Unrest, putting many to rest

Culture - society - me


2 Tim 3: 1-5 “But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having an appearance of godliness but proving false to its power; and from these turn away.”

Why did you just read a Bible scripture? Because this scripture helps me to understand that the things happening around me are inevitable, regrettably.

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It has surely been a fierce and ferocious week in our little country, with over 15 persons being killed up to when I wrote this sentence.  

There have been many different reports this week about vicious attacks…

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Male guardianship in Saudi Arabia: Different kind of slavery

 

 “Slavery comes in many shapes and forms: Male guardianship is one.” – #StopEnslavingSaudiWomen.  Some Saudi women tweeted this hashtag , after Human Rights Watch published a report on the issue of women’s rights Saudi Arabia.

Imagine having to get the permission of another person every time you wanted to do something or go somewhere.

This permission would be required for everything; from everyday tasks like going to the shop to serious life changing decisions like getting married.

You couldn’t drive anywhere on your own and forget about leaving the country or getting a job without this person’s permission.

Wouldn’t that be slavery?

Well, women in Saudi Arabia are living this life.  Every. Single. Day.

As Human Rights Watch explains, adult Saudi women must receive the permission of a male relative – usually a father, brother, husband or even son – to travel, marry or exit prison.

And a woman might be required to provide the consent of a male relative to rent an apartment, file legal claims, enter school, work or access health care to boot!

But some of the women are standing in solidarity against this system.

The BBC and other news media are reporting that 14,000 Saudi women have signed an online petition for the government to end the country’s male guardianship system.

The Telegraph newspaper says this move is the first of its kind in the “ultra-conservative Islamic country.”

Two days before the petition, hundreds of women went as far as to send direct telegrams to the Saudi King’s office expressing support for the campaign.

Prominent activist Aziza Al-Yousef tells the BBC, “They’ve made undeniably clear they won’t stand to be treated as second-class citizens any longer, and its high time their government listened.”

The government has yet to answer the petition.

A word or two to the Saudi men

An ‘adult’ generally refers to someone who is legally old enough to make his or her own decisions.

But by that definition, Saudi women are no more than children since the implicit message sent by male guardianship is that women can’t look after themselves.

This system says men inherently know best.  Why? Because they’re men.  Yet, I can easily see how men could abuse the system.

A son can use it as leverage over his widowed mother to get out of something.  Imagine your teenage son telling you he is not washing the dishes and if you object, no passport. That flips the power dynamics of a child-parent relationship on its head.

Hypothetically, one man would have the power to decide whether or not I get healthcare after beating me.  Who would I run to? Certainly, not law enforcement which would be male dominated.

Women think too.  Women feel too.

It’s about time the women stood up for their rights.  Gone are the days when you must depend on somebody else to save you.

Sometimes, you have to emancipate yourself.

You can read the original stories here:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37469860

https://www.hrw.org/report/2016/07/16/boxed/women-and-saudi-arabias-male-guardianship-system

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/26/saudis-file-first-ever-petition-to-end-male-guardianship/

Jail time for litter bugs: Practical or not?

litterbug

Credit: willrenewwales.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/litterbugs

Jamaican local government minister, Desmond McKenzie says he will be pushing for jail time for those caught littering.

Today, the only sanction for littering in Jamaica is a fine.  If you live on the island or have been there, you’ll see that the country has a serious problem with littering and proper waste disposal.  And the punishment for this offense does not seem to be working.

I have seen people throwing trash into the gully, school children tossing beverage containers onto the streets and drivers throwing trash out of their car window on my University campus.

Just last week, Marcus Garvey Drive was severely flooded supposedly due to a pile-up of garbage in the area.  Marcus Garvey Drive is a popular road way in Kingston, Jamaica’s capital.

By all accounts, littering has become part of our culture.  So, when I hear Mr. McKenzie talking about jail time, I have to question the practicality of his suggestion.  Can it change this culture of littering?

I don’t think jail time will solve much, in this case.  The prisons are already over-crowded and our legal system has a serious backlog of incomplete cases.  Not too long ago it was revealed that only 15% of court cases had been completed for last year.

Rather than jail time, i propose fining and ordering offenders to pick up litter as community service.  This will teach them the importance of waste disposal and give them a taste of their own medicine.  The humiliation of picking up litter in public should also discourage from repeat offending.

Plus, which Jamaican wants to be doing free labour in these times?!  Afterall, every Jamaican knows, ‘Freeness’ is something you receive, not something you give!

You can read the original story here: http://nationwideradiojm.com/local-govt-minister-pushing-for-jail-time-for-litter-bugs/

Say no to catcalling!

 

 

A YouTube video called ’10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman’ has gone viral.  The nearly two minute video shows Shoshana Roberts walking around New York City.  She endures catcalling – .whistles and comments – from males on the streets.

This video has called attention to issues faced by women such as sexual and verbal harassment especially in public spaces.

According to Vox.com, the video was produced by Hollaback which is an organization against “street harassment and intimidation.”

As a woman I can sympathize with Shoshana Roberts.  Catcalling is an issue that does not get enough attention in our society.

It’s one thing to compliment a lady but it is another thing to call her all kind of obscene names and hurl several suggestive comments at her.

It’s very sad and upsetting when the person catcalling turns to abusive language after being rejected or ignored.

Sadly, I have to admit that perhaps the reason why some have continued to exhibit this negative behaviour is because some women actually respond to their demands.  This acceptance suggests that the catcalling is ok.

I do not know about anyone else but if a gentleman wants to know me he needs to show some class and respect.

“Yow, mi cyaan get yuh numbah?” (yow, can I get your number?) does not warrant a response.

You can watch the video of Shoshana’s experience here:

Why did Tim Cook need to come out?

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Chief Executive of Apple Tim Cook. Credit: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-29829763

 

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), among other news outlets have been talking about Mr. Cook’s decision to reveal his sexuality.

In the world as we know it, it has become increasingly popular for people to disclose their sexual orientation and while that is totally up to them I just do not see the necessity.

It annoys me that the media has been giving this revelation so much publicity.  Why? My views are very traditional by today’s standards.  I believe that God ordained it that a man should be with a woman.

Mr. Cook says that those within his personal circles and workplace are aware of his sexual preference, so why was it necessary for us to know it?

I have to wonder what his motivations are.  Is it really to help “…someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality…?” Who knows?

In any case, recent disclosures of sexual orientation in  the different spheres of social life only makes me concerned about amount of the power of the gay community may really have.

US: Brothers beaten up at school over Ebola fears

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Did you do a double take when you read that headline? I did.  It’s really another case of what happens when you spread hysteria and hype.

I read a story today on the BuzzFeedNews website that was about two Senegalese-American brothers in the Bronx, one is in the sixth grade and the other is in the eighth.  Apparently, due to fears over the Ebola virus the two boys were bullied, called “Ebola”and beaten up by a group of students at school.

Now let’s just step back and think for a while.  The boys are Senegalese. That country is in East Africa.  Not even West Africa.

Now did you know that Africa has over 50 countries?  The worst affected areas (for the virus) being Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.  Those as I’m sure we can count are only THREE countries.  That leaves only 47.

What’s my point?

Do not panic.  Think and be informed before you go nuts and beat up someone for being a particular nationality.  Yeah, I’m talking about you, you mean Kids!

Anyway, guess the blame can’t fall on them with all the media coverage and their worried parents’ comments regarding the virus.  The countries are being treated like some leprous limbs that get scorned because they’re not as healthy as the rest of the body.

Instead of scorning them and forgetting their humanity and our own too, let us give them a hand (see what I did there?) and inform our people about the disease.  You know what, inform the people first and then give a hand.

You can read the original story here:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/nicolasmedinamora/two-senegalese-boys-got-beat-up-and-called-ebola-in-new-york

Jamaica: Ready for Ebola?

Last night on CVM news, one of the major television  news stations in Jamaica, it was reported that health minister, Dr. Fenton Ferguson is comfortable with Jamaica’s preparedness for the Ebola virus should it get there.

I had to laugh at this because i remember an incident that occurred not too long ago involving a Nigerian man who went to the Spanish Town hospital because he was feeling sick.  According to the Jamaica Observer there was pandemonium among the medical staff.  As soon as he said he had visited his homeland it is reported that the nurse ran off and alerted the rest of the hospital.  In the end it was discovered that he just had food poisoning. It is this same hospital that is said to have its patients wait hours before receiving care.

So in light of THAT you can see why i have to express some skepticism regarding whether we are ready or not for Ebola.

Some questions i had to ask myself were:

1. Are ALL hospitals fully equipped to handle cases of Ebola in the future?

2. Will the doctors and medical care workers be willing to risk their own safety to treat patients that may have the deadly virus?

3. Are our health professionals even knowledgeable able the necessary procedures to be taken to treat Ebola patients?

I’ve got to say,  I couldn’t answer those three questions confidently.

To see the online article about the story of the Nigerian man and the Ebola scare go here:

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/mobile/news/Food-poisoning-causes-Ebola-scare-in-Mandeville