Jul 22 2014

You said it yourself, you’re a writer, not a diplomat

You knew it was on the way – another Jaclyn Glenn video about the horrors of what she chooses to call (without defining it) “Extreme Feminism.” This time (oh the honor) she goes after me, although without naming me.

She starts by saying she’s going to talk about all the drama that’s been going on for the past couple of weeks. There’s disdain in the way she says “drama” – which is a bit rich, considering how much “drama” there is about her own videos. Does she think they’re calm and cool and carefully reasoned? Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 22 2014

Freedom to refuse

Here’s my July column for the Freethinker, on the Freethinker’s shiny new website.

Ramadan clearly is widely treated as compulsory, sometimes at the state level and much more at the familial level (which tends to bleed into the neighborhood and the “community” – the notional, non-physical community as well as the literal neighborhood-surrounding one).

I consider this worrying, although I don’t think much can be done about it beyond a slow non-coercive persuasion. I do think it’s worrying that to obey a religious “command” parents can compel their older (past puberty) children to go without food and water from sunrise to sunset.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 21 2014

Not to bend once again

All right, one piece of good news. Obama signed the tweaked ENDA today and it did not include a religious exemption. Woohoo!

President Barack Obama signed a highly anticipated executive order Monday, which amends the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to include LGBT workers. The executive order restricts all federal branches and federal contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The order takes effect immediately for federal employees. Federal contractors will have provisions in place by early 2015, according to the Huffington Post.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 21 2014

Full-time professional unpaid volunteer

Cheerleaders for the professional football team the Buffalo Bills are mostly unpaid.

A Jill is paid next to nothing—no money for gameday cheering, none for practice, none for the bulk of her minimum 20 personal appearances, none from the tips she receives but must turn in during the mandatory Jills Golf Tournament—and is classified by the team as a volunteer/independent contractor, though the thickness and thoroughness of the handbook makes you wonder just how independent she is.

They’re “volunteers” but they sure do have to follow a lot of rules for people who are volunteers. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 21 2014

Peasants’ entrance

There’s a new residential high-rise going up in New York that will have separate entrances for rich people and not-rich people. No this time it’s not the Onion. It’s for real.

Extell Development Company, the firm behind the new building, announced its intentions to segregate the rich and poor to much outrage last year. Fifty-five of the luxury complex’s 219 units would be marked for low-income renters—netting some valuable tax breaks for Extell—with the caveat that the less fortunate tenants would stick to their own entrance. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 21 2014


Hemant Mehta, the “friendly” atheist, is promoting a video by the “amazing” atheist now, the one who has such an “amazing” attitude toward women.

Not all that friendly to women, is he.

Jul 20 2014

No intention of providing the full range of services

They’re taking over. No not Martians, not gremlins, not chemtrails, but anti-abortion people going into health care work in order to undermine it.

As more states push bills to strip family planning funding from Planned Parenthoods, or relocate funding so that Planned Parenthood affiliates are last in line, other clinics that provide care to low-income and uninsured residents will be forced to shoulder the burden of reproductive health care services, especially when it comes to offering birth control.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 20 2014

Prepare for amazement

We saw yesterday that Jaclyn “stop all this divisiveness!!” Glenn is a fan or friend or both of The Amazing Atheist.

amazMy knowledge of what exactly is horrible about the Amazing Atheist was a little rusty though (well there are so many misogynist ragers among the atheists) so I went looking for details. And found them.

RationalWiki has a useful entry. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 20 2014

We will send you to the cemetery where you will be safe

A pretty story from Afghanistan:

It was bad enough that the alleged rape took place in the sanctity of a mosque, and that the accused man was a mullah who invoked the familiar defense that it had been consensual sex.

But the victim was only 10 years old. And there was more: The authorities said her family members openly planned to carry out an “honor killing” in the case — against the young girl. The mullah offered to marry his victim instead.

Just gorgeous, isn’t it? The mullah said it was consensual – when the girl he raped was ten years old. And he’s a mullah. In a mosque.

Plus the bit about her family’s plans to kill her.

And it gets even more wonderful, because she was in a shelter, but this week the police took her out of the shelter and gave her back to her family – so that they could kill her easily, I guess. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 20 2014

Guest post: When the concept of privilege is raised in any other context

Originally a comment by SC (Salty Current) on When a group is an acceptable target for hostility.

The suggestion that atheists privileged on other dimensions don’t face anything that could be recognized as oppression as atheists is wrong and unhelpful. Probably the element of anti-atheist prejudice that should be most concerning is the suggestion that atheists aren’t fully human* – that we lack some spiritual quality or knowledge or essence that limits us intellectually or ethically or even makes us dangerous. It should be easy enough to see the similarities with misogynistic and anti-Semitic ideas.

One problem, though, is that the insight that the treatment of atheists shares important features with that of other groups has been extremely difficult to impress upon some white male atheists who continue to spew and actively or tacitly support sexist, misogynistic, racist, transphobic rhetoric. Dawkins, for example, can deride journalists who say atheists aren’t fully human or archbishops claiming that reason is dangerous and leads to genocide; he seems to have more difficulty imagining growing up and living as an atheist in societies completely organized around such views or seeing the similarities with patriarchal or colonial ideologies.

They contest the misrepresentations of atheists by religious people and religious apologists – the portrayal of calm criticism as shrill ranting, the claims that we seek to oppress religious people and silence dissent, the mint julep tall tales,… But they can’t seem to recognize the same patterns of misrepresentation when they’re used against feminists. Read the rest of this entry »

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