Monday, April 30, 2007

Empowering Women

Clearly the struggle to fully empower women to have equal rights and status with men has a long way to go yet based on the news items I read during my travels last week:

"The Debt Collector vs. the The Widow" -- Viola Sue Kell in Alabama is a 64 year old widow in Alabama who is having her Social Security payments garnished by debt collectors. She was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying, "I'm not very good with things when it comes to law. My husband took care of all that."

"Japan's Uncomfortable Truth" -- a Japanese court ruled that "yes women in countries occupied by Japan during World War II such as China, Korea, and others were forced to become 'comfort women' , better known as sex slaves, for Japanese soldiers" (my paraphrasing here). But the court denied all financial claims for compensation brought by two former comfort women.

"He Raped Daughter, Killed Babies" -- a 45 year old illegal immigrant (he not only harmed women here but all immigrants via his evil -- my comments here) from El Salvador in West New York was sentenced to 35 years in prison for raping his teenage daughter and killing the two children she gave birth to as a result of his raping.

How did we reach such a point as a society where we treat our wives, mothers, and daughters so poorly? In the USA women had to fight for the right to vote since it was not guaranteed by our Founding FATHERS -- one of their few mistakes along with allowing slavery to continue to exist on our shores -- and the feminist movement sought to extend their empowerment even further.

We have much work to do across the world to improve gender relations. As a Lutheran I will keep the spirit of the Reformation alive by encouraging the Catholic Church to allow women to become priests. Given their sexual abuse lawsuits the Catholic Church could really use such a positive development that shows a mutual respect of both genders. After all, the Virgin Mary was a woman :-)

Reminder -- Mother's Day is May 13th in the USA -- so thank your mother for giving birth to you.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This isn't new. The thing is that we won't reach true equality until we stop turning on each other. Women are the toughest on other women. If a woman is working inside the home, raising a family and such they are looked down on by career women. If a woman has a career and choses not to have children they are looked down on as having some sort of defect. If a woman decides to try and have it all, she is looked down on if she needs help at all. This is all by other women. That has nothing to do with what we allow men to do to us by our own words and actions.

It is the same across all minorities. Until we all stop trying to break each other down, nothing will change.

I listened to a story on the local news a few days ago about a police officer who was convicted of sexual assault. He was accused of forcing a prostitute to perform oral sex on him or go to jail. He could have faced up to 50 years in prison. He was given 5 years probation. A woman wrote into the news that she thought this sentence was perfectly acceptable because he was a fine upstanding citizen who was a good husband, father, and brother. Now, to be fair, just using those three words (specifically "brother) says to me it was probably a member of his family who wrote it. How, though, by any stretch of the imagination could anybody ever say that he is a fine upstanding citizen. Remind me to tell my husband that it is never acceptable to do this even if he is a good husband.

Like I said, until women stop making this kind of treatment of other women acceptable, we will never change men.

Holstein Girl