Respecting the respected academics

More on that all-male panel about women in comics, because it’s so absurd / grotesque / annoying. Jin Zhao reports:

“This is happening at #DCC2015. Let’s see how this ALL MALE panel about women in comics goes #noneofthismakesanysense,” an attendee, Christy, tweeted.

As the panel proceeded, she tweeted that the all male panel gave a “lecture” on early female characters in comics “in relation to men.” At some point, one of the panelist said “because girls get bored with comics easily,” she tweeted.

Comics are more of a guy thing. [Read more…]

Hiding in plain sight

How do you get more women in _______? Where are all the women in ________? I dunno, let’s discuss it. Let’s discuss it on a panel at a convention.

The past few years have seen a lot of discussion (and a lot of misogynist backlash) about improving women’s experience of “geek” spaces such as video gaming, sci-fi conventions, and comics. So it was especially puzzling to see that Denver ComicCon, one of the biggest comic conventions in the country, convened a panel called Women in Comics that had no actual women sitting onstage.

Let’s discuss that on a panel at a convention! One with no women on it! [Read more…]

How difficult and expensive it is to be a certain kind of pretty

A friend drew this Comment is Free piece by Meredith Talusan to my attention.

When I heard that Caitlyn Jenner debuted her new name, her upcoming Vanity Fair cover and a new Twitter account, I went online to welcome her. Then I noticed a trend on my Twitter feed: people – including feminists, people of color, queers and transgender folk – commenting on how beautiful she looks. While I welcome all the positive affirmation of Caitlyn Jenner’s gender identity, it’s important to not forget how the forces of economic privilege and beauty standards affect most trans women. And, though all women are subject to conventional beauty standards, the ability and even necessity to adhere to them is rife with even more tension for trans women.

Of course it is. So wouldn’t it be nice to do our best to erode that necessity? To keep trying to nudge the world into realizing and accepting that not all women are gorgeous, and that gorgeous is not all any woman is? [Read more…]

Bouquets for CFI

Ed has a post on what’s been going on with Taslima lately and who did what to help and what should happen in the future.

I am very happy to announce that Taslima Nasrin, whose life was threatened by the same people behind the brutal murder of at least three Bangladeshi bloggers in recent months, is now safely in the United States and out of harm’s way. I want to share with you how this happened because a lot of people need to be thanked and it provides a great example of humanists coming together to help someone in need.

On May 5th, the night before I was leading a civics/lobby day for CFI Michigan, I got an email from Taslima that included a link to this news report from India about the direct threat made on her life by the same people who murdered Avijit Roy and two other atheist bloggers in Bangladesh. She had been living in India, a few hundred miles from where those murders took place.

When I got this email, I was on my way to Lansing to meet with Michael De Dora, head of CFI’s Office of Public Policy, who was helping lead the lobby day. Michael and I had talked a few times in the past year or so about the need for some sort of program that would help get atheists who are at great risk, primarily in Muslim countries, to the West where they could be safe. We both agreed that it would be best if one of the big atheist/humanist groups would do it.

So they combined forces, and gave their thumbs a damn good workout, and got things going. [Read more…]

Guest post: Better still if you brought yours back from the Holy Land

Originally a comment by Charles Freeman on The Shroud of Turin continues to sell tickets.

The article has given rise to a lot of interest and outside the authenticists’ websites very positive. For those who read the original to the end, you will see I never argue that the Shroud was a fake. There were hundreds of thousands of painted linens around in the medieval period and they were widely used in churches, especially during Lent when opulent altars and statues were traditionally covered up. [Read more…]

CFI gets the job done

Here is the big news I’ve been sitting on for

  1. weeks
  2. the past several days

It’s a press release from CFI:

Amid Death Threats from Islamists, CFI Brings Secular Activist Taslima Nasrin to Safety in U.S.

Center for Inquiry Establishes New Emergency Fund for Freethought Writers Threatened by Radical Islamists

The Center for Inquiry has established an emergency fund to assist freethought activists whose lives are under threat by Islamic radicals linked to Al Qaeda in countries such as Bangladesh, where three secularist bloggers have been murdered since February. Outspoken human rights activist Taslima Nasrin, specifically named as an imminent target by the same extremists responsible for the murders of Avijit Roy, Washiqur Rahman, and Ananta Bijoy Das, arrived in the United States last week under the assistance of CFI.

Taslima Nasrin

Nasrin was recently named as one of the next targets for murder by Al Qaeda-linked extremists, prompting CFI to assist in transporting her safely to the U.S., alleviating the immediate threat to her life. Her safety is only temporary if she cannot remain in the U.S., however, which is why CFI has established an emergency fund to help with food, housing, and the means for her to be safely settled. An appeal will be sent out today to CFI’s supporters asking them to donate to this cause. Dr. Nasrin arrived in Buffalo, N.Y. on Wednesday, and was met by CFI staff.

CFI has also heard from several other writers and activists in Bangladesh who are in similarly perilous situations, many of whom have also been specifically named as targets for murder for their secular advocacy. The decision was made by CFI that any money raised in excess of what is necessary for Dr. Nasrin will go toward a general freethought emergency fund to assist with the rescue of other atheist, humanist, and secular activists under threat.

Donate now. [Read more…]