Igualdad de género (Continuación)

Last week, Pope Francis loosed a media tsunami by dropping a pebble of sanity into an ocean of religious angst. “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?” he told reporters on the flight back to Rome after his trip to Brazil.

What did it mean? Was he changing church teaching? And how might it affect 1.2 billion Roman Catholics worldwide?

Hundreds of news stories and thousands of blogs, tweets and commentaries later, most observers heard in Francis’ statement a proposal to end to his predecessor’s hard line on homosexuality. Pope Benedict XVI had barred men with “deep-seated homosexual” tendencies from seminaries, calling homosexuality an “objective disorder.” But Francis said gays who sought to live faithfully — that is, celibate — were not to be judged or excluded from the church.…  Seguir leyendo »

Nearly 1,000 girls participated in the Boy Scouts of America’s first co-ed National Jamboree last month . Each of those girls should have the opportunity to become an official Boy Scout.

The girls at the Jamboree came from the Boy Scouts’ Venture program, which trains male and female members to, among other things, camp, canoe and backpack. I accompanied a Venture crew through the Philmont Scout Ranchin New Mexico several years ago — as a Boy Scout — and noted that the girls who participated succeeded as well as the boys in every regard. Unlike Scouts, however, Venture crews do not organize charity events or lead troop activities, and they are not eligible to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.…  Seguir leyendo »

When Pope Francis gave his now-famous, 80-minute interview on the plane back to Rome from Brazil, he was asked, not surprisingly, about the role of women in the Roman Catholic Church. He said that John Paul II had “closed the door” to the possibility of women priests, but he affirmed that the church lacked “a deep theology of women.” His comments conveyed a deep respect for women.

Whatever Francis’ own virtues, however, the church will continue to be accused of sexual discrimination, especially by many Americans and Europeans, as long as it denies the priesthood to women.

No matter what efforts Pope Francis makes with respect to women, if he refuses to move the ordination question forward, many, including Catholics, will consider his efforts toward women as insufficient or even hypocritical.…  Seguir leyendo »

Afghanistan cannot be expected to be a stable and contributing member of the international community when Afghan women are generally denied early and lifelong educational opportunities, are largely unable to work, and in some parts of the country suffer far worse.

While this is a very easy claim to make, fundamentally improving the rights women have and creating the institutions to support those rights is much more difficult to implement given the current on-the-ground realities.

Allowing an 8-year-old to marry, as often happens in Afghanistan, isn’t driven by some bizarre desire to give away one’s children. In the absence of viable choices, families tend to stay with the comfortable and the accepted — no matter how horrific and foreign those decisions may seem to outsiders.…  Seguir leyendo »

Dear Adnan Rasheed,

I am writing to you in my personal capacity. This may not be the opinion of the people of Pakistan or the policy of the government, but I write to thank you in response to the generous letter you have written to Malala Yousafzai. Thanks for owning up that your comrades tried to kill her by shooting her in the head. Many of your well-wishers in Pakistan had been claiming the Taliban wouldn’t attack a minor girl. They were of the opinion that Malala had shot herself in order to become a celebrity and get a UK visa.…  Seguir leyendo »

De los “12 novelistas con grandes perspectivas” que anunciaba hace poco en portada un influyente suplemento literario (El Cultural, 17-5-13), cinco eran mujeres: 42%. En cambio, el más alto premio literario en lengua castellana, el Cervantes, se ha concedido solo a tres autoras, un 8% del total. ¿Cómo explicar esta disparidad? Muy fácil, pensarán ustedes. En el pasado no había escritoras, o apenas, por eso no figuran en el canon presente (la nómina del Cervantes, los libros de texto de la ESO, las colecciones de clásicos). Ahora, en cambio, sí las hay: lo que nos muestra El Cultural es una generación igualitaria, e igualitario, por tanto, será el canon del futuro… Es una explicación simple y reconfortante, con la ventaja añadida de que no exige acción alguna: basta esperar, pues “es cuestión de tiempo”… Solo tiene un pequeño inconveniente: no es verdad.…  Seguir leyendo »

The fastest way to lance a country’s anxieties about women and power is to appoint a female leader. For the three years and three days that Julia Gillard was prime minister of Australia, we debated the fit of her jackets, the size of her bottom, the exposure of her cleavage, the cut of her hair, the tone of her voice, the legitimacy of her rule and whether she had chosen, as one member of Parliament from the opposition Liberal Party put it, to be “deliberately barren.”

The sexism was visceral and often grotesque.

There were placards crying “Ditch the Witch,” toys designed for dogs that encouraged them to chew on the fleshier parts of her anatomy, and, most recently, a menu offering “Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail — small breasts, huge thighs and a big red box.” By the end of her term, on June 27, the prime minister struggled to be heard above the sexist ridicule.…  Seguir leyendo »

Two of Saudi Arabia’s leading activists for women’s rights were recently sentenced to 10 months in prison — after which they will have their passports withdrawn for two years — for trying to take food to a battered spouse who had been locked in her home with her three young children without provisions. This vindictive, trumped-up case is a symptom of the kingdom’s regression on human rights. Several monarchies in the Persian Gulf have reacted to the Arab Spring by tightening their grip.

In the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, perhaps under the impetus of the shock of that event, Saudi Arabia experienced small but perceptible measures of liberalization.…  Seguir leyendo »

Read the media coverage of the Taliban’s office in Qatar, and you could be forgiven for assuming that this is the first time that the group had entered diplomatic talks. Of course some of the features here are new: the luxurious office building, the raising of the flag and so on.

But if you look more closely at the nature of the talks, nothing has really changed. The US and its allies were already in contact with the Taliban before the opening of the office, the Pakistani establishment is still playing an important role, and the Afghan government’s commitment still keeps on wavering.…  Seguir leyendo »

Extraordinaire Amina, dont l’acte pose avec éloquence les questions qui comptent. D’avoir diffusé son image aux seins nus où rôde le spectre islamiste nous met face aux enjeux qui orientent le destin d’une société. Amina a explicité sa mise en scène en inscrivant sur son corps les mots qui justifient son geste. Elle a écrit en arabe sur sa poitrine et ses seins: «Ce corps m’appartient, il n’est l’honneur de personne.» Son acte se réclame de l’habeas corpus/«Sois maître de ton corps». Amina propose une énonciation qui avalise l’énoncé du droit fondamental à disposer de son corps. L’opération engage le sujet et fait émerger l’individu par l’usage du pronom de la première personne.…  Seguir leyendo »

Groupe féministe basé en Ukraine, une république ex-soviétique, les Femen se sont fait connaître depuis quelques années par des actions provocatrices de grande ampleur et une stratégie systématique de confrontation.

L’une de leurs pratiques emblématiques consiste à manifester seins nus afin d’affirmer que leur corps n’est pas un instrument au service d’une société patriarcale, mais qu’il leur appartient. Le corps des femmes étant instrumentalisé en permanence par les hommes et les médias, leurs manifestations sont une façon de se réapproprier le corps féminin comme symbole de résistance contre la société patriarcale. […]

Certains milieux féministes approuvent cette logique, mais je n’entends pas discuter ici des tactiques féministes.…  Seguir leyendo »

Comme tous les gestes de rébellion solitaire, inquiétants pour la société parce qu’ils touchent à la puissance tacite des bienséances, et dont la souffrance intime brille d’un sens qui n’est visible que pour son auteur, quand il pense obéir à une voix impérieuse pour le salut de tous, le cas d’Amina a plongé les Tunisiens, des plus conservateurs aux plus libéraux, dans les contradictions confuses de leur Révolution.

La plupart condamnent son acte pour protéger la frontière instinctive de leur normalité, que les vieux usages ont tracée ; d’autres le vivent dans le tourment d’une philosophie qui a brisé le devoir d’obéissance, mais non les tabous traditionnels qu’une jeune fille intrépide a l’audace de transgresser, avançant seule sur un chemin terrible où elle endure les conséquences d’une offense aux bonne mœurs et à l’ordre moral.…  Seguir leyendo »

Cada vez con más frecuencia surgen voces que escandalizan a las feministas recalcitrantes cuestionando el postulado de que hombres y mujeres somos iguales. E incluso van más allá y se atreven a poner en entredicho la mismísima Biblia del feminismo. Me refiero a El segundo sexo, célebre libro de Simone de Beauvoir, en el que decía más o menos que nosotras no nacemos mujeres, sino que llegamos a serlo. Es decir que la diferencia entre unas y otros es solo cultural, no de otra índole, y que el comportamiento femenino está condicionado por lo que se espera y desea de nosotras.…  Seguir leyendo »

Lately, a stream of rosy media accounts has been telling the world to look to China as a model of gender equality in the workplace. “China Dominates List of Female Billionaires” and “Women in China: the Sky’s the Limit” are some recent examples from the international press.

But the cascade of optimistic portraits detracts from what is really happening to women in China’s fast-growing urban work force. They are losing ground fast.

The 2010 census put the percentage of working-age women in the work force at 74. The figure stacks up well against other countries such as the United States and Australia, where about 75 percent of working-age women were employed in 2010.…  Seguir leyendo »

Resulta disparatado que me dedique a pontificar apoyado en lo que siento sin saber «de la misa la media». Pero es que casi nadie enseña y confiesa lo que le sale de dentro, cuando a mi alma, ya de vuelta, le encanta soltar lo que piensa.

Así que insisto sobre el desnudo de cuyo destape ya prediqué. Está claro que el deseo erótico invade al hombre si le gusta lo que ve; que la sugerencia atisbada de un torso femenino anima a la imaginación, y, con ella, a la acción; que el descaro impúdico puede, en vez, constreñir, incluso apagar, la pasión; que la alegría facial, respuesta de ella al piropo, al halago, a la súbita admiración encandila más, mucho más, que la palabra; y que el pudor real es un tesoro memorable que tristemente ha pasado a la historia.…  Seguir leyendo »

The first time I viewed an al Qaeda recruitment video, I squinted at a scratchy black blob shimmying across the screen. It took a moment to recognize this was an amateur effort to obliterate the image of a woman from a clip of a politician’s visit to Saudi Arabia. The blob was evidently his wife. I wondered at the time it must have taken to erase her from every frame. Of all the rapid-fire images of death and destruction in the video, I found this one the most chilling.

That same feeling surfaced in the days after Seal Team Six killed Osama bin Laden two years ago.…  Seguir leyendo »

In 2012 the American people sent a message. They elected more women than ever to Congress, shattering glass ceilings across the nation and making it clear that this is a country that is ready for women’s leadership.

It’s happening because voters know female leaders have the right priorities. They’ve fought for policies like the Violence Against Women Act and equal pay for equal work. Female leaders are the reason we have laws that ended gender discrimination in education.

But even though we know women’s leadership has helped create so much progress, there is still a “men only” sign on the door to the Oval Office.…  Seguir leyendo »

Estamos muy lejos de conseguir la igualdad entre hombres y mujeres. Y con la crisis, la brecha se ha agrandado. Quizás no para una élite de mujeres excepcionales por su inteligencia, talento o posibilidades económicas, pero sí para la gran mayoría.

Formo alumnos de Comunicación Audiovisual. Este año el 70% son alumnas, sacan mejores notas y son más disciplinadas. ¿Por qué la presencia femenina se evapora después en el mundo profesional, especialmente en los puestos directivos? El problema empieza en la infancia. Soñamos como ellos pero, a medida que crecemos, nuestras expectativas pierden fuelle. Aprendemos del mundo a través de la familia y los amigos pero, sobre todo, a través de la televisión y el cine.…  Seguir leyendo »

Elsa Walsh is the author of “Divided Lives: The Public and Private Struggles of Three American Women.” She is a former Washington Post reporter and New Yorker staff writer. This essay is adapted from a speech she delivered at St. Mary’s College of Maryland on April 5.

In my years as a journalist, I have written and spoken a great deal about women’s lives and struggles, and wrote a book about the conflicts facing successful female professionals. But today, 16 years into life as a working mother and 23 years into a marriage, I’ve come to question many of the truths I once held dear.…  Seguir leyendo »

After serving as a Roman Catholic priest for 40 years, I was expelled from the priesthood last November because of my public support for the ordination of women.

Catholic priests say that the call to be a priest comes from God. As a young priest, I began to ask myself and my fellow priests: “Who are we, as men, to say that our call from God is authentic, but God’s call to women is not?” Isn’t our all-powerful God, who created the cosmos, capable of empowering a woman to be a priest?

Let’s face it. The problem is not with God, but with an all-male clerical culture that views women as lesser than men.…  Seguir leyendo »