Quechua woman in Quito, Ecuador.
In honor of the IMMEASURABLE, and often unheralded, role women play in holding our fragile world together, this is not a week for a white man like me to be blogging about what’s on my mind. It’s a time when we should all be thinking carefully about how we treat the women in our lives–mothers, sisters, wives, friends, employees, co-workers, those we encounter in shops, pass on the street, sit beside on the bus, see begging on the sidewalks, all colors, all creeds, all religions, AND especially to the legions of SINGLE MOMS who raise and support the children of dead-beat fathers. They are ALL just as important, just as capable, an equal to any man (or more so!) and should be paid and treated equally.
Maasai woman in Kenya preparing the fire for cooking.
As the legendary R&B singer Aretha Franklin so clearly and simply states in her 1967 anthem, women deserve and have worked for centuries for R-E-S-P-E-C-T! International Women’s Day should be celebrated 365 days per year in our hearts, minds and actions.
Venezuelan immigrant woman watching over her children on the Colombia/Venezuela border.
peace and respect~ henry
Self-portrait as the Allegory of Painting, 1638-39. Artist: Artemisia Gentileschi.
The 17th century artist Artemisia Gentileschi was a woman who possessed a wealth of strength and intelligence that enabled her to overcome personal adversity and gender-based discrimination to become an acclaimed Italian Baroque painter. The power with which she imbued her female characters led to her rediscovery and a resurgence in her popularity in Western culture during the final decades of the 20th century.
I first discovered Artemisia’s brilliant work during the 1990s on a visit to a local Seattle bookstore. While leafing through the full-page color plates of some of her most arresting paintings, I was captivated by the psychological depth given to the female heroines she often painted as well as her mastery of techniques such as chiaroscuro (the play of light against darkness), adding a dramatic dimension which gives these figures both realism and a larger than life feel.
I read a wide-ranging blog post this week that stands out as a prime example of how some people take verses from the Bible out of context, mold the words to fit their desires and then generalize to an extreme, all with the aim of promoting their own personal agenda.
The post was meant as a response to the horrific mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida on February 14th, and was on a blogging site that professes to promote Christian values. I will not share the link because I don’t want to ‘promote’ this site.
So without naming the site, and for the sake of clarity, I will refer to the blogger in question as ‘Roamer’.
Roamer’s post began by explaining there were two kinds of violence according to the Holy Scriptures—one that was ‘sanctioned’ under God’s laws and another kind that wasn’t.
Roamer then led the reader (with accompanying commentary) through passage after passage from both the Old and New Testaments in an effort to condone violent acts such a murder because, “God commanded it.”