.
It's interesting, Paraglider... I was researching Christian Headcoverings and Hijab a couple of months ago and ran into a Saudi woman on a forum who insisted that she covered in the way that she did by her choice. She insisted that all Saudi women have the choice to cover themselves modestly in accordance with their religion or not.
It didn't sound right then and it still doesn't. I don't think that anyone should ever have to justify their spiritual or religious beliefs and that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I hate open dishonestly of that sort. It strikes me that we are putting people on the spot too much.
That being said, I believe that religious repression goes against everything that most religious communities actually stand for and that it is generally quite ignorant!
You guys should check out the fundamental christian political parties in Holland if you think religion is not about repressing anyone. I lived in Holland for years and it was one of the most open societies I have ever experienced. Now that there are fundamental christians taking over things are changing.
Because they believe the state is the "swordmaiden of God," and has a duty to "uphold public morality."
Once you start speaking for god - you have no choice but to attempt to enforce his will.
Usual crap - Religion-based schools, no gay marriage, no soft drugs, women belong at home looking after the kids. Not long until virginity becomes sacred again.
And of course - it will be the state's duty to ensure young girls remain intact.
How any anyone signs up for a religion is beyond me.
Mark, I am new at this (just over a year) and I could be so far off base that I need a kick in the head, but most Christians I know (fundamentalist or not) wish for the Government (the State) to interfere less in the lives of the people (including, as you say, upholding the public morality). The Amish would be an excellent example: They are, essentially, self governing and have no business with the government of their state or their country.
As for me, I consider myself a conservative, though by popular definitions I am not a "fundamentalist." I am a libertarian. If the two are somehow mutually exclusive, I will be exceptionally surprised.
I personally believe (having friends who are former Amish and Mennonite as well) that the problems arise when *religious* (as opposed to spiritual) individuals begin to take over the governance (even if it is in an isolated community), thereby imposing their moral views on an entire society.
Though I would never, ever have an abortion and discouraged a friend from doing it, I am avidly pro-choice, for example. Personally I think that in Christian terms, what you have brought up is an oxymoron. If we're given free will, then shouldn't we be allowed to exercise it?
Pam, as I said before, my mom was the same way about enforcing strange strictures on her children, though she was different. Her "religion" was feminism and the "strictures" were "You will work outside the home forty hours a week and be superwoman or you have failed as a woman."
I'm sorry, but that's just not me. My children, sister, mother, friends all need to make their own decisions. I have chosen what works for me and what makes me happy, secure in the knowledge that where I live, I can make the choice to change my mind
I'm sorry I'm so behind here. I live in the states and therefore am way behind Mark, for example
Ah. So it was not the christians that managed to push through proposition 8 in california?
Did you even look up the Dutch party I spoke of. And the changes they are pushing through.
Oh - that is right - all the christians you know would not do such a thing.
No christians argue that America is a christian nation - and there was no intention to separate church and state.
You know what, Mark? I don't see the Gay Marriage issue as a moral issue, because it (the issue) is just so heinous and misjudged to me. I understand that most people don't see this issue the way that I do, and that probably has a lot to do with the fact that there is a lot of emotion being thrown at it from both sides: Homosexuals want the right to get married and heterosexuals want marriage protected. For straight individuals the issue seems to be in the definition (and re-definition) of marriage and for gays it is about equality.
It's not a moral issue for most Christians I have talked to about this: It is an issue of semantics and etymology. This would be a huge change for our world, and some people are afraid of change.
Ultimately I see this as a political, rather than a moral issue. Perhaps, as a conservative libertarian (bordering on anarchist) I see things differently than those who yen for a big government. The government currently controls who can and can't get married. Why? What is the purpose in licensing marriages? Should not polygamy and homosexual marriage be just as valid as monogamous heterosexual marriage? If not, then why not? So far nobody has given me a valid reason why the government should be involved at all other than to make the people more dependent on them. Sorry, that isn't for me.
I don't recall you specifying a particular political party in Holland, actually, Mark. Even if you had, I probably wouldn't have had time to do any research before the thread here moved way too far ahead of me. Regardless of whether or not I did, however, I can't speak for a nation I have never even visited, let alone experienced as a resident or citizen.
I don't believe in an oppressive government that is controlled by religion or not. I feel that freedom means the right to make the decision of how we will lead our lives, and in our world (globally) that is being taken away from us. I just don't happen to see religion or God as the enemy: for me, the enemy is an oppressive government.
We each pick our battles, Mark. Your issue is religion, mine is politics. I don't believe in oppression either way.
And to answer a thought you threw out there yesterday, I *don't* believe that you and other atheists (and non-Christians are going to hell). I believe that those who have not accepted Christ simply have no afterlife whatsoever. I cannot personally accept that a loving God would punish a person for an eternity. That, to me, is ridiculous.
But then, I'm not dogmatic!
Oh - I am not exclusive - politics and religion? Not really seeing any difference.
Although - it is entertaining that you feel anyone who has not "accepted" christ gets no afterlife -
but you do
Political parties in Holland:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_ … tic_Appeal
http://www.dutchnews.nl/columns/2009/04 … r_sale.php
So now you know.
Glad I could entertain you
And yes, I do feel that politics and religion are two different things.
Thanks for the links! I have about an hour now during which I can look!
I could stomach about four lines of the Wikipedia articles.
I've been interested in politics longer than I've been interested in religion. I never saw that the two were so intensely intertwined in some places. What I read was disgusting. Thank you for informing me!
Well - I would like to say it was "my pleasure" but - politics and religion are so intertwined I cannot really say that. Unfortunately you are kidding yourself if you think they are two separate entities.
Have you not heard of proposition 8? Are you not aware that your money says "In god we trust"?
And I suggest you look at why the founding fathers of the US were so adamant that religion and state were separate.
I don't know - the men get a fair number of perks as we have seen from this discussion. If I were a man, I would be tempted
My mother was at Girton College, Cambridge. Sports was a big part of women's higher education too.
This is a photo of Bristol Uni's netball team in 1921:
And a women's football team in 1921
Girls' cricket match, 1923
Which, Pam, lol, (your above posts) reminds me of something my mother would do in our family of 3 girls...We would of course watch the Miss America contest every year (in my late teens I refused, but still the rest seemed to persist with it), where they would have the digitized judging...7.5, 8.7, 9.2. Very few ever reached that 9.0 mark standing around in their bikinis, I noticed--almost none, in fact I remember NONE, reached 10.0. After it was over, my mother would go through photographs of our classroom pictures, judging who was prettiest, on downward.
OMG. And to this day, I cannot really stand photographs to be taken of me (though I enjoy photography, obviously). I avoid cameras whenever and as much possible, even though, in my mind, I view myself as a nice solid "8," lol, I cannot handle the judgment, I think, that was associated with it.
And yes, it does seem to be about husband getting or something--and interesting how that 'indoctrination,' has played out among my sisters and I. I of course am the rebellious one... Maybe at some point when I get older, I'll find it funny. Not yet, though!
OMG. And she probably thought she wasn't doing anything harmful. Geez, that's awful.
My sisters still tell the 'clown suit' story about our Mom. (She died about 15 years ago.) Anyway every Christmas after we were all adults, she'd buy me, my two sisters, and my sister-in-law an outfit. She'd always buy them a size or two too small and she'd insist we try them on and model them. Now one of my sisters and my sister-in-law are very portly large women. She always bought each of them these garish colored jogging suits (too small) in pink or purple loud prints----you know, clown suits. I like colorful clothing, so she always bought me something beige, which makes me look dead.
They always dutifully put on the too-small clown suits and came out so she could cluck about how she didn't realize what big girls they were (Rilly? Come on, ma...), but after the first time my youngest sister and I (the only two of normal size) refused. Like, no, we're not trying this crap on. No way.
This could be a thread of it's own I think: Things mothers do to daughters that they probably shouldn't.
Mothers and daughters - that would make for some very interesting hubs.
My dad never really had too many expectations, he just wanted me to be happy. My mom had many expectations, that I never seemed to be able to fulfill. I like my dad's way better. I think it helped make me into a stronger and happier person while the other way did the opposite.
There is this great scene in the movie The Joy Luck Club about mothers placing too many expectations on their daughters. When it comes to expectations on children, I think it is better to err on the less is more side.
I always knew dogs were loyal friends but now I know they are even wise
My parents had and still have a lot of expectations, but they aren't specific. They've always made clear that we should want to do something, and make every effort to do it well and to the best of our abilities, but not been specific about what that something should be.
So my next-younger sister and I both did quite academic stuff at school, and I went on to read law and am a barrister. Eleanor, 2 years younger than I am, did a foundation art course and teacher-training. She then went to work as a type of social worker, with teenagers in Care (taken away from their parents) who had been expelled from school, and she is now a journalist.
My next sister, Olivia, is 6 years younger than I am, and quite dyslexic. She made it through A levels (public exams at age 18) and it was one hell of a struggle for her to do so. She didn't think university was for her, and my parents have never tried to push her that way. Lily works part-time now, with a mixture of 3-day eventing horses, and she has an HGV licence to drive lorries. She is also doing a part-time course to be a chiropracter.
My brother, Roland, is 7 years younger than me, and finished Bar School last summer, and is working as a paralegal in a solicitors' office while looking for pupillage.
No offence to your Mum, but I'd have opted out of that very early on indeed (-:
I don't remember my Dad ever commenting on how any of us four children looked, apart from in an appropriate / inappropriate / those trousers-are-dirty-get-changed-before-dinner type of way. I have absolutely no idea what he thinks of the way any of us looks, I don't think he cares.
My mother comments occasionally, but only ever in a positive way, liking a new haircut, you look healthy and happy, that colour really suits you way. Never, ever negative.
I think I'm very lucky indeed.
My father always commented. My sister was the pretty one, and I was "fat" and "not pretty enough to be an actress." He ruined a dream that way, and I wasted a serious talent. I often tell those who commend my writing ability that they should see me on the stage. It's sad, really.
Oddly, he began the words about me being fat due to puberty leading to a very large chest. Given my build, my weight was reasonable, but because of his comments and the blow to my self-image, I... well, gained weight that I'm not sure I can ever lose.
It is - I'm sorry to hear that. It's a tough thing to hear from a parent, or any family member.
My Dad did care about appropriate dress, so he did comment on that - dressed up to see Nanna or to go to Church, not wearing muddy clothes at the dinner table, that kind of thing. But nothing personal. I've never, ever heard him say a single thing about my weight, hair, that kind of thing (nor about my sisters either).
In fact whenever I wanted to wear western clothes my mother would squirm a bit but my father always appreciated me(and then they would have there usual talk about my dad spoiling me too much with his love).
EM- That is so sad to hear. I hope one day you do get to be on the stage(drama or movie actress). It still isn't too late(if Susan Boyle can pull it off at 47 then so can you at 29).
Any repression is sad ,but so too is ignorance,and it can be subtle especially if it comes from our top educators (be interesting to know some of their back-ground-lord help us lol)
Many values or practices we had or forced on us growing up were often based on superstition or some fang dangled new idea that so called more educated people knew.
We laugh at some of them now, and maybe the East laughs at us now too( actually Im sure they do).
I love different cultures and find it so fascinatng how if we search past the first layer theres always more to what was first thought.
Wouldnt it be great to read first hand stories( not media reports) from these women or relatives first hand.
Yes. You are. Forced doctrine and the glory that is one's role in the inspired and sanctified ways of marriage and children and being a helpmate to a man do not look good on some (I'd say most) women. My mother wanted to be a teacher. Her father refused to help her get to college, because in the 60's, all women were there for was "their Mrs. Degree."
Which dovetails nicely with my views on higher education and allowing and enabling those of lower income to have it--as there is much waste that I see in true human potential--which is NOT found in the culturally and religiously imagined duality of male and female roles... I am a feminist mainly because I am strong willed and don't bear, lol, lies very well.
I've also noticed it has a tendency to drive the women who ate the lies crazy in my immediate family/surroundings, so as I have said on one of Pam's hubs, one of my goals is to live in reality (even though it is not 'prettified') and avoid going crazy like some of the women I've seen, .
My grandfather didn't altogether approve of women going to university.
However, he'd desparately wanted to go himself, and his father hadn't allowed him to. His older brother was sent instead, who didn't particularly fancy it.
When it came to a battle of the prejudices, his believe that people shouldn't be prevented from university won.
So my mother (b.1947) was sent to an academic girls' school, and she got a place at Cambridge to read geography, and he supported her in that. My uncle, 4 years older than my brother, also went to Cambridge, and studied the ever-useful Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic.
Mark, Islam and Christianity are both really patriarchal, really harsh religions when followed to the letter instead of the spirit of the law. It doesn't balance out. The good in these traditions in no way compensates for the damage done. Right now in my home town, where Notre Dame University is located, Right to Life is dragging these billboards around with aborted fetuses on them, pulling them on trailers all around town, gearing up for Obama's visit. Lots of people have complained but apparently they aren't breaking any laws by doing it. Imagine waiting at a stop sign with an eight foot high aborted fetus in the lane next to you.
Lovely. So inspiring.
Exactly my point.
Anyone who buys into these religions is giving themselves up.
By choice. That is what they want.
By far the easier choice. Unfortunately.
Jesus Himself spoke out against the legalistic manner of the pharisees during his time. It's still happening today. It's unfortunate, but much of the time even Christians are going back to Old Testament doctrine and are using the "Old Law" as an excuse to behave in a ridiculous manner.
As a former pagan, I am especially aware of the Maleus Malificarum. (I know I spelled that wrong, sorry!) Violence has long been part of religious tradition (in general) and wars have been carried out in the name of God on more than one occasion.
The problem here is that we are crediting God for our own ridiculous decisions. I don't give God credit for my choices, though I will thank Him for His guidance and for the things that He brings into my life (blessings). But if I choose to, for example, overeat and not exercise, I'm not going to give God the blame for my having gotten fat. I did that one my own.
Wars are waged because of people, not because of God. People choose to fight and then, as a means of justifying their own (often poor) choices, they "blame" God for their chosen actions.
It doesn't make God wrong, it makes people wrong. And people are behind "religion" as I define religion.
I feel that abortion is wrong. I've stood up for what I believe in and have helped to counsel friends who are considering an abortion or who have had an abortion. I will engage in the debate and make my feelings clear on the subject.
But I don't think that violence is a way to stop violence from occurring. I believe that NOTHING is made right through violence in the long run. However "peaceful" these demonstrators may be, showing pictures of bloody dead fetuses is violent in my mind. It might not be a direct attack on the body of another, but it is a psychological attack. Disgusting, in my opinion.
Also, lest I be accused of being inconsistent, I vote pro-choice! I am a believer in free-will and limited government.
My understanding is that the founding fathers wanted there to be no state-ordained religion. Correct me if I'm wrong, of course. There is no government ordained religion in the United States. We possess the freedom to choose whether or not to follow a religion at all and which religion to follow.
I don't claim to know everything -- I'm still learning. That's one of the great joys in my life, knowing that I *can*. You aren't going to change my mind any more than I'm going to change yours, but I do enjoy reading your viewpoints and having the opportunity to understand you and others who hold similar views.
Nothing wrong with expanding the world view
EM- Since you seem to be open minded and interested in expanding world view then based on your posts I have a few questions. What would have happened to you if you continued being the kind/nice woman (who also happened to be a pagan) after you die? And what about those who have never heard of Jesus(or not keen on accepting Jesus) but still lead a good and kind life?
My grandfather once told me(since we are vegetarians by birth) that non violence isn't just about being vegetarians but also not hurting other by way of our thoughts, words (and not just actions). What about those who don't intend to follow any organized religions but still lead a lawful and kind lives then don't they deserve a better reward. And what about those folks that Mark Knowles mentions who accept Jesus but abuse children then does accepting Jesus wipe away all the hurt caused to those innocent children?
I feel we are all humans first & foremost(before attaching any labels) and if we treat each others kindly then no matter what we personally believe it is by our thoughts, words and actions we would be getting the results that we deserve.
There is no "adequate" answer to your question. I honestly feel that those Christians of intelligence should continue to ponder on this question.
The Bible, as I have read it, is very clear on one thing: That we are forgiven. None of us is perfect. No matter how much time we spend during our lives trying to be good and righteous, we are going to have faults. Each of us has our individual shortcomings. The Bible teaches that we can be forgiven anything except for blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (and what is that, anyway?).
Can someone who has abused their children be forgiven? I believe so. When I was growing up my father was very verbally and emotionally abusive towards his family. He has been forgiven (by me anyway). My ex husband abused me physically, sexually and emotionally. I have also forgiven him. So it is *possible*.
As for the afterlife as it relates to heaven and hell, this is where I am still baffled. I no longer believe in reincarnation (though I confess that karma makes a lot of sense in terms of the various "versions" of the afterlife), and for someone with my history that leaves something of a void. What *does* happen to those who don't believe?
There are two different questions here. Understand that I am philosophizing rather than proselytizing. I am too young as a Christian to know what answers are in the Bible itself, let alone to have had sufficient time to explore my own spirituality. Religion, for me, is out the window. I'm not going to be told what to believe by an outside party. I'd rather take responsibility for myself. Wow, major sidetrail!
The first question is: what happens to someone who is not a Christian when they die?
My husband and I have talked about this, and he claims that there are evangelists (who I don't listen to) who say that they have died. I struggle with this as most atheists do -- it just seems so far fetched! However, the claim is that at the moment before death Christ is revealed to the individual as *the* path to God. They then have the opportunity to accept Him or to say "no, sorry, not interested."
I like this. Definitely not a bad way to "justify" heaven and hell. But it's still a justification.
The second question is "what about people who don't live a good life but are still Christian?"
I'm going to be honest -- I struggle a lot with this. I just don't understand. If you claim Christ and THEN go out and murder someone, how can God forgive you for having made an informed decision to break His commandments? That's pretty crazy, isn't it? I'm not there yet with this part of the answer, in spite of my belief in forgiveness.
I do believe that the reward in heaven for Christians is different based on their actions on earth. "Faith without works is dead."
Ultimately I understand that the day of Judgment is the moment when those who's works were good but who didn't have the opportunity to claim Christ (or who were chased away from Him as many are!) will be judged based on the lives that they lived. This is where the "ceasing to exist" part gets complicated. I don't believe in purgatory or limbo, so where do souls go in the meantime?
I don't have all the answers. The truth is that I know what speaks to my heart and what has worked for me. I am a significantly healthier and happier person since I became a Christian and I don't feel that this is coincidence.
By the way, what your grandfather said is similar to something Jesus once said about not committing a sin in thought as well as in deed. It's more than just what we do, it's what we think and the feelings that we harbor. He equated anger to murder, for example. A very interesting point!
What Jenny said is somewhat correct... Like I said, my women's history knowledge is not that up to date. There's a lot of good stuff out there. Of course you must form your own opinion upon reading whatever you decide to.
However, I do know from other sources that what I related concerning Poynesian cultures is true.
Oh I am sure what you say must be absolutely true about Polynesian cultures. And also I believe it is a combination of both biology and culture(and not either/or)? I maybe wrong but still I am open to learn more on this subject. What I meant was my opinion of Margaret Meade would depend on what I read, perceive and discuss with a few folks. I usually don't like to be certain about anything quickly.
And also about sports I find my brother loves women's tennis when he doesn't like watching women's cricket (a game which he loves a lot). I asked him once and he told me that he likes it because the women who play like Sania Mirza and Maria Sharapova are good looking in there outfits (and I felt so angry when he feels that way about looks dominating over talent/efforts)
No convincing of you or anyone, CW, . Not my way!
The profound (kinda?) thing I would say is: Intelligent species/beings/whatever should be able to figure it out.
EM- If it works for you then great. I was brought up in two worlds at home my father(who belongs to a priestly community) and outside in defense environment. I was following the traditional prayers and to a great extent I was a theist. But the last few years I have become agnostic and I find it very liberating hence being agnostic works for me. I never say there is one way for the whole world. Each person grows up and decides what path they want to choose.
Btw the hurt caused to the children that Mark Knowles mentions which I saw once in a TV news too about a Church Father physically abusing a child and the child could never get over it for the rest of his life(yes it was same sex too which surprised me since the conservative folks consider that unholy)
Again you are free to consider karma/reincarnation as false or even consider those who believe in it to be satan/devil/idol worshipers(as some folks here in hubpages have told me earlier). I am not for or against any religion or no religion but all I feel is that each individual should be able to think clearly for themselves what works for them. If something works for me then that necessarily need not work for others too. Have a great day.
@CW, no one can accept Jesus Christ and still abuse children or do horrible things. If any do, he or she has not truly accepted Christ, they are hypocrite. Accepting Christ means total sanity and good judgement, you immitate the life of Christ. On the contrary, it is very difficult to live a pure and clean life without accepting Christ (i may say for Christians in order not to offend any with this comment),we all are imperfect,accepting him wholely with our heart helps us attain perfectness.
Accofranco- I would humbly beg to differ with you. I think there are good people, average people and bad people everywhere(it really doesn't matter what labels you want to ascribe to them). I have met wonderful atheists and wonderful religious folks. I hope you are not offended by my opinion my friend.
*cough cough* the catholic priest molestation scandal from a few years ago. And that wasn't your average church goer. It was priests, the big dogs of catholicism!
A nice array of responses. Concerning 'faith' and 'religion' I searched 'deism' and found it simple and refreshing. Their bumper sticker philosophy is: "God gave us reason, not religion."
Concerning the 'Founding Fathers' of the United States,you might want to download, "Thomas Jefferson's Bible." In his edition, he attempted to omit all the silliness, and leave in the parts about god.HI HO
Technically a Gym is not needed in order to practice excercise and a persons diet has a bigger impact on if they will store fat.
That is true. But it doesn't alter the facts of the case. Women's gyms are being closed by clerics on ridiculous grounds.
I agree, technically, a gym is not needed to exercise. However, the topic is EQUALITY, not travel destination.
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