All entries by this author

The revenge

Oct 7th, 2014 10:13 am | By

Laurie Penny says we’re winning. Who? Who’s we? Social Justice Warriors.

She’s been thinking about the reaction – the revenge – from the anti-Social Justice Warriors, and what it means.

The routine, the arguments, have become far too familiar. A woman or a handful of women are selected for destruction; our ‘credibility’ and ‘professionalism’ are attacked in the same breath as we are called ugly, slut-shamed for dismissed either as stupid little girls or bitter old women or, in some cases, both.

The medium is modern, but the logic is Victorian, and make no mistake, the problem is not what we do and say and build and create.

The problem is that women are doing it. That’s why the

Read the rest

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



Is that a tweet in your pocket?

Oct 6th, 2014 4:32 pm | By

David Futrelle reports another instance of Janet Bloomfield telling lies about a feminist to whip up Twitter hatred against her.

Janet Bloomfield – A Voice for Men’s compulsively lying “social media director” – is at it again.

A couple of months back, Bloomfield – who goes by JudgyBitch1 on Twitter – decided for some reason that she could best serve AVFM’s social media directing needs by straight-up libeling feminist writer Jessica Valenti – by making up inflammatory quotes and attributing them to Valenti in a series of Tweets. She later boasted in on her blog that the quotes – which she admitted she’d conjured out of thin air – had inflamed hatred of Valenti and caused her to catch

Read the rest

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



A watershed moment

Oct 6th, 2014 4:07 pm | By

The ACLU has a press release on the Supreme Court’s denial of review in marriage equality cases today.

NEW YORK – The Supreme Court of the United States today denied review in all of the marriage equality cases pending before it. As a result of the Court’s action, same-sex couples in Virginia, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oklahoma and Utah will now be able to marry the partners they love. Today’s orders also mean that same-sex marriage will soon become lawful in at least 30 states.

“This is a watershed moment for the entire country. We are one big step closer to the day when all same-sex couples will have the freedom to marry regardless of where they live. The time has come

Read the rest

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



The spiritual battle for the spirit of this nation

Oct 6th, 2014 11:34 am | By

A newly elected state senator in Texas said last week that Christians in the US are treated the way Jews were treated in Nazi Germany.

Charles Perry made the comparison after being sworn in on Tuesday following his victory earlier this month in a special election to replace a retiring state senator, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported.

In his inaugural speech, Perry said a recent trip to a concentration camp in Germany made him draw a comparison between what he believes are efforts by the government to pass laws against religion and the killing of Jews during the Holocaust.

“There were 10,000 people that were paraded into a medical office [at the concentration camp in Germany] under the guise of a

Read the rest

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



The decision to let the appeals court rulings stand

Oct 6th, 2014 11:06 am | By

The Supremes have given us a surprise, in a good way for once.

In a move that may signal the inevitability of a nationwide right to same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court on Monday let stand appeals court rulings allowing such unions in five states.

The development, a major surprise, cleared the way for same-sex marriages in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. Officials in Virginia announced that marriages would start at 1 p.m. on Monday.

The decision to let the appeals court rulings stand, which came without explanation in a series of brief orders, will almost immediately increase the number of states allowing same-sex marriage from 19 to 24, along with the District of Columbia.

They’re doing it this … Read the rest

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



Fantasy views

Oct 5th, 2014 6:00 pm | By

More of that view.

The skyscrapers on the far side of the lake are Bellevue. I’ve never understood why a suburb like Bellevue needs skyscrapers, but there they are, looking silly. The neighborhood these houses are in is called Madrona.

And there again, with the Cascades – and, apparently, a bunch of smog. If the picture had been taken in winter or spring, there would be a lot more snow in those mountains.

And here is the shy local celebrity:

That there is a volcano. Also the tallest mountain in the lower 48.… Read the rest

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



City life

Oct 5th, 2014 5:50 pm | By

This is something I looked at this afternoon.

That’s Lake Washington in the background, and what we call the East Side, which is suburbs like Bellevue and Kirkland and, farther east, Redmond, where Microsoft is. Beyond that are the Cascades.… Read the rest

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



If it is broke

Oct 5th, 2014 5:31 pm | By

Continuing with Reza Aslan is wrong about Islam and this is why

 

  • Malaysia has a dual-system of law which mandates sharia law for Muslims. These allow men to have multiple wives (polygyny) and discriminate against women in inheritance (as mandated by Islamic scripture). It also prohibits wives from disobeying the “lawful orders” of their husbands.
  • Bangladesh, which according to feminist Tahmima Anam made real advancements towards equality in its inception, also “created a barrier to women’s advancement.” This barrier? An article in the otherwise progressive constitution which states that “women shall have equal rights with men in all spheres of the state and of the public life” but in the realm of private affairs (marriage, divorce, inheritance,

Read the rest

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



Being “schooled”

Oct 5th, 2014 12:13 pm | By

A great guest post on Hemant’s blog by Muhammad Syed and Sarah Haider on how and why Reza Aslan is wrong about Islam.

A video clip of Aslan responding to Bill Maher’s comments on Islam went viral last week.

Maher stated (among other things) that “if vast numbers of Muslims across the world believe, and they do, that humans deserve to die for merely holding a different idea or drawing a cartoon or writing a book or eloping with the wrong person, not only does the Muslim world have something in common with ISIS, it has too much in common with ISIS.” Maher implied a connection between FGM and violence against women with the Islamic faith, to which the charming

Read the rest

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



Making a stand

Oct 5th, 2014 11:22 am | By

Sara Khan wants an Islam that is about mercy and compassion rather than an Islam that is about murdering people who have mercy and compassion, such as Alan Henning. Sara is heartbroken about the murder of Alan Henning.

It is well documented that it was the plight of young Syrian children that moved him to take that dangerous journey back to the country. As his family, friends, colleagues and local community testify, he was a man of integrity and of humanity and yet, tragically, it was these virtues that led to his death. I cannot find the will or the heart to take part in Eid festivities as I know those same friends, and indeed the nation, will be mourning

Read the rest

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



Our beliefs shift slightly from moment to moment

Oct 5th, 2014 9:12 am | By

Dan Linford started a Facebook discussion with this reminder, which he gave me permission to quote:

Here is your daily reminder that the following two statements are not consistent with each other and that I can imagine no reason for holding both to be true other than prejudice:

1. Religions are more about their official doctrines or statements in their holy books than what the adherents actually believe;

2. The reason religion is worth criticizing is the danger posed by its adherents in virtue of their belief in holy books.

The first statement is not just inconsistent with the second, it also doesn’t make much sense on its own. Religions are about both – official doctrines and what adherents believe … Read the rest

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



They address each other as Haval

Oct 4th, 2014 6:01 pm | By

Houzan Mahmoud linked to an article about the 7,500 Kurdish women who fight ISIS in Syria.

“We have to be free from the Syrian government,” says YPJ member, Evin Ahmed, 26, (pictured above). She continues, “We need to control the area ourselves without depending on them. They can’t protect us from [ISIS], we have to protect us [and] we defend everyone…no matter what race or religion they are.”

Ahmed, like many of the YPJ, is fiercely loyal to her fellow-soldiers. She insists, “I love being a YPJ soldier, I love the other soldiers, we are closer than sisters. This is the only life for me. I can’t imagine living any other way.”

This sentiment, says Trieb, is echoed by all

Read the rest

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



So deeply ingrained that you hardly notice it is there at all

Oct 4th, 2014 5:00 pm | By

Terry Pratchett gave a talk in 1985 titled Why Gandalf Never Married.

(Well first of all because Tolkienland is almost entirely male. Tolkien clearly didn’t want no stinkin’ women cluttering up his myth. Women are downers; everybody hates them.)

While I was plundering the fantasy world for the next cliche to pull a few laughs from, I found one which was so deeply ingrained that you hardly notice it is there at all. In fact it struck me so vividly that I actually began to look at it seriously.

That’s the generally very clear division between magic done by women and magic done by men.

*waves from the back row*

I notice it. I notice things like that. Feminists … Read the rest

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



Terrible social energies

Oct 4th, 2014 12:11 pm | By

Another uh oh atheism has a dudebro problem article, this time from Amanda Marcotte.

She points out that you would think atheism would be a natural for women, given the way religions view women. (Spoiler: as inferior, and not fully human.) She points out that feminism has had a long tradition of outspoken atheists and religious skeptics.

Suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton preferred “rational ideas based on scientific facts” to “religious superstition.”  Major feminist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir argued that belief in God exists in part to “repress any impulse toward revolt in the downtrodden female.” Modern feminist writer Katha Pollitt received the “Emperor Has No Clothes” award from the Freedom From Religion Foundation in 2001, where she said that

Read the rest

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



The plot twist

Oct 4th, 2014 10:32 am | By

There’s a compilation of scathing reviews of the new “Left Behind” [shudder] movie.

There’s one funny line.

“The running time is spent avoiding religion to such a loony extent that no one explains that this mass vanishing is God’s work until the film is nearly over. It’s almost as though screenwriters Paul Lalonde and John Patus believe people might buy a ticket to Left Behind and not know the twist, like someone sitting down to watch Godzilla and being shocked by the entrance of a giant lizard.” —The Village Voice

That’s one movie I will not be seeing, not nohow.… Read the rest

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



Sexism as counter-culture

Oct 4th, 2014 10:22 am | By

Robyn Pennacchia takes a look at sexism in gaming & atheism & similar as a matter of people in counter-cultural “communities” thinking they get a pass on little foibles like sexism precisely because they are counter-cultural. That’s a very important point that should get more attention and emphasis.

She found it in political activism when she was just a sprout. She got frustrated and pissed off and ended up leaving activism because of it. Then there was the “lit scene.”

There’s been a lot of attention, recently, paid towards sexism, sexual assault, harassment and misogyny in certain counter-cultural or non-mainstream groups. Specifically, the gaming community, the atheist community and, now, the alt-lit community.

One thing all of these

Read the rest

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



Where women and girls are tagged with a price

Oct 3rd, 2014 5:57 pm | By

Via Ghaffar Husain of Quilliam: The Islamic State puts price tags on women, literally, and sells them.

By the end of August, the Islamic State had abducted up to 2,500 Iraqi civilians, most of them women and children, according to a new United Nations report based on more than 450 interviews with witnesses.

Some have been awarded to fighters, others sold as slaves in markets in Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria.

There were several reports of an office in Mosul where women and girls are tagged with a price and offered for sale to buyers.

That’s done with Allah’s blessing, is it? That’s the kind of submission Allah has in mind?

One Yazidi girl told the U.N. she was

Read the rest

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



Making a stand

Oct 3rd, 2014 5:26 pm | By

Sarah Khan, director of Inspire, has a short outraged public post on Facebook.

I’m ‪#‎makingastand‬. I will not be celebrating Eid in remembrance of Alan Henning. There is nothing to celebrate. My faith has been hijacked by extremists. Wake up Muslims. Before more innocent people are murdered in the “name of our religion.” Reclaim our faith back from these monsters.

Sad, and right, and inspiring.… Read the rest

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



Sure, and North Korea’s the best at ending famine

Oct 3rd, 2014 5:08 pm | By

At Patheos – on the Catholic Channel – there’s a blog called Headlines from the Catholic World. On that blog there’s a post with the teasing title “Catholic Church the only body ‘effectively acting to eradicate pedophilia’.” There really is; I’m not making it up.

A former Vatican spokesman has written, against the backdrop of the house arrest of a former nuncio being investigated for abuse of minors, that the Church is the only international body acting effectively against pedophilia.

In an op-ed published in the Italian daily “La Repubblica” Sept. 25, Joaquin Navarro-Valls commented on the house arrest in Vatican City of Jozef Wesolowski, the former apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic who was laicized earlier this year. He

Read the rest

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



Taking medical supplies to a hospital in northwest Syria

Oct 3rd, 2014 4:08 pm | By

The bastards have killed Alan Henning.

Henning, a 47-year-old taxi driver from Salford in northern England, was part of an aid convoy taking medical supplies to a hospital in northwest Syria in December last year when it was stopped by gunmen and he was abducted.

Muslim groups across Britain, including some organizations that are highly critical of British foreign policy and blame Western interference for fanning the recent crisis in Iraq and Syria, had called in vain for his release.

His wife Barbara had called him a “a peaceful, selfless man” and appealed to Islamic State to release him.

But the murderers of Islamic State don’t release people, they butcher them.

Shuja Shafi, secretary general of the Muslim Council

Read the rest

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