paul wheaton wrote:
I think it is wrong to dismiss violence done to half the population because of the gender they were born with. I also think it is wrong to suggest that one gender is always right and the other gender is always wrong.
Who said that one gender is always right and the other always wrong on this thread? Many people have pointed out that violence might be disproportionate or skewed but I don't recall anyone saying "I'm always right and you're always wrong". In fact, I see a lot of women trying really hard NOT to do that because it's been done so often to them.
paul wheaton wrote:If we have data that suggests that our society is committing a wrong against one gender, then that does need to be addressed as a societal issue. But we have to embrace ALL gender issues - we don't just ignore half the population.
I'm in full accordance for embracing and addressing ALL gender issues. What are your biggest concerns?
--The sex trade - people, a disproportionate number of which are women and children, being sold into human bondage (I'll admit that I don't know of any adult men being sold but the possibility is there) - this is a growing concern in AZ as it has come to light that women, girls and boys are being abducted and brought over the border from Mexico so that American men can have sex with them. There have been some massive sting operations that have caught some of the perpetrators, and there has been a big effort to educated hotel/motel staff to the issue. Unfortunately this has driven this practice into isolated trailers and open fields. To date, they have not caught any female perpetrators. Does this mean there aren't any female perpetrators? No. The possibility exists that there are.
--Laws that limit what people can do with regards to the autonomy of their own bodies - at any given time there are dozens, possibly even 100+ laws proposed limiting the autonomy of the female body in this country (USA) at all levels of government. I currently do not know of any laws that limit the autonomy of mens' bodies. Perhaps there are some that I don't know about?
--Access to sexual education over and above abstinence for both genders, safe and effective birth control for both genders, access to the morning after pill/safe abortions/vasectomies for those who want them - no questions asked, parenting classes for anyone who wants them. Both genders lack this access in many parts of the USA and around the world.
--The abolition of practices that remove part of one's body or mutilate it due to religious or cultural mores. Both genders suffer from this although I could make a very compelling argument that male foreskin circumcision, especially performed by a doctor in a sterile environment, is vastly different from having one's clitoris and outer labia removed with a piece of broken glass or non-sterile cooking knife and then abrading and sewing the inner labia together as a kind of chastity precaution.
--Globally - laws that allow an adult to marry a child - sometimes a very young child. I have only ever heard this happening to girls. It's possible that it also happens to boys but I don't know about it.
--Globally - laws that limit the right of adults to vote, drive, wear the clothing that they want, own property, access educational opportunities, access employment opportunities that pay equally so all people can support themselves and their families.
--Religious mores that allow honor killings or disfigurement (like splashing acid in someone's face), stoning individuals for being accused (proven or not) of having sex outside of marriage, workplace morality clauses that punish people for something that happened on their own personal time and not at work. These can occur to both genders depending on where in the world you live and the religious beliefs involved.
--Sexual violence perpetrated on the LGBT community BECAUSE they are LGBT. This also includes attempts to "re-educate" LGBT youth/adults.
There's more - but those are the highlights that occurred off the top of my head while writing this.
I think when we discuss gender issues - we need to acknowledge that many systems have been set in place with a cultural and/or religious bias towards one gender. In my experience, these biases have been overwhelmingly in favor of men and not women and definitely not people who fall outside male/female gender associations. There exists the possibility that there are systems that are skewed to favor women. The most often cited in the USA is child custody and divorce laws. (http://www.thesocraticproject.com/2013/01/17/do-divorce-laws-favor-women/) Sitting here thinking about it - no other system comes readily to my mind (personally) that is skewed to favor women.
Perhaps others can chime in here. Obviously I see the world through a woman's eyes and through a woman's experience. That is my bias, although I do try to engage in challenging that bias. I fully admit that I am not perfect, that I do not speak for all women and that I don't have universal knowledge of the plight of both men and women around the world. A possible plus for me is that I have is a somewhat diverse background: I have lived on four continents in countries with a diversity of primary religions including various forms of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, spoken three languages and attended Catholic, Islamic and Buddhist schools.
Elle - thank you for speaking your truth in a public forum - that took amazing courage.
I, too, have been assaulted in the "worst possible way" by a group of men. And there was an attempted assault by a dermatologist in Paris who wrongfully locked me in his office after hours. And the guy in Kenya when I was 12 and walking down the street - he was coming from the opposite direction. When he passed me, he swooped down and grabbed me in the crotch, probing with his fingers. On a busy sidewalk. In the middle of the day. It's now 40 years later and I STILL remember the trauma of that day - quite honestly, it makes me want to vomit.
There are many other instances that we all face every day. Working in a predominantly male profession (IT), I was often asked out for lunch with the rest of my team - all men - they invariably wanted to go to Hooters (for those who don't know - it's a restaurant that specifically hires large-breasted women who then wear tight, scanty HOOTERS uniforms). Hey - if people want to work as a "Hooter's girl" - it's not my problem. However, after a few times of accompanying the rest of my team to lunch - I'd had it with their crude behavior towards their servers. When I said something about it - I got reactions that were very similar to this thread. Some were affronted and told me to suck it up and deal with it, and some tried to see things from my vantage point and started to "get it". A couple even admitted that they felt uncomfortable going there themselves as they didn't like the vibe. So, the men who thought I should "not be so sensitive" basically shunned me and the others remain friends to this day.
Elle - I'm sorry that you have had the experiences that you've had - please feel free to PM me if you'd like. And I whole-heartedly empathize. I'm sorry too for the men who've been sexually assaulted (many when they were boys). It's an issue that we need to face if we are truly to embrace the ethics of permaculture. Without Care of People, we lose out on Care of the Earth and gaining meaningful Surplus.
The spoon theory is really useful for those of us battling various chronic illnesses. I've managed to not only survive but THRIVE because of the spoon theory.
I should have been up at Paul's this past week for his retreat for staff. But spoon theory and obligations here (Phoenix) dictated that I do otherwise. My love for all of you enjoying Paul's hospitality right now, and to Paul and Jocelyn. Phoenix is just too damn happening for me to get away right now.
This Indigogo campaign was put together by Reinventing Roots a permaculture group in the Negev (desert) in Israel who are training indigenous people in permaculture principles. They are trying to raise $750 to help buy some tools and supplies for their upcoming course.
Here's an idea of how far a couple of dollars (or shekels) can go:
$2: 2-liter bottle of drinking water
$6: Trowel to tend community garden
$6.50: Round-trip bus ticket to Beer Sheva to pick up supplies
$19.50: Pitchfork to build small-scale agriculture
$23.00: Soccer ball for soccer lessons and break times
$100.00: Tarp to shade playground to protect students from hot, desert sun
Please consider donating to this program to get more permaculture knowledge to more indigenous peoples!
Justin - we all work with what we've got, that's for sure. And that's how new technologies come into being or old technologies are revived. You might be sitting on the edge of developing technology that works for you and those in analogous climates. Rock on!
I have no solution for you other than allowing that greywater to freeze into giant block and then shipping it down here to Phoenix!
Seriously - I hope someone chimes in with some thoughts on this as your climate is foreign to me, a desert rat. One thing that does come to mind is processing it through a constructed wetland that is protected from the weather somehow as in a walapini. Perhaps you could get some sort of living machine going in a greenhouse like what John Todd does?
If you're interested in learning more about water harvesting for drylands, Watershed Management Group, also of Tucson, AZ, offers a 9-day intensive certification program that is extremely worthwhile. Yes - you get a lot of hands-on practice too! Brad Lancaster is one of the instructors and yes! you get to visit his homesite and neighborhood where much of the footage for this film was taken.
It's pretty amazing what has happened in Tucson over the past 20 years. What started as a small effort has grown to include policy in Tucson and is now slowly infiltrating in Phoenix (the 6th largest city in the US and largest hot arid city in N. America). Lately I've been sitting in on meetings with the Phoenix City Council on "Complete Streets" as a representative for the stormwater harvesting aspect of the streets (green infrastructure). The Council's recommendations are nearing completion and will be sent to various departments as soon as this summer.
This type of work, while it may not look like much to those in more humid climates, is critical for those of us in urban deserts. The added load of vehicle emissions and industrial contaminants paired with lack of vegetation, can make urban deserts particularly prone to health hazards. Plus the paving over of soils with asphalt and cement means that we have vastly increased our urban heat island effect (UHI). These hard surfaces, if they are not shaded, absorb heat all day long and release it in the cooler temperatures at night - creating "higher lows". What does higher lows look like? Well, so far Phoenix holds the record for the highest low for an August day in 2013 where the LOW temperature was 96F/36C. They say we will break that record this year and have a night where it does not fall below 100F/38C. Remember, that is our "cool nighttime temperature" not the high for the day...
Apropos of nothing, "common sorghum" was a word I missed once on a quiz in Chinese class (my undergrad degree was Chinese language - Mandarin). It's now 30 years later and I still remember "gao liang"! Sheesh.
Mira Morse wrote:You can have a hugelkultur (raised garden without walls/berm) right next to a sunken hugelkultur (humus storage ditch in Sepp's words). Even if nothing grows on the berm, it protects the humus storage ditch from wind.
Mira that's probably an excellent solution for a lot of "high and dry" situations where you get significant wind. Thanks!
Jack - I'm sure there are many ways to address the same issue. I didn't start this petition but am very happy to support it. We need far more recognition of rainwater harvesting at ALL levels of government. I know AZ and NV are currently very active in increasing their water harvesting bills and probably other states (mostly Western) as well. I've supported those initiatives as well.
ARCSA has launched its “We the People” petition, appealing to the U.S. President to support rainwater harvesting. After 150 names are gathered, the petition will be accessible on the WhiteHouse.gov “We the People” website. Until then, the petition can only be located with this link.
We have until May 13th to collect 100,000 names, which would qualify us for an official response from President Obama.
The petition reads as follows:
WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION
… to stimulate the emerging rainwater-harvesting industry, creating new jobs in design, installation, education, R&D, sales, plumbing, landscaping, roofing, monitoring and maintenance, which could propel the U.S. to international leadership, with compounding fiscal benefits.
The justifications include:
Worldwide demand for clean water exceeds supply.
Rainwater and stormwater harvesting can help fill the gap while reducing stormwater pollution.
One inch of rain is over 600 gallons per 1,000 sq. ft. of roof.
Rain harvesting reduces demand on water infrastructure.
A new national standard, ARCSA/ASPE/ANSI 63 details safe design & installation.
Treated rainwater can easily surpass EPA standards.
The most important purpose of the petition is simply to bring national attention to rainwater and stormwater harvesting.
Signers of the petition are exercising their First Amendment rights to petition government.
The petition is intended to appeal to anyone interested in stimulating rainwater and stormwater harvesting to help solve water quality and quantity challenges.
There are many possible forms such stimulation could take, like encouraging states to adopt a uniform standard for rainwater harvesting (following the ARCSA/ASPE/ANSI Standard 63), or federal legislation to facilitate installing rainwater harvesting systems, or tax incentives, or a Presidential Proclamation, etc.
This link lists responses for successful petition drives. All are thoughtfully written by authoritative officials, and many include specific actions that satisfy the petition’s request.
Joshua - I don't know the real response to your question but I postulate that the expense comes in the setting up of the terraces and earthworks and also the nurseries used to grow out the trees. Maintenance is probably in the form of repair of earthworks and replanting of trees that don't make it. It does seem like a bit of a "send us money" proposition at the end - and perhaps they are calling on the global Israeli community and others to participate, at least financially, with them.
Jay - nicely written. I think you're right when you say that something commemorative will be important to some folks. I think this will evolve with the practice of composting the dead. For example, when people hold services, there are often flowers, etc. Some people ask that instead of flowers, donations be sent to the charity of their choosing to memorialize the deceased loved one. I think that memorializing a persons passing by giving to a worthy org is great. If people like to have flowers present, I can see a whole movement of live plants instead of cut flowers and the plants then being donated to revitalize urban spaces. It could be an exciting future for death!
I think there could be any number of ways to celebrate a person's passing with a composting burial and those would evolve over time. I'm sure some folks would love a plaque or other monument to remember their loved one by. Cremation has had rituals built up around it. The difference between cremation and composting though is that in cremation - each body is burned separately. In composting, everyone goes in together.
Typically shrouds have been made out of local materials that are also biodegradable. I'm sure a whole subset of businesses can cater to shrouds. When I've buried pets in the yard, I've often shrouded them. On the occasion I've had to dig one up and move it - the shroud is either completely gone or very nearly. And only a few bones remain of the animal.
Erica Daly wrote:In desert areas, could this be a step toward regreening? Even composted sewage from nearby city?
Absolutely! We have so little organic matter in our desert soils. And yes - there are already large scale biosolids composters here in Phoenix and we are also encouraging homescale biosolids composting and water savings with an urban composting toilet system that has recently been given the seal of approval by the EPA and AZ Dept of Environment after a 2+ year battle. These kinds of things are what will make cities more sustainable in the long term. They stack functions, they use what they have - it's pretty awesome. Hence my love for the Urban Death project.
Erica - I like your thoughts on heating, etc! Bravo.
Arizona where I live has one green burial site (as you describe above). They had to fight to get it. Basically because human remains will be interred there, the property will remain wilderness and not allow building. BUT as we know, whole cemetaries have been dug up and relocated before (and generated poltergeists if the movies are to be believed - LOL!)
Jeremy - did you go to the kickstarter and read the text? They talk about bones and other things that are slow to decompose. She's also working with folks who have a lot of experience in how bodies decompose - I believe she's using the expertise at The Body Farm for this project.
Remember - this project addresses death in highly populated areas. Being buried in any kind of of box or shroud and then interred, requires land. San Francisco, for instance, has not been able to bury anyone in the city for nearly 40 years. There's just no land left. And in this type of burial - there is actually a highly useful end product that can be reused - instead of a fancy place for a headstone to live. I would much rather that my life be celebrated each time someone looks at a tree than each time they come to look at an expensive headstone.
As for costs - well, I've just been pricing the cheapest death options for me here in Phoenix. Turns out it's cremation for around $3000.
The reality of my death being a polluting event has always bothered me. Finally there is an alternative taking shape that fits with my aspirations for the future of this planet. Watch the inspiring video and give to the Kickstarter Campaign if you want to see change in the burial industry.
NOTE: This kickstarter is about COMPOSTING human remains as an option to more traditional (and polluting) choices of burial and cremation.
Geoff shows how he and his neighbor approach the vegetation and grazing of their shared stream bank differently - even though they are both ecological practitioners. Geoff uses his system to bring useful deposits like course sand and organic matter to his property. He does this by allowing the banks to be covered with "weeds" and not allowing cattle to graze the banks. On the other side of the stream, cattle graze the banks, eroding them and they spray herbicide to get rid of the weeds so they can replant native vegetation.
There's no short version for this video, but you can see the FULL VERSIONon Geoff's site. Simply sign in with your email address.