What is Feminism?

Throughout history, women have always struggled to gain equality, respect, and the same rights as men. This has been difficult because of patriarchy, an ideology in which men are superior to women and have the right to rule women. This ideology has permeated the social structures of societies throughout the world and as a result, even in the new millennium, women are still struggling for rights that most men take for granted. The struggle was even more difficult for women of color because not only were they dealing with issues of sexism, but also racism. In order to fight patriarchy, feminism and feminist theory was born.

What is feminism? By general definition, feminism is a philosophy in which women and their contributions are valued. It is based on social, political and economical equality for women. Feminists can be anyone in the population, men, women, girl or boys.

Feminism can also be described as a movement or a revolution that includes women and men who wish the world to be equal without boundaries. These boundaries or blockades are better known as discrimination and biases against gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status and economic status. Everyone views the world with his or her own sense of gender and equality. Feminists view the world as being unequal. They wish to see the gender gap and the idea that men are superior to women decreased or even abolished. There are many different types of feminist theory and each has had a profound impact on women and gender studies.

The first is cultural feminism, which is the theory that there are fundamental personality differences between men and women, and those women’s differences are special. This theory supports the idea that there are biological differences between men and women and sexism can be overcome by embracing the “women’s way.”

The second type is individualist or libertarian feminist. This feminism is based upon libertarian philosophies, with the focus on autonomy, rights, liberty, independence, and diversity. Next, there is the radical feminism; this theory began during the Sixties. This ideology focuses on social change, and “attempts to draw lines between biologically – determined behavior and culturally- determined behavior” in order to free both men and women as much as possible from their previous narrow gender roles.

Finally, there is liberal feminism, a theory that focuses on the idea that all people are created equal and that education is the primary means to change discrimination.

Polynesian Art: Why Is It Part of Genius Creations?

Polynesia consists of various islands in the Pacific Ocean such as Hawaii, Easter islands, Tonga, Samoa, Tahiti, Marquesas Island and New Zealand. Polynesia is a fusion of two words ‘poly’ which means ‘many’ and ‘nesia’ which means ‘islands’. Polynesia means ‘many islands’.

The Polynesians were skillful navigators (sailing masters). The Polynesian societies were ruled by kings, chiefs, and ritual specialists.

The Polynesians were noted for specialization in various fields of work such as priesthood, sculpting, canoe making and building construction. Training in the form of apprenticeship was offered to trainees on the mastery ways of handling tools and materials. They were also instructed on the body of beliefs and ideologies that were linked to any of the artistic creations. This accounts for the high technical and aesthetic standards that are the hallmark of artworks in Polynesia. That is why their works are branded by art historians as genius creations.

Owing to the social hierarchy that existed in Polynesia, art was associated with rank and power. Initiation rites were organized for the youth to enter into adulthood. The Polynesians believed in ancestors and therefore practiced ancestral veneration and the performance of extravagant funeral ceremonies.

The Polynesians produced various forms of art such as painting, sculpture, textiles, architecture, feather work and pottery. Body painting in the form of tattooing was a prestigious art in Polynesia. It was an important art form for the Marquesan warriors because it was believed to offer spiritual protection of the individual. Nobles and warriors accumulated various patterns to help increase their status, mana or spiritual power and personal beauty. For full protection, the tattoo-covered the entire body. The interiors and exteriors of both the ceremonial and communal meeting houses especially the rafters are painted in symbolic patterns in various colours serving both aesthetic and spiritual purposes.

Images of deities usually referred to as fishermen gods and ancestors were carved in wood with multiple figures attached to their bodies. The ancestral figures probably represented clan and district ancestors who were revered and honored because of their protective and procreative powers. They played a central role in human fertility.

The Polynesians are famed for the production of a decorated bark cloth called Tapa. It was produced from the inner bark of the paper mulberry tree by the Polynesian women. Its production processes were complex and time-consuming.

It was used extensively for clothing and bedding. Large sheets of the tapa are used were and still are produced for exchange. It is used for wrapping objects and it is believed to bestow sanctity or holiness on the object. Some were also used for ceremonial or ritual purposes. These ones were dyed, painted, stenciled and sometimes perfumed. Bodies of high ranking deceased chiefs were traditionally wrapped in the tapa cloth. During funeral and marriage ceremonies, tapa exchanges form an integral part.

Meeting houses and ceremonial houses were constructed by the Polynesians. There were carved relief panels along the walls of the buildings that depicted specific ancestors.

Intricately painted shapes cover the rafters. They also built temples for their war gods and other deities.

Elegant feather cloaks were created for mainly men of high rank. Most of the cloaks were produced in Hawaii. Every aspect of the cloak reflected the status of the wearer. The materials used were extremely precious particularly the red and yellow feathers from the mamo birds.

The cloak linked its owner to the gods. Aside offering spiritual protection of the gods to the wearer, their dense fibre base and feather matting provided physical protection.

The Western part of Polynesia produced the Lapita pottery (ceramic vessels) for domestic, religious and spiritual uses in the temples, homes, and ceremonial houses.

The rich artistic culture of the Polynesians educates us that artists must strive to attain a high key of professionalism in their artistic productions in any area of expertise they choose as their specialty. The handling and usage of tools and materials for artistic productions must be handled in dexterity as was done by the Polynesians. This would help in the advancement of art in the society.

For The Viking Fans

The Vikings existed in what is now commonly known as the Viking age which was from around 790 to the 10 Century. These groups of people were mostly Scandinavians the modern day Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Besides what is commonly depicted from the recent day movies, they lived an ordinary normal life which was then, comprised of living in the wild and regular warfare to conquer more territories. They inhabited most parts of North of the Atlantic and continued their spread North of Africa and the Eastern part of Russia.

The Vikings had a motive of spreading their territories to root out the Christianity that was cropping up, and they were adamantly against it. In their quest, they were faced with challenges such as more fierce communities that resisted them. This resulted in violent, bloody battles such as with the Saxons. The Vikings conducted raids to various parts and even colonized the conquered regions, enslaving many and also selling them off.

The Viking Heritage and Impact on the modern society

In the contemporary days, a group of people still associate themselves with the Viking heritage and from the numerous movies created from their history a class of current-day Vikings has emerged. However, the recent Vikings are not bloodthirsty killers and raiders; these are people who adore the old culture art and their bravery aspect.

From the ancient times Vikings, individual characters and weaponry art have been coined that continues to capture the attention of many. Some of these pieces include the Thor Hammer, rings and many medallions that resemble those that were worn back then. Others contain engravings such as those that are found on their swords and other things, they commonly had lions, serpents and strange birds engravings to symbolize something.

The other aspect that the Viking mentality has cropped up in the modern world is through gaming sites that have used the Viking characters in their work. This has, therefore, popularized the idea among computer game geeks widely capturing those interested in bringing out the vicious and fearless Vikings antics in them.

Conclusion

If you are a Viking fan, then you can purchase many of their collections in stores worldwide. However, it is advised that you do a thorough research and ensure that you understand the value and quality of every merchandise that you purchase. There are various ways a fan can feel like a Viking, such as the use of modern day trends such as playing Viking games, using the Viking mugs and more.