Did you find Berrah's views of women's place in community, war, and politics to have been consistent or inconsistent?

Use this forum to discuss the February 2021 Book of the month, "Dream For Peace: An Ambassador Memoir" by Dr.Ghoulem Berrah
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Re: Did you find Berrah's views of women's place in community, war, and politics to have been consistent or inconsistent

Post by Myladysarah »

Although I agree his beliefs are inconsistent, I believe it is a testament to his own growth story.
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Post by 63tty »

I don't see that his opinions changed but, yeah, there are a couple of questionable actions like how he said her place was not there. All in all I think it was in a period when women's opinions were not valued ad much. I think he was influenced to that decision.
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Post by lavkathleen »

The whole time I was reading, it confused me. He said that women's jobs as parents would be interrupted if they had to do other things. I felt like vomitting. He was even with women while fighting the armed struggle! I understand that most of you saw that he learned a lesson as he grew older, but I didn't see that. It should've been addressed if he actually saw what was wrong with what he said.
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Post by lavkathleen »

He hasn't said anything about women in politics, at least I haven't noticed them. But it is comforting that President Houphouët-Boigny seems to not mind (referring to the election in Chapter 15). I would've held them on a higher regard if they showed and I felt that they think of women as equals.
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Post by lavkathleen »

raluca_mihaila wrote: 24 Feb 2021, 04:16 We have to take into consideration that people change, and that takes time. Unfortunately, we are influenced by our background and education, and the process of adapting to the changes in society takes a lot of open-mindedness. He did change his views, and that showed a lot of maturity. However, we should not judge him too harsh for his initial opinions.
I can acknowledge the fact that people are taught the wrong things as they were growing up. I know you all see that he grew past his sexist views on women, but that's not what I saw. If he addressed this err in the book, then I would've agreed. Also, as women, we have the right to not just forgive trespasses like this.
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Post by lavkathleen »

LeighBee wrote: 25 Feb 2021, 15:04 I agree with you - this was actually one of the examples I was thinking about when I posted this discussion question.

When I read about his visit to China, I did get the same sense when I read that statement that he was basically saying women's place is in the home; however, I could not tell if he was making this as a statement about China's culture or his own values. What I finally decided, as you pointed out, was that since his audience included accomplished women, I read this as simply his observations of China. I thought he was trying to explain that in China when he visited, he observed this as one of their cultural values.
He said that because he thought children in China weren't as nurtured by their mothers compared to those in Africa? Okay, that's interesting. But reading back to that section, he flat out disagreed when the president of the association said that "by not empowering women, a country would be deprived of half its potential." It's painful and degrading to read that.
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Post by lavkathleen »

FaithMO19 wrote: 26 Feb 2021, 11:13 I think this is just an example of the effect of growth and exposure on the mind. As he advanced and related with more resilient women, he began to appreciate and acknowledge the role of women in politics.
I really wish that his opinions changed as he grew older and met different kinds of women. But I also wish that he addressed this because I'll never forget what he said on page 101, location 1432. It's a sick thing to say, knowing that he's already been around women activists and even those who joined in the armed struggle before he said this.
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Post by lavkathleen »

Jenniferg_1105 wrote: 16 Feb 2021, 20:08 I agreed with you completely. I am guessing that as he aged he grew to respect women more. Maybe the many different women he met along the way, and his multiple wives, changed his perspective. Or maybe he just began to notice the women’s accomplishments more.
He should've said something about it, instead of making barely-there supportive statements scattered across the book. If he can be very particular and articulate about how much he believed that women should be good mothers and stay at home with their child/ren, then he can do that too. At best, I'll see it as tolerance; as a woman, I felt invisible but not in a good way.
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Post by LeighBee »

lavkathleen wrote: 28 Feb 2021, 01:32
FaithMO19 wrote: 26 Feb 2021, 11:13 I think this is just an example of the effect of growth and exposure on the mind. As he advanced and related with more resilient women, he began to appreciate and acknowledge the role of women in politics.
I really wish that his opinions changed as he grew older and met different kinds of women. But I also wish that he addressed this because I'll never forget what he said on page 101, location 1432. It's a sick thing to say, knowing that he's already been around women activists and even those who joined in the armed struggle before he said this.
I think you've made an important point. There are so many instances where women's roles are discussed and displayed, it seems strange that he did not speak directly to address why he did or did not support women at different times throughout his life. He was so careful to describe personal development in other areas; the lack of directly discussing the topic in itself makes it seem that he may not have valued the issue.
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Post by shannonkate8 »

Your question definitely sparked some debate in my thoughts. I wondered if Dr. Berrah was perhaps initially biased based on his own background and how woman were treated. As he grew older, he likely came into contact with more women in the field, and it may have subconsciously changed his opinion.
That said, his views were relatively inconsistent, as a whole. However, they may be consistent with his mindset at the time, but we don't always get that view from books, specifically non-fiction.
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Post by Leroy2017 »

I strongly agree with you, I feel as he grew older he learnt that not all women are the same. They all have varied qualities
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Post by EternalD »

You are right in some aspects of your criticism. In any case, it must be understood that Dr. Ghoulem Berrah was born in a time and place that saw women differently. As time went by and as he got to know different countries, he started to have a healthier and more just view of the opposite sex.
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Post by Annette M »

I found them to be inconsistent especially when he said that women should focus on educating children at home, on the other hand he praised his mother and treated his wife well.
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Post by ReaderAisha2020 »

Perhaps in the beginning he had not considered such views and also lacked experience. Later, he had seen more and ssi had more opinions and more to say
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Post by Intel »

If we are talking consistent in terms of exponentially then yes. Initially the author goes from rarely mentioning or rather acknowledging women, to having a outright opinion on the topics of women specifically in war, politics, etc.
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