mountains to climb, bridges to cross – about heforshe

I was 14 when I first started calling myself a feminist. From what I knew it meant that you wanted gender equality. I didn’t know of the negative connotations people have towards it and to what extent. I’m guessing you guys know; if you’re a feminist, you have to hate men. Umm… not exactly.

I’m gonna quote my girl Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: “Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political and ecomonic equality of the sexes”.

The early feminists wrote quite a deal about women rights. In A Vindication of the Rights of Women, Mary Shelley argued that the female gender should be allowed to have an education as they are essential to the nation. Olympe de Gouges urged France to have legal equality between the genders and for women to have the right to own property in her most famous work Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen. The District Governor’s Daughters (Amtmandens Døttre) by Camilla Collett revolves around women in unfair arranged marriages. The suffragettes fought for women’s right to vote in the late 19th and early 20th century. During the big abortion debate in United States in the 60s, many feminists came out with a pro-choice stance, stating that women had the right to do whatever they wanted with their bodies. Feminism has been largely a female movement, and yes, it has mostly been about women’s rights. That does not mean in any way that feminists hate men. It simply means that there have been a lot more mountains to climb and bridges to cross for the female gender.

For example, the French revolutionaries hoped to achieve more equality between the different classes. They didn’t fully attain it. When lowerclass men were able to vote, women still didn’t have any choice in politics. Likewise happened in the American revolution and in countless other countries. When class no longer becomes an issue, people instead use gender as a way to differentiate people and their worth. And women are always told they’re worth less.

In the modern day and age feminists have achieved a lot. Women of the past have performed miracles and I, as a young lady in the year of 2014, will be eternally grateful. The playing fields are more even than they were just a century ago. While there is still an astonishing amount of work to be done (women only earn 10 percent of the world’s income though they work two-thirds of the working hours, 64 percent of illiterature adults are women, 39 000 girls are forced into an early marriage everyday and that’s not even all of it), the progress that has been made can’t be denied.

UN Women have created a movement that is hoping to bring about gender equality. The HeForShe campaign urges men to speak up about inequality and discrimination faced by girls and women based on their gender. When you oppose a female being outspoken, honest and authorative in any way, you are contributing to the thought that women aren’t “supposed” to be like that. When you oppose a male being sensitive, careful and compassionate, you are contributing to the thought that men aren’t “supposed” to be like that. Removing and breaking down the notion that to be fully accepted as a male or female, you have to fit into the narrow box of that gender as it’s traditionally perceived, is the goal. And if we achieve that, it will be easier for everyone, both men and women, to actually be themselves.

 

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divided in two houses

The Parliament of England is divided in two Houses: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. While the members of parliament in Commons are generally elected every five years, the Lords are selected – appointed by the Monarch, Queen Elizabeth, on the advice of the Prime Minister (not counting the ones that are hereditary peers, meaning they were given the position as a birthright).
While both Houses have the same tasks, the Commons have greater power. The British party with the largest number of members in the Commons will form the government after the Parliament is dissolved and every seat made vacant for the upcoming election.
Commons and Lords have it as their duty to make and shape laws, debate current issues and check the work of the government. Additionally, Commons are in charge of granting money to the government through approving Bills that raise taxes. The conclusions and resolutions one House makes will have to be accepted by the other, but the Lords don’t have any power to block or amend the Commons’ decisions on financial Bills.
Quite a few of the Lords have an array of jobs and occupations – they work in medicine, science, the arts, law, business and what-have-you, but many of them have political backgrounds. Since the peers in the House of Commons are elected and are required to be in a party for them to have the chance to even become elected, it is more common for the political interest to be higher in the House of Commons.

Operation Neptune

Thousands of allied troops have begun landing on the beaches of Normandy in northern France at the start of a major offensive against the Germans.

Such begins a BBC article published on the 6th of June 1944. The topic on hand is D-day and the invasion made by the allies against Germany that marked the beginning of the end. Less than a year later the war was over in Europe, some months after that the world could officially close the book on the war with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Codenamed “Operation Neptune”, D-day was a… collaboration, you can say, between the allied countries (the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, Greece, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Poland). Over 150 000 soldiers fought on the allies’ side. Luck was on their side; the Germans were taken off guard, having expected the allies to invade through the Pas de Calais. They didn’t know what to do and Hitler wasn’t even consulted – he was sleeping and the Field Marshal didn’t dare wake him up. The battle went on for ten weeks and by the end of it, the allied could share a toast and breathe a relieved sigh. Things were looking up. There was a definite light at the end of the tunnel.

Even before the 6th of June, it was pretty clear that the German army was declining and their power diminishing. Constant bombing of German cities occurred, the Wehrmacht (the armed forces of Germany) retreated in some areas and the power of the air force reduced extensively. The Soviet forces had also largely destroyed the Army of the Third Reich on the Eastern Front, one of the most important factors in Germanys later defeat.

“Operation Neptune” managed to seal the United States’ position as the most powerful country in the world. It was also important in strengthening the bonds of the allied countries (I shouldn’t have to say that the Soviet Union was an exception). When Hitler killed himself 30th April 1945 it was pretty clear that everything was going to descend soon after – and it did. D-day needs a big part of the credit after that.

all over the place

It probably won’t surprise any of you that my knowledge of the events happening in Scotland has been quite… lacking, let’s say. The only thing I can remember from this debate was when J.K. Rowling said she was against Scotland becoming an independent country. What can I say? I don’t pay enough attention to where this world is going, I guess. I should probably change that.
Anyway. If anyone’s as ignorant as yours truly, let me inform you of what I do know now. In some weeks there will be a referendum in Scotland. The people will choose whether or not they want Scotland to remain in the UK.

Norway has had six referendums in recent time, two that I actually know the details of. The Norwegian people said thanks, but no thanks to joining the EU both in 1972 and 1994 (surprisingly,  the government chose to listen to their people). It seems as if the Scottish people are fluctuating in their opinions, the “yes'” and “nos” and “I don’t knows” seem to be all over the place sometimes.

I feel that my opinions on this matter aren’t important and probably not welcomed considering my lack of knowledge on this case, so I will refrain from acting as if I know everything there is to know about this case. What about you? Would you vote yes or no?