October 28, 2006 | Ronda Jambe

Ecumenical environmentalism

Like many Aussies, I have struggled to balance my revulsion for extreme Islam’s repression of women with an open-minded acceptance of different values. That balance tilts over when I fear for my own life style, given that in this country, women driving, voting and wearing short sleeved shirts is still legal. Hilaly’s comments crossed that line, as have the several religious motivated rape cases.
But now a new movement looks (at last) like it could bridge the gap between cultures. Einstein sought a unified theory to explain everything, but he failed. Now ecumenical environmentalism might bring together the key concerns of our time – global warming and terrorist threats. And it reflects true Aussie values.
It starts from a simple observation – our biggest problems need a simpler, holistic approach. And now that research in the US has revealed fat people are burning 3.8 billion litres of petrol per year more than in 1960, directly as a result of their superfluous weight, the road ahead has become clearer.
We can address these impacts and any religious discrimination against women quite simply: all obese people should wear black body bags, the kind that cover from head to foot. These will apply to anyone, of any age, sex, or religious persuasion, who exceeds the body mass reading of 24. There you have it, a solution in a number.
An added bonus is that they would protect from skin cancer, but their main benefit is in providing an elegant way around religious conflicts while helping to save the planet.
When you consider the impact that obesity has on petrol consumption, and then add in the cost of fabric consumed, packaging used, and general over-consumption beyond the requirements of height and age, obestiy is clearly a sizable contributor to global warming.
The ecumenical side is just a stroke of genius. That requires a little explanation. So here comes the digression….
As a fly on the wall of my times, my first reaction to the Sheik’s comments was along the lines of ‘if the shit is left in the open, the flies will have a feast’, but I then I thought about it.
The sheik is telling us that women are the meat, and men are the cats. The cat will always go where it shouldn’t, as soon as your back is turned, and take what it wants. Cats are, by the nature of their species, predatory, opportunist, utlerly without guilt and absolutely ruthless in gaining their end. They seem to have sex indiscriminately, at least the toms. Once I saw (the sight will never leave me) a large male cat fucking a dead cat in the gutter.
Unlike dogs, cats are not capable of being properly trained or made to comply with the requirements of polite society. However, they are at least naturally clean, something that dogs (and perhaps some men) cannot lay claim to. I recall the ‘pissing walls’ in Egypt, where men would line up in plain view to relieve themselves. The sight (and memory of the stench) will also never leave me.
So one must conclude that like cats and meat, men and women must be kept contained, or at least moderated, if peace is to be maintained, rather than a sexual free for all. Personally, I am of the Bonobo school of socio-sexual persuasion, with a general motto of ‘do it as widely as possible, as often as possible.’ But not in public, please, as in my middle age I do not like to be reminded that young people are getting more than me.
But what form is restraint is least unpleasant, or most efficient? Restraining the cat is one option, hiding the meat is another. Here the analogy breaks down, because meat on a plate can’t get up and really seduce anyone, unless you’re really hungry, or have crashed in the mountains with no food and only your fellow cats for company. Women however can and do seduce. What’s more, they often like it. Just like the cats, or rather men.
And here I must confess that I adore both cats and men.
As I grow ungracefully old, one of the achievements I am most proud of is that, no matter how gorgeous their hair or beard, I have never leapt upon a man opportunistically and raped him. It has not been easy, I assure you, as the sight of a man’s uncovered head (even the baldies, if that’s a comfort to anyone) can stir my lust. But, as is common to my gender, I have controlled myself. (Even when I was a teacher, I only ever had sex with tertiary students, well within the age of consent. And only when they asked me, I hasten to add.)
And in terms of dressing inappropriately, well the bare-chested look is about as provocative as you can get. I practically have to take sedatives when I go to a public beach. For their own protection, in case as I progress towards senility I forget my manners, men should cover up.
But the conclusion is clear: men will have to be locked up if women are to be treated as the ‘jewels’ that Hilaly’s daughter claims he values so much. Only then can women fulfill their sacred roles as mothers, workers, and community backbones, not to mention managing the shopping, cooking, school liaison, etc. Since most families can’t afford for the man to stay home (with his black bag on his head), electronic bracelets could become the norm when the cats are on the prowl.
A curfew might also be useful. They could be community-monitored parole for any men who lay claim to being able to control themselves when allowed out among women. From my long ago experience living in the Middle East, this was possible. The men who grabbed my crotch under the blue waters of the Mediterranean, or who followed me home and inside, only to see my husband cooking dinner, were a minority. The Italian men were nearly as bad, but Australians have been less of a hassle. (The older I get, the better behaved the men seem to be, funny about that).
All up, I applaud the Sheik for bringing to our attention the need to constrain men. Maybe in time they will evolve to the point where they can be allowed out a little each day, and perhaps even trained to control themselves, as most women and their enlightened male partners seem to manage.
end digression…
In the meantime, ecumenical enviornmentalism offers us an alternative. It recognises the flaw in the sad Muslim reasoning that only men are predators with sexual desires. It recognises that women, too, enjoy and seek sexual pleasure. So by unifying environmental concerns with a universal approach to two very serious issues: climate warming and Islamic cultural differences, it gives us all a breather.
All the fat people cover up, (please, I don’t want to look at you). By wearing black bags, they are simultaneously a) muting the distinction between sexes and b) muting the distinctions between religions and c) making it clear that the earth needs less consumption from all of us.
Some smart economist (perhaps the wonderful Australia Institute can leap in here) might do the calculations of how much consumption, food, etc would be saved if all the obese people just had one (or a spare for laundry days) black bag that would cover everything. Until, of course, they were no longer obese.
Women (and men) could feel safe, no longer targetted by hoons because they are not Muslims. No one would easily know, because the differences would be blurred. There would be so many people floating around in black head to toe bags that rapists would be afraid of either targetting their own or worse, discovering a burly man under the robes, a la Crocodile Dundee. And the environment would benefit from a full-on approach to lower levels of consumption. Most black baggers would prefer to stay home, rather than be identified incorrectly as.. well, you get the picture.
And then the rest of us could get on with another contribution to diminish global warming: more active sex, more often, with as many different members of as many religions as possible. Sounds good to me.

Posted by Ronda Jambe at 3:18 pm | Comments Off on Ecumenical environmentalism |
Filed under: Religion

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