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Vol 2012 no 2 (Posted November 2012)

Education || Religion || Terrorism || Women's Leadership ||Human Rights||

Women's Leadership


Mothering Mother Earth; The Power of Women in Modern Third World Reform Movements
Sarah Chloe Burns, Associate Adjunct Faculty, History Department, Economics Department, College of the Canyons

The purpose of this report is to compare and parallel the ongoing successes of women in modern third-world reform movements, in the hope of identifying workable models and methods, especially in light of the recent Arab Spring.  This study focuses on four third world revolutionary movements:  the Himalayan Chipko movement (India), post-colonial tribal women of Kenya (Africa), the revolutionary Zapatista women of Chiapas (Mexico), and Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (Argentina).  Special emphasis will be placed on the success stories in India and Argentina.  It is clear that female revolutionaries have one characteristic in common.  As stated by Amina al-Said of Egypt, “The role of women does not end with peace” (the title of an article she wrote, as Egyptian women volunteered for the Army, in 1956).  In fact, it is in the immediate post-colonial, post-revolutionary, post-junta world that the greatest chaos occurs.  The most eminent evil overthrown, a return to the old, traditional patriarchy is often violently intensified by colonial or revolutionary patriarchy.   This is especially true among the most marginalized sectors of society—the indigenous women of the Third World.  One clear fact emerges from this study—the exponential effects of capitalist globalization have worked to greatly usurp women’s rights in the Third World; and this process was well underway by the 17th century.


“The Necessities of the Hour”: Edith Wharton’s Reluctant Volunteerism
Sharon Kehl Califano, Co-Chair, Liberal Studies Department, Assistant Professor, English, Hesser College


In A Backward Glance (1934), Edith Wharton recalled her “charitable work” during the World War I, for which France awarded her the decoration of “Chevalier” of the National Order of Legion of Honor, in 1916, and King Albert of Belgium awarded her the Medal of Queen Elizabeth, two years later: “Many women with whom I was in contact during the war had obviously found their vocation in nursing the wounded, or in other philanthropic activities… I cannot honestly say that I was of the number… Everything I did during the war in the way of charitable work was forced on me by the necessities of the hour” (356-7). Even though she distanced herself from the other “many women” who eagerly engaged in philanthropy, Wharton raised awareness and funds for the orphaned children of France’s destroyed towns and villages through her authorship. The immediate costs of the war were all too well-known to Wharton, from when she visited by motor-car and reported on the state of military hospitals near the front, for the Red Cross, in 1915. Her accounts of five trips into the war-zone appeared as four articles published by Scribner’s Magazine, serially, which were then later collectively published as Fighting France: From Dunkerque to Belfort. In these pieces, Wharton clarified that she aimed to “bring home to American readers some of the dreadful realities of war” (352).


Leadership Qualities of a Warrior Queen
Mary Ann Jordan, School of Education, Educational Administration, Baylor University

The primary purpose of this study is to determine the leadership qualities of Briton Iceni Warrior Queen Boudica. A secondary purpose is to share information with adult learners at University of Oxford and with student learners at Baylor University. The possibility exists to inform colleagues in educational arenas in Texas and the United States of the heroics of this woman who rallied and led many disparate tribes of Britons to fight the Roman Empire in the first century.
An outstanding statue of Boudica and her daughters charging the enemy in their chariot stands on the banks of the Thames River in London; it looks as if she is going to battle against Westminster and the Parliament buildings. In actuality the statue was erected by Prince Albert in honor of Queen Victoria in 1905. Boudica is said to be translated to Victoria through several changes—Boudicca, Bouidicca, Boudicea, etc. The preferred and original spelling is Boudica (with the accent on the first syllable).
To gather information and answer research questions regarding leadership qualities of Boudica, texts, websites, pictures, CDs of television broadcasts, music, and plays were analyzed to find common themes. A look at the history of the Iceni-Roman relationship was necessary for better understanding of the circumstances that stimulated this lady to take up arms against the ruling Roman legions.

Results of the study revealed the leadership qualities of Boudica were specific to her place and time in some ways, but not all. Her determination and fierce confidence are still found in leaders of integrity today. Her extreme anxiety and ability to lead an army of tribes that were not united in any way is particular to her situation. The element of surprise attack helped her tribesmen of 120,000 defeat the enemy. Boudica was successful in rallying her Briton tribesmen by convincing them that the injustices done to her and her family would be visited on other Britons in the future unless they worked together to defeat their common enemy. She pointed out how all had suffered since the Romans landed on their island. The ruling Romans did not conceive that the subjugated Britons could rise up and massacre them. “It is a mistake the conquering nations sometimes make –to consider a rebellion of the conquered to be impossible, because they find it unbelievable.”


Cultural Narratives of Academic Leadership at the Dawn of the 21st Century
Elizabeth Langland, Foundation Professor of the Humanities, Vice Provost and Dean, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Arizona State University


There’s a certain hubris in setting out to chart the discourse of academic leadership as we begin the second decade of this new century.  My paper doesn’t have the millennial scope that is, perhaps, implied by my title. My more modest intention is to focus instead on what’s being written about “leadership” at this moment—from the late 90s through the first decade of the 21st century. These narratives have a short shelf life, an appropriate metaphor because, like goods in a produce market, they spoil relatively quickly. And each appears to offer a definitive assessment of what makes a great leader; while in truth, most of us would probably agree with the three co-authors of “Discovering Your Authentic Leadership” who say that, despite thousands of analyses, “none of these studies has produced a clear profile of the ideal leader.”


Neo-Colonial Fingerprints of Women at the Rims of Higher Education
A. Myrna Nurse, Associate Professor of English, Delaware State University

Today’s domestic work is as stratified as the names presently assigned it, those evident from this research include babysitter, nanny, childcare provider, childcare giver, au pair, housekeeper, household help, and shadow mother. The women—and occasional man—who work in this field in the U.S. originate from all countries but currently predominantly from the Caribbean and Philippines. Whether they reside legally or illegally in the U.S., until 2010, all New York domestic workers labored without the protection of the law because this work has been regarded as unskilled; hence, those in this field have worked at risk of their health, holistically and naturally, suffering the most abuse emotionally, verbally, and in the worst cases, physically. Consequently, they cannot even begin to identify with the Ivy-league women of Anne-Marie Slaughter’s article in July/August 2012 of The Atlantic, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” which provoked an international response. The majority of domestic workers who labor at the bottom of the social stratum, unlike Slaughter, cannot anticipate any respite from their drudgery and abuses. Too many are similar to Valdi, the protagonist of Nandi’s 2009 novel, The True Nanny Diaries: A Novel. Nandi’s work portrays four women—two legal and two illegal—who have tried to escape domestic work because this type of work was not their choice. They, in turn, stand in stark contrast to some women who in real life choose to be professional nannies.

‘Critical’ Feminism and ‘Misogyny’ in Philosophy
John Roemischer, Professor (retired), City University of New York

The Greek term misogyny (μισογύνης) is translatable as “woman hatred,” and generally concretized by feminists in terms of androcentric value determinations and language dominance. Generally tied by feminists to Western metaphysics and socio-political philosophy, and to Western philosophic writing as a genre, some feminists have strongly condemned the ‘misogyny’ of several major canonical figures—Plato, Aristotle especially, and Descartes’s rationalist approach to ontology.  A core theme has been the Aristotelian androcentric infatuation with a metaphysically geometrized causal theory and hierarchic dualism—a masculine rational telos or “final cause” as opposed to a feminine inclination toward emotion, for the hylomorphic superimposition of male seminal form over female catamenial “material cause”—in effect, for a “male and female [who] differ in their essence.” Most feminists have strongly promoted an unforgiving rejection of Aristotle’s “metaphysical biology” at the expense of his more gender-generous socio-political writing. In all dualisms, the secondary terms, concretized as diminished capacities, are ontologically negative: e.g., emotion, defined as a subjective agitation that marks an absence of reason, provides a limited transactional capacity for those who are governed by it, while reason and language are seen as open to universal transactional possibilities. ‘Critical’ Feminism will need to avoid the restrictive metaphysical “spatializations” of dualist philosophies (of mind vs. body) in order to avoid geometrized value antecedence, priority, and social discontinuities.





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