Mansplaining: The Statue

No doubt you’ve all seen this by now –

Cathy de la Cruz ‏@SadDiego
A friend spotted this in Texas: #Mansplaining The Statue.

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But look closely if you haven’t already. It’s not just that he’s looming, it’s not just that he has her pinned, it’s not just that he’s talking and she’s gazing upward wondering why he won’t stop – it’s that she’s radically out of proportion to him. She’s from another species, or rather, a different set of dolls. You know how when you were a kid you had dolls that were different sizes? And sometimes when you wanted to have a large cast you would make them interact despite the size disparity? It’s like that. She is weirdly, grotesquely smaller than he is.

Never mind. I’m sure their children will be fine.

No accident

More on that how we got here subject. From last month, Emily Badger on how Baltimore got to be the way it is. It wasn’t accidental; it wasn’t just people making choices in accordance with good libertarian principle; it was systematic and deliberate and done by one set of people to another set of people who had less power.

Just a few years ago, Wells Fargo agreed to pay millions of dollars to Baltimore and its residents to settle a landmark lawsuit brought by the city claiming the bank unfairly steered minorities who wanted to own homes into subprime mortgages. Before that, there was the crack epidemic of the 1990s and the rise of mass incarceration and the decline of good industrial jobs in the 1980s.

And before that? From 1951 to 1971, 80 to 90 percent of the 25,000 families displaced in Baltimore to build new highways, schools and housing projects were black. Their neighborhoods, already disinvested and deemed dispensable, were sliced into pieces, the parks where their children played bulldozed.

And before that — now if we go way back — there was redlining, the earlier corollary to subprime lending in which banks refused to lend at all in neighborhoods that federally backed officials had identified as having “undesirable racial concentrations.”

[Read more…]

Laws such as those on blasphemy, obscenity and sedition

India has been suppressing free speech since Modi was elected.

Human rights activists have called on India to reform or repeal laws that threaten free expression in the world’s largest democracy and muzzle charities such as environmental group Greenpeace.

Some laws are not only silencing marginal voices but are also fuelling graft, a report by PEN International, a London-based group of writers promoting freedom of speech, and the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto said.

Win-win – shut down weirdos and make sure the money keeps flowing.

Other laws in India such as those on blasphemy, obscenity and sedition have allowed groups or individuals to silence one another, said the report.

For example, Aseem Trivedi, a prominent anti-corruption campaigner, was arrested in Mumbai in 2012 under sedition laws after a complaint was lodged against him for publishing a series of cartoons that satirised India’s national symbols.

Remember the attack on Wendy Doniger’s book? India doesn’t have a great record on this.

In a country where it is highly dangerous to criticise Islam

From Reporters Without Borders:

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) supports the launch of the online cartoon magazine Black and White: Strokes of Resistance (B&W) by the Indian cartoonist Aseem Trivedi and hails his campaign for the release of the jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, which is highlighted in the first issue.

In January this year, Trivedi announced he planned to launch a magazine of cartoons in tribute to Charlie Hebdo. His first campaign is in support of Badawi…

What a good project.

Trivedi is waging his fight for freedom of expression and information in a country where it is highly dangerous to criticise Islam. The subject of religion remains sensitive for journalists and bloggers.Some religious groups come out with threats and aggressive condemnations, which their members then attempt to carry out arbitrarily while the authorities turn a blind eye.

[Read more…]

Senior catholic figures have gathered to discuss family issues

Another cardinal shares his wisdom with us.

A leading Vatican cardinal has given an interview in which he says parents should not allow their children to have contact with gay people who engage in ‘wrong, evil’ and ‘intrinsically disordered’ relationships.

This is how religion fucks people up. They obsess over completely wrong, empty, arbitrary, meaningless categories of “wrong” while ignoring or protecting or promoting actual harms. There just isn’t anything “wrong” or “evil” or “intrinsically disordered” about same-sex relationships. There just isn’t. There never has been. It’s a made-up thing.

Also? I know I’ve said this a million times – but the cardinal is a high-up in an organization that has been protecting people who rape children for many decades – probably its entire history, in fact. [Read more…]

A beautiful example, an example to follow

Mick Hartley shares the Times’s reporting on Tom Holland’s talk at the Hay Festival on Tuesday:

Historian Tom Holland gave the inaugural Christopher Hitchens Lecture at the Hay Festival yesterday. From the Times (£):

The taboo of not speaking about the prophet Muhammad has to be broken to deradicalise jihadists, an acclaimed author, historian and film-maker said yesterday.

Tom Holland, who produced Islam: the Untold Story for Channel 4, said that the “moral perfection” of Muhammad had to be questioned and that to do so required non-Muslims to break the “unspoken blasphemy taboo that has taken hold in the West”. [Read more…]

Alirou reached out and touched his father on the ground

The Sunday Times (South Africa) tells of how Boko Haram is making life hell for the people it doesn’t murder.

In a makeshift hut sheltered from a stinging desert wind, Adama Issaika holds her infant daughter close. Three months ago, she stood helpless as gunmen from the Islamist group Boko Haram lined up her husband and relatives against a mosque and shot them dead.

“My littlest boy, Alirou, reached out and touched his father on the ground,” she recalled. [Read more…]