Monday, February 15, 2010

Save The World, Let Home Suffer

As you all know, I'm not usually political, but lately, this kind of stuff has just been galling me.

Breda mentions a group with the admittedly admirable intent to stop violence against women all over the world. Admirable intent, poor execution, in my opinion. The ads are indeed going to send a powerful message to today's youth, unfortunately, the message in the ad Breda posted is not going to be a general "hitting girls is bad, mmkay?" but instead a rather specific idea that (generic) men in battle dress with rifles are raping and killing pregnant women.

The ad speaks of conflict minerals (yes, that's used in the same sense as "conflict diamonds") in the Congo. Most people in my generation, sadly, will not stop to question any bit of the ad, not the drill-team maneuvers with the rifle, nor the idea that a woman in one of the most conflicted areas in the world has an intricate set of braids and an iPod. So obviously they won't hesitate at the thought that fighters in the Congo apparently wear very similar gear to our own military. And the subliminal push will drift into their brains, unnoticed and unheeded.

Don't get me wrong, I firmly believe that the strong terrorizing the weak whether it be a man hurting a woman, or a woman hurting a man, or a bully pushing around the skinny kid in school, should be stopped. Unfortunately standing around saying "I won't stand for it!" does nothing unless you're ready to actually take a physical stand as well. Nothing backs a bully down like getting punched in the schnoz.

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me!"

Regrettably true. There are times for negotiations and talking and there are times to break some bones, or punch some holes with conveniently black-powder-accelerated projectiles to get the point across that you will not stand for something.

Non-violence has it's place and I have the utmost respect for those who have practiced it with such admirable success as Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr.

But there comes a point where being non-violent just means that the other side knows you're not going to fight back, so they can do whatever they want to you.

Aside from all that, we can't even "cure" violence against women here in our own country, where women aren't considered property, or forced into various indignities thanks to religion or law.

Clean your own house before you start trying to clean up the neighbors'.

Another example of this from right here in my own state, regrettably enough: a push to send "excess" prescription drugs to Haiti. What angered me was not the idea of sending needed drugs to people who have literally nothing now, but the way the news anchor I heard speak of it phrased it. To paraphrase as closely as I can recall:

"These drugs would go to Haiti to be used instead of discarded. Some could even go to needy patients here in Colorado."

I understand. Haiti is devastated, and I feel for those people, I really do. But since when is another country more important than our own people?

"Mr. Sanders, I'm sorry you're dying, but you're going to have to decide between eating and getting your meds this month. Good news though, we sent the same medication to a Haitian for free!"

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Solve the problems at home. Then save the world.

You can bet Superman didn't fly off half cocked to help a little old lady cross the street when Lois Lane was dangling from a building.


Ian said...

You are so, so right. Charity and caring begins right here, right at home -- with one's own family, the poorer folks just down the street, the neighbours (yes, the ones the Man was talking about). I get very tired when folks lavish tears and attention (and money!) on the "poor people of ____" (insert foreign location du jour) and walk by the homeless guy or gal on their way home from church.

Right on!

mustanger said...

I'm in agreement here too. I was talking about this sort of thing with some of my family just the other night... how some people, with the help of their churches and families, will take a working vacation to some foreign country to "save the heathens" or whatever when folks need their help a lot closer to home. There are people in my community who, having no family, need help staying fed and warm. There are also those in my community who can/do help those folks and ask for nothing in return.

Old NFO said...

Good post and good points... and yes, the camel's nose is under the tent with the stop violence ads...

Anonymous said...

I have lurked in the shadows for a while now and I just want you to know that I enjoy reading your post. I have for a very long time not understood why we as a country take better care of other countries than our own? It really is a shame. Thank you for your post.