| May 21, 2008 - 2:10 pm

Tags: culture, feminism, HIV/AIDS, rights

From a medical stand point of view, HIV/AIDS is obviously a devastating disease that has created a profound sense of helplessness within the medical field because it seems as if they can’t find a cure for it and though many attempts are being made; they are just that attempts---but obviously we all hope they will mushroom into something great! However, how do we address what we obviously know is here and won’t go? We have made great strides in educating people about the disease and for developed countries people with the disease actually can live longer than previous times. However, to what extent can we attribute our “ways of life” to this problem? How responsible are we for the causes of the deadly disease. Individual responsibility is often thought of when we ask these questions, but for me I want to ask: to what extent is society as a whole responsible.

The greatest innovation in the history of women wherever one would consider it started; is the extent to which women have come to be responsible for their own lives. In areas such as the United States, women can be doctors, if the skills permit, they can be scientists and they can be financial engineers with a rugged sense of purpose and aggression that is purely cognizant of the tradition view that Wall Street is for boys! Feminism as an intellectual force has been responsible for much of the “emancipation” and as a result women have come to have autonomy over their sexuality—this allows them to take the risks that they themselves would suffer the consequence for!

How then, can we have this same mentality for cultures that relegate women to the primitive world? In some parts of Africa (Zambia, Nigeria) women in fact would tolerate being a second wife knowing that their husband was cheating without an legal remorse in the sense of divorce. In other cases, some women are economically tied to these men that the reality of moving on is inconceivable despite the obvious desecration of their basic natural rights. So, in ‘ facing the music” HIV/ AIDS is very much rooted in the cultural perception that people have towards sexual activity as well as the dynamics of sexual power between women and men in that particular society. It is one thing to attribute the spread of HIV/AIDS to a conspiracy and another thing to actually see that it has its roots in the factors that have been mentioned. The theory that a woman is a an individual responsible for her own action—im surprised it is even a theory--- and should pursue economic independence can certainly be a great intellectual force in some areas where HIV/AIDS has as its roots the fact that women occupy a role that in fact relegates them to a submissive role. So, we should “face the music!” In this particular case, HIV/AIDS is not just a disease, in fact the epidemic shines on hidden social realities that should obviously be addressed otherwise we will continue to face the music—education is not just the main factor, many people know how the disease is spread but if one person does not feel that they have the freedom over their sexuality because society seems to justify that: THEN WE WILL FACE THE MUSIC!!!!

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