Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

I give thanks to all the people who have the courage or who just can not take (pick one or all) discrimination, oppression, social injustice, unjust war, environmental degradation, ignorance, economic injustice, or selfishness any more and take a stand --large or small-- to help make the world a better place.

In today's NYT there is an article about Claudette Colvin--she was the first black person who refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery Alabama bus. But she was seen as too black, too emotional, too mouthy, and unwed pregnant teen to be the real test case. So, was the next teen arrested Mary Louise Smith deemed unsuitable to be the test case because her father drank.. Rosa Parks--lighter skinned and who worked for the NAACP (as a secretary, she was a woman, afterall) was chosen to take a seat on the bus, not give it up and become the impetus for the bus boycott.

I give thanks for our Bill of Rights which allows us to redress wrongs, to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which sets forth the concept that all people deserve to be respected, to Convention on the Elimination ofl Discrimination Against Women (which the US has not ratified and now has been transformed to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination--even though 50+% of the world's population are still discriminated against--only 1% of property for instance is owned by women, laws are still made on women's bodies-- including the current health care reform bills under discussion-- need I go on....)

I give thanks for the idea of equality, and I work towards seeinthat concept fulfilled.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Obama is walking in W's shoes

and he is stepping in all the crap that was left him (besides making his own mistakes).
Chances are that Obama is going to increase troop strength in Afghanistan. I am saying this because of the location of the speech: West Point.
He should realize that Afghanistan is a no win situation--we have forgotten why we are even there, and the chances that Osama Bin Laden is still waiting around for us to find him,are slim to none. We are just recruiting more terrorists for them as long as we occupy any country.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Recognizing Women

In Modern Political Thought class the other day we read Olympe de Gouges (1791), Mary Wollstonecraft (1792) and the Declaration of Sentiments (1848)--all criticizing the new modern liberal states for not recognizing women. De Gouges literally lost her head for criticizing the French Constitution of 1791.

I asked my students who was the first woman to run for US President. I gave them hints after Hillary Clinton's name came up--such as her running mate was a black man; and the date was 1872. None knew Victoria Woodhull's name, there was some recognition of Frederick Douglas.

I then asked: Would it have made a difference if young women and men learned about this try for the presidency, when they studied the abolition movement the Civil War, Reconstruction and women's suffrage in middle or high school?

I then asked in college, which female philosophers did they studied in Phil. 101--Introduction to Philosophy, or in the 3rd year class on Ethics...only 1 said they studied maybe 1 or 2 women (Wollstonecraft and Ayn Rand), the rest they read only male philosophers.

What of Sappho, who ran an academy; who Plato called wise and the tenth muse? What of all the 93 women who are listed on's index? There were women doing philosophy from 2354 BCE to today.

And, then we wonder why a health care bill can discount the needs of women.


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