Here in Quebec, the recently legislated charter of values (Bill 60) has become all the rage; the bill itself promises several amendments to the internationally praised Charter of Rights and Freedoms, proposing drastic limitations to the presence of religious symbols (specifically kippas, hijabs and turbans) in public offices i.e. schools and hospitals. What is obviously a political ploy to polarise the population and garner votes for an upcoming election has arguably succeeded; with all eyes on the charter, Quebec’s abysmal and unsustainable economy remains relatively unscathed (an economy which, ironically, depends on symbol-carrying immigrants). This proposed legislation, however, is relatively harmless; significantly more distressful, on the other hand, is the profuse amount of ethnocentrism which is allowed, indeed even encouraged, to proliferate in this socio-political climate. Despite its name, ethnocentrism alludes to an innate human tendency that surpasses ethnicity: the imposition of one’s worldview unto others. A good example is that of ‘equality’, which carries countless of definitions across space and time; what is understood and considered equal in one location, may not be the same in another. To fully appreciate ethnocentrism’s potential for oppression, we must first make sense of our selves.
The purpose of this article is to briefly touch upon the rampant belittlement of scholars in our community. Relevant to this discussion, I contend that any classification of scholars in overly generalized “good vs. bad” categories is ultimately self-serving as a function of one’s personal attitudes and worldview. As such, scholarly attachments may often carry significance towards our psychological, and ultimately, emotional make-up. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Marriage, a 21st century definition: the subject of all our conversations, the object of all our ambitions, the source of all our woes.
What is left to be said about marriage that has not yet been discussed abundantly in all our gatherings? Clearly, very little - and yet the topic remains elusive. There are just so many factors which play into our marriage narratives, it’s hard to keep up; high divorce rates, increased societal pressure for independence, Love vs. “love,” family expectations, and the list goes on. As such, this article has no intention of discussing marriage issues in their entirety – you’ll find enough books and videos on that – rather it seeks to examine a mentality which appears to gain more and more prominence, especially with regards to marriage: the means are taken as ends. Let’s look at two stereotypical examples, one of brothers and one of sisters, to highlight the fallacy.