The Girl Summit

Today was #girlsummit.

Angélique Kidjo says why.

You can help end child marriage and female genital mutilation or cutting. Pledge your support: #GirlSummit 
The Girl Summit on 22 July will rally a global movement to end child, early and forced marriage and FGM for all girls within a generation. Doing this will help preserve girls’ childhoods, promote their education, reduce their exposure to violence and abuse, and allow them to fulfill their potential in life.

Credit where it’s due

There was a sudden influx of first-time commenters, which puzzled me for a minute and then I realized Glenn must have responded (without contacting me directly, which I thought we were supposed to do, because she just said that…), so I looked at her Twitter and saw this:


JaclynGlenn @JaclynGlenn

Haha you look good in green!
FYI I didn’t write this bio. You can credit it (and the website) to @cultofdusty xD

I’m not sure what the “Haha you look good in green!” means. Is it that I’m jealous? I dunno. [Read more…]

In the world

Update: Yes I know she didn’t write it herself. She still has it on her About page.

Jaclyn Glenn explains about herself on the About page of her website.

With her sharp wit, good looks, and smashing sense of humor, Jaclyn Glenn has quickly become the new “it” girl in the atheist community. Her hit Youtube channel, JaclynGlenn has rocketed passed 200,000 subscriptions in no time flat and millions have been entertained by her quirky view of the world.

Even Richard Dawkins is unable to avoid her charm, as the king of atheism counts himself as a fan. She’s hot, she’s smart, she’s funny, shes’s off the wall, and she’s definitely NOT CRAZY! What more could you ask for? [Read more…]

You said it yourself, you’re a writer, not a diplomat

You knew it was on the way – another Jaclyn Glenn video about the horrors of what she chooses to call (without defining it) “Extreme Feminism.” This time (oh the honor) she goes after me, although without naming me.

She starts by saying she’s going to talk about all the drama that’s been going on for the past couple of weeks. There’s disdain in the way she says “drama” – which is a bit rich, considering how much “drama” there is about her own videos. Does she think they’re calm and cool and carefully reasoned? [Read more…]

Freedom to refuse

Here’s my July column for the Freethinker, on the Freethinker’s shiny new website.

Ramadan clearly is widely treated as compulsory, sometimes at the state level and much more at the familial level (which tends to bleed into the neighborhood and the “community” – the notional, non-physical community as well as the literal neighborhood-surrounding one).

I consider this worrying, although I don’t think much can be done about it beyond a slow non-coercive persuasion. I do think it’s worrying that to obey a religious “command” parents can compel their older (past puberty) children to go without food and water from sunrise to sunset.

[Read more…]

Not to bend once again

All right, one piece of good news. Obama signed the tweaked ENDA today and it did not include a religious exemption. Woohoo!

President Barack Obama signed a highly anticipated executive order Monday, which amends the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to include LGBT workers. The executive order restricts all federal branches and federal contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The order takes effect immediately for federal employees. Federal contractors will have provisions in place by early 2015, according to the Huffington Post.

[Read more…]

Full-time professional unpaid volunteer

Cheerleaders for the professional football team the Buffalo Bills are mostly unpaid.

A Jill is paid next to nothing—no money for gameday cheering, none for practice, none for the bulk of her minimum 20 personal appearances, none from the tips she receives but must turn in during the mandatory Jills Golf Tournament—and is classified by the team as a volunteer/independent contractor, though the thickness and thoroughness of the handbook makes you wonder just how independent she is.

They’re “volunteers” but they sure do have to follow a lot of rules for people who are volunteers. [Read more…]

Peasants’ entrance

There’s a new residential high-rise going up in New York that will have separate entrances for rich people and not-rich people. No this time it’s not the Onion. It’s for real.

Extell Development Company, the firm behind the new building, announced its intentions to segregate the rich and poor to much outrage last year. Fifty-five of the luxury complex’s 219 units would be marked for low-income renters—netting some valuable tax breaks for Extell—with the caveat that the less fortunate tenants would stick to their own entrance. [Read more…]