Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Lou Xiaoyang: March 4, 2015: Feminist Paper Doll Project 2015

Lou Xiaoyang

In 1972, Lou Xiaoyang found an abandoned infant in the rubbish heap she was pulling recyclable materials from.  She brought the child home and thus began over 40 years of rescuing and caring for unwanted children.

This story has been used by both sides on the abortion debate to prove their own points.  I am personally pro-choice as I believe that we should give women the ability to control when they do and when they don't get pregnant.  I also believe that a society should help to care for the most vulnerable of our society.  What enrages me about the anti-choice folks is their seemingly lack of concern for the fruits of those pregnancies they so desperately want to control.   Lou Xiaoyang is beyond this debate: she sees the children cast off and cares for them.  The end.

Stephen Hawkings said recently that our doom as a species is not from heavenly bodies falling on us or nuclear winter.  Our doom is our aggression and our lack of empathy.  We seem to only have compassion when it is convenient.  Lou Xiaoyang  was a rubbish collector.  Her compassion and empathy were given to those who needed even though she could have probably used some her ownself. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Ursula K Le Guin: March 3, 2015: Feminist Paper Doll Project 2015

Ursula Le Guin

My uncle gave me a copy of "The Wizard of Earthsea" sometime during the 1980's.  I loved it.  I got lost in the lands there.  I went sailing in my mind.  There were goats and mountains and wizards and dragons.  I have secret stashes of this book in my house.

Le Guin's books also opened up different ways of thinking: in "The Left Hand of Darkness" she told me about thinking about gender beyond the binary.  She opened up the realms of compassion and strength to those concepts beyond the mainstream media.  She helped me dive into the subverse.

But also she taught me to believe in metaphors.  She said, "People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within."

Monday, March 2, 2015

Avijit Roy: March 2, 2015: Feminist Paper Doll Project 2015

Avijit Roy
"We are united in our grief and will remain undefeated" 
(from the opening page of Mukto-mona (Free Thought).)

On February 26, Avijit Roy and his wife were returning from a book signing in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  They were attacked by religious extremist and Roy was brutually hacked to death. (She is currently in critical condition.)

Avijit Roy was an outspoken atheist and critic of religious extremists.  He founded the Bangladeshi liberal blog Mukta-Mona in which debate and rational discussion were prized.  He was noted for engaging folks who disagreed with his ideals and thoughts in discourse and debate.  

On the site, Avijit Roy's daughter (who he adopted when he married Rafida Ahmed Banya) spoke out about her relationship with her father. She said this about him in a twitter post:

"He and my mom started dating when I was six years old.  In the twelve years that followed,  he became my friend,  my hero,  my most trusted confidante,  my dance partner (even though we're both terrible dancers), and my father.   Not once did he tell me to simmer down or be more polite;  he taught me to be informed,  bold and unafraid."

Thank you, Avijit Roy.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Leonard Nimoy: March 1, 2015: Feminist Paper Doll Project

I watched Star Trek and Doctor Who with my Poppy-  my mother's father.  They were on just after the PBS Nightly News Hour.  I loved this ritual with my Poppy.  But I hated the news only because I wanted the stories that unfurled on the screen to fill my eyes with far off lands and ideas.  The news was reality and my 4 year old mind had had enough of that. The folks on Star Trek and Doctor Who had star ships and they could travel in time.  They had world of wonderful exploration at their finger tips. 

And Star Trek had "Mr. Kitty Cat Ears"...Spock.  I loved him.  He did not people down.  He was fair. He observed.  He understood the use of being quiet. He very rarely displayed anger or rage.  He talked through his problems.  This was a salvation for my child self.

Leonard Nimoy was not Spock.  Spock was dependent on the artistry Nimoy placed into him.  This was the same artistry that he placed into his photography and into his understanding of how to use his celebrity to help others.

Thank you Mr. Nimoy.