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May 19 2012

Liveblogging the Women in Secularism Conference V

5:36 She has been accused of being hateful and spreading hate. She doesn’t know how to bridge the gap between left and right. And she’s been called racist for speaking out.

Forbidding burqas?

Very good, excellent, I hope they will apply it in every country in Europe

Are there resources to learn more?

Look for infiltration in America society. To learn you have to go to mosques and Islamic schools. They aren’t hiding anything. It’s easy to get the right information.

She heard a joke in Syria. A man asked for directions, and the response is you go, not the first tank, not the second, but the third you take a right. They use it to kill their own people. Who made the tanks and gave them? They can’t even make their own underwear.

Do you think we shouldn’t be worried here because it’s so much better than in the muslim world?

You should fight for your rights, you should fight, don’t take anything for granted. I didn’t mean to discourage you from defending your rights, I was trying to explain how terrible our situation is in the muslim world. But you need to defend your rights.

Is there a liberal version of Islam that you approve of?

There is only one islam, all “versions” are an attempt to be political correct.

Are muslim women able to get psychological help, are their organizations?

They are ready to accept this treatment in the west, but it’s hard in the islamic world to admit you need mental support.

Do you feel that most women are aware of the oppression against them? Why do they vote for muslim radicals such as the Muslim Brotherhood?

They are indoctrinated to believe they are free and their abuse is blessed by Allah. They need to be educated.

Do you worry that you get used by the right wing to stir up hostility and justify aggressive foreign policy?

No, I have very clear message. If people abuse my message it’s not my problem. I cannot prevent others from abusing my message. My message the problem is deeply rooted with Islam. We distinguish between muslims and islams. I am not against muslims, they are my people, I am against islam, i am against the belief system.

What do you think about the current fighting in Syria?

It’s very sad to see my people are being killed by their own government, but I still to some point blame the west, I blame the US for going into my country. For supporting the dictator, and now for supporting the islamicists. If the dictator goes, the islamicists are the only ones read to take over. Big mess in the Arab world and to be honest I feel that the US is involved in creating this mess.

5:25 How can Westerners help?

Reach out through the internet. It’s so dire, it’s beyond her ability to explain. The internet is changing things, they can see the rest of the world. It’s hard for her to see why women complain about small things, they don’t know how lucky they are. We have so many more rights, she feels free. She can walk to Starbucks to herself without being called a whore. Enjoy it, don’t take it for granted, fight for it. Reach out to the Muslim world, they need it.

The worst part of slavery is when a slave believes they are free, and this is the circumstance of Muslim women. They need more schools, more secular schools. They were brainwashed.

Mohammed hated women, and that’s why they still hate them.

What happens to open atheists in Islamic countries?

Oh. O_O the same that will happen to gay guys. They have to be killed.

Is Islam a threat to secular Europe?

Yes. I think it’s too late for Europe to fight back and establish their identity. When I went to speak in Paris I felt like I was in Gaza, 75% of my audience was covered.

Arabic countries used to be more tolerant and advanced ?

This is a huge myth. Took over a bunch of civilizations, and then claimed the civilizations as their own. Stole civilizations and claimed it as their own.

How did you become a doctor and others are prohibited?

Syria is different from Saudi Arabia. They have a relatively secular government, so they are more free than in some countries.

How widespread is sharia law among muslims in the US?

I believe extensively, yes. I think muslims in the US are provided Saudi money to promote islam. When she was new she was offered a lot of money to promote Islam here.

5:15 How can a muslim woman raise a fair minded child when she is oppressed herself? In the Western world, Muslim women have the opportunity to transform as she has. We as citizens of the free world must expose the totalitarian abuse of Islam against women. We must urge for moral clarity, for open discourse.

When she lived in Syria she cried often because she suffered, now that she’s free, she still cries for all other Muslim women in the world. She longs for a day when other muslim women can taste a little of her freedom, it’s a dream that should be available to all humanity.

Standing ovation. I think half the room is crying.

5:10 Lara Logan shared the sexual violence inflicted on her in the field in Egypt. They enjoyed her pain and suffering. It is a vivid opening to the shocking treatment to native as well as foreign women. Muslim mentality is that women are possessions and don’t belong in public. They blame the victim for failing to meet standards of dress. Logan submitted to political correctness and never used the terms muslim or islam in relation to what was done to her.

This is really fucking hard to listen to.

Her niece was forced to marry her cousin when she was 11 and he was over 40. Justified because Mohammed married his second wife when she was 6 and he was over 50. Her niece was abused and didn’t have the right to ask for divorce. She would escape to her father’s house, begging him to let her stay. He would send her back. At the age of 28, she committed suicide by setting herself on fire. Leaving four children behind.

A woman came in and was three months pregnant. She was a widow. Her husband’s brother raped her daily in exchange for feeding her children. If the rapist found out she was pregnant he would have her son kill her, and she didn’t care if she lived, but didn’t want her son to be a murderer. Wafa sent her to a gynecologist who performed an abortion but she was nearly killed in the process because she couldn’t afford to pay for the anesthetic for the surgery.

5:01 She was the first Muslim background person to say on television to say that Islam is the problem. Well-intentioned people in the West are ignorant of the treatment of muslim women and the cause.

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She is here to unmask the true face of Islam to women, it is a hateful ideology. The principles of Islam promote abusive practices. The abuse of women in Islam is legal, but comes from laws directly out of religious texts. People here deny the truth.

To say that the principles of Islam have no relationship with the treatment of women under Islam, is as as nonsensical to say that the constitution has nothing to do with the way America’s government is run. People live in denial of the reality of painful things. Death. It is the same with Islam. Mohammed said women are deficient in mind. She is thankful for the clarity of how wrong Islam is. “There is nothing more hateful for a man than a woman”.

4:56 Next up is Wafa Sultan, she was awesome on the panel. An interview with her from something (?) has 20 million hits. I’m guessing if I google it, with 20 million views, I’ll find it.

Her book is “A God that Hates”. In Arabic they don’t have the letter ‘p’, they pronounce it ‘b’, so heads up on her pronunciation. Disarming way to introduce herself.

She’s honored to be here. It’s her first time to speak at this kind of event, but also because she has survivor syndrome. She saw horrors in Syria as a citizen and as a doctor. Mistreatment of women that were supported by families and sharia. She escaped to the US. She had rights and dignity, unlike before. In her own country, she wasn’t considered mentally fit to be the guardian of her own children.

Over time she started to feel guilty, remembering the women left behind. Millions of women, not just in her country, but throughout the Muslim world, where liberty like hers wasn’t even imaginable. It paralyzed her. Even though she was delighted with her life. Guilt and freedom inspired her to fight back. First by writing, then by speaking out. Fighting for those who have no voice, those she left behind.

4:40

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4:38 She’s giving advice along these same lines to questions from the audience. Suggests asking people for advice, which is better at convincing them about the dilemma, so they’re on your side.

Are there gender differences in who gets called on? Yes, men are.

True story. It’s horrible. People just look at men more.

Do men get threatened with bodily harm like women are threatened with rape?

I think men are threatened with bodily harm. Women getting threatened rape shows the power differential. There are power differentials that we all recognize subconsciously. Men threaten each other for dominance. Women get name called, god you’re bitchy or whatever, there’s an attempt to say you’re not as nice as you used to be. What that person is trying to do is to make you angry? If they call you a name, you just say, it’s probably going to get worse, I’m getting older.

Just agree and say it’ll get worse. And when they get annoyed, you’ve won.

How do you respond to public forums to sexism?

Organizations need to think about it if the comments were inappropriate. The worst thing about bad behavior is that sometimes nobody says anything. That is the worst. Someone needs to say something. In the best of situations, someone might have said something, followed up. Someone in charge should have said it was inappropriate. When you ignore bad behavior, it gets worse.

4:20 Men can change a topic of a women’s conversation in under ten seconds, if women try to join a men’s conversation it’s almost impossible to join, much less direct.

Why is this happening? These are good people? She does it too. People intuitively think men are better and have produced better things than women. Same resumes get different responses, men get hired 2 to 1, same research gets different marks.

Women are devalued generally in society and that subconsciously translates into behaviors. The outsider is devalued. We like people who are like us, Others are devalued.

Intervening when you see these behaviors.

If someone says something wrong, Miss Manners recommends “I beg your pardon”.

Sometimes you can respond with “That comment is offensive to all of us.” (not to me) Some people aren’t that direct.

Jokes that are racist, sexist, etc. You don’t laugh, for one. And then say “I didn’t get the point of that joke. Could you say it again?” Ask them at least two or three times. “Why is that funny?” You don’t say anything for 5 full seconds. And then you just say “oh”. Lollercoasters.

Sometimes women make a suggestion and it is ignored, and then a man makes the exact same suggestion and they immediately pick it up.

The letter has three parts. The first part is very factual, because people usually agree with the facts. Separate facts from feeling. “I felt that I was not getting credit for my ideas.” I feel this, not blaming. Third part is what you’d like to happen. “I would like you to remind the group it was my suggestion initially if someone else is claiming credit.” Usually people say nothing and don’t apologize, but they change their behavior. If they try to talk, you say you don’t want to discuss it, you want it to change. Very effective.

4:10 Women do not get enough praise, we should give them more praise, specific praise about what you think they do well. Criticism needs to be feedback with suggestions, not tearing someone down. Instead of saying this is, put it in a scale. At meetings women don’t talk as much as men. Bring them in.

Listen attentively is importantly. I promise I’m only looking at my phone right now is because… yeah.

The rules of interruption. If someone who is more powerful than you, they are allowed. Obama can interrupt you. If someone has less power than you, you can interrupt them, but you are allowed. But what about people who are equal. You don’t have to stop talking when someone interrupts you if you’re equals.

Appearance importance in describing women but not men. Men and women have different styles of speech. Women speak higher, softer, and apologize before speaking. Assertiveness training. And then when women did that they were called bitches.

Who do you have lunch with? Apparently same sex lunches is normal? I can’t remember the last time I ate lunch with another human…

4:00 Small behaviors that individually don’t do much, but when they’re done repetitively they shut down women. We ALL do this, men and women. We do it to white women and women of color. These things happen to anyone who is an outsider. She’s talking about women, but it’s everyone “outside”. The other.

Everybody looks more at men than women. Women get much less eye-contact. We’re more responsive to men, more praise more criticism, more attention. Men get more coaching and tell me more and women get “uh-huh”. Women get much less feedback.

When women are speaking people are more likely to frown than for men. Men are called by their name more often. We wait longer for men to respond to a question before going to someone else. Men and women are asked different kind of questions, men get thinking questions, women get factual questions. The difference between when and why. Also in interviews.

www.bernicesandler.com has a large list of chilly climate behaviors.

3:53 Now is Bernice Sandler who I really don’t know, unlike the others who have spoken. But we’re getting a detail intro, so convenient.

40th anniversary of Title 9, which she had a lot to do with. Expert at equity issues for women, particularly in harassment. In the 1970s she filed the first charges of sex discrimination against 200 organizations. Coauthored three books, chilly climate, sexual harassment in colleges and in k-12.

She’s going to talk about how who women are seen differently than men. The “chilly climate”.

She watches TV during breakfast and she sometimes learns things from morning shows. Over thirty years ago, one morning they did an interview with a scientist who studied mixed groups, and saw that men interrupted women more than the other way around. Soon she was invited to a seminar for businessmen. By the end of the second day she realized women were getting interrupted more than men.

She took a piece of paper and counted interruptors and interruptees. Women were interrupted twice as much and a different kind. Women interrupted to be encouraging, men interrupted to ask what husbands would say on the issue.

Bernice decided to talk to the male co-leaders, and showed the chart. They denied it. She must have counted wrong, they’d never do that. She left dejected. The next day, there were no interruptions of the women. This is changeable behavior. I’ve got to get a grant to do something!

3:43 Well, I think that that panel we just watched needs to go on Youtube and be required viewing to everyone all the time.  It was fucking awesome.

I practically transcribe that panel, which was nuts. I don’t think I’m going to go quite so crazy on the speeches.

1 comment

  1. 1
    mercadee

    The issue of women in Islam, is topic of great misunderstanding and distortion due partly to a lack of understanding, but also partly due to misbehavior of some Muslims which has been taken to represent the teachings of Islam. We speak here about what Islam teaches, and that is that standard according to which Muslims are to be judged. As such, my basis and source is the Quran–the words of Allah, and the sayings of the Prophet, his deeds and his confirmation. Islamic laws are derived from these sources. To facilitate our discussion we can discuss the position of women from a spiritual, economic, social, and political standpoint.

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