Her abdomen belongs to the state

You know that tweak to the Irish abortion law last summer, that was supposed to prevent another Savita Halappanavar case from happening?

Never mind.

The BBC reports the bare outline:

A “suicidal” woman has given birth by caesarean section in the Republic of Ireland after requesting a termination under the country’s new abortion law.

It is understood she requested an abortion late in her second trimester.

An expert panel assessed her as having suicidal thoughts but it was decided she should have a caesarean section. [Read more...]

The bible is mandatory

Another win for forced religion by the state.

In June, the U.S. Navy ordered housekeepers at thousands of Navy-owned guest lodges near U.S. and international bases to remove the Bibles and any other “religious materials” from their rooms. Scriptures would remain available on request.

But public outcry, prompted this week by a social media alert from the American Family Association and protests by the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, led the brass to reverse course Friday (Aug. 15). [Read more...]

What we talk about outside the library

This actually happened. Earlier this afternoon.

I was walking past one side of the library – the local branch of the library, which is a nice old Carnegie one -

and I went around that corner you see there and approached a middle-aged couple hanging out at that brick wall you see, which around the corner is at the right height to sit on. The man was lighting a cigarette just as I got near them, which made me do my internal grumpy protest at the universe, but then I was distracted from that by what he was saying, in a loud brook-no-denial voice. “That’s the problem with women here in Washington.” Pause. I had just passed them so I turned to look, at that, then turned back. “They think they have so many god damn rights.” Pause. “They’re not responsible.” Then I was out of earshot.

I’m not making it up.

After all, the rapist is also someone’s son

I never thought I would have anything good to say about Narendra Modi, but I guess I have to. In his first major address he spoke out about rape and violence against women.

In speaking out, Modi challenged citizens and government alike to change the way that rape is thought about. “Today as we hear about the incidents of rapes, our head hangs in shame,” he said in his wide-ranging address. “I want to ask parents when your daughter turns 10 or 12 years old, you ask, ‘Where are you going? When will you return?’ Do the parents dare to ask their sons, ‘Where are you going? Why are you going? Who are your friends?’ After all, the rapist is also someone’s son. If only parents decide to put as many restrictions on their sons as they do on their own daughters.”

[Read more...]

Onward Christian socialjusticewarriors

The nuns are still fighting back. Heidi Hall at RNS reports:

Sister Elizabeth Johnson, a theology professor at Fordham University, accepted the Leadership Conference of Women Religious’ top award and then lambasted bishops for criticism of her book “Quest for the Living God,” saying it appears they’ve never read it.

“To this day, no one, not myself or the theological community, the media or the general public knows what doctrinal issue is at stake,” she told the Nashville assembly of about about 900 sisters representing 80 percent of the nation’s nuns.

[Read more...]

An Australian feminist

Have a tv interview with Lt. General David Morrison, the head of the Australian army who last year made heads snap upright with an uncompromising talk on sexual harassment. “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept”; remember that guy?

In this interview he talks to Annette Young of France 24. He starts off by talking about the necessity of empathy, which is not something I usually expect from military brass. Young asks him if he calls himself a feminist and he says, with speed and emphasis, “Yes. Proudly.”

I wish we had generals like him in the US military.

H/t Stewart


Christie Aschwanden in the NY Times a few days ago on sexual harassment in science.

She and some colleagues sent an online questionnaire to science writers.

We received responses from 502 writers, mostly women, and presented our results at M.I.T. in June during Solutions Summit 2014: Women in Science Writing, a conference funded by the National Association of Science Writers.

More than half of the female respondents said they weren’t taken seriously because of their gender, one in three had experienced delayed career advancement, and nearly half said they had not received credit for their ideas. Almost half said they had encountered flirtatious or sexual remarks, and one in five had experienced uninvited physical contact.

[Read more...]

What has no name cannot be acknowledged or shared

Jessica Valenti talked to Rebecca Solnit a few weeks ago. She asked Solnit how she felt about being seen as the coiner of “mansplaining.”

A really smart young woman changed my mind about it. I used to be ambivalent, worrying primarily about typecasting men with the term. (I have spent most of my life tiptoeing around the delicate sensibilities of men, though of course the book Men Explain Things to Me is what happens when I set that exhausting, doomed project aside.) Then in March a PhD candidate said to me, No, you need to look at how much we needed this word, how this word let us describe an experience every woman has but we didn’t have language for. [Read more...]

Even male experts couldn’t penetrate the fortress of their smugness

From Rebecca Solnit’s essay (which later became a book) “Men Explain Things to Me”:

Every woman knows what I’m talking about. It’s the presumption that makes it hard, at times, for any woman in any field; that keeps women from speaking up and from being heard when they dare; that crushes young women into silence by indicating, the way harassment on the street does, that this is not their world. It trains us in self-doubt and self-limitation just as it exercises men’s unsupported overconfidence. [Read more...]

The religious domination of the culture

A Georgia school district is letting coaches use the football program to promote religion to the students, so the American Humanist Association very properly told the district that’s a violation of the Establishment clause. Result? Accusations that the American Humanist Association is bullying the students. Oh yeah? What about the coaches?

Acting on behalf of an unnamed Hall County citizen, the AHA accused the county of violating the First Amendment by allowing Gainesville’s Chestatee High School football coaches to organize team prayers and promote biblical messages on team documents and pre-game banners. [Read more...]