All entries by this author

Diana Nammi

May 1st, 2015 10:16 am | By

Diana Nammi has won an award for doing the important work she does. IKWRO reports:

On Thursday 30 April 2015, at a ceremony in New York, Diana Nammi, Founder and Executive Director of the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) will be honoured with the Voice of Courage Award for her lifelong commitment to protecting the rights of Middle Eastern and North African women and girls and to ending “honour” based violence, forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM) and domestic violence.

The awards, which celebrate refugee women who champion the prevention of violence against refugee women and girls, are held by the Women’s Refugee Commission, an international organisation that monitors the care and protection of refugee women and

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No good; get some men to help

May 1st, 2015 9:11 am | By

This seems almost too classic to be real. Two women submit a research paper for peer review and get a suggestion that they should add a man or two as co-author(s). I’m not making it up.

Evolutionary geneticist Fiona Ingleby was shocked when she read the review accompanying the rejection for her latest manuscript, which investigates gender differences in the Ph.D.-to-postdoc transition, so she took the issue to Twitter.

Earlier today, Ingleby, a postdoc at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, posted two excerpts of the anonymous review. “It would probably … be beneficial to find one or two male biologists to work with (or at least obtain internal peer review from, but better yet as active co-authors)”

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“Charlie Hebdo’s work is not important,” Francine Prose said

Apr 30th, 2015 6:27 pm | By

Katha Pollitt stands up for Charlie Hebdo.

When PEN decided to award the first PEN/Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award to the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, they surely thought they were honoring bravery in defense of free speech. This was a magazine that kept publishing after its offices were firebombed by Islamists in 2011, and kept publishing after nine staffers were horribly murdered by Islamists in January. Compare that to, say, Yale University Press, which dropped the illustrations for Jytte Clausen’s book about the Danish Mohammed cartoons after the book’s first printing, or Random House, which canceled publication of Sherry Jones’s The Jewel of Medina, a historical novel about Mohammed’s wife Aisha.

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The head of SOS-Racisme calls Charlie Hebdo the greatest anti racist weekly

Apr 30th, 2015 5:49 pm | By

Salman Rushdie tweets:

Salman Rushdie @SalmanRushdie 12 hours ago
Salman Rushdie retweeted Philip Gourevitch
The head of SOS-Racisme calls CH the greatest anti racist weekly. PEN protesters, please note. Salman Rushdie added,

Philip Gourevitch @PGourevitch
“Charlie Hebdo, le plus grand hebdomadaire anti-raciste”: more French context from Dominique Sopo, Pres of SOS-Racism http://www.europe1.fr/mediacenter/emissions/europe-midi-votre-journal-wendy-bouchard/videos/charlie-hebdo-est-le-plus-grand-hebdomadaire-anti-raciste-2341899 …

And:

Salman Rushdie @SalmanRushdie 11 hours ago
Now that the leading anti-racist group SOS-Racisme has called CH “the greatest anti-racist weekly”, will PEN protesters admit their error?

Le plus grand hebdomadaire anti-raciste:

EXTRAIT – Le président de SOS racisme prend la défense du journal qui a été la cible d’un attentat.

The president of SOS Racism defends the magazine that was the target of

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Reading Raif in Vienna

Apr 30th, 2015 5:08 pm | By

Via Ensaf Haidar:

Today The Green Party Hold Reading for ‪#‎RaifBadawi‬ Book in Austrian Parliament

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Their work was not for those who like subtlety and suavity in their satire

Apr 30th, 2015 1:51 pm | By

How not to start a piece about PEN and Charlie Hebdo and The Protest.

The annual PEN Literary Gala, in which writers, the male half badly dressed in once-a-year tuxedos, assemble under the big whale at the American Museum of Natural History to mutter about their advances and applaud their imprisoned confreres, has always had its comic aspects. Glamour and guys (or gals) who write are not two subjects that are often congruent.

Sigh. We are not a parenthesis. We are not an afterthought. We are not the other. We are not the exception. We are not second. We are not an eccentric forgotten deviation from the rule that writers (and all other important people) are men. We are … Read the rest

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150

Apr 30th, 2015 1:30 pm | By

NPR reports that Francine Prose tells NPR that 150 writers have joined the anti-Charlie Hebdo protest.

The protest over a free speech award to Charlie Hebdo continues to grow.

Earlier this week, six authors withdrew from the PEN American Center’s annual gala in response to the organization’s decision to give the French satirical magazine its Freedom of Expression Courage Award.

Former PEN American President Francine Prose was one of the original six. She tells NPR that as of Thursday afternoon, she’s been joined by nearly 150 other writers — such as Junot Díaz, Lorrie Moore and Rick Moody — who’ve signed on to an open letter critical of the decision.

Disgusting.… Read the rest

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What the act says is that you judge CH as being at fault

Apr 30th, 2015 12:58 pm | By

Prose v Rushdie on social media, as told by The Guardian. Drama, deep rifts, clickbait, etc etc etc.

Rushdie, who has been vehement in his support of PEN’s choice and who tweeted earlier this week that “the award will be given. PEN is holding firm. Just 6 pussies. Six Authors in Search of a bit of Character”, responded to Prose’s post, pointing to his already-stated regret in using the word “pussies”.

But he made it clear he wasn’t backing down on another allegation, made in a letter to PEN earlier this week, in which he described Prose and the five other authors to have withdrawn as “the fellow travellers” of “fanatical Islam, which is highly organised, well funded, and

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Guest post: On dealing with street harassment

Apr 30th, 2015 11:17 am | By

Guest post by Alicia LeeLee Thompson, originally a comment on a public Facebook post by Lawrence Mahmood.

I gotta say, I cannot stop laughing at some of these comments! I find it odd that the majority of people defending the act of the Merrett are men… Duh.

I’ve had this kind of bullshit behaviour, from building sites and the like, for as long as I can remember. Up until recently, I never responded or did anything about it, I simply put my head down, grumbled an insult under my breath and kept walking in the hopes that the irritating pricks would just go away.

It’s intimidating enough as it is for a lone woman to walk past a group … Read the rest

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Fine distinctions

Apr 30th, 2015 10:47 am | By

Francine Prose on Facebook on Monday:

Why is it so difficult for people to make fine distinctions? The writers opposing the PEN award support free speech, free expression, and stand fully behind Charlie Hebdo’s right to publish whatever they want without being censored, and of course without the use of violence to enforce their silence. But the giving of an award suggests that one admires and respects the value of the work being honored, responses quite difficult to summon for the work of Charlie Hebdo. Provocation is simply not the same as heroism. I do hope that the audience at the PEN gala will be shown some of the cruder and more racist cartoons that CH publishes, so they

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More and more Soft-heads

Apr 30th, 2015 10:14 am | By

Boris Kachka at The Vulture has that letter to PEN.

This afternoon, a letter went out to members of the PEN American Center — not an official communique but a letter of dissent, boasting 35 signatories and soliciting many more. It concluded, “We the undersigned, as writers, thinkers, and members of PEN, therefore respectfully wish to disassociate ourselves from PEN America’s decision to give the 2015 Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award to Charlie Hebdo.”

So they think the Kouachi brothers were right, then – not right to murder, but right in their reasons to murder.

For all its swiftness, the minor PEN revolt over Hebdo’s offensive depictions of Muslims had been brewing for

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Now it’s 35 shits

Apr 29th, 2015 6:37 pm | By

This is absolutely disgusting.

More than two dozen writers including Junot Díaz, Joyce Carol Oates and Lorrie Moore have joined a protest against a freedom of expression award for Charlie Hebdo, signing a letter taking issue with what they see as a “reward” for the magazine’s controversial cartoons.

A protest. A fucking protest against giving an award to a strongly anti-racist and left wing magazine because they think in their ignorance that it’s racist.

In their letter the writers protest against the award from PEN America, the prominent literary organization of which most of the signatories are members, accusing the French satirical magazine of mocking a “section of the French population that is already marginalized, embattled, and victimized”.

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How feminists are not like Islamists

Apr 29th, 2015 6:17 pm | By

From a comment on a Facebook post of mine about Brendan O’Neill’s malicious comparison of feminist objections to advertising that uses a woman in a bikini to sell a product to Islamist objections to women not wearing burqas:

I don’t know of a single person who has been killed by feminists for political reasons. Not even one. Or a single terrorist attack where a feminist group claimed responsibility. If there were a single such victim their name might as well be engraved in stone, they would not likely ever be forgotten because of the sheer rarity. There are so many victims of Islamists and so many terrorist attacks perpetrated by Islamist groups that not even an expert could possibly hope

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Controversial cartoons in Manchester

Apr 29th, 2015 11:14 am | By

Yesssss! Via Twitter

FreeSpeech&SecularSo @SecularSpeech 6 hours ago
Exhibition of controversial cartoons, now at @ManchesterSU @ChrisMoos_ @THEMANCUNION @Tom_Slater_ #freespeech

And…Jesus and Mo!

I look forward to outrage from the Soft-headed Six.

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They have in their stupidity and malice allied with the wrong side

Apr 29th, 2015 10:57 am | By

Nick Cohen – award-winning Nick Cohen – excoriates the Six Soft-heads in the Spectator.

Those who shout the loudest about respecting “diversity” and the culture of others, cannot stir themselves to respect the French enough to learn their language and understand their culture. If they did, they would know that Charlie Hebdo is a left-wing magazine, which used Boko Haram to parody  conservatives so lost in paranoia they imagined enslaved Nigerian women were threatening to come to France and steal their money.

Max Fisher of Vox tried to shake up Anglo-Saxon leftists by pointing them to a New Yorker cover showing Barack Obama as a Kenyan Muslim and Michelle Obama as a terrorist. It was a satire of the Tea

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Brendan wants his women brainy, radical and beach-ready

Apr 29th, 2015 10:33 am | By

Brendan is coat-trailing again. I’m taking the bait again. I’m too literal-minded not to.

Feminism, sadly, becomes more like Islamism every day.

Uh huh, and as Nate Phelps once told me, I’m like Fred Phelps.

What’s his argument? Islamists are puritanical about women’s bodies, and so are feminists.

Here’s a tip for political activists: if your rabble-rousing echoes the behaviour and ideas of Islamists, then you’re doing something wrong. Consider the Protein World advert which — clutch my pearls! — features a photo of a beautiful, svelte woman in a bikini next to the question: ‘Are you beach body ready?’ Angry women, and probably some men, have been writing outraged slogans on these posters, scribbling on the poor model’s

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293

Apr 29th, 2015 9:36 am | By

One piece of better news out of Nigeria – not fantastic news, just correcting a bad thing news, but still, something.

Nigeria’s military says it has rescued 200 girls and 93 women from a notorious Boko Haram stronghold, but an army spokesman says the hostages were not those kidnapped from Chibok a year ago.

“The troops rescued 200 abducted girls and 93 women,” Colonel Sani Usman told Reuters in a text message.

They were not, however, from Chibok, the village from which more than 200 girls were abducted in April 2014, he said.

“So far, they (the army) have destroyed and cleared Sassa, Tokumbere and two other camps in the general area of Alafa, all within the Sambisa Forest.”

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#Up for whatever

Apr 28th, 2015 5:07 pm | By

And then there’s Anheuser-Busch, with its oh so funny slogan for Bud Light beer: “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night.”

GEDDIT?

The slogan, which was captured in a photo and posted onto Reddit Monday, sparked a wave of anger from social media users who took to Twitter to blast the language for promoting a culture of rape.

What could possibly go wrong?… Read the rest

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Would they deplore any awards made in their memory?

Apr 28th, 2015 4:52 pm | By

Alex Massie takes on the Six Soft-heads with the kind of gritted disdain they deserve.

I wonder if these people also think the Japanese translator of The Satanic Verses also had it coming? I wonder if they think there would be something unseemly about awarding Salman Rushdie – and all those involved in publishing his novel – awards for their courageous defence of liberty? People died and many others risked assassination to bring The Satanic Verses into print. Perhaps, however, there is a feeling that this was a noble enterprise because it was somehow a more literary enterprise? (Except, of course, plenty of people failed the Rushdie test too.)

And I wonder if these novelists would be appalled if they

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DNA can enter by accident

Apr 28th, 2015 4:25 pm | By

The Malay Mail Online went to a talk by Hizbut Tahrir Malaysia. HTM explained about rape.

Women are required to prove rape under Islamic criminal law, Hizbut Tahrir Malaysia (HTM) said today as the hardline Islamist group claimed that most sexual assault cases involve false accusations.

HTM also told a seminar on hudud that Islam does not accept DNA evidence and that one of the ways of proving rape instead is by obtaining either two male witnesses, or one male and two female witnesses.

Because as we all know it takes two women to be as much value as one man.

“The danger is that if the woman wants to betray other people, she commits adultery with a man,

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