All entries by this author

Al-Guardian & the Brotherhood

Jul 25th, 2006 | By David Thompson

In his Guardian columns, Faisal Bodi, news editor of the Islam Channel TV station, has said many strange and wonderful things. In March, during the Abdul Rahman apostasy case, Bodi championed the orthodox punishment for those who leave the Religion of Peace™ – despite its being rather permanent and involving ritual murder: “It is an understandable response from people who cherish the religious basis of their societies to protect them… from the damage that an inferior worldview can wreak.” In a climate of cultural equivalence, it’s somewhat refreshing to hear a Guardian columnist openly refer to an “inferior worldview”. Though I suspect one might disagree with Bodi’s estimation of which worldview is less enlightened.

Taken in isolation, Bodi’s advocacy … Read the rest

Do You See Any Misogyny?

Jul 24th, 2006 9:03 pm | By

I don’t see any misogyny. Do you see any misogyny?

Afghanistan’s notorious Department for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which was set up by the Taliban to enforce bans on women doing anything from working to wearing nail varnish or laughing out loud, is to be re-created by the government in Kabul. The decision has provoked an outcry among women and human rights activists who fear a return to the days when religious police patrolled the streets, beating or arresting any woman who was not properly covered by a burqa or accompanied by a male relative.

Whores. Putains. They just want to go outside and walk around and work and do stuff. They even want to … Read the rest

What Misogyny?

Jul 24th, 2006 8:47 pm | By

Misogyny? What misogyny?

The lives of young women might be ruined by the Government’s failure to make forced marriages illegal, a senior police officer has warned. Commander Steve Allen of the Metropolitan Police said that a decision by ministers last month to drop proposed legislation had been greeted by some ethnic minorities as a signal that forced marriage was acceptable. His concern about the about-turn, which was partly prompted by fears that the new law would stigmatise Muslims, is shared by a Crown Prosecution Service director and the head of Scotland Yard’s Homicide Prevention Unit. The head of a South Asian women’s charity said yesterday that girls were already suffering the consequences of the decision.

A couple of questions. … Read the rest


Jul 24th, 2006 8:20 pm | By

Want to read this book. I’m intensely and permanently interested in misogyny, and where it comes from and why it’s so pervasive and universal and chronic and hard to get rid of.

You see, darling, I could have said, lots and lots of grown-up men don’t like women. For as long as there have been two genders, men have made enormous efforts to enforce and institutionalise the oppression of the female. Even in a supposedly enlightened and “post-feminist” society such as ours, hatred of women stinks out the whole shooting-match like a bad drain. Young women are bitches and sluts who absolutely force men to rape them by not wearing enough clothes. Old women are either invisible or grotesque,

Read the rest

A History of Misogyny *

Jul 24th, 2006 | Filed by

This prejudice is the oldest of the lot, and runs so deep that it is almost invisible.… Read the rest

Review of Richard Schoch on Happiness *

Jul 24th, 2006 | Filed by

Is it sensible to seek clues to happiness within the Judeo-Christian tradition at all?… Read the rest

Stanley Fish on What Academic Freedom Is *

Jul 24th, 2006 | Filed by

Any views presented should be offered as objects of analysis rather than as candidates for allegiance.… Read the rest

Hawking Attacks Reactionary Forces *

Jul 24th, 2006 | Filed by

In Europe and America which are trying to ban research into stem cells from human embryos. … Read the rest

Forced Marriage Stays Legal, Women Despair *

Jul 24th, 2006 | Filed by

Head of a South Asian women’s charity said girls are already suffering the consequences.… Read the rest

Theocracy in America *

Jul 24th, 2006 | Filed by

House passes bill to block federal courts from hearing challenges to Pledge ‘God’; buys giant cross.… Read the rest

Cool School

Jul 23rd, 2006 11:35 pm | By

St Luke’s sounds like a fun school, doesn’t it?

The National Secular Society and Liberal Democrat peers used the Human Rights Act to force New Labour to give pupils over the age of 16 the right to boycott school assemblies. The climbdown followed a revolt by children at St Luke’s, a Catholic sixth-form college in Bexley, south London. They signed a petition that said their faith school was ‘more concerned with religion than education’…Instead of learning about computing, the use of English and other fripperies, pupils heard gruesome lectures at assembly from one Barbara McGuigan, an American anti-abortionist and founder of Voice of Virtue International.

Voice of Virtue International – that’s good, isn’t it? We are virtue and you … Read the rest

Fringe Comics Push ‘Hate Law’ to the Limits *

Jul 23rd, 2006 | Filed by

Aim to push the limits of freedom of speech since new racial and religious hatred laws were passed.… Read the rest

A Small Victory for Reason Over ‘Faith’ *

Jul 23rd, 2006 | Filed by

Head of St Luke’s made students carry a statue of the Virgin Mary around the college while singing hymns.… Read the rest

Lots of Religion-teasing at Edinburgh Fringe *

Jul 23rd, 2006 | Filed by

‘Come and get me, copper,’ one comedian says.… Read the rest

Women in Afghanistan are in Big Trouble *

Jul 23rd, 2006 | Filed by

Taliban-founded Department for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice returns.… Read the rest

‘Community Leaders’ Vow to Do Anything it Takes *

Jul 23rd, 2006 | Filed by

Calling ‘Brick Lane’ ‘a violation of the human rights of the community.’… Read the rest

On Nature and Justice

Jul 23rd, 2006 | By Edmund Standing

This article extends the arguments found in my earlier article for Butterflies and Wheels, ‘Against Nature: Why Nature Should Have No Say on Human Sexuality’.

Recently, a fascinating series of programmes was aired on television in the UK, entitled ‘Chimp Week’, observing the life of a clan of Tanzanian chimpanzees. The social structure that emerged in this community, if translated into human terms, was violent, totalitarian, patriarchal, and exclusionary. Infighting among males was common, as leading dominant males fought to wrestle control from one another. What remained a constant was that the clan was dominated by a single male, who, when not being challenged by another, exercised absolute control. He took the best food, and chose whichever females he … Read the rest

More From the ‘Community Leaders’

Jul 22nd, 2006 11:53 pm | By

More good stuff*. More on the Community Pitching a Fit.

Residents and traders in Brick Lane, east London, have threatened protests and street blockades to prevent filming of a screen adaptation of a book by bestselling novelist Monica Ali which they claim is “racist and insulting” toward the Bangladeshi community…Last night, after a series of public meetings about the film, community leaders vowed to do “anything it takes” to block filming, labelling the book “a violation of the human rights of the community”.

Monica Ali’s novel is racist, insulting, and a violation of the human rights of the community – those community leaders certainly have the jargon down pat, don’t they. They know what you’re supposed to say – … Read the rest

Stop Her!

Jul 22nd, 2006 7:59 pm | By

Here we go again. The community. Offend. You can’t. Protest. Warn. Prevent. You mustn’t, you can’t, you shan’t, we’ll stop you, shut up, don’t write, don’t talk, don’t say, shut up, The Community.

But to many of the residents on Brick Lane…the novel offers such a negative portrayal of the community that they have mobilised protest groups against a film being made…[R]esidents and traders gathered to prevent filming after hearing that a crew were to begin their work along the Brick Lane area. Some residents have warned of blockades to stop the film from being made…”Yes, you create a work of fiction, but you do not create fiction which offends a whole community.”

Authoritarianism and do-what-I-tell-youism raises its nasty … Read the rest

Janet Browne on the Controversy over Darwin’s Book *

Jul 22nd, 2006 | Filed by

Four of Darwin’s friends carried the brunt of the public storm: each a specialist in his scientific field.… Read the rest