By Celalba Yamarte
Tuesday, June 4, 2019, at 15:33
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
A documentary about life in Nepal raised a stir after the statements of one of its protagonists. “I have three husbands and that’s how I’m happy,” said the woman called Tsepal, a common reality in the Himalayan region.
Polyandry is the counterpart of the most famous polygamy. In this case, it is the women who have several partners. They have been allowed to marry whom they want and live together in the same house. In some cases, husbands are blood brothers.
Tsepal’s story is not far from her friends, although not all of them have their courage. In fact, she believes she can be president of her country because she is capable of running a home with three husbands and four children.
The rites and traditions in her community are very well-determined. In fact, the woman stated that there is no jealousy between her husbands. When one of them requires intimacy, she calls on her with a broad smile.
Way of life
Experts affirm that polyandry aims to control the birth rate of this population. It is practiced where more men than women are available for marriage. Generally, the wedding is transacted in an arrangement between members of the same ethnic group.
In the case of Tsepal, her three husbands combine the care of the crops with the work of the house. So she is never alone, perhaps that is the key to the happiness she expresses of her way of life.
Advantages and disadvantages
Another quality of polyandry, says Tsepal, has to do with child support. Having several husbands, all of them must provide the means for the development of their children, such as food, health care and education.
But her sisters-in-law are not as happy as she is. They think there could be a problem if Tsepal doesn’t take care of her three husbands properly. Intimacy and children would be an obstacle if Tsepal doesn’t please all three, they say.
Sunday, June 16 2019 08:29
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The #MeToo movement that exploded worldwide in late 2017 inspires several works on display this year at the Basel Art Fair, the largest in the world.
Visitors discover inflatable mannequins in white airbag dresses created to protect women from harassment in the workplace, and details of alleged sexual crimes of some 170 public figures displayed on four long walls dotted with red.
Women artists are at the center of the scene of this 50th edition, with their works and in-your-face installations expressing the anger and exasperation of persistent gender inequalities and the abuses and harassment condemned by society.
The Spaniard Alicia Framis has filled a room with delicate white mannequins with dresses made of airbag material, which are activated to protect different parts of the female body.
The work entitled “Life Dress” consists of dresses to “protect women in all work situations where there is some kind of abuse,” Framis told AFP.
The 52-year-old artist said she spoke with victims of harassment and abuse and her stories inspired the design, using “fashion to protest against violence.
While Framis turns to humor, Los Angeles-based artist Andrea Bowers opts directly for anger with her large archive project “Open Secrets.
It consists of photographic prints with red backgrounds, each mentioning the name and trade of the public figure accused of sexual harassment or abuse, her public response to the accusations, and details of the case.
Culture of Rape
Hollywood ex-producer Harvey Weinstein, whose alleged crimes launched the #MeToo movement, has two full panels dedicated to his long list of alleged crimes.
U.S. President Donald Trump also appears in the work, as do his predecessors Bill Clinton and George Bush senior, two Supreme Court justices, actors, journalists and musicians, among others.
“I think the #MeToo movement is perhaps one of the most important feminist movements of my life,” Bowers told AFP, referring to his inspiration for the play.
Bowers, 54, who presents herself as a feminist activist artist, said she was shocked to realize “what it was like growing up for me in that culture of rape where young men were allowed to sexually rape me and my friends.
With the #MeToo movement, this kind of behavior is finally “being recognized,” she said. “I hope it’s a historic change.
During the premiere earlier in the week, many men stopped in front of the work that covers two wide walls, on both sides, in the middle of the fair’s large exhibition space.
“You can see a lot of men standing here and a little insecure about how to react,” said Vanja Oberhoff, a young German art investor. “It’s a very powerful work,” he told AFP.
But not all reactions are positive.
Helen Donahue, who in 2017 tweet photographs of her body with marks for alleged abuse by independent columnist Michael Hafford, expressed indignation that Bowers used one of her images.
“It’s great that my damn photos and trauma are headed to the Basel fair. Thank you for exploiting us for the +arte+ ANDREA BOWERS,” he tweet Thursday.
Bowers, who insists on the importance of trusting survivors, quickly issued an apology for not asking Donahue’s permission before using the photo and removed the panel from his exhibit.
By Vladia Rubio/CubaSí
Sunday, June 16 2019 05:49
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
Deyanira is in her third month of pregnancy and the fatigue and vomiting do not leave her alone. Neither does Osniel.
It’s not a mistake. She didn’t skip a line while reading. Osniel, the husband of the first-time mother, feels afflicted with symptoms similar to hers, but when his stomach turns as if he were on the roller coaster, he tries to hide the situation although sometimes the paleness betrays him.
And it is not that this young and future father is a hypochondriac. No mental illness afflicts him. He is simply going through what others are going through, even if they keep quiet about what they will say and even how they will look at them.
However, scientific research has shown that some parents, especially first-timers, are afflicted with the so-called Couvade Syndrome or empathic pregnancy.
As a result, it has been proven that they suffer interesting biological changes that bring them sensations similar to those of their partner.
They experience an elevation of estradiol levels (estrogen involved in the maternal behavior of mammals associated with tenderness and similar emotions) and a decrease in testosterone levels.
The hormonal variations that are presented to them at the same time that to their companion can generate symptoms similar to those of her as the well-known nausea and vomiting.
At the same time, knowing the good news that they will be parents, the glucocorticoids decrease, a hormone associated with cortisol, which is released as a result of stress.
In parallel with the above, they secrete more prolactin (the hormone related to the ability to breastfeed) and this results in lack of appetite, fatigue, intolerance to certain odors, drowsiness and weight gain.
After the birth of the child, it has also been observed that in certain first-time parents the levels of oxytocin rise as happens in the mother, and this leads to a closer bond with the newborn.
Among the first scientists to investigate the subject, biologist Katherine Wynne-Edwards, from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, notes that along with psychologist Anne Storey, she verified the role of prolactin in the sensations and feelings of the “pregnant father”.
Another study carried out by Dr. Arthur Brennan of Kingston University in London confirmed the decisive role of prolactin, to the point that levels of this hormone increased when parents carried their babies.
It seems to be, according to some experts, that being close to the pregnant wife can influence those unique sensations experienced by some parents. It happens that the saliva and sweat of pregnant women emit chemical signals that impact hormonal changes in their partners.
Husbands who are physically farther away from the bellies do not receive the above-mentioned influences or perceive them in a very slight way.
They assure that the paternity also influences in the brain to the point of increasing the gray matter as a consequence of the many new conduct that they incorporate following the birth of the baby.
All these new ways of doing things are reflected in changes in the brain. This is what Dr. Juan Blanco López states in his thesis to obtain the scientific degree “Men. Masculinity as a risk factor. An ethnography of invisibility”, from the Spanish university Pablo de Olavide.
Although, obviously, men do not experience the arrival of the new being with the same changes that happen in the body and mind of the woman -who, moreover, must give birth to her child-; they are besieged by fears, curiosities and doubts about how to assume the role of parents.
They are so overwhelmed by these feelings that some even suffer from so-called postpartum depression.
In the journal of the Spanish Association of Neuropsychiatry, Dr. Emilia García Castro states in her article Psychology and Psychopathology of Parenthood: “The latest studies have shown that there is indeed postpartum depression in men. It is said to affect between 5% and 10% of fathers, presenting symptoms similar to those of mothers, and is more common in those who do not live with their children or are first-time fathers…… ».
Although they are undoubtedly curious, the perhaps most important changes are not those mentioned so far. Those who really deserve applause are those who have occurred in the ways of conceiving paternity.
Although traditionally, the father figure was seen as the one in charge of giving permission, the voice of authority, and also the provider; interesting transitions in that order have been taking place for some time now.
At present, parents, as a trend, show a cultural transition in their role, opening more spaces to demonstrations of affection and tenderness towards their descendants, at the same time that they are also in charge, to a certain extent, of offering welfare care, that is to say, those referring to cleanliness, food and others.
On an international level, and obviously also on this Caribbean island, there is a growing understanding that children are the equal responsibility of mother and father. Both have the same rights and duties with respect to their offspring.
In Cuba, where paternity research began to glean since the middle of the last century, although an archaic hegemonic masculinity continues to prevail, transitions in that order are also evident.
Stereotypes persist, but the National Gender Equality Survey revealed that 40 percent of men and women interviewed stressed the importance of the father during the childhood of their children.
However, the burdens we dragged poked their hairy ear when nearly 60% said they “agreed” or “partly agreed” that babies need to be closer to their mother than to their father. Fifty-one percent said a man can’t give them the same care as a woman.
A lot has been studied, but there is still a lot of research to be done regarding fatherhood, especially considering that they are increasingly behaving according to their condition of being emotionally active, sensitive beings. Therefore, more and more people are convinced that kissing their son, showing him their tenderness, nothing is left to them and it does contribute to their stature as contemporary parents.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
“From Syria to Yemen in the Middle East, from Libya to Somalia in Africa, from Afghanistan to Pakistan in South Asia, all forming a U.S. air curtain descending on a huge swath of the planet with the declared goal of fighting terrorism. Its main method is summed up in surveillance, bombardments and more constant bombardments. Its political benefit is to minimize the number of “United States boots on the ground” and, therefore, American casualties in the never-ending war on terrorism, as well as public protests over Washington’s many conflicts. It’s economic benefit: plenty of high-performance business for arms manufacturers for whom the president can now declare a national security emergency whenever he wants and sell his warplanes and ammunition to preferred dictatorships in the Middle East (no congressional approval required). Its reality for several foreign peoples: a sustained diet of bombs and missiles “Made in the USA” that explode here, there and everywhere.
This is how William J. Astore, a retired US Air Force lieutenant colonel and now a history professor, interprets the cult of bombing on a global scale that he views in his country, as well as the fact that U.S. wars are being fought more and more from the air, not on the ground, a reality that makes the prospect of ending them increasingly daunting, and finally asks: What is driving this process?
“For many of America’s decision-makers,” Astore says, “air power has clearly become a sort of abstraction. “After all, with the exception of the September 11  attacks by four hijacked commercial airliners, Americans have not been the target of such attacks since World War II. On the battlefields of Washington, the Greater Middle East and North Africa, air power is almost literally always a one-way street. There are no enemy air forces or significant air defenses. The skies are the exclusive property of the U.S. Air Force and its allies, so we are no longer talking about “war” in the normal sense. No wonder Washington’s politicians and military see it as our strength, our asymmetric advantage, our way of settling accounts with wrongdoers, real and imaginary.
It could be said that, in the 21st century, the count of bombs and missiles replaced the Vietnamese era body count as a metric of false progress. According to U.S. military data, Washington dropped no less than 26,172 bombs in seven countries in 2016, most of them in Iraq and Syria. Against Raqqa alone, the “capital of terrorists,” the United States and its allies dropped more than 20,000 bombs in 2017, reducing that provincial Syrian city literally to rubble. The Raqqqa bombing coupled with artillery fire killed more than 1,600 civilians, according to Amnesty International.
After Donald Trump took office as president, having promised to get the U.S. out of its endless wars, U.S. bombing has increased, not only against the Islamic state in Syria and Iraq, but also against Afghanistan. Civilian casualties increased even when “friendly” Afghan forces have been mistaken for “enemies” and also liquidated.
Somalia’s air strikes on Yemen have also been on the rise under Trump, while civilian casualties due to U.S. bombings continue to be underestimated by the U.S. media and minimized by the Trump administration.
This country’s propensity to believe that its ability to rain infernal fire from the sky provides it with a winning methodology for its wars has proven to be a fantasy of our age. Whether in Korea in the early 1950s, in Vietnam in the 1960s, or more recently in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, the United States can control the air, but that dominance simply has not led to ultimate success. In the case of Afghanistan, weapons such as the Mother of All Bombs (MOAB, the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. military arsenal) have been celebrated as game changers even when they changed nothing. (In fact, the Taliban only continue to strengthen, as does the branch of the Islamic state in Afghanistan.) As is often the case when it comes to U.S. air power, such destruction leads neither to victory nor to the closure of anything; only to even greater destruction.
“Such results are contrary to the logic of air power that I absorbed in my career in the U.S. Air Force, from which I retired in 2005,” says Professor William J. Astore.
June 19, 2019.
This article may be reproduced by quoting the newspaper POR ESTO as the source.