Saturday, May 30, 2009

Participating in an Oppressive Society

In his article Patriarchy, the System: An It, Not a He, a Them, or an Us, Allan G. Johnson points out that every member of a society participates in its social construction, that we live in an oppressive system in which “all men and all women are involved ... and none can control whether we participate – only how.” I think about this and wonder how true it is. Does anyone get a say in whether or not to participate in the society we all have built together? Many of us willingly deny it, claiming that rules and regulations have already been set for us, and our obligation is to respect and follow them as they are, without questioning or challenging them. Is that true? If so, does it have to be true?

Humans are the ones who have formed those rules together. Religious groups of people argue that it is God, or whoever their Divine Being may be, who has set the standards for them, but humans have been the ones to set them in stones for themselves. In cases where God has proposed the norms, we humans are and have been the ones to interpret those norms based on the time and society we live in.

Both women and men, therefore, have a say in how their society is to function. In cultures where men dominate and rule their women, the women’s say comes in when they submit to those standards. If women were to stand up as one and together fight against their mistreatment, they would have as much a say. It is then up to these women to decide if they want to remain where they are, whether they choose to be continued stepped upon and battered by each traditional guideline that their ancestors outlined and implemented in their culture, or whether they stand up and look their treatment straight in the face with a raised chin and say, “Enough is enough. This worked for us centuries ago, and perhaps even decades ago, but now it does not apply anymore. Times have changed, and we have risen. We need not subjugate either gender, or build a hierarchy, in order to be in peace. We need to work alongside each other, men with women, and vice versa, children with elders, and vice versa, in order to be a healthy society that both genders call a secure home.”

Monday, May 25, 2009

Ta Laare Da Bal Cha Shwe

My second Pashto poem (the first one is rreally, really, REALLY, really bad so ain't worth sharing ... but I may still upload it some day :D).

Ta Laare Da Bal Cha Shwe

Maa weil mung ba yaozai shu, pa tora tora shpa ke
Spogmai pa sar walaara, da khaista storo da laande
Kho jor hera de krram, gula, ta che laare bewafa shwe
Au da bal gulab baora shwe
Maa we ta ba zama she, za ba sta sham
Kho ta laare da bal cha shwe

Maa weil charta ba laar shu, sam laree ao yawaze
Zama da zrra har yao armaan, zama jwand tol sta pa laas ke
Kho taa awaz onako, ta che da bale khule khanda shwe
Au da bal storee ranra shwe
Maa we ta ba zama she, za ba sta sham
Kho ta laare da bal cha shwe

Maa weil charta ba keeno, za ao ta da seend pa ghaara
Zrruna ba khpal spak ku, yao bal ta munga dwanra
Kho sta sara zrra na wo, ta che da bal zargee dua shwe
Au zama na beparwa shwe
Maa we ta ba zama she, za ba sta sham
Kho ta laare da bal cha shwe

Maa weil ta ba laas raakre, pa khushalai ao pa khanda
Dwanra ba yao shu pa maza, da ghamuno, selabuno na fana
Kho pa naseeb na shwe zama, ta che da bal ranzor shafa shwe
Au zama da jwand saza shwe
Maa we ta ba zama she, za ba sta sham
Kho ta laare da bal cha shwe

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