Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ain't nutin' like a Dame

As we observe the ever changing melting pot that is our own dear US of A, It seems some new and highly visible players have entered the board of its "Game of Life"- I have been keenly aware of the integration of the Muslim / Moslem (When we were children it was Moslem) faith and lifestyle. The faith itself In my opinion , has been wildly misunderstood by many, as the concepts and practices seem to be a bit archaic to we who have evolved- or as we believe ourselves to be- There are a few firebrands in other countries however, like the burqa.
The government of the Netherlands is the first to plan a legal ban on face-covering Islamic clothing, popularly described as the 'burqa ban', although it does not only apply to the Afghan-type chadri. In the November 2006 general election, the Party for Freedom won 9 seats: it advocates prohibition of the burqa. In response, a group of Muslim women organised a unique (for Europe) pro-burqa demonstration at the newly elected Dutch parliament in The Hague.

Islamic dress that covers the face of women has also caused controversy in Great Britain.
(see main article at United Kingdom debate over veils.) A senior member of the government, Jack Straw, asked Muslim women from his constituency to remove any veils covering their faces during face-to-face meetings with him. He explained to the media that this was a request, not a demand, and that he made sure that a woman staffer remained in the room during the meeting. A media furore followed. Some Muslim groups said that they understood his concerns, but others rejected them as prejudicial. It is not clear that any of the affected Muslim constituents were wearing burqas. The Arabian face veil, or niqab, is more common among British Muslims.

Understanding the concept of the Hijab seems strange to us, Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World by Macmillan Reference states about hijab:
"The term hijab or veil is not used in the Qur'an to refer to an article of clothing for women or men, rather it refers to a spatial curtain that divides or provides privacy. The Qur'an instructs the male believers (Muslims) to talk to wives of Muhammad behind a hijab. This hijab was the responsibility of the men and not the wives of Muhammad. However, in later Muslim societies this instruction specific to the wives of Muhammad was generalized, leading to the segregation of the Muslim men and women. The modesty in Qur'an concerns both men's and women's gaze, gait, garments, and genitalia. The clothing for women involves khumūr over the necklines and jilbab (cloaks) in public so that they may be identified and not harmed. Guidelines for covering of the entire body except for the hands, the feet, and the face, are found in texts of fiqh and hadith that are developed later.
Despite the same Qur'anic obligations being issued for men and women, rules regarding dress developed so that men were to cover from their navels to their knees, whereas a women were to cover all their bodies except what was essential, that is, the hands and face."
Um... Confusing!!!!
Acceptable clothing aside- are we so different? Yes in many way and practices, but aside from the whole militant Jihad-suicide bomber thing, the one focus seems to be on how women are treated and how different the religion seems to regard them.

The similarities are pretty striking in our own Judeo-Christian faith, and being Catholic, there has been a definite distortion in the history of women.

We were taught that men were more important than women because they accomplished more in their lives. And since I grew up in a religious family, it was ground into me by the church at an early age that women are "the weaker vessels" and are basically to be seen and not heard. (That is until I realized that, as an Italian boy, women run the whole world and will be heard even if they have to hit you on the back of the head with a wooden spoon)

Even one of the churches MVP Apostle Paul made that abundantly clear when he said, "Let the women keep silent in the congregations, for it is not permitted for them to speak, but let them be in subjection, even as the Law says. If, then, they want to learn something, let them question their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in a congregation" (1 Corinthians 14:34, 35). AS IF -whatta bitch.

Nonetheless, I noticed there were some important female figures in the Bible.
(Which I gleaned from the television program "Mysteries of the Bible" narrated by Dr. Zira -chimpanzee psychologist and veterinarian from the Planet of the Apes.)
For some strange reason, these women were either very good or were very bad.

There was no median.

Take Dinah, for example. She was one of the "bad" ones. She had the audacity to flirt with Canaanites and get herself raped. Her brothers avenged this by circumcising and killing all the men in the Canaanite tribe, and she was never mentioned again. None of her sisters' names are in the Bible, so I assumed they must have been average women to whom nothing of importance happened.

Eve was another one of the bad ones. Everyone knows it was all her fault that we have original sin. And orgasms. and free will.

And as for Jezebel, she wore too much makeup, daisy dukes, socks with high heels, worshipped the wrong gods and was a murderess to boot, so she deserved being fed to dogs, right?

But what about the "good" women of the Bible?
Well, there's Jael, for one. Always the enchantress, She hammered a tent pin through Sisera's head, and then she "broke apart and cut up his temples" (Judges 5:26).

(To me, this seemed a dubious achievement, yet for killing this malcontent she became "the most blessed among women")(Judges 5:24)

The Virgin Mary is another one of the "good girls." She was good because she got knocked up by God, yet another dubious achievement in my estimation. (And she was "unknown by man" - um yeah...) It didn't seem to me that she had much choice in the matter.

And what about Mary Magdalene? Seems the bible makes her out to be a repentant whore- but we find that she was perhaps a wealthy woman from Magdala and Maybe the wife of Jesus- (You know it was important that a Rabbi was married-)

Apparently, the only ways a woman could be mentioned in the Bible would be if:
she got raped and caused a war,
she lied to God and acted directly against His wishes,
she worshipped the wrong god(s) and murdered prophets,
she murdered malcontents,
she was seen as a prostitute with a heart of gold
or she gave birth to a very important man. Even more important than The Donald- Trump or Ronald Mac.)

As a wee lad, none of these options appealed to me as a equal rights kinda boy, so I never saw my female friends as much of Biblical-type figures. I began to look through other sources for important women.
The history classes throughout my Catholic school life revealed little. Later to be revised, the school books at the times had it in for our sisters, it seemed that most important women were born that way, you know, funny-like Queen Victoria, Elizabeth I, and Mary, Queen of Scots. Also, a lot of the other historically important women were crazy, like Joan of Arc.
That poor girl probably should have been committed, but we adore her.

We were taught Helen of Troy was just another hot woman who got raped and started a war,

Marie Antoinette seemed little more than a vapid ignoramus or probably at the wrong place, Hecate was an evil goddess of witches, and Hatshepsut was a nutty Egyptian broad that wore a fake beard and declared herself a king.

Needless to say, I was disillusioned.
But then I started researching on my own and began studying literature, classics, and history in much more depth. Although important men still out-weighed important women, the women I was discovering had tangible accomplishments. Literature was a veritable treasure trove. Sappho, Christina Rossetti, and Emily Dickinson were extremely gifted and prolific poets. Mary Shelley, Virginia Woolf, and Jane Austen were very important novelists.

Strong female characters existed in drama as well: Medea, Antigone, and Lady Macbeth (well, one out of three literally ain't bad!) As well as the other Shakespearean minxes. (I always wanted a gown that exuded poison)

History classes showed me some more important historical personages. Hildegaard Von Bingen, steatopygous earth mothers, and Marie Curie, for example.
Nonetheless, I was getting a diametric message from history. Women were evil. Women could not be trusted. Where men were "white" and "good," women were "black" and "evil."
That's what Thomas of Aquinas had to say, and he's a saint now- and a cunt.
I find it ironic that the feminists at St. Thomas University never mention Thomas's misogynistic dualism theories in their newspaper articles.
Kramer and Sprenger's Malleus Malificarum (Hammer of the Witches- cheery huh?) harboured the most anti-female views I had ever seen. This book fed the fires of the witch craze, both in Europe and in North America. Among other imaginative supposed crimes, women were killed for stealing penises, hiding them in birds' nests, and feeding them barley.

It disturbed me to think this book was a bestseller for about three hundred years. There seemed to be a greater quantity of historically-accepted important women before the publication of this book and after the fall in its popularity.
Is it really any wonder that today everyone receives a garbled view of women in history?

It is vital that we recognize the important women in history, rediscover the women who are "missing in action," and understand and act on the reasons why their accomplishments have been distorted and made light of.
Lest I sound anti-man, let me tell you why this is so important. The demonstration of women's historical importance is vital because ironically, the more feminism advances, the more women have been reclaiming their right to be strong leaders and important movers and shakers in the business world, they are also reclaiming their right to be vapid, inconsequential idiots.

Freud asked the question, "What do women want? My God, what do they want?"

Well, if good old coke whore Siggy had had a time machine, he could have zipped ahead a few decades and nabbed a Good Housekeeping or Elle. You see, the editors of these fine journals know exactly what women want. Women want colourfast lipstick, floor wax that shines, and mega-orgasms.
From reading women's fashion magazines, I have been led to believe women are shallow, tittering fools. Their most pressing concerns are moisturizing cream, whether this year's skirt length flatter their legs, and how to get the cute guy in the office across the hall to notice them. They fret about the ill effects of chlorine on their hair, obtaining flattering passport photos, and if Ghost should be considered one of the ten most romantic movies of all time.
Perhaps the Apostle Paul was right, after all. Ditzes ought not to have a hand in important matters.
But women are not only a little fluffy-headed; they are petty, too- especially when it comes to workplace ethics.

Check out this article from a recent issue of Cosmopolitan.
It's called "Five Sneaky Ways to Make Your Boss Notice You," and yes, they really did color "Notice" green....
Slaving away at your desk only gets you so far. "Merely efficient drones get left behind," says Russell Wild, author of Games Bosses Play- "Unless you regularly remind your boss who you are, chances are you'll be forgotten." Here, Wild's advice for upping your visibility:

Leave messages at midnight: The next time you wake up to pee, call your boss's voice mail and leave an important reminder--it'll give the impression you're thinking around the clock.
Praise her: If your boss's name comes up in the elevator--particularly with her higher-ups-- mention something she's done well. Your compliment will definitely get back to her.
Be a memo maniac: Cut a deal with a colleague in another department to copy each other on all memos. You'll look like you're involved in far more than you really are.
Sit smart: At meetings, position yourself across from your boss. That way, she won't have to turn her head to hear your brilliant comments, and her gaze will simply default to you.
Save the day: When a crisis arises, casually make your boss aware of it, then offer to fix it before it gets out of hand. Pretty soon, she'll come to associate your name with a feeling of relief.
What better way is there to get a nice tan on your face then by completely jamming your head up the boss's ass, making kissy-faces the whole way?

Are all women were as sycophantic and petty as this? The media wants me to think so,

If so, unless I'm too busy painting my nails with the boss's favourite colour, I will be the first in line for a sex-change. Look for me under a hot pink burqua, I'll be the one wearing tap shoes.
And now, a drinkie to toast our sisters!
The solid harbinger of the 50s, the classic hi-ball, teased with a little color and sweetness, and ruined by oppression and violence while being served on a façade-upholding froufy housewife accoutrement.

The perfect drink for your favorite woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown.


The Sylvia Plath!

In a shaker


1 oz. Vodka

1/2 oz. Blue Curaçao

Fill with Sprite

Pour into inverted Bell Jar

Add Bacardi 151 floater, set on fire.

Must be served on a crisply ironed linen serviette.
Enjoy in excess and watch this interesting Disney short!

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zeitgeist, particular friend, perky libertine, animated trickster, iconoclast, rabble-rouser, object of worship, provocateur, capricious damp enchantress, idiosyncratic beloved reptile, whimsical saucy booze hound, bellwether, luminary, stoic, pensive illicit paramour, aloof, engaged, intuitive, curious, perplexing deranged mastermind, passionate, lasciviously adored offspring, amorous, sultry flamboyant charioteer, scholar, scribe, exalted thespian, voracious, considerable chieftain, impaired, cynical colleague, dreamer, procrastinator, loathsome glutton, artist, oppressed peasant, dainty heathen, narcissist, self-loathing...renaissance man