90 year old anti-racism pioneer

Roy Hackett has given a really interesting interview to the BBC about his life as an anti-racism protestor. The 4 and a half minute interview gives a glimpse into events such as the Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963 which we taught our students during Black History Month.

bus boycott

Probably the most famous person to have fought against racial prejudice however is the American Martin Luther King Jr. He was an American clergyman, activist, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott. This started through a simple act of defiance when a black woman, Rosa Parks, refused to give up her seat on a bus for a white passenger when ordered to do so by the bus driver. She was later arrested. Through death threats, multiple arrests, and several attempts against his life, Martin Luther King Jr was consistent in his application of the Biblical principles, taught by Jesus to:

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:44)

When looking at Christianity and racism you can use some of these key teachings:

  • The parable of the good Samaritan – everyone counts as your ‘neighbour’ (Luke 10: 25-37)
  • ‘God created man in his own image’ (Genesis 1:27)
  • ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and all that is in it. The world, and those who live in it.’ (Psalm 24:1)
  • ‘Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.’ (Romans 13:1)
  • ‘Your body is a temple of the holy spirit… it is not your own’ (1 Corinthians 6:19
  • ‘Do not judge, or you too will be judged’ (Matthew 7:1)
  • ‘Do to others what you would have them do to you’ (Matthew 7:12)
  • Example of Jesus; He spoke to and helped anyone (Canaanites, tax collectors, lepers, women), but chose only men as his disciples
  • ‘Every human being created in the image of God is a person for whom Christ died. Racism is an assault on Christ’s values and a rejection of his sacrifice.’ World Council of Churches
  • ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’ (Galatians 3:28)

Sexism Against Men

A stay at home father has complained about the sexism he has faced when looking after his daughter. Matthew Jenkin points out that even the names of many activities are usually targeted at mothers only, when in reality a father could easily join in if he wished: “Mum and yoga”, “Mum and baby salsa”, “Mum and me ballet”, “Mum and baby crawler”. Meanwhile all of the groups for fathers are scheduled for the weekend only.

Another example of sexism against men are how the health retailer Superdrug’s website, has a ‘mother and baby’ section but no such alternative section for men. A single dad, Dave Darby wrote on his Facebook page: “I find this somewhat derogatory towards fathers and their children and respectfully ask that this is changed to parent and baby. thus making it politically correct and also Superdrug acknowledging that men can also be single parents.”

The author David Benatar has further examples of sexism against men. Firstly that social norms mostly encourage men, but rarely women, into military conscription and combat, causing millions of men to die or suffer physically and psychologically. This is true of World War I and II in Britain. Secondly he says the male disadvantage in terms of child custody in divorce cases, paternity leave, and thirdly the shorter life expectancy of men as compared to women.

Sometimes the language we use is unfair towards men and boys too. When we say things like “Boys don’t cry,” and “Stop being such a pussy.” Boys do cry and using the word “pussy” as an insult hurts women too. This is basically idealising some hyper masculinity which begins with re-enforcing a stereotype that boys and men are supposed to live in or else they aren’t Real Men.

There is a word for sexism against men: misandry. Misandry is the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against men or boys.  Either “misandrous” or “misandristic” can be used as adjectival forms of the word.

You can even see examples of misandry in historical sources:

misandry

Were the women’s waves half the size?

surf sexism

Look carefully at the cheques these two surf champions have just received as prize money. Notice anything?

The winners of the boys and girls 2018 Billabong Junior Series’ Ballito Pro event posed for this photograph which once posted on social media has created wide scale criticism. It has put gender equality back into the spotlight.

In defence of the organisers of the event, a spokesperson Will Hayden-Smith said that prize money was partly determined by the number of entrants. There were twice as many male surfers as female ones: 36 compared to 18. To keep the same money-per-surfer ratio for men and women, the prize money for the female winner had to be half as much as the men. Do you think this is a fair system? Does everything have to be fair?

 

 

First Female Time Lord

After months of speculation Peter Capaldi’s replacement as Doctor Who is Jodie Whittaker, making her the first female Time Lord.

jodie-whittaker-doctor-who

Whittaker said: “It feels completely overwhelming, as a feminist, as a woman, as an actor, as a human, as someone who wants to continually push themselves and challenge themselves, and not be boxed in by what you’re told you can and can’t be. It feels incredible.”

She also reassured fans to “not be scared by my gender. Because this is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change,” she said, adding: “The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.”

The BBC announced the 13th Time Lord after the Wimbledon’s Men’s Final on Sunday afternoon. You’ll see Whittaker for the first time in this huge acting role when the Doctor regenerates in the Christmas Day show.

Bread can’t be gluten free says Catholic Church

It’s not a hugely exciting headline. The Vatican (home of the Catholic Church) has said that the bread which is used to celebrate the Eucharist during Roman Catholic Mass must not be gluten-free – although it may be made from genetically modified organisms. Cardinal Robert Sarah explained that the bread can be low-gluten but should have enough protein in the wheat to make it without additives. What does make it exciting for GCSE Religious Studies students is that the article which explains these precise rules also refers to the fact that Roman Catholics believe the bread and wine served at the Eucharist are converted into the body and blood of Christ through a process known as transubstantiation.

transub

The Eucharist, which is also called the Holy Communion, Mass, the Lord’s Supper or the Divine Liturgy, is a sacrament accepted by almost all Christians. Most students have heard of the Last Supper and how Christians re-enact the key moment on at least a weekly basis when they celebrate the Eucharist.

The idea of transubstantiation helps explain why in the Catholic Church women can’t be priests, as the Eucharist has to be performed by a male priest for he is acting as Jesus ‘in loco Christos’ when the bread and wine truly become the Body and Blood of Christ.

Soul of a Nation

superman_hires

Soul of a Nation a new art exhibition at Tate Modern art gallery in London examines what it meant to be black and an artist during the civil rights movement, from 1963 – when the idea of black power was emerging in the USA – through to 1983. As you arrive in the first room you are met with the audio of Martin Luther King‘s ‘I have a dream’ speech. It is the first time a lot of the art has been in displayed in the UK. For anybody interested in the history of the civil rights movement or how we are striving for racial harmony, then this is an art exhibition not to be missed, Channel 4 agree.

Soul-of-a-Nation-Image-sheet-Image-Sheet-1

Boys Wear Skirts in Uniform Protest

A school in Exeter who has the school uniform rule that male pupils must wear trousers and female pupils can wear trousers or tartan skirts has been on the receiving end of a protest by about 30 male students who turned up to school wearing skirts.

boys skirts

A mum of a male students at the school, Claire Reeves, said she’d asked the school about her son being able to wear shorts, but had not got anywhere.

“I feel extremely proud of them all for standing up for their rights. People are always talking about equal right for males and females and school uniform shouldn’t be any different”, she said.

The pupils from ISCA Academy in Exeter had asked permission to change their uniform and allow shorts because of the hot weather. One of the boys who took part in the protest said: “We’re not allowed to wear shorts, and I’m not sitting in trousers all day, it’s a bit hot.” The boys who are protesting are hoping that another 100 or so male students will join in the protest and wear skirts on Friday too.