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Forgiving deceased "wrongdoers" is different than remembering deceased victims.
Memorials like that are about the grieving process for the living as well as collective repentance for the horrendous acts committed by other humans. Either way, victims and villains are dead, so anything we do won't make a difference to them, but it's a way of dealing with tragedy.
My favorite in the U.S. is NPR -- as a medium, radio news tends to be less sensational than television because there's no need for visual stimulation to keep audiences' attention (I don't count talking head radio shows as a news source). It's also not as tied to corporate interests as networks like fox and abc. It's funding breakdown is as follows:
31% from listeners in the form of pledges, memberships, and other donations
20% from businesses via corporate underwriting
11% from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which is federally funded
10% from licensee support
9% from foundations and major gifts
5% from local and state governments, and
14% from all other sources.
(from the NPR website)
It depends on where kids are in the socioeconomic scheme of things. While it may be cooler in upper middle class schools to get good grades nowadays (I wouldn't know) it seems like the old rules still apply elsewhere. I recently had a particularly depressing conversation with an 11-year-old girl in my neighborhood who told me that she didn't have any friends until she stopped trying to get good grades. Now kids hang out with her and she's happier.
It takes a lot of time and energy to create and maintain a "beautiful" fake appearance, and it usually shows in personal development.
A stereotypical "fake" woman allocates a lot of resources on: regular hair/nail appointments, working out, tanning, plastic surgery and recovery, buying clothes, etc. This is in addition to an intense daily ritual of remaking herself with cosmetics. The same applies to men, albeit to a somewhat lesser extent in many cases.
The amount of time spent on these activities leaves less for the things that make people interesting and unique such as hobbies or intellectual pursuits.
Also, most people who place priority on their appearance seem to rely heavily on it when dealing with others. If they're already attractive ("fake" in this case), it's easier to make friends and get dates, whereas those who are deemed conventionally unattractive often develop other skills that help them to relate to people. Thus the "ugly" ones are the funniest, or the smartest, or the most talented in some respect compared to their fake counterparts.
Of course there are exceptions, but conventionally unattractive people are generally much more interesting and have better-developed personalities than fake ones. I'd go for "ugly".
An innate part of humanity is our capacity to change: over time as individuals, from generation to generation, following major historical/technological/scientific upheavals, etc. Part of these transitions involves the death of generational viewpoints, specifically through the death of individuals.
If I had the choice to live forever, I assume other people (or everyone) would be given this option as well. Us immortals would just get in the way of the future, probably develop some elitist statuses and might become cripplingly permanent connections to obsolete traditions and views. Think about it -- Thomas Jefferson was amazingly ahead of his time, but he still owned slaves.
An inherent part of life is it's opposite: death. Without a thought for the unknown oblivion beyond some decades of existence on earth, what would our lives be worth? With an eternity of possibilities extending in front of us, wouldn't everything be reduced to triviality? If given the option to live forever, I'd decline, opting for some definable number of years filled with certain excitement and meaning, knowing they could end at any minute.
It's really cliche, but I also believe in paving the way for future generations and their ideas, allowing for the evolution of society rather than the stagnation that would most likely come from widespread immortality.
Not to be too combative, but free-floating claims are not very good for debate, IMO, especially ones you predict will be controversial.
Interestingly, if you read my reply carefully, you'll see I included common stereotypes for both men and women. I see now that I failed to make it obvious that I believe these stereotypes are detrimental to development of both, not just women. I think it's unhelpful for girls to grow up thinking they're inherently bad at math, just as I feel it's bad for boys to grow up thinking they're not masculine for expressing emotion.
Also, the reason I zeroed in on your math / communications example was because I accept most, but not all of your other examples as valid.
For the record, I really think that a norm requiring men to always pay for dinner is sexist, and my argument for the main debate question is below.
I understand where you're coming from, but I think you're missing something a couple paragraphs in. In the "nature vs. nurture" debate you've dismissed "nurture" completely in accounting for discrepancies seen between men and women in various fields of study. The article you cited below as evidence for your argument is slightly ambiguous in this sense, but also sides in favor of the biological explanation rather than the environmental one.
Think about this:
Women need to be beautiful to be worthwhile. Masculinity involves being aggressive and hardworking.
Women are always talkative and emotional. Men are reserved and quiet.
Girls aren't good at math, but they're good at communication. Men are analytical, and mechanically inclined. Math is easy for them.
These are (unfortunately) common stereotypes widely believed throughout society. Like it or not, they contribute to the way each individual, male or female, develops. To ignore cultural / environmental factors in something like math or communications proficiency is negligent on your part.
Also, citing a poorly referenced article from an obscure Ethiopian newspaper (not a great country to be born female) was probably not a good decision.
"I do not believe in racism. I think it is a negroes's place to be inferior to a white man. It has been that way throughout history, for the most part, so what makes the 21st century so unique in that suddenly black people have so many more rights? Yes they deserve rights. I'm not saying that. I'm just saying how it's kind of strange that society has always been Aryan-dominant and now that it's the new millennium, colored folk are miraculously so much better than before. There has to be a top dog in every species. Humans are not special exceptions to the rule. In nature, there are dominant species like lions and they are the heads of the food chain, as the predator species. Others, like antelope, are basically just used as food to sustain the lions, they are the subjugated species.
What gives humans the right to be exceptions from this rule?"
Congratulations, you've invoked the logic of social darwinism!!!
Personally, I appreciate generosity in everyone whether male or female, and I like to return it in kind. In my current relationship, we split shared bills and groceries 50/50 and take turns picking up the check at restaurants. Of course we don't keep a ledger or anything like that, but we generally operate on a financially equal basis.
That said, I have been in relationships in which the guy absolutely insisted on paying for everything when we went out, and even wanted to pay my bills. Although I appreciate the intent, I find myself irritated to insulted when forced into that role.
To answer the main question, yes I do believe that the idea of men as "providers," (specifically in the context of paying for dinner) is sexist as well as outdated, but mostly when it feels obligatory to either or both parties on a regular basis. Sexism goes both ways. Adamant insistence by the man, or silent acquiescence by the woman, just reinforce old stereotypes for both, defining men as breadwinners, and women as helpless dependents.
some reasonable exceptions:
1. First date: Tradition holds that on the first date, the man pays for the entertainment for the night. As ridiculous as I find this, it's also a tradition just like Easter egg hunting and Christmas decorations, so I suppose it's harmless as long as it evens out after that.
2. Pregnancy: This is where women and men diverge in their ability to work for their own income. For a time, it is not possible for women to work, so it might be nice to pick up the tab as a kindness to someone possibly in need. But this would really apply to anyone who is less fortunate. This really only applies for women without paid maternity leave (only in America).
3. Special occasions: Her birthday/graduation/promotion, etc. Since buying someone dinner is a way of honoring them, it's acceptable, but remember that it goes both ways.
Women and men should treat each other with mutual respect and equality, not according to socially enforced gender roles.