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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Impact …. When ‘forgiveness’ is exploited

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On the one hand they say

Forgive and forget

on the other,

hold Eve’s ‘sin’

on her gender,

an eternal debt.

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A contradiction

so obvious

with it

I cannot reconcile  

and searching

for an answer

I have been

quite a while.

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I have a strong disquiet with this biased interpretation of ‘forgiveness’ and its application.  It does not seem right, but I till recently, I could not put my finger on why.  

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When I ask,

‘How so’?

no answer do I get

or with a

“Do not question God’s Authority”

my query is met.

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The replies,

never satisfactory,

are in variance

with Christs comport,

in His mission

as the Saviour,

the ‘forgiveness’

He has bought.

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Then the ‘penny dropped’, ….. It’s the old double standard. 

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I have always known that ‘Forgiveness’, as advocated by Jesus is for all, no matter what the ‘collective consciousness’ on the issue be.

And have learned that God forgives by doing the following:

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 1. Convicts of Sin.                                                        
2. Requires Acknowledgment and Confession.  
3. Demands Repentance.                                       
4. Then Forgiveness is granted.

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Repentance & Forgiveness work in tandem. Without repentance, there is no forgiveness.

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(Reference : Please read The Misuse of Forgiveness  by Allan Anderson for Biblical references and more)

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Continuing the topic of humans and ‘forgiveness, let’s focus on its contemporary misuse.

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So then what is this other brand of ‘forgiveness’ that is being promulgated?

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And why does it find such ready & wide acceptance?

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In your indoctrination

distortions were a part

and you imbibed that received wisdom

and took it to heart.

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What’s stopping you from questioning?

What’s making you blindly accept?

What’s making you disregard

That gift of a discerning intellect?

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This other brand of ‘forgiveness’ is nothing but a psychological tool, a weapon of domination, oppression and repression.

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And it is used, primarily for the purpose of sheltering the perpetrator.

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In this form, forgiveness is demanded,

for the perpetrator of the crime,

from the target of the crime,

by people unaffected by the crime

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This form of forgiveness, demands nothing from the perpetrator while it denies the victim the opportunity to receive a hearing, let alone receive understanding, compassion and above all closure.

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It shows disapproval & censure if the victim refuses to comply with the demand to forgive.

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It aims at marginalizing the victim, imposing fear and shaming into silence, by,

  • Causing trauma and humiliation (for example, accusing the victim of fabricating the crime)

  • Defaming the victim (for example, labeling the victim as mercenary, of loose morals; etc.)

  • Shaming the victim (for example, accusing the victim of ‘leading’ the perpetrator astray)

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In short, this form of forgiveness has but one objective … To Cover Up Crime.

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Is it in your interest

that its veracity you dare not doubt?

is it easier to silence your conscience

than question what it’s all about?


Jacqui

 

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Contrasting Attitudes

This is my 4th post, where I continue to contrast the attitudes of people, to crimes against women. 

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“I certainly share the view that women are treated as chattel… one reason why crime is committed against women is because they are treated as chattel,” P. C. Chidambaram, Home Minister, India, said in the Rajya Sabha yesterday (21/03/12).

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In enlightened societies

where self-regard is the norm

you’d be hard-put to find a man

violating the female form,

for fulfilling of the biological

is by mutual consent

unlike in repressed societies

where the idea of dignity is bent.

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“I hope the attitude will change with education.” , the Minister continued.

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Unfortunately, a person may be educated and yet have a contemptuous attitude towards women, as was shamefully evident in my city of Calcutta this last February.   

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Now when sexual repression

is coupled with medieval thought

and the attitude towards the female

is with contempt fraught,

then it is to be expected

what is happening in my city now-a-days,

a violent rape occurred in the dead of night

and the victim was made to pay.

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You don’t need an education to be compassionate, to be understanding, to empathize with the victim.    You don’t need an education to know that it is cowardly, callous, cruel & mean to ‘pile on to’ the victim when she’s down.

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Yes the victim was detained for questioning

while the perpetrators were nowhere in sight

and that ‘long’ arm of the law

jeered at the victim, late into the night.

In her narration of distress, it is reported,

they took mocking delight

and that night passed on to the dawn

time on titillations’ wings took flight.

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In this disgraceful scenario, there was a beacon of courage & righteousness in Joint Commissioner (Crime) Damayanti Sen and Joint Commissioner (HQ) Jawed Shamim. 

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She is a drinking lady,

visits clubs alone at night

is separated from her husband

so, ‘of loose character’ would describe her, right?”

is the tone of reprehensible reaction

from the Government with a woman CM at its head

exposing a churlish, coarse mind-set

shrieking ‘low-consciousness bred’.

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There was, of course, an outraged uproar by the enlightened & the progressive, against this intimidation & the brow-beating.

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Challenged, their menace

was severely blunted

they turned tail and ran

when confronted.

That the bully is a coward

there is no doubt

a gutless, spineless,

craven lout.

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I leave you today, with this thought :

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If only, people of higher thought

outnumbered the unthinking kind

it would do away with mob mentality

that blindly supports the fiend.

 

If only, yes, if only,

the educated did not compete

to imitate the vindictive

in sustaining dishonorable deeds.

Jacqui

 

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Surrendered Responsibility …

As the streams of thought

flow through my brain

I realize, they all bear a refrain

“Betrayal of Trust”

is the signature theme

over which victory,

is my dream.

That most famous betrayal

was done with a kiss

it was an overt action

and hard to miss.

No less in impact

though not publicly known

are the acts of betrayal,

played out in the home.

I have been reading up on news items, blogs and articles on abuse of the female (child & adult) and the comments posted in response. 

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(Do read the article by Ted Bunch, titled “Ending Men’s Violence Against Women”.  You can Google it.  And do visit www.acalltomen.org while you are about it. )

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An interesting pattern emerged from the responses. 

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The humane responses were compassionate, rational, reasonable, civilized and quite a few in number. 

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It takes much courage

to hold out against

public opinion

that’s out to taint

one who is down

and has no self-defense

against the witch-hunting abettors

of dimensions immense.

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Hats off! to all the resolute

who take a stand

against targeting the victim

as is the demand

by people with double standards

whose opinions hold sway

for whom life’s not fun

if the victim’s not made to pay.

The humane comments, Ted Bunch & A Call To Men have restored my faith in the ‘male’ too being created in the ‘image & likeness of God’.

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On the flip side there were the tired clichés that blamed the women for their victimization and there were the usual excuses for men’s abusive behaviour, in language that leaves a lot to be desired. 

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This is for the men who have surrendered all responsibility for their actions & the actions of their fellow men.  This is also for all women who offer their support to men who commit such crimes, in the home & out.

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When the male libido

 spins out of control

“She led me astray”,

is the much used loop-hole

“I over-indulged, I was a glut

could not resist the temptation

held out by that slut”.

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So cover up the woman

from head to toe

They’ll strip her in their minds eye

and do so very much more

and when their licentiousness

gets the better of them

it will result in the ruination

of some doomed femme.

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Now they need to be protected

from penalty of their rapacious lust

so the blame for the same

upon the victim is thrust

and win they do,

a resounding support

with the ‘diminished culpability

for behaviour’ retort.

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So with what could you say

 it all began?

this surrender of all responsibility

for behaviour, by man

that is supported & promoted

by all religious clans

… when an adam falls to temptation

it is the eve who is panned.

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Jacqui

 

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Acceptable Perhaps, Ethical?

Do you ever notice the absence of intellect,

The absence of independent thought?

The absence of reasoned assessment,

And the stagnation it has wrought?

Not everything that a society accepts as moral is right … it could be acceptable yet unethical … like the power of suggestion

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Handed down,

by word of mouth

for centuries,

to the unthinking devout.

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Then it was,

text’s mandate

the myth to further

disseminate.

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Now audio, video,

multiple media mix

ensures the message,

in the senses fix.

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Yes, the power of suggestion,

of visual impact,

of repeated assertion,

that it is a fact,

of unquestioning acquiescence,

of learned attitudes,

maneuver sustained denunciation

of women of all hues.

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And though unacceptable

has raised not a brow

of the creeds that continued

dishonour allow

while collective consciousness

is now mired deep

in a fallacy

that causes woman much grief.

The dissenting voices are few and far between because for the majority, questioning authority is not an easy task, so the issue is avoided altogether. 

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 When your acceptance is questioned

though it’s in sync with the pack

do you resist the need for re-assessment

for risk of being put on the rack?

 When an independent view-point is presented, more often than not, it is rejected outright and the presenter is ridiculed.

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 When you encounter an independent opinion

what is your reaction to the same,

do you analyze its merits and demerits

or do you scoff at it, as lame?

 Thank you for taking the time to read through this post.  Perhaps you could take a few more minutes to ponder on :

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How much do you do without question,

how much do you blindly accept,

without proof of credibility

just because it has collective respect?

Jacqui

 
 

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… and I thought these places were progressive!

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It is said, East is East and West is West and the twain shall never meet”.

I beg to differ.

Meet it has, in its responses to women.

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Mid February 2012

West Bengal, India

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Rapes across West Bengal reported.

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The age of victims, mostly late 30’s, single (widowed, separated, divorced) plus two minors, one of whom is deaf & dumb.

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Profile of the aggressors : early to mid-twenties, belonging to a sexually repressed medieval culture.  The aggressors include a doctor of a Government hospital.

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A crime occurred

and the reaction it spurred

exposed a frightening mind-set,

of the law-keepers

and the powers-that-be

in holding the victim suspect.

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A cover-up was sought

to cloak the rot

of cowardice and inefficiency,

by focusing on

and alluding to

the victim’s so-called impropriety.

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The overwhelming majority

matched those in authority

in attitude, a society disgraced!

and to put it mildly

to say it kindly

their sympathy, alas! is misplaced.

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Exceptions – Some senior police officials, some Bengali & English media, women’s groups and the miniscule thinking polity, stand by the victims.

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The USA

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A woman speaks (perhaps too articulately for some people’s liking) on women’s’ sexual health and insurance for birth control pills that are used for a host of feminine diseases, at a Congressional hearing about the Obama administration’s contraception policy.  The woman speaker, stressed that many women require contraception for medical purposes.

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Like in the case of the West Bengal rape victims, she was attacked by rhetoric that can only be described as misogynistic, vitriolic, base and crude.

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What is this need and this compulsion

to mangle another’s reputation this way?

Is it to deter dissension

or something more grave? 

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The attackers were both male & female and their expletive expressions are self-descriptive.

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Implication :

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To dis-empower a woman,

           vilify her,

                   humiliate her &

                           terrorize her

                                by attacking her sexually – be it physically and/or verbally. 

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And there will be resounding support from men of an identical mind-set

                 ….  and from women who sell out their gender …

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Now there are  women

who find pleasure in another’s pain

yes, there are women

who suck-up for their own gain

these are the kind of women

who are more misogynistic than the male

these are the kind of women

who their gender acrimoniously assail. 

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Jacqui

 

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