Corrupting the youth

Via Feminist Law Professors – a student teacher is fired for being photographed in what looks very like a bathing suit top.

[Theresa] Illgen, 23, appeared in a front-page photograph in the Las Cruces Sun-News wearing a bra and appearing to motivate those who marched to educate students, and the public, about the issue of rape culture and victim blaming. The national march typically includes participants who dress in skimpy clothing who peacefully protest against excusing rape by referring to any aspect of a woman’s appearance.

“I didn’t know the picture would be published,” Illgen said.

What picture? [Read more…]

Better news

According to a few sources (but only a few, so I’m not sure how reliable they are), El Salvador’s Health Minister approved a C-section for “Beatriz” yesterday, a day after the Supreme Court ruled that she could not have a life-saving abortion.

The Health Department hasn’t given a day or time for when Beatriz will deliver the baby by Cesarean section, said Morena Herrera, a member of the Feminist Collective for Local Development, an organization that has been supporting Beatriz.

“She is going through all the medical exams to be ready for surgery,” Herrera said.

I hope it’s not too late.

H/t PatrickG.


Atheist solidarity? What’s that?

Remember that photoshop I posted on the More documenting the harassment page last Saturday? The one taken from the photo Adam Lee took of us FTBers holding our signs of solidarity with the Bangladeshi atheists? That Reap Paden changed to signs spelling out our love for “Justin” [Vacula]? That Vacula reposted on Facebook?


Now Vacula has done a blog post about it; he’s that proud of it. That proud of erasing an important and (one would think) meaningful message to fellow atheists who are under attack in a theocratic country, for the sake of making a stupid, mean joke about people who dislike being harassed by Vacula.

He stole the photo, too. It’s not his to post just as it wasn’t Paden’s to alter and post. He posted it without attribution and without permission. It’s Adam Lee’s photo. That is not a nice thing to do to a fellow atheist and activist.

He titles the post “Don’t satirize feminists, but happily draw Mohammad?”

That’s stupid. The two are not comparable. I’m not Mohammed. Stephanie is not Mohammed. Maryam is not Mohammed. Adam Lee is not Mohammed.

I hosted one photoshopped satirical image of various feminists — including Ophelia Benson of the Freethought Blogs network — on my Facebook page because I found it light-hearted, humourous, and in good taste. A friend of mine, Reap Paden, had edited signs in the image to read “We <3 Justin” – what I thought was a humourous mild jab because, in part, many in the image do not love me and instead have written dozens of over-the-top blog posts about how much of a bad person I am.

That’s not true. The posts I’ve written about Vacula have been about his relentless harassment of me.

Notice how he singles me out even here.

He notes that there was some reaction.

The moral imperative proposed — that one ought to remove a satirical image merely because one claims offense — is most unreasonable and would consign everyone to silence on any given issue because anyone can claim offense. What matters, instead, I believe, is whether one’s claiming of offense is reasonable. If the claiming of offense is unreasonable, there should be no moral imperative for one to refrain from the mildest of satire. If it is not permissible to satirize feminists because people may claim offense and be hurt, why should it be permissible to satirize Mohammad?

See above. I’m not Mohammed. The rest of us are not Mohammed. “Satirizing” powerless obscure individuals is not the same kind of thing as satirizing long-dead prophets of bossy totalizing religions.

In addition, altering someone else’s photograph of a serious attempt to express support for beleaguered atheists in another country, to make a stupid taunting “joke” – that too is not comparable to satirizing long-dead prophets of bossy totalizing religions.


An important difference

Speaking of being thrown overboard…Greta has a pair of terrific posts on Ron Lindsay and Women in Secularism 2. One is on the content of his talk, the other is on the context.

From the first one – on the “shut up and listen” part.

This section has been addressed at length by many other writers. But this is the place where I’m discussing it, so I’m going to address it again.

I do not know anyone — and I mean anyone — who is a serious and respected leader or writer advocating for feminism within the atheist movement, who is telling men that they have nothing to contribute to the conversation about feminism, simply because they are men, and that all men must shut up about feminism permanently. [Read more…]

Left and right, unite and fight…women

Katha Pollitt on El Salvador’s way with pregnant women.

Since 1998, El Salvador has had a complete no-exceptions ban on abortion,  promoted by the country’s powerful Catholic Church and passed with the votes of  legislators from the former left-wing movement FMLN—because if there’s one thing  right and left agree on, it’s that women’s lives are less important than  achieving political power. (Daniel Ortega made the same move in Nicaragua in a  successful bid for church support.)

There’s nothing quite like being thrown overboard by people you thought were allies. The cold water comes as such a shock…

Since the ban, the Central American Women’s network reports that over 600  Salvadoran women have been imprisoned for having abortions, including  miscarriages and stillbirths suspected of being the result of abortion. A word  to the wise: when US abortion opponents insist they would never put women on  trial for terminating a pregnancy, be skeptical.

Oh, I am.

Texas passes law approving winter holidays


Well that’s what it says.

After a good amount of hoopla, Texas Governor Rick Perry is expected to quietly sign legislation allowing public schools to celebrate Christmas and other winter holidays plainly and explicitly without fear of lawsuits.

Why would he do it noisily? Do governors usually shout and scream while signing legislation?

Anyway, whatever. I’m not convinced there is much fear of lawsuits over celebrating Christmas and other winter holidays, but if you say so. [Read more…]

Meet skeptixx

Ah. I did a little more exploring in the comments to see where we’ve heard from “Skep tickle/skeptixx” before. It’s interesting.

The first (that I’ve found) was one last October, in the post I did on the pathetic “parody” of Jesus and Mo that is “Peezus and O.” “skeptixx” popped in to say

Funny!  Thanks the for the link to their source; I’m enjoying looking through them all.

Don’t lose hope, Ophelia – maybe you’ll “get” to say something in the next one…

Yup that’s our “Skep tickle” – that’s her sneering contempt in a nutshell.

She was much more prolific on a post I did about the horrific Delhi rape and the broader subject of hatred of women. The two are, in fact, connected, and hatred of women is, in fact, an important subject. Pitchguest and other pit creeps showed up to scream that I was making it all about me, again, and “skeptixx” joined in with energy. [Read more…]



El Salvador’s Supreme Court has said no. No abortion for Beatriz; she has to die, because she’s pregnant.

Beatriz is carrying an anencephalic fetus, which means it has no brain and is only expected to survive at maximum a few hours after birth, even if she carries it to full term.

Beatriz has lupus, worsened by a kidney malfunction, and it is very dangerous for her to be pregnant.

“The doctors are saying it’s very critical because the lupus may be reactivated and if the lupus is reactivated it is very dangerous for her health,” [her lawyer] added.

She is now 26-weeks pregnant, and every day it becomes more risky for her to be pregnant and have an abortion at such a late stage.

Bastards. Fiends. Demons.

Look at them all

A small thing, but annoying. People who say “I completely condemn any harassment and abuse” – and then follow up quickly with a much more detailed and enthusiastic condemnation of whatever it is that you, the object of abuse and harassment, might possibly decide to say at some point in the future if your nerves are shredded and there is no lemonade in the fridge.

One thing that’s annoying about that is the fact that the people who say it never actually seem to do this condemning of harassment and abuse out loud. Or in public. Or in places where people who are engaging in harassment and abuse might potentially see it. Or in places where people who are engaging in harassment and abuse would for certain see it. These people-who-say seem to say it to themselves, and then swell a bit with admiration for their own rectitude and good taste when it comes to hobbies. They never seem to say it anywhere useful when you, the object of abuse and harassment, could use a little backup or support or solidarity.

They seem to want credit for it all the same, though.

You know what? They’re not getting it. I don’t give a fuck if they condemn harassment and abuse inside their own heads. That doesn’t do me one god damn bit of good. If they’re saying it just to get it out of the way before they get down to telling me off for being so harassable and abusable – well –