Quick mix Pot Pouri

Friday, 24th April 2009 at 8:00 UTC 3 comments

Time for another catch up on some news stories I wanted to pass comment on and have thus far failed to do so. Contains Pink Dresses, Muslim Extremists, Gypsies, Hazel Blears, Brazilian Peasants, Chinese Bravado and Psychologists, not necessarily in quite that order

Psychologists ranting over pink dresses

An interesting article, but one in which a “therapist and researcher” manages to commit a massive faux pas: what’s the ability of marketers to change people’s biology got to do with making them more male or female? Gender is social not biological!

The statement about biology and environment is technically right, but its completely wrong to link this to gender, to the behavioural side of the sex/gender divide. Dress a girl in pink and they might well end up presenting as more strongly female as a direct result.

Hazel Blears wants Muslims to identify with British Allies like Israel

OK, maybe I’m pushing that rewritten title a bit far, but think about it: what Blears might as well have said is that she doesn’t care if people are Muslims, they’re British, Israel is our ally, and British Muslims should put Nation before God, forget who their relatives are, and join the British and Israeli flag waving.

To expect people to remain quiet whilst their friends, family and fellow worshippers are being wiped from the map is just silly. Lets get real: these people are just doing what any normal person would do, even if they are reacting in ill-advised and non-productive ways. Or perhaps we don’t realise that because Christians in this country can’t give a damn about the suffering of fellow Christians abroad?!

Lost in the dominant narrative

I can’t remember if I’ve written about this before or not, but it does always annoy me how the Holocaust has become so intrinsic to the Israeli narrative that many people can no longer remember the 500,000 Roma and countless gays, dissidents and disabled people who perished.

The fact is, yes, its a very definitely Jewish tragedy, but the Roma perished in similar per-capita rates (i.e. percentage of overall population), and with almost no outrage, still to this day very much the victims of institutional and cultural racism. At the end of the day, the Holocaust was a very human tragedy. The memory should belong to all affected groups, not just one.

I do try my best to say “Jews, Roma and Gays” when talking about the holocaust, but I get caught out, so I’m no shining example.

Update on Situation of the Landless Peasants in Brazil

This just interests me, as I find the whole movement very inspiring; people taking land in much the way climate camp does, but not to make a point, instead, to simply be able to live. Brazil is in the top 5 most inequitably distributed landmasses, along with Britain, and so there are some important lessons to learn as we see fewer and fewer people holding their own land-sovereignty in the UK, even in terms of house ownership, collective or otherwise.

Famous Last Words from China?

“China will never adopt Western-style democracy with a multi-party system, its top legislator has said.” – Berlin Wall, anyone?

Entry filed under: China, democracy, Gender, Middle East, News, Poverty.

Divisions in fighting Racist Divisions Olympic Torch protests too successful?

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. tiggs  |  Friday, 24th April 2009 at 16:28 UTC

    Graham, your righteous indignation is getting out of hand again. To say that Christians in this country don’t care about the persecution of fellow Christians around the world is unfair. I’ve rarely been heard intercessions that don’t include supporting prayers.
    Just because we don’t shout it in people’s faces, doesn’t mean we don’t care deeply.

    tiggs *very hurt at the implication that she doesn’t care*

  • 2. Helen  |  Friday, 24th April 2009 at 22:45 UTC

    I do try my best to say “Jews, Roma and Gays” when talking about the holocaust, but I get caught out, so I’m no shining example.

    Add disabled people in too, please, as they are still to some extent subject to eugenics to this day. If nothing else, it’s considered widely acceptable to abort foetuses with Down’s Syndrome – it may even, rather scarily, become possible to detect autism in the womb too, possibly leading to abortion in that case too. That and the fact that there are occasionally discussions on Ouch about pregnant disabled women being asked “But what if your baby’s like you?”

    We still have a long way to go in that regard.

  • 3. Graham Martin  |  Saturday, 25th April 2009 at 21:24 UTC

    Tiggs: Definitely not intended to imply people don’t care, and you’re right the two shouldn’t be conflated. But there were very few churches which really focused efforts on praying for the Christian community in Iraq, against whom persecution rose dramatically post-Saddam (who somehow vaguely liked them).

    Helen: Disabled people too indeed!


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