Wanted: No Shrinking Violets

Velvet gloves

Photo: Family, makeover Riihele

iron fist/ hand in the velvet glove The iron hand as a symbol of powerful control is found from the early 1700s (the iron fist appears in 1740), but Thomas Carlyle attributes the coining of the expression ‘the iron hand in a velvet glove’, to mean autocratic rule beneath a softer exterior, to Napoleon, although it has also been attributed to other, earlier rulers. The expression is highly variable, iron fist being as common as iron hand and other variants including steel fist mailet fist and silk glove.

Source: Expressions & Sayings at Tiscali.co.uk

“Velvet gloves – iron fist!” That is the thought for today’s Newsies. These poshest of the posh hands in the velvet gloves belong to my Baby Girl. Cool, hey?

What has been on my mind lately is that this week* there was the celebration in Finland for the 100-years of the equal and universal voting rights for both men and women in Finland along with the fact that the Finnish parliament is celebrating also the centenary of its existence.

Finland was the first country in the world to give these rights to all and sundry of her citizens that were over the age of 24 years.The first 19 ladies who were elected to the parliament in the election’s of 1907 which was the very first one after the law came into power. The figure 19 stands when put into per cent as 9,5 of the total elect parliamentarians at the time. Today the numbers are 75 ladies and in per cent as 35,7 per cent of the total and also, anybody over 18-years can vote here in Finland. A hundred years later and only just over a third are women. Hmmm…I wrote some time back these thoughts in this entry about the women and ‘thinking’ plus politics.

It is true that New Zealand gave the women the rights to vote in 1893, though, her right for standing up for election was not granted until long afterwards. Also, Australia in 1903 allowed the dames to vote but they were not as full elected members until well into the 1950’s. In Britain the universal rights were given in 1928 and in Switzerland 1971 the ladies had the right to vote. Interesting.

Last month the first five women* in Kuwait were able to put up their names for the electorate for the first time ever in their country. Well done, I say. We will see at the end of this month how they did as the elections are scheduled to be held on the 29th of June. Quoting the BBC article by Julia Wheeler thus: “…all Kuwaiti-born citizens over 30 can stand if they know how to read and write Arabic are registered on the electoral roll and do not have a criminal record.”

Another factor – lads, BTW, I am not a fiercely angry feminist but I am a very feminine lady who knows where she is at – is the unequal pay for the women for an equally demanding work where both have the same or similar education and experience. I wrote about it in this entry in here. Even in Scandinavia that is supposed to be the most equal part of the world in almost every way to the dames – the dame’s dollar/euro/krona is still only about 80 per cent of the man’s.

One thing that really, really bothers me in this Land of mine – Finland – is the extreme violence that so many women are subjected to daily by their spouses. I take that there are some and these days even more of the hostile women to men as well. No doubt about that. Still the figures show that every 6 minutes a female in this land is attacked by her spouse, every day 246 women are attacked physically by a male and every second week one dies due to the injuries and violence by the man in her life. Shocking.

On the one hand there are the great rights to vote – that is great – and then on the other hand this horrid violence. I did not know this until I returned back here. This is the reason I was quite stunned about the Amnesty International taking this violence issue up with the Finnish government and the authorities in general.

This violence in my mind is the sign of a very uncivilized country and society in its very basics.

Tis for Tis from the deeply thinking, wondering, pondering Riihele xx.

I will add the link to a site called Education Wife Assault‘ and it’s about Emotional Abuse among other things.


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