Just to satisfy his own dirty ego

Oh god what an unbearable story. Be warned: this is an unbearable story.

A young woman has spoken of her “living hell” as her abusive ex-husband was jailed for life with a minimum of 28 years for shooting her mother as an act of revenge.

Tariq Rana, 31, travelled from his home in Wolverhampton to Pakistan intent on tracking down relatives of his 28-year-old wife Ayesha Riaz, who split up with him a year after their arranged marriage.

So for that he killed her mother. For a wound to his precious ego, he killed the mother of the woman who didn’t like being married to him. I like my ego as much as the next person, but I don’t kill people to avenge slights to it.

He shot his mother-in-law, Ghulam Asia, at her house in Lahore with an unnamed accomplice, dressed as a delivery man. [Read more…]

In a country teeming with IT graduates

Nimisha Jaiswal points out that witches are not a form of cosplay in India.

Last week, a mob of 200 people in the Indian state of Assam dragged a 65-year-old woman out of her house, stripped her and beheaded her with a machete. They did so because a self-proclaimed “goddess,” who asked them to gather at a local temple, proclaimed that the woman was a witch and would bring bad luck and illness to the village.

People hate old women.

In a country teeming with IT graduates and higher-education institutes, such attacks are sadly and strangely common. Ninety people in Assam, a majority of them of them women, lost their lives in the last six years because they were branded as witches. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, 2,097 murders between 2000 and 2012 were committed when the victims were accused of practicing witchcraft.

[Read more…]

Of course you saw it

I can’t figure out what I think about this. I just go on a parade of “on the other hands” that never end up at a settled opinion. I do that a lot. I’m not very good at resolving ambivalence. That’s a problem when you have to make a decision – when you’re a judge, for instance – but I don’t think it’s entirely bad when you’re just thinking. It’s not always terrible to see merit on both (or several) sides of an issue. One of the things that annoys me most about the current campaign to expel me from the Community of Good People is the fervent loathing of ambivalence.

The “this” is the prosecution and conviction of Oskar Gröning for crimes against humanity.

Oskar Gröning is a 94-year old German who came to public attention ten years ago when he appeared in a BBC documentary to refute Holocaust deniers; as a former member of the SS, he verified the existence of the Auschwitz gas chambers.  Gröning, a trained bank clerk, had joined the SS as a 20-year old in September 1942; he was assigned to remove the luggage from the loading ramps of the train station at the Auschwitz- Birkenau camp and to count the bank notes in the luggage and send them to the Reich security office in Berlin.  Gröning was not accused of any violence against those incarcerated.

[Read more…]

A culture of rampant male sexual entitlement

Glosswitch says sex education should include teaching boys not to be sexist. That seems reasonable.

I am a mother of sons and the thought of them growing up within a culture of rampant male sexual entitlement terrifies me. Right now they are six and seven – still innocent, still able to see their female peers as fellow humans – but as adolescence approaches, I fear that a deluge of misogyny will engulf them as they encounter the adult world and so-called “normal” attitudes to sex.

I am very much in favour of them being granted access to as much accurate, open-minded sex education as possible. Nonetheless, I doubt such teaching will ever be effective as long as we are in denial about the real problem: the widespread, culturally sanctioned dehumanisation of women as the price for male sexual gratification. [Read more…]

The language of gender identity

At Slate, a piece titled Why I’m Still a Butch Lesbian.

Vanessa Vitiello Urquhart says she first started wearing what she calls “men’s clothing” a few years ago.

(Me, I would just call them clothes. I wear jeans – black ones when I need to clean up – and T shirts or turtlenecks, sweatshirts or sweaters. I don’t think of them as men’s clothes. Then again I don’t wear neckties – I guess I do think of them as men’s clothes. Why? Well…uh…I guess because I don’t wear them. Is this a little bit circular?) [Read more…]

Guest post: Duggars got bank

Originally a comment by TGuerrant on Fresh quality content.

As timgueguen said (and despite the common elements in our nyms we are not the same person), the Duggars have a real estate business that Jim Bob took over from his mother, and they’ve parlayed it into a portfolio of income-generating commercial real estate, including a cell tower.

Jim Bob also ran a used car lot and a towing business – a good pairing. A used car lot arranges high-interest loans for buyers with lousy credit (profitable), the cash down payment made before the car’s driven off the lot usually covers the dealer’s costs, any payments the buyer makes are profit, and if a buyer fails to make the payments, the tow truck’s perfect for repo’ing the car, which can then be re-sold. It may not have the summer-in-the-Hamptons cache of a hedge fund, but it’s a pretty shrewd small business strategy.

The Duggars set up their eldest son, Joshua, with a used car lot of his own that floundered and got sold to a chain at the time he headed off for his short-lived career as a fundie activist in Washington. The second son, John-David, got the towing business, but wanted to become a pilot. Hence, Duggar Aviation (yes, really) now owns two planes available for charter, and a another son is training to be a pilot, too. The Duggars have set these enterprises and others up as a series of small LLCs, so if one fails, it doesn’t take down the others, and base the businesses’ administration in the same little home office to keep overhead minimal. [Read more…]

What Salty Current said

What Salty Current said on Alex Gabriel’s “smoke / fire” post from last month, a post which was kicked back to life a few days ago by the odious “sonofrojblake,” whom I finally banned from commenting here because he’s so odious.

This is the whole comment, because it’s good.

Alex:

@Salty Current (#59): Including trans women in your definition of women doesn’t require you to ‘accept unproblematically a gender binary with whatever associated qualities anyone might attach to it’.

If you’ve been experiencing the oppressive aspects of the category “woman” and its associated beliefs for your entire life, writing for years prior questioning and challenging the category and its definitions, and (in Ophelia’s case) feeling very ambivalent about what it means to identify yourself in those categorical terms, it does. I’m really very angry about what looks like a total dismissal of our very real interest, as people harmed by these categories, in continuing to question and challenge them – in continuing to want to talk about gender in a critical way; like not immediately ceasing that aspect of our fight against oppression because some people demand it is done to exclude trans people from the great benefits of womanhood. People’s refusing to acknowledge the difference between this continued questioning and challenging of gender categories, in form and substance, and denying people’s rights, including the rights to self-identify and to have that identification be recognized and respected, is troubling. There is a difference between saying “I accept these categories and belong to one, and I won’t allow those people into it” and “I recognize and respect everyone’s self-identification and rights, but I want to continue to challenge the received categories which I and others have experienced as oppressive,” and it’s essential that it be recognized. [Read more…]

Fresh quality content

The Duggars are asking for money.

On the conservative clan’s official YouTube page, Duggar Studios, the family asks for supporters to contribute funds so the kids can create “fresh quality content” on their video site.

“Every contribution is helpful, big or small,” they claim.

However, the videos, featuring the children playing basketball and going to the dentist, don’t seem to require much of a budget.

Also, clips are only uploaded to the account once every few months.

The former reality stars have a history of money grubbing.

MORE: Josh Duggar’s Bizarre Sex Abuse Recovery Program Revealed

Daughter Jill, 23, and husband Deryck Dillard, 26, recently faced criticism when they asked fans for financial donations for their first long-term mission trip— but refused to divulge details on how the money would be spent.

The money would be spent FOR GOD, obviously.