I have done two things in the past week which have been significant. I’ve signed an on-line petition and I’ve fallen in love with Tim Berners- Lee – and yes, the two are connected!
Firstly, the on-line petition – and I quote the organisers
“It’s hard to believe, but a 15-year-old rape survivor has been sentenced to be whipped 100 times in public! Let’s put an end to this lunacy ……the girl’s stepfather is accused of raping her for years and murdering the baby she bore. Now the court says she must be flogged for “sex outside marriage” with a man who has not even been named! President Waheed of the Maldives is already feeling global pressure on this, and we can force him to save this girl and change the law to spare other victims this cruel fate. This is how we can end the War on Women – by standing up every time an outrage like this happens”.
I signed the petition, which was SO easy to do – a few clicks here and there, and my vote was registered as part of a peaceful revolution/resolution to a practice which, quite frankly comes from the Dark Ages. So why was that significant? Well, I felt that I’d made a difference to someone’s life whom I’d never met, and it made me feel good. It also set me thinking because of those words…..War on Women. We talk about the war on terrorism, other countries, drugs, but women? What if there is a war being waged on women – how is it being conducted and by whom?
For the purpose of discussion, let’s go with the hypothesis that there is such a war, so the answer to the second question appears to be easy – I guess it’s (some/a few) men? But the first question? I had an interesting conversation with a man on the ‘art’ of warfare and his view was this – that there are two subtle tools of warfare – 1) cut off communication between the enemy and 2) crush their spirit. This is the point where Tim Berners-Lee makes his appearance as a love of my life!
Tim Berners-Lee was (in my view quite rightly), acknowledged by Danny Boyle and the rest of the world during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games because he created the World Wide Web. He has provided the world with a tool which has enabled like-minded people to connect with and be energised by one-another irrespective of where they are on the planet. The obvious thing to state is that a tool is a tool, and depends very much on the mindset of the person using it. An axe can be used to chop wood or murder a person – the internet can be used to propagate hate or love towards other human beings. It could, when you re-read the above and join the dots……….it could end the War on Women.
So, let’s start by using St Tim’s world wide web to change the mindset of the government of the Maldives – from a place where it is legally accepted practice to flog 15yr old victims of rape, to a place where it is TOTALLY unacceptable. Do your bit for the vulnerable mothers and daughters in the world and sign up – after all, if you’d be born in the Maldives, it could be you or your relative. Do it now and tell us you’ve done it. Thank you. Then you can vote for St Tim as the next Pope!