Sunday, January 21, 2007

On 'freedom' and our rights.

I lost the link to it, but I read an interesting post somewhere today on how, despite being on opposing sides, the current Christian extremists of the Bush administration and the Muslim extremists seem to be 'defending' the same values. Bush accuses the 'terrorists', whoever they are at the present moment, of attacking our freedom, while he defends it. Unfortunately, his version (and, often, theirs) seems to apply exclusively to the male [insert religion/political preference here]s of the human race. So, with the aid of, I'd like to provide them with a more accurate definition of what 'freedom' is:

1. The condition of being free of restraints. (For example, that means not trying to keep certain people, e.g. women, in one place, e.g. the kitchen/maternity ward, if they do not want to be there.)

2. Liberty of the person (note the neutrality of that word!) from slavery, detention, or oppression. (That means treating all women and all people of different ethnic origins/religions with the same respect that you demand, and awarding them the same privileges that you would allow yourself.)

1. Political independence.
2. Exemption from the arbitrary exercise of authority in the performance of a specific action; civil liberty: freedom of assembly.
(Being allowed to voice our opinions without being ignored or forced to shut up because they aren't YOUR opinions)

4. Exemption from an unpleasant or onerous condition: freedom from want. (Freedom from obligatory pregnancy, or 'pre-pregnancy'; freedom from being judged by our appearances simply because we are female.)

5. The capacity to exercise choice; free will: We have the freedom to do as we please all afternoon. (We want the freedom to choose between staying at home/going to work or staying single/getting married without having that choice influenced by a loss of rights or status in choosing one over the other. Freedom to choose an abortion if so needed, without being forced to either have one or to carry to term an unwanted pregnancy that may be harmful to us.)

6. Ease or facility of movement: loose sports clothing, giving the wearer freedom. (Woot! Comfy apparel!)

7. Frankness or boldness; lack of modesty or reserve: the new freedom in movies and novels.

1. The right to unrestricted use; full access: was given the freedom of their research facilities.
2. The right of enjoying all of the privileges of membership or citizenship: the freedom of the city.
(Citizenship should not hinge on religious beliefs. Being accepted for/being dismissed from a job should not hinge on race or gender unless there is a VERY good reason for doing so; very few workplaces have such reasons.)

9. A right or the power to engage in certain actions without control or interference: “the seductive freedoms and excesses of the picaresque form” (John W. Aldridge). (Uh... anarchy?)

Add your own definitions!

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