All entries by this author


Jun 7th, 2016 4:52 pm | By

There’s a new way of being shitty: the [[[echoes]]] symbol.

Updating to say: those brackets should all be parentheses, as should all the brackets below, including in the quoted passages. Pretend you see three curved vertical lines facing right plus three curved vertical lines facing left.

In the early days of the social web, putting someone’s name in multiple parentheses was meant to give that person a cute virtual hug. Today, it’s something far more sinister.

Neo-Nazis, anti-Semites and white nationalists have begun using three sets of parentheses encasing a Jewish surname — for instance, [[[Fleishman]]] — to identify and target Jews for harassment on blogs and major social media sites like Twitter. As one white supremacist tweeted,

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If your son were unconscious behind a dumpster

Jun 7th, 2016 11:57 am | By

Jen Gunter asks a very pertinent question about Brock Turner’s father that I wish I’d thought to ask myself.

And as for Brock Turner’s father who feels that his son doesn’t deserve jail for one 20 minute period of bad behavior (or an “action” as he called it) in a life of otherwise “good,” I guess I’d say if your son were unconscious behind a dumpster and an otherwise “good man” were caught raping your son would you think the injuries not serious and what punishment do you think that man would deserve?

And how deeply would you mourn for that man’s lost ability to enjoy a good ribeye steak?… Read the rest

Tortured to death for saying no

Jun 7th, 2016 11:36 am | By

Oh fuck.

ISIS on Thursday executed 19 Yezidi girls by burning them to death, activists and eyewitnesses reported.

The victims, who had been taken by ISIS terrorists as sex slaves, were placed in iron cages in central Mosul and burned to death in front of hundreds of people.

“They were punished for refusing to have sex with ISIS militants,” local media activist Abdullah al-Malla said.

“The 19 girls were burned to death, while hundreds of people were watching. Nobody could do anything to save them from the brutal punishment,” an eyewitness said in Mosul.

We’re a mistake. Human beings are a mistake. We must be, or we wouldn’t be capable of that kind of thing. All that brain power, … Read the rest

Where is the Milton of ableism?

Jun 7th, 2016 9:48 am | By

From the “this must be parody” file, Yale students launch a petition telling the English department to stop requiring English majors to read Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton.

The prestigious Connecticut university requires its English majors to spend two semesters studying a selection of authors it labels the “major English poets”: “Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, and John Donne in the fall; John Milton, Alexander Pope, William Wordsworth, and TS Eliot or another modern poet in the spring”.

Now, if I were in charge of that course I might swap Spenser for someone else – like, maybe push Milton back into the first semester and add Keats to the second. I can see quibbling over which “canonical” poets … Read the rest

The defendant is youthful

Jun 6th, 2016 5:19 pm | By

The judge who had so much sympathy for Brock Turner is facing a recall campaign.

The light sentencing, along with comments from Turner’s father, who said his son is paying a “steep price” for “20 minutes of action”, have sparked global consternation.

In a brief phone interview with the Guardian on Monday, the victim, whose emotional testimony has since gone viral, said the positive responses to her statement have been moving. “I’m worried that my heart is going to grow too big for my chest,” she said. “I’ve just been overwhelmed and speechless.”

The Guardian can also reveal that the judge who gave the former Stanford athlete the light sentence will now face a recall campaign led

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Beheading a Woman for Prophet Muhammad in Northern Nigeria

Jun 6th, 2016 | By Leo Igwe

Some bloodthirsty Muslim fanatics, who wanted to please Allah by all means and get into the good books of Prophet Muhammad, have been on a rampage in Northern Nigeria. The savage quest by those who are drunk with ‘Allah delusion’ and who are desperate to inherit the phantom paradise that was promised to the Ummah in the afterlife has been on obvious display in the past weeks. The Mujaheddin of northern Nigeria have been on the loose and the horrific consequences of their actions are graphic and glaring.

The criminal silence of the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, the Kano state Governor, Umar Ganduje, and the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi 11, is deafening and sends worrisome signals about the threat … Read the rest

Guest post: Blaming the woman already has the structure in place

Jun 6th, 2016 10:48 am | By

Originally a comment by iknklast on Not blaming her directly.

Another thing about the DUI – it is very possible, and in fact happens every day all over the driving world, that people who drive drunk may get safely home without hurting anyone (this doesn’t make it OK, mind you). A person who rapes drunk cannot, by definition, get safely home without hurting someone, because in rape there is always another person involved. Yet society is harder on someone who is driving drunk who has not hit a tree, a car, or a person, but who has just weaved in and out and can’t walk a straight line, than on a young man who uses his drunkenness as an … Read the rest

Promising young athletes

Jun 6th, 2016 10:01 am | By

Clementine Ford has some thoughts on Brock Turner.

Turner did not present to the world as the archetypal monster dwelling in shadowed alleyways. He was attending Stanford on a sports scholarship as an accomplished swimmer with aspirations to one day compete at the Olympics. He is from a privileged white background, with enough family money and support to hire the kind of expensive lawyers who usually appear on behalf of the of well taken care of privileged white sons defending themselves against rape charges. It has been suspiciously difficult to track down the police mugshot taken after his arrest; instead, media reports throughout the trial have been littered with smiling photographs of what is no doubt an attempt to

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Not blaming her directly

Jun 6th, 2016 9:10 am | By

More from the Brock Turner file. Via Stanford law professor Michele Dauber, who attended the trial, on Twitter:

A reference letter to the judge.

I don’t think it’s fair to base the fate of the next 10+ years of his life on the decision of a girl who doesn’t remember anything but the amount she drank to press charges against him. I am not blaming her directly for this, because that isn’t right. But where do we draw the line and stop worrying about being politically correct every second of the day and see that rape on

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Not even a little unique

Jun 6th, 2016 8:09 am | By

An incident:

In the interest of privacy, this person chooses to remain anonymous. Please keep it that way. But feel free to share the hell out of this.

“Today, I talked back to a catcaller. I do this often, and when I say I’m putting myself in physical danger when I do this, I’m laughed at. I’m told to stop overreacting. I’m called overdramatic.

Today, I talked back to a man who touched me in the street without my permission. It doesn’t matter what I said. What matters is that he grabbed me by the back of the head, called me a whore, and threw me into a wall. Because I stood up for myself after he put

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A steep price to pay

Jun 5th, 2016 5:56 pm | By

Oh, this is disgusting. I know, I blog about so many disgusting items, but the moral squalor on display here…

The father of Brock Turner, the convicted Stanford rapist, wrote a letter to the judge about his sentence.

Dan A. Turner, Brock Turner’s dad, wrote a letter to Judge Aaron Persky before his son’s sentencing Thursday. He said that since his son was found guilty of sexual assault, he isn’t eating much and is full of worry and anxiety. It’s “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life,” he argued.

Well that could explain a lot. If Brock Turner’s father thinks fucking an unconscious woman is “action” then that … Read the rest

Meeting Orwell in the break room

Jun 5th, 2016 12:16 pm | By

Another one who claims to be both femme and afab but also non-binary – or did claim, since this is from 2014, and with any luck there has been some maturing since.

So, what with being called out for being fake and a pretender by both myself and others, I sometimes get the desire to prove myself as non-binary. Especially since I am someone who was both assigned female and birth, and presents as largely female.

I did go through a phase where I tried to present as androgynous. I failed hopelessly at it. Why? Two reasons.

1. I’m a 34DD. Let that sink in. Try to hide that under a binder. It doesn’t work. A sports bra flattens them

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Their family duty

Jun 5th, 2016 11:24 am | By

A school in India for girls who have escaped sex slavery.

More children are sold into prostitution in India than in any other country. In villages such as Simraha, it is not uncommon for girls as young as 12 or 13 to be sold.

At this school, many of the children playing games, doing homework, helping with dinner and making crafts are the daughters of prostitutes. They are members of a marginalized caste known as the Nat community, which is trapped in a system of hereditary prostitution.

Their school, not far from the border with Nepal in the Indian state of Bihar, is part of a national program of girls’ boarding schools called Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, intended specifically

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All the arts and wiles of our sex

Jun 5th, 2016 9:58 am | By

I’ve been thinking about this word “femme” – which, it seems to me, an awful lot of straight people have “appropriated” from lesbians, but that’s a slightly separate issue. What I’ve been thinking about is the fact that it’s a substitute for the word “feminine” but sounds hip and knowing, while “feminine” just sounds dopey and last century. Maybe the appropriation isn’t a separate issue after all then, since people tend to appropriate words and gestures and the like for increased hippitude.

Anyway, “femme” is a cooler way of saying “feminine,” but the trouble with that is that erases the political aspects of the word “feminine”…and that’s not a good idea.

What do you think of when you hear or … Read the rest

If a girl falls down help her up

Jun 4th, 2016 12:13 pm | By

Part 2 of reading the victim’s statement:

When I was told to be prepared in case we didn’t win, I said, I can’t prepare for that. He was guilty the minute I woke up. No one can talk me out of the hurt he caused me. Worst of all, I was warned, because he now knows you don’t remember, he is going to get to write the script. He can say whatever he wants and no one can contest it. I had no power, I had no voice, I was defenseless. My memory loss would be used against me. My testimony was weak, was incomplete, and I was made to believe that perhaps, I am not enough to win

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Male instructors saw women as a “sexual challenge”

Jun 4th, 2016 10:55 am | By

And here’s another one

Young soldiers training at Deepcut Army barracks lived in a “highly sexualised” environment where senior staff preyed on recruits in an “abuse and misuse” of power, the British Army’s director of personal [CORR] services has admitted at the inquest into the death of Private Cheryl James.

A lack of supervision and welfare helped create such an environment at the barracks in Camberley, Surrey, Brigadier Donnelly said .

Pte James, 18, was found dead with a gunshot wound to her head in November 1995.

They did a new inquest because the one at the time may have missed some witnesses and some evidence.

There was a room for fucking set aside at the barracks.

Alison Foster

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Blasphemy and Killing in the Name of Islam

Jun 4th, 2016 | By Leo Igwe

The recent murder of a Christian trader in Northern Nigeria who was accused of blasphemy underscores the threat of Islamic extremism and the fact that Muslims with a Boko Haram mindset are not only in Sambisa forest. The mob reaction that led to the burning of churches and looting of shops shows that this murderous act enjoyed a wider support amongst the local Muslim population. This is unfortunate.

People may interpret what the Christian trader did in any way they can; there is not justification for this horrific killing and other cases of religious bloodletting in a civilized society. It is difficult to understand why any Muslim could decide to take the life of a fellow human being for making … Read the rest

Off your bike

Jun 4th, 2016 9:57 am | By

What is religion for? To strip away all rights from women and girls, in order to imprison them at home and prevent them from doing anything other than domestic and sexual / reproductive service. At least that’s often how it appears. Now it’s riding bikes, for girls over five. (Yeah, girls of six are such sluts – I notice that every day.)

An ultra-orthodox Jewish leader has reportedly banned girls aged five and older in some areas of Israel from riding bicycles – claiming it is “immodest”.

The rabbi of the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Nahloat distributed the stringent decree to his followers in synagogues across the area.

He had said young girls riding bicycles could “cause serious damage to

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By the way, he’s really good at swimming

Jun 4th, 2016 9:11 am | By

The victim of the Stanford rapist read him a letter describing the “severe impact” the assault had on her at his sentencing. BuzzFeed has that letter. Everyone should read it.

The woman, now 23, told BuzzFeed News she was disappointed with the “gentle” sentence and angry that Turner still denied sexually assaulting her.

“Even if the sentence is light, hopefully this will wake people up,” she said. “I want the judge to know that he ignited a tiny fire. If anything, this is a reason for all of us to speak even louder.”

So spread the word.

She doesn’t bury the lede:

You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today.

You shouldn’t … Read the rest

The clitoris: exclusionary and problematic

Jun 3rd, 2016 5:03 pm | By

Susan Cox at Feminist Current reports an odd exclusion:

Lady*fest, a feminist festival scheduled to take place June 22nd – 25th in Heidelberg, Germany, has declared the clitoris “exclusionary.”

The festival, which features workshops, lectures, and art, had initially planned to include topics like, “clitoris/glitzoris” and “masturbation” as part of their art exhibition, but protocol documents from the last planning meeting now explain that the clitoris is “problematic,” because it refers to female anatomy.

Well excuuuuuuuse the fuck out of me – should we all get them chopped off then? Does that idea sound vaguely familiar?

I can’t wait for our trans racial allies to start saying black skin is “problematic” because it refers to something about black … Read the rest