the Wellesley Globalist Volume II, Issue 1
Featuring: Bareheaded and Barefoot: A Pirate Queen of the Irish Seas A Flight with Bicycles: A Studentâ€™s Experiences in the Netherlands
Oaxaca at the Center of Teacher Protests in Mexico City
Table of Contents Socio-Political 6 Oaxaca at the Center of Teacher Protests in Mexico City 10 December Rape and Riots: lost cause? 14 The Syria Conflict
Theme: Pirates 16 Bareheaded and Barefoot: A Pirate Queen of the Irish Seas 20 The Political and Economic Motivations for Piracy in Somalia
Environment 24 The Opportunity Cost of Manmade Air
Opinion Editorials 26 Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and Snoop Dogg: Stitching Together an American (Ghetto) Story
Culture 30 Cultural Continuation: A Study of Native American Girlsâ€™ Puberty Ceremonies 34 A Flight with Bicycles 38 Photography Damian Bere
Most of us have never met pirates, yet we feel informed about them through movies, fictional or documentary, as well as books about their adventures and stories. While we might think of pirates as characters from history, pirates still exist to this day and their activities continue to draw global attention. In light of current events of hijacking and maritime terror on the Nigerian coast, alleged piracy activities in Murmansk, Russia, and the continued attacks in the Gulf of Aden, the Wellesley Globalist brings to you its third edition on Pirates. This edition’s theme is to highlight the presence and causes of piracy in our modern day world: it takes us to the Gulf of Aden, and narrates a story of Somali pirates as time goes by. Apart from our theme, the Globalist presents to you a variety of other issues of global concern, as our writers underline important social, economic, political, cultural, and environmental issues around the world. I would like to thank you for your commitment and support to the Wellesley Globalist. Nearly two years ago, the Wellesley Globalist’s staff met for the first time as a new chapter of the Global 21 network. Since then, the staff and writers’ have shown, without exception, extraordinary efforts and motivation. As the Editor in Chief, I am very proud of the work and progress that the Wellesley Globalist has accomplished. The teamwork, support, and the kind of friendship developed during the process fostered my growth as a leader and as a student at Wellesley College. It was my great honor to start this group on our campus. I would like to thank Wellesley professors, administrators, writers, and contributors without whom this publication would not be possible. Finally, I would like to thank our readers for your constant support and encouragement! I wish you a great read, and I encourage you to submit your own contributions to our email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Best regards, Your Editor-in-Chief Dana Al-Jawamis Class of 2014 International Relations-Political Science
Editorial Staff Editor-in-Chief: Dana Al-Jawamis’14 VP & Managing Editor: Stephanie Kossman’15 Associate Editors: Siqi Gao ’15 Elisabetta Pellegrino ’15 Online Editor: Shan Lee ’16 Photography & Design Editor: Sarah Berry ’16 Rachid Aadnani
Production Editor: Rebecca George ’15 Layout Editors: Wendy Ma ‘17 Hanna Tenerowicz ‘16 Gail Zhuang ‘15 Copy Editor: Shannon Lu ’16 Business Director: Alison Noehrbass ’14 Treasurer: Carrie Bandurska ’16 Front Cover Designer: Annie Wang ‘17 Back Cover Photographer: Gilda Rastegar ‘17
Photo courtesy of Eden Pictures
Oaxaca at the Center of Teacher Protests in Mexico City By Helen Phillips sidered the historic leader of the teachers’ movement. Class of 2017 Tens of thousands of Local 22 striking members have occupied the Zócalo, the main square in Mexico City, with their tents, lean-tos, and huts. Peña Nieto, Mexico’s PRI president, was elected In a city of over 22 million people, what happens when tens of thousands of teachers take to the heart of a city to in July 2012. At the beginning of the year, he introduced protest the President’s new education reforms? Since the sweeping educational reforms that angered the teachers summer of 2013, prevailing protests have brought Mex- unions, which have always had near complete control ico City to a standstill, its citizens repeatedly shocked over Mexico’s educational system. This is the first time a president has introduced by the police brutality against the striking teachers. The strikes have brought the city to its knees with impass- any type of reform of the national educational system able roadways, cancelled public events, and interference in Mexico. Previously, the National Union of Education Workers (la SNTE) controlled the system and was with international flights. Leading the protests are teachers from the poor- under the leadership of Elba Esther Gordillo, a former est states in Mexico, including Oaxaca, a southern state loyal member of Institutional Revolutionary Party (the with a heavy indigenous presence. Among the major PRI) that ruled in Mexico for 79 years. However, she protestors is Local 22 from Oaxaca, a group largely con- switched her loyalties in 2006 and founded her own
New Alliance Party. Gordillo was arrested in February of 2013 for embezzling over two billion pesos, leaving a legacy of corrupt practices within the Mexican teachers unions. Up till the reforms passed on September 2 of this year, Mexican teacher unions, including the National Coordinating Committee of the Mexican Teachers’ Union (la CNTE) and the National Education Workers' Union (SNTE) had yielded great power within both the educational system and Mexican politics. It is not uncommon for teachers to be blatantly unethical, selling their positions or giving them to their children after they retire. Moreover, teacher unions often use their strong pull to sway elections. It is a corrupt educational system. It appears now that, with Gordillo in prison, Nieto is trying to gain control over the teachers unions in Mexico in order to affirm his government’s dominance. Questions remain: will he succeed? And what will the consequences be?
the educational future of Mexican children. Specifically, Nieto’s reforms include standardized curricula, high stakes testing, and performance related pay and tenure. One could argue that having good teachers is necessary in order to produce good students, but a clear focus on the students is also important. There needs to be balanced reforms for both teachers and students, which Peña Nieto has yet to introduce. He is primarily concerned with the government regaining control over the unions, which, unsurprisingly, provoked teachers’ strikes. Poor southern states like Oaxaca lack the infrastructure to support their educational needs. For example, 16% of the population in Oaxaca is illiterate, compared to the national 7%; only 5% of Oaxaca’s indigenous population reach beyond primary school. Teachers sometimes have to travel for a day to reach the community where they teach, and even then the children in these communities can speak up to twenty different dialects. These are the important and preva-
It is not uncommon for teachers to be blatantly unethical, selling their positions or giving them to their children after they retire.
Photo courtesy of Alex Torres In a country full of children with sub-par education, Nieto’s reforms are decidedly focused on the teachers rather than on educational infrastructure or the students. According to Dr. Wasserspring, a professor in the Political Science Department at Wellesley College, Nieto’s reforms should be classified as labor reforms instead of education reforms because he focuses solely on the teachers and holds them responsible for
lent problems in Oaxaca as well as many other impoverished southern states. Therefore, Oaxacan teachers are complaining that the new standards set before them are unreasonable. Some believe that the Oaxacan teachers’ comThe Wellesley Globalist Page 7
plaints of potentially losing their jobs over Nietoâ€™s reforms seem selfish and possibly unfounded. Yet Oaxaca, like many poor states in Mexico, lacks the infrastructure to provide better pay and resources for the teachers, who now need to meet testing standards. There is a huge gap between what the Mexican government now expects of the teachers and what they can actually accomplish given their resources. For example, a teacher will have a hard time teaching English when the English textbook is translated incorrectly or the teacher does not know any English. A student who needs individual attention to understand a key concept in math is going to have trouble because
the teacher has thirty other students of all different ages who need attention as well. In a country where teachers are traditionally not evaluated, it is difficult to implement drastic changes that will now gauge teacher effectiveness. Evaluating a teacher living in a rural mountain community with no resources is harder than doing so to a teacher in Mexico City with abundant resources. Moreover, in order to reach every teacher in Mexico, the government would have to invest an obscene amount of money that it simply does not have. Mexico clearly desires to enter the first-world club, but it is having a difficult time implementing stan-
dardized curricula and a method of evaluating its teachers, both of which are mainstream in the first-world countries. For example, the US Department of Education says, "all states and schools will have challenging and clear standards of achievement and accountability for all children, and effective strategies for reaching those standards" (ed.gov). Mexico has never had clear-cut goals for its students. When Nieto tried to introduce reform, he dealt with strikes and protests in his backyard instead of productive discussions. For all its talk about being a major world power, Mexico has work to do regarding political and social discourse.
Mexico is rapidly changing as a democratic society. However, a true multi-party system has only emerged in the past fifteen years, and many still consider Mexico a weak democracy. In a country founded on tradition and where its people have a deep distrust of the government, change takes time. While Nietoâ€™s reforms are not perfect, they are considered by many a step in the right direction. Finally, a Mexican president is beginning to hold powerful interest groups responsible for their actions. After the riot policeâ€™s removal of the teachers on September 13, only time will tell how changes in the Mexican educational system will unfold.
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December Rape and Riots: lost cause? By Constance Gouelo Class of 2017 Now that almost a year has passed since the horrendous Delhi rape case took place last December, memory of the issue has faded for many. Newspapers worldwide no longer feature protests against sexual violence in India on their front pages. The world has quieted down from the initial shock and criticism of the situation in India. Among more than 24,000 rape cases that are pending in Indian courts, this particular case has created huge riots, protests and anger throughout the nation. Women in India say that this case has gone too far; yet they are groped constantly in public, raped, and assaulted. And going to courts, said Ms. C (head of charity, Maitri), is “just wasting my life.” Yet, the news around the world no longer talks about the aftermath of this case since the judge’s calling. There is no longer any angry rioting or protest. Are people pleased with new changes, or have they given up on pushing for change? This case has received so much attention partly because the victim’s parents could afford to pay for such a trial and speak out on behalf of their daughter and other women. In reality, not every victim can afford to do so. According to the World Bank’s recent statistics, an estimation of 41.6% of the total Indian population now lives under the global poverty line. The Wellesley Globalist Page 11 Ramesh Lalwani
Strong-willed victims are sometimes misunderstood. In August, a photographer/journalist was gang-raped in Mumbai and was determined to pursue her work. The police’s chief had blamed the rape on her “promiscuous culture” and politicians lamented her lost “honor”. To pursue, serious fundamentalists won’t allow sex education in school because of their obsession with the “purity” of women. When these women are faced with issues of sexual assault, they are at a loss of knowing what to do. On top of that, low and prominent figures are arrested consistently for sex crimes, but criticisms can be difficult. For example, Asaram Bapu, a Hindu guru was charged for sexually assaulting a follower of his, and when Ms. Kumari spoke against him, his supporters responded with tirades. To make things worse, the opposition leader in the lower house of parliament, Sushma Swaraj, suggests that a woman who has been raped is reduced to less than “living dead body.” The only time people’s demands are met is when the government itself can no longer control the protestors fueled by anger. The government is obliged to listen and act upon these requests in order to avoid further costs it might have to bear should the desperate protests turn violent.
So why did this case receive so much attention compared to the many others who are passed under the covers? This young woman was from a middle class Indian family and was aspiring to be a part of the medical world, while her attackers came from slums and had semi-casual jobs. The contrasting backgrounds of attackers and victims sustained the interests of wider social considerations and reflected the wide anxiety over the increase of rape issues. Indeed, were the victim a poor migrant girl from the rural areas, the case would not have made it in International news; it would have been just another one of those 24,000 cases still pending in the courts. Furthermore, it took only seven months for the police to spout the attackers on trial, in contrast to the usual 7 years it takes for the lucky cases to be put to trial (if they ever are.) In response to this case and the outrage it caused, the Indian government has created 1,800 fasttrack courts for cases of violence against women and children. The press has decided to no longer utilize the term “Eve teasing”, a trivial euphemism for sexual harassment. The word for rape, “balatkar,” is no longer taboo in Hindi. Another element that sparks interest about this
The police’s chief had blamed the rape on her ‘promiscuous culture’ and politicians lamented her lost ‘honor’.
Photo courtesy of Ramesh Lalwani
case is that four of the aggressors were sentenced to death. This case fell into the rarest of rare categories in which a large amount of the population calls for such penalty for the criminals. India has always been reluctant to carry out death penalties in the past. Indeed, on average, it hands down 130 death sentences every year but executed three people in the past 17 years. This action was a milestone that such attacks towards women would no longer be tolerated and that it takes a whole nation’s efforts to press for improvements of the legal system.
Marital rape is still not considered as a criminal offence in India.
Photo courtesy of Rebecca George It’s still too early to tell whether things are really changing. Reports came telling of the rape and murder of 59 year-old Australian Brahma Kumari adherent, Dawn Griggs, in March of 2004, the rape and murder of English teenager, Scarlett Keeling, in February of 2008, the rape of a Russian national in December of 2009, and the rape and murder of software engineer, Nayana Pujari, in 2009. Yet the situation was still bad in 2012 and on. Moreover, though this year the age of consent has been changed to 18 years old, marital rape is still not considered as a criminal offence in India. Some believe that the reliance on the sole testimony of the victim might become a “weapon for vengeance and vendetta to harass and blackmail their male friends”, according to Justice Kailash Ghambir of the Delhi High Court. Personally, I believe change is crucial for India’s progress as a whole, not just for Indian women. Having a more effective justice system will add to the population’s faith in the government as well as a safer society where women can participate freely in the work force. We, here in the United States, have seen for many years that women’s participation in the economy helps accelerate and improve the country’s prosperity. India still has a long way to go.
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The Syrian Conflict By Stephanie Kossman Class of 2015 In the beginning of the Arab Spring, the Syrian conflict began when Syrian people protested against the Assad regime and demanded reform and for Bashar Al-Assad to step down. Reports from governments and news channels continually confirmed that the internal conflict in Syria is a humanitarian crisis that demands international intervention. Before August 21, 2013, the United Nation’s Security Council and its veto power countries continually tried to pass a resolution on the conflict and intervene, but China and Russia insisted on blocking any resolution, arguing for the sovereign integrity of Syria. The United States, on the other hand, backed by its allies, affirmed that the use of chemical weapons in Syria is a “red-line” beyond which the United States will intervene. Their concern is that Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons landing in the hands of terrorist groups in an unstable nation in conflict. Chemical weapons are a means of inflicting harm or destruction on a large scale. Any delivery system that carries a toxic chemical, such as a bomb, may be considered a chemical weapon. Frequently used chemicals include choking, blister, blood, and nerve agents, which are stored as liquids but become gaseous upon release. These agents can sometimes be commonly found and easily accessed, however they are considered to be chemical weapons when they are stockpiled in large amounts and are contained and deployed from a delivery system in order to produce harm. Chemical weapons do not depend on an explosive force but solely the lethality of the chemical in use. On August 21, 2013 reports confirmed the use of chemical weapons in Damascus. Images, as well as doctors in the area treating subjected women, men, children, and elderly, are the primary sources confirming the event. The grand debate in the public realm was “who is responsible for the use of these weapons?” The Syrian Assad regime completely denied responsibility for their use and blamed groups on the ground instead. In response, the United States threatened a limited military strike and military movements were observed on the Mediterranean Sea in addition to other U.S. military bases preparing for a strike on Syria. The use of chemical weapons in Syria became an important issue, not only because it is a humanitarian crisis that violated rules of war, but also for the impact it has had in changing diplomacy and international action. This photo depicts a refugee camp for Syrians in Al-Zaa’atari camp, Jordan. Courtesy of UK Department for International Development.
For more information of the use of chemical weapons in Syria and elsewhere or on how to support and help refugees, visit our website: http://wellesleyglobalist.org/.
Photo courtesy of Stacy Cashman
A typical image of a pirate is usually one of a lawless, dirty, ruthless, murderous, thieving…man. But for Ireland, one of their most prominent pirates in history was a woman.
Bareheaded and Barefoot: A Pirate Queen of the Irish Seas By Mara Elissa Palma Class of 2015 Grace O’Malley, a sixteenth century leader, woman, and mother, was an intriguing historical figure because of the mystery and fable that surrounded her life. But Grace was most known for her acts of piracy, many of which were against British ships. Piracy, the robbery or violence at sea without governmental authority, was illegal by English law during Queen Elizabeth I’s rule over Ireland. Grace O’Malley continued attacking and raiding ships in spite of the law and earned a reputation as the “Pirate Queen.” A revolutionary figure in her time, Grace O’Malley is an oft-forgotten part of Irish and piracy history but her legacy as a strongwilled, politically savvy woman who got what she wanted lives on.
In 1530, the woman known as Grace O’Malley (Grania ui Maille in Gaelic) was born into the O’Malley clan. The O’Malleys had held the land on the western coast of Ireland, called Clew Bay, for over 1,000 years. Command of the sea was part of the family business. Her father, Owen Dubdharra (“Black Oak”) O’Malley, was chieftain of Umhall Uachtarach, or the Barony of Murrisk. He used naval warfare to defend his territory and Grace grew up hearing stories of her father’s conquests at sea. Even as a young girl of twelve or thirteen, Grace O’Malley knew what she wanted and how to get it. Grace pleaded with her parents to go on a seafaring trip (most likely on a raiding mission) with her father, but her mother and father refused, stating that young girls had no place on a ship. As her father was preparing to leave, Grace cut her hair short, dressed in young boys’ clothes, and stowed away on her father’s ship. Once the ship was far enough out to sea, she revealed herself, much to the surprise of her father and the crew, and earned the nickname, “Granuail,” which can be interpreted as “bareheaded,” according to Robert Knight, author of “The Pirate Queen: Four centuries ago a Celt named Grace demanded equality and got it.” Her father allowed her to stay with his crew for the rest of the journey because he saw a kindred love for the sea in his daughter. Once they returned home, however, it was back to the realities of Gaelic society. When she was sixteen, Grace was forced to give up sea travels for an arranged marriage to fulfill familial duty, as many other women were obliged to do during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Ireland. She married Donal O’Flaherty (sometimes called “Donal of the Battles” for his prowess in war) in 1546, a man who came from a similarly powerful land-owning clan. They had three children, Owen, Murrough, and Margaret. Not much was recorded about Grace’s days while married to Donal, but one could guess a woman with the seafaring in her blood wished to live her life sailing the Irish seas or to be captain of her own ship. Their marriage ended when Donal was killed by a neighboring clan which attacked in revenge for Donal’s attack on their territory. Around 1570, the neighboring Gaelic clan, the Joyces, attacked Donal’s castle, so-called the “Cock’s Castle,” because Donal, “the Cock,” had defended and conquered it years before. Grace’s defense of Donal’s castle after his death revealed her mettle as a warrior, even on land. The Joyces assumed the castle would be easy to take, but Grace defended the castle
and drove the Joyces away. Grace earned the title, “the Hen” and the castle was renamed, “Hen’s Castle.” Grace received a third of her husband’s lands after he died and kept possession of the castle where she and her children resided for approximately ten years. Grace O’Malley had become unofficial chieftain and queen of the O’Flaherty clan. It was after Donal’s death that Grace took up piracy. She took over her husband’s role as chieftain and led as many as two hundred men into battles. As stated in the documentary “Warrior Women,” Grace was extremely successful as a fighter and captain. Sailors looked for these qualities in a leader and Grace O’Malley was as fearsome a fighter as any other male ship captain. During a trade war with a neighboring clan, the O’Flaherty clan under Grace’s command was blocked from Galway City, a major port city north of Donal’s stronghold. Trade by sea was vital to a clan’s survival, so Grace sailed galleys - versatile, maneuverable, fast-moving boats with at least thirty oars plus sails - around Galway City to attack slower-moving merchant ships. Grace and her crew attacked these ships and demanded a fee for safe passage through the waters. When the merchant ships’ captains refused, Grace ordered her crew to loot the ship and carry away all the precious cargo. These newly acquired goods were sold to other merchants who paid Grace handsomely, rather than pay the high taxes imposed on Irish merchants by the British governors. Some of these ships were English trading ships, and soon Grace and her crew captured the attention of the English governors and the English Queen herself. Had it not been for England’s increasing encroachment to secure its borders through control of Ireland, the O’Malleys and various other Gaelic clans might have continued living in relative peace and harmony without foreign interference. As English governors replaced Gaelic chieftains as rulers of territories, Gaelic clan leaders were forced into submitting to the English governor’s will. Grace O’Malley refused to submit to the foreign invasion of Ireland from another land and looked for the next opportunity to strengthen her control and autonomy over her home territory. Grace’s next move allied her with another powerful clan while also allowing her to gain a strategic land holding. She married Richard-in-Iron Burke (Richard-an-Iarainn) in 1556. The Burkes, Richard’s clan, held important areas of western Ireland and Richard The Wellesley Globalist Page 17
courtesy of http://www.clareisland.ie/
was next in line to inherit the chieftainship over these lands, the title of “MacWilliam.” The strategic partnership was abruptly ended when Grace dismissed Richard one year later according to Brehon laws of the time, in which marriage and divorce were relatively simple and uncomplicated, with divorce being the right of both parties. Not much is known why Grace ended the marriage but it is more significant to consider that a woman in this time period could have the liberty to divorce her husband without consequences from the law. Grace was said to have kept Rockfleet Castle, originally held by Richard, because it was a strategic stronghold for her ships and crew. Richard and Grace continued their business and strategic relationship as sea captains and tradespeople even until Richard’s death in 1583. English governors attempted to get rid of Grace and her fleet, but to no avail. Grace was captured in 1577 and again several years later, both times held in Dublin Castle Jail. But even after she was released, she continued her piracy and harassed English (and Irish) merchant ships. Her actions placed her on a collision course with the English governor Bingham. Placed in command of Connaught in 1584, Sir Richard Bingham utilized brutal force as his weapon and attacked Grace’s family and territory. Bingham sent an English captain to quell a rebellion among Gaelic clans and among those captured was Owen O’Flaherty, Grace’s oldest son. Bingham ordered the clan leaders, including Owen, to be hanged and tortured as an example for the rebellion. According to Grace’s accounts as quoted by Anne Chambers, Owen was “cruelly murdered, having twelve wounds.” Bingham’s attack dog had stripped the surrounding lands of its resources when he gathered booty and cattle as payment and insult to the Irish clans. Owen’s death affected Grace so immensely that Grace continued attacking English merchant ships and Irish ship crews whom she suspected were loyal to the English crown, this time more fervently. Grace focused
her rage and quest for revenge on Sir Richard Bingham. Bingham had begun to push Grace out of her land holdings, and forced Grace to take to the seas in longer periods of time for survival and to maintain her livelihood. She kept her galleys and continued to attack merchant ships. It was an extremely difficult life and soon Grace took advantage of an opportunity to change her state of affairs by confronting the source of all the hardship, the English queen. In 1593, Grace wrote a letter to Queen Elizabeth I, petitioning for a pardon for herself and her family. She explained why Sir Richard Bingham’s harsh governance had forced Grace to “maintenance by the sea,” conveniently and craftily justifying her piracy without admitting to her actions, especially considering the English Queen had proclaimed piracy to be against the law and punishable by death. Sir Bingham continued the assault on Grace’s family and captured Grace’s brother Donal-na-Piopa. Grace seized the opportunity to take her case to the highest authority, the Crown itself. In July 1593, Grace and her crew executed a daring pirate mission and sailed into enemy waters in the heart of London to demand an audience, a face-to-face meeting with Queen Elizabeth I. Grace took a huge risk because her piracy was cause for imprisonment in the Tower of London and possibly being hanged. Sailing to the Queen’s summer palace, Greenwich Castle, Grace would have been one of the few Irish chieftains ever to set foot on English soil. There is only one picture of the meeting and no written records of what was said between the two women. But according to one version of the story, Grace walked into the palace aggressively and commandingly to face Queen Elizabeth, demanding her freedom and pardon for all past grievances. Much like Grace used the same in-depth knowledge of Irish Sea passages to outmaneuver English ships in her home terrain, she knew that Queen Elizabeth had the advantage and power in their meeting. With a single command, Grace would have been jailed, hanged, or beheaded. An experienced stateswoman like Grace knew the politics. She arrived dressed like a traditional Irish female chieftain and barefoot, the latter being a distinct characteristic and would have been the mark of a “wild Irishman” by British standards. In a show of defiance, Grace did not bow to Queen Elizabeth, something which only other monarchs were permitted to do. Grace sent a clear message that she considered herself equal to the English Queen. Despite the initial tension, Grace and Elizabeth conversed for several hours in Latin, the language they
had in common. Elizabeth also offered Grace a title, an offer of land ownership and a place in English nobility, but Grace declined out of the belief that she was of equal status as a queen and a title was degrading. The two women were in some sense equals, Grace being queen of Connaught, and Elizabeth as queen of England. One could also argue that both were pirate queens, using piracy as a means to an end. Grace used piracy to survive, to maintain a livelihood, and to preserve her power. Queen Elizabeth used piracy to expand her empire and power and to build an army of “gentlemen” to do her bidding around the world. Queen Elizabeth granted Grace and her family pardon and allowed Grace’s son and brother to be released from prison, to the chagrin of Sir Bingham. Grace recognized the changing tides of power in Ireland and she offered her services to the English queen in a politic gesture. After she sailed back to Ireland, Grace returned to her galleys and sea activities but commenced her piracy under the authority of Queen Elizabeth. In the written agreement with the British Queen, Grace managed the inclusion, a clause wherein she would receive a sort of monetary allowance from English taxes until her death. Sir Bingham was furious and at first resisted Queen Elizabeth’s orders but was eventually forced into submission. Grace O’Malley had won her war even if Ireland would lose the battle. One cannot help but admire Grace’s character and courage in the face of foreign encroachment. On Clare Island, Ireland, the O’Malley castle remains standing today as a testament to the clan’s legacy and Grace O’Malley is buried in the abbey on the island. It cannot be overlooked that a woman taking command as a pirate, captain, leader, and chieftain was an exceptional instance. In 2007, a musical based on Grace O’Malley’s life, The Pirate Queen, played on Broadway stages for a brief period of time. Yet, the lack of scholarship and of general knowledge about Grace is disheartening because it shows how easily important people can be forgotten or written out of historical narratives. One could argue there was a deliberate decision to keep her story out of the books because her actions were too contrary to ideas of how women were supposed to behave, as suggested in the documentary Warrior Women. Perhaps other sources of Grace O’Malley’s life were destroyed during the conflicts between Ireland and England. It is clear that more could be written on one of Ireland’s most important politician, person, leader, and pirates. She-King and Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley was a true warrior woman.
Photo courtesy of http://www.westporthouse.ie/
Sources: 1. Broderick, Marian. “Grace O’Malley.” Wild Irish Women: Extraordinary Lives From History. Dublin: The O’Brien Press, 2001. 2. Chambers, Anne. Granuaile: the life and times of Grace O’Malley. Wolfhound Press, 1979. 3. Ronald, Susan. The Pirate Queen: Queen Elizabeth I, Her Pirate Adventures, and the Dawn of Empire. 4. Warrior Women. Exploration Production, Inc. San Francisco, CA: Distributed by Cerebellum Corp., 2011.
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The Political and Economic Motivat Despite international anti-piracy military measures to eliminate and combat piracy and secure waters for commerce and mobility, piracy cannot be permanently eliminated and reduced unless its roots are addressed. While the naval strategy to counter piracy has been largely ineffective, the need of international mobilization to defend ships and the practice of counter-piracy also arises. According to the 1958 Geneva Convention on the Law of the Sea, piracy is defined as “any illegal acts of violence, detention or any act of depredation, committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or a private aircraft, (a) On the high seas, against another ship or aircraft, or against persons or property on board such ship or aircraft; (b) Against a ship, aircraft, persons or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any State” . In Somalia, there are four types of pirates: political pirates (active during the 1989 civil war), ransom pirates, resource pirates, and defensive pirates . However, not all pirates in Somali waters are Somali. For instance, the resource pirates are actually foreign European or Asian pirates who plunder the waters of Somalia. Their presence gave rise to defender pirates who are Somali pirates combatting them at sea. Although there is much debate on causal factors explaining the existence and continuity of piracy in Somali waters, the main focus is usually on economic and/or political reasons.
Economic Reasons The combination of the deterioration of the economy in Somalia and the neglect from the international community encourages Somalis to pursue alternative sources of income, regardless of legality. Economic factors such as poverty and unemployment influence the youth’s decision to practice piracy, as the gross annual income per person in Somalia is estimated to be US $107 in 2012, according to the United Nations data. This is extremely low compared to profit gained from a single act of piracy, which yields US $10,000 or more for an average pirate. Moreover, the fishing crisis in the early 1990s demonstrated the worsened economic conditions in Somalia that directly gave birth to piracy. In the vast Somali waters, subsistence fishing and other fishing industries coexisted with illegal foreign fishermen. The Somali subsistence and industrial fishers used traditional and less-advanced fishing methods, while foreign fishermen fish on an industrial scale, packaging the fish in the Middle East to be later on sold overseas at large profits that Somalis do not benefit from. As a result, Somali fishers went deeper into the sea to meet foreign fishers who were coming closer inshore, which often ended with violent clashes between the two. These Somali fishers were encouraged to become armed and started attacking any boat whether it was fishing or not; fishermen became pirates. They then began to harness coastal villages’ support through nationalist rhetoric as resistance and counter-piracy mobilization began.
Map courtesy of the African Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania
ions for Piracy in Somalia
Co-written By: Dana Al-Jawamis and Siqi Gao
Photo courtesy of European External Action Service
Political Reasons Somalia has been constantly going through political conflicts and famines since the end of colonial rule in the 1960s. Somalia has been without an effective central government for almost two decades, with the government constantly fighting insurgency for the control of territories including the capital. In 2006, Islamic militias took control of Mogadishu, which caused about 35,000 Somalis to flee the country for fear of drought, strict Islamic rule, and war. Apart from domestic political conflicts, international political involvement further worsened the situation in Somalia. Since 2007, US drone strikes targeting leaders of Al-Qaeda and AlShabab have been carried out in Somalia, resulting in unknown deaths of civilians. In 2011, Kenyan troops entered Somalia to attack rebels accused of kidnappings of foreigners in Kenya. The weak Somali government, along with its stagnant economy, together pushed the Somali youths to piracy, which was a better organized institution to ensure future income. In fact, without a strong central government and economic development,
Somali piracy is expected to grow significantly in the years to come. Aware that the mere effort to safeguard ships and fighting piracy in the waters cannot eradicate the root of Somali piracy, the international community promised 2.4 billion dollars as reconstruction aid in a three-year ''New Deal'' to strengthen Somali economy and security. Due to the increasing costs of piracy activities, such as organizing missions that either disappear or are captured by counter-piracy forces, piracy ceased to be open as a career path. Rather, it became a practice concentrated in the hands of few kingpins whose ransom gains allowed them to absorb losses. However, because of the available numbers of desperate young men who will risk their lives to â€œstrike a goldmineâ€?, there is a ready investment in increasing the number of pirate missions. Due to political instability and lawlessness in Somalia, Islamists insurgent groups take base there to destabilize other states. Therefore, Somali piracy is not seen as a diminishing phenomenon, but a persistent problem demanding increased international attention. The Wellesley Globalist Page 21
Political Timeline of 1969: A military coup put Muhammad Siad Barre in power 1991: Former British protectorate of Somaliland declared unilateral independence 1875-1950: The Somali coast and its interior was repeatedly occupied by Egypt, Britain, France, and Italy
1950-1967: British and Italian parts of Somalia gained independence and merged into the United Republic of Somalia, with Abdi Rachid Ali elected President
1998: Puntland region declares autonomy
1977-1978: Somali forces invaded Ethiopia
1974-75: Drought led to widespread famine
1992-1995: UN peacekeeping efforts to restore order and safeguard relief supplies failed
1991: President Barre was ousted, and the continuing power struggle left thousands of civilians dead and wounded
Photo courtesy of European External Action Service
2004: A transitional government formed in Kenya, with Abdullahi Yusuf elected as President. In the same year a tsunami hit the Somali coast, leaving hundreds dead and tens of thousands displaced
2000: Abdulkassim Salat Hassan was elected President of Somalia and announced the first government since 1991
Somalia: 1875-Present 2011: Kenyan troops entered Somalia to attack rebels accused of kidnappings of foreigners in Kenya
2007: The transitional government recaptured Mogadishu. The US carried out drone strikes in Southern Somalia, killing unknown numbers of civilians
2006: Islamic militias took control of Mogadishu. About 35,000 Somalis fled the country due to drought, strict Islamic rule, and possibility of war.
2013 April: About 30 killed as gunmen storm Mogadishu's main court complex. Islamic group Al-Shabab claims responsibility
2012: Somalia established the first formal parliament in more than 20 years and held the first presidential election since 1967
2010-2012: UN reported 260,000 deaths caused by severe famine
2010: Al-Shabab declared alliance with Al-Qaeda. Pirate attacks on ships worldwide hit seven-year high in 2010, with Somali pirates accounting for 49 of 52 ships seized
2013 September: International donors promise 2.4 billion dollars in reconstruction aid in a three-year ''New Deal'' to strengthen Somali economy and security
2013 January: US recognises Somalia's government for the first time since 1991
The Wellesley Globalist Page 23
The Opportunity Cost of Manmade Air By Nur Sevencan Class of 2015 While I was awaiting my connection to Boston at JFK airport, I found myself shivering despite my long sleeves and jeans. Outside, the temperature was 80 °F. Airports are always cold, I thought, but then found out that this is true not only of airports, but also of all indoor spaces, from public transportation to public libraries, from malls to private houses. According to the results of the 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Survey conducted by the U.S. EIA (Energy Information Administration), of the 113.6 million houses surveyed 94 million have air conditioning equipment. Another survey done in 2008 by EIA shows that the total energy consumption attributable to the cooling of buildings, including shopping malls, is 481 trillion Btu, which amounts to an exorbitant number of joules. How much does this gigantic network of air conditioning cost the U.S. and how much does it cost the earth? According to data from Energy.gov, the use of air conditioning costs the U.S. 11 billion dollars annually and it costs the earth 100 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the average emission of each house being two tons of carbon dioxide per year. If these numbers did not tell you much, you may consider that the average CO2 emission of a single house imputable to air
conditioning is approximately equal to the CO2 emission of a car running about 12,000 miles per year. As an implication, it might well be that a hybrid car owner offsets his or her saving of energy by air-conditioning his or her house and car. Why has air conditioning become standard equipment in the US? Is it necessary or merely habitual/cultural? As Stan Cox explains in Losing Our Cool (The New Press, 2010), air conditioning has been common in the U.S. since the 1980’s, when the average income of families rose and the cost of air conditioning systems went down. As a result, air conditioning entered the daily life of American families as a nice and relatively inexpensive luxury, replacing more traditional ways of cooling oneself, such as opening windows or spending more time outdoors. By making indoor spaces more comfortable, air conditioning accorded well with the public’s preference for privacy and indoor spaces, so much so that by the 1990’s, 75% of the newly built houses had air conditioning. Furthermore, in the post-WWII booming economy air conditioning began to be considered necessary to increase the efficiency of indoor workers, as well as to attract more customers to stores and newly emerging malls. Although the question of whether AC did in fact increase the efficiency of workers is still to be answered by researchers. AC certainly proved effective in getting customers to spend more time in malls in sweltering
Photo courtesy of Kopp Corentin
summer days – and sometimes even in nice non-humid summer days. Despite its hazardous environmental effects, AC also contributed to the urbanization and economic growth of the Southern States. Being a solution to the hot-humid climate of the South, air conditioning can be counted among the factors that made the South more appealing to employers and employees. Today, the persistence of air conditioning as a domestic and non-domestic good might be explained by the relatively low retail price of electricity in the US. With an average charge of 12 cents per hour, Americans pay electricity 60% less than the Japanese (30 cents) and almost 75% less than the Germans (35 cents). But as it turns out, Americans might not be making such a good bargain. One of the problematic aspects of the use of air conditioning is the enormous energy consumption it entails. In the US, the prevalence of central air conditioning systems over decentralized systems makes this problem even more acute than in other countries. For instance, in Turkey (where I am from) to use a decentralized AC system is more common, as cooling rooms which are seldom used is seen as a waste of energy. Families generally install air conditioning devices only in the rooms which are often used by all family members, like the living room or the bathroom. By contrast, two thirds of American households use central AC systems, and more than half of the central AC systems do not have a programmable thermostat. In other words, almost 40% of Americans do not have the option of
regulating the inside temperature and choosing which rooms to cool. As a result, air conditioning in the US is much more costly in terms of energy consumption than in other countries. Apart from energy consumption, the most serious effect of air conditioning is its pernicious contribution to the greenhouse effect, mainly due to the refrigerants which AC systems release. Even though old refrigerants that contain dangerous chemicals like HCFC and HFCs are being replaced by allegedly less harmful ammonia and CFCs, these new air conditioning systems do, in fact, more harm by consuming more energy, thus causing power plants to release more carbon dioxide. What could the solution be? Of course, to propose a radical ban on AC does not seem realistic. Instead, people could try to resort as much as possible to alternatives to AC such as cooling individual rooms, using the thermostat when needed or – even better – opening the windows (in case you almost forgot, windows can be opened!). There is an opportunity cost to the comfort air conditioning provides. That cost is environmental damage. The reason why this opportunity cost does not bother most of us is that it lies in the long run, and the individuals responsible for it are not the ones who will bear the consequences of being born in an unlivable earth. It is up to us to live a super comfortable life and leave an unlivable world to future generations, or to sacrifice a dispensable part of our daily comfort and seed hope for the future.
That cost is environmental damage. The reason why this opportunity cost does not bother most of us is that it lies in the long run, and the individuals responsible for it are not the ones who will bear the consequences of being born in an unlivable earth.
Photo courtesy of Brent Moore The Wellesley Globalist Page 25
Ralph Laure Stitching To
With “TOMMY” emblazoned across his chest, “HILFIGER” splashed on his back, and patriotic stripes draping his shoulders, Snoop Dogg embodied the new, hip Americana.
Photo courtesy of Norio Nakayama
By Kalina Yingnan Deng Class of 2014 Red, white, and blue. One evening in March of 1994, rap and hip hop star Snoop Dogg swaggered onto the Saturday Night Live stage in an oversized, caricaturized polo in those all-American colors. With “TOMMY” emblazoned across his chest, “HILFIGER” splashed on his back, and patriotic stripes draping his shoulders, Snoop Dogg embodied the new, hip Americana. Snoop Dogg’s sartorial choice advertised his citizenship in America: who you are is what and who you wear. Because fashion is communicative, wearing the American flag speaks to not only the wearer’s affinity with the United States but also to the wearer’s citizenship in America. Fashion’s giants have long manipulated those stars and stripes to alter the discourse of belonging in America. Popularized at all-male Ivy League colleges and influenced by upper class leisure activities such as golf, lacrosse and polo, collegiate sportswear of the early twentieth century heightened attention on male fitness and performative masculinity. Hung across the shoulders of girlfriends, the sports jacket and varsity letter sweater carried claims to elite white heterosexual manhood. But by the middle of the twentieth century, America’s White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) elite and its gestalt had lost its force to the growing populations of immigrant, non-Protestant ethnic and racial minorities. In the post-World War II era, Ivy League style muted into a mundane “Joe College” look, which did not communicate a particular social status but quietly stated a homogeneous belonging to a modernized norm of civilized manhood. As WASP-iness became visibly ambiguous and challenged by historically marginalized peoples, the moment was ripe for a new American prep look to make a dramatic and successful comeback. Drawn from the Sloane style of British bluebloods, the new American preppy style provided an easy way to avoid looking poor. Operating on the fundamental American tenets of fitting in and attaining the American Dream, American prep was (re)born through the designs of a ghettoized Jew.
n, Tommy Hilfiger, and Snoop Dogg gether an American (Ghetto) Story Born to Russian Jewish immigrants at the tail end of the Great Depression, Ralph Lifshitz pulled himself up and out of the Bronx ghetto in pursuit of the silver screen lifestyles of Cary Grant and Fred Astaire. Ralph Lifshitz metamorphosed into Ralph Lauren, the eponymous label of the new American natty look. Ralph LÔR-en (emphasis on his adopted patrician name) pioneered lifestyle marketing. In window displays and on store floors, Ralph Lauren clothing was paired with props and backdrops of exotic safaris, lavish yachts, and perfect nuclear families, signifying the bourgeois lifestyle the Ralph Lauren wearer desired. Coupled with his branding use of the American flag, Lauren solidified a visual definition of belonging in America. To help immigrants and ethnic minorities like him assimilate, Lauren made becoming, or at least looking, American easier. Not only did Tommy Hilfiger steal Lauren’s prep look and lifestyle marketing strategies, but he also heavily solicited celebrity endorsements of his brand. His clothing’s ostentatious logos did not just say the wearer belonged in America, they screamed it. A baby boomer, Hilfiger was born into a working-class Irish Catholic neighborhood in upstate New York. Similar to how
Lauren modeled himself after the silver screen’s leading men, Hilfiger looked to America’s portraitist Norman Rockwell to understand what it meant to be American. Hilfiger customized his clothing to exploit economic globalization and marketed his products to consumers by using pop culture icons as his mouthpieces. Hilfiger used his artistic red, white and blue flag emblem, taken from the yachting symbol for ‘H,’ to distinguish his brand and to raise its elite pretensions. Furthermore, unlike other mainstream designers who turned up their noses at any consumer but the white bourgeoisie, Hilfiger boldly courted hip hop’s darlings – Aaliyah, Little Vicious, Salt-n-Pepa, and Lil’ Kim. Hilfiger’s courtship of the hip hop royalty made him a household name. His brother Andy worked backstage in the hip hop kingdom. Andy Hilfiger gave away free red, white, and blue Tommy Hilfiger jumpsuits to LL Cool J and shirts to Grand Puba. Before Snoop Dogg’s appearance on Saturday Night Live, in March of 1994, Andy Hilfiger dropped off a few shirts – including the rugby shirt that would literally bring brother Tommy international attention overnight – at the rapper’s hotel room that evening. Tommy Hilfiger sales increased $90 million that year. Hilfiger then established
To help immigrants and ethnic minorities like him assimilate, Lauren made becoming, or at least looking, American easier.
Photo courtesy of NRK P3 The Wellesley Globalist Page 27
alliances with powerful industry moguls such as Russell Simmons of Def Jam Records and Phat Farms clothing and employed industry sweetheart Kidada Jones to consult on the designs and to model in his ads. As with the Ralph Lauren label, the Hilfiger brand is peppered with star-spangled motifs and is marketed as a ‘declaration of independence.’ Opportunely launched after the Civil Rights era and at the rise of hip hop culture, Tommy Hilfiger’s ‘populist appeal’ broadened Americana to allow more interlocutors in the discourse of what it means to be American. His own rags-to-riches story underscores democratic claims that anyone can rise up out of the ghetto and achieve the American Dream. As social theorist Georg Simmel explained, fashion plays upon the
After all, neither Russian Jewish nor Irish Catholic immigrants enjoyed the WASP status or elite lifestyle that they desired. Instead, they, like many ghettoized immigrants living in the United States, consistently sought to belong in America. Fashion is both a byproduct of and a reaction to this environment. It is a production mechanism that can challenge and reinforce a particular discourse. Therefore, the American look is both a reference to America’s British heritage and a reaction to American racial, ethnic, and religious diversity. The American sartorial narrative was initiated by Lauren’s re-introduction of the natty look, and with Hilfiger’s mass customization and marketing, morphed into a discourse of masculine, cool Americana. Hip hop provided the necessary lexicon to communicate this
Sean Davis central human psychological need to belong and that by copying the style of a given group, the individual can become a part of that group. Fashion both legitimates and perpetuates positions of dominance and subservience – who is in and who is out. Fashion as a discourse is a “process whereby identity is a game that one plays, so that one can easily shift from one identity to another,” from outsider to insider.1 Importantly, Ralph and Tommy intimately understood and masterfully capitalized on this innate human desire to be an insider.
new American story. To that end, Phat Farm, For Us By Us (FUBU), Ecko Unlimited, Mecca USA, and Enyce took the all-American elements that made Lauren and Hilfiger famous – rugby shirts, denim, sweatshirts – and made larger-than-life logos and bright, bold colors their own. As stated by Russell Simmons, “Part of the fantasy of fashion is about being successful. It’s aspirational. I put this on, I’m getting laid. Not because I’m cool and raggedy but because I’m cool and clean. Because I want
to buy into this culture.”2 His Phat Farm campaigns reimagined Black men as inheritors of American history and agents of the nation’s future. The campaign tagline, “Classic American Flava,” used ‘flava’ to literally and figuratively rewrite the American Dream narrative. In this way, the discourse is rearticulated and the nation becomes Black men’s business. To hurdle over institutional obstacles such as the ghetto and become ‘bling bling’ still belies what it means to achieve the American Dream. Decked out in their logoed all-American gear, hip hop royalty embodies the ultimate rags to riches narrative of the hard-knock life of starting from the bottom that resonates with many marginalized people in the United States. But as evidenced by the Tommy Hilfiger phenomenon in the hip hop industry, what became popularly known as “Black” and “hip hop” was partly defined by white designers. For social critic Damion Waymer, hip hop is Hegemonic Influential Powerful – Herald Obsessive Purchasing – that Black people and Black culture serve as a mirror for mainstream culture. This mirror is located in whitestream society’s fun house and produces only a distorted image of Black America and Black culture that is rooted in an essentialized urban ghetto. In this way, hip hop culture, as performed by hip hop artists through fashion, both authenticates a mainstream ‘urban real’ and commodifies a new Americana.3 While the hip hop industry certainly had its own designer gems in Phat Farms and FUBU, these companies succeeded by appropriating and embellishing the all-American logo-branded look and American Dream that Lauren and Hilfiger had created. Hip hop culture, which was once proudly self-sufficient and antagonistic to white bourgeois standards, adopted the aspirational emphasis of the American Dream. Socio-economically and racially marginalized people consume logoed fashions to display their American citizenship and purchase stock in a corporatized American Dream. To claim class status, consumers
invest in the American image by purchasing high-end labels and cool Americana. This perpetuates a binary between the elite and the ghetto. The ghetto aspires more and more to belong, and the elite and bourgeoisie outlandishly show off their elite status by purchasing even higher-end commodities. The elite now wear couture clothing with non-apparent labels, creating a fashion lexicon intelligible to only high social circles. On the other hand, the marginalized and disenfranchised consume aspirational logoed wear to inch nearer and nearer to the top and to fit in. Hip hop style with its star-spangled elements and brand appeal fashioned the masculine Black male “who is at once an ultrastylish thug and the ultimate American citizen.”4 Thus, the American story came from out of the ghetto, circulates back to the ghetto, and continues to be reinforced by the ghetto. To that end, the ghettoized in America serve the dual purpose of embodying the fulfillment of the American Dream and of (re)constructing the American Dream itself. Nearly five decades after the Civil Rights Era and two decades after Snoop Dogg’s famed Saturday Night Live appearance, many marginalized and ghettoized peoples have yet to be actually seen as American, much less to actually achieve the American Dream. The attainment of the American Dream and what it means to be an American are consistently invoked in the rhetoric of US leaders because that discourse is easily seen, understood, and felt by all people living in the nation. Nonetheless, to have an all-American success still means to be white, heterosexual, and male. White ethnic minorities like Lauren and Hilfiger still have white racial privilege over non-white minorities. The distinction of what is or is not ‘ghetto’ (conflated with ‘Black’) operates in a vicious cycle of what is or is not American. The cyclical uplifting of one group at the ghettoization of another is the true discourse of America – regardless of who can wear that red, white, and blue. This is the real American ghetto story.
Lee Barron, Social Theory and Popular Culture, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) 61. Teri Agins, The End of Fashion: The Mass Marketing of the Clothing Business (New York: William Morrow, 1999) 111. 3 Nicole Fleetwood, Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011) 174-75. 4 Nicole Fleetwood, “Hip Hop Fashion, Masculine Anxiety, and the Discourse of Americana,” in Black Cultural Traffic, edited by Harry E. Elam, Jr. and Kennell Jackson, (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2005) 328. 2
The Wellesley Globalist Page 29
Cultural Continuation: A Study of Native American Girls’ Puberty Ceremonies Last year, I took a class entitled “Native American Religious Traditions” in the Religious Studies Department at the College of the Holy Cross. We studied various tribes and their religious practices as well as the political oppression these tribes continue to experience today. The course concluded with a critical thought paper in which we analyzed a specific aspect of Native American culture. By Mairead McAuliffe habits and replacing them with mature actions in order Class of 2016 to assume her role as a noble Lakota woman. Ultimately, the ceremony aims to create a relationship between Having an interest in women’s studies, I decided the initiate and the White Buffalo Calf Woman deity to focus my final term paper on the girl’s puberty cer- because of her significance in Lakota history: according emonies of three Native American tribes. The Lakota’s Lakota mythical history, she brought the sacred cereBuffalo Ceremony, the Apache’s Isanaklesh Gotal Cer- monies to the Oglalas as a means to ensure that their emony and the Navaho’s Kinaalda Ceremony all cele- life may continue through time. The White Buffalo Calf brate the transition of young girls to womanhood. The Woman also gives women the responsibility of continuprimary focus of these ceremonies is the continuation of ing these ceremonial practices and passing them on to each community, a continuation that relies on the role of future generations. Therefore, each woman is encourthe women in each nation. Each community looks to a aged to emulate and teach the virtues of the White Bufsignificant deity, the Lakota’s White Buffalo Calf Wom- falo Calf Woman (e.g. chastity, fecundity, and hospitalan, the Apache’s Woman Adorned in White Clay, and ity) because these divine characteristics are believed to 1 the Navaho’s Changing Woman, to inspire the young ensure an honorable continuation of the Lakota people. The Apache Isanaklesh Gotal, or girl’s puberty women to lead fruitful lives so that they may ensure the ceremony, allows for the continuation of Apache culsurvival of their culture through future generations. As Marla Powers explains in Oglala Women: ture by ensuring the survival of Isanaklesh’s healing Myth Ritual and Reality, Lakota (or Oglala) culture is practices, as well as the renewal of this deity’s youth. characterized by the importance of the buffalo. The buf- Isanaklesh, or Woman Adorned in White Clay, is the falo is the most important of all animals because of its most important Apache deity because she bestowed her common origin with the Oglala people. Both the buffalo healing powers and knowledge upon Apache communiand the Oglala people emerged from underground and ties, thus allowing them to survive. Diye, the power that the buffalo provided them food, clothing, shelter, and allows Isanaklesh to heal, is present in every Apache but fuel. The buffalo is vital to Lakota society not only be- it is most abundant in Apache women because during cause of its practical role, but also because of its power to the Isanaklesh Gotal, each of them becomes Isanaklesh renew itself through procreation. It is therefore appro- herself, and inherits her powers. Aside from the medicinal incentive, the main priate that the ritual that marks the emergence of a new generation of Lakota women be known as the Buffalo purpose of the Isanaklesh Gotal is to renew the youth Ceremony because both women and buffalo are tradi- of Isanaklesh, a practice which is believed to be necestionally associated with creating and sustaining life. As sary for the survival of the Apaches. The young womPowers points out, since a woman’s first menstrual cycle en who participate in the ceremony undergo a series is considered her “most sensitive and impressionable of changes, transforming from girl to deity to woman hour,” it marks the time in which the initiate decides her over the course of the ritual. The ceremony is the venue fate as a Lakota woman, leaving behind her childhood in which “the girl gives her youth to Isanaklesh, who is
Clatie K. once again made young,” while “Isanaklesh gives [the initiate] womanhood and knowledge” in exchange for her youth.2 A fundamental relationship is established between Isanaklesh and Apache women. This transfer of diye ensures the continuation of Isanaklesh’s power within the community -- and thus the continuation of the community itself -- by equipping young women with the knowledge to prevent and cure diseases that might compromise Apache life. Finally, the Navaho girls’ puberty ceremony, or Kinaalda, offers the initiates the physical and personal characteristics necessary for them to assume their role as Navaho women. The ceremony also provides the initiates the ability to bring Changing Woman’s healing powers to their people. If the initiates successfully acquire the personal qualities and physical strength of honorable Navaho women and learn how to channel the healing powers of Changing Woman, they will ensure the continuation of Navaho culture. As Susan Crawford illustrates in Native American Religious Traditions, each young woman is believed to be extremely malleable during her first period and so the initiates are instructed in the qualities of an hon-
orable Navaho woman. The initiate wears moccasins made of deer hide so she, like the deer, may be “fast, quiet, elegant, graceful and resourceful,” all characteristics of a respectable Navaho woman.4 This physical conditioning is also evident when each initiate runs towards the sunrise in the east. This exercis, Crawford explains, ensures that the initiate will be physically fit throughout her life, and that she will have strength and endurance – all qualities which will enable her to raise a new family and thus serve her family and community by passing Navaho traditions on to her children. The respectable attributes acquired during Kinaalda also allow each initiate to become a representative of Changing Woman, the holy woman who first experienced the Kinaalda ceremony. As a representative of Changing Woman, each initiate acquires the ability to shape physically the youth and elderly of her community. She stretches and touches the bodies of the young so that they may grow tall and healthy; she also blesses the elderly, channeling her healing powers to their agThe Wellesley Globalist Page 31
Songs for the Buffalo Ceremony Number 1. A man coming from the north. Give me a cane. So I told this girl She will live to be old. And the whole tribe will live. Number 2. A man scratched himself beside a bank. He proved to be a buffalo. He said, "Young man take care for yourself. Young man try to be straight. It will be to your good." Number 3. From the rising sun I heard many voices. And they were traveling west. Ahead came an old man with white hair and a cane. He said, "Good men be good. And you will live long. I will give a cane to the aged, and to this young woman." Number 4. Where the sun goes down I saw many animals They said to me to prepare this place. So you will see it and live long.
Courtesy of The Sacred Text Archive Translated by Antoin Herman http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/pla/sdo/sdo47.htm
The ceremonies mark an important time not only for the young initiates but also for their communities because these ceremonies act as rites of passage for the new generation of Lakota, Apache and Navaho female leaders.
Photo courtesy of Rennett Stowe ing bodies.5 As Crawford shows, during this phase of the Kinaalda the initiate learns her responsibilities as a Navaho woman, as she is obliged to use her strength generously, giving back to her family and community. The Kinaalda ceremony produces young women who, like their ancestors, embody important personal qualities such as generosity and physical strength, which they will pass on to the next generation of women. Overall, the girls’ puberty ceremonies of the Lakota, Apache, and Navaho nations ensure the continuation of their people through the divine inspiration and example of their respective female deities. The ceremonies mark an important time, not only for the young initiates, but also for their communities because these ceremonies act as rites of passage for the new generation of Lakota, Apache and Navaho female leaders. These ceremonies rely on the extreme sensitivity and assumed malleability of a woman during her first menstrual cycle, which allows for changes and transformations that 1
are beneficial, and even vital, for both the woman and her people. Furthermore, the study of Native American girls’ puberty ceremonies emphasizes the revered importance of women in indigenous societies, specifically in the preservation and continuation of their respective cultures. These traditional ceremonies provide valuable insight into the role of women in these Native American communities. As a member of a society where women are often equated to objects in media, politics, and religion, it is refreshing to learn of a culture in which women are revered and honored, not diminished and degraded on the basis of their gender. Rather than using women’s reproductive abilities as a ground for supporting invasive government regulation and systemic discrimination, American society should learn from and emulate the respect that Native American communities bestow on all women because of their fundamental role as leaders and continuators of their peoples.
Powers, Marla N., Oglala Women Myth Ritual and Reality. 1st ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986, p. 67, 69-70. 2 Talamantez, Ines. “In the Space between Earth and Sky: Contemporary Mescalero Apache Ceremonialism” in Lawrence E. Sullivan et al (eds.) Native Religions and Cultures of North America. New York: The Continuum International Publishing Group Inc., 2000, p. 144. 3 Crawford, Susan J. Native American Religious Traditions. 1st ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall , 2007, p. 32. 4 Ibid, 33. 5 Ibid, 33. The Wellesley Globalist Page 33
A Flight with Bicycles ByAnne Shen Class of 2017 Last year I got a new pair of legs. I started like a toddler, wobbling my way along the empty roads in front of my host family’s house and missing the comfort of feeling the earth under my feet. After a while, I could move faster without worrying I would land into a bush or on the street. I learned the etiquette of bell ringing and the right-of-way by watching other people. Eventually I could travel on my own while eating, carrying bags full of groceries, and talking on the phone. By the end of the fourth month, I felt comfortable in my new skin. I had finally grown into my Dutch bicycle. During my gap year abroad in the Netherlands, I stayed with four host families, and the more they opened their world to me, the more I became intrigued by their culture. As a country of both cities and tiny farm villages, and of liberal worldviews and Protestant tradition, the Netherlands seemed to defy any sort of definition at first glance. However, as I came to know more about Dutch culture, I started to notice how the culture manifested itself in certain everyday objects and vice versa. Of all the typisch Nederlands, or “typically Dutch,” things I encountered, the humble bicycle captured the culture of the Netherlands best. Its ubiquitous presence and the great variety lend Dutch streets a unique character. These bicycles both reflect and influence the independence, frugality, physical health, and sustainability of life in the Netherlands. The most noticeable aspects and influences of bicycles are the sheer numbers and variations in bikes, as well as the ever-present fietspadden (bike paths) and fietsenstallingen (bike racks). Although the population of the Netherlands currently stands around 16.8 million, there are around 13 million bicycles in the country. Every morning and evening, just as cars fill the highways
These bicycles both reflect and influence the independence, frugality, physical health, and sustainability of life in the Netherlands.
The cycle roads from Amersfoort all point up to 72 km away to accommodate bikers. Photo courtesy of Nik Morris.
during rush hour, crowds of students and commuters fill the streets with bicycles. Cyclers range from fiveyear-old preschool students to grandmothers returning from the weekly market. In Amsterdam, the population of 800,000 owns 880,000 bicycles, most of which appear on the road on a daily basis. Some people keep two or more bikes; a rusty, old one to ride around the city, and a newer, specialized bike for recreational cycling in the countryside. One of my host fathers kept one bicycle in the city where we lived and one in the city where he worked, so he could cycle to the train station, take the train, and then complete his journey by bike. Judging by the number of bicycles parked in front of the train stations, I presume this practice is quite common. With such an enormous number of bicycles, the
ple choose to attach “saddlebags” and baskets to their bikes to better transport groceries or other items. Others buys “saddle caps,” which basically serve as shower caps to keep the seat dry should it rain or snow. Still others decorate their bicycles with plastic flowers or the like in order to distinguish their bike from the multitude of bikes in the same parking lot. Although bike accessories certainly are not unique to the Netherlands, I don’t think any other culture exhibits such a variety and wide use of them. After observing so many types of bicycles and accessories, I felt as if each bike reflected both the unique personality of its owner as well as the collective spirit of the Dutch people. For most of the United States, bicycles either serve as recreational equipment or short-distance transport
After observing so many types of bicycles and accessories, I felt as if each bike reflected both the unique personality of its owner as well as the collective spirit of the Dutch people.
Photo courtesy of Dirk Jaan Kraan Netherlands also boasts a wide variety of bicycle styles and types. For example, the Dutch frequently employ the bakfiets, a bicycle on which a wheelbarrow-like tub takes place of the front wheel, for transporting children, pets, groceries, or household items. I have also seen several sorts of two-person bicycles, some for two adults and some for an adult and a child. Most Dutch seem to prefer omafietsen, literally “grandma bicycles,” which have step-through frames. Although the omafietsen appear closer to what Americans consider ladies’ bicycles, Dutch boys and men alike ride them with pride. And as if the differences between bicycle styles were not enough, the Dutch purchase a plethora of bicycle accessories to suit their individual tastes; many peo-
for children. But to own a bicycle in the Netherlands is the equivalent of owning a car in the United States. Each and every Dutch bicycle comes with a built-in lock under the seat, and the back wheel cannot spin until the proper key unlocks the bicycle. Furthermore, national law requires that all bikes have functioning frontal and back lights that must be on as long as streetlamps are lit. This became a source of great stress for me during my time abroad since my old bike’s lights had the habit of turning on and off on their own, and policemen could ticket people cycling without lights after dark. However, Dutch bicycles’ greatest significance lies in the independence they provide. Compared to the U.S., the Dutch bike culture The Wellesley Globalist Page 35
Sometimes I miss my omafiets. It became more than a new pair of legs; I had wings. Perhaps it was the novelty of living in a new country, or perhaps it was the excitement of exploring new landscapes...but no matter where I cycled, it always felt like I was flying.
offers its youth much more independence; children and adolescents can reach nearly any destination within the country with bicycles and public transportation. The Dutch youth enjoy a much larger degree of freedom, and they do not need to depend on others for transportation. In fact, many Dutch high school and middle school students regularly cycle home at 3 or 4am after a night out. Dutch parents recognize this independence, and they often choose to extend it into other areas of the parent-children relationship. This freedom also reflects the fact that, in the Netherlands, very few figures have indisputable authority, including parents; nearly every parental decision allows room for discussion. Later on in life, this carries over into the office, where employees expect to take part in the employers’ decision-making. In addition to its reflection of a less hierarchical society, the bicycle reveals several aspects of Dutch culture: health and frugality. Once I stepped off the plane, I noticed almost immediately that the average Dutch waistline was smaller than what I frequently saw in the United States. At first, I could not understand the reason because everyone I knew ate bread, butter, and cheese at least twice a day, not to mention the frequent glasses of wine and bottles of beer. But then I found out how many kilometers many Dutch people cycled each day. I could only stare in shock as my classmates nonchalantly mentioned that they cycled 13 kilometers to school each day, even in rain, hail, sleet, or snow. Furthermore, Dutch people tend to adjust the height of their bicycles so that their legs extend completely at the lowest point and only one foot can touch the ground at any given
time. Thus, the motions of riding a Dutch bicycle are quite similar to the motions of running. One may notice that Dutch people really like to save money; they often use wheel-powered bicycle lights to save the cost of buying batteries. There is a reason for this thriftiness: income tax rates begin around 33% for the lowest bracket and rise above 50% for the highest bracket. Taxes also make up 75% of the total gas price, which was roughly $9.00 a gallon in spring 2013. In addition, most large cities do not provide free public parking. All these factors, along with the yearly car ownership tax, make driving a very expensive form of transportation. In comparison, many buildings and public spaces provide free bike racks, and bicycles cost much less to maintain than a car. For many Dutch people, it simply doesn’t make sense to spend large amounts of money on a car when free leg power can provide a comparable means of transport. At first, I didn’t understand why the Dutch are so keen on saving money when they elect and tolerate legislators who promote such high tax rates. However, no matter how much a Dutch person sighs at the pump, they will generally agree that promoting more sustainable transportation such as cycling will benefit their country. For the Netherlands, the benefits of cycling are generally self-evident; no matter how many new fietsenstallingen the government may need to build in crowded Amsterdam, the monetary and spacial cost falls far below the cost of building parking garages. Cycling decreases both carbon emissions and automobile traffic, especially in the older cities where canals already com-
pete for space with narrow streets. Many Dutch people choose not to own cars at all due to the convenience of bicycles, and this causes them to seek trains and buses when traveling longer distances, further decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. For all the benefits of cycling, though, the Dutch cycling culture exists only through certain â€œtypically Dutchâ€? geographical traits. As a coastal country with flat terrain, the Netherlands has a milder climate that permits cycling throughout the four seasons. Compared to the heat of Texas or the blizzards of New England, the Dutch weather certainly provides better conditions for cycling. Furthermore, the small size of the country means that cities, villages, and towns are closer together, and the European city structure prevents a large suburban sprawl, making centers of commerce and business
more accessible to bicycles. Because the distance between destinations are smaller, people are more willing to cycle; if a location is too far away to reach within a reasonable time frame, people would probably choose to drive like we do in the U.S. Although not all these traits apply to all areas of the United States, the Dutch bicycle culture is worth examining as our society attempts to create a healthier and more sustainable America. As for me, I gradually acclimated to the Dutch way of life, and I found myself spending at least 30 minutes per day on my bike, usually more. Sometimes I miss my omafiets. It became more than a new pair of legs; I had wings. Perhaps it was the novelty of living in a new country, or perhaps it was the excitement of exploring new landscapes...but no matter where I cycled, it always felt like I was flying. The Wellesley Globalist Page 37
Top left: Estancia in the Argentinian part of Patagonia by Amandine Fromont ‘17, Top right: Ayutthaya Ruins in Thailand underneath the famous tree that grew around a stone Buddha’s head by Kelsey Burhans ‘17, Middle left: Boat in Thailand by Kelsey Burhans ‘17, Bottom left: Little boy in Myanmar (Burma) by Kelsey Burhans ‘17, Bottom right: Man in Asilah by Rachid Aadnani
Camel in Dubai by Gilda Rastegar ‘17
Hanging Monastery Buddhist Art and architecture in Datong, China by Tina Xu ‘17
Skyline from Elephant Hill in Taipei, Taiwan by Tina Xu ‘17
Street Art in Asilah by Rachid Aadnani
“Temple Fair” at the Temple of Earth in Beijing by Tina Xu ‘17
Monks in a Theravada Buddhist monastery in Yangon, Burma (Myanmar) by Shannon Hasenfratz ‘16
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Published on Dec 5, 2013