All entries by this author

Oh dear, did you hurt your hand?

Jul 8th, 2014 4:38 pm | By

The National Women’s Law Center has a great, fierce analysis of the biases of the Evil Five in the Hobby Lobby ruling on its blog. Summary: Y U ignore women, Evil Five?

The majority opinion in Hobby Lobby erases women from the picture altogether. In a decision that is squarely about women’s health and equality, the male justices in the majority refuse to acknowledge the centrality of women. And in evidencing greater concern for protecting corporations from discrimination than in protecting women from discrimination, the majority opinion creates a hierarchy of discrimination where women are at the bottom (if they even merit consideration at all).

To begin with, Justice Alito’s opinion for the majority barely mentions women. As the Washington

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



S.1696, The Women’s Health Protection Act

Jul 8th, 2014 3:25 pm | By

All right! Let’s do this thing.

There’s a hearing in Washington next week:

S.1696, The Women’s Health Protection Act: Removing Barriers to Constitutionally Protected Reproductive Rights

Full CommitteeDate: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 Add to my Calendar  

Time: 10:00 AM

Location: Dirksen 226 

Presiding: Senator Blumenthal

We need this.

There’s a petition. Sign and share. Tell your Representative and Senators (if you’re in the US).… Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Gandhi! That’s Gandhi!

Jul 8th, 2014 2:44 pm | By

Yet more reason to loathe Penn Jillette.

Penn Jillette says that people are “burying the lede” in the alleged incident that led to SiriusXM’s decision to fire “Opie and Anthony” host Anthony Cumia. He also argued that he’s never seen any evidence that suggests Cumia is racist as many of his critics have alleged.

“We are burying the lede of this story, which is that Anthony, who has a reputation for being a bit of a hot head, is carrying, comes up gets hit in the face and does not hurt the person back,” Jillette said during his “Penn’s Sunday School” podcast this weekend.

“That is incredible. If I am in the position where I cross somebody who

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Women need more time

Jul 8th, 2014 12:00 pm | By

Missouri governor Jay Nixon has vetoed a stupid malevolent control-the-women anti-abortion bill.

Setting up an election-year showdown with the Legislature, Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed on Wednesday a bill that would have required a 72-hour waiting period for abortions in Missouri.

Nixon said the bill’s lack of an exception for victims of rape and incest was a “glaring omission” that was “wholly insensitive to women who find themselves in horrific circumstances.”

But even if the bill had contained such an exception, he would have vetoed it, Nixon said in unusually sharp criticism of an abortion bill.

Tripling the current 24-hour waiting period “serves no demonstrable purpose other than to create emotional and financial hardships for women who have undoubtedly already

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



They should not think that they are exempted from this because they are followers of other faiths

Jul 8th, 2014 11:37 am | By

Saudi Arabia is also (surprise surprise) harsh and bossy about Ramadan even for people who have the bad taste to be not Muslim.

The Interior Ministry has warned that it would deport non-Muslim expatriates found eating and drinking in public during Ramadan.

“Non-Muslim expatriates should respect the feelings of Muslims by not eating, drinking or smoking in public places such as streets and workplaces. They should not think that they are exempted from this because they are followers of other faiths,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry reminded workers that their contracts stipulate that they should respect Islam’s rituals and practices, including the month of fasting.

The ministry warned that it would deport those who break the

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Zia’s toxic traditions plague Pakistan to this day

Jul 8th, 2014 10:46 am | By

Travel tip – never visit Pakistan during Ramadan. Sahar Majid explains why.
.

In 1981, Zia issued an ordinance officially prohibiting public eating and drinking during Ramadan’s fasting hours. The dictate also forced public restaurants and eateries to close. Anyone breaking this rule could face three months in jail and a fine of about $5. (Luckily, the ordinance exempts food service in hospitals, schools, airports, and train and bus stations.)

Eating and drinking – so if you’re visiting Pakistan during Ramadan you can’t even walk around with a bottle of water and drink from it when you get thirsty.

Zia’s toxic traditions plague Pakistan to this day. His Ehtram-e-Ramzan (“reverence for Ramadan”) ordinance remains in effect because no subsequent government

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



It’s not “political correctness”

Jul 8th, 2014 9:26 am | By

Cross-posted from Facebook.

Memo to people who say things.

If you compare someone behaving badly to “a teenage girl” and you get a reaction to the sexism – the right answer is not to call that “PC”.

It’s not “political correctness” (in the pejorative sense) to try to get people to refrain from automatic mindless disparagement of girls&women.

It’s not trivia. It’s not fussiness or pedantry. It’s not a gotcha. It’s not “call-out culture.” It’s not language-policing. It’s not authoritarian.

It’s a long (long long long) term effort to shape a world where girls DON’T grow up constantly being told, directly and indirectly, that they are fundamentally stupider, weaker, more spoiled and whiny, and just overall more annoying and bad … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



FGM in Egypt

Jul 8th, 2014 8:19 am | By

Dalia Farouk at The Cairo Post reports a bad trend in Egypt:

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is increasing in rural areas in Egypt according to Women and Development Association (WDA) Alexandria governorate head Aida Nour al-Din, Youm7 reported Friday.

Din said that FGM is also common in urban areas due to some religious beliefs that it is a “religious obligation and must be done.”

She also said a 2008 study indicated 86 percent of divorce cases were due to FGM and its negative impact on marital intercourse.

Weird, isn’t it. You’d think people would be able to figure it out eventually. “Let’s see, how to make sure women won’t slut around – I know, mangle their genitals so that … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



“Are you a tech girl? Are you a web diva?”

Jul 7th, 2014 6:37 pm | By

Not a good way to recruit women? Act as if they all like pink frilly pink frills all over everything.

To start, there were the pitches from college engineering programs in curly purple typeface accented by flowery images. She started to notice that many websites for budding female engineers are pink. Then there was the flyer for an after-school program hanging in a hallway of her high school. Printed on purple polka-dot paper, it read, “Are you a tech girl? Are you a web diva?”

The soon-to-be high school senior aspires to become an engineer of some sort. She has absolutely no interest, however, in a career as a “web diva.”

“It seems so degrading,” Wheat said. “If you’re

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



The most religious and most conservative first-world nation

Jul 7th, 2014 5:59 pm | By

Lisa Bloom explains lucidly in the Washington Post what is so radical about the Hobby Lobby ruling.

The U.S. is the most religious and most conservative first-world nation, and believers have tried to opt out of our laws for centuries. For the most part, courts haven’t allowed it. May Christian Scientists forego lifesaving medical treatment for their children? No. May Native Americans ingest illegal peyote as part of their religious ceremonies? No. May the Amish refuse to pay Social Security taxes that violate their sincere religious beliefs? No.

The simple general rule has always been that you are free to practice Protestantism or Wicca or Zoroastrianism or any belief of your choice, provided your religious practice does not harm others.

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Gay shoes

Jul 7th, 2014 4:32 pm | By

The world cup is abomination, according to a Russian Orthodox priest, because the players wear gay shoes. Gay shoes I tell you!

It’s true, I’ve noticed it myself – bright green, bright orange, bright blue – they’re a treat to watch, plus they make it easier to keep track of the players’ feet. But of course it’s true that they’re also bright bright gay, no getting around that.

Writing in his column on Russian People’s Line, Priest Alexander Shumsky claimed that players are promoting a “gay rainbow” by wearing green, pink, yellow and blue shoes.

He said: “Wearing pink or blue shoes, [the players] might as well wear women’s panties or a bra.”

Oh, I’m a lumberjack, and I’m Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



What are you doing right?

Jul 7th, 2014 4:03 pm | By

Here’s a question for UK readers, and anyone else with an informed opinion (or just plain information) – why is the abortion issue so huge here and non-existent there?

I want to know so that whatever it is that you’re doing, we can do it too.

You don’t seem to have anything like an equivalent of the USCCB. You don’t seem to have monster bishops running everything. You have Anglican bishops meddling with things, I know that, but they’re mere mouse squeaks in comparison. What’s the deal with your Catholic bishops? Why are they so quiet?

Why aren’t there abortion protesters and “counselors” outside all NHS facilities that perform abortions? Why aren’t people always yammering about it? Why is it … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



A tendency to have “philosophical idols”

Jul 7th, 2014 12:47 pm | By

 

Rebecca Schuman at Slate on academics who treat their graduate students as a sex pool.

Some things in academia never change. Even in an age when the feminists apparently control everything, it seems that the practice of older (usually male) scholars sleeping with much younger (usually female) graduate students is alive and … well, I wouldn’t say “well.” With two such relationships making recent news in the discipline of philosophy alone, for some of the older generation of male professors (again, mostly male), the grad students are still a dating pool—and vice versa. This is not just icky—it is highly damaging to the profession.

Philosophy! Again! What is it with these guys?

It’s not just a matter of

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Guest post: The allergy to science starts earlier than university

Jul 7th, 2014 12:22 pm | By

Orignally a comment by jesse on Back to reporter school.

Working journalist here.

I’ll say this kind of stuff is needed because, as quixote noted, the issue is really that a lot of communications people don’t do science in their coursework, except for the minimum.

More to the point, the allergy to science starts earlier than university, usually, and comes from the fact that in the US the requirements for high school historically went: 4 years of English, 3 history, 2 math and 2 science as the minimum to graduate. This has changed a bit, but it reflects some rather old-fashioned needs. (It used to be that a lot of engineering-related stuff got covered in shop, before those classes … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



They’re looking very distressed and very lean

Jul 7th, 2014 11:35 am | By

It’s only a fraction, but it’s more than 60. >60 is way better than zero.

More than 60 women and girls are reported to have escaped from the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram, security sources say.

They were among 68 abducted last month near the town of Damboa in north-eastern Borno state.

But some women who made it home said they feared other escapees had been recaptured, villagers told the BBC.

Boko Haram is still holding more than 200 schoolgirls abducted from Borno’s Chibok town in April.

There’s some disagreement about how they escaped.

18 women who have made it back to villages around Damboa over the last three days – and are being treated at a hospital in

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



“Disparagement of males is commonplace in today’s culture”

Jul 6th, 2014 6:15 pm | By

Oh look, sly dishonest interpretation from James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal, in an article on the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s ad responding to the Hobby Lobby ruling in the New York Times. (That’s too many things. It’s too confusing. The FFRF ad was in the Times. It was responding to the Hobby Lobby ruling. Writing is hard.)

…the FFRF’s rhetorical approach does not seem finely tuned for the purpose of winning political allies. The ad is more in the spirit of James Blaine than James Madison. It begins with a quote from birth-control (and eugenics) crusader Margaret Sanger, then, in large capital letters, declares: “Dogma Should Not Trump Our Civil Liberties. All-Male, All-Roman Catholic Majority on Supreme

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Back to reporter school

Jul 6th, 2014 4:30 pm | By

One piece of good news, amid the gathering shadows of looming Supreme Court justices:

BBC journalists are being sent on courses to stop them inviting so many cranks onto programmes to air ‘marginal views’.

Yessssss. Should have been done long ago.

The BBC Trust on Thursday published a progress report into the corporation’s science coverage which was criticised in 2012 for giving too much air-time to critics who oppose non-contentious issues.

The report found that there was still an ‘over-rigid application of editorial guidelines on impartiality’ which sought to give the ‘other side’ of the argument, even if that viewpoint was widely dismissed.

Some 200 staff have already attended seminars and workshops and more will be invited on courses

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Supreme pants on fire

Jul 6th, 2014 12:32 pm | By

Well, at least I have confirmation that I wasn’t exaggerating yesterday when I said Alito lied in the Hobby Lobby ruling. Dahlia Lithwick and Sonja West at Slate say the same thing. They say it with considerable heat and energy.

…moments before they adjourned for their summer recess, the justices proved they can act quite quickly and recklessly when it comes to violating the terms of a controversial opinion they handed down only days earlier. It’s as if the loaner car the court gave us in the Hobby Lobby ruling broke down mere blocks from the shop.

 

In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court ruled that it was a “substantial burden” on the religious

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Women know how to pedal

Jul 6th, 2014 11:07 am | By

Tour de France? All very well but why is it men only? The BBC asks.

Former Olympic champion Nicole Cooke says it is a “scandal” there is no longer a Tour de France for women, blaming sexism in cycling.

The men’s race, which starts in Leeds on Saturday, is now an iconic event, but the women’s Tour last ran in 2009.

(Sigh – there’s that dopy use of “iconic” again.)

“It’s a scandal there isn’t a Tour for women at the moment,” the 31-year-old said in an interview with BBC Breakfast.

“In the 1980s, there was a women’s Tour de France. It was held over the same stages as the men’s race. They celebrated with equality.

“Since then, women’s

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



All of the speakers

Jul 6th, 2014 10:20 am | By

The speakers, left to right, up to down:

Tawfique Chowdhury

Bilal Philips

Yasir Qadhi

Abdur Raheem Green

Sajid Umar

Waleed Basyouni

Alaa Elsayed

Yahya Ibrahim

Abdul Nasir Jangda

Omar Suleiman

Bilal Ismail

Yusha Evans

Hamza Tzortzis

Navaid Aziz

Daood Butt

Abdur-Raheem McCarthy

Shady Alsuleiman

Fatih Seferagic

Mohammed Zayara

Mulsim Belal… Read the rest

BBps

Bilal Philips

Yasir Qadhi

Abdur Raheem Green

Sajid Umar

Waleed Basyouni

Alaa Elsayed

Yahya Ibrahim

Abdul Nasir Jangda

Omar Suleiman

Bilal Ismail

Yusha Evans

Hamza Tzortzis

Navaid Aziz

Daood Butt

Abdur-Raheem McCarthy

Shady Alsuleiman

Fatih Seferagic

Mohammed Zeyara

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)