Posts Tagged ‘equality’

I love Facebook fights. <_<

February 28, 2011

A friend of mine, generally open-minded and accepting, recently posted the Yahoo! Finance article “Ways Your Appearance Affects Your Paycheck” on his page. The article begins with the incredibly privileged statement, “How successful you become is mostly up to you. Success also depends on how you’re perceived by others. Numerous studies have shown looks can impact career advancement,” and then lists several qualities that will “earn” you a higher salary, including symmetrical features, the “right” height and weight, an “appropriate” degree of attractiveness, and so on. Cue Facebook Fight.

Me: “This is disgusting.

Me: “And the use of that picture in conjunction with this article is hilariously sad, because it’s from the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. Which, skewed as it is by capitalism, is still a call to value the beauty of real people instead of holding them to standards of perfection that are not only impossible to reach (or maintain), but offensive (often racist), as well.

Friend: “I didn’t think it was THAT bad. It doesn’t explicitly say, ‘If you’re prettier you get a raise.’ In fact, it even says if you’re ‘TOO pretty’ it can actually be bad. It just gives tips on what to wear and how to present yourself, and it’s not something that everyone can’t do. Like no beards, or smile, or don’t be overweight.”

Me: “‘Skinny women.’ That right there’s actually a huge chunk of what’s wrong with it. Not everyone can (or should) be the same weight. It’s not like there’s one ideal weight for everyone. This article isn’t just about presenting oneself professionally, it’s about how people with symmetrical features or the “right” body type, and also people who conform to society’s gender and sexual expectations, are more highly-paid than those who don’t measure up in terms of physical appearance and those who aren’t interested in altering their appearance, quite literally, for the Man. If two women hold the same job, should the femme one have a higher salary than the butch one? Why is salary based on appearance and personal expression? It should be about skills, qualifications, talent.”

Friend: “I do agree about the skinny women thing and I don’t think everyone should be skinny, but I do think everyone should be healthy. And I’m all for equality and self expression and individuality, and I think it’s sad that more of our society isn’t, but I think it’s on it’s [sic] way. 100 years ago, women and people of alternative ethnic backgrounds couldn’t hold the same positions as white men did. Look how much things have changed since then, our president is black (my lambo is blue), we have female senators, CEOs, etc. I think the same thing is about to happen for people with alternative sexual orientations. They just take time though.”

Me: “I want people to be healthy too. Especially the people I love. So. Is an unhealthy weight grounds for paying someone less money than a person with the same job description but a healthier weight for their body type? (And that can only be determined by a doctor, contrary to popular opinion. Not everyone who’s considered “overweight” actually is.) Is it an employer’s job to regulate the weight of their employees? Or their health? If that’s the case, what about all the people with other health issues–cancer, diabetes, pregnancy, depression, etc.? You’re right, we’ve come a long way, but there’s still much room for improvement. There are still glass ceilings that haven’t been shattered. Women can head powerful corporations, but women as a whole still earn 77 cents to a man’s dollar. If you live in the right state, you might be able to elect queer politicians, but queer kids are still being bullied to death, literally, and much of mainstream pop culture does nothing but drive home the point that people who are different are wrong. Part of the process toward social progress is fighting the harmful things we find in our culture. There WON’T be progress without teenage lesbians suing their schools for the right to wear tuxedos to prom, people refusing to participate in a system that bases worth on physical appearance over innate qualities, etc.”

THE END, he didn’t want to play anymore. v_v

Ephesians 2.14-3.6

January 3, 2010

The Messiah has made things up between us so that we’re now together on this, both non-Jewish outsiders and Jewish insiders. He tore down the wall we used to keep each other at a distance. He repealed the law code that had become so clogged with fine print and footnotes that it hindered more than it helped. Then he started over. Instead of continuing with two groups of people separated by centuries of animosity and suspicion, he created a new kind of human being, a fresh start for everybody.

Christ brought us together through his death on the cross. The cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility. Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. He treated us as equals, and so made us equals. Through him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to [God].

That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. [God is] using us all–irrespective of how we got here–in what [God] is building. [God] used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now [God’s] using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day–a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.

This is why I, Paul, am in jail for Christ, having taken up the cause of you outsiders, so-called. I take it that you’re familiar with the part I was given in God’s plan for including everybody. I got the inside story on this from [God’s own self], as I just wrote you in brief.

As you read over what I have written to you, you’ll be able to see for yourselves into the mystery of Christ. None of our ancestors understood this. Only in our time has it been made clear by God’s Spirit through [God’s] holy apostles and prophets of this new order. The mystery is that people who have never heard of God and those who have heard of [God] all their lives (what I’ve been calling outsiders and insiders) stand on the same ground before God. They get the same offer, same help, same promises in Christ Jesus. The Message is accessible and welcoming to everyone, across the board.

What’s up with you, right-wingers?

December 14, 2009

You hate it when girls won’t wear dresses to formal dances. Sooo…the more girls wearing dresses, the better, right?

Wrong! You also hate it when too many members of the wedding party are wearing dresses!

So, um, what’s left? Oh, I know! I bet you’d be happy if everyone would only throw off the shackles of clothing and run around naked as the day they were born. Oh, but wait…darn! So what say you, right-wingers? What, exactly, ARE women allowed to wear?

Oh, I see, it’s not the outfits you have a problem with? So, hmm..when you refuse to let girls wear tuxes to school dances, it’s not really a fashion issue or in any way political, it’s just because you hate the girls.

Oh, but wait! you say. We don’t hate anyone! We hate the sin, love the sinner! Then, um, if you neither hate these people nor their clothing in itself, what’s your deal, hm? Go on, paint yourself in a corner. We’re going dancing, see you later.

“Female Pastors: Making Progress…?” [by Elizabeth Felder]

September 29, 2009

From the magazine Gospel Today, 9.28.09.

Although female senior pastors continue to face a glass ceiling, a recent study reveals that women in the pulpit have made substantial gains over the last 10 years.

According to a new Barna Group survey, the number of female senior pastors doubled between 1999 and 2009. In 1999, 5% of senior pastors of Protestant churches were women. Today 10% are women.

The survey also revealed that over the last 10 years, the average age of female pastors increased from 50 years of age to 55; and women in the pulpit are disproportionately more educated than their male counterparts. In fact, 77% of female pastors have a seminary degree, while only 63% of male pastors have graduated from seminary.

Despite their educational advantage, female pastors continue to earn less money than male pastors. The current compensation package for women in the senior pastorate is $45,300 vs. $48,600 for men. The Barna study noted, however, that although men have seen a 21% salary increase since 1999, the wage gap between the sexes has diminished over the last 10 years–with female pastors earning 30% more than they did 10 years ago. In the past, male pastors were compensated (on average) $6,900 more than women. Today the gap has narrowed by almost half to $3,300.

In the study, Barna Group noted that congregational sizes have contributed to the salary variation between female and male pastors. Men, disproportionately, lead larger churches with an average of 103 adults in attendance each week. Female pastors, however, have a median attendance of 81 adults each week.

You can read more articles here, if you like.

Why I Oppose Straight Marriage [by SerenaDante]

September 13, 2009

[I hope you enjoy this list as much as I do. Written by SerenaDante, the infamous Xanga sex blogger…]

These are the reasons why I oppose straight marriage:

-Marriage should be between two people of the same sex. Who says? Well, I do–duh. I’m an expert at defining words, and marriage means “an institution between two women or two men.” It has nothing to do with my religion either, it just has to do with my head…I have a mental dictionary, you know!

-Straight couples are awful at raising children. Look around. It’s obvious. You see straight couples raising children who end up being criminals ALL the time. And–this is the worst thing of all–straight couples even turn their children straight! *shudder*

-Straight relationships are so immoral. You know, I have this really old book that was written by a bunch of weirdo people, and it says that straight relationships are wrong. Obviously, I don’t need to think for myself–this book tells me everything I need to know about the world! It definitely has to be 100% right, so that’s why straight relationships, including marriage, are not appropriate in our society.

-Straight people overpopulate the planet. And that’s horrible. we shouldn’t have even more children being put into adoption centers, or being left out on the street, or being allowed to starve to death. Not anymore! Actions must be taken against this constant procreation and mindless encouragement of human reproduction by straights.

-If straight people are allowed to marry, then we’ll be seeing marriages between animals and humans soon enough too! It’s a fact, especially since animals are able to give their consent to marry, and they can even sign the piece of paper too. (Actually, this is why we should never have let white people get married–now the straights are using that as an excuse to be allowed to as well! So wrong…)

-Straight sex is disgusting. I would never have straight sex, and neither should you. We should stop all penis-in-vagina sex right now! It spreads so many STDs, every single day! Not to mention that penis-in-vagina sex can really hurt people if they’re not careful about it–one of my straight friends (yeah, I have straight friends) told me how he accidentally made a girl bleed because he wasn’t paying attention to where he was putting things, and he was going way too fast. So for their own good, we need to forbid it.

-Being straight is obviously unnatural. Oh wait…but animals in nature are straight pretty often. Oops…um…well…uh, you know what, we’re not animals! Definitely not, we have nothing in common with other mammals. So that means we should know better than to do the things that animals do.

-If I let people get a straight marriage, then my marriage won’t mean anything anymore. Because straights will try their hardest to break up my marriage once they have theirs, because they’re out to get me, not equal rights. And anyway, my spouse will want to divorce me and get a straight marriage too. After all, she doesn’t actually love me or anything like that, she’s just married to me because I was the only person available at the time.

So, ladies and gentlemen, this is why we shouldn’t allow straight marriage–it’s a vice!

P.S. by the way, I’m not a heterophobic bigot for opposing heterosexual marriage. It’s not like I hate straights–I even told you guys I have a straight friend. I just hate straightness! And I’m not doing anything wrong by trying to deny people equal rights on account of who they are either. Nope. So don’t call me anything mean, like intolerant or prejudiced or anything like that, because I’m not! It’s just my opinion.

Jimmy Carter Leaves Church Over Treatment of Women

July 28, 2009

[Hadn’t posted on this yet for some reason, but oh, it makes me smile.]

“Former President Jimmy Carter has announced that he is leaving the Southern Baptist Church after sixty years because of its treatment of girls and women.” [via Feministing]

The words of God do not justify cruelty to women: Discrimination and abuse wrongly backed by doctrine are damaging society, argues the former US president [by Jimmy Carter]

“Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status…” -Article 2, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” -Galatians 3:28

I have been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world.

So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited them from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service. This was in conflict with my belief–confirmed in the holy scriptures–that we are all equal in the eyes of God.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. It is widespread. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths.

Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. The discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries. The male interpretations of religious texts and the way they interact with, and reinforce, traditional practices justify some of the most pervasive, persistent, flagrant and damaging examples of human rights abuses.

At their most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met.

In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.

The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in Britain and the United States. The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for everyone in society. An educated women has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.

It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and out-dated attitudes and practices–as we are seeing in Iran where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.

I understand, however, why many political leaders can be reluctant about stepping into this minefield. Religion, and tradition, are powerful and sensitive areas to change.

But my fellow Elders and I, who come from many faiths and backgrounds, no longer need to worry about winning votes or avoiding controversy–and we are deeply committed to challenging injustice wherever we see it.

The Elders have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights. We have recently published a statement that declares: “The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable.”

We are calling on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women. We ask, in particular, that leaders of all religions have the courage to acknowledge and emphasise the positive messages of dignity and equality that all the world’s major faiths share.

Although not having training in religion or theology, I understand that the carefully selected verses found in the holy scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place–and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence–than eternal truths. Similar Biblical exerpts could be found to support the approval of slavery and the timid acquiescence to oppressive rulers.

At the same time, I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same scriptures in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn’t until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted holy scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

I know, too, that Billy Graham, one of the most widely respected and revered Christians during my lifetime, did not understand why women were prevented from being priests and preachers. He said: “Women preach all over the world. It doesn’t bother me from my study of the scriptures.”

The truth is that male religious leaders have had–and still have–an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter.

Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions–all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.

[Jimmy Carter was US president from 1977-81. The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.]

Top 10 Reasons Men Shouldn’t Be Ordained

July 21, 2009

[Via]

10. A man’s place is in the army.

9. For men who have children, their duties might distract them from the responsibilities of being a parent.

8. Their physical build indicates that men are more suited to tasks such as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be “unnatural” for them to do other forms of work.

7. Man was created before woman. It is therefore obvious that man was a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment, rather than the crowning achievement of creation.

6. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. This is easily demonstrated by their conduct at football games and watching basketball tournaments.

5. Some men are handsome; they will distract women worshipers.

4. To be ordained pastor is to nurture the congregation. But this is not a traditional male role. Rather, throughout history, women have been considered to be not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more frequently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.

3. Men are overly prone to violence. No really manly man wants to settle disputes by any means other than by fighting about it. Thus, they would be poor role models, as well as being dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.

2. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep paths, repair the church roof, change the oil in the church vans, and maybe even lead the singing on Fathers Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the Church.

1. In the New Testament account, the person who betrayed Jesus was a man. Thus, his lack of faith and ensuing punishment stands as a symbol of the subordinated position that all men should take.