All entries by this author

How it starts

Dec 31st, 2015 12:37 pm | By

Gosh, really?

The Rationaliser ‏@TheRationaliser 8 hours ago
@RichardDawkins Out of curiosity, do you think your gender/colour/class has given you privilege in your life?

Richard Dawkins ‏@RichardDawkins 8 hours ago
@TheRationaliser I don’t know, but my first class education probably has.

Really? He doesn’t know? At all?

I get that the word “privilege” gets thrown around too much, and has become both stale and belligerent, but none of that means that there is nothing to it at all. How can Dawkins simply not know if his being male and white and upper middle class has given him any privilege?

How, for instance, does he think he came by his first class education? The very label – first class – acknowledges … Read the rest

There go the honorary degrees

Dec 31st, 2015 11:33 am | By

TIME magazine lists some people and institutions that have cut ties with Bill Cosby.

Spelman College. In July, the historically black women’s college discontinued its endowed professorship with Cosby, who donated $20 million in 1988. The school had suspended the program in 2014 before terminating it completely.

CAA. The comedian’s talent agency, which had represented him since 2012, dropped him in late 2014.

New York University. In September, university officials removed“William H. Cosby” from the title of its Future Filmmakers Workshop.

NBC ditched a sitcom. A cable network dropped Cosby Show reruns.

Drexel University. The Philadelphia school revoked Cosby’s honorary degree in November.

The University of Pittsburgh. “Based on a unanimous recommendation from the University Committee for honorary degree

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All huggy buggy

Dec 31st, 2015 11:12 am | By

His special barbecue sauce.

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Dec 30th, 2015 5:39 pm | By

A popular tweet:

Shari VanderWerf ‏@shariv67 11 hours ago
Excuse me, sir. Do you have a minute to talk about global warming?

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No foreign travel for Cosby

Dec 30th, 2015 5:30 pm | By

Cosby has been to court for his arraignment.

Judge Elizabeth McHugh ordered him to surrender his passport and to avoid contact with Ms. Constand.

Judge McHugh concluded the proceeding after about 15 minutes by saying, “Good luck to you, sir.” He replied, “Thank you.” He will remain free on bail of $1 million.

Mr. Cosby then headed to the Cheltenham Township Police Department to be fingerprinted and to have a photographs taken. A small gathering of people outside shouted, “You’re a monster” and “Shame on you” as he walked into the station. He said nothing.

I’m wondering if this will play out the way the OJ Simpson case did. The other day at the local branch library I happened … Read the rest

The millions who live under theocracy

Dec 30th, 2015 5:14 pm | By

Maajid Nawaz expands on his thoughts about “wear hijab day.”

Simply wearing a headscarf on World Hijab Day falls terribly short of our moral responsibility. It is, after all, being called World Hijab Day. So, it is not only Western Muslim women who must be considered here, but the millions of Muslim women who live under theocracies around the world, for whom World Hijab Day is enforced every single day, and for the rest of their lives.

That’s why I would never in a million years wear any form of hijab.

Did these non-Muslim women—indulging their Orientalist fetish by covering their heads—not stop to consider for one moment that their counterparts in Saudi Arabia, Iran, and under Taliban or

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Book people help out

Dec 30th, 2015 4:13 pm | By

Monday I mentioned a BBC photo of a heartbreakingly huge pile of full bin-bags outside a bookshop in Hebden Bridge. Today I read in the Guardian:

Authors including Jon Ronson and Ian Rankin have joined efforts to help a bookshop badly hit by the floods that have swept the north of England. The Book Case in the West Yorkshire town of Hebden Bridge was one of the businesses in the town wrecked when the town was hit by the severe rain battering the region.

Sam Missingham, head of events at publisher HarperCollins, and Yorkshire-based husband-and-wife author team Bob and Carol Bridgestock, who write crime fiction as RC Bridgestock, have been lobbying authors to provide signed copies of

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Dec 30th, 2015 11:52 am | By

Deborah Cameron talks about some Words of the Year.

If this blog could ban a word in 2016, that word would be ‘banter’. Banter cropped up in the news several times during 2015, and on each occasion it revealed itself, once again, as a term whose main function is to normalize misogyny. Of course it’s true that getting rid of the word wouldn’t eliminate the thing itself. But it might make it harder for people to pretend that sexist verbal abuse is just a bit of harmless fun, in a totally different category from the racist or homophobic equivalent.

One traditional place for the ‘harmless banter’ argument to surface is in discussions of the shit that gets said to

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Cosby says the darndest things

Dec 30th, 2015 11:13 am | By

Larry Wilmore on Cosby last July, after the New York Times published that deposition in which Cosby admitted drugging women in order to fuck them. (In other words, as Wilmore emphatically points out, to rape them.)

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Cosby charged with sexual assault

Dec 30th, 2015 10:21 am | By

The Washington Post:

For the first time, Bill Cosby will face criminal charges in connection with an accusation of sexual assault, Montgomery County prosecutors in Pennsylvania announced on Wednesday.

Prosecutors charged Cosby with aggravated indecent assault, a first degree felony, First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a morning press conference. The single charge stems from an alleged sexual assault in early 2004.

“Today, after examination of all the evidence, we are able to seek justice on behalf of the victim,” Steele said. Prosecutors launched a new investigation into the allegations against Cosby after new information about the case emerged in July, he said. The 12-year statute of limitations to file felony charges in connection to those allegations

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Wake up

Dec 30th, 2015 10:05 am | By

Because it made me laugh my insides out.

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Safe travel

Dec 29th, 2015 5:40 pm | By

Taslima mentioned this on Twitter, so I looked it up. International Business Times reports:

Indian Army personnel allegedly gang-raped a 14-year-old girl Monday in a moving train in the eastern state of Jharkhand, according to local reports. Police in Jharkhand reportedly detained one of the men and said the other two would be arrested soon.

The girl ran away from her home Sunday and was travelling alone on a train bound for the town of Amritsar, in the northwestern state of Punjab. Her family alerted police of her disappearance, who informed railway authorities.

The Times of India reported officials spotted her boarding a train car reserved for troops.

Railway police rescued the girl, who later said in a

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Guest post: There’s this thing you might have heard of called “socialization”

Dec 29th, 2015 4:54 pm | By

Originally a comment by Samantha Vimes on For no reason at all.

There are some uninformed people speaking up this time.

Listen, guys: there’s this thing you might have heard of called “socialization”. It’s where people form opinions, values, and behaviors based on what the people who came before them and live around them think, do or say. It’s the reason why so many people have a low opinion of women. It’s not that women are, in general, so bad at life that we deserve to be mocked and scorned. It’s that when you were boys, the men around you taught you to deride women. She’s angry? Must be that time of the month; it cannot be thought that … Read the rest

Spoilers and social justice

Dec 29th, 2015 12:16 pm | By

Pull up your chairs for a lesson in Spoilers and Social Justice. Shut up, this is important.

First of all – is it hypocritical to want spoiler alerts while thinking trigger warnings are out of hand or silly or both? Yes, yes it is. Thank you for asking that question. The answer is yes.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get down to the real politics.

Spoiler warnings are an intersectional social justice and accessibility issue. For example, I am rarely able to experience media right away. I don’t get to see movies when they come out because I work a lot of hours, I’m a student, and I’m usually totally broke. Spoilers are a

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Dec 29th, 2015 11:55 am | By

Feel a need for the Third Man theme music? Of course you do.

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Remember, it’s all about you

Dec 29th, 2015 11:47 am | By

Glosswitch has an amusing satirical post purporting to be a speech by the CEO of Sexism Inc at the end of their AGM.

The market has seen some tough times lately, what with the resurgence of interest in feminism since its early noughties slump. There was a time, two or three years ago, when some of you expressed concerns that we might not get through it. Certainly there was a need for some restructuring but, while we were all sad to see Mr Clarkson and Mr Buchanan go, I know that they, too, saw the need for sexism to move with the times.

It’s important for any organisation, even one that doesn’t prioritise the subjugation of half the human race,

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The perfect guy for the job

Dec 29th, 2015 10:59 am | By

From the office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights:

Two UN human rights experts have urged the Zambian Government to show it is serious in its efforts to tackle gender-based violence and sexual violence against women and girls by ending the impunity of Zambian singer Clifford Dimba, who was convicted in 2014 for the rape of a 14-year-old girl and sentenced to 18 years in prison. Mr. Dimba was pardoned by President Lungu after serving one year of his sentence and subsequently appointed as an ambassador in the fight against gender violence.

Got that? A convicted rapist was appointed as an ambassador against gender violence. What a calculated insult to women and girls.

“Such an outrageous release

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Regent University of Science and Technology: A Tertiary Institution or a Front for Christian Indoctrination in Ghana?

Dec 28th, 2015 | By Leo Igwe

Going by its name, one expects Regent University in Ghana to be a institution that is committed to the pursuit of academic excellence in science and technology. But in actual fact it is not, at least going by the experiences of Bede Nkumasi. Nkumasi earned his doctoral degree from one of the top universities in Europe last year. At the end of the program, he returned to his native country, Ghana, where he planned to put his knowledge to use in the development of the country. For now, that dream is on hold because Nkumasi recently resigned from his teaching position at Regent University due to compulsory religious devotion and other ‘unacademic’ policies and practices on the campus. The university’s … Read the rest

For no reason at all

Dec 28th, 2015 5:16 pm | By

A meme rejected.

I get so tired of the sitcom view of women. Yeah sure we’re all crazy bitches who always think it’s the other person who is wrong and who demand apologies for no reason whatsoever. Haha, so funny, what’s for dinner?… Read the rest

If there is

Dec 28th, 2015 4:52 pm | By

#ExMuslimBecause December 21:

#ExMuslimBecause if there is a God he would have to ask Yazidis, holocaust victims, Rwandan genocide victims for forgiveness


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