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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Get your shit together, Men!

November 25th was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. That's pretty sad; the fact that in this and day and age we still need such a day. If you're not convinced, try replacing 'women' with 'blacks' or 'Jews' and say it aloud, and you'll realize how horrible it sounds. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the same ring to it when it comes to violence against women. When in fact it should be as horrible if not more. This is half the population on earth we're talking about.

Apollo program was ahead of its time. When the NASA was funded and the moon program was launched (despite it being a political game) we didn't have the technology to take a human being to moon and bring back in one piece, yet within a decade we had achieved that extraordinary feat. It was truly a triumph of not just America but the whole world, of all the people who ever lived. We needed every bit of knowledge and wisdom we as a species had gathered for millennia across cultures to make it happen. It was the culmination our species' brilliance; we were no longer bound by the planet we were born in. And yet in that historic moment we chose to utter the sad words "that's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" and thus spit on the faces of half the entire species who contributed to that victory. One could argue that it isn't proper literary device to say 'humankind', but bollocks to that. If it isn't proper, it's time we make it proper. Language changes more than most and why are we still stuck with mankind instead of humankind and he instead of he or she? Just like calling a black person 'nigger' is something to be ashamed of today, same should go with 'he' and 'mankind'.

The history of how men have treated women throughout the history across pretty much all cultures is something to be embarrassed about. Up until less than a century ago women were more or less glorified incubators all over the world. There were exceptions, but that's kind of is the point. All that was expected of them was to breed like rabbits and raise the bunch of them. Education was limited to only that which she needed to take care of her man and the children. Voting was out of the question. Even the progressive fields like science horribly discriminated against women. Of 826 individual Nobel Prize winners between 1901 and 2011, only 43 - a depressing 5% - are women. If the achievements of NASA are a celebration of how exceedingly brilliant we can be as a species - to burrow from Christopher Hitchens - the plight of women is a sad reminder that we are only a half a chromosome away from chimpanzees.

But past is past, and there's not a thing we can do about it except to learn from it. Which brings us to the point of this rant (pretty lot of words to get to the point, yeah, but that's why this is a rant) that it's a sad day when we need a day to educate people not to hit women. That's like having a day to tell people not to murder or steal. But that's the kind of world we live in even today; according to a 2013 WHO global study, 35% of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual violence. The figure raises to above 70% in some nations. Worst of all a large portion of this abuse is coming from their own partners. This happens irrespective of whether it's a developed world country or a third world nation, and it's only worse in the latter; in most of the the third world countries women put up with the abuse because the culture is such that a divorced woman is permanently damaged goods. In some parts of the world people are still being trafficked into prostitution and forced labor, a more than 80% of it being women. 80 percent of victims of hand-held weapons in war are women. About 17% of the world adult population is still illiterate, and a staggering 2/3 of it - which amounts to more than 500 million people - are women.

All that needs to change and that's not up for debate.

It's a universal rule of moral code that you take care of the weak, not abuse them, and women are physically weak. While women are in no way intellectually inferior to men (sometimes, you can make a good case for the other way round, though) the society is such that chances are they are not in a position to use their full potential. Even today, the powers that be are men, and it is upon them to set things right. Only if men take the initiative - not because they are superior but because they are in a position of power - the change can be made; in all honesty, some men aren't aware and some simply don't care. And this is a small attempt to make them aware - at least - if not care.

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