Vibrators, The Notebook and Genocide

Apartheid, Rwanada Genocide anniversary

For many it will seem a travesty to list a sex toy, movie and Genocide in the same post, however they share a common denominator – an anniversary in 2014 and represent a common theme – progress.

On the 6th of April 2014 it was the 20th anniversary of the start of the Rwandan Genocide, which saw the massacre of approximately 800,000 people [*] and the failure of Governments and their Agencies to step in. Foreign Policy and Contingency Plans of agencies such as The United Nations would change dramatically in the wake of this slaughter.

April 2014 also saw the 20th Anniversary of The End of Apartheid in South Africa, showing that even in the most desperate times of ingrained indifference, there is hope of reform and democracy in the world- although I appreciate that in the case of S.A it isn’t quite there yet, at least it’s journey has begun.

I believe that no matter how macabre or depressing some may find such events, it is important (as the old cliche goes) to learn from our mistakes. And are we? The current crisis in Ukraine would suggest Putin is a little rusty on his history. Now I’m not about to pretend to understand International Politics but from where I’m sitting the current global power struggle- no matter how advanced we now are technologically and how intricately weaved the world now is- we seem to continue to lapse back into an age old pattern of all out war over territorial disputes. History repeats itself.

So whilst I have remembered some of these anniversaries so far this year, I am sad to say that some key historic moments went unmentioned and unnoticed. Yet in the last week alone I have been reminded several times of 2 very different anniversaries:

1. This month was the 10 year anniversary of the release of the film ‘The Notebook’

2. This year is the 30th anniversary of the creation of the vibrator!

Initially I was a little peeved that such trivial anniversaries would be well publicized but then I thought for a while about what these last two anniversaries mean to me:

The Notebook taught me that love isn’t fair, relationships aren’t easy and that illness such as Alzheimer’s can tear a family apart. When I watch this film I cry like a baby, but I also appreciate my mind and cherish my memories – even the bad ones. It makes me thankful for the wonderful work of the medical professionals and also supportive of the work that charities do to help families and sufferers, as well as hopeful of the progress is Science and Medicine our future generations will make. Hopefully one day they’ll find a cure for Alzheimer’s.

And sex toys? Really? Yes, these are important too. In a world where women are often valued less than men, I am thankful to live in an age where the tides are changing, where women can have no fear to express themselves liberally, equally and even sexually. Whilst vibrators aren’t my thing (in case you were wondering!) to me they represent choice and the freedom to explore.

So now I will continue to remember the important anniversaries, especially the ones tinged with sadness but respected for their impact on the world we know…. and every once in a while I will also enjoy the lighthearted anniversaries and appreciate the relief they may bring from all this sadness.

 

[*] Source: http://www.unitedhumanrights.org/genocide/genocide_in_rwanda.htm

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