Reply To: Tough topics that still need to be addressed (Mar 20, 2013)

About Me Forums Scorpio! Tough topics that still need to be addressed (Mar 20, 2013) Reply To: Tough topics that still need to be addressed (Mar 20, 2013)

Michelle Young

Michelle Young – Mar 24, 2013
I agree with you about the government’s failure to change laws until people are outraged and protesting. But I feel it’s not just a problem we’re seeing in males, but even among females. I know that might sound contradictory, but consider:

The male child is often being valued as the better, stronger, wiser, more intelligent, more prized, fill in the rest of the words for this gender. And this is taking place even by women! It baffles me. How can a woman put down her own gender??? I think of one person (and I haven’t heard this just from Indians, but in this case it was an Indian female who said it) who told me she wouldn’t want children if she couldn’t have boys! Where does that kind of thinking come from??? For starters, her grandmother couldn’t accept that her first grandchild was a female, as if this was some kind of sin! Not intending disrespect, but what was her grandmother, androgynous??? She wouldn’t be the first, I suppose, but…………seems odd, as if there’s a rejection of self-acceptance among females in that case. I don’t know how else to explain it or wrap my mind around it. In fact, I even went to see this video to try to get it, and I couldn’t:

Sorry, it’s not on YouTube. Hopefully those of you in India can see it. It’s from ABC News in Australia about a person whose birth certificate lists as unspecified gender, the only person in the world with this classification.

But if a woman can lower her own gender to being treated as worthless, as we’ve seen through female genocide, the acceptance of rape and abuse as it’s been through the years (not just in India!!!), it is any wonder why this problem exists in the world? And even the question of changing laws, even this is a global issue. It seems to me that we become less likely to have such problems arising when we can confront those issues head on.

And then there’s the question of when we’re buying into the media hype that may be offered with a situation: have publishers, editors and reporters allowed the reportage to become emotionalized, inflammatory rhetoric that can spawn more of the fury and the outrage? I’m not saying we shouldn’t be outraged. We should. But at times, perhaps it’s best to step back and consider whether we’re really seeing the whole picture. As I pointed out somewhere recently, when you’re standing in the middle of a war, and the bullets are whizzing by your head, you’re not going to have an unbiased and clearer opinion any more than if you’re standing on one side or another. It’s impossible to see the whole picture. It’s why I was so specific in my book on multiculturalism to show the general mental state of the German people as they entered WWII. And our taking sides based on that reportage or what we think we’re seeing even in the news is a fallacy since war and divorce are friends: the he said/she said game becomes the method through which you’re making the judgment calls even when photos and videos are offered.

It brings to mind another very hot topic that I know I’m going to have to bring up here. But I want to finish my thoughts first on the subject of the so-called gender war in relation to the abuses of women in India. It’s far deeper and broader than that, and it’s unfair to blame men alone. We’re in this together. Men didn’t get here without women, and women didn’t get here without men. That’s a team to me. You cannot bring new life into this world without both genders. So the dysfunction lies in the promulgation of the ideas themselves–in the daily world, in our interactions, in our philosophy itself perhaps. As involved as I’d like to think I am, I’m not always, I guess. I cocoon a lot, as those of you who have known me any amount of time know I can do. I don’t know how to turn off this thinking machine inside me, but sometimes the thoughts are rushing so quickly, I can’t slow them down to make any kind of sense from them. Hopefully, that makes me human.

Seems like I’ve already expressed what I was going to say to make my point on this in re to its not being just the male of the human species that’s to blame but the female of the human species as well. Asking ourselves this question of who did what first might be like asking the age old question of which came first, the chicken or the egg. We just can’t blame one side without considering the other as well. And that’s true whether we’re talking about these gender issues related to the exploitation of women, the abuse of women via a society that may skirt issues by creating ineffective laws, as all countries have been known to do, that may violate all of our sense of decency and what we understand as morality and ethics through the acceptance of inequities we simply cannot stomach.  

When I lived in Arizona, I saw so many inequities related to racism. I was downright ill from these things. And people who should have been outraged because they were subjected to these racist attitudes directed even at them, were not. I was. Those attitudes were also directed at me for what I was as an invisible minority as much as I was for my role at home and in society. I was outspoken. I was in their faces, and I was getting death threats. So understand that this does worry me as my trip draws near. That’s why I spoke as I did to the editor at The Hindu Business Line. I don’t like that people have said I’ll be fine, that foreigners are safe there, that no one would bother me. Obviously, that perspective is no longer valid. I’m still coming, but I am worried/frightened, and I wish I weren’t worried or afraid. It was bad enough that I decided to do this in the midst of blasts there. But so many of you are there, and you have shown me that life continues and that there’s just so much fear one can have perhaps. I was also afraid going to Brazil, but I’d already faced death. I’ve begun to live again since the cancer 8 years ago, so that fear of a shortened life has returned. Still, I’m coming. This trip is in my every waking moment, in my thoughts and dreams…I’m coming.  But yes, I hope I’ll be safe while I’m there.

These problems will continue to exist throughout society, not just in India, not just in the USA, but throughout the world. And this is where I remind you–all of you–that we are indeed a family and we need to think for the good of all. The denigration of women is not for the good of all. The violation of women is not for the good of all. That’s Mars, selfish desire–not Pluto, for the good of all. We need to use a lot more Pluto to the good, starting with this community. After all, Pluto rules Scorpio. 🙂 So instead of being skittish about these topics, we can and should address them head on.

Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungMar 24, 2013
sigh… Neptune is within orb of my Mercury, and I keep seeing the reminders. Here’s another!  

But if a woman can lower her own gender to being treated as worthless, 
as we’ve seen through female genocide, the acceptance of rape and abuse 
as it’s been through the years (not just in India!!!), it is any 
wonder why this problem exists in the world? And even the question of 
changing laws, even this is a global issue. It seems to me that we 
become less likely to have such problems arising when we can confront 
those issues head on.

I don’t care that the formatting won’t be right as I note the error. But I put the error in bold to show. That should be “is it.” Sorry. I caught it after the post was made despite my having read this before posting. So here’s the corrected paragraph:

But if a woman can lower her own gender to being treated as worthless, as we’ve seen through female genocide, the acceptance of rape and abuse as it’s been through the years (not just in India!!!), is it any wonder why this problem exists in the world? And even the question of changing laws, even this is a global issue. It seems to me that we become less likely to have such problems arising when we can confront those issues head on.

Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungMar 24, 2013
A friend of mine posted a question to a mutual friend the other night, and it caught my attention:

As much as I liked his music (Mostly with Pink Floyd), I Hate his attitude. Music & Art has nothing to do with political views. What do you think?

So did the following story:

Roger Waters Calls for Boycott of Israel
Pink Floyd rocker accuses government of ‘running riot’
By Jon Blistein
March 20, 2013 2:15 PM ET

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters says a boycott of Israel, similar to the one implemented against South Africa during apartheid, is the “way to go.” He accuses the Israeli government of running a similar regime by occupying the West Bank and Gaza territories in a new interview with the Electronic Intifada.

Waters became an outspoken supporter of the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel after visiting the West Bank in 2006, where he spray-painted the lyric “We don’t need no thought control” from Pink Floyd’s famous anthem “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)” on the Israeli West Bank barrier.

“They are running riot,” said Waters of the Israeli government, “and it seems unlikely that running over there and playing the violin will have any lasting effect.”

Waters currently serves as a juror on the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, which seeks to bring attention to how Western governments and companies assist Israel in what they perceive to be violations of international law. The singer plans to publish an open letter to his peers in the music industry asking them to join him in the BDS movement.

In the interview, the musician also spoke about reaching out to Stevie Wonder before he was set to play a gala dinner for the Israeli Defense Forces in December. “I wrote a letter to him saying that this would be like playing a police ball in Johannesburg the day after the Sharpeville massacre in 1960. It wouldn’t be a great thing to do, particularly as he was meant to be a UN ambassador for peace,” Waters explained. “It wasn’t just me. Desmond Tutu also wrote a letter.”

“To his eternal credit,” Waters continued, “Stevie Wonder called [the gala’s organizers] up and said ‘I didn’t quite get it’ [and canceled the performance].” Waters went on to criticize the lack of media attention given to Wonder’s cancellation, as well as discuss his own speech to the U.N. about the conflict last week.
©2013 Rolling Stone

And then my friend posted to me:
Umm.. What’s your opinion, Michelle Young?

Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungMar 24, 2013
I was ready. It might surprise some of you, but we’ll see…

I should be sleeping, so bear with me, (name). I’m not opposed to anyone having opinions within reason. I’m stating that because there’s a difference between informed, knowledgeable opinion that can speak from personal experience and that which can or at least may be colored by the media’s perspectives of what’s going on, even more so by the mood of the day.

An entertainer has no more business being involved in political statements about which side is getting it worse, which side is at a disadvantage, etc, than the publishers, editors and reporters do. You’re getting the WYSIWYG version and no guarantees that it hasn’t been put there in your dubious honor.

I’m reminded of a not-so-pleasant memory of someone who, some years back, was living along the border on the Israeli side and who painted a chilling verbal portrait of life along the Israeli border in which Israeli home dwellers in those villages were trying to live, work, get educated and play like anyone else living supposedly normal lives. It’s a bit hard to do that when you are fearing sending your child to school or trying to hope and pray your spouse will get back home safely from work later in the day because of random–or perhaps targeted–shelling from the other side.

Now there are people who can argue that this is how the settlers live in Gaza, and perhaps that’s true. I don’t know for sure about the other side (“other” being the operative word here since I’m not there and don’t have the knowledge or experience from either “other” side). Either side refers to whichever side is perhaps receiving the most shelling. Either side is whichever side feels like sitting ducks. I’m saying this because people outside of Israel and the Gaza Strip or any other part of the disputed territories in that region–INCLUDING myself–are not seeing the whole picture.

I’m reminded of my own observations of war through several eyes as I wrote a couple chapters in my first book and my realization that it’s impossible to see the war through the eyes of both sides much less one side. One side’s view will always be skewed. So will the other side’s view. And even in the midst of the war where you’re standing in the center most point, it’s impossible to know who, what, when, where, why as the bullets are whizzing by your head or the accusations are flying. It’s the same in a divorce, isn’t it?

I’m blessed with friends from around the world, including the Middle East region. My own heritage belongs to one of the sides, and I have desperately tried to maintain a clean, level footing that addresses the issues without getting into the politics. I’m far from a dispassionate person, however, and my feelings can get really embroiled by the hostilities that ooze onto the pages of every newspaper in the world as those periodicals try to make some semblance of war. But tell me, how do you do that if you’re taking sides without understanding what you’re seeing??? I don’t think you can.

My heart, like any other person whose roots are intertwined with the region, tugs at me. My humanitarian side pleads with me to recognize which atrocity where is going on, and my cognizance of the photoshopped pieces that will crop up time and again with the next outbreak keeps me alert that this is when my emotions can get in the way of pure logic based on the history, a history my heart has been actively involved in for most of my life.

Were we talking about the conflicts between India and Pakistan, even about–more specifically–Jammu and Kashmir, I’d be forced to answer the same way because what I see and what is actually going on can be two different things. Whether or not we like it, people lie. They lie in the courts: ask any lawyer (not intended as a joke), and s/he will tell you “Justice isn’t about justice. It’s about who tells the best lies.” I’ve had that said to me far more often than many would care to admit. Well, when we’re talking about war, isn’t that also a demand for justice?

I’m not there. I do know that my heart is involved because of my roots. I know that the hearts of millions are involved even when their roots aren’t tied to the region except for the Western religions in which they may be feeling those bonds, but if we’re not there, if we haven’t seen and experienced it live, first hand–and even then with a lot of attention to the challenges of seeing what really happened as compared to what we think has happened, will be skewed by the heart. I would trust my own observations and feelings and reactions to events there far more quickly than I would the same things in the words of a reporter. Why? Easy: I know what I’m feeling. I don’t know what you’re feeling. (You is generally speaking here.)

I probably could have shortened it to the following quote I offer from time to time, but you asked my opinion, (name). My apologies for the length:

Gnatola ma no kpon sia, eyenabe adelan to kpo mi sena. (Ewe-mina)
A moins ce que le lion ait son propre narrateur, le chasseur aura toujours la belle part de l’histoire. (French)
Until the lion has his or her own storyteller, the hunter will always have the best part of the story. (English)

5:30 am. Now I’ll sleep for a few hours. Excessive length…but perhaps the most important paragraph you were seeking (now that my sleepy eyes look back over at this) is the second brief paragraph with its mere two sentences. I’m going to bed. Sorry I spilled. lol

My friend replied: I read the whole thing, btw. 

Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungMar 24, 2013
I returned:  lol!!! Whew! Again, I’m soooo sorry for that ramble, (name), but you can see how deeply I feel about it–and why I kept trying to like the post. I’m going to remove yours and (name) names and re-post with a copy and paste on a note sometime this week because I think that’s the point people need to get…if you don’t mind, that is. People need to consider these things before jumping into the foray. It’s like some singer (last name of Shocker??? ) who went to San Francisco and apparently broadcast her hatred for gays there since she changed her life. The end result, of course, was a mob of furious people. I don’t see the point when one knows one has the captive audience there to listen to the music, not to hear rhetoric and hate speech or politics. For what???

Music soothes the savage beast, it’s said, and certainly this is even what (name) is doing. And millions of people throughout the world listen to Pink Floyd as well. I think of Idan Raichel by comparison and wonder why the entertainer can’t get the same message the Idan Raichel Project gives in crossing borders, sharing the linguistic ranges, and letting the governments try to work things out without getting into the middle of it. Rebbe Soul does the same thing, as do a number of others, but Idan Raichel is the first one who comes to mind because I want to see him at some point when he comes to New York on tour again. 

The other friend replied then: I like political songs, but I really dont agree with calling for boycotts and my own opinion is that the region is a mess and I feel bad for all the people involved 

I answered: Love that word you used in your comment, (name): “all.”

Well,it’s a long time since Alice’s Restaurant, isn’t it?

Tough topics… Feel free to start on either or both of these, or another one