Notes and Comment Blog

Our short and pithy observations on the passing scene as it relates to the mission of Butterflies and Wheels. Woolly-headed or razor-sharp comments in the media, anti-rationalist rhetoric in books or magazines or overheard on the bus, it’s all grist to our mill. And sometimes we will hold forth on the basis of no inspiration at all beyond what happens to occur to us.


Squeeeeeeeee!

May 21st, 2012 4:58 pm | By

I’ve just learned that Leo Igwe is going to be at TAM this year.

Well so am I. I get to meet Leo!!

I’m jealous of myself right now.

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



The day after

May 21st, 2012 11:46 am | By

Paul Fidalgo reports on the conference for The Morning Heresy. (He’s another one of those people – like Rebecca – who are just consistently very funny. He did a tweet that cracked me up – approximately: “I could do a ‘this is what an atheist looks like’ ad but no one would be surprised.”)

Now that was a conference!

This was no egg-headed snoozer, this was no reiteration of why we like Darwin so much (not that there’s anything wrong with those). The Women in Secularism conference was as fantastic, fulfilling, and enlightening an event as we could ever have hoped.

I think that too. Also.

Susan Jacoby did the first talk. I didn’t liveblog that one because the panel I was on was next and I didn’t want to cross wires, if you see what I mean. I’m not good at multitasking. (Neither is anyone else. People think they are, but they’re wrong. Studies show this. People are confused because they can physically multitask, but they do the tasks badly. The fact that it’s physically possible to hold a book in front of your eyes while talking on the phone doesn’t mean you can read a book and talk on the phone at the same time. But that’s by the way.) I’m a plodder. I need to concentrate. I could listen to Jacoby’s talk without crossing wires, but liveblogging it too seemed a wire too many. Or maybe I was just being lazy.

Anyway: she said among other things that it has happened that when someone asks “why no women in atheism?” some men will cheerfully reply that it’s because women are too stupid.

Well, you know, that is what it is at bottom: that people think that. Too stupid and too Nice, which is perhaps the product of being too stupid.

That’s what I talked about for my opening remarks for the panel. The perception of women, and the fact that in some ways a certain kind of feminism – difference feminism – has enforced it rather than undermining it. We are seen as too stupid and too Nice (or, in an exciting twist, too bitchy) for pretty much everything. We must be, or we wouldn’t be so conspicuously missing from popular culture, and we wouldn’t be so staggeringly vapid when not missing.

This is not something it’s easy to change. I know this, because I know feminists have been trying to change it since at least 1970, and in some ways it’s worse than it was then.

Younger generation – your task is plain. Get to it. Thank you.

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



How to go a-flying

May 21st, 2012 10:18 am | By

Ways to be not a good polite considerate air traveler.

Take advantage of your aisle seat to extend your leg all the way out into the aisle and then wave your enormous dirty bare foot with its smashed toenails up and down up and down up and down.

Take advantage of your aisle seat to cross your right leg over your left knee so that your enormous dirty bare foot with its smashed toenails is almost in the lap of the politely restrained atheist woman in the other aisle seat, and then keep inching it closer and closer.

Put your enormous dirty bare foot with its smashed toenails on your knee and clean it out between the toes, carefully dropping whatever you find onto the aisle floor.

Put your enormous dirty bare foot with its smashed toenails back into its sandal for awhile and stick it out into the aisle in order to stamp it heavily at irregular intervals.

Seize your enormous dirty bare foot with its smashed toenails and weave your fingers into the toes as if you were holding hands with your own foot.

Do all these things without ceasing for 5 hours on a completely full flight.

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



“Take the Flour Back” has started the vandalism, intends more

May 21st, 2012 7:29 am | By

I am in receipt of a message from the researchers at Rothamstead via Sile Lane (Sense About Science). It’s urgent and it matters so I’ll just post the whole thing.

Dear Petition Signatory

A forwarded note from the GM wheat research team at Rothamsted:

Dear Signatory

Thank you very much indeed for all your support on this petition and kind emails since our appeal.

We have the bad news that yesterday an individual broke into the experimental site and caused substantial damage. However, the overall integrity of the experiment has not yet been compromised. This is even more reason why we are extremely worried that the Take the Flour Back group is continuing with plans for direct action to destroy our GM wheat experiment entirely next Sunday. It has now issued logistical instructions for doing this and a ‘legal briefing’ for activists.

The group says it wants to destroy the crop because of a ‘contamination’ risk through cross-pollination with other wheat in fields a long way away. Their reason for pulling it up on 27 May was that “wheat is wind-pollinated” and that this was the last weekend before pollination is likely to occur. They did not seem to realise when they booked this date that wheat is in fact self-pollinating, and that therefore almost no pollen leaves the plant, let alone the field. We have informed them of this misunderstanding, but to no avail. They have also refused our offer to debate the issues in public in front of an audience, saying they do not have the “capacity” to field a speaker.

In the thousands of signatories on the petition against destroying our research, there are many diverse voices, including farmers, environmentalists, people local to Rothamsted, researchers in other fields, writers, musicians and all walks of life. We know many of you want to do something to help, and may feel angry and powerless about this latest vandalism. However, in discussions with the authorities, we cannot have our supporters counter-protesting on the day as it would provoke the kind of conflict that we have been trying to avoid. The only way forward is through communication and verbal engagement.

Take the Flour Back don’t need to hear angry invective, but as a last ditch attempt at getting them to call off their action, we think they should understand why so many people oppose destroying the research. The only way we know of reaching them is at info@taketheflourback.org. Although they may not reply, they will be taking note of the strong support that we have received.

Best regards

Toby Bruce (Scientist specialising in plant-insect interactions, Team Leader)

Gia Aradottir (Insect Biology, Postdoc )

Huw Jones (Wheat Transformation, Coinvestigator)

Lesley Smart (Field Entomology)

Janet Martin (Field Entomology)

Johnathan Napier (Plant Science, Coinvestigator)

John Pickett (Chemical Ecology, Principal Investigator)

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



Here it comes

May 21st, 2012 7:24 am | By

The pushback has started. Well you knew it would.

Catherine Dunphy has an article on the Women in Secularism conference at RDF – an original, not a link. There are sneery how dare you comments from some usual suspects (like Geoffrey Falk, for instance, who has been shouting at me for years for glaring faults like having no tits). It’s all so reflexive, you know? “How dare you say there’s sexism in the atheist movement, you shrill strident hysterical ugly bitch with no tits?!!”

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



Siiiiiiiiiiiigh

May 20th, 2012 2:51 pm | By

Oh fuck. Plane broken, of course. Delay of hour and fifteen minutes. I’ll get in WAY LATE at night.

No, now it’s an hour and a half.

Blargh.

I shouldn’t be posting this. It’s a tweet at most. Very self-indulgent.

But blargh.

Update. Well that was a quick reversal of fortune. They changed their minds and decided to give us a different plane, instead, at a different gate, so suddenly instead of being in a smelly faux-leather chair surrounded by smelly people with a view of smelly people (no offense – we’re all smelly) I’m in one of those airport rocking chairs (what a great idea!) facing a huge bank of windows with a view of the office towers of Charlotte and planes taking off, and people sparse and at a much pleasanter distance. Gosh.

Who knew Charlotte had office towers? To be perfectly honest I don’t even know where Charlotte is, despite having spent some time in NC a mere couple of decades ago. It’s…middleish, I think. It’s fer sher not in the mountains (which are beautiful, by the way), nor is it on the coast…so that leaves middleish.

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



Second airport of the day

May 20th, 2012 2:41 pm | By

Charlotte airport. Yes right, flying due south is just the way to get from DC to Seattle – sigh.

I’m processing it all. It was terrific fun.

Rebecca’s great. Don’t let anybody tell you different. She’s funny as hell – that’s not a big surprise, but it’s not something she can do only when facing a webcam or at a podium or on Twitter…wait…that’s too many only ins…Ok it’s something she can do in all the places.

Jamila’s like that too.

Lauren Becker is a genius at keeping things on time without being even a little bit obnoxious. Melody thought of the whole thing. Ron, as he said, approved it.

Boarding. Ah me. Six hours of fun.

Catch you tomorrow.

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



Final talk – Margaret Downey

May 20th, 2012 8:20 am | By

Margaret Downey makes the undeniable (surely!) point that holidays are fun, and secularists should take over the work of Doing Fun Holidays.

Let’s celebrate with a Tree of Knowledge.

Even Tom Flynn says that’s a good plan!

Hang books on the tree. Celebrate knowledge, and reading, and free speech.

Chester County: the human tree of knowledge.

Too often the non-theist community disappears in winter. If we don’t show up, it looks as if we’re not welcome.

Visit www.secularseasons.org. “It’s up to us to make sure that secular celebrations are meaningful and honest.”

Children from a non-theist home are faced with a lot of peer pressure.

www.secular-celebrations.com

This is a helpful thing for ex-clergy.

Margaret calls Linda LaScola up to join her on the stage so that she can answer questions later.

“Many public officials simply do not comprehend what ‘secular’ means.” They think non-denominational is secular, so “holy matrimony” and “in the eyes of god” are ok for civil marriage. Wrong!

Reba Boyd Wooden takes the stage. Secular Celebrants at www.secularhumanism.org

“Or the bride has to promise to obey. I think I did this 50 years ago, but I didn’t mean it when I said it.”

Indiana is well represented here. Reba at the mic right now, Jen in the audience a couple of rows in front of me.

Fox News in Indiana have been very good to CFI Indiana – very fair. Huh. Whaddya know.

Writers for secular ceremonies: Ingersoll, Keats, George Eliot, Thoreau. (Jennifer Michael Hecht name-checked Keats in her poetry reading last night. High five!)

“Our legacy is our afterlife.”

Question: does the trend for same sex marriage help or hinder the movement for secular celebration? Margaret and Reba: it helps!

Linda LaScola on what clergy are like. The one thing the ones she knows have in common: wherever they started out, they all end up as liberal.

Celebrating non-superstition. Friday the 13th. The Museum of Superstition. Great because the press love it. Next bash: September 13, 2013, in Pennsylvania. Mark your calendars.

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



Making connections

May 20th, 2012 8:12 am | By

Yesssssssss.

After I talked to Wafa last night at dinner I had an urgent need to talk to Liz Cornwell about connecting Wafa with the RDF so that Wafa will no longer need to broadcast her Arabic-language tv show via a Christian station. I just – in the last few seconds of the break – found Liz, and she’s already on it. Yesssssssss!

Wafa needs to be in the secularist movement; the secularist movement needs Wafa on board.

Welcome aboard, Wafa!

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



Sunday morning liveblogging

May 20th, 2012 6:11 am | By

It’s 9:03. People are milling. I can’t mill because I’m tapping on Simon’s laptop.

Last night at dinner I sat between Wafa and Annie Laurie. Jen, Ingrid, Greta, Simon, and Melody finished the circle. Good company.

Wafa asked me about penalties for being atheist, legal and social. (She says she always asks about that; she’s gathering the big picture.) I was able to point out Jessica at the next table and say what her penalties had been.

I also got a chance to talk to Jessica for a few minutes. She’s looking forward to the post-high school phase of her life.

Jennifer Michael Hecht is introducing the panel. The panel is Jen, Greta, Jamila, and Debbie.

Jen points out that Secular Students are growing hugely while Cru (as secular students call Campus Crusade for Christ) is going in the opposite direction…and they have WAY more money. Go us!

Greta says if the LGBT movement had had the internet in 1969 – wo.

When the internet blows up, it’s different. Hmmm. When the internet blows up about sexism, at least people think sexism is bad. Hmmm. I’m not sure about that.

(What do you think, Linda? I think the internet is [at least also] enabling sexist discourse, and fanning enthusiasm for it and a “community” of it the way it is for, say, atheists and secularists.)

Jamila: “Frankly, I’m a loudmouth and I like words.”

The future should be informed by the past.

“You don’t want to use birth control? Well be Quiverfull and get a show on the Discovery channel.”

Debbie: “So we weren’t really serious about that two minute thing, right?” [laughter]

The movement is broadening as the people involved become more varied. “As the scope broadens we’ll see more people involved.”

Jennifer says her next question is about coalitions. Is it a good idea for us to make coalitions with more liberal kinds of religion? Jen says it’s fine to work with religious groups but we don’t want to do “interfaith” because faith is not a good thing. Yeah.  

Jamila’s little boy is upstairs at the daycare. At his school 13% of the kids are at grade level in science. She’s willing to show up at his school. She might not wear her “show me on the doll where Jesus touched you” T shirt. But there are going to be times when the price is too high. There are going to be times when if you can’t sign the statement of faith you can’t participate. “You can’t come in unless you’re willing to cover. Your name is ‘Bey,’ what’s the problem?”

Debbie: we realize sometimes that there are groups who don’t want us there, because we’re atheists. Some feminist groups are full of woo, so that’s another kind of coalition-building – atheist feminists working with feminist groups and bringing along some skepticism. Ohhh yes.

Debbie: “the problem comes when people assume they know what everybody wants.” Everybody wants to hold hands; nuh uh. Everybody wants to talk about science all day; nuh uh.”

Jamila is invited to a secular inquiry parents group. “Wow, a parents’ group; I have a child; that’s really convenient.” And then – “Nobody starts a sentence with, ‘My child is an indigo child.’”

“This is why I’m so big about ‘be who you are, wear a button.’” We need to do more family stuff and bring kids so they get good memories and they will grow up in the movement.

Greta: “When it’s hard to come out, the people who come out are people who don’t care that much what people think of them.” That’s going to change. Now the movement is growing we’re going to get more people who are social, and do care what people think of them.”

Simon’s battery is about to die. I can’t spot him in the room. Will fall silent in a minute.

Or maybe 19 minutes, which might get me through.

Debbie: was there a world before YouTube? We all need more history. Yes we would benefit; no that’s not why people come to meetings.

Jamila: “We need to let people know there were always people who doubted.”

“I wish we did more reading as a society, especially since I’m a journalist. But then I’m a journalist on the radio…”

Greta: a focus on history shouldn’t mean getting stuck doing things the way they’ve always been done.

Jamila answers audience question: “As a journalist who covers women’s health issues, I’m a little pessimistic.” A journalistic shout-out. “Women don’t do op-eds.” There’s a thing called the Op-ed Project; google it and act accordingly.

 

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



Wafa Sultan

May 19th, 2012 1:57 pm | By

She faced restraint which stifled her life and virtually imprisoned her.

“My unfit mind devised a plan.”

She bribed an untrustworthy male acquaintance to be her children’s guardian, because she was not fit to be their guardian – being a woman.

“Liberty like mine was scarcely even imaginable.”

“Little by little, guilt and freedom inspired me to fight back….I began to fight for those I left behind…The road I have taken is dangerous…Even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t be able to peel off my skin.”

“I am here to unmask the true face of Islam…The abuse of women in Islam is legal…Can you imagine my frustration when people who have never lived under Islam deny the truth?”

Her own niece was forced to marry her cousin when she was 11, and he was over 40. This was allowed because the prophet married Aisha when she was 6.

Ok going to lose it now.

She’s choking.

This is hard. Deep breath.

Her niece kept begging her father to let her leave. He always said it was shame; he would talk to him.

At the age of 28 she killed herself by setting herself on fire.

The whole room lost it. Quietly.

Now it’s her patient.

Pregnant. Frantic. Husband dead 2 years. Husband’s brother having sex with her in exchange for money to feed her children. Returned after an abortion looking ill – she almost died – she had the op with no anaesthetic. Why? She didn’t have the money.

She used to cry all the time. Now she is free – but she still cries for all the Muslim women.

Not an eye in the house was dry.

“I was born in hell, I moved to paradise. Most Americans take it for granted, they don’t know how lucky they are.”

“Just walking to Starbucks by myself in the morning without being called a whore.”

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



Bernice Sandler

May 19th, 2012 1:00 pm | By

The chilly climate.

Women get interrupted a lot more than women men. Men get substantive, useful interruption; women get subject-changing interruption. This is true of all outsiders.

Women get much less eye contact.

Men get asked idea questions, women get fact questions.

Men get praised for being smart; women get praised for working hard.

Women don’t talk as much at meetings.

Surprise! – this woman has something interesting to say.

Pay attention when women are talking. Often what you see when a woman is talking is people looking around, finding a kleenex…

[I'm liveblogging! I'm totes paying attention, and Melody asked me to (and I'm happy to). I'm listening. I'm looking down most of the time because I'm typing.]

The rules of interruption:

The more powerful person gets to interrupt.

Men use the Voice of Authority. Women talk more softly and often in a higher register, and they apologize.

But hey – there’s research that shows talking softly encourages others to speak. Here’s the deal: everybody needs to be able to do both.

Informal rules. You learn them by talking to people. Relevant to going to lunch.

Men determine the subject of conversation. Women don’t.

We all do these things. Sandler once found herself looking at a watch repeatedly during a meeting – and suddenly noticed she was looking only while a woman was talking, never while a man was.

Women are treated in these ways because they are devalued.

A lot of us have trouble being direct.

[Battery at 38%]

Adapted biblical passage for the end.

[Battery at 44%]

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



Afternoon panel

May 19th, 2012 11:15 am | By

Susan Jacoby has introduced the panel – Why Women Need Freedom From Religion.  From Jacoby’s left on the stage: Wafa Sultan, Greta Christina, Annie Laurie Gaylor, Elisabeth Cornwell.

Annie Laurie wrote a book on the subject; probably the book on the subject.

Liz asks: what does religion offer that makes it worthwhile for women and other religion-oppressed groups to belong?

Once we know that, we can make it possible for people not to need religion.

If we re-frame the question we can get somewhere.

Greta says religion is women’s work; it’s part of the performance of being a woman.

Lots of us like being gender outlaws. Show of hands? Show of hands. Not every woman can be a gender outlaw.

Wafa Sultan got some fame as the first woman to tell a Muslim man to be quiet on tv. “I didn’t tell him to be quiet. I told him to shut up.”

“The more religious people are, the less creative they can be.”

Greta notes that being many kinds of outlaw is difficult.

Liz: “the secular movement cannot replace family.” The costs are extraordinarily high for women.

Annie Laurie: “Maybe we’re giving the church too much credit. Churches often get the credit, and taxpayers get the bill.”

Sultan points out that Hamas won that election because it had such good social programs – funded by the Saudis. (Not Iran?)

Greta suggests that if religion benefits from an unequal society, gee maybe let’s create a more equal society. [applause line]

Wafa Sultan tells us about a friend of hers who is a psychologist, and is veiled from head to toe. She considers herself a whore. Why? Because she was forced to marry a man not of her choice. She’s been married to him three years and not had a child; she hopes that will be his reason to divorce her.

We need to inspire young people, Jacoby says. Support the Secular Student Alliance, Greta says. Liz says there’s nothing like the religious right to get people passionate. “We have to ignite this passion in young people, and remind them what is at risk.”

“How fragile these gains are.”

“It’s a long game,” Greta says.

Audience question: what do you say to people who say concern about women’s rights in distant countries is “cultural imperialism”?

Someone in the audience two people away from me – “That’s bullshit – nobody says that.”

Greta: “Tell that to the girl who’s had her clitoris cut off, tell it to the girls who’s had acid thrown in her face – and then, fuck you.”

 

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



At the Women in Secularism Conference

May 19th, 2012 8:34 am | By

Get me I’m live blogging!

Edwina Rogers just did a quick talk about what the Secular Coalition does and is going to do. She had to dash off to get a train, so no discussion.

Now it’s Annie Laurie Gaylor. She is – as she said – bragging about FFRF’s latest win: a Colorado judge said yes an official state day of prayer is Not Ok.

[Interjection: naturally: by the time I got to the coffee urns during the break, all the regular coffee ones were empty. Only decaf. Yeah thanks but I want the caffeine.]

Women have been left out of the history of freethought.

The women’s movement was founded by the women freethinkers. Religions opposed every reform suggested.

Ernestine Rose: “I asked God if it was a sin and he didn’t say a word.” Big laugh line.

“Any family that has such a book [the bible] should be ostracized by all respectable families” – Annie Laurie quoting another firebrand from the 19th century.

“Give me truth: cheat me by no illusion.” Margaret Fuller.

“She warned about the Christian who preys.”

“I cannot understand why they have not rebelled.”

“We have heard enough about a paradise behind the moon.”

Vashti Cromwell of McCollum of McCollum v Board of Education.

“Denied the luminescence of her mind.”

Katha Pollitt – yessssss!

Taslima – our fellow FTB blogger.

“Denied the luminescence of her mind.”

Wendy Kaminer, Ann Druyan, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Julia Sweeney…Jessica Ahlquist.

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



Flurry 2

May 19th, 2012 5:02 am | By

Reception last night. I met all these people – Brian Engler, Whose name I’ve been seeing/hearing forever. Dave Ricks, who sees the point of B&W perhaps even more than I do. Mya Riemer, who comments here occasionally and whom I met originally at Readerville.

Rebecca. We have a lot in common. We were both editors of our high school literary magazine. We were both assholes in high school. High five! Stephanie Zvan, FTB colleague. Brianne Bilyeu, ditto. Skatje Myers, who will be observing us with a very skeptical eye. Alyson Miers, who’s written what sounds like a great speculative fiction-type novel. Jamila Bey! Who needs no introduction. Greta, ditto.

Fun!

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



Seoarated at birth

May 18th, 2012 2:05 pm | By

The Old Post Office

Manchester Town Hall

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



Flurry part 1

May 18th, 2012 1:42 pm | By

Oh hai B&W reading peeples.

Washington!

Where’dja go, you ask eagerly.

Well to start I walked through part of Arlington, because I felt more like being outside and walking then I felt like getting on the Metro. At Pentagon City I decided to take a deep breath and try to figure out the Metro. I had about six internal temper tantrums in the process of doing so, but I did it in the end. Went to L’Enfant Square – don’t ask me why; it seemed like a good idea at the time – bumbled around for awhile getting oriented – then managed that and went to the Smithsonian “castle”, which reminded me pleasantly of Manchester Town Hall – the Natural History Museum – around the White House -

The south side first, then the north, and on the north side there was a little gaggle of Christians standing in the middle of Pennsylvana Avenue opposite the gates, with a guy shouting Jesus stuff  into a microphone. They have a good sound system: I’d been hearing the guy for a couple of blocks. I fumed rather, and chatted with a cop about how rude they are, then I crossed Pennsylvania Avenue to Lafayette Park making the blah blah blah gesture at them. The guy stopped and then said, “why don’t you join us?” and I shouted – I was a few yards away – “because you’re driving me nuts, and you’re making way too much noise.” That was satisfying. Futile, but satisfying.

Then I passed the AFL-CIO building and got all excited about some murals I saw inside, and went in to ask if I could look at them. I could except I couldn’t, because the room they’re in was being set up for a meeting, but there was one in the lobby, and besides I got a visitor’s label which I’m going to keep forever, and a nice talk with the union guy at the front desk. Union!

Then Dupont Circle and environs, then the Old Post Office including the tower. I love the Old Post Office. I think it and Manchester Town Hall were separated at birth.

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



Hey it’s the airport again

May 17th, 2012 10:30 am | By

And I’m at it – on the way to DC to talk about women in secularism.

It’s cloudy. Phooey. It’s been cloudless for days but now it’s cloudy. Seattle is interesting from above, and I always like being able to look at it. Oh well.

On the airport train I saw a LOLcats ad that started “Oh hai train peeples” – which made me laugh despite boredom with LOLcats in general.

Oh hai airport peeples.

Soon it will be airplane peeples. Then hotel peeples. Then conference peeples. If you’re one of the latter, say hello. Or oh hai.

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



Those “moderate” Islamists running Egypt

May 16th, 2012 4:43 pm | By

Like Freedom and Justice Party MP Azza al-Garf, who publicly supports FGM.

Egypt’s New Women Foundation said they are suing Islamist Parliament member Azza al-Garf over her pro-female genital mutilation (FGM) statements. The women’s rights foundation sent a letter to the speaker of parliament Saad al-Katatny, informing him of legally going after Garf and asking for his permission to be allowed to take the MP to court.

Garf was reported saying that FGM is an Islamic practice and that the anti-FGM laws should be amended. Garf is a Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) member, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

“We are on our way to sue Garf to preserve our rights and the gains of Egyptian women,” said the open letter to the speaker.

“We are suing her for going against Egyptian laws that criminalize sexual harassment and FGM, practices that goes against women rights and human rights.

“We completely refuse Garf’s statements and announce that she does not represent us.”

But Garf thinks Allah wants little girls’ genitalia chopped off. Garf worships an evil shit.

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



Cath, meet Jessica; Jessica, meet Cath

May 16th, 2012 3:43 pm | By

Yikes. One of those days.

Two tweets right on top of each other but arbitrarily…and yet how connected they are.

London Complains@LondonComplains @CathElliott Well grumble ye not. When London’s declared a commie femicunt-free zone you won’t be able to get past the barricades anyway. x
Retweeted by CathElliott

Jessica Ahlquist@jessicaahlquist@tmsmith123: @jessicaahlquist it would so make my day if I heard you got gang rape by a bunch of black guys with AIDS.”

[Jessica quoting @tmsmith123]

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