6 Ways To Raise A Rebel Or Future Woman Leader - Forbes

Lisa-Marie is a friend, a former expat in the Bahamas, who was one of our most dedicated volunteers at Shakespeare in Paradise, the woman who got our Facebook page to log more than 1000 likes, an entrepreneur and a woman with boundless energy to give. She's been published on Forbes.com. Not too shabby. And the article is worth reading, so go read it.

Once upon a time you went to school, did exactly what your teachers told you, memorized a lot of information, learned how to equate algebraically (which you never did again). You conformed. You dressed like everyone else, got good grades, studied for your SAT so that you could get a good score, so that you could get in to a good University, so that you could get a good job, so that you could dress like everyone else, so that you could conform, so that you could end up being exactly who were told you were supposed to be. So that you could work for someone else who won’t give a damn about you, so you could do exactly as you were told, so you could earn good money… so you could get laid off. So you could rail against authority, question the status quo, reject conformity and search for your own unique identity.

6 Ways To Raise A Rebel Or Future Woman Leader -Lisa-Marie Cabrelli @ Forbes.

International Women's Day

International Women's Day has been observed since in the early 1900's, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.


IWD is now an official holiday in China, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother's Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

About International Women's Day.

What did you do today?

Womanish Words: Teach the Children Well

Hear, hear, Lynn.

It upsets me when I hear the little children I know and love speaking in the the racist/religious/hateful language of the local Bahamian press/the moneyed elite/the generally ignorant. There are probably more than a million orphan children struggling to get through the day today in Haiti. It is natural for children to want to help. That natural inclination in our children is at risk. It is hard to hear a child you love speaking about Haiti with no compassion, no natural wanting to help. We Bahamians who enjoy wealth and privilege (and that means anyone not in Port au Prince right now with time and ways enough to read this blog) must wake up and face the fact that we were mis-educated when it comes to Haiti, stop defending the ignorance and selfishness and get on with doing some reading, some learning, some changing and transforming, and some GIVING. Because our innocent children are watching. Teach the children well.via Womanish Words: Teach the Children Well.

Noelle Nicolls - Way cool blog

I recently discovered noellenicolls.com, yet another blog by a conscious young Bahamian woman. I was drawn to it by this, a travelogue of one women trailing the length of a Bahamian island. It didn't hurt that the island was one I know better than most -- Long Island -- but what kept me was the blog itself. Here's now it's described:

Discover the world inside my head on the pages of this prayer book, in the love letters to my Man of Steele. Prayer Book is my 'politics' blog that examines the thoughts and questions I have of myself, of God, and the world. Steele Chronicles are stories about the late great R. Kirk Steele. Travelogues are tales of my adventures around the world. Reading Room is a taste of the mind candy I ingest from the world's wordsmiths.

And here's where the inspiration came from:

The inspiration from for the original Creative Extremes, which was intended to be a current affairs blog, came from Martin Luther King Jr's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail".

I recommend it. Go have a read, and sink right in.

Came across this while searching for something else

And it's worth another visit, and another.


Shout-Out to Eemanee & Long Bench

Hypocrisy & HIV in the Caribbean (Eemanee)

Responses to HIV in the Caribbean are hampered by an entrenched hypocrisy, homophobia and false trotting out of “christian” values when convenient. meanwhile people continue to have sex, all kinds of sex, a lot of it unsafe.We feel free to talk around sex, to joke about sex, to sing about sex, to simulate sex, to have sex but we refuse to really talk about it- to talk about power and pleasure and vulnerability. So JFLAG, the Caribbean’s most progressive gay rights group, has been blocked from attending a UN meeting on HIV/AIDS and Jamaica’s poster girl for the Ministry of Health’s HIV education programme has been fired for getting pregnant! The heads continue to suffocate in the sand!As part of my job, i accompanied a group of young people all between 14 and 17 at an HIV Education workshop. Before the facilitators could begin one girl inquired loudly whether or not condoms would be distributed.“No!”“Well, how yuh supposed to protect yuhself without condoms?”“That’s what we’re going to teach you today.”

 When Women Violate The 5 Commandments (Long Bench) 

I’ve been thinking about sex a lot these days. And I’ve come up with the 5 Commandments that women are asked to follow here in Jamaica:1. Have as much sex as you want.2. Hide what you are doing at all costs.3. Tell one ‘hole ‘eap a lie when yuh buck yuh toe an mek dem see seh yuh fall dung.4. Expect all k’i'na fiyah fi bun fi yuh when backra fine out.5. Lie dung an beg fi mercy like sey yuh a ‘ungry belly mongrel dog.And those of us who, for all kinds of reasons, decide not to abide by all of these commandments - well, a pyere problems, yes? Kwame Dawes just wrote a really insightful piece in the Washington Post about Annesha Taylor, who was the poster girl for the Ministry of Health’s public education campaign about HIV/AIDS. Just like Sara Lawrence, the Miss Jamaica World 2006 who was the target of public scorn and hypocrisy when she disclosed that she was pregnant last year, Annesha was immediately disappeared by MOH when she disclosed that she too was bearing a child.


Tim Wise: Your Whiteness is Showing

Tim Wise: Your Whiteness is ShowingI'm sure that others have linked to this before me, and I'm coming late to the party, but --it's fun.And rings true.See for yourself.

This is an open letter to those white women who, despite their proclamations of progressivism, and supposedly because of their commitment to feminism, are threatening to withhold support from Barack Obama in November. You know who you are.***First, for those of you threatening to actually vote for John McCain and to oppose Senator Obama, or to stay home in November and thereby increase the likelihood of McCain winning and Obama losing (despite the fact that the latter's policy platform is virtually identical to Clinton's while the former's clearly is not), all the while claiming to be standing up for women...For those threatening to vote for John McCain or to stay home and increase the odds of his winning (despite the fact that he once called his wife the c-word in public and is a staunch opponent of reproductive freedom and gender equity initiatives, such as comparable worth legislation), all the while claiming to be standing up for women...For those threatening to vote for John McCain or to stay home and help ensure Barack Obama's defeat, as a way to protest what you call Obama's sexism (examples of which you seem to have difficulty coming up with), all the while claiming to be standing up for women...Your whiteness is showing.

Go.  Read.  Laugh.  Think.

Womanish Words: Amnesty International Report 08

Womanish Words: Amnesty International Report 08Lynn Sweeting reviews Amnesty's 2008 report.What's most interesting, and relevant, is this part of her post:

But here is the biggest shocker of all:"The Bahamas has the highest rate of reported rapes in the world, according to a joint report issued in March by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the Latin America and the Caribbean region of the World Bank."This horrific fact means to me that our Bahamian goverment is the most failed of all the world's governments when it comes to stopping the violence.

This fact makes me stop and think -- as it should make all of us.  Lynn, after all, has already commented on my post about trees. She said:

You’re experiencing the continuing rape of the feminine divine, as are we all, by the patriarchy and it’s misogynist god, in my humble, eco-Wiccan, womanish opinion. it is no coincidence that a country number one in the world for reported rapes is also the place where all the woodland is vanishing.

But there is one small ray of hope here. Note that the Amnesty Report refers to the highest rape of reported rapes. While rapes are clearly high here in The Bahamas, can we really assume that we are that different from the rest of the world?  Surely the reporting of the rapes shows us something else, something equally powerful -- that our women are resisting the violence, and are reporting and talking about the rapes?  Is that not something to highlight as well?  Agency is as important as victimization, to my mind.Which isn't to say we need to address the issue.  But it's to add another perspective to an already complex situation.

The Gaulin Wife

The Gaulin Wife - Helen Klonaris' blogLynn Sweeting sent me this link today, and it's with much pride that I announce it here.  I'm not always so excited about new blogs, but I know Helen, I know her work, and I encourage everybody who's interested in thinking differently about ourselves as Bahamians take the time to visit -- specially if you're interested in culture, writing, or identity.Here's an excerpt from what she's thinking:

When individuals step out of line, or cross the line between status quo and the unknown, into the dangerous and wild places of the imagination, we tell them first they are abominations; we tell them they are of the devil. We threaten them with spiritual warfare, eternal damnation and the like. When that doesn't work, when those individuals do not cower in fear for their souls, we send in backup: the physical forces of domination, in this case, the Royal Bahamian Police Force.

From "Poetry Under Investigation" - Helen Klonaris

Goodbye, Benazir

Global Voices Online » The assassination of Benazir BhuttoThe assassination of Benazir Bhutto day before yesterday has the global blogworld talking.I haven't added my voice yet because I honestly don't know what to say. For now, then, I'll simply post links to some of the various coverage of the event; the above link is from Global Voices, which gives a good aggregate of some of the discussion.Some comments:

Taking the issue forward, some blogs are discussing the legacy of Benazir Bhutto, the future for Pakistan and the likely suspects who ordered the assassination, even as the Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility.Red Diary discusses why Bhutto was a target, and the resulting riots.
The strong possibility of the rise of a secularist Benazir into power made her a mortal threat for those in the State who harbored sympathy for Islamic Fundamentalists, with whom the notorious intelligence agencies, such as the ISI, were closely knitted since the Cold War and the Afghan War. Benazir Bhutto become a symbol of resistance against Islamic Extremists - both residing inside and outside the State. She stood secularism and modernity against militant retrogressive and conservative trends.


Global Voices, Why Bhutto, and What Now for Pakistan?


Some other perspectives have also emerged, looking at Bhutto both as a possible leader and a mover in international politics. Counter Terrorism Blog says
She was someone who the U.S. could actually work with to seek a way forward for Pakistan in light of the profound challenges posed by religious intolerance and political extremism, the drug trade, governmental institutions that do not provide essential services in many areas of the country, and Pakistan's troubled relationships with of its immediate neighbors -- Afghanistan, India, and Iran.Her faults were also profound, as the well-documented grand corruption cases brought against her and her husband attest. She did indeed treat her country like it was a family-owned business, with corrosive results. These includied her removal from power in 1990 and again in 1996 as the corruption both weakened her politically and played a significant role in her inability to deliver the reforms needed to make Pakistan's government responsive to the needs of its people

The Moderate Voice has a bio on Benazir Bhutto, including information on her father who was also the Prime Minister of Pakistan, and was sentenced to death in the 70s for charges similar to the ones Benazir faced much later.

Global Voices: Bhutto's Death and Impending Elections

I will, however be back. Events like these -- and, on a smaller scale, the murders and subsequent hue and cry closer to home -- make one think that chaos is vanquishing order around the world. But is it?

Yet another update - hope springs

Dear Sista, I hope this letter finds you alright. I wonder if you realize that when you bravely told your story to us, you were waking up the world.Officials of the Royal Bahamas Police Force Training College heard you tell of your ordeal and they are responding brilliantly, they are taking proactive and positive measures now to make sensitivity to domestic violence issues a much greater part of their training. They heard your voice and want you to know that the policemen who arrested and detained you without allowing you to dress should never have done such a thing. The Good Guys of the Police Force heard you sista, and want to make it right.

It's easy enough to criticize.  Finding fault is not just something that can happen without a huge amount of effort; it's also often something that helps people with low self-esteem make themselves feel better.  And so it's heartening to follow Lynn Sweeting's letters to the woman whose experience at the hands of the Bahamian police, and see that she's telling every side of the story.This is her third letter, posted on her blog.  In her second, she expressed hope that the woman's story would make a difference, would galvanize the police force to act.  In this one, she's commending the Royal Bahamas Police Force for their action.It's also a letter of encouragement to support somebody who took the hard road — the telling of her story.Anyway, here's what Lynn said.

Lynn posts an update

Last week, Lynn Sweeting posted an update on the status of the case involving the police who took a woman in custody without permitting her to put on any clothes:Calling the Commissioner

Because you are speaking out, Commissioner Farquarson is speaking too. He said: “I want to assure all women that there must be common decency for all persons we arrest, and especially for women. Women must be treated with respect and care and with the utmost professionalism. And common decency for women is what I want share with the junior officers too, as part of their training to make sure that we do not have a recurrence.”

Being a Bahamian Woman

I'm catching up on my blog-reading, today, and I come across this post by Lynn Sweeting.I'm not going to say too much about it. Lynn's writing is powerful enough to speak for itself. But it's a story that has to be shared, one that has to be told, and one that can't be ignored.Here's the beginning:

Dear Sista,Four silent weeks have passed since that day you were so horribly victimized by the officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, three since we sat down and talked about it. You told me the entire story, how they barged in that Sunday morning and took you away in nothing but a towel, and kept you there at the station naked for four nightmarish hours, in the public waiting area, handcuffed, breasts exposed, having nothing at all on but a small towel over your lap. You told me how that unknown mother spoke up for you, demanding of the four policemen on duty to allow you to put something on and how they ignored her. By that time, you said, you had gone into shock.

Do you care? Then read the rest.