Saturday, 9 October 2010

Lysistrata in Hijab.

Light Bulb Moments.

This light-bulb moment popped into my consciousness yesterday.

Watching rallies in the US for “American values”, expressed by people understandably uneasy with change, I wondered if Osama Bin Laden was winning in his quest to destabilise America.

Then the light-bulb moment. Even at the peak of racial injustice, black America still saw itself as American first and coloured second, so their dissatisfaction offered scant opportunity for exploitation from outside America. The ‘Black Muslim’ movement was too soon to tap into terrorist networks. It made its point and supported Black Pride but faded as coloured Americans claimed their place through education and involvement in the political process. Powell, Rice, then Obama carried the baton in that final leg to what appeared impossible a generation earlier.

Now we cannot afford to alienate citizens to the point they shift allegiance from our nation to those who desire its destruction. Here I am speaking to the Terry Joneses of the world as strongly as any Muslim offended by him. Criminals who kill under the banner of Islam must be publicly denounced and identified by Muslims. Long term peace, not only in America but worldwide, depends on people rejecting violence in their own. But they too must be supported by everyone being absolutely committed to supporting laws that guarantee equality regardless of gender, religion and sexual orientation. Nothing is to be gained by blaming a whole religious or racial group for a nation's woes.

I always thought the invasion of Iraq 'to impose regime change' was wrong and was uneasy when we went into Afghanistan to ‘smoke out’ Bin Laden. I was uneasy because Democracy is so difficult to impose. Almost everywhere it exists, it was home grown. Even the original Tea Party movement, the turning point to American independance, when British rule was rejected and America created its own democratic government, came from inside.

But how? How can people find peaceful solutions with so much violence breeding even deeper distrust as nation after nation is torn by militant religious fanaticism?

Then came the second light-bulb moment, as I thought of the Peloponnesian Wars. Twenty eight years of hatred and slaughter was ended in a week when the women of Ancient Greece took control. Women are the key to this one too, as expressed in this poem, ‘channelled’ through thousands of years to me from the heroic Lysistrata.

Lysistrata in Hijab.

Children of Islam, virgins all.
Unrequited, stunted, tragic.
Educated in ignorance
to worship death.

Mothers of Islam, virgins no more.
Prisoners of your own making.
Only you can set them free,
your children and your men.

Pics borrowed from here and here.


  1. America is struggling again from within
    and the movement to through off this oppressive
    freedom take over is real
    you are so right in this thought
    it must rise up

  2. You remeber the guy who once started a speach with the famous words: "I had a dream..."? As wonderful and wise as your text above is, I'm afraid that seeing it actually come true is just a dream. Ignorance births fear and fear hate. As long as ignorance exists all we have is a wonderful dream...

  3. I have always held the opinion that by educating women attitudes start to change - obviously it's not an original thought, that's why so many women are oppressed all over the world. Interesting post Stafford!

  4. Oh dear has changed since that speech
    where have you been....with each generation here it is better..because the old ones die with their bigotted attitudes
    and other with bitter memory of injustices done to them and their families
    but the young that is where our hope is
    they see the change and they have it coursing through their viens..they know no other way..happy grow up race blind and gender blind
    And women being the change in the world
    I might agree with that
    but I have seen some pretty hateful bigotted
    women walking around with far left agendas
    that are nothing more than an oppressive power grab by a group
    Like anything in life it starts with us
    how we treat people
    what we value in regards to human life and rights and freedom
    it starts with our neighbor
    and our vote
    it starts within in
    in us

  5. beautiful highlight...
    Glad to know what's happening around the corner of the world.

  6. Well an A to the MEN. Give women the keys to the world and we will sort things out.

    Actually, I'm not so sure about that. Look at the damage Thatcher did to the UK. The corrupt aspects of power seem to transcend gender.

    I agree that education is the key. As well as a humanist approach that doesn't favour one gender over another.

    However, the most important thing is to separate Church and State. The two do not go together. Ever.

    I'm going to stop now because I feel a rant coming on....

  7. America does not need Bin Laden to destabilise itself- it can do it all by itself.
    Manifest Destiny (the idea that Americans are God's chosen people) is delusion manifest.

  8. It is a nice thought. I do think to change the world it starts with our own change, and you know how hard change is. I guess most people think, if only they would change?

  9. it's all about education for all - great post as you write so many truths about democracy,war, the USA and equality. We have a long road ahead , but we have also traveled along a long road.

  10. Thanks Annell, you nailed it. most people think, 'if only THEY would change'.
    It can't be all that hard to put oneself in THEIR shoes. Maybe that deserves another post... too long for 'comments'.
    kathew, of course and then there is the net, education at its most pervasive. No longer can an isolationist regime keep their people totally quarantined from ouside influence.

    This post grew from a report out of Iran of women creating web sites to promote women's rights. The regime is constantly closing their sites but can't keep up with the explosion of information! That's where hope lies, and we had better think through what any intervention by outsiders, particularly Christian, would do to that 'home grown' protest movement. Nobody wearing red shirts, nobody waving banners and shouting slogans, just women talking to women, empowering themselves to initiate change where it is most effective, in the home and as Lysistrata found (when her pleas fell on deaf ears), in the bedroom.
    Man's best friend might be his dog, but he had better be mindful of pussy power!

    awards for you…
    love your sweet nature.


    welcome to our poetry potluck by linking in 1 to 3 poems.
    Thanks for the support,
    Happy Tuesday!

  13. Hepatitos! Oh! Hepatitos!
    Wherefore Art Thou *Great Hepatitos*!
    M E E E O W !! purrrrr

  14. Ford.
    It doesn't need the last line at all.
    Three little words make it lecture.
    Without them - just beautiful thought provoking prose.
    L Opinionated P

  15. GPB, I removed it. You confirmed my own unease with that line. Thanks!

  16. Ah the POWER!

    Yes, when in doubt leave out
    Except when deciding whether or not to keep something. ('something' being an object)
    Then it is - when in doubt, keep.
    I know - I'm full of it aren't I.

  17. I've always maintained that you can't impose democracy on anyone. It is something that has to be desired by a majority, and generally fought for.
    They did not go into Iraq to promote a regime change. If you remember they were looking for WMD. When they couldn't find any I think they changed it to getting rid of terrorists. Prior to the US invading Iraq there were no terrorists there. Then they decided it was to get rid of Saddam Hussein, a man who, until he refused to do their bidding, was a big friend of the US. Yes, he was a despotic dictator, but his country ran like clockwork. Now they've been bombed back to the stone age; they're back to squabbling amongst themselves and it's back to tribal thinking.
    Before the war actually started, one of the retired US generals said that it was a war that couldn't be won. The French and also the British had tried to hold sway in Iraq and the sheer cost of it had forced them to give it up. He predicted the same would happen to the US - and it has. The same in Afghanistan. How many years were the Russians at it before they conceded it couldn't be done?
    This whole business irks me beyond belief. I'm going to shut up.

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