Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Under Cover Ladies

Dear Saudi Arabia,

I want to suggest a different way of looking at the issue of women and their place in society.

 In the West it's easy for us to say that causing women to be covered head to toe is repressive of and insulting them.

 It is our presumption that both genders share equal status and stature in society and that our society is fuller, more interesting, and benefits more fully from its human resources than other cultures when we include everyone.

 You need only look at World War II, where American women built weapons to supply the war effort, to understand a possible natural advantage of freeing women to do as they can and as they will.

 I also want to point out that causing women to be covered and repressed is insulting to men.

In my culture, I can see women at work, at holiday destinations, at night clubs or restaurants. I must cope with a the natural reaction I have to the attractiveness of women and I can do so. I must be professional with a woman whose only reason for speaking to me might be work related. Not every contact between genders must have our natural desires be the focal point. Men and probably women too, deal with how these natural impulses influence how they feel. I think it can be both a little stressful and a little stress mitigating to see women in and have self control over my own reaction to those situations.

I can handle it! So can you! Respect yourself enough to believe that.

A society where the desires of women are met might be a happier one for both genders.

Think of the advantages to your country and the region of freeing, fully educating and allowing full participation of women in your society. Something like Islamic Science should not sound like an oxymoron. Once, some of the best science of the world was developed and recorded by Middle Eastern cultures. Think what you can do if you double your effective capability by freeing women.

Modernity is not just one way of life...it's the idea that by exploring what is possible we could discover new solutions. Maybe the world needs some of your society's best thinking on the way forward. Giving proper dignity and freedom to all members of your society will help the world overcome obstacles to understanding what your society has to offer.

Let's not forget the benefits of free thought and freedom of religion. One thing at a time then.

Thank You,


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Slut Walk Starts Discussions

Whether or not one thinks it is a good name, the name "Slut Walk" draws controversy which brings a lot of focus to the subject of rampant rape in many societies world wide.

Nothing a victim does makes someone rape her. The solution is for perpetrators not to victimize others. The solution is for men not to rape women.

Is it a male issue? Yes. It needs to be seen that way.

With due respect to the set of victims that do not fall into the definition of male against female rape, it is generally a discussion about why men rape women and what should be done about it.

In a theoretical way, to make my stance clear and as a kind of boiler plate against critics who don't read as carefully, I think a woman should be able to walk around nude and behaving seductively and not be raped.

I also think that as much as men should respect women, women should respect male nature. Aroused passions are a natural response to females. Women share the public space with men. That means that I do think women make a better civic choice when they dress and behave more modestly. A self respecting woman may enjoy her sexuality without making it a public display. This has nothing to do with the choices and actions of violent criminals.

Modesty is a value.

That said, no rape or assault is invited by how any woman may choose to dress. Rape is an attack from another person. It really should not matter how the victim behaves, when considering what causes the crime. Whether a woman's modesty or lack of it is socially acceptable is a different question with its own merits.

The way human beings evolved comes from a complex history of male and female partner choice, and possibly from a history of institutionalized rape, like the "Divine Right of Kings" to a first night with any subject's new bride. Military raids and conquests often if not always involved rape throughout history. It is a form of genetic propagation that does not involve female mate selection. Truly the kind of person who rapes may have been likely to reproduce his genes.

Rape existed before pornography, before modern law and society. The definition of rape even varies around the world and in people's personal perceptions.

I am not sure we know the cause of rape as well as we should. Some say it is violence and not sexual. My intuition is that in a society where people's social, family and sexual needs have a healthy way of being fulfilled perhaps rape perpetrators are only found among the extreme elements of society and maybe the mentally ill.

There is something to be said about practical advice. Some people will steal a car that is locked and secured in a garage. Others may steal a car because it is left unlocked and running at a convenience store. It is true that theft prevention efforts prevent some theft. Is it the fault of the victim of theft if their belongings were not secured or cared for? Not really, the thief is to blame for the theft. But it's hard to argue that we shouldn't study who gets raped where and when and try to prevent future suffering by advising people of what reduces their risk. This does not get at the root of the issue or solve the problem of the original criminal behavior.

We need to address the cause of male behavior and construct a society that is organized to reduce these behaviors to a minimum.

A society without rape is a society that loves, cares for and is concerned for both its men and women. It is a society where the needs and nature of each is respected. It is a society where traditional breeding rituals... the need to be able to "display the goods" and "show interest in the goods"...are natural and healthy ways of encouraging mate selection that are not condemned as "invitations to violent assault" as if anyone would desire that. I don't think repressing women's dress styles is the right goal or any kind of solution.

I do know that people should be able to live, love, partner consensually in peace and remain unmolested.