11 May 2013
in craziness, gender, politics, religion
Tags: abortion, Catholic Church, craziness, politics, religion
So let’s see what the Catholics are protesting now:
The controversy over Prime Minister Enda Kenny of Ireland, who supports narrow abortion rights legislation in his country, speaking at Boston College’s commencement took a dramatic turn Friday when the head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston declared that he will not attend the ceremony.
The announcement from Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley upped the ante in a debate that earlier in the week had pitted BC against the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, a group that opposes abortion rights and had strongly criticized the university for inviting Kenny.
And they’re really upset about this law:
The Catholic Church has pointedly left the threat of excommunication hanging over Irish lawmakers who vote against the church’s teachings on abortion in an upcoming parliamentary vote in the country.
The new law is a reaction to this case:
“The doctor told us the cervix was fully dilated, amniotic fluid was leaking and unfortunately the baby wouldn’t survive.” The doctor, he says, said it should be over in a few hours. There followed three days, he says, of the foetal heartbeat being checked several times a day.
“Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby. When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning Savita asked if they could not save the baby could they induce to end the pregnancy. The consultant said, ‘As long as there is a foetal heartbeat we can’t do anything’.
“Again on Tuesday morning, the ward rounds and the same discussion. The consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country. Savita [a Hindu] said: ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic’ but they said there was nothing they could do.
“That evening she developed shakes and shivering and she was vomiting. She went to use the toilet and she collapsed. There were big alarms and a doctor took bloods and started her on antibiotics.
“The next morning I said she was so sick and asked again that they just end it, but they said they couldn’t.”
She died. The new bill allows for abortion if the woman’s life is in danger, including from suicide:
Under the draft legislation, when the threat is not from suicide, two doctors must jointly certify that there is a “real and substantial risk” of the loss of the pregnant woman’s life, and that they believe abortion is the only way to avert that risk.
One of the doctors must be an obstetrician or gynecologist, and at least one of the two should consult with the woman’s own doctor where possible.
When the risk to the pregnant woman’s life is from suicide, the assessment must be made by an obstetrician or gynecologist, along with two psychiatrists.
A doctor is also allowed to terminate a pregnancy in the case of a medical emergency if there is an immediate threat to the pregnant woman’s life, the draft states.
The procedure must be carried out by a registered medical practitioner at an appropriate location. The final decision on whether to carry out the abortion will always be made by the pregnant woman, it adds.
This article doesn’t explicitly state it, but it is a very strict bill:
The new bill, which will have to be passed in both houses of the Irish parliament, will not include cases concerning rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormalities.
Notice that last one–abortions are not allowed if the fetus will not survive. This is the law that the Catholic Church thinks is so terrible that people who support it should be excommunicated. It really is difficult to not conclude that the Catholic Church doesn’t care about women. After all, how many times have you heard of these types of protests because of other issues, the death penalty or lack of compassion for the poor for example?
22 Apr 2013
in craziness, gender, politics, religion
Tags: abortion, craziness, politics, religion
Via here, this is what ‘pro-life’ people want in the US: an absolute ban on abortions:
Doctor say Beatriz could die if she continues with the pregnancy, but have not yet treated her because they fear that if they end the pregnancy they might be prosecuted under the country’s total ban on abortion.
The 22-year-old woman is four-and-a-half months pregnant and has been diagnosed with a number of severe illnesses, including lupus and kidney disease.
Doctors have also confirmed that the foetus she is carrying is missing a large part of its brain and skull, which means it is expected to die before it is born, or within a few hours or days after birth.
It is now more than a month since the hospital requested permission to provide Beatriz with the treatment she needs, but the authorities have still not agreed to it being carried out.
The country’s Penal Code states that anyone seeking or carrying out an abortion could be given a long prison sentence. This means both doctors and Beatriz would be at risk of imprisonment if a termination is carried out.
“Beatriz’s situation is desperate and must not wait any longer. Her very chances of survival depend on a decision from the authorities,” said Esther Major, Amnesty International’s researcher on Central America.
And here is more (the page is translated by Google so the grammar is pretty bad):
But Dr. Carlos Alvarenga, representing the Association of Bioethics of El Salvador, said that “from the perspective of bioethics should preserve the life of both mother and child.
To Alvarenga, “just let her pregnancy progresses.”
To Julia Regina de Cardenal, president of the Association Yes to Life, “the multi-million dollar abortion industry, which includes radical feminist associations, abortion doctors and international organizations towards population control, being used to Beatrice to promote a change in our legislation. “
From Cardinal argues that “groups that cultivate the culture of death” take advantage of extraordinary cases of minimal statistical incidence, to become emotionally logo and sensitize the public and politicians to achieve the decriminalization of all abortion.
This is what the ethics of the pro-life movement looks like. A fetus that is almost certainly going to die is more important than the woman.
27 Mar 2013
in gender, politics, religion
Tags: abortion, contraception, politics, religion
North Dakota has signed a law that outlaws abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be heard. The people pushing this are no longer even pretending that this is their real objective:
Not everyone on the anti-abortion side is happy about these more stringent state measures, fearing they could end up hurting their cause. Paul Linton, a lawyer in the anti-abortion movement who serves as special counsel with the Thomas More Society, called the heartbeat bills “a colossal waste of everyone’s time and resources.”
Mary Spaulding Balch, state legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, said in an email, “On all pro-life legislation you have to be able to count to five. In this instance, it’s very hard to determine if there are five justices on the Supreme Court to uphold the North Dakota or Arkansas heartbeat bills.”
Janne Myrdal, North Dakota state director for the anti-abortion organization Concerned Women for America, which is one of the national organizations that support the heartbeat bill, acknowledged a split among her anti-abortion colleagues. “There’s no doubt that many of us look at it from different angles, and we have internal disagreements as to what will do the best,” she said.
They want to ban all abortion, with no exceptions for rape or health or anything. That’s why North Dakota is also trying to get a personhood amendment which would ban all abortion, it’s why Rand Paul has introduced similar legislation in the Senate, and it’s why the Republican National Convention supported a personhood amendment in their platform. So, remember this the next time some Republican (such as Mitt Romney’s sister) tries to claim that Republicans aren’t really going to outlaw all abortions. They very much want to, which is why personhood amendments have been introduced in so many states. And if you think they’ll stop if they do get rid of Roe v. Wade and ban all abortions, you’re crazy:
Approval would make North Dakota the first state with such an amendment, which doctors said could bar some forms of contraception and in-vitro fertilization and complicate end-of-life care.
24 Feb 2013
in gender, religion
Tags: Catholic Church, gender, religion, women's rights
The Boston Globe has a long article on nuns and note that nuns have been influential in the US giving women a role in society outside of being a mother:
Poignantly, this upheaval and decline also come at a moment when historians and other scholars are taking a fresh look at the role of nuns in American life, and finding that nuns’ contributions to the broad story of America have been, if anything, underappreciated. Nuns have served as the face of Catholicism to generations of Americans, and they’ve also been pioneers in health care, education, and social work—fields that may sound decidedly secular today, but whose development in the United States was profoundly shaped by the labor and influence of nuns.
“If you’re a Catholic woman in American society between the early 19th century to the late 1960s, you had far more opportunities within church structures than outside them for education and meaningful work,” said Kathleen Sprows Cummings, a professor of American Studies at Notre Dame, and director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism.
Of course there are now many more opportunities for women and the number of nuns has plummeted. There were two big decisions in the 1960s and 70s where the Catholic Church could have changed to a less patriarchical system and both time they stayed with the old ideas.
The first decision concerned contraception and the newly available pill. A commission was formed to decide if using the pill was acceptable. Despite a majority on the commission voting to allow contraception, Pope Paul VI decided against changing the Church’s stand against contraception.
The second decision had to do with female priests. The Church decided that women could not be ordained as priests (or as a deaconess, although that might change).
Thus, the Church went from being an institution where women had more opportunities to one where they had less. Last year the Church decided to crack down on nuns because they weren’t being obedient enough to the bishops, clearly showing that they were considered subordinate to men.
12 Feb 2013
in craziness, gender, religion
Tags: craziness, gender, religion
They should just call Bobby Jindal. I shouldn’t joke, this is seriously disgusting:
The United Nations human rights office in Geneva said it was deeply disturbed by the killing of the woman, Kepari Leniata, 20, who was stripped, tortured, doused in gasoline and set on fire on Wednesday as hundreds of spectators watched.
Ms. Pouilly said that police were continuing their investigation of a case in Jiwaka Province in November, when people held three women and two men for 20 days for allegedly using sorcery to kill another person, torturing them with iron rods and knives heated over fires before killing them.
According to Amnesty International, violence against those accused of sorcery is endemic in Papua New Guinea. In a statement on Friday, the human rights organization cited reports that in July, the police arrested 29 members of a witch-hunting gang who were murdering and cannibalizing people they suspected of sorcery.
and what do you know, it often seems to be about money:
“I was shocked to witness the brutality of the assaults perpetrated against suspected sorcerers,” the investigator, Rashida Manjoo, said in a statement after her visit, reporting that many of the people she interviewed said sorcery accusations were commonly used to deprive women of their land and property.
At a completely different level, women in Israel were arrested for wearing the wrong type of shawl at the wrong place:
Anat Hoffman, who was among those detained, said the women were stopped because they were wearing religious garb that Orthodox Judaism reserves for men only. The incident occurred at the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s holiest sites.
05 Feb 2013
in education, gender, statistics
Tags: education, gender, statistics
The NY Times has a nice graph comparing how 15-year-old girls and boys did on a science test in different countries. It shows that in certain regions boys did better than girls on average (for example, in most of the Americas and Western Europe), but girls did better in other regions (much of Asia and the Middle East). This is another point that seems to imply that much of the difference is probably social, so it’s more evidence that Larry Summers was wrong (to be fair, he said that the difference might be due to a difference in the spread, but there has also been some evidence against that).
02 Feb 2013
in gender, healthcare, politics, religion
Tags: Catholic Church, contraception, obama, politics, religion
President Obama has again made an accommodation for religion:
The Obama administration proposed new rules Friday that would guarantee widespread access to contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act, but seemed unlikely to head off legal battles that could return a part of the health care law to the Supreme Court.
The regulations allow religious nonprofit organizations that morally object to contraceptives to not offer that benefit for their employees. But their workers would receive a stand-alone private insurance policy providing birth control coverage at no cost.
The most important thing this new offer has is that it still guarantees that contraception will be a part of all women’s health insurance. Still it shows that religion has special rights. What other group would have the gall to complain (bold added):
Some religious groups criticized the proposed rules. For more than a year, they have mounted a high-profile protest and filed dozens of lawsuits against the contraceptive mandate, arguing that it is a violation of their religious freedom.
These nonprofits worry that their premium dollars might help pay for the stand-alone plans. Separately, some private businesses owned by individuals with strong religious objections to the mandate have sued because they don’t want to provide contraceptive coverage to their workers.
‘‘We were extremely disappointed with this inadequate proposal,’’ said Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. His group represents both private employers and faith-based nonprofits. ‘‘This is not what many of our clients were hoping and praying for: That they would be given a way of not being subject to the mandate at all.’’
Think about that–they think they are above the law because they’re religious.
23 Jan 2013
in craziness, gender, healthcare, politics, religion
Tags: abortion, craziness, politics, religion
Here’s another of those people who think we should all just get together and compromise:
How about imagining a new America in which people on both sides of this battle sit down — from the local to national level — and say, OK, we’re a million miles apart in what we believe, but there’s one thing we have in common. Without demonizing anyone, let’s work together to reduce the number of abortions. The next step is to ask: How can we educate young people about physical intimacy without trampling on the rights of parents and encouraging premature sexual activity? Why not have more campus discussions on considerate, careful sexual pleasure? How can we respect the belief of those who are against abortion availability, while acknowledging the fact that it is legal and likely to stay that way?
This is exactly what most pro-choice people believe right now–they want to increase the availability of contraception and education to reduce the number of abortions. The problem is that the most visible pro-life groups are also against contraception, so finding a compromise fails entirely because of one side. How to get around this? Make stuff up and put in asides:
Some studies show that over 90 percent of Catholic women use birth control. So let’s stop pretending. Let’s talk openly about contraception — and not just for women. Men use birth control, too — a fact too often ignored.
On the other side of the aisle, it’s time for “pro-choice” people to speak out loudly — as some have — and say, “We are not pro-abortion!” No one aspires to have an abortion. It is not enjoyable, physically or otherwise. Yet it sometimes seems that asking pro-choice people to say “yes, let’s reduce abortions” is the equivalent of asking NRA members to say “yes, let’s get automatic weapons off the street.” There is no slippery slope here.
Almost half of Catholics are pro-choice, the problem is that the leaders of the Catholic church are against any abortions and all contraception and this is true of most of the high-profile pro-life groups–so good luck getting them to compromise. And on the other side, almost all high-profile groups want to reduce the number of abortions (I don’t know of any that don’t care, but there might be some) and I don’t know of any that think abortions are good–the availability of them is good and for some situations they are very good.
We could reduce the number of abortions as he wants if the pro-life people weren’t adamantly against contraception and education. The pro-choice crowd is trying already.
14 Nov 2012
in gender, healthcare, politics, religion
Tags: abortion, Catholic Church, healthcare, politics, religion
In the US, the Catholic hierarchy was willing to let a woman die instead of allowing an abortion. Luckily the nun who was the administrator at the hospital decided it was ok to allow the abortion–she, of course, was excommunicated. In Ireland, no one was willing to step forward and a woman died (via here via here, also see here):
Savita Halappanavar (31), a dentist, presented with back pain at the hospital on October 21st, was found to be miscarrying, and died of septicaemia a week later.
Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. He says that, having been told she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, Ms Halappanavar asked for a medical termination.
This was refused, he says, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, “this is a Catholic country”.
She spent a further 2½ days “in agony” until the foetal heartbeat stopped.
Now remember that Republicans in the US want to ban all abortions.
10 Oct 2012
in gender, Pakistan, religion
Tags: gender, Pakistan, religion, women's rights
Religious extremists really do work to be evil:
At the age of 11, Malala Yousafzai took on the Taliban by giving voice to her dreams. As turbaned fighters swept through her town in northwestern Pakistan in 2009, the tiny schoolgirl spoke out about her passion for education — she wanted to become a doctor, she said — and became a symbol of defiance against Taliban subjugation.
On Tuesday, masked Taliban gunmen answered Yousafzai’s courage with bullets, singling out the 14-year-old on a bus filled with terrified schoolchildren, then shooting her in the head and neck. Two other girls were also wounded in the attack.
and she was shot because?
”She has become a symbol of Western culture in the area; she was openly propagating it,’’ Ehsan said, adding that if she survived, the militants would certainly try to kill her again. ‘‘Let this be a lesson.’’
If you don’t think the right way, act the right way, and dress the right way you are subject to death. And for the Taliban that means, if you’re female, that you show that you think or show yourself at all in public. The leaders of the Taliban have become the symbol of evil.
30 Sep 2012
in education, gender, science, statistics
Tags: education, gender, science, statistics
It seems that gender bias is alive and well:
In a randomized double-blind study (n = 127), science faculty from research-intensive universities rated the application materials of a student—who was randomly assigned either a male or female name—for a laboratory manager position. Faculty participants rated the male applicant as significantly more competent and hireable than the (identical) female applicant. These participants also selected a higher starting salary and offered more career mentoring to the male applicant. The gender of the faculty participants did not affect responses, such that female and male faculty were equally likely to exhibit bias against the female student.
This is another data point showing overt bias, as opposed to genetics, is what leads to gender differences.
30 Aug 2012
in gender, healthcare, politics
Tags: abortion, politics, Romney
So, Mitt Romney’s sister says:
Mitt Romney would never make abortions illegal as president, Jane Romney said when National Journal asked her about the subject after a “Women for Mitt” event. “He’s not going to be touching any of that,” she said. “It’s not his focus.”
Democratic warnings that abortion rights are under threat are an ungrounded fear tactic, Jane Romney said. “That’s what women are afraid of, but that’s conjured,” she said. “Personally, I don’t think abortion should be used as a football in the political arena.”
and Mitt Romney himself:
has said he supports legal abortion in cases of rape and incest, and when the life of the mother is in danger. As for the fate of abortion rights, “Recognize this is the decision that will be made by the Supreme Court,” he said in an interview with CBS News this week. “The Democrats try and make this a political issue every four years, but this is a matter in the courts. It’s been settled for some time in the courts.”
The thing is Romney will select judges for the Supreme Court who would overturn Roe v. Wade which would allow states to outlaw abortion and several states have shown they would do so. Also, several Republicans, such as his Vice-President, have shown that they want to outlaw abortion. Romney might not initiate it, but I would be very surprised if he would be willing to veto such a bill. If Romney is elected there will be stricter laws on abortion with the very real possibility that Roe v. Wade will be overturned–that’s why women should be afraid.
21 Aug 2012
in gender, healthcare, politics
Tags: abortion, politics
Forget about Akin for a bit, here’s the Republican convention platform:
The 110-member panel, meeting today in Tampa, Fla., passed a so-called Human Life Amendment that calls for a ban on abortion, without mention of the more common exceptions for victims of rape or incest.
“Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed,” said platform language obtained by CNN. “We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”
This would make abortion the same as murder and thus outlaw it in all cases if Roe v. Wade is overturned and Republicans want it overturned. This is the official Republican platform.
20 Aug 2012
in craziness, gender, healthcare, politics
Tags: abortion, craziness, Paul Ryan, politics
Well, this is interesting:
Rep. Todd Akin, the newly-christened GOP Senate nominee in Missouri, said in an interview airing Sunday that “legitimate rape” rarely causes pregnancy.
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, (pregnancy from rape) is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in a clip posted to YouTube by the Democratic super PAC American Bridge. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.
The Post notes that he is not alone in this idiotic belief and there’s a reason for it. There’s a natural tendency to believe that what you’re doing is not hurting ‘good’ people and here it’s made explicit–if you become pregnant, either you weren’t raped or you weren’t a ‘good’ person so you deserve what happens. Most people know that such a simplistic idea is wrong, but some people (mostly religious conservatives) never get past this fairy tale.
Romney and Ryan, of course, denounce the statement (as does Akin and no Mr. Akin you did not misspeak, it’s obviously what you believe), but the goal isn’t that far from what Ryan wants. Here’s a bill he and Akin, among other Republicans, tried to pass:
(B) the life of each human being begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, irrespective of sex, health, function or disability, defect, stage of biological develop ment, or condition of dependency, at which time every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood; and (2) the Congress affirms that the Congress, each State, the District of Columbia, and all United States territories have the authority to protect the lives of all human beings residing in its respective jurisdictions.
If a fetus is considered a human life with all its attributes that would mean that abortion would be illegal under all circumstances–there are exceptions, such as self-defense, for actual humans, but I don’t see how any would apply here. Supporters of the bill say that it doesn’t outlaw abortions at all since Roe v. Wade would overrule it, but most of them want to overturn Roe v. Wade and without Roe v. Wade I don’t see how this doesn’t make all abortions illegal–will states be allowed to make murder legal?
15 Aug 2012
in craziness, gender, race, statistics
Tags: craziness, discrimination, gender, racism, statistics
Via Digby, this is indeed depressing:
Both whites and blacks agree that anti-black racism has decreased over the last 60 years, according to the study. However, whites believe that anti-white racism has increased and is now a bigger problem than anti-black racism.
It’s from a fairly small sample (only 417 people in total), but the results are crazy–whites now believe we are now discriminated against more often? Really/
It also led me to the blog by one of the authors (Sam Sommers ) here which is quite interesting and has some relevant articles.
This one notes that we’re often hesitant to believe people are racist so deny that a particular instance is racism:
• Most employers aren’t racists, so racial disparity in a company’s hiring tendencies must result from other factors, like there simply not being enough strong applications from qualified minority candidates.
• Few attorneys or judges are bigots, so what look to be racial differences in say, how they evaluate potential jurors must result from other, race-neutral considerations in their jury selection calculations.
• The arresting officer used to run diversity training sessions for his colleagues, so race couldn’t have played a role in his decision to arrest the Black professor who was legally inside his own home–the professor must have been a disorderly jerk who warranted arrest.
• Race has nothing to do with it; we just don’t believe that the dark-skinned president with the funny name was born in this country (or that many of his supporters are “real Americans,” for that matter).
and he notes that we can test to see if there is inherent racism in certain cases:
Résumés with Black-sounding names get 50% fewer call-backs than résumés with White-sounding names. The same juror background is seen more positively by a prosecutor when the juror is White than when the juror is Black.
In another post, he notes that most people don’t think they’re racist so asking whether a person is racist can be counter productive:
A few years ago I and a colleague published a series of studies looking at how people define “racist.” The answer? We set the bar just past where we ourselves are. So what makes someone a racist? You may not know, but you do know it’s not you.
and he gives more examples of studies that show that racism still exists:
this is also what the behavioral science does tell us: That respondents in a study who first see a Black face are more likely than those who first see a White face to mistakenly think an ambiguous object subsequently presented is a gun. And participants completing a video game-like police simulation perform similarly, becoming more likely to mistakenly push the “shoot” button when an unarmed suspect is Black than when he’s White. For that matter, subliminal presentation of crime-related images–shown to respondents so quickly that they don’t consciously know what they’ve just seen–makes people pay more attention to Black faces shown next, the mere unconscious suggestion of crime being enough to activate visual processing related to race.
In a partially unrelated post (this one is about sexism), we see that perception isn’t always about reality (the study based on video surveillance found that women parked better in some objective criteria):
And if you ever need a reminder about the power of expectation and assumption with respect to sex difference, just look at the poll at the bottom of the MSNBC story about the parking garage research. When asked which sex is better at parking, even after reading about the garage study, 38% go with men and only 25% pick women. When it comes to sex differences, we often let our intuition cloud our judgment, data be damned.
08 Aug 2012
in craziness, education, gender
Tags: craziness, education, Title IX, women's rights
A Louisiana charter school is changing a policy that kicked pregnant students out of class and required them to be home-schooled, the school’s board chairman said Wednesday.
No one at Delhi Charter School in rural northeast Louisiana realized there was anything wrong with the policy until the American Civil Liberties Union’s state chapter threatened to sue, said chairman Albert Christman. The policy has gotten “everybody up in a roar,” he said.
The school required students who were suspected of being pregnant to take a pregnancy test. If they refused, or tested positive, they had to be home-schooled. The ACLU said the policy violated Title IX of the 1972 federal education law, which requires equal opportunities for both sexes.
Too many schools do not realize pregnant students should receive equal treatment, the National Women’s Law Center said in a June report.
Gee, I wonder what would happen to a student at the school who broke one of the school’s policies–perhaps the people who enacted this policy should be kicked out of the school system. The policy is here and here’s the full policy on pregnancy (go to page 130):
If an administrator or teacher suspects a student is pregnant, a parent conference will be held. The school reserves the right to require any female student to take a pregnancy test to confirm whether or not the suspected student is in fact pregnant. The school further reserves the right to refer the suspected student to a physician of its choice. If the test indicates that the student is pregnant, the student will not be permitted to attend classes on the campus of Delhi Charter School.
If a student is determined to be pregnant and wishes to continue to attend Delhi Charter School, the student will be required to pursue a course of home study that will be provided by the school. Students engaged in home study will be required to meet all of the school’s ordinary, high academic standards in order to be promoted.
Any student who is suspected of being pregnant and who refuses to submit to a pregnancy test shall be treated as a pregnant student and will be offered home study opportunities. If home study opportunities are not acceptable, the student will be counseled to seek other educational opportunities.
In an interesting bit, the section on sex education includes this:
Whenever sex education is offered, such education will be available also to any student in the school, regardless of the student’s grade level, who is pregnant or who is a mother or father.
I guess it wasn’t updated.
I also think this guy needs to find another job:
Louisiana Department of Education spokesman Barry Landry said he did not know the state’s policies for pregnant students or whether they apply to private and religious schools getting tuition vouchers.
05 Jul 2012
in craziness, gender
Tags: craziness, women's rights
I’m a little slow to this:
Later this month, Republican State Sen. Marty Golden’s office is holding a career-development event for women in his southern Brooklyn district teaching them “Posture, Deportment and the Feminine Presence.”
That’s according to a taxpayer-funded mailing being sent out in Golden’s district, which an offended reader passed along. The taxpayer-funded event – presented by a “certified protocol consultant” – is part of a series teaching women in Brooklyn “what’s new in the 21st century as it relates to business etiquette and social protocol.” More details are also available on Golden’s Senate website, including the fact that women in attendance will be taught to, “Sit, stand and walk like a model,” how to, “Walk up and down a stair elegantly” and “Differences in American and Continental rules governing handshakes and introductions.”
There are two parts to this. The first is that some of this is probably necessary for some people–there are people who need to be taught some of the basics of business etiquette. The second part is that it shows that sexism is indeed an issue. This state Senator is probably sexist, but I’m sure his office is reacting to how things are in the real world. Women are held to a different standard in the workplace. Hopefully, this will not be brushed aside as one person’s craziness but instead as a sign that there are problems for women in the workplace that need to be addressed.
23 Jun 2012
in craziness, education, gender
Tags: Alan Turing, craziness, gay rights, Math
Today is the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Alan Turing, one of the great minds of the twentieth century–a leader in both math and computers. Despite the fact that he helped win WWII by being one of the leading code-crackers for England (cracking the German code, meant the Allies often knew what the Germans were planning, while the Germans weren’t able to crack the Allies’ code), the fact that he was gay was deemed more important. In 1952 he was given the choice of prison or chemical castration, he chose the latter and committed suicide two years later. Letters of Note has a letter by him around the time of the trial which ends with this:
I’m afraid that the following syllogism may be used by some in the future.
Turing believes machines think
Turing lies with men
Therefore machines do not think
One of the reasons Larry Summers said he didn’t believe there was discrimination against women at universities was that it would put a university at a competitive disadvantage, that didn’t seem to stop England going against Alan Turing.
14 Jun 2012
in gender, Media, religion
Tags: Catholic Church, gender, religion
The bishops in the US are pushing public relations:
The bishops’ public relations campaign is still in the early stages but tentative plans include appointing a high-profile, always-on-call spokesman and creating a more active presence on Twitter and Facebook. Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City also announced the launch of a private social network for bishops only – a sort of Facebook of the magisterium.
And Cardinal O’Malley as well:
O’Malley said the nun dispute is about the specific activities of the Leadership Conference, not about US nuns at large.
“I feel terrible that these difficulties between the [Leadership Conference] and the Holy See have come across as being any kind of indictment of women religious in this country,’’ he said. “That’s not true. I think we have nothing but affection for them.’’
And, he said, it is unfair to link any of the recent clashes between the church hierarchy and individual women or women’s groups: The Vatican’s rebuke of the Leadership Conference; the condemnation of a sexual ethics book written by Sister Margaret Farley, a retired Yale Divinity School theologian; or the US bishops’ decision to investigate the Girl Scouts of America.
Ok, they have to work on their public relations. They have been criticized for not treating women respectfully and one of the solutions is to have a private social network only for bishops–who are all men, of course. O’Malley does know how to spin though. All of the things he mentions are related, they’re examples of the Church trying to reimpose their power. The last couple popes have been trying to make the Church more conservative and to regain its old influence which means respecting the lines of authority from the Pope down. Women are not near the top of the power structure in the Church so they’re going to be hit more and it’s also why you see the Church pushing against governments more forcefully (such as with the contraception silliness and their high-profile campaign against gay marriage in England).