Monday, May 6, 2013
Kato, how come you place my name right beside Hypatia?
Oh … Diane, do you know who Hypatia is?
Yes, of course, I know. She is a Greek philosopher renowned for her beauty, isn’t she?
Oh …, ma ma mia … ooh la la … What an astounding jack-in-the-box!
Kato, what makes you so flabbergasted?
You know, Diane, not many people go to church these days.
I know. I know. But I don’t blame them.
…’Cause there are so many diversions people are occupied with. Going to movies is more exciting than going to church. Sitting in front of the computer screen is much more fun than sitting on a hard bench in the church.
So, Diane, you don’t blame me for not going to church nor going to Buddhist temple, do you?
No, I don’t. But why are you talking about church?
Well … you know, Hypatia was killed by a Christian mob. Since you’re a devoted Christian and regular church-goer, you might have known the tragical incidents in the early history of Christianity—the murder of Hypatia, in particular. That’s what I thought.
I see…, but, Kato, you aren’t a Christian, are you? How on earth have you come to know about Hypatia?
Well …I borrowed a DVD called “Agora” from Vancouver Public Library.
I see… You viewed 237th DVD, didn’t you?
Yes, I did. ”Agora” is a historical drama about Hypatia.
You watched the above movie on May 2, and jotted down the comment in the above, huh?
Yes, I did.
Your comment is too long, Kato. How come you always write a long comment? Make it short and get to the point.
I was thinking about writing an article on this movie. That’s why I made it long so that you will know for sure what the movie is all about.
Instead of a long comment, the trailer will do a much better job, won’t it?
The trailer is too short. I don’t think you get a relatively full account of the story. Let me tell you the outline. I rewrite here the above comment with a number of still photos.
Kato, how many more DVDs are you gonna borrow?
I’m trying to watch 1,001 movies in the library.
I see… So, the 1,001st movie will be “One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights),” huh?
You’re telling me, Diane.
By the way, Diane, have you ever watched “Agora”?
No, I haven’t. I think I’m gonna borrow one myself.
Don’t worry about it. I’ve got a full movie for you. I’ve just pasted the video clip here:
Kato, do you like the movie?
Yes, of course, I do.
Tell me, Kato, what impressed you most.
Well … I’d say Pharos—the lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders.
And, of course, Library of Alexandria.
The lighthouse and the library … is that all?
Well … lastly, but not the least important … Hypatia herself … Her talent, beauty and the tragic death.
You see, Diane, she is the last philosopher of the Hellenistic Era. Cyril, the leader of the Christians, convinced a mob of Christians to kill her. And her death, I think, actually started the Dark Age in the Christian world.
Why did he want to kill her in the first place?
Well … I think Cyril viewed Hypatia as a threat to his own dignity and power. He must have understood that she was much smarter than himself.
So, Cyril’s inferiority complex and jealousy killed Hypatia. Is that it?
You’re telling me, Diane. Cyril was a self-righteous, bigoted and opinionated man—the kind of guy I hate most in the human history.
Kato, you’re quite mad with him because he killed the most beautiful woman at the time, aren’t you?
No, not really. Actually, I’m speaking on your behalf.
On my behalf?
Yes, I am. If Hypatia had survived, she would have educated more women, some of whom would probably have gone into politics and gained the right to vote.
Do you really think so, Kato?
Yes, very much so. Unfortunately, the Christian mob killed Hypatia, and the coming of other intelligent and politically-powerful women died with her. Women had to wait for 1500 years to obtain the right to vote.
Yes, Hypatia was killed in 415. The American women voted for the first time in 1920, and the Japanese women voted in 1946.
Kato, are you a feminist?
Yes, of course, I am… Actually, an enthusiastic feminist.
If you’ve got some time,
Please read one of the following artciles:
Hi, I’m June Adams.
Woman suffrage is the right of women to vote and to run for office.
Limited voting rights were gained by women in Sweden, Finland and some western U.S. states in the late 19th century.
International organizations were formed to coordinate efforts, especially the International Council of Women (1888) and the International Woman Suffrage Alliance (1904).
In 1893, New Zealand, then a self-governing British colony, granted adult women the right to vote and the self-governing British colony of South Australia did the same in 1895, but also permitted women to run for office.
Australia federated in 1901, and women acquired the right to vote and stand in federal elections from 1902, though uneven restrictions on Aboriginal women voting in national elections were not completely removed until 1962.
The first European country to introduce women’s suffrage was the Grand Duchy of Finland, then part of the Russian Empire, which also produced the world’s first female members of parliament in the 1907 parliamentary elections.
Norway followed, granting full women’s suffrage in 1913.
In most Western countries, women’s suffrage came after World War I, with some important late adopters being France in 1944 and Switzerland in 1971.
If Hypatia had survived, women might have gained the right to vote much earlier.