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Tag Archive: Sexism and feminism

Feb 22 2014

Chutney, pineapples and flying spaghetti: why atheism can never be inoffensive enough

This month, posters were snatched from an atheist group at South Bank University. ‘Looking for logic?’ they read, Flying Spaghetti Monster in God’s place on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. ‘Pastafarianism is a real religion.’ Not quite The Satanic Verses, but student union officials took them down in the society’s absence, afraid they’d trigger ‘religious offence’. (The …

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Feb 19 2014

Unsex me here! Gender, Julie Bindel and Gia Milinovich

Reference to all kinds of transphobia, be warned, ensues immediately. Overture ‘We are angry with ourselves’, Suzanne Moore of New Humanist and other zines wrote this time last year of women, ‘for not being happier, not being loved properly and not having the ideal body shape – that of a Brazilian transsexual.’ The article, on …

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Dec 17 2013

In support of Priyamvada Gopal

A new coinage of mine is ‘Rorschach text’ – a body of writing read necessarily according to prior sympathies. Scripture is, of course, the best example, but secular texts are just as liable to work this way, and we’re all as guilty of partial interpretation as each other. Yesterday, the Rationalist Association published a piece …

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Oct 22 2013

A very British nightmare: 28 Days Later, Danny Boyle’s anti-imperialist zombie flick

Spoiler warning with immediate effect. Content note: fictional scenarios mentioned of infanticide, racially motivated violence and (separate) sexual harassment, enslavement and attempted institutional and ritualistic rape-to-impregnate in a post-apocalyptic horror context. Atop the Big Brother house, picking the undead off by long-range rifle through its outer fence, characters in Charlie Brooker’s Dead Set (Channel 4, 2008) wonder why …

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Oct 06 2013

Pragna Patel: the right to blaspheme is ‘a matter of life and death’

Pragna Patel, of Southall Black Sisters and Women Against Fundamentalism, is one of my favourite secularists. In the recent, ongoing rows at Britain’s universities over cartoons of Mohammad and tropical fruits named after him, I’ve been sharing her presentation from last year’s National Secular Society conference a lot. Reading’s and LSE’s student unions have both …

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Aug 17 2013

“If you think rape is a problem, talk about it right.”

[Content warning: discussions of harassment, sexual violence, domestic abuse and victim blaming, both here and in the OP.] Jonathan Lindsell of the Haywire Thought blog has a post about rape, and how we discuss it. If you’ve heard the phrase “rape culture” and been mystified by it, this post is for you. It says a variety of essential …

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Jul 05 2013

Man of Steel: you’ll believe this turkey can fly

How unjust it is that a sequel to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel was announced even before its premiere, while Superman Returns, Bryan Singer’s 2006 effort, spawned none in the years which followed its release. The failure of Returns is largely mythical, despite fans’ recollection of it as a flop prompting DC’s reboot, as Ang …

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Jun 20 2013

A queer atheist’s survival guide: thoughts from my friends’ church wedding

Four days ago, for the second time this year, I went to church. Some months ago an elderly friend died, through whose funeral – an Anglican affair, dusty and impersonal if dignified – I sat with family members; it was the first I ever attended, and on Saturday, also for the first time, two friends …

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Apr 15 2013

Thoughts from QED: in defence of Atheism Plus

In case you weren’t aware of this – and you should be (it trended on Twitter) – QED just happened again. Last year’s convention gave birth to this site, and I’m glad to have gone again; it isn’t often that as Brits, the world is jealous of our skeptical meet-ups and not vice versa. This …

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Dec 23 2012

More sexist religion from my family’s bookshelves

Remember Leadership is Male, the book I posted about at the start of June? As Christmas Eve approaches, another gem has revealed itself on my relatives’ bookshelf. What’s the Difference? Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible is a similar volume by John Piper, and like Leadership is Male has a foreword by Elisabeth Elliot. (Because, …

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