woman

Beast, man, stiletto
Added: Tuesday, 8 December 2009

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A friend of mine sent me a lovely email today with some funny images on it. They were all titled “evolution” and were variations of that famous image of the Neanderthal that evolves from his ape-like state into an upright human being. One of the pictures depicted the process through a series of footprints. First it was a beast’s footprint, then a human footprint, then a man’s shoe-print and finally, a woman’s stiletto-print. It made me smile. Of course women are not more evolved than men (though sometimes…) but the day we make a serious effort to create equality, we will know we’ve come far as a human race!

Progress is a basic human right. Progress and evolution are completely inherent to all aspects of creation. Processes in nature, the mind, the spirit, society – all these things are constantly evolving. We go from learning our first words to writing theses, books, films, and business-plans. We go from inventing the wheel to skyping on our iphones. Our capacity is massive and most of us strive to fulfill at least a portion of this capacity on a personal level. And we can see and track our progress. I need only read some of my earlier blogs to do that.

But if evolution is such an inherent part of our experience then why do we selectively chose to ignore it? Why, for example, are so many people afraid of anything that is new and different to what they know? Why must different be bad? Why do we close our ears to other people’s beliefs? Why do we close our hearts to other people’s concerns and views? And most of all: Why do we limit our vision of what’s possible and say “that’s just the way it is”…What a naïve stance to take. We can’t do things the way we’ve always done them and expect different results. In order to move forward, we’re going to have to let go of some of our baggage and tradition and embrace what will benefit the human family.

So why not just try STILETTO heels and see where they take us?!

You strike a rock
Added: Friday, 21 August 2009

watch original V-Blog in Persian

The phrase "You strike a woman you strike a rock", has come to represent the strength of women in South Africa. On August 9th in 1956, when the apartheid regime legislated that all persons of African descent must carry special passes around with them, women petitioned against this law by marching to the union buildings in the country's capital, Pretoria. They stood outside the buildings in silence, many of them carrying their own children or those of the white family's they worked for. They then began singing Wathint'Abafazi Wathint'imbokodo! (Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.)

There is something graceful and noble about the pictures one sees of the time. Although it was a march or a protest, it was done with the dignity and poise that we mostly see from women. When women protest, they don't hurl rocks and they don't burn icons. They demand your respect by giving you respect. This is a quality that our society does not nurture. We live in a world that is constantly nurturing and feeding our lower or baser nature. We may learn the theory of virtues and principles, but in our societal realities, we are constantly encouraged to bend our principles and beliefs in order to achieve goals. You need only watch an episode of RUNNING IN HEELS to witness a typical professional environment that is outwardly female, but loaded with the same "male" outlook which believes that in order to excel, you have to make others look bad, stab them in the back and hold them back from progressing.

The idea of protest is in itself problematic. It's a feature of our current order and a "necessary evil", as long as our societal paradigm is based on fundamental disunity. Its aim is to make a statement, raise awareness and create leverage against those who abuse power. But the problem starts with our understanding of power. We think of it in terms of control; the control of resources. And therefore we think of (and manifest) power as potentially abusive. So by default we need to leverage that power through counter-power and that's how we get social protest or opposition. But really protest buys into the same black and white notion of right and wrong, winners and losers as it claims to defy and it limits the diverse and complex nature of reality. It also means that those with the most sticks and stones will have their way. After all a simple strike can become a threatening situation. Your are essentially threatening and pressuring a person/party into a specific action. How is this really different from the nature of the oppression you're trying to undo?

I believe that if there were more of a female voice in the way the world works, we would see a transformation in the entire paradigm that our world operates on. Women have a much more inclusive view of things. They naturally see themselves and the world as an organic entity. Women are the heart of any family, village and society.

Our role far exceeds that of marching and protesting (even if it is peacefully). We have the ability to nurture other ways of transforming society. If we raise and foster families and societies that put justice, unity and cooperation in the forefront of their agenda, we won't find ourselves in a situation where ruthless oppression – the likes of which we see in many nations right now - must be confronted with another, perhaps socially more acceptable form of oppression.

*

Women's day is a day to celebrate and explore the true and unique potential of women around the world. We have come a long way. Let's not be satisfied and let's keep walking. I know that the idiom of the woman as a rock refers to our strength. We are strong and determined as a rock. Steadfast as rock. And that is beautiful and right. But let's also look at the smoothness and softness of a rock that is slapped by the waves and toned to perfection. What can that tenderness teach us (and teach MEN) about life and existence?

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12 May 2008

The Dance of Life

If you could go back and have an easier life, would you do it? If life had dealt you some of the hardest blows would you still feel like dancing? If you had no legs to dance with, would you still know how it feels? Having mastered the art of living in spirit more than in body, Renett Grové has transcended physical and emotional challenges the likes of which few of us can comprehend. And through it all Renett has praised her Creator, the One whose loving bondage has been her blissful freedom.

CREDITS:
A film by: Leyla & Ryan Haidarian
Music by: Amal Ma'ani
"If Ye Have Faith" written by: Abdu'l-Bahá
performed by: Tadia



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16 March 2008

The Dance of Life

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If you could go back and have an easier life, would you do it? If life had dealt you some of the hardest blows would you still feel like dancing? If you had no legs to dance with, would you still know how it feels? Having mastered the art of living in spirit more than in body, Renett Grové has transcended physical and emotional challenges the likes of which few of us can comprehend. And through it all Renett has praised her Creator, the One whose loving bondage has been her blissful freedom.

CREDITS:
A film by: Leyla & Ryan Haidarian
Music by: Amal Ma'ani
"If Ye Have Faith" written by: Abdu'l-Bahá
performed by: Tadia



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