This paper is an endeavor to explain the rights and freedoms of people around the world, as they (such freedoms) cut across the social classes and prejudices. The arguments of the paper are based on the presumption that the concepts of freedom and equality are sometimes being suppressed in some parts of the world including the Middle East, Russia, and Canada (Charlton 18). Such inequalities in the application of freedoms and rights is what makes it hard for the Middle Eastern and Russian people, for instance, to extend greater tolerance and share the same social privileges. That is why in this paper reviews on some incidents are observed to enlighten other minds and to discuss the standards and scope of morality. The paper is based on transformation through social movement as a way of fronting the importance of women and feminist movements in everyday life.
The history of Idle no more
Nina Wilson, Sheelah Maclean. Jessica Gordon and Sylvia McAdam founded the Idle No More movement in the year 2010. The movement took a multidisciplinary approach to the fight against Bill C-45 and other bills that mutilated the environmental rights, especially those relating to the navigation limitations (Davis 121). The movement was accompanied by a series of teach-ins, protests, both peaceful and violent as well as rallies led by activists. The history of the movement has it that the creation of the movement was a response to the Bill C-45 which was brought forth by the Harper federal government. At the core of the activism of the movement stood the confederacy of the of Treaty number 6 First nations.
The subjects of the Idle No More movement
The main subjects of the Idle No More are both male and female, from all races and cultures, with the indigenous people, especially women being the majority. The primary reason why the indigenous people are the majority is because the main focus of the movement was to fight for the injustices that were leveled against the aboriginal people and the natural environment (Harden 74). The movement draws its subjects from across the world, making its membership a multicultural collection. The members are people from all economic classes seeking to eliminate the inequalities that cut across the socio-economic classes.
The history of LGBT in Russia
Matters relating to Lesbian, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals in Russia were highly influenced by the orthodox nature of the Russian religious topology (Moss 1). The political divisions also impacted on the affairs of the LGBT movement. Homosexual tendencies in Russia were discouraged by the governments for centuries (Herszenhorn 1). Perhaps the most notable efforts at killing homosexuality were the efforts of Tsar Peter the Great who banned homosexuality in the military in the year 1716. In the year 1832, the government came up with laws criminalizing homosexual tendencies. This was the same century a gay subculture rose in Russia. The laws criminalizing homosexuality banned in the year 1922. However, they were reinstated in the year 1932 by President Stalin (Moss 1). The year 1991 saw the European council push the Russian government to decriminalize the sexual acts associated with LGBT (Charlton 117). Borris Yeltsin gave in to the demands of the European council. In 1993, the quote "We've waited long enough!” hit the social arena as the article 121 which declared gay sex criminal, was eliminated (Moss 1).
The subjects of the LGBT
The membership of the movements consists of a multi-gender profile, with males, females and transsexuals being equally represented (Charlton 48). The racial backgrounds are equally welcomed to join the movement, but the Russians are the dominating majority due to the population ratios (Charlton 76). Being a global movement, the mingling of cultures is prioritized. Much like the Idle No More movement, majority of the members are women.
Current activities of LGBT Russia
On Red Square in Moscow, Russia on July 14 this year, gay rights activists push their freedom by commenting on the “Homophobia State Policy” signed by the Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. These gay rights activists continue to push their freedom in the society. In the following statements by Anton Maramygin to the Russian leader Vladimir Putin, it is clear that a number of people including the youth condemn LGBT group. The majority of Russian community disregards the “new sexual sovereignty” and abandons the “corrosive influence of Western decadence” (Guillory 2). That is why up to this time social freedom and inequality are not yet felt and experienced by all people.
Russian’s abandonment of LGBT movement has started in 2006, and it has been pushing more debates on freedom. The Russian people who are afraid of homosexuals, according to research, protect their children and adhere to Christian morality. It is to note that the influence of religious tenets and dogmas embodies these Russian people to be blindsided of freedom (Morrison 84). In fact, the Russian president implements laws that prohibit the public appearance of LGBT and their form of airing their grievances and sentiments. The support of the government includes giving fines and sanctions for their LGBT members who violate the laws (Charlton 56). That is why in this paper the central focus of the issue is to bring social freedom and equality based on human rights. Even if religion and other traditional people insist to abandon the existence of LGBT, how are freedom and equality realized?
A brief comparison of the two groups
Clearly, the two movements are as different as they are similar. Notably, the most conspicuous difference is the fact that the LGBT movement fights for the rights of the lesbians, the Gays, the transsexuals and the Bisexuals in Russia. On the contrary, the idle no more movement in Canada fights for the rights of the minority aborigines and the preservation of the environment. Secondly, the LGBT movement is centuries old (Morrison 121). On the contrary, the Idle No More movement has its roots on the decade between 2000 and 2010. The most noteworthy similarity is the actuality that they are in a fight against the government sponsored legal guidelines, which favor the sections of society considered to be the majority.
The objectives of these two groups
The methods of fighting to achieve the goals
The idle no more movement is characterized by demonstrations, protests and rallies. They as well are signatories of treaties that seek to make real their aims of freedom. On the contrary, the Russian LGBT uses legal arguments and protests as well as campaigns to get their stand heard. Still, both movements have been tremendously successful in attaining their goals. Even if they still face hitches, the movements have shaken the legal status quo and have forced the reserved government sponsored frameworks to pave way for transformation (Cooper 89).
The success of the movement
Today, Canada is one among the richest nations. Why, one may wonder. The country’s wealth is attributable to the manner in which they use the natural resource – the same resources such movements as Idle No More have so spiritedly fought to protect (Harden 128). The navigable waters of Canada have been maintained intact, thanks to the efforts of Idle No More. The government, through listening to the voice of the Idle No More movement, has sought to empower the people at the grassroots – the aborigines that were formerly victim of the capitalistic liberalism. In the case of LGBT, Russia is currently one of the most socially liberal nations (Charlton 67). Even if the ideas of LGBT are bound by age restrictions (16 years), the achievements of the movement are noteworthy because in 1993 gay rights were enforced by the constitution.
The future of the movements’ expectations
It is expected that in the end, the United Nations and other alliances will formulate a certain law promoting social freedom and equality (Davis 24). Morality is associated with one another, and they are forces to guide the people to behave and act accordingly. However, if morality dictates discrimination, injustice, and social bias due to narrow-mindedness and lack of tolerance, the human rights and the people must work together to understand humanity (Harden 163). It is unfair that people give care and extra protection to animal rights even those violent, wild, and dangerous animals and that they can never give love and compassion among LGBTs, aborigines, and many minority groups.
These groups are harmless and useful in the society where they also exhibit potential for the growth of the region, country, and the world in general. They exist, they live, and they need care and love. What kind or morality is it to abandon humanity? And what particular standard morality people should base their judgments and perspectives? (Morrison 112). To think, LGBTs and other minority groups are part in this world struggle, and they must not be rejected. They are not tigers or lions that seemed to be ferocious, and they are not terrorists who destroy and murder humanity. LGBT and other people are people who do not actually create a problem compared to other ferocious and dangerous criminals (Charlton 23). They are here in this world harmlessly and peacefully to co-exist.
In conclusion, it is clear that the movements have not had a smooth sailing through the years. On the contrary, they have gone through a roller coaster ride. They have faced various legal restrictions and limitations such as the Russian laws criminalizing sexual acts associated with gay communities. The Canadian story is a little different because its history only dates to recent history. The Canadian story has as well faced the hurdles characteristic of such movements but has sufficiently attained its goals because the day it organized its protests and rallies coincided with such important days as the Amnesty International Human Rights Day. To a remarkable extent, the two movements have made their voices heard. It is projected that with the rate at which globalism is taking root, and human rights becoming prioritized, the aims of the two movements will be entirely attained sooner or later. The Russian LGBT has been described as a revolution – a movement to shun the old ways and embrace transformation towards a post modern society where sexual orientation does not become a hindrance to the access of opportunities. I have learnt a lot from the two movements. Foremost, I have learnt that social change is possible, and that it can be brought at anytime, even when the legal framework of the country is against such change. Secondly, I have learnt that women are key payers in bringing about social change. They can contribute to the transformation of the society. There are many more lessons to be learnt in the future regarding the role of women in social and cultural development. In the future, I intend to research on the role of women in the economies of the developing nations.
Cooper, Afua. “The Hanging of Angélique: The Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old Montreal.” U of Georgia Press, 2007.
Charlton, Angela. Moscow. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Print
Davis, Angela Y. “The Meaning of Freedom and Other Difficult Dialogues” San Francisco City: Lights Open Media, 2012.
Guillory, Sean. “Repression and Gay Rights in Russia.” The Nation. 2013. Web. 27 Sep. 2013. < http://www.thenation.com/article/176368/repression-and-gay-rights-russia#>
Harden, Joel D. Quiet No More: New Political Activism in Canada and Around the Globe. , 2013. Print.
Herszenhorn, David M. Gays in Russia Find No Haven, Despite Support from the West. New York Times. Web. 27 Sep. 2013. < http://www.nytimes.com>.
Morrison, Toni. “Beloved.” New York: Vintage, 2004.
Moss, Kevin. Russian Gay History, 2011. Internet Source. Retrieved from: http://community.middlebury.edu/~moss/RGC2.html
Repression and Gay Rights in Russia
Reported by Sean Guillory in The Nation
Photo # 1 A wave of anti-gay laws brought Russia’s LGBT movement into the international spotlight
Gays in Russia Find No Haven, Despite Support From the West
Reported by David M. Herszenhorn in The New York Times
Photo # 2 Police Officers guarding LGBT activists from the anti-gay protesters in St. Petersburg, Russia in June