One of My Mantras
Gals Pick Your Mentors Carefully

There I was teaching a couple of online survey classes on world religions. Last week, we discussed several newer world religions like Sikhism and the Baha’i faith. By this time in the semester, my students have heard me mention several of my mantras. One of my mantras is that many religions will talk the talk, but few will walk the walk.

Another of my mantras is that I don’t care what they believe or don’t believe, but I do care that they think and ponder. Many of my students have incorporated some of my mantras into their mindsets. This is Tegan; she thinks and ponders.

Here is an example from Tegan. She was addressing Sikhism. This is one part of her essay. Notice around what she placed parenthesis.

Something that kind of shocked me was that the Sikhs view women as their equal (I’m hoping this is true and not just something written in an article). They actually view God as gender neutral, this takes away the men being above all. There is also no activity within their community “that is permitted to a man but not to a woman.” Uncommonly, “there is no religious function from which women are barred at any time of their lives.” It was refreshing to read something like this instead of the routine I am so used to.

I replied to her essay with this comment. “The Sikhs talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk.  Name a female guru.  Now, Christianity will talk about equality also. Name a female Catholic priest or pope.  Most Protestants denominations don’t ordain women.  Hmmm.”

Never a loss for words, Tegan replied. “Again, you’re right. The Sikhs have no records of women gurus. The surname ‘Singh’ means lion. This is how they identify the men of this religion. Strong, warrior, and the leader of the pack. The surname for women is ‘Kaur’ meaning princess. This probably should have been a huge giveaway that they might treat women kindly. They probably do not treat them like equals.”

I, too, am never lost for words and replied, “You aren’t going to believe this....  I’m writing the announcement for the two classes this week along with an essay for my website regarding what Rep. Cheney said at the beginning of her closing remarks at the 1/6 committee last Thursday, July 21, 2022.

Let me again thank our witnesses today. We have seen bravery and honor in these hearings, and Ms. Matthews and Mr. Pottinger, both of you will be remembered for that, as will Cassidy Hutchinson. She sat here alone, took the oath and testified before millions of Americans. She knew all along that she would be attacked by President Trump, and by the 50-, 60- and 70-year-old men who hide themselves behind executive privilege. But like our witnesses today, she has courage, and she did it anyway. Cassidy, Sarah and our other witnesses, including officer Caroline Edwards, Shaye Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman, are an inspiration to American women and to American girls. We owe a debt to all of those who have and will appear here.

This is critical.  Women face a two-pronged problem.  One problem is men.  Men aren’t going to give women equality because men consider themselves to be better than women.  That is sexism.  These macho men decide about the reproductive rights of females.  Women will get, on average, 75% of what men get paid for a job despite the same education, experience, etc.  There is a litany of other examples, like less than 30% of Members of Congress are women. When it comes to women CEOs, the Fortune 500 companies have 8.2% female CEOs and 7.3% in the Fortune 1000.

ucsc.edu

The other prong has to do with women, who buy into the status of being less than men.  Steve Biko addressed racism in South Africa due to apartheid with this assertion.  “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”  His statement applies equally to women. Essentially, I don’t see any difference between racism and sexism.  A person is born into a particular place in society regardless of ability, IQ, determination, education, etc.

Another of my mantras is to pick some mentors. That is especially true for women. They need to pick several mentors that can be used to develop who they are. A mentor is a role model. Go to Mentor and Me. You will find a couple of dozen of people that in some fashion I emulate. They often are guardrails, which cause me to rethink things or modify my mindset. Each of them is unique and has helped me over the last seven decades.

This is a teaching moment for me. I’ll have some suggestions for mentors especially if you are a female. I’d begin with Rep. Liz Cheney. In the political arena, there isn’t much that we share in common. However, when it comes to ethics and doing the right thing, she has few rivals.

Now, there are other possible alternative models. Sen. Josh Hawley is a macho man. He’s got guts, determination, and courage. Josh is a man’s man.

It is up to you to pick a mentor, which will help you on your journey down the yellow brick road of life. If you want to be treated by men as an equal, don’t wait.  Carpe diem.  Demand equality and fight for it. Men won’t bestow equalitarianism upon you. They haven’t done so in all of human history.

Cheney presented teaching moment last Thursday. “In this room in 1918, the Committee on Women's Suffrage convened to discuss and debate whether women should be granted the right to vote.” Cheney would make an excellent college professor.

In case someone isn’t listening, Cheney adds her coups de grâce, “This room is full of history, and we on this committee know we have a solemn obligation not to idly squander what so many Americans fought and died for.”

Cheney is correct that memories fill that room. However, the future of America was determined in that room by those that testified about issues related to the insurrection on January 6th.

Additionally, Americans will also remember the color selection of white clothing worn by Cassidy Hutchinson, Sarah Matthews, and Liz Cheney. Suffragettes wore white as a symbol of making America purer.

Women in white

There were also other women that testified before the 1/6 committee. Despite the fears of retaliation, women like Caroline Edwards, Shaye Moss. and Ruby Freeman testified regardless of the threats. All these women knew that someone needed to stand up despite having to face threats.

Sen. Josh Hawley, Mr. Macho, reminded me of the chicken, Henny Penny.

Henny Penny

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This is a video of Rep. Cheney entire closing statement.