In God’s image?

Human Beings are not typical organisms. We do however possess similar body organizations and perform the same functions as many other organisms, which are: Movement, Reproduction, Sensitivity, Nutrition, Excretion, Respiration and Growth.

 

These characteristics put us on the same level as most organisms but there are additional features to homo-sapiens that makes us unique.

 

Firstly, non- human organisms do not think, they act. They act out of instinctive behaviour, to eat, drink, reproduce and most of all to survive. These behaviours are embedded into animals’ brains and are controlled by the nervous system. Even bacteria and fungi have instinctive behaviour which allows them to propel themselves toward beneficial substances and away from repellent substances.

 

 Humans on the other hand display the type of “automatic” behaviour which is characteristic of instincts; this can be seen in our habits.

 

Trans4Minds; a website on personal development discerns that “our labelling of “lower animals” and “higher animals” (including the humans) seems to be based largely on the position of a species within this particular spectrum.  Despite the gap between any animal and humans, we are still part of the spectrum — not in a category of our own, but merely at the complementary pole from the animals whose behaviour seems to be most automatic.”

 

“As similar as we humans are in many ways to other species, we are unique among the earth’s life forms in our ability to use language and thought.” (American Association for the Advancement of Science)

 

Humans have to ability to think about something and create it, make it happen, make it work. We are curious about ourselves and what makes us want to play an instrument or invent something as profound as the telephone. Other living organisms do not share this ability.

 

 

 

 

Miguel Street- A literary analysis on Society and Masculine Identities

 

Miguel Street

“Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that  daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.” – C.S. Lewis, a British scholar and novelist.

In this post, I decided to do a literary analysis. Why? Books tell a lot about our history. They teach morals, keep laws and spread ideas. They are a necessary part of any functioning society.
 
Reading literature brings us pleasure. It transports us to new worlds, experiences, adventure and cultures etc. Literature generates creativity and spurs imagination, and removes us from our reality.
It supplies us with information and makes us aware of our place in the scheme of things.
 
 
 
 

Miguel Street is a “semi-autobiographical” novel by V. S. Naipaul, a native of Trinidad and Tobago and Nobel Laureate. The novel focuses on the characters living on Miguel Street set in wartime Port of Spain, Trinidad while depicting the growth and development of its narrator. It is told in first person narrative voice. The tone of the novel is mostly comical and sometimes condescending of women as told through the eyes of the young, fatherless East Indian boy living in the street with his mother. Undertones of dark humour evoke a mood of sadness because of the tragic nature of the lives of most characters.

 

It is in the street where the boys learn attitudes, values and behaviours associated with maleness through witnessing and internalising the experiences of other males on the street.

Naipaul paints the picture of the street as a male gendered space in Miguel Street. This allows for the construction of masculine identities in the novel in relation to love and intimacy, work and leisure and the treatment of women.

Love and Intimacy are taken lightly. It is evident that in order to be considered manly on Miguel Street a male must be unfaithful. One example of this is portrayed in the very first chapter, “Bogart”.  Bogart is considered … “a man among we men…” because he leaves his wife who cannot bear children to have children with another woman in Caroni, whom he then has to marry. He leaves that woman because his desire is not to be a father, but to prove his manliness. Being able to father a child is considered an achievement of manhood.

The men on Miguel Street have a very relaxed attitude with regard to work and a very active one pertaining to play.  They are portrayed as having little to no ambition. For most, life is predominantly spent in leisure activities.  Bogart is a prime example of this. He is called Patience “…because he played that game from morn till night.” Although there is the allusion of work because of a sign outside his house, his identity is not marked by work but by play. He is not known for his skill as a tailor as the narrator observes, “He made a pretence of making a living by tailoring…I cannot remember him making a suit”. These sentiments of play hard and work hardly are echoed throughout the chapter and the rest of the novel as the process of gender socialization evolves.

The portrayal of women in Miguel Street is almost always reflected in physical violence and abuse as domestic violence is what makes a man, a man. Men expect their wives to be both obedient and loyal otherwise “set straight” by being beaten.  Hat summarises one attitude towards women shared by men when he teaches the narrator that; “Is a good thing for a man to beat his woman every now and then”.  In Chapter thirteen, “The Mechanical Genius”, in order to prove he is the man of his household, Mr. Bhakcu resorts to beating his wife because she refuses to be the submissive. 

Another portrayal of women is that they are  required to do all the work. Most men in the street did not have a steady job. Popo states that “Women and them like work. Man not make for work”. The narrator observes that “Popo never made any money. His wife used to go out and work, and this was easy, because they had no children.”  This comment trivialises the positive portrayal of Popo’s wife as the sole breadwinner of the household by saying “this was easy, because they had no children.” It shows what little respect the boys on Miguel Street are being socialised to have towards women. The idea of manliness is a result of drinking, fighting and crimes such as theft. This is seen when Popo’s wife leaves him and as a result he drinks, fights and steals which “made him an accepted member of the gang”.

Women are also portrayed as greedy and materialistic. When Popo’s wife returns to Miguel Street, Hat is disgusted; “You see the sort of thing woman is…You see the sort of thing they like. Not the man. But the new house paint up, and all the new furniture inside it. I bet you if the man in Arima had a new house and new furnitures, she wouldnta come back with Popo.”

Gender identityis developed through gender socialization and social interaction.

The process of socialization is ongoing and allows the boys to become adults as they interface with the other males on the street. They learn the norms and values of society through the years and engage in the expected behaviours.

Do you think this is a valid representation of how males learn about Gender Identity?

Please follow this link to read Miguel Street.

Water woes

Water is a natural resource which is very critical to all life on Earth. Natural resources are things that come from nature. Natural resources are either renewable or non renewable. Some of the Earth’s natural resources are; Soil, Air, and Water. Although the Earth is almost covered in water, it is considered a finite resource which means there is an end to the amount of water that is available for human consumption. Where a population lives and also their quality of life, depends on the availability of potable water. This is so because; of all the water on the Earth’s surface, only about one percent is fresh water that is available for human use. Fresh water is found in rivers, streams, lakes and underground aquifers. Global water consumption is on the rise with the increase in the world’s population and industrialisation. This gives rise to water constraint whereby there is a shortage of water to meet the needs of people. More than one-third of the world’s population live in countries that are facing water constraint. The following is a list of ways water is used for human consumption.

Ten main uses of water

1. Commercial water use refers to fresh water used in motels, hotels, restaurants, office buildings, other commercial facilities, and civilian and military institutions. The restaurant industry is a major source of commercial water usage.

2. Domestic use refers to water that is used in the home every day, for purposes, such as drinking, food preparation, bathing, washing clothes and dishes, flushing toilets, and watering lawns and gardens.

3. Industrial water use is an important resource to a nation’s industries. Industries use large amounts of water for steel, chemical, paper, and petroleum refining. This water is often reused over and over for more than one purpose.

4. Irrigation water use is water artificially applied to farm, orchard, and pasture, crops, for frost and freeze protection among other uses. Irrigation is the largest category of water use worldwide as almost 60% of all the world’s freshwater withdrawals go towards irrigation uses.

5. Livestock water use refers to fresh water utilized for stock animals, feed lots, dairies, fish farms, and other nonfarm needs.

6. Mining water use is used for the extraction of naturally occurring minerals; solids, such as coal and ores; liquids, such as crude petroleum; and gases, such as natural gas.

7. Public Supply water use is the provision of water by public utilities, such as county and municipal water works. It is then delivered to users for domestic, commercial, and industrial purposes.

8. Thermoelectric Power water use is the largest use of water worldwide. It refers to the amount of water used in the production of electric power generated with heat.

9. Aquaculture water use refers to water used for raising creatures that live in water for food, restoration, conservation, or sport. Sea creatures are grown in controlled feeding, sanitation, and harvesting procedures primarily in ponds, flow through raceways, and, to a lesser extent, cages, net pens, and closed-recirculation tanks.

10. Hydroelectric Power is an important source of renewable energy. It is an old method which represents 19% of total electricity production the world over. Hydropower plays a major role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the water used to operate it comes from nature as rainfall.

Our world without water

It is hard to imagine a planet such as ours with its abundance of life can exist without water. Three percent of the water that covers the earth is freshwater. Of that three percent only one percent can be used for the sustenance of human life. Sixty-six percent of the human body is made up of water and at just two percent dehydration, performance decreases by around twenty percent. The importance of water is recognized by the smallest child, animal or even plant. The extravagant use of water for agricultural and general household purposes is making fresh water increasingly scarce in many parts of the world. It is ironic however, that although a lot of water is used for domestic purposes, many people do not drink the required amount of water needed to keep the body at peak functioning level. So, already before the water is completely gone, we are depriving ourselves of this life-sustaining substance. Instead we use substitutes, which we are led to believe (due to the ad campaigns of the Industrial and Commercial users of water) are far better than water because they contain energy boosters like electrolytes and caffeine.

The fresh water supply may be completely depleted due to continuous human consumption norms. These norms would include various methods of water use such as commercial, mining and domestic usage. In addition to this, there is the further treat of climate change, which is caused by the release of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. The release of green house gases causes the earth’s temperature to become heated and in turn warms the oceans and melts the polar ice caps resulting in increased sea levels. These would contribute to the depletion of fresh water through evaporation. On the flip side however, due to technological advances in science it can be argued that is not highly impossible for humans to exist in a world without water. Take for instance, research and development being done on new waterless or less-water technologies. In crowded countries with water shortages, where there is the need for greater agricultural output, these technologies have the potential to become inexpensive mass-produced commodities.

The following are some everyday applications which may be seen in a waterless world.

• Composting toilets: waterless toilets odour-free “fashion items”, with easily removable capsules which could be collected with the household garbage or used on the garden.

• The microwave oven: the future may see the greater use of partially processed food, which requires less preparation and cooking.

• Increase of nanotechnology: clothes may be made of materials (or treated with chemicals) so that they can be cleaned by simply shaking, or by being “washed” in some waterless appliance.

• Showers, baths and hand washing – could be replaced by some waterless electro-mechanical person-cleaning device. Alternatively, a finely controlled air-water spray “cleaner” requiring minimal water use may be perfected. Examples of current vulnerabilities of freshwater resources and their management; in the background, water stress map based on WaterGAP (Alcamo et al., 2003a). See text for relation to climate change.

 Will the number of people without access to clean water increase or decrease in the future?

The global consumption of water is doubling every twenty years and it is estimated that in 2025, 2.3 billion people will be living in areas where it will be difficult or even impossible to meet basic water needs.

How is that possible?

Presently there are already more than 1.5 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water. As the global population increases so does the demand for fresh water for the uses of Commercial, Industrial and Livestock applications, to name a few. Also with climate change and global warming on the rise it seems unlikely that the number of people without access to clean water will decrease in the future.

However, increasing the number of people with access to clean water is a goal of the United Nations and it is evident that many countries are trying to meet this goal. For example, non-profit organisation, Global Giving, is trying to make water available to women & children of Tanzania who have to walk 20 miles for less than 5 gallons, by constructing a water tower that will make H2O available to 23,000 by the end of 2012.

Additionally, the Millennium Project states that in order for clean water to reach more people in the future: Breakthroughs in desalination, such as pressurization of seawater to produce vapour jets, filtration via carbon nanotubes, and reverse osmosis, are needed along with less costly pollution treatment and better water catchments. Future demand for fresh water could be reduced by saltwater agriculture on coastlines, producing pure meat without growing animals, increasing vegetarianism, fixing leaking pipes, and the reuse of treated water.

Organizations like Concern Worldwide are working throughout Haiti to help to bring clean and safe drinking water to local residents. Through the construction of rainwater cisterns and the protection of natural springs and fountains, Concern provided 4,700 people with access to clean drinking water in just one year. Children and parents are also taught vital information about improving hygiene practices and sterilizing water.

Individuals should never underestimate their own influence and the role they can play in changing things for the better. I think they should speak up in their communities and say:

“Stop polluting our rivers. Stop wasting water. I cannot take this anymore.” And begin to talk to their neighbours and friends, and begin to organize and let the policy makers and the local, district, or national governments know that they are concerned. — Kofi Annan, FormerSecretary-General

The UN estimates that by 2025, 75% of the world population won’t have reliable, clean water.Water-use information can be used to evaluate the impacts of population growth and the effectiveness of alternative water management policies, regulations, and conservation activities. I believe, with proper practices along with checks and balances it is possible for the number of people without access to clean water decrease in the future.

“At this age and time of abundance, water should never be a luxury. It should be free for all”- Asubuhi Erasto

 What do you think? Will  the number of people without access to clean water increase or decrease in the future?

 

Is Global Warming a Myth?

I used to be very concerned about saving energy, in terms of using less electricity and being conscious of water usage.  This was not because I was aware that I was contributing to climate change or global warming with my ecological footprint but because my parents would just say we were “wasting current” and would have a high electricity bill or we were “wasting water” and would have none to use.

Now, Ecological footprint, climate change and global warming are terms I have heard before, but never paid attention to because any explanations I got would go “over my head” as a child/ teenager.  In addition, littering as a child is not something that ever occurred to me, firstly because I never saw my parents do it and secondly I just cannot throw garbage on the ground.  Even when I go to a party, I put my garbage in a bin.  I remember when I recently went on an excursion with a group of my friends, to Los Iros; we cleaned up our garbage when the party was over.  We did not leave it scattered on the beach as many people do.  I think people need a reminder of how harmful an effect just littering is also.

As I think back I cannot remember being privy to this sort of information in my 22 years of schooling.  Maybe I was pre-occupied.  I would hate to think that our country does not take a proactive role on this issue.

Despite being very naive due to my lack of familiarity on the matter of global warming/ climate change, I would say they are both very serious issues.  I have observed for myself, the change in atmospheric temperature.  It is usual for one to say that the sun is hotter nowadays than it was in the past, one very mild example but serious indicator.

When my dad saw me looking at Al Gore’s Documentary “An inconvenient truth” he said:

“You know that’s stupidness right?”

I replied, “How is it stupidness?”

“Al Gore don’t know what he talking about.”  – My dad

“So you don’t believe that global warming is a real issue?”  -Me

“Yea, but not the way they trying to make it out to be.”  – My dad

That is when I realised that I would have to embark upon a mission to convince my family about the treat of global warming and climate change, for they are as ill-informed as I was.  Global Warming is a very real issue and the Earth is suffering because Humans continually exploit its resources.

Global warming: the sun’s radiation comes in the form of light waves and heats up the earth; some of the radiation that is absorbed is re-radiated back into space in the form of infrared radiation.  Some of the outgoing radiation is trapped by the atmosphere, which keeps the earth’s temperature relatively constant and liveable.  However, the thin layer of atmosphere is being thickened by global warming pollution, more of the outgoing infrared is trapped, and so the atmosphere heats up worldwide.  – (Gore, 2006)

 

Major impacts of global warming

  The Earth’s atmosphere is the most vulnerable part of the earth’s ecological system and is getting warmer because of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by human practices.  Gore points out that the amount of Co2 in the atmosphere is due to trees releasing  Co2 when the earth is tilted away from the sun.  This is because during fall and winter when leaves fall off the trees, Co2 is released into the atmosphere.  

  1. Gore’s main point is that the ice caps at the north and south poles are melting.  He says that they are melting because the rays of the sun are no longer reflected or bounce off the ice but rather are being absorbed by the open ocean.  He uses various diagrams and examples such as, ice shelves each “larger than Rhode Island” being broken up and vanished from the Antarctic Peninsula and Greenland, to explain this further.  He concludes that the melting ice will cause a rise in the sea level of up to 6 meters.  This rise in sea level will evidently lead to the demise of low-lying pacific islands with them being submerged.
  2. Global warming has affected the majority of the world’s glaciers.  He also shows a series of “then and now” images, which document the widespread retreat of many glaciers over the past century.  He shows Kenya’s Mt. Kilimanjaro, whose glaciers are almost gone. 
  3.  Gore says that there will be more hurricanes, unusual weather patterns, flooding and drought.  For example, the devastation wrought by Katrina is used to highlight the dangers of climate change.  We are told that Katrina grew “stronger and stronger and stronger” as it passed over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico that were heated up by global warming.  We are also told that global warming is increasing the intensity of hurricanes. 
  4. Gore points to evidence of increasing severe weather events worldwide–the record 10 typhoons in Japan, the most tornadoes ever in the U.S., and the appearance of Brazil’s first hurricane ever.

Here is a list of five things that can an ordinary person do to reduce global warming.

1.      Change conventional lightbulbs

Replacing one regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb will save 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year because they use 60 % less energy than regular light bulbs.

2.      Use a clothesline instead of a dryer, whenever possible

Air-drying clothes for six months saves 700lbs of carbon dioxide.

3.      Plant a tree

A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime.

4.      Turn off electronic devices & Unplug

Simply turning off your television, DVD player, stereo, and computer when you are not using them will save thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide a year.  Unplugging hair dryers, phone charges, toaster ovens, and power cords when not in use can save up to 20% on home energy use.

5.      Eat less meat

When we think about eating less meat, it’s normally connected to our diets, not global warming.  However just skipping meat one day per week would help save over 35,000 gallons of water while cutting meat out of your diet entirely would help save 5,000 lbs of carbon emissions per year.

After watching “An Inconvenient Truth”, it is very hard to say I was not convinced about the threat of Global Warming and Climate Change.  Gore paints an easy to understand picture for the non-scientist and effectively educates us about human role in the crisis.  It makes me feel like changing my whole lifestyle in order to save the earth and compels me to make a more conscious effort to induce others in doing the same. I love nature.  It fascinates me.  It has always been a dream of mine to travel to some the places mentioned in the documentary and just knowing that they may cease to exist in the future and very saddening.  I cannot understand how people can choose to ignore the facts.  It makes me wonder what our government’s policy on global warming is.  I have decided to become an advocate to educate, and inspire as much people as I can about global warming and its effects.  The first place to start is home.  I believe this documentary or a localised version should be a part of our education curricula.  I think everyone needs to have a better understanding of this issue, not just the science students, or those pursuing environmental studies.

Do you think Global Warming is a real Threat?

The other ‘L’ Word…

Many believe love is a sensation that magically generates when Mr. or Ms. Right appears. No wonder so many people are single.

Everyone wants to be loved by that special someone….It’s the essence of life basically. – love is the eternal truth in the history of mankind

What is it anyway ??

Definition: Noun: An intense feeling of deep affection:  “their love for their country”.

Verb: Feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone):  “do you love me?”.

I believe it’s about trust. If you don’t think you can trust someone…then how can you love them?

I’ve learnt that love is a choice. You have to choose to love someone. It’s not something that just happens, as many people believe.

Love is as love does. Love is an act of will  — namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.By stating that it is when a couple falls out of love that they may begin to really love I am also implying that real love does not have its roots in a feeling of love. To the contrary, real love often occurs in a context in which the feeling of love is lacking, when we act lovingly despite the fact that we don’t feel loving. -M. Scott Peck

That being said, there are some common myths about love which include:

If you love, you should marry.- ancient belief which not many modern people adhere to.

There is one and only for you.- hmmm…really?

You can only love one person at a time.- Now that’s a totally false statement…it’s perfecty possible to love more than one person at the same time…psychotic but not impossible.

You will marry your first real love.- Your first real love? Most of us think that our first, second,third,   fourth and    fifth loves were the first real love.

Love is natural and easy.Love is difficult and hard actually. That’s why so many people are single.

Once in love you have it made (love sustains itself)- Total and utter “bullocks”.

Young people can’t love.-I tend to agree with this statement. I find it highly ridiculous to see thirteen and fourteen year olds expressing their undying love for each other. What do kids know about being in love?

 I found this website very useful in describing theories and types of love.

Love is definitely a social issue mainly because everyone is in search of it and their ideal partner. I did this post also to help me understand the term  a bit more and possibly understand why I am still single. Frankly I am still none the wiser…How about you? How would you analyze your love life or lack thereof?

Always stand steadfast in love, not fall into it.

The Gender Issue

Discrimination is not a positive aspect of a civilised society. It should not be acceptable to treat people differently on the basis of gender.

Men were considered, superior than women in everything. WOMEN, have however, shown that they are as capable as men are at succeeding in society. WOMEN are now able to do jobs that were thought of as mostly male dominated. Women, are bulldozer drivers, Carpenters, CEO’s of major corporations; and more women are taking political office: at a gathering to mark International Women’s Day at the Commonwealth Secretariat headquarters in London, Joan Rwabyomere, who is the Ugandan High Commissioner, explained how she struggled to rise to become a leading public figure in her country and the intimidation that she faced from men. She said however, that “Culture is a big obstacle to promoting gender equality in many countries, but the struggle must continue. Governments must strategise as to include women as stakeholders even in politics.

The more WOMEN leaders we have the easier for us to make decisions. <Can I get an AMEN>

People are masters of their destiny, the way you live your life is the way you choose

Girls didn’t have the right to education and only thought of house works that they will do for their husbands when they get married. Now, house husbands are becoming a norm, as well as being care givers for children: “Access to education is a major means to free women and promote equality. Education is also a tool for development in the world; it reduces illiteracy, leads to empowerment and strengthens human rights.” A statement made by Papua New Guinea High Commissioner, Jean Kekedo as she recalled her struggle in a male dominated environment.

In the 50’s and 60’s LADIES AND GENTLEMEN; the image of women on television and in the movies was that of the housewife. Because of the change in societal trends which led to Women’s liberation and the Feminist movement, Representation of women have changed. In the movie industry, more and more women are getting leading roles especially in action movies.  Women are no longer seen as the damsel in distress that needs to be rescued or the housewife for that matter. Women are news anchors, talk show hosts, and charismatic in politics. Women are portrayed as opinion leaders.

Challenges for women begin in childhood. Young girls may be brought up to believe that they are only suited for certain professions or, in some cases, only to serve as wives and mothers. Gender lines are drawn early. AND, exclusions for women continue throughout adulthood.

These constant messages may lead to a false belief that women do not belong in the high-powered corporate world. In the words of musician and activist – Annie Lennox:There’s still so much to be done, but with willpower, vision, and commitment, I believe that positive changes can, and absolutely must be achieved

Women belong in the kitchen?
Photocredit: someecards.com

Do you think women are less discriminated or more discriminated against than men are?

Image and self…

“There is no value-judgment more important to man—no factor more decisive in his psychological development and motivation—than the estimate he passes on himself.”  Chapter 7: The Meaning of Self-Esteem-Nathaniel Branden

What do you see when you look at the man in the mirror? Can you look though the window to your soul and exclaim:  “Yes, I’m proud to be me and nothing or no-one can change that!”

Photo credit: sodahead.com

Strangely enough, not many of us can. Most of us even aviod making eye-contact with our images for the eyes are indeed the window to the soul and for those of us who can’t do it; it’s because we don’t want to see the perceived  monster lookin back at  us… Why is that?

I think this has alot to do with it…

Voyeurism is highly promoted/ celebrated in today’s media. Music videos have become more and more like cheap porn.
Young adults reading Cosmopolitan or Seventeen may think they’re just learning about work-outs and skin care, but the subliminal message remains: meet this standard, or never get what you want in life.

We look to the media to help us define, explain, and shape the world around us. It is a pervasive and ever present entity in the lives of many people. It is a strong influence for constructing meaning in our everyday lives. According to Social Comparison Theory, “people will, at some point in their lives, compare themselves and significant others to people and images whom they perceive to represent realistic goals to attain” (Botta, 1999, p. 26).

Self Esteem Test

Photo credit: sodahead.com

Do you think you are affected by the underlying messages portrayed in the media? I know I’m not…

Thoughts from the womb…

Pro-life memorial in Bytom, Poland. Translatio...
Pro-life memorial in Bytom, Poland. Translation from an edit summary on Abortion debate: “‘Dedicated in memory of unborn children – victims of abortion.’ The poem says: ‘You will not hear my voice and my heart beat. The heart, that wanted to love you. Why didn’t you want me mommy, why didn’t you want me papa?'” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just for your reflection.

Hi, Mommy. … I’m your baby. You don’t know me yet, I’m only a few weeks old. You’re going to find out about me soon, though, I promise. Let me tell you some things about me. My name is John, and I’ve got … beautiful brown eyes and black hair. Well, I don’t have it yet, but I will when I’m born. I’m going to be your only child, and you’ll call me your one and only. I’m going to grow up without a daddy mostly, but we have each other. We’ll help each other, and love each other. I want to be a doctor when I grow up. You found out about me today, Mommy! You were so excited, you couldn’t wait to tell everyone. All you could do all day was smile, and life was perfect. You have a beautiful smile, Mommy. It will be the first face I will see in my life, and it will be the best thing I see in my life. I know it already.

Today was the day you told Daddy. You were so excited to tell him about me! …He wasn’t happy, Mommy. He kind of got angry. I don’t think that you noticed, but he did. He started to talk about something called wedlock, and money, and bills, and stuff I don’t think I understand yet.
You were still happy, though, so it was okay. Then he did something scary, Mommy. He hit you. I could feel you fall backward, and your hands flying up to protect me. I was okay… but I was very sad for you. You were crying then, Mommy. That’s a sound I don’t like. It doesn’t make me feel good. It made me cry, too. He said sorry after, and he hugged you again. You forgave him, Mommy, but I’m not sure if I do. It wasn’t right. You say he loves you… why would he hurt you? I don’t like it, … … Mommy. Finally, you can see me! Your stomach is a little bit bigger, and you’re so proud of me! You went out with your mommy to buy new clothes, and you were so so so happy. You sing to me, too. You have the most beautiful voice in the whole wide world. When you sing is when I’m happiest. And you talk to me, and I feel safe. So safe. You just wait and see, Mommy. When I am born I will be perfect just for you. I will make you proud, and I will love you with all of my heart.
I can move my hands and feet now, Mommy. I do it because you put your hands on your belly to feel me, and I giggle. You giggle, too. I love you, Mommy. Daddy came to see you today, Mommy. I got really scared. He was acting funny and he wasn’t talking right. He said he didn’t want you. I don’t know why, but that’s what he said. And he hit you again. I got angry, Mommy. When I grow up I promise I won’t let you get hurt! I promise to protect you. Daddy is bad. I don’t care if you think that he is a good person, I think he’s bad. But he hit you, and he said he didn’t want us. He doesn’t like me. Why doesn’t he like me, Mommy? You didn’t talk to me tonight, … Mommy. Is everything okay? It’s been three days since you saw Daddy. You haven’t talked to me or touched me or anything since that. Don’t you still love me, Mommy? I still love you. I think you feel sad. The only time I feel you is when you sleep. You sleep funny, kind of curled up on your side. And you hug me with your arms, and I feel safe and warm again. Why don’t you do that when you’re awake, any more? I’m 21 weeks old today, Mommy. Aren’t you proud of me? We’re going somewhere today, and it’s somewhere new. I’m excited. It looks like a hospital, too. I want to be a doctor when I grow up, Mommy. Did I tell you that? I hope you’re as excited as I am. I can’t wait. … Mommy, I’m getting scared. Your heart is still beating, but I don’t know what you are thinking. The doctor is talking to you. I think something’s going to happen soon. I’m really, really, really scared, Mommy. Please tell me you love me. Then I will feel safe again. I love you! Mommy, what are they doing to me!? It hurts! Please make them stop! It feels bad! Please, Mommy, please please help me! Make them stop!
Don’t worry Mommy, I’m safe.I’m in heaven with the angels now. They told me what you did, and they said it’s called an abortion. Why, Mommy? Why did you do it? Don’t you love me any more? Why did you get rid of me? I’m really, really, really sorry if I did something wrong, Mommy. I love you, Mommy! I love you with all of my heart. Why don’t you love me? What did I do to deserve what they did to me? I want to live, Mommy! Please! It really, really hurts to see you not care about me, and not talk to me. Didn’t I love you enough? Please say you’ll keep me, Mommy! I want to live smile and watch the clouds and see your face and grow up and be a doctor. I don’t want to be here, I want you to love me again! I’m really really really sorry if I did something wrong. I love you! I love you, Mommy. Every abortion is just… One more heart that was stopped. Two more eyes that will never see. Two more hands that will never touch. Two more legs that will never run. One more mouth that will never speak.

So…How do you feel about abortion now?

Pro-Life or Pro-Choice?

Pro Life

To say that someone is “pro-life” is to say that the person believes  in advocating full legal protection of embryos and fetuses (especially opposing the legalization of induced abortions.

The   preborn child has a heartbeat by the end of the third week.

Nobody   has an unconstrained right to autonomy. We require parents to use their   bodies to care for their children. This responsibility lasts for 18   years.

Pro Choice

To be “pro-choice” on abortion is to believe in advocating a woman’s right to control her own body (especially her right to an induced abortion).

The   preborn child doesn’t have enough size, ability to feel pain,   viability, self-awareness, etc. to be granted rights of personhood.

If a woman is pregnant by rape, compassion demands that she be allowed to abort.

Understood? Pro-life means no to abortion. Pro-choice means yes to abortion.

Really? Is this what we want young girls to think? ‘Oh Abortions are fine. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with disrupting the body’s natural processes by uprooting a living organism from your womb.’ Of all the naïve, brainless things I’ve heard…this girl probably tops the list. If you have never seen an actual abortion procedure then you may very well agree that it’s the mother’s choice what she wants to do with her body. But once you decide to have sex, despite using protection there is always a chance the you will conceive. I think once you decide to start having sex you must consider that fact and you need to constantly be thinking about the future.

Girls: I’m ready to have sex…am I ready to be a mom should I get pregnant?

Boys: Am I prepared to be a father should the girl I’m having sex with gets pregnant?

Clearly it couldn’t be more simple.

Of course the argument to that would be, what if the girl was RAPED?

A rape of a young girl in 1938 by British soldiers led to one of the first well-known abortions by a doctor (Mr. Aleck Bourne) on the grounds of mental health. At the trial he was acquitted and established the grounds for rape to be one of the fundamental grounds on the UK 1967 abortion act.

Understandably, there’s a stigma attached to bringing a child conceived through rape into the world.

 It may be argued that any CHILD born of rape may suffer extreme TRAUMA of learning their origins.

A lot of women would say that they would not go through with the pregnancy because a rape a is an evil and traumatising act (and I agree it is).

But isn’t life is precious and what about the life of baby? The foetus itself doesn’t have any malevolent intentions. If anyone is to blame it’s the rapist and not the innocent foetus that was created through an act of terror.

America Moral Philosopher, Judith Javis Thomson’s  argument (1971) justified ‘a woman who is pregnant through rape having an abortion primarily on the grounds of ownership rights over her body. This view was subject of much controversy and strongly followed the common feminist view at that time.

Some of her justifications include:

Self-defence – the strain on her body justifies the killing of the child e.g if the woman is old or has already had many children.

 Ownership – the body belongs to the woman so she can remove the child whenever she wants to. This follows the view that the child is part of the woman because it is inside her and that a woman wouldn’t have a problem removing a toenail if it was causing her emotional pain thus, she can remove the child if it is also causing her distress.

Order of Rights – The possible rights of the foetus are acknowledged but these are seen to be of less importance than the Mother during pregnancy. This view is of much controversy by Christians and Roman Catholics; we are all important in God’s eyes so how can one person be more important than another regardless of age.

Consent – The child has no rights to inhabit the woman’s body unless she wants the child to be there. This again follows the view of ownership, which was outlined above.

Now let’s look at some other reasons why a mother might opt to have an abortion:

– not being financially able
– wanting to avoid the shame of  being pregnant
– too many children to handle another one
– too young
– will ruin education and career

It can be argued  that a woman cannot be expected to bring up a child unless she wishes to, but her rights DO NOT INCLUDE TAKING AN INNOCENT LIFE. She may have to go through the pain of pregnancy but could give the child up for  adoption.
Abortion causes psychological damage and the guilt caused by killing the baby adds to the trauma of rape therefore I view the justifications for abortion as selfish and only consider the woman and her social status. Love doesn’t cost a thing. All a child needs to know is that he or she is loved. They say the best things in life are free and you don’t need to have it all to have it all.  Who cares what other people think about you if they see you with a pregnant belly?? Now is not the time to feel self-conscious! That fetus is a human being.

If a pregnant woman is killed and the baby dies, the murderer is convicted of two counts of murder. How can we say that abortion is not murder?

Are you Pro-life or Pro- Choice?

The TeenMom Phenomenon

middle_school_pregnant_teens
Photocredit:raising2tweens.wordpress.com

It’s rather interesting the rate at which young ladies are having babies. It’s frightening really.

In the past young girls were ostracized when it had been found out that they had sex out-of-wedlock and even worse if they got pregnant. Some were disowned by friends and family and in most cases the father denied his role or refused to take responsibility.

A 2002 US study shows the decline in teenage pregnancy however since the advent of hit MTV shows “16 and pregnant” and “Teen Mom” , new studies indicate that although the shows have highlighted the issues, the message seems a bit vague. There  are mixed reviews about the validity of MTV’s stance on the topic of teen pregnancy with a lot of people who seem to think that they are glamorizing it. One consensus is that teens who watch the show will have the idea pregnancy at a young age is no big deal because the stars of the shows ended up fine so they will too.

MTV’s agenda for “Teen Mom” is to inform/ educate youths about the trials and adversities of being “16 and Pregnant”. A perusal of the site reads a little differently:

In 16 and Pregnant, they were moms-to-be. Now, follow Farrah, Maci, Amber, and Catelynn as they face the challenges of their first year of motherhood. Each episode interweaves these stories revealing the wide variety of challenges young mothers can face: marriage, relationships, family support, adoption, finances, graduating high school, starting college, getting a job, and the daunting and exciting step of moving out to create their own families…

It sounds like the recipe for a soap opera.

When I first started this post, my aim was not really to go into whether or not MTV has had an impact on the social issue of teen pregnancy but rather to question Why? With all the info out there we still find statistics that suggest teens are not learning from the misfortunes of others. They are not making use of the info available to them.  In my community alone, I can say every household has a teen mom. Girls, who went to school, got educated and have knowledge of the trials and still venture into the realm of sexual activity without protection.

Teenaged Pregnancy: The New Norm…?

My aim also for this post was to highlight the fact that a lot of girls are not ready to be mothers and cannot cope with the mothering process. So instead of probably putting the child up for adoption we hear heartbreaking stories of abortions, children being abandoned or ill-treated by the one the call mom.

What do you think? Are  shows like “16 and pregnant” and “Teen Mom”  really sensitizing teen girls to the harsh realities of this social issue or are they just  normalizing and glamorizing it?