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Rejecting Assigned Gender Roles October 5, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, People.
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Frog-CircusNo one can “have it all.”

Every choice we make precludes other choices. We cannot be both “full time high powered executive” and “stay at home care giver.”

I don’t see that as “society’s problem.”

Life is full of individual choices that everyone, male or female, must make.

We must decide where our priorities lie ~ whether it’s in the boardroom or the nursery ~ without blind adherence to archaic notions passed down from generation to generation.

Betty-BoopIn The Rise of Sexist Nostalgia, Renee relies on witty satire  to decry TV shows  which glorify sexism and gender inequality using stewardesses, Playboy bunnies, and tiny toddlers with tits (!) as plastic pawns and bait.

Renee’s telling look at TV’s recent offerings is terrific.

But TV isn’t the only mass marketer of outdated stereotypes.

Religion accounts for much of the brainwashing we receive.  The Bible is full of archaic nonsense and anti-feminist propaganda encouraging women to honor and OBEY the male figures in their lives ~ causing some “believers” to espouse the antiquated notion that women should be submissive to men since that’s what “God” intended when “he” wrote the Bible.  See, e.g., The Journey to Reclaim Godly Femininity ~ Part I.

I see no reason for men or women to rely on a 2000-year-old document as a framework for defining “gender roles” in the 21st Century.

Times have changed.  Thank God!

For an eye-opening history of how early Judeo-Christian leaders brought about a radical gender role transformation, I recommend When God Was A Woman by Merlin Stone.

Merlin Stone’s insight-filled book recounts the subjugation of women by churches, mosques, and synagogues.  As one reviewer put it:

As a Christian woman I felt a void in my soul that couldn’t be answered through the Biblical scriptures. Why were the teachings so vile and violent towards women? Why was society demeaning and oppressive to the mothers of humanity? How did our culture develop into such a divided state that men were dominate and women submissive? Why weren’t women revered for their life giving nature and soul healing abilities?

The first book I read that brought some understanding was G. James Stewart’s Immorality of Christianity. This opened the door for me to challenge social and theological beliefs that have devalued women (and men) as well as Western civilization as a whole. I read Jean M. Auel’s Earth Children series (Clan of the Cave Bear) and was given a glimpse of pre-historical beliefs and customs. This caused me to ask the question: When did it all change? When did the Mother Goddess get replaced by the Judeo-Christian God?

This book by Merlin Stone leapt off the shelf with her all encompassing  title. From page one to the end she develops a sound scientific histography of the age before God worship and the powerful influence of women in a culture which honored fertility, prosperity, and peace for thousands of years.   My identity as a women has found peace and comfort in the knowing that womanhood was once revered ~ and can be again ~ as the source of life. 

My beliefs have changed dramatically and never will I see the patriarchial Judeo-Christian dogma as anything but usurpation of woman as divine . . . Helen (Tacoma, Washington).

Gender roles in the 21st Century should  be based on personal preferences and proclivities . . .  not on rigid adherence to antiquated notions of inequality  which proclaim women to be second-class citizens, or on the out-dated sexist stereotypes depicted in Pan Am, The Playboy Club, and Toddler and Tiaras.

As Desmond Tutu recently shared, in his Message on Child Marriage, harmful traditions MUST be challenged:

Child marriage occurs because we men allow it. Fathers, village chiefs, religious leaders, decision-makers – most are male. In order for this harmful practice to end, we need to enlist the support of all the men who know this is wrong, and work together to persuade all those who don’t.   

I want to encourage boys to stand up for their sisters, and say that girls have the same rights to go to school, to develop and be everything they can be.

Child marriage is not a religious practice – it is a tradition. There are many good traditions that bind communities together. But traditions are also not static – they evolve. Traditions that are harmful, that have outlived their purpose, must be challenged.

Aah . . . that’s better!

What say you?

Do you feel that men and women should be on equal footing in relationships?  Or should one gender lead while the other meekly follows?

If you favor playing “follow the leader” . . . watch out for tall bridges, steep ledges, religious zealots, and poisoned Kool-Aid:

Related posts:  What IS Women’s Work? * Where Have All The Women Gone? (Random Thoughts From Midlife) * Tween Costumes for Halloween (ACK!) * Multi-Tasking (Vix) * Desmond Tutu’s Message on Child Marriage (Creating Reciprocity) * Justice Begins With Seeds ~ Vandana Shiva (Upcycled Love) * Marketing Gender (Woman Wielding Words)

What Am I, Chopped Liver? October 5, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
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For vegetarians (and diners watching their cholesterol), chopped liver is no  longer on the menu . . . but Mock Chopped Liver can be.

Mock Chopped Liver

1 cup dried lentils
2 cups vegetable bouillon
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Simmer lentils in bouillon for 30 minutes.  Turn off flame.  Let sit until cooled.  Drain, if necessary.

Sauté chopped onion in vegetable oil until soft.  Process lentils, onions, and walnuts in 2-3 batches, until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides.

Stir together lentil mixture, salt, pepper, and any optional ingredients (see note below).   Line a 3-cup mold with plastic wrap.  Spoon mixture into mold.  Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.

Unmold onto a serving plate.  Garnish as desired with chopped green onions, walnut halves, baby leaf lettuce.  Serve with crackers, bread, and/or crudités.

Optional ingredients to kick it up a notch:  1-2 T. Worcestershire, 1-2 T. chopped hot peppers, 2-3 T. Horseradish, 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce, 1 T. finely chopped raw onion, and/or chopped parsley.