Thursday, October 31, 2013


Sometimes positive culture change can be advanced by the most unlikely influences.

There is an article and link on Huffington Post (1) for a video of an advertisement from a jeweler in India. The reason this ad is newsworthy is because it challenges the long standing taboos that widowed and divorced EVE have suffered under in Indian culture.

An article by V. Malik (2) offers a good description of the hardships of many widows in India. He writes, “The marriageable age was lowered further and girls were married at the age of 8, just before the time they attained puberty. Widow marriages were prohibited and sati (being burned on the husband’s funeral pyre, my note) became a common practice. Early marriage was naturally followed by early maternity, which increased the mortality among women between the ages of 14 and 22. Child brides got married to men twice their age, who died early due to disease or warfare leaving these brides as child widows who were not permitted to remarry. They had to lead a chaste life and could not look at another man their entire life. They had to remain faithful to their husband, alive or dead, all their lives.”

There have been attempts to change this terrible social situation for EVE in India. In fact, the British government passed a law in 1856 that legalized widow remarriage, but a law doesn’t necessarily change people’s minds or habits. Those who opposed the new law had three arguments against it, which basically sound exactly like every other argument for changing the Manplan and improving the lives of EVE(2):

1. we’ve “always” done it this way so it must be right,
2. if restrictions on women are relaxed, society will crash and burn, and
3. women are by nature deceitful, untrustworthy and prone to adultery.

“AdWeek reports that India has been ‘mesmerized’ by the ad. The trade outlet called the commercial ‘revolutionary’ and ‘crazy bold.’(1) So maybe a simple advertisement for jewelry can make Indian citizens rethink this demoralizing and harmful cultural taboo. We hope so!


(2) “Problems Of Widow Remarriage In India: A Study”, Varun Malik, Assistant Professor, Rayat College Of Law, Railmajra, India, Journal of Business Management & Social Sciences Research, Volume 2, No.2, February 2013.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


The issue of GMO foods and the greed and disregard for people and the planet shown by companies like Monsanto are living, fire-breathing examples of the Manplan at work in many ways:

1. the arrogance of thinking that we can control, improve on nature without any thought for long term consequences on human health and the environment,
2. total dishonesty about the true effects that these “products” are having on small farmers and their ability to grow safe, healthy food,
3. utter disregard for the millions who will actually have less to eat in future years because of the damage to crop yields and the push for mono-agriculture, and
4. blatant bribing of government entities (mostly in the U.S.) for special treatment that lets them get away with “murder” both in the fields and in the supermarkets.

The values of the Manplan and Monsanto’s campaign for GMO’s are identical:

** only interested in profit and power,
** only focused on short-term personal triumphs not long-term social successes, and
** perfectly comfortable with lying, cheating, and corrupting to win the “game” regardless of the harm done to others.

BUT, just as Conversations with EVE shows how our personal advocacy can challenge and change the negative values of the Manplan, the activism of many anti-GMO, food safety advocates has exposed and derailed the “Monsanto Protection Act.”

This provision, deceitfully labeled the Farmer Assurance Provision, was slipped into the Senate Continuing Resolution spending bill by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) and signed into law last March, but the Monsanto attachment was only in effect until September 30th. And because of the protests, phone calls, and petitions of average people it has expired!

This is a victory for all those who think special interests shouldn’t get special deals,” Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said. “This secret rider … instructed the Secretary of Agriculture to allow GMO crops to be cultivated and sold even when our courts had found they posed a potential risk to farmers of nearby crops, the environment, and human health.” (1)

“This is a major victory for the food movement and all those who care about openness and transparency in their government,” Dave Murphy, the executive director of Food Democracy Now, said in a statement. “And a sign that our voices can make the difference when we are effectively organized.”(1)

One small victory over the Manplan – let’s keep ‘em coming!!!