Category: Stereotype-in-English

Kurdish Women’s Movement: “patriarchy is not natural”

“Have any of you ever studied the origins of patriarchy at school?” Dilar Dirik asks, researcher in Sociology at Cambridge University and activist of the Kurdish Women’s Movement. The rhetorical question slips into silence, so Dilar tries to summarize only 6.000 years of humanity on Earth, when, during Neolithic, the first “modern” societies were formed in Mesopotamia, India, China… matriarchal organizations, where women carried out internal, social, economic and political functions, and men external, subsistence and defense ones. At that time women had an enormous prestige, probably stemmed from the fact that they were considered the only procreative members of the group, prestige that it was taken away from them precisely when the men discovered their paternity…

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Rites of passage, how to become an adult

Becoming an adult is a gradual process, but is conventionally defined by a specific moment in which a young kid suddenly turns into a useful member of a society – even just with his or (more likely) her fertility. Populations in any time and place organized public celebrations that certified the entrance in adulthood, named “rites of passage” by the French anthropologist Arnold van Gennep…

Suicide and its ethics in societies

suicide cleopatra

Societies throughout history gave different meanings to suicide. It was considered acceptable, to a certain extent, by the Romans; it was in Mayans pantheon and in Norse mythology; it was codified by the Japanese in the Bushido. On the other hand, the idea of killing yourself was strongly rejected by the main religions, affecting secular laws too: in the United Kingdom and Ireland, suicide had been illegal until 1961 and 1993…

Igbo-Ora, Nigeria: the home of twins

The average rate of multiple births is around 1% on a global scale, but there are many exceptions. Linha Sao Pedro, a small village in Brazil, reaches an abnormal 10%, enough to give rise to conspiracy theories, based on assumed experiments performed by the Nazis… Kodinji and Mohammadpur Umri, in India, have a 4,5% rate, more or less the same of Igbo-Ora, Nigeria, which gained the epithet of “home of twins”, with a welcome billboard as celebration…

New tango in Paris

Tango was inscribed in 2009 on the Represantative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It’s commonly considered Argentinian, but we need to clarify a few things. It’s actually platense, from the mouth of Rio de la Plata, region shared between Argentina and Uruguay; it was born as a fusion of different sounds, rhythms and traditions from South America, Caribbean, Africa and even Europe; as a matter of fact, the current variations of this dance had been “cleaned up” by the Old Continent parlors – especially Paris…

We Women: beautiful, dirty and bad

Durante le prove di WeWomen. Minako Teki e Julie Dossavi

The first change for the “feminine condition” concerns women, precisely, and not men. Men will not help the preconditions, but if the woman first considers herself as a little creature given to sex, motherhood and domestic care, and if she first attacks those women who try to get out of their stereotypes that cage them, please, then don’t complain of male chauvinism. The most serious male chauvinism is that of women…

The role of fear in society

At a social level, fear is a tool of political and religious control. It’s used to build a society which may respond to our concerns about safety and security, guaranteeing a community life. In a present-oriented society, fear prevents from the lost of significance of the daily routine, creating consensus and legitimacy, keeping an unstable order just to avoid to consider new social forms…

If you don’t want terrorism, think about animals

Blood Ivory Elephant AK47 by Victor van Gaasbeek

There is a type of person who always complains, when he has the impression that others (organisms, groups or individuals) are taking care of important aspects of human life, but they (seem) do not concern him/her. Then they can’t stand animalists because they only think about animals; environmentalists, because they only think about the environment; volunteers who deal with refugees, because they only think about “saving terrorists”…

Women rights and gender equality: the case of Switzerland

Switzerland is considered one of the best examples of advanced country: neutral in wars, often turning to the main tool of direct democracy (the referendum), civil rights such as euthanasia, headquarter of the Red Cross and host of international treats like the Geneva Conventions. But they have their contradictions as well, banks who accepted tax evaders or Nazis money, a pinch of intolerance and, last but not least, an incredible delay in giving women equal rights. Perhaps not everyone knows that Swiss women got the right to vote only in 1971…

It was a dark and stormy night. And it brought counsel

The night always had a double significance. It was feared, because of the dangers that can hide in the darkness; but also expected to rest and refresh the body and the spirit and being inspiring. Despite the similarity between sleep and death, that was the right time to forget troubles and worries of the day. We also say that night brings counsel, scientific studies confirm popular wisdom…

A smile is universal communication. But not that much

In 2015, a group of researchers of the University of Wisconsin-Madison formulated their own theory on why, somewhere, people are more inclined to smile. The answer is to be found in immigration and multiculturalism. The United States and Canada have a diverse population, composed by 83 and 63 different national or ethnic groups each. Non verbal communication played a central role in socializing and building trustful relationships among communities. This is not needed in more uniform countries…