How much dog poop stirred into your cookie batter

Uh oh. A state-funded religious education program in Australia has been telling girls they’re sluts.

Parents and teachers have called for an urgent overhaul of religious education in schools after year 6 children were given material claiming girls who wear revealing clothes are inviting sexual assault, and homosexuality, masturbation and sex before marriage are sinful.

Students at Torquay College were presented with “Biblezines” as a graduation present at the end of their Christian education program, run by Access Ministries – the government accredited provider of religious instruction in Victorian schools. [Read more...]

Almost all the missing students are female

A Turkish lawyer and women’s rights activist, Canan Arin, was arrested for mentioning the fact that girls get married off very young in Turkey.

I was the co-founder of the Istanbul Bar Association, Women’s Rights Enforcement Centre and worked as a trainer there.  The Antalya Bar Association was opening a Women’s Rights Enforcement Centre and the lawyers needed training. I gave a talk on violence against women in the form of early and forced marriages in the context of training.

I used two examples to illustrate my point. One was the Prophet who married a girl of seven. The second was the head of the Turkish Republic who was engaged to his wife, the first lady, when she was 14 and married her when she was 15. [Read more...]

For theological reasons

A member of the General Synod of the Church of England explains about the vote not to allow women bishops.

The legislation we voted on needed to achieve two outcomes: the ordination of women to the episcopate; and sufficient provision for those who, for theological reasons, find this innovation unacceptable.

For theological reasons – that’s important, you see. They can’t be political reasons or moral reasons or we just don’t like them reasons. Why? Because it looks bad. [Read more...]

The ERD part 2

The US Catholic bishops’ orders to Catholic health care providers.

Page 20 still.

28. Each person or the person’s surrogate should have access to medical and moral information and counseling so as to be able to form his or her conscience. The free and informed health care decision of the person or the person’s surrogate is to be followed so long as it does not contradict Catholic principles.

Doesn’t that sound familiar. [Read more...]

Oh thank you so much Allah, you’re so kind

Okay maybe I’m being a big mean atheist poopy head, but honestly, I do wish people would stop thanking Allah for saving Malala’s life. Say what? If Allah saved her life, why the fuck didn’t Allah prevent her (and her schoolmates) from being shot in the first place? Why didn’t Allah cause the shooters to have four flat tires on a very isolated mountain road? Why didn’t Allah give them all a bad intestinal upset that day?

Same old same old. Theodicy. If God this, then why that. Well think about it, people. Use your heads. Don’t just mindlessly thank Allah for stepping in hours after a girl of 14 was shot in the head by a man who thinks he’s acting on Allah’s behalf.

If Allah saved Malala’s life, why didn’t Allah simply set the Taliban straight years ago? Why didn’t Allah sit them all down and say look here, you shits, I don’t want you bullying women and whipping them for not wearing a burqa and keeping them from getting an education. What a stupid vicious idea; stop it this minute. ?

If Allah gets credit for the apparent failure to kill Malala, Allah gets blame for the attempt to kill Malala. It’s both or neither. You don’t get to choose only the nice bits.

So that she will mend her ways

Małgorzata has sent me another gem - a lecture on tv by an Egyptian cleric explaining why men have to beat up women.

Abd Al-Rahman Mansour: Islam instructs a man to beat his wife as a last resort before divorce, so that she will mend her ways, treat him with kindness and respect, and know that her husband has a higher status than her.

That’s usefully blunt. We know where we are. We’re among stupid unreflective people who have not managed to figure out that stronger does not equal better or higher, and that the mere fact that person X is able to beat up person Y does not mean that person X is better than person Y. [Read more...]

If women have choices

What do you do when women attain not only equality but, in some areas, numerical superiority?

Well if those areas are things like doing most of the domestic work, or low pay, or getting hassled in the street, you do nothing. But when those areas are desirable things like university education?

You slam the door on them, so that they won’t have any numerical superiority any more. You make sure there won’t be more women than men graduating from universities by not letting so god damn many women in in the first place. [Read more...]

A full 20 days

Remember the 9-weeks pregnant Dominican 16-year-old with acute leukemia whose doctors refused to give her chemo because she was pregnant? Well, great news: you don’t have to worry about her any more, because she’s dead.

Her plight gained attention over the last few weeks as doctors debated whether it was morally correct to start treating her cancer, given as Article 37 of the Dominican Constitution states that “the right to life is inviolable from the moment of conception and until death.” It took doctors and the Dominican government a full 20 days to decide that God and Country might care about the actually living mother’s life, too, not just the fetus inside of her, and allow the treatment. By then, it was too late.

Oh well. Plenty more where she came from.

The joke’s on them

For awhile there it looked as if Mali were going to have a new and better Family Code to improve the rights of women.

Its provisions included raising the minimum legal age of marriage for girls, improving women’s inheritance and property rights and removing the clause demanding a wife’s obedience to her husband. The law was adopted by the National Assembly in August 2009 but was withdrawn following uproar from conservative Muslim groups.

Provocative headlines in newspapers warned that women would no longer have to obey their husbands and thousands took to the streets in protest. A task group formed by Mali’s top Islamic council called it an “open road to debauchery” and the National Union of Muslim Women’s Associations said the law reflected the wishes of a tiny minority of women. When the Family Code was finally enshrined in law in January this year, it was substantially watered down. Campaigners say that far from protecting women’s rights, the code perpetuates discrimination.

Religion trumped women’s rights, as it so often does. Religion equated equal rights for women with “debauchery” – as if women weren’t people at all but just walking genitalia; as if all equality and rights could possibly mean to women would be fucking any man they could find; as if all women ever want to do is just fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck and therefore they can’t ever have rights.

According to Safiatou Doumbia, a member of the Malian Association for Care and Assistance to Women and Children, the new law has set women back. “The new law brings women’s rights back to more than 50 years ago because some rights women had in the former law have been banned. Before, a woman would automatically keep her children if her husband died. This is not the case with the new law, which allows a family counsel to decide who should keep the children.”

Under the new Family Code, as in the original 1962 law, a woman must obey her husband, men are considered the head of the family and the legal age for marriage is 16 for girls, and 18 for boys.

In short, women (including girls) are on a par with livestock. They are wholly owned by men; a woman without an owner is as nature-defying as a feral Bichon Frise.

 

Loose morals

Udate: note this is from the Washington Times, a very dubious source.

Good old liberation struggles, like the liberation struggle of Chechnya from the brutal embrace of Russia.

Chechnya’s government is openly approving of families that kill female relatives who violate their sense of honor, as this Russian republic embraces a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam after decades of religious suppression under Soviet rule.

In the past five years, the bodies of dozens of young Chechen women have been found dumped in woods, abandoned in alleys and left along roads in the capital, Grozny, and neighboring villages.

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov publicly announced that the dead women had “loose morals” and were rightfully shot by male relatives. He went on to describe women as the property of their husbands, and said their main role is to bear children.

Hmm. That’s nice. Imagine living in a country where the head of state announces that women who have Incorrect sex deserve to be murdered by their male relatives.

“You hear about these cases almost every day,” said a local human rights defender, who asked that her name not be used out of fear for her safety. “It is hard for me to investigate this topic, yet I worked on it with [human rights activist] Natasha [Estemirova] for a while. But, I can’t anymore. I am too scared now. I’ve almost given up, really.”

Estemirova, who angered Chechen authorities with reports of torture, abductions and extrajudicial killings, was found in the woods in 2009 in the neighboring region of Ingushetia with gunshot wounds to the head and chest. Her killer or killers have not been found.

Has anyone looked?