Indonesia Requests Ban On LGBTQ Emojis
Since Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love made its debut Bali, Indonesia has been a tourist destination for many. The low cost of living, friendly Balinese and beaches also bring expats ready for a change. I know this because I am one of them. And Bali can be a transformational place, but much like many of our political and social systems the country still has work to do. On Thursday, Indonesian officials requested the popular app Whatsapp and Facebook to remove rainbow-themed and same-sex couple emojis or face being banned in the country.
Bali, Indonesia is a largely Hindu community, while other areas such as the capital Jakarta is primarily Muslim. So, the idea of a visible LGBTQ community is often not only banned from technology, but shunned in social environments.
Homosexual men are often termed “Lady boys” and have a hard time finding safe space in a strict religious country. It’s one of the reasons representation is so important. While a rainbow or same-sex emoji does not reform the cultural traditions, this move on the government’s behalf is a definite silencing of voices already on the margins. And of course, the larger issue is creating conversation that makes strict religious countries shift their views – that is what Human Rights Watch is hoping to do. The organization, based in New York, reached out to the Indonesian president stating “President Jokowi should urgently condemn anti-LGBT remarks by officials before such rhetoric opens the door to more abuses,” HRW president told the Associated Press.
Canada’s Sexual Assault Case Reveals Universal Victim-Blaming
Over the past year, the United States has had its fair share of celebrity rape narratives that unfortunately revealed a society too quick to blame the victim. Canada’s trial of Jian Chomneshi is revealing the same damaging story. Jian Ghomeshi is a former celebrity CBC radio host who had sexual assault charges brought against him in 2014 for abuses that allegedly occurred a decade earlier. Ghomeshi was quickly outed from his celebrity status and his accusers became the new faces of victim rights. But a year later, the accusers are now the ones in question.
Ghomeshi’s lawyer found evidence that the three women in the case still communicated, sent bikini pictures and had intercourse with the celeb after the assault took place. It is this discovery that has rocked the case and brought up questions of validity.
It’s eerie just how closely Ghomeshi’s story rings of Bill Cosby, of how quickly we go to blame the victim, to making them the monster because they did not speak, run, hide fast enough. Sexual assault is still sexual assault no matter if the one assaulted calls the next day or sends a picture the next week. The trauma and self-healing necessary, the releasing blame from oneself, of questioning and replaying what happened… that takes time. Time those abused often are ridiculed for taking.
The better of me wants to tell society to please grow up, but that is too simplistic a plea. Instead, listen before you speak and allow those affected by sexual assault to show up when and how they like – even if it’s a grey picture to you. The Canadian media is predicting that Ghomeshi will walk away innocent… so, who are we really protecting? The verdict is set for March 24th.
Global Transformation Through Radical Self Love
Our beloved founder of The Body Is Not an Apology, Sonya Renee Taylor, shares her wisdom today on the ways to make global transformation a tangible reality through radical self love. We believe that creating an authentic love relationship with oneself can be the start to creating a more compassionate world.
We’ve also seen this to be true, as those who come to freely love and respect their bodies often show up ready to love and accept others as well. When the inner work is done, the outer work becomes a lot easier. Check out Taylor’s chat with The African American Wisdom Summit where she’s sharing strategies to cultivate an equitable relationship with our lives and bodies.
[Feature Image: Four individuals are standing outside against a bright blue sky. The first person is holding up their hands in the shape of an “L,” the second person is holding up their hands in the shape of an “O,” the third in the shape of a “V,” and the fourth in the shape of an “E.” Standing together they spell out the word “Love” with their hands. Pexels.com]