We’re adept at masking inconsistencies from ourselves

In pleasanter news than most of what I’ve shared today, Rebecca Goldstein talks to The Humanist about Plato at the Googleplex.

The Humanist: Can you say more about how philosophy benefits humanity?

Goldstein: We’re adept at masking inconsistencies from ourselves, most especially moral inconsistencies, since they make it easier for us to act in ways that we want to. At its best, philosophy exposes presumptions that we’re not aware we harbor—presumptions that nonetheless influence our judgments and actions. It examines whether these presumptions are justifiable and consistent with other beliefs and attitudes we’ve committed ourselves to.

The Humanist: Unmasking moral inconsistencies: this is where your notion of “mattering” comes in, correct?

[Read more...]

Heaping unbound shame on her family

Ruzwana Bashir is upset about the media focus on the abuse of white girls while under-reporting the abuse of Asian girls by Asian adult men. She shares her story in hopes of tearing down the wall of silence and encouraging others to do the same.

She was abused by a neighbor in Skipton at the age of 10; she felt too much shame to say anything. Years later she went back to testify against him. [Read more...]

For a long and painful time

From last December, Huma Munshi talks to Lifting the Veil about the concepts of ‘honour’ and ‘shame’

Huma is a writer and poet who writes on many issues including feminism and tackling ‘honour’ based violence. She sees writing as a means to connect with others and healing. She tweets at @Huma101

She started #fuckhonour and #fuckshame hashtags on Twitter; here she explains her thinking.

Muslim Women’s Network launched a report, entitled Unheard Voices, in autumn of this year describing the prevalence of young Asian, Muslim girls being sexually abused. There were a number of things that made me extremely angry but what led me to start the “#fuckhonour” hashtag was the concept of ‘honour’ to victim blame[1] and silence young girls who had been victims of abuse. [Read more...]

One more horror

One more horror out of the many every hour of every day.

Dr. Rou’aa Diab was a dentist in the Deir ez-Zor Governate city of Al-Mayadeen, located on the border of Iraq.  Two days ago, she [was] arrested by the Islamic State, along with 4 others, and summarily executed. The reasoning for the execution was under the crime of “treating male patients” – a crime she was not tried for in a court room. Dr. Diab’s death has sparked anger in the historical city of Al-Mayadeen, an area where the Islamic State continues to assert its governance over.

A dentist – murdered for treating patients. You know what life would be like without dentists? Very nasty, that’s what.

 

Police regarded the victims with contempt

Shaheen Hashmat says the Rotherham report struck a note of personal horror for her.

I’m a Pakistani woman born and raised in Scotland, as part of a Muslim family. And, at the age of 12, I relied on the help of police and local authorities to help me escape from honour abuse and the threat of forced marriage. As a result of my experiences, I now dedicate most of my spare time to raising awareness of these issues. I’m currently working to establish a free mental health service for those who have suffered similar abuses.

Doing the work she does, she’s learned that rape victims get a terrible time if they report their rape. [Read more...]

The weapon recoiled and she lost control

There was that grotesque incident on Monday, at an “Outdoor Machine Gun Adventure” in the Mojave Desert not far from Las Vegas.

A 9-year-old girl at a shooting range outside Las Vegas accidentally killed an instructor on Monday morning when she lost control of the Uzi he was showing her how to use.

The girl, whose name wasn’t released, visited the outdoor shooting range while vacationing with her parents. She’d fired the 9mm weapon, designed for use by the Israeli defense forces in the 1940s, several times in single-shot mode. But when it was set to fully automatic, the weapon recoiled and she lost control.

[Read more...]

The pursuit of the norm

Republicans explain to non-Republican women how they are wrong to be non-Republican women. The tl;dr is that all such women are 35 and single and therefore in a deep funk of self-loathing because they know they should be married; if they were Republicans they would be married. It’s hard to see a flaw, isn’t it.

R.R. Reno, editor of First Things (a journal that promotes “economic freedom” and a “morally serious culture”), published a very helpful essay illustrating how this fresh new strategy might work in practice. Reno begins his piece with a richly-drawn portrait of a hypothetical female Democratic voter: She is a “single, 35-year-old McKinsey consultant living in suburban Chicago who thinks of herself as vulnerable and votes for enhanced social programs designed to protect against the dangers and uncertainties of life.” [Read more...]

Five doctors, nurses, and hospital staffers

This is very sad, on many levels.

Five doctors, nurses, and hospital staffers who are co-credited as authors of a paper about Ebola published today in Science have already died of the disease, the publication says. All five worked at Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone, and all were “experienced members of the hospital’s Lassa fever team.” (Lassa fever is “a hemorrhagic illness with many symptoms similar to Ebola.”)

One of the victims was Sheik Umar Khan, the doctor supervising Sierra Leone’s Ebola response, whose death last month was widely reported.

Three of the victims were infected while caring for another colleague of theirs who contracted the virus while pregnant, Science says. One of those victims, Mbalu Fonnie, was the nursing supervisor of the hospital’s Lassa fever ward and had survived a Lassa fever infection.

Just awful.

 

A win for polygyny

A federal judge in Utah struck down part of the state’s ban on polygamy as unconstitutional yesterday.

US district judge Clark Waddoups ruled in December that a section of Utah law that prohibits “cohabitation” violates the Constitution’s religious freedom and privacy protections. He reaffirmed this decision in his Wednesday ruling, in which he also provided attorney’s fees to the plaintiff, Kody Brown, a star of TLC reality show Sister Wives.

A law against cohabitation does sound very intrusive. On the other hand what if it’s just a euphemism for a certain kind of exploitation? [Read more...]