THE WAY THINGS ARE
For many the answer to that question is not much. Here we have free speech and expression, but inequalities still exist. Girls in Afghanistan can’t attend university. Old rulers, trapped in stasis, won’t permit female potential to aid a crippled economy. A BBC report said younger Taliban understand that severe exclusion doesn’t work in a world of necessary, international economic interaction and may bring some change.
I’ve known Muslim women who want to wear the hijab. Women in Iran were hounded by morality police for the ‘immoral’ act of showing their hair. Choice should be everyone’s right. The Prophet Mohammed knew the love of good women; Jesus didn’t exclude them from his company. Pope Francis and others sang academic/theological praises of the late Pope Benedict. Francis conferred sainthood on a forerunner.
These men knew of the severe abuses perpetrated by Roman Catholic clerics who were not handed over to justice but shifted around parishes to continue abusing innocents. The protection of the institution held precedence over those damaged by sexual criminals yet none of their younger selves blew a whistle.
In Ireland’s not too distant past, religious orders ran forced labour industries such as the Magdalene Laundry practically imprisoning unmarried girls and women with babies, governed by frustrated, at times sadistic, nuns who sold their infants with equanimity, the state as complicit in this abuse as the Church by not demanding records of hidden profit or accountability.
Not only the Taliban exists in stasis, the Vatican still excludes women from its ordained ranks, yet millions of women religiously adore these men with clay feet. We imagine education and sophistication should bring civility to a testosterone-fueled ego, but not always as Jeremy Clarkson proved in a pre-Christmas tirade over Megan Markle.
The Duchess isn’t popular with some media in the Kingdom. But to spout a woman you dislike should be marched naked in shame through the streets, gave credence to her husband Harry’s assertion that UK wordsmiths have it in for her, and how untouchable Clarkson still thinks he is even after a previous fracas lost him a prestigious job. The editor that let it through is as bad, are they afraid to challenge their money-making buffoon? He might take a few lessons in humility from the Prophet.
The Metropolitan Police in London and some members of our force also came under scrutiny for misdemeanors and behaviour unbecoming to those assigned to protect us. We worry about girls being subjected to ‘I want it like in the porn movies.’ Yet even ‘legitimate’ movies and series on streaming TV or in cinemas, often show casual teen sex as a sporting activity. It’s become the norm that a couple go to his or hers and… can’t make it to the bed, so the wall, the kitchen worktop, the carpet is closer, bang, bang and she’s lucky if she gets a thank you Ma’am. And I’m still puzzled as to why so many movie Americans have sex close to windows with open curtains!
In Cyprus, a heartbroken mother fights a long, exhausting battle for justice for her murdered son, will it come? At the far end of the spectrum, Eleni Charitonos, an American-Cypriot, has been selected to join NASA’s elites working on AI tools for space missions.
While we all hope for a better year in spite of the obstacles we know lie ahead of us, economic hardships for many, our own unsolved, on-going ‘problem’, it’s helpful to repeat an old Cypriot philosophical saying ‘Tha berasoume.’ We’ll get by. It’s often easier for women to be sisters than men brothers. Support those who dare whose hope for a better year is shrouded in danger fighting, literally, for what we take for granted. Women gifted with education, talent and brains have contributed so much to life on this planet, there’s a lot more untapped energy out there to release with the cooperation of understanding men willing to assist change for their equals. They don’t need to act superior, only the complexic ones are scared of female sexuality or intelligence. Women give birth to great men, mothers, fine women. Where are they without us? Have a good year.
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