Something sits uncomfortably with me at the moment and it has to do with the effect of polarity and the ability to compare values and actions based on increasing extremes. When extreme violence is posed at one end of the spectrum however justified everything after that can be viewed as more ‘humane’ or ‘tolerant’ and I think we should be mindful of this. When a woman is stoned to death outside a court house in Pakistan and another woman in prison is awaiting the death penalty for marrying outside her religion there is horror, outrage, but also relief. If you are a woman living in a country where this is not accepted and are not exposed to such extreme threats of violence for breaking tradition then the invitation is to be grateful. We have access to in-formation about social, cultural, religious and political landscapes on a global scale. Even if you are not living in that situation the knowing it exists shapes our existence and understanding of ‘it could be worse’ and I’m concerned about the yardstick growing and the relativistic acceptance of ‘less than death’ as progressive in terms of respect and human rights. The same goes for same sex marriage. Now legal in New Zealand but again, in other parts of the world you can be killed or jailed for being gay. Kind of makes travel arrangements for honeymoons a bit more delicate.
Of course I am outraged and bewildered that we as a species are defining ourselves through fear based beliefs that has perpetuated continued practices that contradict the idea that we are highly evolved beings. But lets not pat ourselves on the back ‘over here’ when people are living under constant threat, fear for their lives for simply being.
That awareness sits in the fabric of consciousness. Years ago, before the digital age the context of understanding was local and contained within a limited sphere of exposure to extremes. Now we can know all possibilities and I’m uncertain how to make sense of respect, freedom and safety within an awareness of expanding polarity. The world is smaller so whilst I am fairly certain I am unlikely to be stoned to death in NZ my awareness that this is happening to women in other parts of the world cannot be ignored or pushed aside easily.
There is nothing about this that deserves a witty ending. It’s just too alarming and outrageous that in the year 2014 women are being assaulted, raped and killed in brutal ways.