Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

Created to defend Clarence Thomas against allegations of sexual harassment

Nov 20th, 2014 6:26 pm | By

So what’s this Independent Women’s Forum that Ayaan Hirsi Ali was talking to when she called us idiots? Let’s ask Wikipedia.

The Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) is a politically conservative American non-profit organization focused on policy issues of concern to women.[6][7] The IWF was founded by activist Rosalie Silberman to promote a “conservative alternative to feminist tenets” following the controversial Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas in 1992.[8]

The group advocates “equity feminism,” a term first used by IWF author Christina Hoff Sommers to distinguish “traditional, classically liberal, humanistic feminism” from “gender feminism”, which she claims opposes gender roles as well as patriarchy.[9] According to Sommers, the gender feminist view is “the prevailing ideology among contemporary feminist philosophers and

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“We must retake feminism from our fellow idiotic women”

Nov 20th, 2014 2:03 pm | By

They must have a Facebook group or a Google+ group or a mailing list or similar. They must be coordinating their moves. Now it’s Ayaan Hirsi Ali echoing Dawkins echoing Sommers echoing #GamerGate and on and on until they disappear into an infinite regress.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a harsh critic of Islam’s treatment of women, said Wednesday that modern American feminism is focused on “trivial bullshit” and needs to be reclaimed.

Speaking at the Independent Women’s Forum Women of Valor dinner, where she received an award for courage, Hirsi Ali reminded her audience of how far feminism has strayed from its original purpose.

“I want you to remember that once upon a time, feminists fought for the access — basic

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The public shaming is going a long way

Nov 20th, 2014 12:22 pm | By

Anderson Cooper did an excellent segment last night on the snowballing allegations of rape against Bill Cosby, and why he hasn’t been prosecuted, and why prosecution was difficult, and what that means for everyone else.

One of the women who has accused Bill Cosby of rape is Andrea Constand. Back in 2005, she came forward alleging the comedian drugged and groped her at his house.

Bill Cosby has not been charged in connection with any of the rape allegations made against him. Constand settled a lawsuit against Cosby.

Former Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Prosecutor Bruce Castor made the decision not to charge Bill Cosby in that case.In a discussion that also included CNN Legal Analyst Sunny Hostin, Mr. Castor told Anderson

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More women complaining

Nov 20th, 2014 10:45 am | By

I wonder how Richard Dawkins would see this – as an example of something he cares passionately about, or as an example of something women should just put up with because there are worse things?

From the Yemen Times:

“May God protect you and your family,” it begins. Perhaps not considered harassment to some, but to the women who experience it daily, the intent is obvious. “I want to know you.” “Good Morning.” “What nice eyes. “Nice body.” “Let’s have lunch together.” Yemeni women are used to hearing phrases like these the second they step away from their homes.

Some women have become accustomed to such harassment and see it as an inevitable but minor daily annoyance. For others,

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How to distribute holy saliva

Nov 20th, 2014 9:15 am | By

An extraordinary court ruling from Karnataka, India.

The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday allowed continuation of “Made Snana” ritual in its traditional form at Kukke Subramanyaswami temple at Subramanya till the court decided constitutional validity of the ritual.

The court passed the interim order on a review petition filed by some of the employees of the temple questioning the modification of the ritual by the government.

The court also stayed its 2012 order in which it had given its consent to the modified form of the ritual as proposed by the government then and accepted by those who had questioned the ritual terming it as unconstitutional.

What is Made Snana? Wikipedia has a brief but still helpful explanation:… Read the rest

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But it ain’t his movement

Nov 19th, 2014 5:56 pm | By

Damn, there are such good comments on PZ’s post on Dawkins on American women complaining about being groped at work that I have to share a few extracts.

CaitieCat @ 7

How can we make the Deep Rifts wide enough so we don’t have to constantly hear his whining drone note about how muzzled he is, carried in every major media source? He’s like a bagpipe made of living cats at this point – the last thing you want to do is squeeze him or poke him, because then he’ll start playing his only tune, the MRA anthem “Restrainin’ Men”, to the tune of “It’s Rainin’ Men”.

drewvogel @ 16

I don’t understand why feminism has to be this major

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To use an external fear to silence criticism and efforts to correct inequities at home

Nov 19th, 2014 5:03 pm | By

Oh look, PZ got to the Dawkins interview before I did. I didn’t see it until now, so it didn’t influence what I wrote. Funny, we said the exact same thing about Dawkins’s claimed “passionate feminism.”

Richard Dawkins is a feminist like Christina Hoff Sommers, who he praises, is a feminist … that is not a feminist at all, scarcely understanding what feminism is, and detesting every feminist cause they encounter. Anti-feminists love Sommers and Dawkins because they create a lovely gray zone in which even misogynists get to claim nominal status as being all for equality, when they aren’t.

Dawkins and Sommers should form a partnership. Peter Boghossian could be their intern.

Also this, which I didn’t say:… Read the rest

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How to rank?

Nov 19th, 2014 4:35 pm | By

So we’ve been remiss around here. We need to get organized. We need to have a good chart of all the things that are worse than other things, so that we can talk only about the worse things and never about the less worse things.

This might turn out to be a fairly tall order, but never mind, I’m sure if we pull our chairs all the way up to the desk, and comb our hair, and wipe the grease from our chins, we will be able to do it.

Let’s see. Labor. Labor issues. Here in the US there are jobs that are badly paid, and jobs that are hazardous, and jobs that are both. Jobs that are both … Read the rest

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Guest post: Nothing in the report makes sense

Nov 19th, 2014 3:18 pm | By

Originally a comment by A Masked Avenger on He was backing out of the driveway.

That has got to be the shittiest piece of journalism ever: nothing in the report makes sense, and apparently the reporter had not the slightest interest in asking questions, and passing the answers on to us.

First, why were the charges reduced, especially to the point that no jail time was involved? In Georgia, like the rest of the United States, lethal force is not justifiable in self-defense unless you have reasonable fear of death or grave bodily harm, and a reasonable belief that deadly force is necessary to prevent same. People pulling into your driveway, or knocking on your door, do not represent … Read the rest

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Dawkins stands by everything he has said

Nov 19th, 2014 11:33 am | By

Kimberly Winston had a conversation with Richard Dawkins the other day. She notes that he declined to be interviewed about his Down syndrome and comparative rape remarks last summer, but now on a Bay Area tour to promote his memoir he agreed to talk to her.

Bottom line: He stands by everything he has said — including comments that one form of rape or pedophilia is “worse” than another, and that a drunken woman who is raped might be responsible for her fate.

Of course he does.

“I don’t take back anything that I’ve said,” Dawkins said from a shady spot in the leafy backyard of one of his Bay Area supporters. “I would not say it again, however, because

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He was backing out of the driveway

Nov 19th, 2014 10:34 am | By

Another occasion for feeling ashamed of the United States. Such occasions are all too abundant.

In Georgia in January 2013 a guy called Rodrigo Diaz, age 23, went to pick up a friend to go rollerskating. He was using his car’s GPS and he accidentally turned into the driveway across the street from his friend’s house. The guy who lived in that house, the wrong house, came outside and shot him through the head.

The shooter plead guilty to a misdemeanor.

Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh was in the courtroom as Philip Sailors plead to the misdemeanor charge for the January 2013 shooting in Lilburn.

Channel 2 Action News broke the news Friday about the plea deal which reduced a

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Is it 1900 yet?

Nov 18th, 2014 5:55 pm | By

Gosh, who turned on the time machine and threw us all back to 2008? Some genius came up with a poll on “the most influential non-believer” with a long long list to choose from, including some dead guys, and guess how many women.


Christopher Hitchens
Richard Dawkins
Sam Harris
Daniel Dennett
Steven Pinker
Victor Stenger
Richard Carrier
Lawrence Krauss
Michael Shermer
Peter Singer
Paul Kurtz
Steven Weinberg
Susan Blackmore
William Provine
Jennifer Hecht
EO Wilson
David Sloan Wilson
Barbara Forrest
Peter Atkins
Philip Pullman
PZ Myers
Ray Kurzweil
Stephen Hawking
Kai Nielsen
Penn Jillette
James Randi
Bill Maher
Ricky Gervais
Matt Dillahunty
Seth Andrews (The Thinking Atheist)
Hemant Mehta (The Friendly Atheist)
Thunderf00t (YouTube Icon)
Aron Ra (YouTube Icon)

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Garden bench for sale

Nov 18th, 2014 3:26 pm | By

I went to see David Sedaris on stage last night. (Tonight he’s in Missoula, Montana.)

I laughed more than I expected to. I expected to laugh, but not as much (or as raucously) as I did.

There were a few minutes for questions at the end, and someone asked about his “Fitbit” – which now I understand because he wrote about it in the New Yorker last June. It’s like a pedometer but more so.

A few weeks later, I bought a Fitbit of my own, and discovered what she was talking about. Ten thousand steps, I learned, amounts to a little more than four miles for someone my size—five feet five inches. It sounds like a lot, but

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Canals on Mars

Nov 18th, 2014 2:47 pm | By

How about those canals on Mars?

I was just wondering how widespread the belief in their existence was. A 2011 article by Richard Milner in Astrobiology Magazine gives some background.

About 120 years ago, however, at least one prominent astronomer was convinced that Mars not only supported life, but was home to an advanced civilization. Martians, the theory went, had built an extensive network of canals to draw water down from supposed icecaps at the Red Planet’s poles to irrigate a world that was drying out.

Imagine really believing there were “Martians” on another planet. It’s not a particularly outlandish belief given the available information…but it seems like quite a dramatic belief.

Martian canals as depicted by Percival Lowell.… Read the rest

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Back on 67P

Nov 18th, 2014 12:43 pm | By

Philae has found organic molecules on Comet 67P.

Carbon-containing “organics” are the basis of life on Earth and may give clues to chemical ingredients delivered to our planet early in its history.

The compounds were picked up by a German-built instrument designed to “sniff” the comet’s thin atmosphere.

Other analyses suggest the comet’s surface is largely water-ice covered with a thin dust layer.

Very very frozen ice, as hard as sandstone.

And landing where it did may have been useful after all.

After bouncing off the surface at least twice, Philae came to a stop in some sort of high-walled trap.

“The fact that we landed up against something may actually be in our favour. If we’d landed on

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It’s bash feminism week

Nov 18th, 2014 11:43 am | By

TIME magazine, fresh from its triumph at electing the word “feminism” as the Worst Word in the World, has given the job of reporting on sexist shirts in the workplace to Katha Pollitt Amanda Marcotte Soraya Chemaly Cathy Young. Cathy Young of Reason magazine, Cathy Young who is Christina Hoff Sommers’s favorite colleague in feminism-bashing.

When I first heard about the outrage over a scientist from the Rosetta Mission, which landed the Philae space probe on a comet, wearing a “sexist” shirt for a press appearance, I racked my brain wondering what the offensive garment could have been. A T-shirt showing a spacecraft with a “My secret fort—no girls allowed” sign? An image of a female scientist with the text,

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She’ll need Steven and Brian’s help

Nov 18th, 2014 11:20 am | By

Oh good, a “girls can” book that actually says girls can’t. Helpful.

The latest affront to basic decency in gendered toy marketing comes from a Barbie book that tells girls they can’t be game developers or programmers.

The book is bafflingly called Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer. It was written by Susan Marenco and published by Random House. Despite its encouraging title, Marenco’s book actually tells pre-teen girls that Barbie can only contribute to the design of the game she’s building.

As [blogger Pamela] Ribon describes in an increasingly cringe-inducing writeup about the book, Barbie is introduced as the designer of stereotypically “girly” games featuring cute little animals. Barbie’s work resembles Pet Rescue or similar mobile

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A fish notices the water

Nov 17th, 2014 6:00 pm | By

At Slate: Phil Plait on The Shirt and the fallout after The Shirt and the apology and the moving on.

To be clear, I don’t think Taylor is a raging misogynist or anything like that; I think he was just clueless about how his words might sound and his shirt might be interpreted. We all live in an atmosphere steeped in sexism, and we hardly notice it; a fish doesn’t notice the water in which it swims. I’ve lived in that environment my whole life, and I was well into adulthood before I started becoming aware of it and figuring out how to counter it. I’m still learning.

*raises hand* I notice it!

Boy do I notice it. I … Read the rest

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Guest post: An observation from St Carl of Ithaca

Nov 17th, 2014 4:58 pm | By

Originally a comment by Blake Stacey on The most shameful ontological status.

I felt a little of that when the Mars Rover landed safely. I was disappointed there weren’t more women in the room. I hoped there would be more in the future. I was glad to see the few who were there.

This reminded me of something, so I went and looked it up. Everyone open your hymnals to St. Carl of Ithaca, Pale Blue Dot (1994), p. 243, describing the collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter:

The impact of the millennium was beginning to look very much like a fizzle.

Then there was a report from a ground-based optical telescope in La Palma in the Canary

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The most shameful ontological status

Nov 17th, 2014 4:21 pm | By

Kiran Opal has a brilliant post on the most recent uproar and its meanings.

She quotes something Josh said that I hadn’t seen.

Official SpokesGay @SpokesGay

Crying is feminine and weak. Being feminine is the most shameful ontological status. Bitches made Matt Taylor weak and feminine in public.
3:46 PM – 16 Nov 2014

Shock of recognition. Yeah.

She provides a lot of resources:

Here are a few articles/resources talking about sexism in science/STEM fields.

(I don’t expect misogynistic dudebros to bother reading things that don’t agree with their views on women, but I hope others will):
Issues Affecting Women in STEM A repository of peer-reviewed research (a huge fucking repository at fucking Harvard for all the people who

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