Kyrgyzstan’s Revolution : a New Definition of “Partytime”?

Written by Angelique van Engelen

Kyrgyzstan’s swift and sudden revolution happened almost before one could have managed to pronounce this obscure country’s name. The chaos inrepparttar country where activists chased away their ruling leaders show a country coming to terms with a colonial past and on a quest to find a new identity. Despiterepparttar 135914 looting andrepparttar 135915 – tempered- violence,repparttar 135916 initial reading of this revolution is thatrepparttar 135917 catharsis might preclude a positive outcome. Not so much only for this tiny country, but more importantly perhaps inrepparttar 135918 wider context ofrepparttar 135919 rise of democracy inrepparttar 135920 ex Soviet countries. Evenrepparttar 135921 Russian leader Vladimir Putin has shown a new attitude to regime change in a former Soviet state – vouching support forrepparttar 135922 new regime and also promising to treat its old leader kindly. Kyrgyzstan’s revolution likely will have openedrepparttar 135923 doors to a more pragmatic government that nevertheless will still be leaning on Russia. As such, it will berepparttar 135924 third ofrepparttar 135925 ex-Soviet countries that has seen a grassroots revolution withinrepparttar 135926 last 18 months that Russia has had to swallow. Opposition activists took matters into their own hands to ensure –what else- improved living conditions for a people that have become seriously impoverished atrepparttar 135927 hands of a not so corrupt but still corrupt bunch of leaders.

Kyrgyz nationals followed inrepparttar 135928 footsteps of Georgian and Ukrainian opposition forces. In Georgia,repparttar 135929 opposition - backed byrepparttar 135930 US government- overthrew their Russian puppet cabinet in 2003. More recently, Ukraine last December held another round of Presidential elections afterrepparttar 135931 pro -Moscow outcome ofrepparttar 135932 first round was contested – putting in placerepparttar 135933 pro Western Viktor Yuschenko. Russia’s reaction torepparttar 135934 events, which one overseas based Kyrgyz diplomat branded ‘a coup’, can be seen as uncharacteristic. Perhaps issuing a blue print of a new party line – one of utter pragmatism- President Vladimir Putin did not waste many words overrepparttar 135935 issue. Moscow is ‘ready to work withrepparttar 135936 Kyrgyz opposition’, he said. He also offered refuge to Akayev. Russia has never been very much interested in this poorest ofrepparttar 135937 five Central Asian states. Regional organizations aside from Russia that might be called onto for mediation are not immediately considered capable of inventing an adequate solution, observers say. Most ofrepparttar 135938 five central Asian countries have internal problems and have had difficulties in coping with fledgling economies since well beforerepparttar 135939 fall ofrepparttar 135940 Soviet Union. After 1991,repparttar 135941 region has failed to develop any robust political and economic institutions with clout and this is believed to have an impact onrepparttar 135942 economic development ofrepparttar 135943 countries, most particularly that of Kyrgyzstan. There is also a lot of personal competition betweenrepparttar 135944 region's –mostly elderly- leaders and this attitude, which harks back to Soviet days. This highlights why a distinct cooperative atmosphere in Central Asia is simply non-existent. Russian imperialist ambitions never really very strongly connected to Kyrgyzstan, although Russia has some troops onrepparttar 135945 ground. US troops are also stationed outsiderepparttar 135946 airport inrepparttar 135947 capital Bishkek in accommodation that recently started to take a more permanent form thanrepparttar 135948 tentsrepparttar 135949 soldiers set up when they first arrived some two years ago, say people who’ve visitedrepparttar 135950 country. The base camp was meant to be a "staging ground" for US troops beforerepparttar 135951 fall ofrepparttar 135952 Taleban in Afghanistan. All central Asian countries have long been cited to be particularly vulnerable to outside interference from greater powers, yet it’s unlikely thatrepparttar 135953 events we’ve seen this week in Kyrgyzstan wererepparttar 135954 result of outside meddling. The last years,repparttar 135955 country has shown an ambivalence toward anything that reaks of hegemony. Onrepparttar 135956 one hand there has been fear that Russia would step up its influence and atrepparttar 135957 same time people have wondered what would happen to them if Russian troops would leave. Kyrgyzstan isrepparttar 135958 only country inrepparttar 135959 Central Asian region to have very limited oil reserves –it pumps out 2,000 bpd- and as such it has escaped every foreign power with an interest inrepparttar 135960 region. Just afterrepparttar 135961 fall ofrepparttar 135962 Soviet Union, an enormous discovery of oil reserves underrepparttar 135963 Caspian Sea was made, which it was believed would putrepparttar 135964 region on a par withrepparttar 135965 Middle East in terms of oil reserves and would make itrepparttar 135966 number one spot for natural gas inrepparttar 135967 world. Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazachstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan mutually agreed to carve uprepparttar 135968 rights torepparttar 135969 undersea reserves. The estimates however were somewhat exaggerated andrepparttar 135970 region’s oil interests are of distinct yet not vital importance.

What is a Family?

Written by Theresa Chaze

WHAT IS A FAMILY? BY THERESA CHAZE What is a family? Is it a man, a woman and their children? Or is it something more than just blood ties ofrepparttar traditional concept? Do adopted children qualify? Do stepparents? The current administration is trying to carve in stone their definitions of marriage and family by using their own narrow concept of life to turn backrepparttar 135454 clock and to limit under what condition people may bond together. The changes began during WWII, when women were called to serve outsiderepparttar 135455 home. Suddenly they learned they were so much more than daughters, wives and mothers. They could be independent individuals, capable of making their own decisions about their lives. Suddenly they had their own money and careers. They didn’t have to marry to survive. Whenrepparttar 135456 war ended,repparttar 135457 soldiers returned to a budding new breed of women. One who was more independent and unwilling to acceptrepparttar 135458 traditional, subservient role. This is whenrepparttar 135459 clash of wills and violence began to increase. Traditional families ofrepparttar 135460 fifties were patriarchies. The man led and controlledrepparttar 135461 household. The wife and children were subservient to his wishes and demands. He alone made decisions and controlledrepparttar 135462 household resources. He alone had allrepparttar 135463 power. In this traditional concept ofrepparttar 135464 family, women’s only roles were that of daughter, mother, housekeeper and sexual toy. The children were considered property ofrepparttar 135465 father. Their futures were determined by his expectations. Sons followed in their father’s footsteps. Daughters were daughters until they became wives andrepparttar 135466 ownership was transferred fromrepparttar 135467 father torepparttar 135468 husband; thusrepparttar 135469 cycle continued. Husbands worked outsiderepparttar 135470 home. Wives wererepparttar 135471 housekeepers and nursemaids. These wererepparttar 135472 times whenrepparttar 135473 family secrets were kept. Abuse wasrepparttar 135474 wife’s fault and responsibility. Child abuses and molestation wasn’t talked about; it just existed. How could it be a crime forrepparttar 135475 father to use his property any way he saw fit? Ifrepparttar 135476 wife was unhappy, give her a pill. Ifrepparttar 135477 children protested beat them into submission. Life was good forrepparttar 135478 male part ofrepparttar 135479 population. Bad behavior was excused, “as boys will be boys”. Abuse, neglect, and abandonment were just accepted. For young women, life was not as rosy. Young women who got pregnant out of wed lock were either forced to quit school and marry or sent away in shame untilrepparttar 135480 child was born after which it was ripped from her arms. Job opportunities were limited and low paying. Women were confined to jobs that were beneath men both in status and pay; those who tried to step out of their roles were harassed and condemned. The sixties, seventies and eighties brought new freedoms not only educationally but also medically, socially, politically and intellectually. Education was not only promoted, but higher standards were expected. It was increasingly no longer acceptable to drop out. High school graduation becamerepparttar 135481 standard. New opportunities were created for those who chose to work for them. Technology brought new kinds of jobs and more challenges torepparttar 135482 old lifestyles. Medical advances in birth control allowed women to more fully control their bodies, giving them more financial and educational opportunities. In 1973,repparttar 135483 legalization of abortions gave womenrepparttar 135484 freedom to compete on equal grounds. The political climate started shifting fromrepparttar 135485 “good ole boys’ club” having total control to a more balanced system, which included women and non-whites. No longer were white men in total control of their families or their job opportunities. Suddenly they had to compete for jobs with those they considered beneath them. It was not as easy for sons to be accepted for employment because their fathers. In addition, jobs themselves became more technical and less manual labor. The old reliable manufacturing jobs suddenly became higher skilled and harder to find. Integration brought new understandings and new conflicts between cultures. Traditional values and bigotries suddenly were being questioned. “Because I said so” or “that’srepparttar 135486 way it’s always been done” were no longer acceptable answers. Those who chose to take advantage found more similarities than difference between cultures. Interracial relationships and marriages became not only legal but also acceptable. The tradition family found itself being redefined to include stepparents and stepchildren as divorce became more prevalent. Withrepparttar 135487 educational system andrepparttar 135488 job market opening to them, women were no longer forced to stay in unhealthy relationships. In addition,repparttar 135489 legal and legislative systems recognized a woman’s right to control her sexual life. Husbands no longer had a right to sex on demand. Nor did a woman need to ask permission of her husband to attain birth control. On a professional level, women still were not achievingrepparttar 135490 same status economically as their male counter parts. However more women were stepping out of their complacent roles and demanding equality itrepparttar 135491 work place. Sexual harassment laws protected women fromrepparttar 135492 old tactics used to keep them in their “proper place”. In addition, women no longer acceptedrepparttar 135493 glass-ceiling place on them and started businesses of their own. Instead of being assets torepparttar 135494 established companies, they became resourceful competitors. The children ofrepparttar 135495 sixties and seventies questioned more ofrepparttar 135496 old values and beliefs. They found that many of their family teachings about religion, cultures and lifestyles to be incorrect or lacking. The more they learned,repparttar 135497 more they vocally challengedrepparttar 135498 old guard. Refusing to acceptrepparttar 135499 limitations of their parents, they broke away. Demonstrations became common inrepparttar 135500 sixties asrepparttar 135501 young adults refused to blindly accept war and segregation. Advancements in educational opportunities gave them income standards far beyondrepparttar 135502 past generations, making them more mobile and flexible in their lifestyles. Birth family ties were no longer their prime focus andrepparttar 135503 clan mentally ofrepparttar 135504 previous generations began to die. Individuals could now explore their own desires sexually and spiritually. Alternative lifestyles which started as subcultures, rapidly grew into mainstream realities asrepparttar 135505 new generations fought for their independence. The social upheaval ofrepparttar 135506 sixties, which turned intorepparttar 135507 time ofrepparttar 135508 individual ofrepparttar 135509 seventies, blossomed into a reemergence of social acceptance ofrepparttar 135510 eighties. More people challengedrepparttar 135511 taboos ofrepparttar 135512 past and more ofrepparttar 135513 old traditions fell byrepparttar 135514 wayside. Men found they no longer had total control either in their homes or inrepparttar 135515 job market. Suddenly they had to compete with women and non-whites for jobs and resources that had been their exclusive domain. No longer could they slide by on whom they knew to find work. Skills and education becamerepparttar 135516 qualifying factors in who was hired. Those who refused to update their skills were phased out. Domestic violence became more prevalent as men fought to retain control. Howeverrepparttar 135517 legal system had also begun to change, giving victims of abuse more rights and options. Spousal and child abusers started to be prosecuted torepparttar 135518 full extent ofrepparttar 135519 new laws. No longer could men hide behindrepparttar 135520 marriage licenses to protect them fromrepparttar 135521 legal system as law enforcement found itself under scrutiny for its past blind eye torepparttar 135522 violence inrepparttar 135523 home. No longer could officers walk away without finding themselves in legal troubles themselves. Child molestation became felonies with long prison terms instead of misdemeanors with short to no jail time. Through these three decades families and society in general became more accepting and equal to all its members.

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