Saturday, November 18, 2006

Week Five/Six: See Positivity

My Body Is My Own Business by Naheed Mustafa: Mustafa's piece is an expression of the tribulations women, in this case Muslim women, go through growing up and living in the western world. Recently I wrote an essay, for philosophy class, on Canada's military presence in Afghanistan, my perspective was like that of Mustafa and reading her paper reinforced my perspective. My view on Canada's army being in Afghanistan, briefly, is that we as Westerners are as guilty of mistreating and disrespecting women as fundamentalist Muslims are. We should not comment on another society's practices when we are not perfect ourselves. Women in Western society are taught from birth that they are nothing but baby factories that have to have a body like Barbie. This generates eating disorders and insecurities, Mustafa mentioned she was a borderline bulimic before she adopted a hijab, which gave her the security of a unknown identity but brought hear fear of the religion she represents. This is an interesting topic but negative and seemingly insecure, even though she has overcome her physical insecurities, she focuses on the negative aspect of the stigma of her religion. The human mind can be a prison if one believes themselves to be seen a certain way, they can get trap themselves in negative self perception, turning them into a self fulfilling prophecy. It's hard to break out of the ego's constraints but if one can then nothing anyone thinks of them matters because it's only what they think not what really matters. I think that Mustafa has a valid point but is creating negativity towards herself, perhaps because of insecurities impressed upon her growing up, but not seeing the negative and focusing on the positive would improve her point of equality, more so than being contentious.

The Case For Curling Up With a Book
by Carol Shields: Carol Shields' enforces of the necessity of involvement in literature and less in the mindless entertainment that we are programmed with through mass media. This is a important point and one that I agree strongly with. Whether it be television or the internet, we are subjected to more information now than ever and we need to learn to be selective about how we get our information. Reading takes silence and concentration, things that are being stripped away from us by the abundance of entertainment. It has been a thought of mine that television creates attention deficit disorder, people can't concentrate because they are programmed into needing a commercial break every ten minutes or less. This may not be factual but it is an observation that I have witnessed and Shields writes passionately about. Great works of literature are being lost in technological transitions, an example of this is that VHS movies are not being transferred to DVD because they are not what is considered a "hit". This seems to be an Orwellian conspiracy but its true, the availability of non-mainstream litereature is becoming less appearant, just go to your local Movie Gallery or Blockbuster and try and find a winner of the Pomme d'Ore, or go to Chapters and try to find any works by Bukowski or Camus. The presence of independent works is as important as reading them, the best works are those that are the hardest to find, and a harder thing to do is find time to read them. Carol Shields brings forth an important issue, one which those in acedemia should pay closer attention to.
Explorations: Znet:
This website is interesting but not very useful as most of the info you must pay to obtain. It's a shame because many of the videos caught my interest, especially the video called War Without End. There is never a shortage of issues to comment on and people will complain about the day of the week. What a wise man once said can be related to these types of websites, "you gotta take care of you and your's", meaning that one can only affect so much around you so act accordingly.
Classmate Comments: nirwin : It was interesting to read what a woman thought of the Sheild's piece because it was geared towards the opposite sex as myself. Nirwin seemed to share the same opinion as this essay, back off, my body is my own damn business. I don't think that having too much homework is an emotion, what would be wrong with saying overwhelmed instead?

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