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Archive for October, 2007

Gender Stereotypes and Sexual Archetypes 1

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on October 25, 2007


“…I’m more troubled that boys who fall victim to abuse by female teachers are treated as lucky little Lotharios or junior Don Juans. As you might remember, Details declared a few months back that “we ought to be happy for these pubescent pioneers … any one of those little Miss Crabtree-bagging twerps is probably being carried atop the shoulders of his classmates like some conquering hero.” In other words: Break out the beer — these pubescent boys are culturally sanctioned men!” From Article by Tracy Clark-Flory

This is a perfect example of societal gender bias and how gender stereotypes are being used to both excuse the perpetrators and ignore the victims. Ms Clark-Flory seem to be condoning this, but I do wonder what she means by calling these abuse boys “little twerps”? Wouldn’t that be like calling the female counter-parts “little tarts”?

“But a mainstream media outlet — the Associated Press, no less — has finally tackled this cultural double standard. The article gives voice to 54-year-old Jeff Pickthorn, who was sexually abused at age 12 by his seventh-grade teacher, a 24-year-old woman: “Hollywood, they think it’s such a hot thing when a guy gets laid at a young age. I tell you, it’s not a hot thing.” The abuse left him “with no boundaries” as an adult, and the AP summarizes his life as “marred by affairs, gambling, and ruined marriages.” Same article.

It is good to see that also mainstream media is catching up to what men and boys have known for as long as sexual abuse have existed – that your gender doesn’t protect you against the painful consequences of being victims of sexual abuse, and that women too are perps.

Boys who suffer from sex abuse “are seen as studs,” the article notes, while girls are viewed as vulnerable victims, not by virtue of their age but their gender. As a result, male sex abuse victims have to process their feelings about the abuse while receiving a congratulatory pat on the back and frat-boy punch to the shoulder. Psychologist Richard Gartner, author of “Beyond Betrayal: Taking Charge of Your Life After Boyhood Sexual Abuse,” said: “A boy is likely, with a female teacher, to claim that it wasn’t a problem, it wasn’t molestation, it wasn’t abuse, he wasn’t hurt by it.” It can be several decades before he comes to terms with the abuse. “In our society, we’re socialized to think that men aren’t victims, that that’s the province of women,” Gartner added. “To say that you are a victim and particularly a sexual victim, for many boys and men, is to say that you’re not entirely a man.”

The ultimate betrayal of boys and men who are victims of sexual abuse is exactly that they are not allowed to view and name the abuse for what it is: ABUSE. That which you are not allowed to name, you cannot properly heal from. This means that not only are we ignoring and diminishing what those boys and men have been through, we actively condone the abuse as something they should be grateful for, because it proves they are men.

Now, that is just sick.

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Posted in Gender Politics, Men | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Parasha Lech-Lecha – Go forth from your native land and from your father’s house

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on October 19, 2007


Torah Portion: Genesis 12:1 – 17:27 Haftarah: Isaiah 40:27 – 41:16

Focal Point: Bereshit 12:1-3, 7-8

1 The Lord said to Abram, Go forth from your native land and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you.

2 I will make of you a great nation,
And I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
And you shall be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you
And curse him that curses you;
And all the families of the earth
Shall bless themselves by you.”

7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will assign this land to your heirs.” And he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. 8 From there he moved on to the hill country east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and he built there an altar to the Lord and invoked the Lord by name.

 I am going to be lazy this week.

On the surface this is the very start of the Jewish People – The Call of Avraham. Let’s leave that as it is and narrow this to a personal level. Our personal evolution as humans.

It basically all starts when we become adults – we move out and we set up a place for ourselves. That’s the easy part. What is not at all easy, is moving out of our family values and unwritten rules and create our own set of rules and create an adult relationship with our parents, ourselves and with G-d.

What?! Aren’t we to stay with the Torah our father and mother taught us? No. You have to re-examine those values, and make them your own – your way. It’s called growing up. Until you have done this you haven’t left home for real.

The values and unwritten rules you inherited from your parents may be just fine – but for you to have an adult relationship with your parents and with G-d, you have to re-examine them. You also have to re-examine the rules that G-d has given, and determine how YOU are to respond to them.

Tradition teaches us that Avraham questioned his father’s polytheism, and built a personal relationship with ONE G-d. We have to do the same – question our parents’ relationship with G-d, and create our own personal relationship with G-d. This doesn’t mean that we throw Torah out the window or that we distance ourselves from the Community, but we HAVE to start relating to G-d and the community from our own point of view, from our understanding of Who G-d is and what our place in the community really is.

So: Lech-Lecha – Go, Go!

Shabbat Shalom!

Posted in Genesis 12:1 - 17:27, Parasha Lech-Lecha | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hate Crime Against Pagans/Wiccans

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on October 17, 2007


Witch-hanging1

Witch-hanging2

Witch-Hanging3

petition over offensive halloween decor 1:06 AM

Petition: halloween-decorations-or-hate-crime

Here’s the story:

Halloween Decoration Offends Witch

A Halloween decoration in Chicopee, Mass., featuring a witch hanging from the gallows is under fire from one neighbor who calls it a hate crime
Video:

My personal Comment to this was: “This is outrageous. What if the “hanging figure” was a Black person, or Jewish?”

And that is exactly what this is about – it’s not about religion, it’s about the factual depiction of something that actually took place – the killing of hundreds of thousands of real and alleged Pagans/Wiccans throughout history.

This is just as offensive as a burning cross on a black person’s lawn, or the nooses hanging from a tree not so long ago: The Jena Six – now, both actions were racially motivated – this is just what we are talking about – a hate crime. Period.
Please sign the Petition

Posted in Hate Crime, Pagan, Wiccan | Tagged: , , , , | 13 Comments »

Note-worthy from a Christian

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on October 16, 2007


Pietà

This might be somewhat controversial, and I really don’t want to stir up any unpleasant feelings.

To me Jesus is in every human being – or could be. By my understanding, He likes to visit us – like in Tolstoy’s ‘Shoemaker Martin’ – and often He is “disguised” in the most despicable – at His time it was the poor, the prostitutes, children – at our time it’s different people we look down on…

Pietà is a Catholic form of church art depicting Christ dead or dying in arms of His Mother or others who love Him… In “Ask the Pastor” Pastor Walter Snyder says “we may use it in our devotional thought to remind us of our own grief at the Savior’s death, especially since it was for our sins that He was crucified.”
I think we could use it in our devotional thought also to remind us of that God might visit us in very unexpected shapes…

Now, this is where the controversy comes in…


This is Pietà by William Bouguereau, 1876


This is Pietà by Elizabeth Ohlson Wallin; from the exhibition Ecce Homo, 1998. The woman is holding in her arms a homosexual man dying of AIDS.


This is Pietà by Said Khatib; a Palestinian fisherman shot by Israeli war ship in December 2006

As far as I know, all three of these are among the despised according to the Right-wing Conservative Evangelical Christians of USA… Catholics, homosexuals and Palestinians. I would like to hear how one can justify not loving some people like brothers and sisters simply because of what they believe, whom they love, where they were born.
Or would you tell your sister her understanding of God is wrong because it’s not how YOU understand God, would you tell her to shut up, change her ways, hide her practice?
Would you denounce your brother, father or son because he loves another man?
Would you support denying your brother food, water, medical aid and housing if he was a terrorist? What if he was not a terrorist, but SUSPECTED of being a terrorist, or if one of his friends was a terrorist, or if his neighbor was a terrorist?

I’m asking because such way of thinking is totally strange to me, not to offend anyone.

Blessings,
Susanna

I am not easily impressed, and if you are a Xian, it’s even harder to impress me – but this woman impressed me. First of all for her choice in pictures, and second for her respectful, caring and loving treatment of her subject.

Posted in Religion, Xianism | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

“The ultimate conflict between Judaism and Christianity”

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on October 15, 2007


The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.- Deuteronomy 24:16

 

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8

 

Conclusion: PAUL WAS A TRAITOR TO THE TORAH! And NO Christian can claim to be a true spiritual descendant of the ancient Hebrews!

This ties in with my last post here – the claims of being the rightful heir to the Jewish Legacy. Regardless of Paul and his views, it is impossible to hold both believes. If one believes that each and every one of us die for our own sin, one cannot logically, credibly also believe that another person, demig-d or not, has died for our sin. And the other way around. Those two are mutually exclusive.

Now, there is nothing wrong with the idea that some demig-d dies for the sin of humanity,  many have believed that prior to the Xians, but it is not compatible with the Faith of either the Ancient Hebrews or the Faith of Modern Judaism.

The author of the above quoted Blog, is quite right when he calls this “The ultimate conflict between Judaism and Christianity”, because this is exactly where Judaism and Xiansim part ways on the Tree of Religion.

Posted in Interfaith | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

Funny Replies

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on October 14, 2007


I had the most amazing reply to my previous Blog Entry – the one about Criticism and Bashing – for some reason it seems that it’s been, as a friend of my stated, “Coming Out Week for Moronic Antisemites…” After the last month’s two attacks on my person in contexts that had NOTHING to do with Judaism or my being Jewish, I tend to agree.

First there was this one:

“SOB and Ket Seem Tolerant enough as Long as People Don’t Fight with them over Thier Ethnic Religious Issues (Most People are that way About Defending Thier Religious and Ethnic Roots).”

In a discussion partly about a person who had been booted as Host… where was the context – fact: There was none – this person just decided to have a whack at me (and my wife) because I am Jewish. Mystifying to say the least.

Then came this one:

“The Tzar of Russia mandated that everyone must convert to Judism thus the mass migration of those who didn’t want to, to the US. Those who couldn’t leave either pretended to be converted or killed off. Lenin just got tired of this crap and rebeled. He did to an exteme, he had no state recognized faith or belief system. He saw how evil it becomes thus he didn’t allow the public display of any religion. He didn’t restrict any religious belief in all reality, he just made you keep it personal and private. To some degree he was right also he was wrong. He was right about religion being a personal thing and it has no place in government, in a country with all religions being followed by many different folks. In the early 1800’s there were as many religions in old Russia as there is in the present day USA. Yes it’s hard to imagine. Also at that time in history it seems that the Jews in the middle east were living side by side with Muslims and Hindus without any major problems or restrictions.
Very few of the Jews from Russia that didn’t stay and help kill off all the Christians in Russia escaped from the revolution by Lenin went to the middle east. The vast majority of them either went to the US, western Europe, Germany, Poland and some of the Balkin states and some to Italy. They really screwed up, they could all be oil barrons by now if they had of played their cards rights in the time of the Revolution. Hind sight is always 20-20. “

Although it wasn’t an attack on me personally, it seems that the author was somehow compelled to include this antisemitic horse manure at the sight of my avatar, which fascinates me no end.

Is it Coming Out Month for Moronic Antisemites?

Posted in Antisemitism | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

When does Criticism turn into Bashing?

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on October 11, 2007


What is the responsibility of the sender and what is the responsibility of the recipient? Are there any basic rules for this, how are they applied? Is it possible to overreact to criticism? Is pointing out that someone is overreacting equal to blaming the victim? When does criticism turn into bashing?

I have recently had reason to mull these question over. I didn’t find any clear answers, as there are always exceptions to a rule – but I did find some general ideas, that I’d like to share.

What is a generalization?

This is typically when an entire people, faith, political faction or larger concept is implicated in connection to something which only a specific entity within that people, faith, political faction or larger concept is party to. Generalizations are easy to spot because they lack the company of any defining attribute, or limiting adjectives such as ‘some’, and ‘many’ or direct grouping adjectives, like ‘radical’, ‘fundamentalist’, ‘leftist’, ‘conservative’ etc. Generalizations is generally overcome by a simple narrowing of the definitions used to describe an entity or phenomena. There is also the creation of new definitions to separate out specific groups or phenomena from a larger related group.

For instance, these days it is necessary to use ‘Radical Islamists’ to separate out those Muslims who have chosen to use violence as a means to further a political agenda, from those Muslims who are Muslims without a violent political agenda. In the same manner it has become necessary to use ‘Radical Far Left’ to define those on the political Left who largely accept and promote violence and embrace antisemitism as part of their agenda as opposed to more traditional liberal Leftist politics.

Are there any basic rules for this, how are they applied?

The general rule is that the more narrow a definition of something is, the less generalizing it is – i.e the more descriptive adjectives you put in front of the main descriptive adjective or noun, the safer you are. In some contexts it is enough to make the distinction once for the audience to understand that when you in all that follows that definition, use only the main adjective or noun, you are referencing that first distinct definition. Most people accept this way of communicating. Switching to another general definition doesn’t work, because that in turn would then implicate that entire entity, even if it takes focus off the previous generalized group.

Some do not however, and will, out of fear, laziness, obnoxiousness, inexperience with debates in general or just pure nastiness, demand that you retype your 21 word definition every time you mention whatever entity it is you are discussing. You can either ignore those complaints and demands, since the majority of the involved will both understand and accept the short-cut of “one definition covers all”, or accommodate the minority for the sake of peace. In the case you chose the second option – be sure to have your 21 word definition handy in an open Note Pad or other text-edit program, to make repetition easy. In the case you choose the first option, be sure to have a thick skin, a sense of humor and an array of sarcastic retorts you can use in the ensuing intellectual battle – because it will be needed.

What is the responsibility of the sender and what is the responsibility of the recipient?

When care has been taken to define and limit the subject of discussion through application of as narrow definitions as possible, those are the general obligations that fall on the sender and the recipient:

The sender has only three responsibilities:

  1. To be as clear as possible about his/her subject/topic of discussion.
  2. To clarify when there is doubt about what s/he is actually saying.
  3. To refrain from personalizing their criticism through use of name or other designators.

The recipient has at least three responsibility:

  1. To assume that the sender is being as clear as s/he can, honest and do not have the intention to be hurtful.
  2. To recognize their own trigger points.
  3. To assume that any sense of hurt is coming from those inner trigger points, rather than from the sender, unless the recipient is being specifically named.

Is it possible to overreact to criticism of things that are close to us?

It is possible to overreact to anything, and criticism is especially easy to overact to, as most of us carry personal baggage that somehow indicate that we are flawed, whether we are aware of such baggage or not. That is why, when we listen to someone, or read what some has said on topics that are close to us, we need to be aware of our trigger points. If we are not aware of our trigger points, chances are that at one point or other we going to lose sight of what is objectively being discussed and drown in our own subjectivity, which a really bad way to go emotionally.

Is it possible to not overreact to criticism of things that are close to us?

Yes. If we keep in mind that the general rule is that if we are not named, the criticism is not personal. It is not about us, just because a discussion is about a Topic we are familiar with or have personal experience of, it has nothing to do with us, until we are specifically named as part of that which is being discussed. Assuming a personal and subjective intent on the part of the sender is a rather narcissistic attitude to take in a discussion, and does neither sender or recipient any favors.

Is pointing out that someone is overreacting equal to blaming the victim?

If the overreaction occurs as a result of general discussion where criticism has not been personalized, pointing out that someone is overreacting can hardly be equaled to blaming the victim, since there is no personal victim. Thus if someone is overreacting in a personalized manner it can be assumed that the person overreacting is more likely responding to his/her inner trigger points, than to what is actually taking place in the discussion.

When does criticism turn into bashing?

As a general rule, bashing takes place when criticism is generalized, prejudiced and expressed inappropriately. I.e through abusive or derogatory terms repeatedly. It also become bashing when it is personalized.

Conclusion

Any discussion is hazardous, because discussion takes place between human beings. As human beings we are all carrying our past experiences with us into ANY discussion we have. It is easy to generalize – it’s quick, takes no time to type or say and most often we all accept and agree on a generalized way of defining matters we discuss. But generalizing also opens up for misunderstandings, misreadings and can in the end make any good, serious discussion rush to hell in a hand basket. So it is better to avoid generalized terms all together, and to be specific about one’s subject matter. Defining the subject matter through, limiting use of adjectives and general pronouns in connection with the subject matter is a good way to avoid generalizations. The narrower a definition is, the better.

Some people will overreact and take criticism personal if the subject matter is close to them in any way. This is due to them not having taken care of their own baggage properly and projecting their trigger points onto the sender in a discussion. One can either chose to accommodate them by re-tracing a discussion and give further clarification or one can simply ignore those reactions. But one does not have any obligation to cater to those by altering the basic definitions, if those definitions are already sufficiently narrow and definitely no obligation to stop discussing the matter altogether. As long as one as clear as possible, willing to clarify, don’t personalize and don’t use inappropriate language about the subject matter, one should be safe discussing also very sensitive matters.

Posted in Freedom of Speech | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Letter to the Secretary General of United Nations

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on October 9, 2007


To: Secretary General United Nations
The Honorable Ban Ki-Moon

Dear Mr. Ban,

I am urging You to seek a strong response from the Security Council to the situation in Burma/Myanmar. For every day of delay, untold numbers of Burmese people die or are imprisoned and tortured for believing they have the right to govern themselves. There are no human rights in that country, according to the ruling military junta.

The military junta rules through intimidation and fear, and is not a true government. This is a dictatorship. These Generals have lined their own pockets at the expense of the people through mismanagement of Burma/Myanmar’s abundant natural resources. They have systematically pursued the genocide of the indigenous Karen people. They have put down peaceful demonstrations with violence. No one will ever know the true extent of their depredations, because the dead cannot speak for themselves.
You know all this of course, but You are not as helpless as I am.

I beg of You, Mr. Ban, to coordinate a stiff response to this situation in Burma/Myanmar! It cannot be allowed to continue!

Please Mr Ban,
show us all that The United Nations is not a lame duck!

Sincerely,
……….. ………..

The address: inquiries@un.org

Please copy the above letter and send it Today

Posted in Burma, UN | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Burma:United Nations: A lame Duck?

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on October 8, 2007


gambai1_385x185_216678a.jpg

Ibrahim Gambari (left) and Ban Ki Moon addressed the UN in New York today, Oct 5

The UN Secretary-General today attacked the Burmese military junta’s “abhorrent and unacceptable” crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Rangoon.

Ban Ki Moon demanded that Burma “take bold actions towards democratisation and respect for human rights” after demonstrations led by Buddhist monks were crushed by the army.

The Secretary-General was addressing the Security Council before Ibrahim Gambari, the UN envoy who returned from Burma this week, raised concerns about continuing human rights abuses.

Mr Gambari met General Than Shwe, the head of the Burmese junta, and the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a four-day trip to the country. Through shuttle diplomacy he was able to open the lines of communication between the Government and Ms Suu Kyi for the first time in years. From Times Online

UN has been criticized because its mandate to stop violations of human rights in any nation is weakened by it’s own set-up, which at one time has been voted on and accepted by 192 world nations. Or as TimesOnline put it:

“Calls for sanctions to be levied by the UN Security Council will go unheeded, however, as China is prepared to veto any punitive move. They claim that there is no reason to intervene in a purely domestic dispute.”

In a nutshell this is UN’s main problem in regards to actually making a difference in cases such as Burma – there will always be one or other Member of the Security Council to use their veto to put any measures proposed off indefinitely.

While non-binding resolutions and condemnations go on each nations record as they are issued, they have very little force exactly because they are non-binding:

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – Faced with mounting world outrage over violence in Myanmar, the UN Security Council was to meet Monday under pressure to quickly condemn the military regime for crushing pro-democracy protests.

The 15-member body was to weigh a draft statement that would condemn “the violent repression of peaceful demonstrations” by Myanmar’s rulers, urge them to “cease repressive measures” and release detainees as well as all political prisoners, including opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The non-binding text, drafted by the United States, Britain and was submitted Friday to the full council after members heard a report from UN emissary Ibrahim Gambari on his recent mission to defuse the crisis.

The Burmese Junta can leisurely meet with UN envoys this and that, and then do as they wish any way. I am thinking back to South Africa during the Apartheid era. What was it that eventually made the oppressive government buckle and fall?

One thing I remember: Individual Nations banded together, without the UN, and imposed financial sanctions. It’s hard to function if you have no trade-partners. Popular opinion and protests – world wide protests.

One thing’s for sure, it didn’t happen because of UN Resolutions.

UN wasn’t thought up to be a lame duck. It was meant to be a true World Government, with the power to actually make peace, safe-guard human rights and be an instrument of what is good – unfortunately for us all petty grievances over this and that piece of power put forward by individual nations have put the UN in a position where any of the above positive is not really achievable.

Perhaps we all need to petition our governments to recant some of their demands on the UN, so the UN can become something more than just an abbreviation we learn about in school, so maybe the UN can become The United Nations. Any time to do what is right is the right time, and the crisis in Burma is as good as any.

Posted in Burma | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Just don’t Rape

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on October 6, 2007


I found this – it was originally written about women, but it should really be written about PEOPLE – regardless of gender or gender identity – which the original writer acknowledges in the last paragraph. I respect and salute that. Here’s a re-written version.

A lot has been said about how to prevent rape. People should learn self-defense. People should lock themselves in their houses after dark. People shouldn’t have long hair, or short hair, and people shouldn’t wear revealing clothes. People shouldn’t leave drinks unattended. After all, they shouldn’t dare to get drunk at all.

Instead of that bull, how about:

If a person is drunk, don’t rape them.

If a person is walking alone at night, don’t rape them.

If a person is drugged and unconscious, don’t rape them.

If a person is wearing revealing clothes, don’t rape them.

If a person is jogging in a park at 5 am, don’t rape them.

If a person looks like your ex-partner you’re still hung up on, don’t rape them.

If a person is asleep in their bed, don’t rape them.

If a person is asleep in your bed, don’t rape them.

If a person is doing their laundry, don’t rape them.

If a person is in a coma, don’t rape them.

If a person changes them mind in the middle of or about a particular activity, don’t rape them.

If a person has repeatedly refused a certain activity, don’t rape them.

If a person is not yet an adult, but a child, don’t rape them.

If your significant other is not in the mood, don’t rape them.

If your step-children is watching TV, don’t rape them.

If you break into a house and find a person there, don’t rape them.

If your friend thinks it’s okay to rape someone, tell him it’s not, and that he’s not your friend. If your “friend” tells you they raped someone, report them to the police. If your frat-brother or sorority-sister or another guy/gal at the party tells you there’s an unconscious person upstairs and it’s your turn, don’t rape them, call the police and tell the guy he’s a rapist.

Tell your children, god-children, nephews/nieces, grandchildren, children of friends it’s not okay to rape someone.

Don’t tell your friends how to be safe and avoid rape.

Don’t imply that they could have avoided it if they’d only done/not done x.

Don’t imply that it’s in any way their fault.

Don’t let silence imply agreement when someone tells you they “got some” with the drunk person.

Don’t perpetuate a culture that tells you that you have no control over or responsibility for your actions. You can, too, help yourself.

If you agree, re-post it. Copy this and paste. It’s that important!

Note: This goes for any gendered rape, male on female or female on male or female on female or FTM on MTF or non gendered to dual gendered and so on and so forth…

Posted in Rape | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

 
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