Badass Bitches, Turkey Edition

Violence is wrong, and stuff… >.>

But holy fuck! What a badass!

According to the Daily Mail, a woman in Turkey is abused for months on end, finally her rapist threatens to post nude photos of her and she goes Pulp Fiction on him. Shoots him to bits and cuts off his head. She flings the head into the town square and announces to the police ‘This is the One who toyed with my honour!

You can’t make shit up like that.

So on the one hand violence is bad mmmkay. On the other hand, holy shit woman, you are awesome!

A Schism in Atheism

It is mind-blowing to me just how passionately some people are against the idea of Atheism Plus. Comment threads abound with people rudely and vocally not-getting-it. Blog posts are popping up indignantly decrying the whole idea for a variety of non-reasons. Insisting that the secular movement is being torn apart! And will someone please think of the children!?! I get this mental image of Chicken Little running around the farm yard: ‘The Sky is Falling!‘ Only it’s a bunch of grown-ass atheists flapping their arms and squawking about something that doesn’t have to affect them at all.

Guest Blogger Billybob on Canadian Atheist is a part of the noisy crowd of naysayers and a perfect example of the Chicken Little variety of naysayer that I’m talking about. ‘I want my word back!‘ and ‘This battle is unnecessary and wasteful. Just leave my word alone!!‘ Yeah, fuck you I can’t use ‘your’ word. I’m an atheist and I’m using the label. I’m an atheist plus…I’m a whole lot of other things. That’s kind of the point. Atheism Plus is an opportunity to show the world that it’s not just about atheism. Okay, we all don’t believe in god. That’s established. So we’re supposed to, what? Write blog posts about how awesome we are that we share this nonbelief? How much smarter we are than theists? Make fun of religious people? See, that would pretty much be a giant circle jerk. And while that is fun at times, the thrill dies off pretty quickly. Some of us want to do more. Or at least have the opportunity to discuss it.

So we’re all atheists. Now let’s do something with that. Those of us who care about social justice issues will do just that, under the banner of Atheism Plus. Note the capital letters. Don’t want to talk about social justice issues? Don’t. But don’t show up on our threads to poo-poo and whine about how atheism isn’t about feminism or LGBT rights or whatnot. You’re right, atheism has nothing to do with that. Thank you for stating the obvious. Now, go away. Feel free to come back when we’re discussing the War on Xmas and picking apart holy books. And that has been the trouble as of late. Any atheist who wants to discuss these issues gets bombarded by naysayers who remind us that social justice isn’t a part of the dictionary definition of atheism. No kidding. What a shame.

The irony being that now that a new wave that does care about these issues is created, those same naysayers are stamping their feet and pouting and flooding the comment threads with complaints about how they’re being excluded. You’re being excluded from something you didn’t want to be a part of? Hmm… Yeah, seriously, fuck off already.

This is how ridiculous it is: Imagine I start a group called Toronto Awesome Atheist Association (I never checked to see if this is an actual thing. If it is, didn’t mean to center you out). A group dealing with atheist issues that specifically concern those who are awesome and living in Toronto. The internet then explodes as legions descend upon my website telling me that atheism isn’t about Toronto and I’m tearing the movement apart! Riiiiiight… Actually, I’m focusing on one area so that the members of the TAAA have a place to discuss what’s important to them without cluttering up generic online atheist forums where people don’t care about being an atheist in Toronto.

A group from Free Thought Blogs had a Google+ Hangout that they made public. In it they attempted to address some of the issue people say they have with Atheism Plus. Instead they mostly got terribly sidetracked and goofed around. But still worth the watch. You can find the video on PZ Myers blog, Pharyngula. In it, Jen McCreight of Blag Hag, who was the one who wrote the original post that kicked off Atheism Plus said the following (p.s. Thank you to the fine folks who transcribed the video.) :

I mean, I’ve talked about, I want to go start my own social justice atheist group. Or I want to start a forum where we can just talk about this, without being constantly harassed. And what have I got in the last 48 hours? Is nothing but a constant slew of harassment. And so it’s like, we can’t even go off and start our own group without them saying how crappy our group is, and how much they hate it, and how I’m a fascist, narcissistic, anti-intellectual cult leader? It’s just like,if you’re not interested in issues of social justice and how they relate to atheism, then don’t talk about it! But if we want to talk about it, we should be able to.

If there is a schism in atheism it is because of the naysayers. It’s because of the misogynists and the racists who make so many feel unwelcome in the secular movement. It’s because of those who refuse to take any criticism and refuse to even consider changing and becoming more inclusive. It’s because of those who demand that we stop talking about social justice issues because it makes them feel uncomfortable…because we’ve taken the spotlight off them for a brief moment and shone it on bigger issues. They created the need for Atheism Plus and now they’re still whinging about how unfair it is.

Yeah, it’s really unfair not to feel welcome…
Their Irony detectors appear to be broken.

31 States

Thirty One. Thirty One is how many states in the USA currently allow visitation rights or child custody rights for rapists. So those estimated 32,000 children conceived in the US each year through rape? The rapists can sue for custody of the resulting children. I’m guessing that if many women knew they may be forced to deal with their rapist for the next 18 years, more of them would choose to abort those fetuses. But that’s just me projecting.

“I was struck with terror, not only with the idea of letting my child be around him, but also having to spend the next 18 years of my life tied to him,”
Shauna Prewitt

Shauna Prewitt, a lawyer and mother of a child conceived through rape, recently wrote about her story for CNN. The short version is that she was lucky and stopped the raping scumbag from asserting his ‘rights’ as father. He did try. The comments for that story are absolutely toxic. Be forewarned. There’s a lot of ‘But women lie about rape all the time’, ‘Get over yourself and move on’, ‘It wasn’t rape unless I say it was rape’. In other words, it’s the typical commentariat of Rape Culture and it’s bloody depressing.

It’s telling that those who scoffed at Todd Akin’s embarrassing biology fail still agree with his main (and not so subtly disguised) point: Real rapes don’t result in pregnancy. So women who claim they were raped and are pregnant are obviously liars. One commenter on the CNN piece asked incredulously : ‘Are we supposed to take a woman’s word at face value?’ No. Of course not. We all know women are sneaky. It’s in the bible, isn’t it? Women are inherently more deceitful then men. We should always mistrust anything any woman says. You can insert some copious eye rolling here. I know I did.

It’s also interesting to note that those (like our dear Todd Akin) who are insisting that women have no right to ever abort a pregnancy, even in cases of rape or incest, fail to mention that more than half of the states have laws that may force the woman to further be victimized by a violent sexual aggressor moving into her life and demanding child custody rights. They’re fine with it and didn’t think it was worth mentioning. The important thing is that the rapist and the fetus are being taken care of. As we should know by now, Republicans always place the rights of men and fetuses first. Who gives a fuck what happens to the woman who was attacked? They certainly don’t. Not to mention how much it could mess a child up to be partially raised by a filthy criminal who has no respect for his/her mother.

Then again, it comes down to biblical law. Maybe that is exactly what these Republicans, who keep reminding us that the USA is a christian nation, really want. They didn’t mention it because it’s part of their belief system and they’re okay with it.

Deuteronomy 22:28-29, New International Version (NIV)

28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[a] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

Atheism Plus. Where Atheism and Feminism Meet – Part II

The first part of this post can be found here : Where Atheism and Feminism Meet – Part I

Atheism Plus. The term was coined by Jennifer McCreight and the commentariat of her blog, Blag Hag. The idea being that we want a label that applies to more of what we do believe, and not just what we don’t believe. Jason Thibeault , from Lousy Canuck, defines it thusly : ‘the “atheism plus” label takes the part of the Venn diagram where humanists and “new” atheists and social justice advocates overlap, and defines itself as that overlap.

I am wholeheartedly on board with this suggestion. I’ve often said that my feminism and social justice ideals stem from my atheism. And yet, atheism at its core has nothing to do with either of the other movements. I am a feminist because believing half the population is somehow inferior to the other is irrational. I believe in Social Justice because we only have one life and we should strive to make this place where we live the most pleasant place we can, before we die and the ride is over.

At its core, atheism is merely the lack of belief in gods. Many people have no belief in gods. People who identify as MRAs, and racists, homophobes, people who are not skeptics, and people who are capitalists all may have no belief in god. I share this label with people who do not share any of my philosophies. The irony being that it was my atheism that brought me to these other philosophies. It didn’t bring everyone here. It did bring enough of us to the destination where we should probably have a label to describe where we’re coming from.

The idea of creating a new wave of atheism for those atheists who fit the description of Atheism+ seems to be receiving a lot of pushback. People who insist that tossing all this extra luggage into the trunk is going to cause division and strife amongst atheists. Guess what? The division and strife is already there. As I noted in my previous post, I feel very unsafe and unwelcome in the atheist movement as it stands. I am not the only one. Jen’s original post on starting a new wave of atheism explained her feelings on the subject and they are very similar to my own.

And then I found this quote :

An atheist movement cannot be inclusive of atheist women… and also be inclusive of people who publicly call women ugly, fat, sluts, whores, cunts, and worse; who persistently harass them; who deliberately invade their privacy and make their personal information public; and/or who routinely threaten them with grisly violence, rape, and death.

Greta Christina, Why Atheism Plus Is Good for Atheism

Not just women, either. As it stands, the movement is already divisive and exclusive in regards to sexism and racism, and homo/trans-phobia. Which explains why the current face of the atheism is a group of old white men. That’s not my atheism. It’s not reflective of the rest of us. And there are a lot of ‘the rest of us‘. So give us a banner to crowd under. So we can march forward united. The chaff having been left to the wayside. They were making us look bad and they weren’t contributing anything worthwhile anyway.

Atheism Plus. Where Feminism and Atheism and Social Justice meet. Call me an optimist, but I have high hopes for this movement. It’s exactly the face we need to help secularism grow. One that is supportive of LGBT issues, feminism, people of colour, and one that embraces social justice. A friendly face, as it were.

Secrecy Is Not a Valid Counter to Fear, Lies, and Shame.

Apparently Ontario is no longer allowing the whack-job forced-birthers access to abortion statistics. I have mixed feelings about this. You see, Ontario is no longer allowing access to abortion statistics for anyone. The Ministry of Health stated that “Records relating to abortion services are highly sensitive and that is why a decision was made to exempt these records.” when interviewed by the National Post.

The decision to keep Ontario abortion statistics from the public is not without precedent. B.C. has a similar law in effect and has had it since 2001, according to an article in the CBC:

Section 22.1 of B.C.’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act makes abortions the only medical procedures taking place in hospitals that are subject to secrecy.

The law was brought in back in 2001 after staff at some abortion facilities were targeted in violent attacks by anti-abortion groups in the 1990s.

Ah, yes. Those violent pro-lifers. The ones who are willing to murder people in order to make their point about how pro-life they are. Life is sacred, let’s go bomb a clinic! Way to stay true to your message, guys.

Kelly McParland, a dude with a serious case of ‘what about teh menz‘ syndrome, poor understanding of feminism, and a bone to pick with women having choice, wrote a commentary of the Ontario situation today in the National Post. With typically inflammatory and dishonest language, McParland compares abortion to incest, rape, and honour killings. Compares the murder of doctors to the ‘violence against the unborn’. False equivalencies all. And not a new tactic for McParland. Because integrity and truth are not something that anti-choicers appear to value. Shocking. A white middle aged dude with a high sense of entitlement and not much apparent respect for women deciding he knows best how we should make decisions about our bodies. I’m sure that’s never happened before. But it’s easy to dismiss his article because, well, it’s not very well written. I mean it’s a great test piece if you’re looking for logical fallacies and hyperbole, but that’s about it.

Getting back on the topic of secrecy in health statistics, I do, as I said at the beginning of this post, have mixed feelings about this. While I can see the very real threat to the safety of health care providers, I also have to wonder how you can keep statistics about a publicly funded medical procedure away from the tax paying public. Shrouding this one legitimate medical procedure in secrecy is only adding fuel to the arguments of the very people you consider dangerous in the first place. Face it, people are much more likely to protest if they think there’s a government conspiracy at hand. By making an exception in transparency only for abortions we’re lending credence to the ‘conspiracy theory’.

“It’s not an ideological issue… It’s health care provided by OHIP, so I fail to see why highly sensitive applies so drastically and dramatically in this one regard,” says Andrea Mrozek who is a spokesperson for the anti-abortion Institute of Marriage and Family. It irks me to have to agree with someone who works for a cause that uses lies, fear, and shame to make their point. It especially irks me to know that a group working with such a cesspool of morality may actually have the moral high ground in this one small instance. In fact, it makes me feel very unclean indeed.

Personally, I’m thinking the stats should be out there for all who request them. Just like any other healthcare stat. Secrecy puts us on the same moral level as the anti-choicers and that’s not something I’m comfortable with. Those who prefer choice don’t need to use lies and fear and shame. We have science and we have truth. Let’s stick to that and not stoop, please.

As for the safety of the healthcare providers, that’s a serious issue. Threats and incidents of violence against women’s clinics need to be taken much more seriously. Don’t let this shit escalate. Stricter laws and stronger enforcement against the criminals who would use terrorism and violence would go a long way to protecting those who work in clinics. Whereas secrecy is just provoking the protesters and making the terrorists feel even more righteous in their violence.

And you still deny religion rots the brain?

Recently there has been a string of sexual assaults at York University in Toronto. One Muslim cleric’s response is, of course, to take away the rights of women and force harsh penalties on those who ‘dress provocatively’. Whatever that means.

The entire letter to The Toronto Sun is so full of stupid that it burns. Al-Haashim Kamena Atangana, the street cleric in question, is not what you’d call…a thinker. But I’m a glutton for punishment, so let’s go through it anyway!

I wanted to mention that the reason why these sex attacks are continuously happening is because the Canadian laws, which gives too much freedom to women, are the cause of these sex attacks.

You hear that? Women having freedom is causing men to rape them. If only we punished women more, rapists wouldn’t have to intercede on behalf of Canadian Law and do it for us. The rapists are doing a public service. Damn you, Canadian Legal System, for not caring about women enough to persecute them relentlessly! Never mind the logical acrobatics one needs to make in order for this line of reasoning to make sense. Not oppressing one group sufficiently is apparently going to lead to that group being attacked.

Also, the grammar nazi in me would like to point out that the attacks are not continuous. That would imply a never ending string of events with no break whatsoever. Like, not even bathroom breaks.

The reason why a woman gets raped is because of the way she dress. Women dress so provocatively so much that they receive too much attention for themselves and that attention at times leads to death.

It’s not because she was attacked by a criminal. No. It’s because she received too much attention that might result in death. The fact that there no evidence to suggest that a woman’s choice of dress figures in to rape statistics and that rape is about power rather than animal lust (as this cleric and others like him seem to suggest) mean nothing.

It’s sickening how little respect these idiots seem to have for men as a whole. In their world view men cannot control themselves sufficiently not to attack or kill just because they saw a little cleavage. That would make them extremely weak minded and pathetic. And even after acknowledging that they believe men are rutting pigs without the ability to reason or control themselves they still somehow believe that men are better equipped to be in positions of power. Baffling. There’s that logic fail again. Anyhoo, let’s take in some more wisdom from cleric dumbshit, er Al-Haashim Kamena Atangana…

If the law enforcements and the Canadian politicians were very serious about solving this problem, they would introduce laws that would make it illegal for women to dress provocatively in the streets.

Define Provocative. Are we talking boobies(Being topless in public is legal in Ontario)? Or two inches of calf? Depending on where you are either or neither of these are provocative. But yes, what this comes down to is again: Canada, if you loved your women, you’d spend more time oppressing them.

However by arresting sexual predators is not going to solve the problem because as long women continue to dress like this there will always be perverts and rapist who will continue to remain on the loose.

No need to punish the criminals. Boys will be boys, afterall. Men can’t be expected to control themselves when confronted with the sight of a woman’s calf. And that’s her fault. The important thing is that we blame the victims and use violence against them as an excuse to heap more ridiculous rules and restrictions on them.

Why is it that Rapists and sexual predators only target women that dress so provocatively?

Citation please. You’re not going to get stats on that, of course, since Shariah Law doesn’t acknowledge that rape happens. It’s simply called adultery and she gets stoned to death for it. Unless she has four male witnesses to the crime…and then she just gets killed by her family. You know, so they don’t lose honour. Or it’s called marriage. Even when a woman is kidnapped and married by a mullah against her will and then raped…well, that’s not considered rape either.

And as a bonus, here’s a list of rape myths from the University of Minnesota.

As an aside, is a street cleric the same thing as those religious doomsayers who hold up signs that the ‘End is Near’ when they’ve gone off their medications for too long? That might explain some of his ‘advice’.

Burning Her Face Off

We are more abused, harassed, exploited, kidnapped, raped, trafficked, murdered by our lovers, husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, friends, or men we know well than by strangers. Whatever happens to us, we never stop loving men.

Taslima Nasreen

It’s not very often that a blog post takes my breath away.

This one did that. Our men throw acid in our faces, destroy our lives but we never stop loving men. Warning: Violent images

It is NSFW and you should be warned it shows some pretty disturbing graphical images. It’s horrifying and it’s revealing and it’s so very sad. And it’s so important people know about this. See these images. So that we can all do what we can to stop this nightmare from happening again.