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They cheered

Oct 25th, 2014 12:38 pm | By

Ashley Miller had a horrible, upsetting experience yesterday evening. It should have been a great experience:

As a filmmaker, intersectional scholar, and a huge fan and supporter of the original trailer and campaign for “Dear White People,” I was ecstatic to be able to go see the film here in Columbia, SC.  The film itself didn’t disappoint.  Clearly influenced by Wes Anderson in cinematography, but wholly unique in tone, it was a brilliantly funny, biting, and moving film.  The acting, the directing, the cinematography were all superb, even before you take into account the origin story and budget of the film.

But there was a problem, a big big problem.

Spoilers alert.

Just as the trailers were ending and

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Which is why so many of us came to live here

Oct 25th, 2014 12:19 pm | By

Julie Bindel has a long article on Sharia versus Muslim women at Standpoint.

The voices of Muslim women who have suffered terrible consequences as a result of sharia taking root in Britain are often silenced. I spoke with a number of women who have had experience of sharia courts.

Fawzia married her husband when she was 16 years old and was divorced eight years later.

The marriage was an Islamic ceremony, and her divorce was eventually granted by a sharia council four years after she first went to see her local imam. Fawzia’s story, and those of numerous other women, should provide a cautionary tale of how sharia courts are gaining creeping acceptance in the UK.

Afzal, the man chosen

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Rayhaneh Jabbari

Oct 25th, 2014 11:33 am | By

Iran went ahead and hanged Rayhaneh Jabbari. The bastards.

Ms Jabbari was arrested in 2007 for the killing of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former employee of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence who she said tried to sexually abuse her.

She was sentenced to death by a Tehran court in 2009 and her execution verdict was upheld by Iran’s Supreme Court. Her case drew international outcry and sparked a petition urging her release, which collected over 240,000 signatures.

The court ruling says Ms Jabbari, 26, stabbed Sarbandi in the back in 2007 after purchasing a knife two days earlier.

It says the execution was carried out after Sarbandi’s family refused to pardon Jabbari or accept blood money.

We’re not hugely … Read the rest

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Where there should be clarity, there is obscurantism

Oct 25th, 2014 11:03 am | By

In a discussion on a philosopher’s Facebook wall yesterday I saw a mention of post-colonial approaches to secularism. I was curious about what those might be, and said something about my curiosity on my Facebook wall, and Meredith Tax gave me some sources. One is this piece in the CHE by Jacques Berlinerblau.

He says there’s a lot of unhelpful imprecision about secularism under foot.

Talking imprecisely about secularism is now an American rhetorical tradition. Politicians, policy makers, and journalists routinely deploy the term without really knowing—or caring—what it connotes. This is bad for us and for them, since secularism is germane to so many domestic- and foreign-policy problems. Is it appropriate for an elected official to invoke God

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Paul Elam and his sad duty

Oct 24th, 2014 5:42 pm | By

What’s a good way to win more allies? Let’s see…to grab the name of someone else’s anti-violence campaign and pretend it’s always been yours, and use it to attack that campaign?

It will probably work. Shits are drawn to shit. Salon reports:

The White Ribbon campaign is a movement that started in Canada in 1991. It focuses on getting men and boys to step up in the movement against violence against women, and it has a number of global chapters. But this week, A Voice for Men started its own White Ribbon campaign and is now claiming to be the original White Ribbon campaign while warping the actual campaign’s message and intent.

It’s confusing, and also terrible.

A post

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More bodies

Oct 24th, 2014 4:17 pm | By

Another school shooting, this one just a little north of Seattle, near Everett, famous for being the site of a labor massacre on November 5, 1916.

Two students are dead after one of them opened fire Friday morning in the Marysville-Pilchuck High School cafeteria before turning the gun on himself, according to law-enforcement sources.

Police said a girl was killed and two other girls and two boys were wounded  in the 10:45 a.m. shooting.

Austin Joyner, a student at the school, said on Twitter that he saw the shooter come into the cafeteria, walk over to a table, pull out a gun and shoot students who were sitting there.

Four young people — two boys and two girls — 

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Floating above the ugly fray of politics

Oct 24th, 2014 3:15 pm | By

If the women won’t do what the harassers tell them to, maybe there are other methods – like going after the advertisers. Amanda Marcotte at Slate:

Gamergate, a diffuse but relentless online anti-feminist movement aimed at drubbing feminist women out of game development and criticism, continues to expand the scope of its attacks. First it started as a traditional anti-feminist campaign, targeting individual women in hopes that they’d quit the industry rather than suffer any longer. When that didn’t work, they moved into targeting advertisers of websites that hire feminist women. They were sadly successful when Intel pulled its advertising from a website Gamasutra, which had offended the Gamergaters by running a piece that argued video games should be

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Meera Nanda

Oct 24th, 2014 2:34 pm | By

Oh boy, a treat – a talk by Meera Nanda, Beliefs without evidence: Danger of faith-based politics and culture in India.

Meera is fabulous. She’s been a huge influence on my thinking.

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehX70TfW6YwRead the rest

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Charges of “we don’t like you”

Oct 24th, 2014 12:38 pm | By

More on the Red Shoes woman in Turkey, from Hürriyet:

The Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office took action against the Twitter account @kedibiti after Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek, who is known as an active Twitter user, filed a complaint about the account, also alleging that it had “insulted the president and the government.”

Prosecutors discovered that the Twitter account’s owner was a 36-year-old Istanbul resident, identified only as G.Y. The Istanbul Police Department called her to the police station, and she arrived at the station in Istanbul’s Gayrettepe neighborhood, where she reportedly explained that she was an atheist.

She was released after questioning, but a lawsuit has been opened against her on charges of “triggering hatred in society” and “slandering.”

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To better protect religious liberty

Oct 24th, 2014 12:15 pm | By

That Arizona bill was passed. Brian Fraga at the National Catholic Register reported on the passage May 23, 2012.

Note the framing in the headline and subhead:

Arizona Passes Exemption for Religious Employers

The law, signed by Gov. Jan Brewer, seeks to better protect religious liberty if federal ‘contraceptive mandate’ is struck down.

It’s just a matter of deciding who the subject is.

For obedient Catholics, it’s the Catholics. For most other people, it’s the women who are being forced to tell their employers why they use the birth control pill.

Planned Parenthood of Arizona and the American Civil Liberties Union said the legislation — which was initiated by the Diocese of Phoenix and known as House Bill 2625

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Guest post: What did she expect when she?

Oct 24th, 2014 11:42 am | By

Originally a comment by Jackie on Red shoes.

I’m so tired of being told as a woman that I should expect and prepare for the abuse misogynist men want to do to me as if men were hurricanes and I should know better than to risk being in one’s way.

What did she expect when she went to a party with friends?
What did she expect when she shared an opinion?

What did she expect when she wore that?
What did she expect when she got an education?
What did she expect when went out unveiled?
What did she expect when she dated a football player/fighter?

The message is that smart women are frightened, silent and move through the … Read the rest

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Freedom freedom freedom

Oct 24th, 2014 11:02 am | By

Update This is from March 2012, and the bill passed. Oy.

I have got to learn to check the date. [slaps self]

Are you kidding me?!

Erin Gloria Ryan at Jezebel:

A proposed new law in Arizona would give employers the power to request that women being prescribed birth control pills provide proof that they’re using it for non-sexual reasons. And because Arizona’s an at-will employment state, that means that bosses critical of their female employees’ sex lives could fire them as a result.

What.the.fuck.

How about a proposed law mandating that women inform the whole world of everything about them. Let’s just treat women as public property with no rights at all, instead of trying to achieve … Read the rest

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Isfahan’s tourist industry is at stake

Oct 23rd, 2014 5:22 pm | By

The Guardian reported on the acid attacks in Isfahan on Monday and said there might have been as many as eight. I saw an Iranian source on Facebook that said the number was 14 in 8 days.

According to police, attackers riding on motorbikes have thrown acid in at least four women’s faces in the city, but local media have put the number as high as eight.

There are fears that the victims were chosen because they were wearing clothing or headscarves that were revealing or did not conform to perceived Islamic norms, though authorities have so far denied that the assaults had anything to do with the hijab.

The Iranian source I saw said that at least four … Read the rest

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She was a witch, she put curses on us not to progress

Oct 23rd, 2014 4:41 pm | By

Oh, horrors. (And content warning and all that.) Via Leo Igwe – in Nigeria a middle-aged man killed his mother because “she was a witch.”

In his confession on Tuesday, Ucheagwu admitted that he killed his mother, alleging that the woman prevented the progress of her children and indeed that of the family.

According to him, his elder brother, 45, is unmarried because of their “mother’s witchcraft and curses on the children.”

“My mother was evil, I killed her because of her wickedness. This incident happened in May. She prevented good things coming to her children.

“She was a witch, she put curses on us not to progress. Others were blindfolded because of our mother’s witchcraft. Because I was the

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She didn’t smile, she didn’t say hello

Oct 23rd, 2014 4:10 pm | By

I know this feeling.

Instead of greeting two male gamers wearing Halo and Call of Duty shirts, prominent gamer and actress Felicia Day crossed the street.

“Seeing another gamer on the street used to be an auto-smile opportunity, or an entry into a conversation starting with, ‘Hey, dude! I love that game too!’ the Supernatural actress wrote on her Tumblr. But for the first time maybe in my life, on that Saturday afternoon, I walked towards that pair of gamers and I didn’t smile. I didn’t say hello. In fact, I crossed the street so I wouldn’t walk by them. A small voice of doubt in my brain now suspected that those guys and I might not be comrades

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She stays because she lacks the power to leave

Oct 23rd, 2014 3:52 pm | By

And then there’s that more hidden, secret, insidious kind of domestic violence – the economic kind.

In her new book, author Ludy Green argues that economic abuse is the core reason why women don’t leave abusive partners. “Depriving the victim of control over her own economic well-being is a despotic and confining element of domestic violence,” she writes in Ending Domestic Violence Captivity: A Guide to Economic Freedom. “Why does she stay? Despite appearances to the contrary, the decision to stay is not a decision at all. She stays because she lacks the power to leave.”

If you have zero money of your own, you can’t start over.

Green has worked with domestic violence survivors for more than 20

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The newly popular status

Oct 23rd, 2014 11:52 am | By

Pop culture item #3 – I saw the last 20 minutes or so of Law & Order SVU last night and it was pretty damn interesting – as well as (intentionally) enraging in places – especially the bit where

SPOILERS

the judge tells the rape victim (who is a porn star) as he overturns the jury’s guilty verdict, “Young lady, I don’t know if you’re seeking the newly popular status of victim…”

Belle Knox, the Duke student who is a porn star (Belle Knox is her porn name), has a fascinating post about the episode, which is based heavily but not entirely on her experience.

Warren Leight, the executive producer of the show was nice enough to let me

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Under his…wing

Oct 23rd, 2014 11:19 am | By

Another pop culture lacuna – I didn’t know Bill Cosby had been accused of rape by multiple women. Apparently lots of people don’t know that, or, worse, know it and don’t care.

In 2004, Andrea Constand brought a civil lawsuit against Cosby that grew to include 13 other women, all of whom reported being drugged and raped by one of America’s most beloved entertainers. Cosby settled under undisclosed terms in 2006.

Notably, two other women — who presumably had nothing to gain financially, as the statute of limitations had run out on their cases — also shared their stories with major media outlets. Their accounts included  similar details: Cosby took them under his wing and, on multiple

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Which nerds?

Oct 23rd, 2014 10:30 am | By

First, a confession of pop culture dereliction (if I ever did a full confession on that it would go on longer than one of Michael Nugent’s blog posts): I’ve never seen Revenge of the Nerds. Until a few minutes ago I didn’t even know anything about it other than the title. A comment I saw on Facebook caused me to inquire a little.

Wikipedia naturally has a detailed plot summary. So there’s this, at a point after the fraternity jocks have persecuted the nerds at a party thrown by the latter (the nerds are all male as of course are the frat jocks):

The nerds then seek revenge. First they stage a panty raid on the Pi Delta

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A story about arrogant scientists

Oct 22nd, 2014 4:44 pm | By

The ridiculous conviction of seven scientists for failing to warn the public about an earthquake in Aquila in Italy is being appealed now, but it looks as if the appeal will go just as stupidly as the trial did.

The chief prosecutor has already deployed the same tactic used by the prosecutor who won the convictions: Keep repeating that this is not science on trial. Rather, assert that this is a story about arrogant scientists shirking their duty to sufficiently warn about earthquake risk.

But saying so doesn’t make it so. Scrutiny of the prosecution’s argument and the judge’s roughly 900-page verdict reveals that the case absolutely constitutes science on trial, right down to the use of a 1995 scientific

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