All entries by this author

The H word

Oct 8th, 2016 8:43 am | By

Another man sighs wearily as he opens the laptop to explain why Elena Ferrante has no right to anonymity or privacy, this time in Prospect.

The hysterical reaction in some quarters to Ferrante’s so-called “doxxing” is producing more heat than light. Books are largely read by a culturally elite group, the same people who commission think pieces, invest their cultural capital with importance. Journalists writing about this phenomenon fuel it, and to be honest, as we condemn the article that caused this mess, we are also profiting from it.

The “hysterical” reaction. Wouldn’t you think men who write words as a profession could learn to stop calling women “hysterical”? Ok he’s calling the reaction “hysterical,” not Ferrante … Read the rest

This is who he is

Oct 7th, 2016 5:51 pm | By

Ashley Judd on Twitter:

 … Read the rest

But we’re not choosing a Sunday school teacher

Oct 7th, 2016 5:39 pm | By

The Guardian has a live updating page on Trump’s contemptuous rapey remarks about women. An hour ago they posted what Corey Lewandowski had to say:

Even Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager and one of the staunchest supporters of the businessman, has refused to defend the comments.

“Look, I think what this comes down to, and this is not a surprise, is clearly this is not how women should be spoken about. But we’re not choosing a Sunday school teacher.

“And I want to be very clear about this, what we know about Donald Trump this was 12 years ago, this audio tape, and does not reflect or bring to mind the Donald Trump that I’ve spent 18 months

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Oct 7th, 2016 5:31 pm | By

Tomorrow’s Daily News:

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Oct 7th, 2016 4:55 pm | By

Emily Crockett at Vox on Trump and rape culture.

The Washington Post’s headline describes Trump’s comments as “extremely lewd.” But they’re a lot worse than that.

This may or may not actually be typical “locker room banter” for some men. But one thing is clear: It’s an explicit description of sexual assault.

Whether or not Trump is bragging for effect or machismo, he is saying that he thinks it’s no big deal to grab or kiss a woman in a sexual manner — either by moving too fast for her to consent or resist or by exploiting his power until “they let you do it.”

It is sexual assault to “just start kissing” a woman, much less “grab” her

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“Grab them by the pussy,” Trump says.

Oct 7th, 2016 3:00 pm | By

Le tout Facebook is talking about the Washington Post’s new story about Trump.

They got possession of a video that has Trump talking on a hot microphone.

The video captures Trump talking with Billy Bush of “Access Hollywood” on a bus with Access Hollywood written across the side. They were arriving on the set of “Days of Our Lives” to tape a segment about Trump’s upcoming cameo on the soap opera.

I recommend playing the video to get the full flavor – the laughter, the boasting, the time someone says “it’s good” and you’re not sure if “it” is a woman or not.

The tape obtained by the Post includes audio of Bush and Trump’s conversation inside the bus,

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Denis Mukwege

Oct 7th, 2016 12:30 pm | By

NPR reports: a doctor in DR Congo who treats rape survivors is a contender for the Nobel Peace Prize.


That is the number of rape survivors treated by Dr. Denis Mukwege and his associates at Panzi Hospital between 1999 and 2015. Some 35,000 of those survivors, who range in age from toddlers to seniors, suffered complex gynecological injuries, inflicted by members of rebel groups and the Congolese military.

Mukwege, who for the past several years has been considered a strong candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, began his career as a gynecologist wanting to help the women of the Democratic Republic of Congo, his homeland.

When he opened Panzi Hospital in 1999, he envisioned it as means to

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Not “woke” or “with it” or one of the cool kids

Oct 7th, 2016 11:38 am | By

Bruce is wondering what’s taking the bus so long.

[I]t’s not as if I haven’t made comments that should rile these people. Yet, I’ve been left alone. People haven’t got the message that I’m persona non grata. Allow me to make a few more inflammatory comments that I regard as true, in one convenient place so as to incriminate myself. As I’m not trying to convince anyone, but rather trying to get them to condemn me, I’m not going to put too much effort into justifying myself.


Not all oppression is based on identity. Do you think the oppression suffered by pigs entails their identity as porcine? An organism doesn’t need to be self-regarding in order to

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Theocrats call LGB activists “far right”

Oct 7th, 2016 11:07 am | By

The AhlulBayt Islamic Mission, which as Peter Tatchell said is hosting the Islamist preacher who advocates death for lesbians and gay men, has issued a statement on how wrong people are to object to clerics who advocate death for lesbians and gay men. The AIM is an offshoot of an Iranian organization, and is a big fan of the theocratic regime in Iran.

The AhlulBayt Islamic Mission (AIM) issues this statement to clarify its position on the baseless allegations made against Shaykh Hamza Sodagar by far-right media outlets.

AIM prides itself for being active in campaigning against extremism, sectarianism, intolerance and racism both locally and globally. We have been consistent in our efforts to spread justice, peace, and tolerance;

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It’s not a subtle point

Oct 7th, 2016 10:23 am | By

Trump says it’s all a joke,  it’s for laughs, it’s entertainment.

Donald Trump said Wednesday that derogatory statements he has made toward women were all for the sake of “entertainment” and did not reflect his true feelings.

“A lot of that was done for the purpose of entertainment; there’s nobody that has more respect for women than I do,” the real estate mogul told Las Vegas’ KSNV-TV in an interview taped Wednesday ahead of a rally in Henderson, Nevada.

Oh Donald. Donald Donald Donald. Don’t be ridiculous. Of course there’s anybody who has more respect for women than you do. There are billions of people who have more respect for women than you do. Billions. With a B.

Mind … Read the rest

Pence talked about the beauty of adoption

Oct 6th, 2016 5:21 pm | By

Katha Pollitt wants us to make sure we understand how terrible Mike Pence is on abortion.

Mr. Kaine talked about trusting women as decision-makers. Mr. Pence talked about the beauty of adoption — in the context of criminalizing abortion, that really means forcing women to bear children for other people — and “health care counseling” for women. When he says that, he is surely referring to so-called crisis pregnancy centers, which try to dissuade women from ending a pregnancy, often through deception, scare tactics and Christian proselytizing, and to which Governor Pence has funneled millionsof Indiana taxpayers’ dollars.

Mr. Pence’s demeanor on Tuesday may have been calm and friendly, but his record on reproductive rights is horrendous, and

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Second – burn them to death

Oct 6th, 2016 4:08 pm | By

Peter Tatchell urges the Home Secretary to revoke the visa of an Islamist cleric who endorses killing of gays.

“In a free society, Hamza Sodagar has a right to believe that homosexuality is sinful but not to preach about ways to kill lesbians and gay men. Many people with far less extreme views, who have never advocated violence, have been banned from entering the UK. Calling for death to LGBT people crosses a red line. The Home Office was wrong to grant him a visa and should now revoke it. The cleric should be ordered out of the country,” said human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell.

US-born radical Shaykh Hamza Sodagar – who has dubbed non-Muslims “kuffars” and released a video

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An intimidation tactic masquerading as an economic theory

Oct 6th, 2016 12:23 pm | By

The propaganda about the terrible consequences of paying workers more is just that: propaganda, aka lies. Nick Hanauer explains it.

Minimum wage opponents continue to deride every proposed increase as a surefire job killer, while reporters and pundits reliably characterize the passage of every minimum wage ordinance and statute as a dangerous experiment that threatens to harm the very people it’s intended to help. “California makes itself a guinea pig in a massive and risky minimum wage experiment,” tweeted the New York Times’s Noam Scheiber. “Raising minimum wage risky,” the Lexington, Kentucky Herald Leader’s headline tersely warned its readers following $15 victories in faraway California and New York. “Raising minimum wage hurts low-skill workers,” the Detroit News bluntly chimed

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Oct 6th, 2016 10:16 am | By

The BBC is live updating Hurricane Matthew.

Reuters has a photo that indicates a complete nightmare in Haiti:


There are photos of long lines of cars evacuating Miami…adding more CO2 to the climate change that has helped fuel storms like this.

 … Read the rest

Where they are fed the lie

Oct 6th, 2016 8:29 am | By

Weirdly, the Daily Mail has a good piece on anti-abortion fanatics (their word) in the UK.

Vulnerable women suffering emotional trauma after an abortion have been referred by the NHS to an extremist pro-life group where they are fed the lie that termination can cause breast cancer.

Patients are left distraught by the devastating claim made by advisers at the Good Counsel Network – but which is dismissed by medical experts as untrue and ‘damaging’.

Yet one of Britain’s biggest NHS mental health trusts, South West London and St George’s, has been recommending patients to the London-based groups via leaflets and its website for five years.

Despite its misleading advice, GCN was described until recently on the NHS website as

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Guest post: There are times when platitudes are not enough

Oct 5th, 2016 2:49 pm | By

Guest post by Maureen Brian.

We have spent the last several decades chipping away at the notion that body conformation = personality = social role = that’s the way things are, folks.

When I say we I mean, primarily but not solely, those of us who over a couple of hundred years of work have managed to carve out for ourselves the right to vote, to have an education, to have a degree of control over our own finances. Many of us have worked to help other people see what can be achieved and to offer help and support as they try out the prospect of being fully paid up human beings in less promising circumstances, perhaps in countries … Read the rest

A woman must be either wholly invisible or public property

Oct 5th, 2016 12:09 pm | By

Victoria Smith aka Glosswitch asks how much of themselves writers should reveal.

If you are male, it doesn’t really matter. You are the default human being and all experiences about which you write – regardless of whether or not you have actually had them – will be universal.

If you are female it is more complicated. Reveal too much about yourself and you are not a real writer at all, just an over-sharer, wallowing in the petty specifics of a non-male life. Don’t reveal enough and you are suspect, manipulative, a tease. Either way you can’t win.

Elena Ferrante avoided that bind by writing pseudonymously.

Unlike female authors who use male pen names, she was still identifiable as a

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ITV documentary explores the lives of ex-Muslims

Oct 5th, 2016 11:50 am | By

The Independent has a piece on Maryam and the CEMB and ex-Muslims in the UK.

Speaking ahead of the release of Exposure, an ITV documentary that explores the lives of ex-Muslims faced with abuse and discrimination, Ms Namazie told The Independent: “There is a large group of people who are not seen and heard. Many young people living in Britain have left Islam and are facing huge ostracisation and isolation from their communities as a result.

“They’re very often silenced or they’re living closeted lives. They’re still acting as Muslims, still wearing the veil and still going to the mosque, but they’re really atheist.”

Ms Namazie, an Iranian-born activist and ex-Muslim herself, described the “silent challenges” faced by

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Guest post: Against the spiritual turn

Oct 5th, 2016 11:05 am | By

Guest post by Josh Spokes.

Material analysis is the only political analysis that produces results. Religion, spirituality, the ever-proliferating variety of “identities” and “kinds of souls” and all the rest—-it’s vapor.

None of that will get you equal pay as a woman. None of it will make men stop raping and beating women, and raping and beating men they perceive to be feminine. None of it will give you a reliable roadmap on how to extricate yourself from exploitative situations.

The material world is the real world. It’s the only world that exists. We ignore the material world, and we deny our embodied, wholly material human existence, at our own cost and peril.… Read the rest

A travel opportunity

Oct 5th, 2016 8:16 am | By

The protests in Poland worked – the government dropped the plan to pass a total abortion ban, and said it was the protests that did it. Polish abortion law is still horrific though.

A proposed total abortion ban in Poland will not be implemented, a member of the government has said, describing mass protests against the ban as a lesson in humility for the country’s leadership.

Jarosław Gowin, the minister of science and higher education, said on Wednesday that the protests by women had “caused us to think and taught us humility”.

The comments appear to indicate that Poland’s conservative leadership will withhold support from the highly unpopular proposal to ban abortions even in cases of rape, incest or

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