The most beautiful curve on a womans body is her smile
~ Bob Marley ~
In Brazil I’ve cycled with a woman for a while. At some point she took a different turn than I did. That’s how it works with cyclists. She went back to her group of cyclists and I went on by myself. About 2 weeks later I met the group somewhere along the Brazilian coast. She wasn’t there and the overall energy was heavy and grevous. When I asked about her they told me she was in the hospital. Two guys had pulled her of her bicycle and had raped her.
There I was, cycling in a country, a country that I know with people that I love. Cycling with questions and conflict in my head. Cycling, connecting, raise some money here and there for projects. Trying to convey a (positive) message, all is truly precious to do but I’ve seen with my own eyes how women are being treated in many countries. I have a weakness for this subject, I’ve always had.
Currently I’m in India, a fascinating country, but also a country where the position of women is simply abjective (lousy). Imagine a society where women are being raped structurally. In India that means every 20 minutes. I quote a long time traveler in India: “It’s like the funny smiling Riksha driver with his pink elephant poster and cute Shiva puppets on his mirror who goes out at night with his friends to rape a women (the whore who had the nerve walking in the streets after 9 o’clock).” I ran into signs saying things like ‘Real men don’t rape’. The sheer absurdity of a sign like that alone. And it’s hard to imagine but the documentary India’s Doughter has been refused, forbidden, to broadcast here in India. An intense documentary but I definitely recommend it. In the end regulation and laws are being implemented in this huge and complex country but in practice women rights remain painfully wrong and perverse. The most recent study about the rape of women from Human Rights Watch you find here.
There are many examples. Especially in the countryside. And unfortunately not only in India. In my next cycling destination Nepal, a beautiful country that I know well, women in some parts from the countryside are sent to the forest during their period. Not clean, impure. This short video shows another example of the existing madness towards women.
FREE A GIRL
In many countries where I’ve worked or travelled I’ve been exposed to prostitution, lack of respect and exploitation of women. The most recent blow job that was offered to me was last summer on the Italian countryside. It was a 20 year old Nigerian prostitute. I’ve seen many, they just sit there in the middle of nowhere under an umbrella in 40+ degrees of heat waiting for a car or truck to stop. It’s a very sad sight. The Dutch cyclist also stopped, but for a talk not for a blow job.
Dutch NGO Free a Girl takes these kind of problems very concrete. They don’t have the international exposure / body to pressurize policy makers in my opinion but they are doing a good job as far as I can tell. Here you’ll find a short documentary (20 min) about women rights and child prostitution in India and here’s their website.
Child marriage, you might have heard about its existence. Sounds rather bizarre but in many countries it’s legal and part of every day life. Latin America, Afrika and Asia have the highest numbers in this collective insanity. A man of 40 marrying a girl of let’s say 13. Try to imagine it if you have a daughter, gonna kick in even harder. It’s direct proof of the danger that comes with conforming to culture or social rules. And because of this docile weakness of humans it is even possible that in the year 2050 we have 1,2 billion women on earth who have been married as a child (source). Every form of child marriage is by definition nothing more than a legal form of pedophilia. And it runs in such numbers that the role of governments and religion in the position of (young) women is without a doubt disgusting and corrupt.
Child marriage in India you might expect but also in the U.S. there have been over 200 thousand cases of child marriage in the last 15 years (check). And the cristian church? Well they have paid an appalling 4 billion dollars on the sex and abuse scandals since 1950. That number does not include therapy for the victims, help for the holy offenders or the creation of ‘safe environment’ programs (source National Catholic Reporter). If you happen to go to church and you want to put some money in that basket you might wanna reconsider.
It’s conservative men in power (political and religious) who operate globally and who block human progress. Prohibiting abortion (even in rape cases) or the abolishment of sexual education in schools. Happens. And do not be mistaken because this goes deep in the international slime of nepotism. Last year Saudi Arabia – where a woman was decapitated for witchcraft in 2011 – was appointed to the UN-commission for women rights. The human rights organisation UN Watch responded: “It’s like appointing a pyromaniac as head of the fire departement.”
Now regarding witches, never really learned something about that in school. I wonder why. Because when we get back in time we see that women were presecuted on a massive scale and it was the cristian and political elite back then who had introduced this mass haunt.
In those times political and religious leaders were even more trusted than now and what they told society was simply “true”. This way they created an enemy, the witch, and the lie that was spread served a.o. to strengthen their position. Usually when a common enemy is created you get cohesion (or division which also works) within society which can be used to strengthen a (political) party, ideology or position. And it doesn’t matter if it’s witches, muslims, refugees, or Koreans, or whatever. It’s an old strategy that we see now more than ever before.
And yes, also back then they used media and propaganda. Witches would do the craziest things. Making cocktails and turning other people into animals, they were the personafication of satan on earth. After all, the more you show how evil the enemy is, the more ruthless you can be in your counter-reaction. This also works in contemporary media. It’s what we call dehumanization. It justified then to burn women alive and it justifies now to go to war. A summary about the witch prosecution you’ll find here.
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CREATION
Could it perhaps be that women were prosecuted back then (and being opressed now) because of the assumption that they are more conscious then men? Eckart Tolle (great books) writes about that as well. Those so called witches were more in touch with the reality of nature. Nature as holy, as god and this could imply they didn’t have faith anymore in the cristian doctrine which could be seen as a threat by the church. These were women with more individual freedom who did not go with the masses. A movement you see happening right now as well. Global consciousness is something that people in control fear. Imagine people being truly free, start questioning and thinking for themselves and develop themselves as critical consumers with an uncontrollable life- and voting pattern. My guess is that the top 150 companies in this world wouldn’t be too happy about it. Besides, who’s gonna pay the tab when a bank collapses?
So this growing awareness, this global consciousness that is growing and growing, could it be that it manifests with women first? I mean women are intuitive and more sensitive than men. It al resonates easier. On average, talk to a guy about this stuff and he has no idea what you’re talking about. In general they haven’t got a clue. And I know because I’m a simple guy who just happens to cycle for a change.
After all it’s the women who gives birth, it’s the women who gives her child unconditional love. The power of women comes from within whereas with us guys it comes from the outside. Muscles, ego and by all means do not show your vulnerability. I see it along the way, in Europe or in a spiritual spot like Rishikes where I am now. It’s mostly women meditating, practicing yoga or doing mindfulness. And in my opinion they are not only more conscious they are also less competitive. In analogy with traffic they don’t have to be faster or they don’t go all mental when a Dutch cyclist – high on dopamines – takes the road all to himself. Could it therefore be that their decision-making in business and politics will be different? Less reactive and more balanced? But hey, it’s just a thought. Besides, I’m not objective since the most beautiful creation of this universe gave me life.
Sitting on my bike, contemplating the if’s, I always see a beautiful world. And in this world it is always women who govern. Governing without being oversensitive for the internal and external powers that be. No illusionary democracy but sincere and objective co-operation with an aim for collective human progress. So no jobs at let’s say a bank (It’s that obvious it’s an insult to our intelligence), no lobbyists, no titles or getting off on media performances. When women ‘rule’ there is world peace and everybody has their bowl of rice within 10 to 20 years. I kid you not. And let’s get this straight, I’m not talking about the Hillary Clintons of this world. Because there are many sharks operating in a man’s world. I’m talking structurally within all layers of society.
Speaking of witches, I met one here in Rishikesh. Her name is Anjana (first picture) and an ‘Anjana’ is a witch or ferry in Spanish mythology. They take the form of old / vulnerable women to test the helping hand of people. They are seen as generous, good and protective to all people.
Anjana was born with no arms and a totally deformed back. Usually she sits not too far from the holy Ganges a 10 minute walk from where I have a little room. I met her about 6 weeks ago, we share a good connection.
When you are born in India like this then that’s bad karma. Something like: you get what you diserve. Without arms in India – if nobody takes care of you, or when you’re poor – basically means you are outkast. Properly fucked. For life. When I saw her for the first time she had this big smile and she was drawing. She makes these cool paintings with her feet. I got fascinated and I sit with her every now and then. Sometimes we do a tea together and sometimes I hold the cup so people who don’t buy still give some money. Then she gives me a smile and I give her a wink. Teamwork.
Most Indians who live in the margin of society end up begging for food or money. Anjana as well, she didn’t know better. Until one day an American woman, yoga teacher, saw that she had a steady foot when she was drawing something. This woman gave her the confidence to get better, to improve herself, to become an expert and to start making these drawings. Now she makes the best in Rishikesh with her feet which she sells on the street. She says she has her dignity back and that she is not depending on other people, that she can take care of herself.
It’s an extraordinary story. A story that shows what a woman – and humans in general – is capable of. It shows resillience and strength. A story that shows us that sometimes humans just need a shift in their thought process, a little support to change and wake up. It is a simple principle since the plasticity of our brain allows us to adapt and change in the prefered direction. In fact we can do anything if we truly give ourselves, surrender ourselves to it and work like crazy to achieve it. Because that’s the deal: you have to truly want it, think about it, visualise it, practice it and work hard to get it. Failing is learning and when you fall, you get up harder. Having that said, when people are capable of rewiring their brain it can also be done to change the ignorance about women rights. We have to do it ourselves and repeat, repeat, repeat the universal law: Respect for women. Until it even reaches the countrysides of Nepal. But it is us who have to make this change, it has nothing to do with laws but everything with information and education. Without any hidden agenda’s.
Witches, handicapped, rape, child prostitues, a fun story to share at the Christmas table. Do with it as you please. Fact of the matter is that you, me, Indian, American and all citizens should start informing ourselves and our children. Be critical, question and draw an opinion of your own. And not only regarding women. The more knowledge, the more people will act accordingly. Maybe then more men will step up for the position of women. Inform yourself and do not (always) trust the media you are being served because that just might lack some integrity here and there. Always check sources and interests, also mine.
Met some inspiring and beautiful people here in Rishikesh. It’s a special place. Energy is good. Been here for 6 weeks now but I might stay just a bit longer. I’m gonna cycle with a power girl from the Netherlands to raise money for 2 women empowerment projects in february in Nepal so I got time. Here I can work on my body. Do some yoga, get it in shape, get bendy. My body has been through a lot, got some serious injuries in the past, especially my back and neck are so so.
Aside from that I’m trying to sell something to pay for my trip. It’s a ‘Velosophy’ calendar I made with my (awesome) cycling pics and cool filosophical quotes. Although I can (non-objectively) say it’s a really nice calendar which you should buy but maybe you do that next year. Instead – and you drop me a line if you’re interested – I’d much rather have you buying a drawing from Anjana. A drawing with a special story. A story of a woman that’s worth sharing.