Brendan O’Neill writes in his sleep

More “you want trolling? I’ll give you trolling!” from Brendan “I’m making a career of trolling” O’Neill in Troll Central, aka spiked. What is it this time? It’s that trolls aren’t the problem, “troll hunters” are the problem.

(How was I alerted to this one? Because somone I don’t follow tweeted it to two people I do follow, so I had a look. The one I don’t follow is Quiet Riot Girl – omigod I’d forgotten all about her. Ugh. She should go into partnership with O’Neill. Apparently she was outed by Julie Bindel last March. O’Neill knows how to find her for that partnership then.) [Read more…]


Godalmighty Soraya Chemaly’s article on misogynist shit on Facebook is horrifying and scary.

Earlier this week I wrote about how the use of photography (especially without the subject’s consent) intensifies harassment, abuse and violence against women.  Quicker than I could type “Feministe” this petition appeared in my inbox:  “Please sign to remove 12 Year Old Slut Memes from Facebook.”  One of the offending page’s profile photos is of a pink-lipped and pouty child (she looks a lot younger than 12) wearing a tank top that reads “I love COCK.”  Now, anyone can create a page in Facebook (published at Facebook’s discretion) and this page doesn’t openly advocate violence against 12-year-old sluts.  It is, however, the virtual equivalent of street harassment and, as such, demonstrates the way the photography serves to exponentially magnify the effects of subtle and real violence along a broad spectrum. [Read more…]

Detain those women

What was that about women and indecency and men are always right? That’s how it works in Saudi Arabia for sure. Saudi Arabia detained and deported a lot of Nigerian women who went there for the hajj but did it without a male relative along to make sure they didn’t fuck every man they saw. Sluts.

Since Sunday, hundreds of Nigerian women – mainly aged between 25 and 35, according to Nigerian diplomats – have been stopped at the airports in Jeddah and Medina. [Read more…]

There was no rape, the woman was indecent

What’s new in Tunisia? Nothing much. Two police officers accused of raping a young woman have accused the young woman of “indecency” and a judge has hauled her into court to respond to the accusation.

Leading human rights, feminist groups and other prominent members of civil society have formed a committee evening to co-ordinate a campaign in support of the woman, including the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women and the Tunisian League of Human Rights.

Faïza Skandrani, the head of the Equality and Parity organisation, told Al Jazeera that the case was an important one for two reasons: it marked the first time a woman allegedly raped by the police had taken the case to court, and it was the first time the authorities were trying to publicly shame a woman into dropping such charges.

“The investigating judge is turning her from the victim to the accused, to help the police officers get away with it,” she said. “I’ve heard about similar cases in Pakistan, but this is a first in Tunisia. Next they will be charging her with prostitution.”

It’s classic, isn’t it. Women are “indecent” simply by existing, so there’s no such thing as rape, there’s only women sucking in men with their indecency between the legs. If the woman is there to be raped, then it’s her fault by definition, even if the man had to break down a couple of walls to get at her. If she is not sealed up beyond possible access then she’s indecent and a sucker-in of men. Stone her.

Activists see the case as an important one because of the symbolism in the wider cultural battles between those who want Tunisia to maintain its position as one of the most progressive countries in the Arab world, and religious conservatives.

“This is a drop in the ocean of the problems we’ve been fighting,” Skandrani said. “Each time we close one door, they open another.”

“The revolution was about freedom and democracy, not about undermining women’s rights,” she said. “They want to build a society where women can be used and treated like objects and where the man is always right.”

Bad luck to them.



Enough with the naked calendars already

Rebecca’s gone off the whole naked calendars idea. I’m glad about that, because I was never on it, but didn’t say so, because you know, I’m a million years old, I come from that boring generation that did second wave feminism and didn’t get it about pole dancing as empowerment.

“Why don’t you make the Skepchick Calendars anymore?” Ever since I stopped producing not-quite-nudie calendars back in 2007, I’ve heard that question a lot. The problem is that I never have the 30 minutes I’d need to list half the reasons why I no longer do it. But now, I will list a few of those reasons in the desperate hope that organizations that need money or publicity or whatever will read this and make the decision to not produce calendars. [Read more…]

Preserving masculinity in a society pimped by feminism

The SPLC takes a cautious look at misogyny on the web.

The website was launched in 2008 as a “parody website for people who take their gender too seriously.” (It is not related to the MTV Reality Show Guy Code, which had its debut in 2011). Its impresarios describe themselves as “a group of men dedicated to preserving masculinity in a society trying to be pimped by feminism”; its name was inspired by a line spoken by Vince Vaughn in the 2003 movie “Old School”: “It’s guy code. Guys don’t tell on other guys. It’s something chicks do. You’re not a chick, are you?” [Read more…]

All blasphemers

Eric Posner has a rather limp article in Slate, sort of saying the Feds should do something about the “Innocence of Muslims” video and sort of not quite saying it.

Greg Lukianoff writes a much more interesting piece in the Huffington Post in reply.

…lately, it seems as though we’ve gotten so used to our First Amendment rights as a country that we take them for granted and forget the deadly serious reasons why we decided that these freedoms should serve as the building blocks for our society in the first place.

I don’t forget the deadly serious reasons. Maybe that’s because I pay so much attention to places like Pakistan and Russia. [Read more…]

Upward Facing Watermelon

Am I wrong to find this funny? A Catholic priest kicking the yoga people out of his church because it turns out they didn’t mean just Downward Facing Dog and Upside Down Candelabra, they meant “spiritual.” Or not, but they could have. You couldn’t be sure. You know how people are. They say it’s not spiritual, they say they just want to strike poses and watch the pounds melt away, but underneath, they’re plotting to do spiritual.

Instructor Cori Withell from Hampshire said her yoga and pilates classes at St Edmund’s Church building in Southampton were cancelled with 10 days to go.

Father John Chandler said that the hall had to be used for Catholic activities, and he banned it because it was advertised as “spiritual yoga”. [Read more…]

A conversation with AC Grayling

A student journalist, Will Bordell, has a lovely interview with Anthony Grayling which I’ve just published at ur-B&W. Here’s a big chunk of it.

Spare a thought for philosophy: An interview with A.C. Grayling

What makes Grayling tick is “the fact that the world is so rich in interest and in puzzles, and that the task of finding out as much as we can about it is not an endless task but certainly one which is going to take us many, many millennia to complete”.  There’s a sort of childlike grin that beams out at me, as he affirms that “that’s exciting – discovery is exciting”.  Grayling joys in doubt and possibility, in invention and innovation: the tasks of the open mind and open inquiry.  It’s a mindset, he reveals, that “loves the open-endedness and the continuing character of the conversation that mankind has with itself about all these things that really matter”. [Read more…]