It’s About Women
Women in India and the Woman in America

First the backstory. I’m teaching two survey classes on world religions. Each week, the classes address a world religion, but the semester is quickly drawing to an end. However, there is an additional assignment, a term paper. The students must write about some internal debate within a religion to which the student isn’t related by membership or the student’s family background. Many of the students have some tie to Christianity, which means they can’t deal with any of the issues within Christianity. The same is true for the Muslim students; their papers can’t deal with theological arguments about Islam. I want my classes to think outside the box and not merely reflect issues within their own religious backgrounds.

I have given them ideas of topics. Tibetan Buddhist dealing with the 14th Dalai Lama’s idea of stopping the tradition of finding a new Dalai Lama when he dies. They can address Sikh independence debate, etc. While the students ponder their topics, I came across a BBC item about the Indian Supreme Court will review a decision. Which they made 2018. A couple of students jumped at that topic.

A year ago, the Indian Supreme court ruled that prohibiting women from the Sabarimala Shrine was discriminatory.

Sabarimala Shrine

Essentially, the issue relates to sexism. Women, between 10-50, could not enter the shrine. While some Hindu shrines forbid women who are menstruating from entering a shrine, Sabarimala Shrine did not allow any female from entering if they are between 10-50 years of age. Hinduism has issues with menstruation. Women on their periods are considered unclean. It should be noted that many religions have issues regarding women and menstruation. Additionally, all religion were founded by men and men, for the most part, men continue to be in charge of all religions. That is sexism. Unless, the various deities are males, then it seems that this attitude is blatant sexism.

Several weeks ago, the Supreme Court agreed to review their previous decision regarding allowing all females to visit the Sabarimala Shrine to remain in effect pending their review. In spite of this decision, the Hindu leaders at Sabarimala maintain that women can’t visit that shrine. Protests and beatings of women have occurred by those that wish to deny women access to this shrine.

A year ago, the Supreme Court decided to allow all women to enter the shrine regardless of their age. The court said that not doing so was an issue of “untouchability.” That term relates to Dalits or the untouchable caste in India, which the Indian Constitution outlawed in 1950. The decision of the court in 2018 created protests due to the belief that Lord Ayyappa, a male god in Hinduism, wanted the ban on women. Also, the Sabarimala Shrine is thought to be his residence.

Lord Ayyappa wants to ban women…they say.

Interestingly, I posted the BBC link to the classes on the day that Marie Yovanovitch testified before the House Intelligence Committee regarding issues having to do with impeaching the president.

Yovanovitch had been our ambassador to Ukraine until she stood in his way. Trump has issues with a long list of women who get in his way and has given these women names. Trump called her…the woman.

I am proud of the woman.

During her testimony, Trump tweets about the woman.

Yovanovitch addressed Rep. Maloney questioning. She recounts paying tribute to Katia Handziuk, a Ukrainian who fought corruption in her country.

On the evening that Yovanovitch honored Handziuk, who had been killed due to acid being thrown at her, Yovanovitch was told to get out of Kiev “on the next plane” due to a corrupt American president. Yo, Donald, your clock is ticking as our fake president.

There are issues of sexism in India and in America. I am very proud of the woman. Somebody needs to stand up to Trump. She did. Donald, you are despicable.

This is an interesting discussion on the Beat on MSNBC.