All entries by this author

So much in common

Sep 14th, 2015 3:18 pm | By

Via Scott Benson (no relation) on Twitter:

Quite striking, isn’t it.

 … Read the rest

The entitlement of the rich and famous

Sep 14th, 2015 12:17 pm | By

Malibu. The beach. Millionaires’ McMansions built directly ON the beach. Millionaires trying to convince everyone that they own the beach.

Many celebrities and multimillionaires own sprawling Malibu homes overlooking the Pacific, including actors Robert Redford and Angelina Jolie, the rapper Dr Dre, the director Rob Reiner and media mogul David Geffen. In an effort to protect their privacy, some homeowners have now taken matters into their own hands by employing security guards to patrol the sands in front of their houses.

Twice in the past few weeks, members of the public have been asked to leave Malibu’s Escondido Beach by a uniformed security guard who wrongly claimed they were on private property and threatened them with a fine

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No Fire Zone

Sep 14th, 2015 11:42 am | By

Human Rights Watch says Malaysia should not be prosecuting Lena Hendry for privately showing a documentary film.

Malaysia’s Federal Court will hear Lena Hendry’s challenge to the constitutionality of the Film Censorship Act on September 14, 2015.

Hendry, a staff member of the human rights group Pusat KOMAS, was charged under the act for organizing a private screening of the award-winning documentary, “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka,” on July 3, 2013, in Kuala Lumpur. If convicted, she faces up to three years in prison and a fine of up to RM30,000 (US$7,000).

“Prosecuting someone for the private showing of an award-winning film shows how determined Malaysian authorities are to stomp on the right to free

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If members of the Kansas government feel the need for spiritual solace

Sep 14th, 2015 10:10 am | By

Rob Boston at Americans United reports on theocracy in Kansas.

Suppose you have a job at a private company. Suppose some of your colleagues do a bible study thing in their lunch hour. You and your friends have a secular sandwich together and all’s well. (Unless the bible studiers are hogging the break room.)

But then suppose it’s the boss who suggested the bible study, and the boss attends regularly. Hmm. Could the boss be using attendance as points toward promotions and raises? All’s not entirely well then.

Now suppose it’s not a private company, but a government office. Major problem.

A scenario like this is playing out in Kansas, a state that has been experimenting with a sort

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To slander feminists so that their arguments can be ignored

Sep 13th, 2015 5:37 pm | By

Meghan Murphy last June: The sex industry’s attack on feminists.

Pornographers have long defended the products and practices of their extremely profitable industry as “free speech,” even as they sexualize male power and violence against women. Similarly, defenders of prostitution, which they strategically call “sex work,” frame the movement for its legalization and normalization as liberatory.

But they don’t want free speech for their critics. Last March

a number of prostitution lobby groups threatened to boycott a conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, that had secured the renowned journalist and Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges as a keynote speaker. Because Hedges had written an articlecalling prostitution “the quintessential expression of global capitalism,” these groups attempted to no-platform Hedges and would

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Have you looked at our badges lately?

Sep 13th, 2015 4:38 pm | By

Are we the baddies?

Update: try this one. H/t Bernard.

 … Read the rest


Sep 13th, 2015 12:07 pm | By


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She lost herself

Sep 13th, 2015 11:45 am | By

Irin Carmon reviews Paid For, by Rachel Moran.

Moran started selling herself on the streets of Dublin when she was fifteen.

Moran’s seven years in the sex trade, the main subject of her book, convinced her it is never compatible with consent and always tantamount to abuse. “The summation of my experience of prostitution was simply this: I lost myself,” she writes. She warns that “Paid For”  “will not read in the style of a traditional memoir,” but its arc is familiar: troubled parents, state custody and homelessness, an older boyfriend who suggested she walk the streets, hitting rock bottom, getting out with a new purpose.

So, clearly, she’s not of the “sex work is empowering” school.

“Paid For”

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An-Naim hopes that the situation will gradually improve

Sep 13th, 2015 11:15 am | By

What is Abdullahi Ahmed An-Naim’s view of Sharia? A piece by Cem Say from 2006 explores the subject.

Islamic law, the Sharia, has a bad reputation – especially in the West, but also among many secular Muslims. It stands for the oppression of women, contempt for human rights, and backwardness. Abdullah An-Naim, Professor of Law at Emory University in Atlanta, USA and anything but a fundamentalist, understands the concept of Sharia quite differently. Sharia, he says, is positive and has a future.

According to An-Naim, the legal doctrines of the Sharia in their original form, which go back to the seventh century, are simply incompatible with the realities of life in the 21st century.

Yes. So then why hang … Read the rest

Cash for Sharia

Sep 12th, 2015 6:04 pm | By

The Yale Daily News:

Abdallah Kamel, chief executive of a banking and real estate company based in Saudi Arabia, donated $10 million to the Yale Law School to create a center for the study of Islamic Law and Civilization, YLS Dean Robert Post and University President Peter Salovey announced Thursday.

Why does Yale Law School want a a center for the study of Islamic Law? I could see a history or sociology department being interested in that, but why a law school? Does Yale teach Christian law?

Also…based in Saudi Arabia. I don’t consider Saudi Arabia a very useful paradigm for the study of law. They behead people for “insulting Islam.” They want to give Raif Badawi 1000 lashes … Read the rest

Have some arithmogender

Sep 12th, 2015 4:59 pm | By

There’s a Nonbinary Wiki.

There are many kinds of nonbinary gender identities. These include, but are not limited to:

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Not “mainstream” at all

Sep 12th, 2015 12:42 pm | By

Let’s take a little hop back in time, back to February 2006, when the BBC reported on a rally against cartoons about Mohammed.

About 5,000 UK mainstream Muslims joined a protest in London’s Trafalgar Square against controversial cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad.

Oh dear god, they were so clueless. Or deceptive. That “protest” was not “mainstream” – the BBC was ridiculous to call it that, and also insulting to Muslims as a group.

Protesters waved banners calling for unity against Islamophobia.

The event aimed to explain the views of moderate Muslims towards cartoons published in a Danish newspaper which led to worldwide protests.

Organisers also said it wanted to dissociate the mainstream Muslim community from a “minority of extremists”.

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Our power lies in organization

Sep 12th, 2015 11:57 am | By

The Industrial Workers of the World, aka the Wobblies, had the power fist back in the teens of the 20th century.


See what they did there?

It’s not appropriation for any left-wing movement to use the fist. What would be appropriation would be for right-wing movements to use it, or for WalMart or CocaCola to use it for advertising, as I’m sure they have.… Read the rest

The men look like everybody else

Sep 12th, 2015 11:42 am | By

Were you wondering about Kim Davis’s fashion choices and religious affiliation? Sojourners provides some background.

Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Ky., clerk jailed for five days for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, identifies as an Apostolic Christian and attends Solid Rock Apostolic Church in Morehead, Ky.

What’s an Apostolic Christian?

Pentecostalism is a Christian movement that emphasizes a personal experience of God, including the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. The movement grew out of the 1906 Azusa Street Revival in California and takes its name from Pentecost, when early Christians first received the gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as the ability to heal and prophesy.

Apostolic Pentecostals then split from the

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Naming the waves

Sep 12th, 2015 11:08 am | By

A reader has been asking me about the second and third waves of feminism, and my energetic agreement with Meghan Murphy’s rebuke of knee-jerk disdain for the second wave. The reader was wondering about my insistence that the third wave did not invent intersectionality, because he had read in many places that it had – that is, that 2 wave just didn’t know from intersectionality until 3 wave came along.

Nope. 2 wave was aware of the issue of being too white and middle class all along. There were huge arguments and splits over the issue all along. There were huge arguments over lesbians’ place in the movement all along.

That’s not to say that 2 wave was brilliant at … Read the rest

Guest post: There is no impunity for mass murder

Sep 12th, 2015 9:31 am | By

Guest post by Mary Scully. Originally a public post on Facebook, reposted here by permission.

These people are carrying coffins with the remains of some of the 45,000 people “disappeared” during Guatemala’s 36-year civil war between 1960 and 1996. Successive right-wing governments led by former generals directly implicated in the disappearances and murders of 200,000 indigenous Mayans have rebuffed political pressure to exhume and identify those murdered and dumped in mass graves. Exhumations have been going on since 1996 but as of two years ago, less than 1,000 skeletons had been recovered.

Photo by James Rodriguez

All were killed by soldiers and allied paramilitaries trying to wipe out a guerrilla movement using scorched earth military tactics that swept up … Read the rest

Suddenly, a naval vessel appeared in the distance

Sep 11th, 2015 6:08 pm | By

Intersectional 5th wave non-appropriative inclusive postcolonialist genderfuck Lord of the Flies, by Joe Keohane in The New Yorker.

“Excuse me,” Roger began, “remind us again why you get to interrupt us even if you don’t have the conch?”

“Because I’m the chief,” Ralph said. “I was chosen.”

“By whom?”

“By you.”

“I didn’t vote for you,” Roger said, with a frown.

“We had a vote. The majority rules.”

“Oh, that’s brilliant—the majority,” Jack scoffed. The littluns tittered. “If anything, that means you have even less of a right to interrupt than we do!” Jack faced the others. “If you agree with me, wiggle your fingers.”

They wiggled their fingers.

“Look, I’m trying to get us rescued by the grownups,”

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It’s not cool and fun and sexy

Sep 11th, 2015 5:40 pm | By

Meghan Murphy has a sockdolager of a piece explaining that no feminism isn’t anything and everything but rather is something particular and substantive, so no you’re not a feminist just because you wear stilettos or have a platinum card. She offers 9 items that actually do make you a feminist, a better feminist than people who lack them.

First is being a woman.

There are male feminists of course, and since we need all the feminists we can get, maybe especially among men, I think it’s important to emphasize that, but her point is that men don’t fully get the female experience.

2) Understanding that feminism is not a feeling or an identity, but a political movement

And a set … Read the rest

In the vegan food scene

Sep 11th, 2015 4:05 pm | By

Women at the University of Toronto: look out.

The University of Toronto has increased its campus police presence following violent online threats against women and feminists — though a Toronto Police investigation has not identified a “credible threat.”

The university warned students and staff about the threats on Thursday, although critics say it hasn’t done enough to inform those at risk about the specific nature of the threats.

The threats were posted in the comments section of the site BlogTO on September 5th.

The University of Toronto warned its students, faculty and staff about the threats on Thursday and said it’s working with the Toronto Police Service and Peel Regional Police to find out who is behind the anonymous

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Know your history

Sep 11th, 2015 1:45 pm | By

Nope. Wrong. Incorrect. Not true.


this symbol does not represent mainstream feminism

Ohhhhhhhh yes it does.

That symbol goes back to the 60s – it was the radical salute, including but not limited to the black power salute.

this is the symbol for black feminism, that black feminists have created and been using for decades to represent our struggle against anti-black misogyny, hence the combination of the black power fist and the symbol for womanhood.

No, it isn’t. It’s the symbol for in your face feminism, including black and Hispanic and lesbian feminism, but not limited to any of them.

so stop tattooing yourself with this symbol and selling overpriced patches and pins on

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