All entries by this author

Locked in a room

May 30th, 2015 5:29 pm | By

Taslima tweeted an article in the Times of India: Bangladeshi blogger gets death threat on Facebook.

He will be ‘The Next’, Ananya Azad was warned on a social networking site. A day after ‘The Guardian’ broke the story of how the 25-year-old Bangladeshi blogger was living a life of fear, Ananya spoke exclusively to TOI on Friday.

Speaking from Dhaka, Ananya – who is on a hit list containing the names of 84 atheist bloggers – said: “I am no stranger to death threats and bloodshed.

“My father, author Humayun Azad, was attacked on the streets. But what shocked me was the nature of threat that I got on Facebook. It addressed my father as ‘Nastiker sardar’. It means

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The half that talks

May 30th, 2015 5:09 pm | By

Not funny. Not “ironic.” Not meta. Just everyday sexism.

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Jennifer Cody Epstein’s letter to the anti-Charlie Hebdo faction

May 30th, 2015 4:40 pm | By

I have permission to publish the letter that Jennifer Cody Epstein sent to her colleagues who organized the petition opposing the PEN award to Charlie Hebdo. In it she describes doing what I wish more people had done: finding out more and changing her thinking as a result.

Herewith that letter:

Dear Colleagues:

Six days ago I received your petition protesting PEN’s decision to award Charlie Hebdo with its 2015 Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award. I added my name to the list based on a number of factors, chief among them the fact that while I was sickened by the fatal repercussions of Hebdo’s repeated lampooning of Islam, I was also deeply troubled by

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“So I crossed out ‘Jews’ and I put ‘Trinity College Cambridge’.”

May 30th, 2015 11:37 am | By

Newsweek Europe does a rather silly interview with Dawkins.

With no good evidence whatsoever, I sense in him the potential for great anger.

“Other people have said that. I don’t believe it. Anger isn’t the right word.”

“Rage?”

“No. I do use ridicule a lot.”

“Waspishness” is how it strikes me. He gets irritable easily, and it manifests as waspish retorts – or, as he says, ridicule.

Ridicule is tricky, especially for someone like him. That’s why Dear Muslima was so odd: it apparently never crossed his mind that that level of waspish irritable ridicule of someone way below him in the pecking order might be not so much ridicule as bullying. By “someone like him” in this case … Read the rest

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Repetitive, right?

May 30th, 2015 10:00 am | By

Amy Schumer on Bill Cosby. Works for others we know of too.

Bill Cosby’s defense attorney presents irrefutable evidence of her client’s innocence.

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sq4gVZ4cBc

?list=PLD7nPL1U-R5o_GHb3XEx8XKCjzgCFCTuF… Read the rest

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“No one is unhappy. Not one of my friends would let his wife drive.”

May 30th, 2015 9:19 am | By

The Guardian also reports on the Haredi school in north London that bans children whose mothers drive them to school.

The group runs Talmud Torah Machzikei Hadass, a boys’ primary school, and Beis Malka, a primary school for girls. Both have been rated good by Ofsted.

The schools had said that, from August, any child driven to school by their mother would be turned away at the school gates. The letter said the ban was based on the recommendations of Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach, the Belzer spiritual leader in Israel.

It said that if a mother has no other choice but to drive her child to school – such as a medical reason – she should “submit a request to

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Mothers of our students who have begun driving cars

May 29th, 2015 6:01 pm | By

So are Haredi Jews in London jealous of their Muslim counterparts in Saudi Arabia?

Leaders of the ultra-Orthodox Belz sect in north London wrote to parents saying “no child will be allowed to learn in our school” if their mother drives.

Women driving “goes against the laws of modesty within our society”, it said.

What’s so immodest about driving? I drive when I have access to a car, and I think I do it pretty damn modestly. I’ll admit it does enable me to get from point A to point B more quickly than other forms of movement, but what’s immodest about that? Unless “modesty” means being boxed up all the time. Are women of the Belz sect in north … Read the rest

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One of the Charlie Hebdo dissenters did change her mind

May 29th, 2015 5:12 pm | By

Whaddya know – Jesus & Mo Author alerted me to the fact that one of the Charlie Hebdo protesters actually did listen and did learn and did reverse her position. It was reported in the Norwegian weekly paper Morgenbladet.

«Dårlig informert». – Jeg har akkurat bedt om at mitt navn tas vekk fra listen, skriver Jennifer Cody Epstein, bestselgende forfatter og oversatt til norsk to ganger.

Også hun har endret mening.

– Min opprinnelige impuls var basert på noen alvorlige feiloppfatninger som jeg frykter at flere andre underskrivere deler, selv om de kanskje ikke snur offentlig i en litt pinlig form, slik jeg gjør nå.

Epstein sier at hun misforsto Charlie Hebdos oppdrag og innhold fundamentalt, og etter hvert

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“Our 11 year old is in labor right now”

May 29th, 2015 4:36 pm | By

Another very bad thing.

Choices4Life
May 26 at 10:16am

Our 11 year old is in labor right now. She is 35 weeks and doing fantastic busting every myth out there! She is strong and holding on to her faith in the Lord.

253 people like this.

365 shares

It’s not a poe.

This lil boy born prematurely to a 14 yo raped by a 66 yo online predator.
He is healthy and mom is thrilled with her precious gift from God.

That 14-year-old is so lucky to have been raped.

More on the 11-year-old:

While Amnesty International, the UN and others are doing everything in their power to see that babies die, I have the joy of

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If we want young women to speak up

May 29th, 2015 11:57 am | By

Kate posted a comment on that article. I wonder if Espinoza will reply…and apologize.

Hello all – I am Kate Smurthwaite and I feel I should clear a few things up. Firstly I didn’t say young women “shouldn’t speak up” I said if we want young women to speak up [we] should focus on making sure it is safe for them to do so, rather than giving them patronising pep talks.

Secondly the suggestion that I should maybe not get paid for doing my job or that I should spend my time visiting state schools (who generally can’t afford to pay me) rather than private schools is ridiculous. As I said in my article, I have to take work

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No she did not say young women “shouldn’t speak out”

May 29th, 2015 11:44 am | By

The Telegraph goes out of its way to misrepresent a column Kate Smurthwaite wrote for The Teacher. I know this because I saw Kate’s correction of the Telegraph’s misrepresentation on Facebook.

The correction first:

For the benefit of those asking – no I did not say young women “shouldn’t speak out”, I said if we want them to rather than dishing out pep talks we should be making it safe for them to do so online. Otherwise this piece is fairly accurate.

Other than misrepresenting her core point, it’s fairly accurate.

Now Javier Espinoza’s Telegraph piece:

A BBC writer and comedian who is paid by private schools to give motivational talks says girls should “not speak up” as

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The FHA adopted a racial policy that could well have been culled from the Nuremberg laws

May 29th, 2015 10:44 am | By

A key paragraph from Richard Rothstein’s From Ferguson to Baltimore: The consequences of government-sponsored segregation:

When the Kerner Commission blamed “white society” and “white institutions,” it employed euphemisms to avoid naming the culprits everyone knew at the time. It was not a vague white society that created ghettos but government—federal, state, and local—that employed explicitly racial laws, policies, and regulations to ensure that black Americans would live impoverished, and separately from whites. Baltimore’s ghetto was not created by private discrimination, income differences, personal preferences, or demographic trends, but by purposeful action of government in violation of the Fifth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendments. These constitutional violations have never been remedied, and we are paying the price in the violence we

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Majority viciously attacking small numbers of dissent

May 28th, 2015 6:09 pm | By

Speaking of the Charlie Hebdo protests…a few days ago Joyce Carol Oates retweeted a string of remarks by Dan Therriault, then made some of her own.

The first:

Dan Therriault ‏@dantherriault May 22
With PEN dissent, I suspect more writers would have separated themselves from Hebdo content if those few who dissented were not so vilified.

Majority viciously attacking small numbers of dissent used to stop more dissent, to threaten quiet others & maintain their majority opinion.

This devaluing of dissent in the US bleeds into everything, the media questioning authority, political parties, attacking corporate culture.

But it’s truly disheartening to see writers pulled along the cultural move to the right to attack fellow writers for their rational dissent.

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Nobody’s mind seemed to change

May 28th, 2015 5:06 pm | By

Paul Berman starts his long and brilliant article on the Charlie Hebdo-PEN protests by noting that both sides agreed on the values; it was the facts that were contested.

The protesters, most of them, wanted the world to know that, in regard to press freedoms, their commitments were absolute. Willingly they would defend the right even of Nazis to say whatever terrible things Nazis might say, as the ACLU once did in Illinois. But they honestly believed that Charlie Hebdo is a reactionary magazine, racist against blacks and bigoted against Muslims, obsessively anti-Islamic, intent on bullying the immigrant masses in France. A dreadful magazine. Nazi-like, even—therefore, a magazine not even remotely worthy of an award from PEN. On these points

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Reality

May 28th, 2015 11:47 am | By

Josh Marhsall at Talking Points Memo:

In Touch Weekly is reporting that in 2007, when Josh Dugger was 19[,] he sued the Arkansas Department of Human Services to prevent them from making a finding against him or possibly to prevent on-going monitoring of his interactions with his sisters.

I’m writing this here in the Editor’s Blog because In Touch Weekly‘s reporting on this seems thinly sourced and, let’s be honest, In Touch Weekly is not where we normally go for industry standard reporting.

They had documents for the previous stories, but this one is just “as told to.”

According to this report, when local police decided that no crime had been committed within the three year statute of

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Guest post: In a way ordinary empathetic identification doesn’t explain

May 28th, 2015 11:01 am | By

Guest post by Josh Spokes.

I have some thoughts on femininity, women, and my relationship to these as a gay man. For months I’ve stewed on this topic wondering how to express it. This may or may not be an elegant exposition. It’s also full of “I” statements, which is tedious and unfortunate. I know no other way to make it clear my subject is my own impressions, not generalizing statements about what other people ought to do or be motivated by.

Caveats:

1. As a man I’m never going to grok what it is to live as a woman. Please know that nothing I write is meant to suggest or imply that.

2. This is not a cookie-seeking project; … Read the rest

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Addition

May 28th, 2015 10:12 am | By

And this is part of the unsavory mix:

Emery Emery @emeryemeryii May 20
Excited that @michaelshermer has been added to the #TAM2015 lineup. Never give in to unsubstantiated slander.

“Never give in to unsubstantiated slander” here must mean ignore multiple accounts by women of various forms of skeevy behavior, including non-consensual sex. It must mean ignore corroboration by witnesses. It must mean ignore what James Randi said himself. It must mean ignore all of that as “unsubstantiated,” in order to include the subject of all those accounts. Ignore what all those women say, because they don’t count; only the Important Thought-Leader Men count.… Read the rest

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The old boys-will-be-boys canard

May 28th, 2015 9:51 am | By

In Duggar-world, girls and women “tempt” men and boys, and “defraud” them with their sexual allure. In the real world…girls and women “tempt” men and boys, because they’re sluts and boys just wanna have fun.

Amanda Marcotte has the story.

20 middle and high school aged boys have been accused of participating in an electronic “trading card” ring involving nude photos of female students. Reading the coverage of it, it becomes immediately clear how these boys got their overblown sense of entitlement: Their parents and community have rushed forward to support the boys for their invasion of privacy —and have demanded, instead, that the girls be criminalized for being such alluring little temptresses.

One mother, eager to shift the

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“I’ve just heard that he misbehaved himself with the women”

May 28th, 2015 9:19 am | By

What was it that James Randi said about Michael Shermer? Oh yes…

Shermer’s reputation really does precede him, and it predates the recent wave of attention given to sex crimes and sexual harassment. I reached the movement’s grand old man, 86-year-old James Randi, by telephone, at his house in Florida. Randi is no longer involved in his foundation’s daily operations, but he remains its chair, and he is a legend of the movement, famously not fooled by anybody. He seems not to be naïve about Shermer — although he’s not so troubled by him, either.

“Shermer has been a bad boy on occasion — I do know that,” Randi told me. “I have told him that if I get

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Official Statue of Mansplaining

May 27th, 2015 6:07 pm | By

Oh look, there’s another one.

Emily Skaja ‏@emily_skaja
Official Statue of Mansplaining. Class of 1950 Lecture Hall, Purdue.

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