Chronicling the follies of religion and superstition, the virtues of skepticism, and the wonders of the real (natural) universe as revealed by science. Plus other interesting and educational stuff.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens

 

Muslims shut down university screenings of film about Islam and women

We’ve already seen this with the revocation of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s honorary degree at Brandeis (shame be upon them) this week. Now we have yet another example of campuses caving into to Muslim threats, and in some ways it’s even worse.

There’s a new film, “Honor Diaries”, in which Muslim women speak out against the oppression of women endemic to their faith. The description is here, and I’ll give an excerpt:

The film gives a platform to exclusively female voices and seeks to expose the paralyzing political correctness that prevents many from identifying, understanding and addressing this international human rights disaster. Freedom of movement, the right to education, forced marriage, and female genital mutilation are some of the systematic abuses explored in depth.

Spurred by the Arab Spring, women who were once silent are starting to speak out about gender inequality and are bringing visibility to a long history of oppression. This project draws together leading women’s rights activists and provides a platform where their voices can be heard and serves as inspiration to motivate others to speak out.

It was scheduled to be screened on two campuses: the University of Michigan at Dearborn and the University of Illinois in Chicago. The results were almost predictable. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)—the same group that complained to Brandeis University—protested that the film was “Islamophobic”, and the two school duly canceled the screenings…

Click through for more

CHILD BRIDE FORCED TO MARRY POISONS GROOM

KANO, Nigeria (AP) — A child bride forced into marriage in Nigeria killed a groom and three of his friends with a poisoned meal, police said Thursday.

Fourteen-year-old Wasila Umaru was married last week to 35-year-old Umaru Sani, according to assistant superintendent Musa Magaji Majia.

Over the weekend, the groom invited a dozen friends to celebrate at his Ungwar Yansoro village, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the northern city of Kano.

The teenager told police she bought rat poison at a village market and used it to prepare a dish of rice.

"The suspect confessed to committing the crime and said she did it because she was forced to marry a man she did not love," Majia told The Associated Press…

iranianatheist:

Muslim man demonstrates in just 1-minute how sexist the Islamic mentality is

Terrifying Precedent: Woman to Be Tried for Murder for Giving Birth to Stillborn When She Was 16

bebinn:

ashkenazi-autie:

feministbatwoman:

bebinn:

Mississippi has one of the worst records for maternal and infant health in the U.S., as well as some of the highest rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, and among some of the most restrictive policies on abortion…

"It is tremendously, tremendously frightening, this case…There’s real fear for young women whose babies are dying early who [lack the resources to] defend themselves and their actions."

Rennie Gibbs’ daughter was stillborn with the cord wrapped around her neck, but when autopsy results turned up traces of a cocaine byproduct in her baby’s blood, Gibbs was indicted for “depraved heart murder,” with a maximum sentence of life in prison.

It should come as no surprise that Gibbs is a young, low-income black woman, a member of a demographic disproportionately targeted by the legal system in cases like this and others, and more vulnerable to stillbirths.

A committee for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists determined that “pregnant women who fear the legal system avoid or emotionally disengage from prenatal care - the very thing that might help assure they give birth to health babies. Drug enforcement policies that deter women from seeking prenatal care are contrary to the welfare of the mother and fetus.”

Until we stop pretending punishment and stigma is an effective deterrent, and work to address the underlying issues in maternal health, women will continue to be targeted for addiction, mental illness, and self-determination.

This is disgusting. It’s part of a trend - the idea that once a person is pregnant, their body belongs to society, and thus they are answerable to society for the outcome of their pregnancy. 

It’s disgusting. And sexist, and racist, and classist, and ableist, to name a few. 

Is there another source for this?

Google?

A Stillborn Child, A Charge of Murder and the Disputed Case Law on “Fetal Harm”

A Young Mother Could Face Life in Prison for Giving Birth to a Stillborn Child

Outcry in America as pregnant women who lose babies face murder charges

The Criminalization of Bad Mothers

Brief of the Appellant

The case has been ongoing since 2007.

Jimmy Carter: Religion is the Cause of Horrific Abuse of Girls and Women All Over the World

confrontingbabble-on:

"Former US President Jimmy Carter’s new book, “A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power” will hit the shelves on March 25. The book “covers a system of discrimination that extends to every nation” and discusses topics such as discrimination, violence, forced servitude, child marriage, and genital mutilation.

According to Carter “The most serious and unaddressed worldwide challenge is the deprivation and abuse of women and girls … largely caused by a false interpretation of carefully selected religious texts and a growing tolerance of violence and warfare, unfortunately following the example set during my lifetime in the United States.”

http://aattp.org/jimmy-carter-religion-is-the-cause-of-horrific-abuse-of-girls-and-women-all-over-the-world/

“The bottom line is that saying there are differences in male and female brains is just not true. There is pretty compelling evidence that any differences are tiny and are the result of environment not biology,” said Prof Rippon.

“You can’t pick up a brain and say ‘that’s a girls brain, or that’s a boys brain’ in the same way you can with the skeleton. They look the same.”

Prof Rippon points to earlier studies that showed the brains of London black cab drivers physically changed after they had acquired The Knowledge – an encyclopaedic recall of the capital’s streets.
She believes differences in male and female brains are due to similar cultural stimuli. A women’s brain may therefore become ‘wired’ for multi-tasking simply because society expects that of her and so she uses that part of her brain more often. The brain adapts in the same way as a muscle gets larger with extra use.

“What often isn’t picked up on is how plastic and permeable the brain is. It is changing throughout out lifetime

“The world is full of stereotypical attitudes and unconscious bias. It is full of the drip, drip, drip of the gendered environment.”

Prof Rippon believes that gender differences appear early in western societies and are based on traditional stereotypes of how boys and girls should behave and which toys they should play with.

Men and Women Do Not Have Different Brains, Claims Neuroscientist (via featherframe)

THAT’S WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING.  Glad to see even more research to back it up, though.  ;-)

(Source: thegendercritic)

Ayaan Hirsi Ali - One of the bravest women in the world

iranianatheist:

Ayaan Hirisi Ali is not just an intelligent woman, but she is incredibly brave. I am making this post for those who either do not know her, or have very little knowledge about who she is.

She was born in Somalia and forced to follow the terrible religion of Islam. While most people are…

persephoneholly:

personhoodusa:

Over 300,000 children are murdered inside Planned Parenthood clinics every year. http://ift.tt/ITL4iD

BULL FUCKING SHIT.
My mother was three months pregnant with me when she waltzed into Planned Parenthood. But she didn’t get an abortion. Not because she had a ‘sudden change of heart’ nor because someone ‘lead her Jesus’ but because she went there to make sure I was and would be born healthy.
My parents were two poor young adults in their late teens and early twenties when I was conceived. They lived in a tiny apartment and had no insurance, but they wanted me. My mom drove herself to Planned Parenthood from the third month of pregnancy to the fifth (until she finally got medical insurance.) There she got the ultrasound screenings, found out I was a girl, got the prenatal vitamins and were referred to see the physician I’ve been going to from my birth to now. 
Thanks to Planned Parenthood, I was born healthy at six pounds, seven ounces. I had no malformations, no preventable disorders and no preventable health issues. The only thing that occurred was I was in ‘fetal distress’ and was born a week before the due date.
I ‘made it out alive’ and thanks to Planned Parenthood I ‘made it out’ healthy.
Take this bullshit elsewhere.
TL;DR?: Read the bold.

persephoneholly:

personhoodusa:

Over 300,000 children are murdered inside Planned Parenthood clinics every year. http://ift.tt/ITL4iD

BULL FUCKING SHIT.

My mother was three months pregnant with me when she waltzed into Planned Parenthood. But she didn’t get an abortion. Not because she had a ‘sudden change of heart’ nor because someone ‘lead her Jesus’ but because she went there to make sure I was and would be born healthy.

My parents were two poor young adults in their late teens and early twenties when I was conceived. They lived in a tiny apartment and had no insurance, but they wanted me. My mom drove herself to Planned Parenthood from the third month of pregnancy to the fifth (until she finally got medical insurance.) There she got the ultrasound screenings, found out I was a girl, got the prenatal vitamins and were referred to see the physician I’ve been going to from my birth to now. 

Thanks to Planned Parenthood, I was born healthy at six pounds, seven ounces. I had no malformations, no preventable disorders and no preventable health issues. The only thing that occurred was I was in ‘fetal distress’ and was born a week before the due date.

I ‘made it out alive’ and thanks to Planned Parenthood I ‘made it out’ healthy.

Take this bullshit elsewhere.

TL;DR?: Read the bold.

confrontingbabble-on:

Catholic hospitals are withholding full medical care, which would save the life of a mother…
"Despite her being in excruciating pain and with virtually nochance her pregnancy could survive, Mercy Health Partners toldMeans there was nothing it could do and did not tell Means thatterminating her pregnancy was an option and the safest coursefor her condition, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit accuses the United States Conference of CatholicBishops of creating health care directives “that cause pregnantwomen who are suffering from a miscarriage to be deniedappropriate medical care, including information about theircondition and treatment options.”
About 15 percent of the 800,000 beds in the U.S. are in aCatholic hospital, according to the Catholic Health Association.In those hospitals, medical professionals must comply with thebishops’ directives, which prohibit suggesting or performingabortions.”
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-12-02/news/sns-rt-usa-abortionmichigan-lawsuit-20131

confrontingbabble-on:

Catholic hospitals are withholding full medical care, which would save the life of a mother…

"Despite her being in excruciating pain and with virtually no
chance her pregnancy could survive, Mercy Health Partners told
Means there was nothing it could do and did not tell Means that
terminating her pregnancy was an option and the safest course
for her condition, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit accuses the United States Conference of Catholic
Bishops of creating health care directives “that cause pregnant
women who are suffering from a miscarriage to be denied
appropriate medical care, including information about their
condition and treatment options.”

About 15 percent of the 800,000 beds in the U.S. are in a
Catholic hospital, according to the Catholic Health Association.
In those hospitals, medical professionals must comply with the
bishops’ directives, which prohibit suggesting or performing
abortions.”

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-12-02/news/sns-rt-usa-abortionmichigan-lawsuit-20131

kmanovaere:

anarcho-queer:

Another Moroccan Teen Commits Suicide After Being Forced To Marry Her Rapist
A Moroccan teen committed suicide last month after her family forced her to marry her rapist, rights activists told Al Jazeera after reports of her death surfaced in the North African kingdom’s media on Friday.
The suicide happened amid protracted efforts to repeal a law, Article 475 of the Moroccan Penal Code, exonerating rapists who marry their victims, after the high-profile suicide last year of another teen, Amina Filali.
In March 2012, 16-year-old Filali killed herself in the northern town of Larache by taking rat poison after she was forced to marry her rapist. Her death provoked several demonstrations and the Twitter hashtag #RIPAmina to demand the repeal of Article 475.
The 16-year-old girl who died last month was from the northern port city of Tetouan and was raped by another minor, according to Abdel Ali El-Allawi, director of the local chapter of the international NGO the Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH).  
The girl’s family has refused to grant interviews to the press.
“He was put in prison," said Allawi. "The family of the rapist entered negotiations with the family of the victim. They proposed the two get married.
“These are things that are common here in Morocco. When a man rapes a woman or girl, the justice authorities say, you have a choice — you can marry the girl or go to prison.”
According to Article 475, a rapist can avoid a prison sentence by marrying his victim. The law is based on a similar measure in France. Morocco was a protectorate of France until 1956.

Awful, completely awful. That such laws even exist is an affront to humanity.

kmanovaere:

anarcho-queer:

Another Moroccan Teen Commits Suicide After Being Forced To Marry Her Rapist

A Moroccan teen committed suicide last month after her family forced her to marry her rapist, rights activists told Al Jazeera after reports of her death surfaced in the North African kingdom’s media on Friday.

The suicide happened amid protracted efforts to repeal a law, Article 475 of the Moroccan Penal Code, exonerating rapists who marry their victims, after the high-profile suicide last year of another teen, Amina Filali.

In March 2012, 16-year-old Filali killed herself in the northern town of Larache by taking rat poison after she was forced to marry her rapist. Her death provoked several demonstrations and the Twitter hashtag #RIPAmina to demand the repeal of Article 475.

The 16-year-old girl who died last month was from the northern port city of Tetouan and was raped by another minor, according to Abdel Ali El-Allawi, director of the local chapter of the international NGO the Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH).  

The girl’s family has refused to grant interviews to the press.

He was put in prison," said Allawi. "The family of the rapist entered negotiations with the family of the victim. They proposed the two get married.

These are things that are common here in Morocco. When a man rapes a woman or girl, the justice authorities say, you have a choice — you can marry the girl or go to prison.

According to Article 475, a rapist can avoid a prison sentence by marrying his victim. The law is based on a similar measure in France. Morocco was a protectorate of France until 1956.

Awful, completely awful. That such laws even exist is an affront to humanity.