to my son, pt 2.

I’m glad that we got to talk on the phone the other night, i miss hearing about your days at school.

You had your first sleep over with a friend!  i know how excited you were about that, playing knights until very late at night and getting up early to play more!  sounds like it was really fun, i’m glad that you had a good time my son.

Things have been changing quickly for me; i moved as well and now i live in a place called Seattle.  it’s very nice here, lots of trees and lakes and the ocean isn’t far away either and mountains!  i hope that you can come and visit one day soon!

I miss you and i think about you all the time.

I can’t wait to see you again.  I love you Alexander.

~mommy jae

Robert Fisk: The West is horrified by children’s slaughter now. Soon we’ll forget – Robert Fisk – Commentators – The Independent

Robert Fisk: The West is horrified by children’s slaughter now. Soon we’ll forget – Robert Fisk – Commentators – The Independent.

This man’s book “The Great War for Civilisation” is a must-read for anyone desiring an understanding of the roots of the conflict in the Middle East and how it has no chance of abating anytime soon.

Against Me’s Tom Gabel Makes Live Debut as Laura Jane Grace in San Diego | Music News | Rolling Stone

Against Me’s Tom Gabel Makes Live Debut as Laura Jane Grace in San Diego | Music News | Rolling Stone.

“For his part, longtime fan Jimmy Gomez, 23, doesn’t think Grace needs to explain anything.

“She did it for herself, not for anybody else. This is about her,” he said. “She’s doing something she really loves now and she’s really happy – that’s really awesome.”

Thanks to the outdoor venue’s seating arrangements, a mosh pit never did break out during the set, but a handful of fans got up to sing along. When Grace belted out the lines to “The Ocean,” a revealing track from the band’s 2007 album New Wave – “If I could have chosen / I would have been born a woman” – fans broke into cheers and applause.”

Is He Checking Me Out, Or Just Staring At The Freak? Self-Consciousness And Self-Oppression | Sincerely, Natalie Reed

Is He Checking Me Out, Or Just Staring At The Freak? Self-Consciousness And Self-Oppression | Sincerely, Natalie Reed.

But if we take it as a thing that women’s typically negative and problematic relationship to their body image is deeply connected to socialization, media depictions of women, cultural standards of beauty and so forth… if we take it as more or less established that this is an oppressive phenomenon related to sexism at least (if not patriarchy)… why on Earth would we assume that it operates on the same principle in trans women, who are positioned in a quite distinct socio-cultural location, and typically experience socialization very differently than cis women do?

No such thing as a natural-born woman

No such thing as a natural-born woman.

very interesting article.  the author points out the very real fluidity in human nature and some of the ways in which it manifests.

 

Letter to my son pt 1.

one of the things i promised myself is that i would write this blog so that, one day, my son would know me aside from all the things which he’d grown up being told or thinking.  i wanted, as much as i was able, to explain myself.  to explain what happened from my view of life…mostly i wanted him to get to know me, to continue knowing me, and this is how.  i don’t feel comfortable writing to him since he can’t read and that means the ex will read it.  i have trouble calling since she listens to all our conversation and he feels inhibited talking with me in that scenario.

Hello Alexander,

May, 9, 2012

i miss you my son.  none of what has happened between your mother and i has anything to do with you.  we both love you and want what is best for you.

i missed many things in your life already; the new school, the new friends and girl friend that mom says you have.  i’m sorry that i wasn’t there to help you when you fell and skinned your knees.  i was very proud that you pulled the band aid off all by yourself!  sometimes even adults don’t want to do that .

my told me the funny thing you said when she asked you about the girl friend from the old school and you told her that they didn’t know about each other so it was ok.  i hope you’re making lots of art in class and at home.

i’ll write more as i’m able.

i miss you my darling boy.

~mommy jae

Gender equality in Buddhism

Buddhist Teachings which Promote Gender Equality

Traditional Buddhist teaching naturally lends itself to the idea of gender equality. For instance, the idea of anatta (non-self) breaks down the divisions between male and female. Gender is often defined according to a fixed idea of what is considered masculine and feminine and as such male and female roles in society. These fixed ideas are often the cause of sexual stereotypes. However, if one has no fixed ‘self’ then such gender definitions become ambiguous (although this is not to say that there are no men and women!). In many respects the removal of divisions between men and women is also at the heart of Feminism which seeks to raise the status of women in a world which, according to them, has been shaped by men and male interests.

At the heart of Buddhism is the problem of dukkha (suffering). This is not only physical but also involves much emotional and psychological suffering caused through bad actions or attitudes. An example of how dukkha may arise in relation to women is if they are denied opportunities due to being discriminated against on the basis of their gender (E.g. Women should not be mechanics because that is a man’s job). Combined with this is the idea of compassion which is the promotion of respect and dignity for all living things. Clearly, if women are not being treated equally then compassion is not being demonstrated.

Although the third precept challenges the sexual relationships of men and women, once again it is the first precept which encourages the development of wholesome attitudes by men and women towards each other (‘I undertake not to take life’). This precept does not just involve the literal physical taking of life but anything which promotes attitudes that deny people a quality of life. Thus it is vital for Buddhists that society is seen to protect and promote equal opportunities for both men and women.

It should be remembered that despite these teachings traditional Buddhists believe that, although men and women are equal, they have different roles. They believe it is the role of the man (husband) to provide for the family whilst it is the role of the woman (wife) to care for it (for more on this see Buddhism, Marriage and Divorce). This attitude can also be seen in the separation of monks and nuns (also for reasons discussed earlier – and maybe the practical purpose of protecting both from breaking the third precept (‘I undertake to avoid sexual misconduct’)).

In Vajrayana Buddhism there are many female Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. The most well known is Green Tara whose name means ‘She who saves’. There is also the Bodhisattva Kuan Yin, whose name means ‘Compassion’ as well as Prajnaparamita who is known as the mother of all Buddha’s because she represents anicca (the fundamental truth of life). This shows that the truth of Buddhism can be represented to people in both male and female forms.

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