Friday, April 5, 2013

Cross cultural ironies USA v Muslim World

I. Body parts

In the Muslim World, showing living body parts in public is regarded as obscene, but dead bodies are acceptable in news stories.

In the USA, living body parts can be shown in public and in the press, while dead bodies are considered too obscene for TV

II Clothing 1

In the Muslim World, skimpy clothing is supposed to be worn only in the privacy of the home, particularly in bed.  People are not supposed to go outside dressed like that.  Women are supposed to wear long, loose dresses outside.

In the USA, long, loose dresses are night gowns and are supposed to be worn only in bed, not outside.

III Clothing 2

In the Muslim World, covering a woman's face and body with long black robes is a symbol of virtue.

In the USA, long black robes and covering the face are symbols of death and evil, suitable for vampires and witches.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Natural childbirth, Eve, and orignal sin

My mom raised me to believe that Bible stories are to be interpreted as metaphors.\

Having natural childbirth made me rethink my interpretation of the story of the Garden of Eden and Eve's role in that story.

Knowledge of good and evil, the enlarged head that comes from the enlarged brain -- that brings pain in childbirth.  The pain is the logical result of the larger head.  

What woman would chose a husband with a head the size of a cat's head, merely to avoid herself pain in childbirth? 

When I chose the father of my children, I looked for someone intelligent, who would pass on good genes to my kids.  That meant that he had a large head.  That meant that my chances of pain in childbirth would be increased -- but still I chose the smart guy.  That's what I wanted for my kids.

In this way, I made the same decision as Eve.  I believe most women would make the same decision

Naturally, also , absent this enlarged head, one might perceive that one was living forever, because there would be no sense of time passing -- the way we now have such a sense.

People have interpreted this tale from Genesis as indicating the source of "original sin"  

Clearly there are consequences of decisions.  Even and Adam had to live with consequences; but I would not say that that meant that they made the wrong decision.  

Actually, I think Eve made the right decision.  I made the same one myself: for knowledge, for intelligence -- and accepted the consequences, i.e. the pain -- and glad I did.

I was inspired to write this by Jimmy Carter's blog