A gentleman’s guide to rape culture

As I was reading this post, I almost said not, am not part of this culture then it dawned on me that in India not so long ago, a minister said sometimes it is right, sometimes it is wrong  and another continued to say that rape can only be said to have been committed if it is reported to the police! How do we treat each other?

How in the name of all that is reasonable should a violation on another’s will be treated with such callousness? How can we claim to be a civilized lot if we treat our fellows, men and women in this manner and especially the women?

Whereas I acknowledge we are animals, members of our species sometimes behave worse than beasts which they are quick to dismiss as unthinking. I have bred cows and I don’t remember anytime one cow tortured another, I have no recollection when a grown up mounted a calf, and unless my memory fails me, there was never an occasion when cows ever gathered themselves to go and attack the next group of cows for holding different belief.

Let the human animal if he has some brain use it.

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Socrates and religious persecution

To most of us, the mention of Socrates elicits either the thoughts about being a good citizen, dying a good death or the Socratic dialogues brought to us by Plato. In his apology, he asks his hearers not to consider him extravagant when he tells them the god at Delphi declared him the wisest of men. He narrates his search for a man wiser than himself and at last comes to the conclusion that the Oracle was indeed right. He concludes thus

Well, although I do not suppose that either of us knows anything really beautiful and good, I am better off than he is – for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows. I neither know nor think that I know. In this latter particular, then, I seem to have slightly the advantage of him.

There is another way of looking at the trial and subsequent sentence of Socrates, one that I guess others may have written on. I digress to mention the accusers he identified. Of the first accusers he says he can’t name them, that he will fight their shadows. They charge him as follows

Socrates is an evil-doer, and a curious person, who searches into things under the earth and in heaven, and he makes the worse appear the better cause; and he teaches the aforesaid doctrines to others.

The second class of accusers, of whom we are interested, represented by Meletus he says charge him thus

That Socrates is a doer of evil, and corrupter of the youth, and he does not believe in the gods of the state, and has other new divinities of his own.

If you haven’t noticed, Socrates’ trial was/ is a case of religious intolerance. There is no difference between the trial of Socrates and that of George William Foote tried in Britain for similar crimes in the late 19th Century.

I hope I haven’t lost you as yet. I don’t want to bore you with history, there is a case like this at present and we need your help to ensure this is the last of them.

In Saudi Arabia, a young man has been accused of atheism and spreading atheistic ideas (via the internet), and sentenced to six years in prison and 600 lashes – he appealed, and the appeals court not only maintained the conviction, but increased the sentence to 10 years and 1000 lashes.

It saddens me to hear that somewhere on this rock we inhabit, a man is not free to hold and express an honest opinion. That those who claim to worship gods seem to be as savage as they gods they worship. They worship gods who kill, or condone killing are tyrants and for whom, all honest men cannot point to one thing that heavens have has done to humanity other than being the reason is some conflicts that have led to massive loss of lives.

There is a petition to the UN that I think all of you are going to sign to abolish blasphemy laws and most of all seek the immediate release of the said young man. If gods exist and they are powerful, they can handle their shit. The question we demand to be answered is on whose authority do those who punish others for offenses deemed to have been committed against god act?  And how was this authority given them?

Let us join hands and fight this inhumane act. Let us not be silent. And in the words of pastor Martin Niemöller

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

Go ahead, sign the petition

The Tanzanian government, to me, sometimes does very outrageous things. A year or so ago, they had plans to construct a road a highway through the Serengeti National Park. This highway if constructed would cut across wildlife migratory paths from the Masai Mara in Kenya to Serengeti. The effect of this would be catastrophic to say the least and only public outcry led them to stop.

They are at it again but now not in the Serengeti. This is what they plan to do

Now the government has announced it will clear a huge swath of our land to make way for what it claims will be a wildlife corridor, but many suspect it’s just a ruse to give a foreign hunting corporation and the rich tourists it caters to easier access to shoot at majestic animals. The government claims this new arrangement is some sort of accommodation, but its effect on our people’s way of life will be disastrous. There are thousands of us who could have our lives uprooted, losing our homes, the land on which our animals graze, or both.

If we do nothing, these fine fellows will lose their grazing lands and livelihoods.

Please sign the petition here.

Stand with the Maasai