Amazing, Blogging, PostADay2011

Meaningless Virtual Encounters or Life in the Spirtual Universe?

Gay Guru: Michael Brewer

My but the Internet is a wonderful and vast creation. Here we have another dimension, where all things are possible. What you get out of the Internet depends largely on what you do with it, where you visit, how you interact.

I’ve encountered many amazing people on the web, maintained acquaintances that have lasted years even though we’ve never met. Met people who I’ve later met face-to-face, reconnected with people I thought I’d never see again (and some I’d rather never see again!)

One person I’ve met here is Gay Guru Michael Brewer. I first met him through the YouTube Video that appears in this post. Then one day – how many years later? – we linked up on Facebook. Before that, he was just another YouTube Guru who had touched my life. Since then, I’ve shared private chats with him on Facebook, bantered in wall posts, even received calendars in the post at Christmas time: Michael’s photography – pictures of his garden in Switzerland and European adventures.

Recently I was reminded of the Ho’oponopono Prayer’s power and went looking for this video and couldn’t find it. Posted a message on Michael’s Facebook wall and within seconds had a link. It’s a fun little reminder that we can let go of accumulated baggage and move forward.

If you don’t want to do the long form of the prayer, you can do the short version:

I love you
I’m sorry
Please forgive me
Thank you.

It’s a healing prayer you can use whenever you’re stressed or angry, anxious or hurt. Simply hold in your mind’s eye an image of the person who has upset you and say the prayer. Repeat until your anger melts.

How come you are asking the person who has upset you to forgive you, and not the other way round?

In very basic layman’s terms, the idea is that something in you has triggered something in them, that in turn has caused the situation that has created your emotional/mental state. By asking them for forgiveness, it melts. Next time you start nursing a grudge, or feeling anxious about something, try it.

You can even use it on yourself! After all, we’re often our own worst enemy, creating all sorts of mental dramas about our interactions with people. Ask yourself for forgiveness. You never know, it might just change your life!

I wonder what would happen if we used it to gang up on the bankers?

Alison Boston, Feminism, Politics, PostADay2011, Previously Published Writing, Use of Language, Writing

Time for 21st century speak! Use ‘they’ as a singular pronoun.

Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux
Lord Brougham: one of the men responsible for women being denied the right to vote. Read more about it in today's post. Image via Wikipedia.
Here’s the rest of that essay as promised yesterday!

We are not being pernicious bitch feminists when we ask you to use ‘they’ rather than ‘he’, we ask you to use ‘they’ because it includes women and girls as equals.

Language shapes identity and sociocultural mores.  Girls need to grow up knowing they are equal, and having that affirmed in the language they hear and read.  It also helps boys grow up recognizing girls as their equal.

Language is just the tip of the iceburg, women are still grossly under and mis-represented in all aspects of media, and those are the images that shape the identity of little girls and boys.

I first wrote this article as a submission for a new women’s glossy that was being published in Ottawa.  It was rejected – by the female editor – as ‘not suitable’ for her publishing guidelines.  I then took it to the Ottawa Citizen and when I asked the editor why he accepted it for publication, he said:

“You changed my opinion.”

I hope it changes yours!

The Rise and Fall of the Generic Masculine

copyright Alison Boston
first published in the Ottawa Citizen, February 14, 1987, page B3 (the ed asked me to wear my glasses for the pic!  Stereotyping or what?)
Click on image to read.

Pierre Burton resigned from the jury selecting the museum’s new name, saying it was a ‘silly’ exercise.

“Museum of Man is a perfectly good name,”

he huffed.

Liberal senator Louis Robichaud said there was no need to change the name to make it non-sexist because:

“…woman is a man with a womb.”

Hence a sentence such as “everyone bought their ticket” was said to be grammatically incorrect, while “everyone bought his ticket” was considered correct (even though it negated the possible presence of half the human race.)

Click on image to read.

By 1850 the diminished status of women was so thoroughly entrenched in the English language that the British Parliament adopted the use of the generic masculine through Lord Brougham‘s Act.  …instead of doing what the act stated, judges looked at the context of the generic masculine to decide whether or not it was meant to include females.

Perhaps the most dramatic example of this occurred when women claimed the right to vote.

…it was argued, …by the judges who presided, that in this instance the word “man” couldn’t possibly be meant to include women.

Click on image to read.

We cannot take the masculine out of words like “man”, “he”, or “him” – nor do we want to.  We do, however, want our rightful place, a place of equality, reflected in our language.”

Are you up for it?

Speak it!

Write it!

Insist on it!