Letter: Lu's enlightening comments

By Ben Goren  / 

Thu, Dec 28, 2006 - Page 8

During the holiday season, it only seems right that on Christmas Eve, the world should be treated to two unrelated but equally enlightening comments from Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮).

I agree with Lu that war-mongering and physical abuse towards animals, humans and the environment have historically been primarily acts committed by the male half of humanity.

However, Lu's claim that 99.9% of such acts have been committed by men -- though meant as an illustration and not as a statistical fact -- seems to ignore well documented cases of cruelty and aggression perpetuated by or on behalf of women.

Any analysis of history will reveal a number of leading female figures who, in addition to the responsibilities and pressure of their positions, have been responsible for the decision to spill the blood of others.

In the US, Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice must stand as the best current living embodiment of ruthlessness in female form -- not because she has had to become masculine to survive, but rather because the channels of power have allowed her nature to express itself.

She has not risen to her position because she has had to compromise her femininity, but rather because her personality has lent itself well to the world of politics.

This illustrates why gender roles should not be simplified or stereotyped.

The vice president's second comment of interest was made in a speech to the young recipients of the Presidential Education Award.

Lu told them not to get too exited about their high scores in a recent competition, which clearly indicates that she is a pragmatic realist who will not shirk from or avoid delivering a difficult -- but well intentioned -- message when it is necessary.

These are truly presidential qualities.

Since a race between Rice and New York Senator Hillary Clinton seems likely for the next US presidential election, perhaps Taiwan's two largest parties could demonstrate just how progressive they are by setting up a Lu-Chen competition for the 2008 presidential election.

And by Chen, I mean Sisy Chen (陳文茜).

Ben Goren