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East vs West October 17, 2005

Posted by Winter in personal political.

By Siberian Falls  

This is my first post on the mind the gap blog. It is a fact of which I am rather ashamed. After a mental wrap of the knuckles for my avoidance of having to write anything that may be compared to the other wonderful contributors to these pages, I have resolved do better on the blogging front. So until quality control gets wind of it you may expect to see more of me here.

I have just returned from spending two months in Sri Lanka. It was the first time I had been to Asia and I was traveling alone. It was a sometimes trying but an overall great experience and it made me realise, among other things, just how much we have accomplished in the West in terms of feminism and equality. I lived and studied with women who never left the house after dark, who had arranged marriages, who were forbidden to have sex before marriage and who were taught always to obey their fathers or husbands. Homosexuality carried a 12 year prison sentence. Although depressed by the above, what depressed me the most was the culture of ‘not questioning’. It just wasn’t something women, or even men, were encouraged to do. We in the West certainly have some work to do before we can claim to have achieved equality but our ability and freedom to question, criticise and analyse have become all the more precious to me.

It seems to me sometimes that the more ‘alien’ the culture we place ourselves in the more we come to understand and appreciate our own.



1. Emma - October 17, 2005

I think you make a good point about appreciating what we’ve achieved. There is so much we have to be grateful to the first and second wave women for.

2. Winter - October 17, 2005

Hurray! Well done and welcome home. That wasn’t so bad now was it? Looking forward to hearing all about the trip. While never becoming complacent, I agree that we should take time to be grateful to earlier feminists. The achievements have been incredible.

3. Melinda Casino - October 17, 2005

An excellent first post, well done.

I’m bunging it in my linkblog.

4. Naiades - October 18, 2005

Welol done, excelent first post


5. Siberian Fall - October 18, 2005

Thank you all for your kind words on my first post. I agree with Winter when she talks about the need to avoid complacency. This is particularly true when we see what appears to be the gradual withdrawl of rights in the USA. Looking back at what we have achieved isn’t only about gratitude though. To me appreciating the achievements of previous generations is also a reminder of how much we can accomplish we when put our minds to it.

6. TP - October 19, 2005

Great first post – and I admire you for going somewhere so far away on your own.

7. Naiades - October 21, 2005

L, your tagged.

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