Treated like subhuman garbage

Lindy West, like many observers, points out that a report abuse button on Twitter could be used for just more of the same abuse.

The thought of having my Twitter account potentially suspended by abusers in retaliation for fighting back against my own abuse is profoundly enraging. On the other hand, though, this week someone created a parody account of my dead father to harass me because of my stance on rape jokes (still going on, because COOOMEDYYYYY). And you better fucking believe I wanted a “report abuse” button for that. I can see both sides—though mostly what I see right now is how hard the entire system is rigged to fuck women over. [Read more...]

Burka Avenger

Pakistan now has its own caped crusader, but under the cape is a burqa. Hmm.

Pakistan’s first caped crusader is a burka-clad superhero who fights school-hating baddies by night and moonlights as a gentle, compassionate schoolteacher by day.

Burka Avenger has yet to launch on TV, but she is creating quite an impression in a country where female literacy is estimated at a grim 12% and the Taliban are continuing a campaign which has seen hundreds of girls’ schools blown up in the north-west. [Read more...]

It’s going downhill

Texas is racing at top speed toward the edge of a cliff again.

At least six creationists/”intelligent design” proponents succeeded in getting invited to review high school biology textbooks that publishers have submitted for adoption in Texas this year. The State Board of Education (SBOE) will decide in November which textbooks to approve. Those textbooks could be in the state’s public school science classrooms for nearly a decade.

Deep sigh.

It’s biology. It’s not church. Biology textbooks should not be reviewed according to churchy criteria. Ever. [Read more...]

Numbers

Marcela Kunova on online harassment at the Huffington Post UK:

Virtually every woman who publicly contributes to a political debate is subjected to virulent and largely anonymous online invective, or “trolling”. But it is far more than simply readers’ feedback. Trolling is intended to make women shut up – and to remind them their primary purpose is to be there for male sexual pleasure. Or not to be in public life at all.

It now seems to be an established fact: women who speak publicly get threatened with rape, physical violence, harming their relatives and murder. It is not just a bit of fun. Many are stalked and get their home addresses published. And it doesn’t really matter whether those threats will subsequently come true – they are already an act of violence. [Read more...]

Journalist hunts the elusive woman atheist

Secular Woman responds to the Salon piece on where oh where oh where are the women atheists.

Last week Salon writer Katie Engelhart asked, “Where are the Women of New Atheism?” Since she couldn’t seem to find many, or mention by name most of those she did acknowledge, we decided to give her a hand by rounding up several leaders in atheism and interviewing them ourselves. (We are taking submissions as they come in; please see the contact information below if you would like to participate!)

Most of us made much the same point – the one made by “she couldn’t seem to find many, or mention by name most of those she did acknowledge.” We said it’s stupid to keep asking where the women are when there are so many right out in plain view, and it’s even more stupid to talk about how they’re overlooked when you overlook them yourself. [Read more...]