28 March 2006

How would you change the world?

Since you all ignored my IWD post wholesale, here's a question:

If you could change one thing about the way the world works, what would it be and why?

I would open people's hearts and minds. I think that this would make people more tolerent, less defensive, more understanding, more aware, and less destructive. I think that people would stop killing themselves*, wasting the planet, and hurting others.

Your responses don't have to be serious and heart-felt. But if you want to know more about some people (read: women) who did change the world, go read the post.

*I don't just mean suicide


Ridley Thunder said...

I would seriously seriously seriously get rid of religion in total. it's caused a lot of closed minded people, and wars, and terrorism, and struggles.

Me said...

First of all, we didn't ignore your post. I just didn't have anything to say. Actually, I do, but you won't like it. Here goes:

I think Women's Day is stupid. Why should we get a special day because we have uteruses!? I think that there are lots of great women out there and yeah, yeah, it's harder for us...but I get sick of special days. Until there is a Lani Day, I am going to be annoyed with all these stupid special days.

In regards to how I would change the world...I don't know. I would change...hmmm...

Give me time. I'll probably post an answer in another two months...I really have no idea.

(I'm sorry I said I hated women's day...but I do...I'm just not a feminist....I hope you still love me)

haitch pee said...

also didn't ignore your post. i don't like lists. at all. i have a problem with them, especially when they're supposed to somehow help us honour or celebrate something - let alone half the population. not a personal attack as you're not the only one who makes lists. i can try to elaborate some other time.
now, one thing to change the world? I'd make it so everyone was an environmentalist and environmental concerns were first and foremost, greenwashing was a crime so heinous no one would do it, and we'd all be healthier for the comparative lack of pollution, hole-less ozone layer, respect for the natural world - better still, a meaningful sense that we are part of the world.
this would take undoing a whole lot o' history, of course.
But it would also likely get rid of war since war ain't so good for the enviro! woot!

minako said...

The point of the list was not to make a list. That would have been easy to do. The point was to introduce people to some of the (often-overlooked) accomplishments of women. That why they're all liked to biographies.

Also, if you think women deserve equal rights and equal opportunities, then you are a feminist (noun - A person whose beliefs and behavior are based on feminism: feminism, noun - Belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes).

Again, the point of International Women's Day to to celebrate the often-overlooked accomplishments of women in history. Until our education systems do a better job of including these accomplishments, and until women are afforded equal access to things like health care and political involvement (globally), we do need a day to help remind people that there's still work to do. That's why we have other events such as World AIDS Day, the International Day for the Elimination of Racism, and Black/African History/Heritage Month (depending on what country/province you're from). If we don't need these, then we don't need International Women's Day, either.

haitch pee said...

my problem with lists is that, to my mind, they serve more to seal off discussion than to promote critical engagement with issues. I understand the need for enumeration of great things done by great people, and all the many variations one can insert into that sentance (pretty cool things done by not so inspiring people; horrible things done by people who believed they were doing the right thing, etc). I can see their use in some venues when one wants to make a strong argument about the importance of a topic/phenomenon, etc. (i.e.: look at all the kick ass things women have done).
But lists (even when linked to biographies!) leave me hollow and frustrated. Maybe that's the point. But it's a depressing one.

haitch pee said...

ok, ok, sorry to keep taking up space but I had a great "learning moment" (read: humbling, destablizing moment) last night in class, which changed my mind. I think i get it better now and retract my list frustration.
Note also that i was never against IMD, and happily call myself a feminist.

Dr. Weezie said...

Ridley Thunder,

As a PhD candidate in Religious Studies, I can't let your post slip by. I think what you mean by "religion" is actually "fundamentalism." Religion is not necessarily closed-minded. In fact, it is responsible for ongoing positive actions such as hunger relief, social justice campaigns, organizing dialogue between conflicting groups, etc. Major leaders and practitioners from all the world's religions (and I do mean ALL, including technical religions not normally included here, such as atheism, agnosticism, paganism, secular humanism, Marxism, along with the regular Judaism/Christianity/Islam/Sikhism/Buddhism etc.) are coming together in Montreal next Fall to draw up a Human Rights Declaration that goes radically farther than any in existence to date. Closed-mindedness is not "caused" by religion. It's caused by fundamentalism, which occurs in overly-sheltered, under-educated, underly-diverse communities of all sorts: religious, political, national, you-name-it.

Your post, ironically, can be seen as closed-minded!

Agate said...

I also did not ignore your IWD post. I read it, followed some of the links to read about some of the women. I simply didn't have anything to say about it. I also don't think of myself as a feminist, because feminists fight for their belief that women should have equal rights. When I find that women are being treated differently than men, I speak up, but I don't come across it too much. I think that feminists have fought and won the battle for us, and some of the world is still catching up with that reality, but they will, and in the meantime, there are other things for me to think about.

minako said...

A common misconception, Agate. Feminism does not have to be about fighting for equality any more than Islam has to be about blowing up infidels (excuse the inflammatory comparison). It's about what you believe. And in some ways, it could be considered "fighting" if you speak up when you come across inequality.

haitch pee said...

I have to question the degree to which we have "won the battle" when women on average tend to earn less than men, hold far, far fewer than %50 of the seats in government, tend to hit glass ceilings in jobs more often, etc. There might be mechanisms in place that dictate that women are to have equal rights and that can help us protest these things, but their *presence* hasn't solved everything, necessitating continued "fighting" "protesting" "standing up for equal rights" or simply believing that maybe these rights could be further realized. Maybe I misunderstand the sense in which you think the battle has been won?

Agate said...

Hessa, I know that what you say is true. We still make less. We still have only token representation in government. On the other hand, the vast majority of people now believe that women are equal to men. That is the important part of the battle. Equality doesn't always mean the same. If women are not in politics and other positions of power and prestige, it may not be because they are denied the opportunity to be there. Women often choose not to go into politics and big business because their roles in families are more important to them. I think maybe more needs to be done to accomodate women who want to balance motherhood with careers, but the reality is that being a parent takes more out of a woman, even if a husband does share the housework evenly. Women today know that they have the right to pursue whatever career they want, but they often choose to compromise their ambition for their desire to nurture their loved ones. They may still work full time, but they might not take certain demanding jobs that require so much travel and overtime.