Her provocative behavior

So repeatedly calling a woman a slut is actually a form of harassment?

An indictment was filed Thursday against Jerusalem resident Shlomo Fuchs, 44, an ultra-Orthodox man who hurled sexist slurs at a female soldier on a public bus in the capital.

The court also stated that sexual harassment does not only apply when the harasser demands something of sexual nature from the harassed, but also when the harassed is humiliated based on remarks relating to his or her sex. The judge ruled such was the case in this incident, since “there is no dispute that Fuchs spoke bluntly and shouted harsh and humiliating words at the soldier aboard the bus, calling her a ‘slut’ three times.”

And that’s harassment? Really? It’s not just a little harmless fun? It’s not a joke? It’s not a touch of boorishness? It’s actual harassment? Who knew?

Fuchs’ attorney claimed this was not a criminal offense. “We live in a free country. We’re allowed to curse, it’s part of the freedom of expression,” he explained.

If the court does decide this is a sexual harassment case, said the attorney, then any man who calls a woman a “bitch” or other curse words would be considered a sexual offender.

Or a cunt or a fucking cunt or a smelly snatch or a fucking fat slag or an ugly fucking cunt bitch or – you get the idea.

It looks like a stupid claim, on the face of it (though it’s probably the only claim Fuchs’s attorney could make). Being allowed to curse is not the same thing as being allowed to shout curses at a particular person on a public bus because she won’t obey an unlawful bullying coercive order to move to the back of said bus. Passengers on buses aren’t allowed to do whatever they like to other passengers. Being allowed to curse is not the same thing as being allowed to harass people.

The Jerusalem police on Wednesday arrested Fuchs for calling Doron Matalon, the female soldier, a “slut” after she refused to sit at the back of an Egged bus travelling from the Neve Yaakov neighborhood to the Central Command base in Jerusalem.

Another female passenger who was approaching the front of the bus in order to pay the driver was told by Fuchs that “a woman shouldn’t pass through the front of the bus to pay.” He then demanded she return to the back of the bus.

Matalon said, “I wanted to make room for her, but a man sitting nearby said to her: ‘Why are you at the front of the bus? You’re a woman.’ He looked at me and asked: ‘You too, why are you here?'” Matalon responded: “Women are not restricted to the back of the bus.”

“I told him that just as he doesn’t want to see my face, I don’t want to see his, and that’s when he called me a ‘slut, shiksa.'”

Matalon added that Fuchs yelled: “Slut, slut, slut. You have no respect. You’re standing among yeshiva students and it’s shameful.”

Fuchs was arrested by the police, and during his interrogation he admitted to calling Matalon a “slut”, explaining that the slur was a proper response to “her provocative behavior.”

Sure. That’s what they all say.



Comedy Hour

Priests. Greek Orthodox priests, Armenian priests. Cleaning up the “Church of the Nativity” in Bethlehem. For the Orthodox Christmas on January 7. Scrub scrub, dust dust, polish polish, sweep sweep. Bash bash. Bash bash bash bash bash bash.



Jason Thibeault says why it’s useful that Rebecca Watson draws the pus of frothing misogyny out into the open where we can see it and then pour bleach on everything in sight.

Maybe not so good for her, but for all of us. These magical superpowers of hers are probably a curse for her own sanity, but they are a boon for our society, for our respective communities. It’s excellent that she can draw so much attention to the problem, and can draw out the people who are, in essence, part of it, where they can make examples of themselves. The “touch of boorishness” that she can draw out of complete strangers just by mentioning this nonsense is exactly the type of attitude we need to cleanse from our systems, to keep from becoming an entrenched part of our culture. We have to draw this venom out of our skeptical communities’ bodies somehow.

If we don’t know about it, we can’t deal with it. I’m not very optimistic that we can deal with it even if we do know about it, but I’m sure we can’t if it’s kept away from the fresh air and sunlight.

More from Jen, John, Ed, PZ.


We have to base our behaviour according to scripture

It appears that David Cameron is jealous of theocracy. He wants him some of that extra goddy power!

Prime Minister David Cameron has said the UK is a Christian country “and we should not be afraid to say so” in a speech in Oxford on the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible….

And he staunchly defended the role of religion in politics and said the Bible in particular was crucial to British values. [Read more…]

Post-born children don’t matter so much

There’s a thing called Personhood USA.

The Primary Mission of Personhood USA is to serve Jesus by being an Advocate for those who can not speak for themselves, the pre-born child. We serve by starting / coordinating efforts to establish legal “personhood” for pre-born children through peaceful activism, legislative efforts and ballot-access petition initiatives.

By “pre-born child” of course it means the embryo; by “pre-born” it means “inside the body of a woman whose wishes are entirely beside the point.” By “personhood” it means “usurping the rights of the woman who is gestating the embryo.”

  [Read more…]

Decent women don’t have “crisis pregnancies”

And if we haven’t had enough religious bullying today, here’s another batch.

As ThinkProgress has reported, so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” that claim to help women in need are actually established by anti-abortion activists with the sole objective of shaming women out of having abortions. Despite receiving federal and state funding, they have a history of preying on and misleading pregnant women who are seeking abortions and giving them false medical information to dissuade them from making their own decisions. [Read more…]

Not a touch


Massimo Pigliucci did a skeptical post on Hitchens a couple of days ago, and Jerry Coyne defends Hitchens today. I mostly agree with the defense, but…hmmm.

Misogynyist? Does Pigluicci know what that means?  Let us check the Oxford English Dictionary. “Misogyny: Hatred or dislike of, or prejudice against women.”  I don’t think Hitch hated, disliked, or was prejudiced against women. Sometimes he was mildly paternalistic, as when he claimed that his wife didn’t have to work, and sometimes he made boorish remarks verging on sexism, as in his famous critique of the Dixie Chicks. (But remember that he used equal invective against people like Jerry Falwell, and was not accused of being a man-hater.)

[Update: The last sentence quoted above has now been altered, but I quoted it as it was at the time.]

Not verging on sexism; sexism, and not a million miles from misogyny. Disagreeing with women by calling them fucking fat slags is sexism and it does at least hint at the presence of misogyny. Men who don’t hate women as a category tend not to call them names of that kind. [Read more…]