Honoring The Women Activists Silenced in 2017

Such is the reality of our world. How do we approach this reality in 2018? More of the same?

The Human Lens

There is no doubt that 2017 has been a gory year for human rights almost every where in the globe, rights campaigners and activists have been making noise in their many battles.  While both men and women have been defending human rights, this year proved that women face more dangers for their activism.

Women getting targeted for what they defend, on basis of the fact that they are mere women first then attention gets paid to what exactly are they fighting for. We have lost trailblazing women in the past months and this is a tiny attempt at honoring their work.

1. Shifa Gardi – IRAQ

A very daring women reporter on the front lines, she worked for the Iraqi Kurdish channel Rudaw. Shifa Gardi, was 30 years old and had broken many a stereotypes of male-dominated journalism. unfortunately, she was killed by a roadside bomb as she covered the…

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21 thoughts on “Honoring The Women Activists Silenced in 2017

  1. Woebegone but Hopeful

    Thank you for this sombre share Sha’ Tara, open our eyes to people who are truly putting their lives on the line

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Self empowerment is happening, one-on-one, but as always it carries the ultimate price tag. These martyrs are not crazy people, they are the compassionate. They know their lives are on the line, yet they carry on. These are the heroines and heroes. These are the ones, if I had children, I would teach them to emulate, even if it meant that one day I would be holding my own dead child in my arms. That is how much I hate the corruption that passes itself off as normalcy on this world, at this time. Never has mankind plummeted to this level of depravity on a global level. Sobering it is to know [as I do] that we have but begun our collective imploding.

      1. Woebegone but Hopeful

        ‘Epitaph’ from the King Crimson Album ‘In The Court of The Crimson King’ has the sobering lines:
        ‘If we make it. We can sit back and laugh
        But tomorrow I fear we will be crying’
        The motivations and the crimes are nothing new; it’s the proliferation of more efficient ways to cause mayhem and crime that narrow the margins for error.

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        The saddest, heaviest part is that we’ve entered a time again when such crimes are considered commonplace, and ho-hum. Time and again throughout man’s sad history, some people tried to instill a sense of the sacredness of life among this species. Then the wheel turned and it was all but forgotten. The Empire came back to rule and the Jedi’s were slaughtered. Then the people lived in darkness, barely able to remember, or realize, it was they themselves through their uncaring; lack of concern; selfish ways and outright evils such as racism, misogyny and wanton cruelty who made the rule of Empire possible. Empire always means death.

      3. Woebegone but Hopeful

        Sadly in Europe Sha’ Tara we witnessed the mirror image.
        The Hapsburg’s Austro-Hungarian Empire broke up and all the nations without exception took to persecuting minorities caught on the wrong side of the border.
        Then they all suffered in WWII as Germany and the USSR rolled back and forth, now they are all democracies, and……..let’s find the minorities!
        Smear on the fossil record I tell you!

      4. Sha'Tara Post author

        “Smear on the fossil record” – certainly expresses that way. What is wrong with people? Even common sense would say don’t do this. One small move and suddenly you yourself, are the minority being persecuted and hunted down for extermination. OK, so I’ll continue putting it down to programming. Question will be, who/what does the programming?

      5. Woebegone but Hopeful

        I’m going with our basic natural defence mechanism which all creatures have has gone defective through our misuse of our ‘opposable thumbs’ and ‘powers of reasoning’

      6. Sha'Tara Post author

        My neighbour and I were discussing the state of the world yesterday over a Czech pilsener… a very good beer (!) and how we got here. It’s interesting to travel the timelines with another of a totally different perspective, she being not yet quite 30, me, 71. She, widely travelled globally, me hating travel. What happened to us back there when we “split” from the animals and began using our creative brains to literally change our world? When we decided that nature was our enemy and we had to develop ways to counter it? Or did we have a choice in that decision? Evolution or creation or intervention?

        I insisted on intervention, not a gentle, smooth course change but a sudden radical and violent one. When we were reshaped, cloned is a better word, to suit the needs of a master race that upon departure, having gotten all that they wanted (or as some say, having warred themselves off the planet) did all in its considerable power to erase any memories of what they had done to us, leaving a running programming to prevent us from reaching back and ever learning; a programming tweaked at the experience of “Babel” where/when man’s single language was “confused” into an endless variety of dialects. The point then was that man could never reach unified understanding and thus empower itself; they would fear, hate and fight each other until they destroyed one-another. How well has history demonstrated the effectiveness of that move by the “Elohim” or the “gods” of the Sumerians.

        Of course(!) people don’t want to believe this, despite all evidence. Anything, anything, but truth found in common sense and observation. Call the wrongs, rights. Call hate, love. Call ignorance, power. Call war, peace making. Anything, anything, so there can never be understanding between people.

      7. Woebegone but Hopeful

        Hi Sha’ Tara,
        I’m going with the notion that there is still Hope we can see we are doing it all wrong and change our ways, with an option for the Smear Status if we insist otherwise.

      8. Sha'Tara Post author

        I can understand the need to cling to that last straw, Hope. It’s a tradition. Personallyif I entertained even an iota of “hope” I’d reset my mind by reading up on the Stanley Milgram obedience experiment (or watching the movie, “The Experimenter” with Peter Sarsgaard and Winona Rider) and remind myself that Earthians are a programed species designed to be ever subservient to authority no matter what sort of authoritative system they invent to lord it over them. Certainly it’s our prerogative to delude ourselves with virtues and morals that time and again make us feel good, but should it not be our goal to free ourselves of any sort of beliefs that have brought us but short term pleasure or success and long term pain and grief? Then, instead of holding our collective breath as we plunge wholesale into the icy seas, why not “invent” something powerful enough to literally change our “human nature;” something we can’t be so proud of considering these times. Is there nothing at all on the menu that could empower us to free ourselves from a decadent nature apart from ever returning to those traditional things that have never worked?

      9. Woebegone but Hopeful

        Well I guess from my perspective we’ll see how robust Darwin’s ideas were.
        We’re all part of a vast cycle of Creation and quark-sized bits in the Massive Magnificence of The Universe, in which there all multitudes of possibilities and probabilities. We barely know even the surface of the actions and interactions. Thus the danger being from a variety of perspectives to believe ‘The Answer’ is known.
        Thus far, our ‘Natural’ history in comparison with other species and classifications of species is very brief. We shall see, we shall see.
        We may well vanish at some stage. This is Life. I sorrow for the innocent individuals caught up in the process.

      10. kertsen

        Mankind has plummeted to this level throughout history. What stands in the way of power and money is mercilessly removed without a second thought. Corruption is very subtle it can infiltrate every area of political life and we are not free from it in our western democracies. It is part of the predatory side of human nature.

      11. Sha'Tara Post author

        Hi Kersten. Someday, someone is going to have to define “human nature” for me. I mean, really, fully define it, from every major angle, including scientific. Because, you see, anytime the concept “human nature” comes up I get thoroughly confused. Nature is nature. What is natural stays natural. Only natural evolution can change nature. The same would hold for man. Man is a predator, by nature. Thus, being a predator is natural and normal. Why then would anyone feel that it should be fought against? What could be wrong for a natural predator to, for example, sexually exploit women and children? What can possibly be wrong for a natural predator to torture people, mostly for kicks? What can possibly be wrong with the “fittest” natural predators accumulating riches for themselves at the expense of the less fit? What can possibly have been wrong with Hitler’s stance, as a natural predator, to decide that any non-Germanic race was destined to be enslaved, or wiped out? By the same token anyone promoting unnatural approaches to human predation such as compassion, kindness, self-sacrifice, charity and etc., should be immediately mobbed and killed as the enemy of human nature, as a deadly disease. Imagine, just imagine what would happen here if such unnatural concepts (un-human nature “ideals”) were let loose among the predators, changing their nature so that they would no longer oppress, exploit, decimate, poison, rape, torture and commit genocide against each other? Can you imagine the mayhem that would cause? We’d never survive it. Do I now get it or not?

      12. kertsen

        You know the story very well animal predators don’t torture but they do win the race for the meat to survive. Man has left the animal evolutionary line and it happened when he became moral. Morals made us unnatural and made compassion, self sacrifice , charity possible, they also distorted the predatory instinct making torture and slavery possible. You are raging against what evolution has brought about

      13. Sha'Tara Post author

        I was just going to close this down when your comment downloaded, Kersten. I quote you here (’cause I’m sure as hell still confused!) “Man has left the animal evolutionary line and it happened when he became moral. Morals made us unnatural and made compassion, self sacrifice , charity possible, they also distorted the predatory instinct making torture and slavery possible. You are raging against what evolution has brought about.”
        You say that man, through evolution, became a moral being, which made him unnatural. Are you saying that “evolution” goes against nature? I don’t get this. If evolution operates counter to nature wherever, whenever, then what governs evolution, or is that God? Were the ancients who invented goddesses and gods, then finally a one god, actually trying to explain or define a rogue, unnatural force we now refer to as evolution? Hey, this could be big news!

      14. kertsen

        If you do not believe humans have taken their own development into their own hands , taking over where the blind watchmaker left off then you do not believe in free will. I’m not in that school of thought . Just as we inherit our bodies at birth and have to make the best of them so we inherit our natures from evolution and have to come to terms with them.

      15. Sha'Tara Post author

        If you do not believe humans have taken their own development into their own hands , taking over where the blind watchmaker left off then you do not believe in free will. I’m not in that school of thought . Just as we inherit our bodies at birth and have to make the best of them so we inherit our natures from evolution and have to come to terms with them.

        Thanks for your comment, Kersten. First to restate: one of my life’s mottoes is, believe all things, believe in nothing. I know free will exists, since I can use it, but I do not believe IN free will. I may know that I have a favourite knife in the block, but I don’t believe IN that knife. It isn’t going to do anything without me. If I don’t pick it up and use it, that knife may as well not exist. Free will is just that: useful to those who know how to use it, useless to those who do not, or will not.
        Of course, and obviously, Earthians “have taken their own development into their own hands” but whether there ever was “the blind watchmaker” is another issue. Somewhen in the past a split occurred between man and nature from which there would be no turning back. Homo Sapiens appeared and soon all other hominids had disappeared. And that is a mega problem because Homo Sapiens did not inherit its body, brain and mind from any kind of natural evolution extant on planet Earth. That’s not an off-the-cuff statement, the proof lies in what Homo Sapiens is doing to this world.

      16. kertsen

        You have a mistaken idea of hominids already several types have been discovered ; Neanderthal , Devesonian , among them who interbred with homo sapiens — yes they were that closely realated. We still have their DNA in our cells. They coexisted for thousands of years.
        DNA is the fingerprint of life and goes right back to the beginning. When Watson and Crick discovered the structure they realised it was a self replicating molecule. The great problem is just how did that self replicating molecule arise ; once it was there evolution proceeded driven by natural selection.

  2. A writer from the East

    Thanks for reblogging and your solidarity. Its time as these that need to stand together, as only God knows what shall come by in 2018. Its the first time ever in my life that I am sending hopelessness and fear together.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      I am sorry. I’m what is known as a “rainy day” person. I don’t look at the world through rose coloured glasses; I’m more likely to use binoculars and a microscope. I have no happy thoughts about the immediate future knowing from experience that it is foolish to entertain hope where evidence points in the opposite direction. Instead of hope, the common refusal to face reality, I look at what “today” says about “tomorrow” and approach it accordingly. 2018 will definitely not be any better than 2017: who of significance or what of power has done anything to make it better? The current elites have been gorging themselves on the planet’s resources and the blood of the people. Have they shown any remorse? Any sign that they are through gorging, or is everything rather pointing in the standard direction, indicating they will want more? Being compassionate isn’t being blind, certainly not wimpy. We need to stand firm, just like these women martyrs who knew what they “signed up for” and we need to stand on our own also. Self empowerment AND compassion. That does not mean we aren’t there when a group of people come together to make change. This is one time we can be both, self empowered, and also part of a collective. As you are doing.

  3. Phil Huston

    Come on. Women have been second class citizens since the caves. Back when it was a capital offense to be an educated woman, women stepped up. Some even dressed like a man to be allowed to contribute. It is way beyond time for women to be heard, their medical needs met and their oppotunities insured. But 2017? Go back six or eight hundred years. Go back three or five thousand. Go back before it was anything we know now.



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