Can’t Take A Joke – Veena Malik and Islamic Fundamentalism

Atheists have followed the story of Asia Bibi.

For those who don’t know who she is? Asia Bibi is a Pakistani Christian woman who was convicted of blasphemy by a Pakistani court, receiving a sentence of death by hanging. In June 2009, she got involved in an argument with a group of Muslim women with whom she had been harvesting berries after the other women became angry at her for drinking the same water as them. The irony is this sort of logic is a Hindu holdover in both religions. It’s a caste issue. Hindus often don’t share water containers with the untouchables. The practice has died out in the cities but in the countryside? Many lower caste and untouchable people often have their own water containers to prevent “contamination”.  [Read more…]

Cherchez La Femme – Looking for Women in Atheism

It’s a bad sign when the Discovery Institute start making fun of you.

There is a problem in atheism. It is a mainly white male dominated issue but it is changing. While we do see people dragging their feet about representation and what it means and we do see people who aren’t conducive to a more diverse atheist demographic with large fan bases, the fact remains that more and more minority atheists are being seen and heard. Put it this way? Just 10 years ago you couldn’t name any south Asian freethinkers.

Today on JUST this platform alone? Taslima Nasrin, Mano Singham, Heina Dadabhoy and Yours Truly. Now I am not as active in meat space as those 3. Taslima’s books are still selling in India, Heina’s a veteran of a bunch of American Atheist Stuff and Mano’s got books out. I just make loud noises and spelling mistakes. [Read more…]

Rage Against the Machine

It is no surprise that the policeman who shot and killed Michael Brown was not indicted.

I don’t think there is a riot in Ferguson. I think it is just “Hijinks”. After all boys will be boys? I am sorry? Are we reporting two cases of rioting in different ways? Is it okay to riot due to an out of control pumpkin festival but not if you have to argue about the rights of the police?

Activism among White Kids is more acceptable. Possibly because it’s a more genteel form.  It’s people angry about GMOs and Global Warming. But when people of colour get angry about things it generally doesn’t end well. We aren’t portrayed as passionate, we are portrayed as dangerous.

And there are some problems with the dialogue about this. Yes, even among atheists we see the problem. If there was any indicator of “you don’t get it”, there are enough of us who don’t get why people are so angry.

There is a puzzling notion that people should ALWAYS peacefully protest. I agree, peaceful protest is ideal but sometimes it is not possible. The point of powerful pacifist protest is to break the law. Willingly and Deliberately break the law. It is marching miles to make salt. It is purposefully sitting in the wrong seat. It is assembling after curfew.  [Read more…]

I am not an atheist because the world is filled with pretty pretty things

Bruce Tallman’s shot at atheism is kind of interesting, so I figured it could do with a response.

Suffering is the rock atheists stand on. If there is a God, why is there so much suffering? Good question. Theologians have been coming up with answers to that for centuries.

Hardly. I stand on the rock of “no evidence for gods”. It’s a much handier rock to stand on than “the existence of suffering”. No one ever said god has to be good.  [Read more…]

Banning Creationism in Science Classrooms is NOT dangerous

I am rather puzzled by the presence of creationists in Scotland, in general, the UK’s education is very good with regards to science. Creationism was discussed in passing as a joke and it is a joke. It is not fit for being taught in science any more than astrology has a place being taught in class.

But it’s kind of weird seeing this piece in Herald Scotland. Maybe the UK’s been so bereft of creationists that we can’t see the damage they can cause?

[Read more…]

A Response to John Greg – The Shirt is a Symptom

Since some Slymepitters assume I sit around all day and simply write, I figured I should point out that a lack of responses indicates I am off doing work. If one pays attention to the “About” section of my blog, you may realise I have a day job. One that requires a lot of concentration. But yes. I did notice the insults. I did need to point these things out. [Read more…]

On Shirtgate…

A lot of people have been discussing Matt Taylor (the scientist who helped land a probe on a comet) and his choice of shirt and how it makes women uncomfortable and is part of the problem with regards to few women in STEM fields. And a lot of people have been defending it. This is for them.

[Read more…]

In a Theocracy, the Extremist is King

In Bangladesh there is a sect called the Baul, rather than follow any organised religion, they consider themselves humanists.

A professor from the Baul sect was murdered by an Islamic Fundamentalist Organisation. Why? Because he considered the Burkha a dehumanising piece of clothing and wished to ban its use among students? No because students could utilise a face veil to cheat on exams and that women wearing face veils were having their education harmed by being delineated from discussions as no actual rapport can be built with a veiled person.  [Read more…]

A Voice for Me – On IQ and clothing [Update – WHY DAWKINS WHY!]

Part of the dialogue on Men’s Rights is the notion that men have it bad too. And I agree. There are issues (like Mental Illness) where men have it bad. There are issues like abusive partners which affect men too.

However the problem is the self proclaimed champions of “men’s rights” are often lacking when it comes to dealing with men’s issues. For example? When Gamergate Trolls who weren’t interested in “ethics in games” and were more interested in lolz/racism/homophobia/giving games an even more shitty reputation/being cocklords of the highest order/all of the above? The MRA rather than take a principled stand against such tossers were quite likely to be chuckling along.

Which lead to the bizarre statement that MRA aren’t interested in “divisive” dialogue on race and sexuality. In other words? MRA aren’t willing to stand against racism. Remember many of these people live in the USA where being “black and male” is often enough to warrant different treatment. Where Black people rioting over an extra judicial killing and over police brutality was treated as a terrible sin while white kids rioting over pumpkins was treated as “hijinks”. In a world where men who are not white are still discriminated against, the MRA were unwilling to defend people of colour. Or Gay Men.

So if the MRA aren’t going to defend men who genuinely face regular and institutionalised bigotry and instead try and excuse it (bear in mind? The guy called me nigger. It isn’t ignorance… Indians often call black people nigger NOT because they are racist but because they listen to Rap Music. Rap Music without the context of slavery and the racism that followed. Indians who are told that it is bad often are puzzled as to why Black people would try to subvert the meaning of that word.). This is someone from the western world who is aware of the social, political and historical usage of the word “nigger” who willingly used it on someone solely to defend games/men. In response rather than say “that’s bang out of order! Sling your hook mate!”, the MRA responded with “Yeah! We are subverting the meaning of the word” and “Freedom of Speech” and my personal favourite? Trying to use the British Meaning of Fag.

Because when you are called a fag online, it is because the charming young man on the other side thinks you are a cigarette.

So it’s clear that A Voice for Men is more like a Voice for Not All Men. A Voice (for mainly white and straight) Men. Sure they have their tokens but their mainstream seems to simply not give a damn about actual men’s rights issues. They merely pay lip service to the notion of equality and men’s rights. What they are is “anti-women”. And anything goes. It shows in their association with racists such as Vox Day. And it shows in their latest piece. [Read more…]