Dog Brothers Public Forum
Return To Homepage
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
April 23, 2014, 11:41:37 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
79252 Posts in 2227 Topics by 1037 Members
Latest Member: DCoutinho
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  Dog Brothers Public Forum
|-+  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities
| |-+  Politics & Religion
| | |-+  Gender, Gay, Lesbian
« previous next »
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 11 Print
Author Topic: Gender, Gay, Lesbian  (Read 84286 times)
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #100 on: August 05, 2008, 12:09:27 AM »

Winkler Gets Kids Back; UK Law to Allow 'Women Who Kill in Cold Blood to Escape Murder Charge'
August 4th, 2008 by Glenn Sacks
 Glenn's E-Newsletter/Week in Review, August 5, 2008
glennsacks.com

Mary Winkler--who shot her husband in the back and then refused to aid him or call 911 as he slowly bled to death for 20 minutes--walked away a free woman last year after serving a farcically brief "sentence" for her crimes.

Mary Winkler’s claims of abuse were largely uncorroborated during the trial. According to the testimony from Matthew Winkler's oldest daughter, Patricia, the dead father--who as he lay dying looked at his wife and asked "why?"--was a good man and did not abuse her mother.

Mary Winkler has been in a custody battle with Matthew Winkler's parents, who have been raising the three girls since the murder. The Winklers sought to terminate Mary Winkler's parental rights and adopt the girls, a position I've supported. Mary Winkler was granted supervised visits with her daughters last year. Now, sadly, she has gained back custody of the three girls, which is clearly not in the girls' best interests.

To learn more, see my recent blog post on it here, my co-authored column No child custody for husband-killer Mary Winkler (World Net Daily, 9/14/07), or click here.
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #101 on: August 07, 2008, 09:18:22 PM »

I will be posted over a few days some of my replies to the previous thread
Karsk,
I don't know for sure the answer to your question.  I don't think so and I would like the difference in tests scores to because they are just testing everyone and more woman are taking math classes
 
Men are the top and bottom of IQ tests period =--- Do you feel superior now?
The article was about average skill in Math.
For better or worse, sex chromosomes are linked to human intelligence
by Ellen Ruppel Shell

Last January Harvard University president Lawrence Summers hypothesized that women may be innately less scientifically inclined than men. Not long after the ensuing uproar, researchers announced the sequencing of the human X chromosome. The project was hailed as a great leap forward in decoding the differences between men and women, at least from a biological perspective. While it did nothing to calm the maelstrom swirling around Summers, the new understanding of the chromosome revealed tantalizing clues to the role genes might play in shaping cognitive differences between the sexes. And while these differences seem to be largely to the female's advantage, permutations during the genetic recombination of the X chromosome may confer to a few men a substantial intellectual edge.

Considerations of this sort are mired in politics and sensationalism, but one fact is beyond dispute: Three hundred million years after parting ways in our earliest mammalian ancestors, the X and the Y chromosomes are very different genetic entities. The Y has been whittled down to genes governing a handful of functions, most entailing sperm production and other male-defining features. Meanwhile, the gene-rich X is the most intensely studied of the 23 chromosomes, largely because of its role in rendering men vulnerable to an estimated 300 genetic diseases and disorders associated with those mutations—from color blindness to muscular dystrophy to more than 200 brain disorders.

The sex chromosomes lay the foundation for human sexual difference, with women having two Xs, one from each parent, while men get an X from their mom and a Y from their dad. Only 54 of the 1,098 protein-coding genes on the X seem to have functional counterparts on the Y, a dichotomy that has led scientists to describe the Y chromosome as "eroded." This diminutive chromosome offers little protection against the slings and arrows of genetic happenstance. When an X-linked gene mutates in a woman, a backup gene on the second X chromosome can fill the gap. But when an X-linked gene mutation occurs in a man, his Y stands idly by, like an onlooker at a train wreck.

The brain seems particularly vulnerable to X-linked malfunction. Physician and human geneticist Horst Hameister and his group at the University of Ulm in Germany recently found that more than 21 percent of all brain disabilities map to X-linked mutations. "These genes must determine some component of intelligence if changes in them damage intelligence," Hameister says.

Gillian Turner, professor of medical genetics at the University of Newcastle in Australia, agrees that the X chromosome is a natural home for genes that mold the mind. "If you are thinking of getting a gene quickly distributed through a population, it makes sense to have it on the X," she says. "And no human trait has evolved faster through history than intelligence."

The X chromosome provides an unusual system for transmitting genes between sexes across generations. Fathers pass down nearly their entire complement of X-linked genes to their daughters, and sons get their X-linked genes from their mothers.

Although this pattern of inheritance leaves men vulnerable to a host of X-linked disorders, Hameister contends that it also positions them to reap the rewards of rare, beneficial X-linked mutations, which may explain why men cluster at the ends of the intelligence spectrum. "Females tend to do better overall on IQ tests; they average out at about 100, while men average about 99," Hameister says. "Also, more men are mentally retarded. But when you look at IQs at 135 and above, you see more men."

To understand his hypothesis, consider that during the formation of a woman's eggs, paternal and maternal X chromosomes recombine during meiosis. Now suppose a mother passes to her son an X chromosome carrying a gene or genes for superintelligence. While this genetic parcel would boost the son's brilliance, he could pass that X chromosome only to a daughter, where it could be diluted by the maternally derived X. The daughter, in turn, could pass on only a broken-up and remixed version to the fourth generation, due, again, to the recombination that occurs during meiosis. Odds are that the suite of genes for superintelligence wouldn't survive intact in the remix. "It's like winning the lottery," Hameister adds. "You wouldn't expect to win twice in one day, would you?"

The theory is controversial. Among its detractors is David Page, interim director of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "Many claims have been made about gene enrichment on the X, and most look quite soft to me," he says. Nonetheless, he says that the attempt to link the enrichment of cognitive genes on the X to IQ differences "is a reasonable speculation."

Intelligence is a multifaceted quality that is unlikely to be traced to a single gene. Yet the link between gender and cognition is far too persistent for the public—or science—to ignore. Until recently sex differences in intelligence were thought to result chiefly from hormones and environment. New findings suggest genes can play a far more direct role. Working constructively with that insight will be a delicate challenge for the new millennium, one perhaps best avoided by college presidents


The Study"  Math Is Harder for Girls"should have been called

 
 " Small  percentage of men better and worse than women in math" --- somehow it is just not as sexy as bashing women's math skills

If you want to talk about those who don't understand basic biology why not go after those who don't believe in evolution?
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #102 on: August 07, 2008, 09:30:31 PM »

Were you are getting your information about what mainstream feminists believe? Feminism is a pretty big umbrella and they don't make you recite a creed. Have you taken classes read feminist blogs etc?
 There are some women who think  gender is only a construct  but that is not mainstream feminist belief.

It is the same nature/nurture argument all over again and the answer is both
 Nature Only vs nurture only  is not  even an interesting question anymore.  The interesting question is what combination of factors are the cause for gender etc ?

The definition of feminist is  so broad it would probably include most of the people on the board.  Don't worry I won't tell anyone.  grin

http://tomatonation.com/?p=677
Yes, You Are

    feminism n (1895) 1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes 2 : organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests — feminist n or adj — feministic adj

Above, the dictionary definition of feminism — the entire dictionary definition of feminism. It is quite straightforward and concise. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.

Yes, you are.

The definition of feminism does not ask for two forms of photo ID. It does not care what you look like. It does not care what color skin you have, or whether that skin is clear, or how much you weigh, or what you do with your hair. You can bite your nails, or you can get them done once a week. You can spend two hours on your makeup, or five minutes, or the time it takes to find a Chapstick without any lint sticking to it. You can rock a cord mini, or khakis, or a sari, and you can layer all three. The definition of feminism does not include a mandatory leg-hair check; wax on, wax off, whatever you want. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.

Yes, you are.

The definition of feminism does not mention a membership fee or a graduated tax or "…unless you got your phone turned off by mistake." Rockefellers, the homeless, bad credit, no credit, no problem. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.

Yes, you are.

The definition of feminism does not require a diploma or other proof of graduation. It is not reserved for those who teach women's studies classes, or to those who majored in women's studies, or to those who graduated from college, or to those who graduated from high school, or to those who graduated from Brownie to Girl Scout. It doesn't care if you went to Princeton or the school of hard knocks. You can have a PhD, or a GED, or a degree in mixology, or a library card, or all of the above, or none of the above. You don't have to write a twenty-page paper on Valerie Solanas's use of satire in The S.C.U.M. Manifesto, and if you do write it, you don't have to get better than a C-plus on it. You can really believe math is hard, or you can teach math. You don't have to take a test to get in. You don't have to speak English. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.

Yes, you are.

The definition of feminism is not an insurance policy; it doesn't exclude anyone based on age. It doesn't have a "you must be this tall to ride the ride" sign on it anywhere. It doesn't specify how you get from place to place, so whether you use or a walker or a stroller or a skateboard or a carpool, if you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.

Yes, you are.

The definition of feminism does not tell you how to vote or what to think. You can vote Republican or Libertarian or Socialist or "I like that guy's hair." You can bag voting entirely. You can believe whatever you like about child-care subsidies, drafting women, fiscal accountability, Anita Hill, environmental law, property taxes, Ann Coulter, interventionist politics, soft money, gay marriage, tort reform, decriminalization of marijuana, gun control, affirmative action, and why that pothole at the end of the street still isn't fixed. You can exist wherever on the choice continuum you feel comfortable. You can feel ambivalent about Hillary Clinton. You can like the ERA in theory, but dread getting drafted in practice. The definition does not stipulate any of that. The definition does not stipulate anything at all, except itself. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.

Yes, you are.

The definition of feminism does not judge your lifestyle. You like girls, you like boys, doesn't matter. You eat meat, you don't eat meat, you don't eat meat or dairy, you don't eat fast food, doesn't matter. You can get married, and you can change your name or keep the one your parents gave you, doesn't matter. You can have kids, you can stay home with them or not, you can hate kids, doesn't matter. You can stay a virgin or you can boink everyone in sight, doesn't matter. It's not in the definition. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.

Yes, you are.

Yes. You are. You are a feminist. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist. Period. It's more complicated than that — of course it is. And yet…it's exactly that simple. It has nothing to do with your sexual preference or your sense of humor or your fashion sense or your charitable donations, or what pronouns you use in official correspondence, or whether you think Andrea Dworkin is full of crap, or how often you read Bust or Ms. — or, actually, whether you've got a vagina. In the end, it's not about that. It is about political, economic, and social equality of the sexes, and it is about claiming that definition on its own terms, instead of qualifying it because you don't want anyone to think that you don't shave your pits. It is about saying that you are a feminist and just letting the statement sit there, instead of feeling a compulsion to modify it immediately with "but not, you know, that kind of feminist" because you don't want to come off all Angry Girl. It is about understanding that liking Oprah and Chanel doesn't make you a "bad" feminist — that only "liking" the wage gap makes you a "bad" feminist, because "bad" does not enter into the definition of feminism. It is about knowing that, if folks can't grab a dictionary and see for themselves that the entry for "feminism" doesn't say anything about hating men or chick flicks or any of that crap, it's their problem.

It is about knowing that a woman is the equal of a man in art, at work, and under the law, whether you say it out loud or not — but for God's sake start saying it out loud already. You are a feminist.

I am a feminist too. Look it up.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11504


« Reply #103 on: August 07, 2008, 09:38:56 PM »

Pointing out biologically based differences between men and women isn't bashing. On average, girls are much more skilled at language. They tend to speak younger, have larger vocabularies and demonstrate a greater sophistication in sentence structure. Speech pathologies are suffered by males to a much greater degree than by females. If I recall correctly, it's something like a 9 to 1 or 10 to 1 ratio. It isn't male bashing to point that out.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11504


« Reply #104 on: August 07, 2008, 09:44:45 PM »

I've read a lot of feminist writers and am familiar with the various "sects" of feminist ideology and have debated more than a few in academic settings.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #105 on: August 08, 2008, 10:43:52 AM »

Equal is such a slippery word.  4+1=2+3 but they are not the same thing.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #106 on: August 09, 2008, 05:31:16 AM »

Rachel:

What do you think of this sort of thing?

Marc
===========
WSJ

Anything but fairness
Shortly before it recessed, the House passed the inaptly named “Paycheck Fairness Act.” This bill so dramatically amends the Fair Pay Act of 1963 that it should be called “The Small Business Destruction Act.”

Under current law, it is permissible for an employer to give male and female employees different compensation so long as the difference is based on “a factor other than sex.” Not so under the scheme devised by House Democrats. Under the new law, an employer would be liable for any difference in pay between male and female employees, unless the employer can show that a “legitimate” business reason exists for the differential, and, furthermore, that no “alternative employment practice” could prevent the differential. Democrats don’t want the employer and the labor market to make compensation decisions. Instead, they prefer that plaintiffs’ lawyers, the courts and juries decide what compensation is proper.

It gets worse. This law applies to virtually all employers, even businesses with as few as two employees. Employers would be liable, even if they did not intend to discriminate. Moreover, they face unlimited compensatory and punitive damages. This legislation, which Pelosi calls a “common-sense” measure, is a dream come true for the radical feminists who think wrongly that all wage disparities between men and women are the result of sex discrimination. It’s also a boon for trial lawyers—and a nightmare for the rest of us. Thankfully, the bill faces substantial opposition in the Senate, and President George W. Bush has vowed a veto.
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #107 on: August 10, 2008, 09:33:05 PM »

Marc,
I don't think its drivel but it is honestly not high on the list of things I care about .I have mostly  been ignoring  all  articles and blog post on this  topic  and I not going to start reading them now--sorry. 
Bush is supposed to veto it anyway right? I really prefer not to comment on thing that I am less informed about ( at least in my opinion grin) but anyway....

I don' think all  pay inequity can be explained away  by job choices,negotiation skills,  etc.  Most things are caused by a  constellation of factors and I do believe sexism is a factor in pay inequity.

One of the things I would think would be very helpful is if companies were required by law to share salary information in way that could protect personal privacy.   "Sunlight is the best disinfectant"

In terms of women( and men for that matter)  being successful in in the work place good mentoring programs are very important.   When I doing salary negotiation for my current job I was helped a lot by conversations with my older brother and my husband.


In my job search I  have always made sure there are woman in upper management and that they promote from within. 


Wage Gap  currently increases as you get older so if that continues to be the case I might care more later. 
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #108 on: August 11, 2008, 09:10:32 PM »

http://economicwoman.com/2008/07/29/the-math-wars/
  If  there is one figure who neatly divides feminism and economics, it is Larry Summers. The now ex-president of Harvard drew a great deal of criticism in 2005 after suggesting that women’s under-representation in science and engineering was due in part to differences in ability. Among most feminists, Summers’ name is synonymous with pseudoscientific sexism. But Summers is an economist, and many other economists seem to see him as something of an intellectual martyr.

This week, both sides of the debate have more or less claimed victory - and they are citing the same paper (gated), just published in Science. Compare Alex Tabarrok’s post at Marginal Revolution with Jessica Valenti’s post at Feministing. So how did this happen?

What the study actually says

The Feministing post, and most of the mainstream media’s coverage of the study, focus on its main finding: using 7 million students’ standardized tests scores from across the United States, Hyde et al have shown that the average girl is as good at math as the average boy. This holds for all ethnic groups, and for average students tackling difficult material as well as basic skills. This is an important finding, and I’m glad it’s getting some attention.

Most people who seriously argue that ability is at the root of men’s dominance in mathematical fields, however, are not talking about the average - they are talking about the variance. In layman’s terms, the variance measures how spread out data is, or how far most individuals are from the average. The Science study’s second finding is that the boys’ scores have a higher variance than the girls’ scores.

The studies’ authors note that the difference in variances is not very large, but as Tabarrok points out, it’s tough to discount when you focus on the very top of the distribution. In this study, if you look only at students in the 99th percentile of mathematical ability, white boys outnumber white girls two to one. (There is an imbalance among Asian and Pacific Islander children as well, though it is smaller, and there wasn’t enough data available for other ethnicities.)

In short, boys are more likely to be exceptionally bad at math, and more likely to be exceptionally good at math. Of course, we should ask what causes higher variance. It could be the product of nature or nurture.

What it means for women in economics

The Marginal Revolution comment thread has focused on this hypothetical:

    If a particular specialty required mathematical skills at the 99th percentile, and the gender ratio is 2.0, we would expect 67% men in the occupation and 33% women. Yet today, for example, Ph.D. programs in engineering average only about 15% women.

First of all, I can’t believe that success in economics requires mathematical ability in the 99th percentile. Economics is not pure mathematics, and even if it was, getting through a Ph.D. program is more about perseverance than IQ. (And we know what hostile, sexist environments can do to perseverance.) I’d like to see some studies of mathematical ability among actual economics professors. I bet most wouldn’t be above the 90th percentile.

Second, notice that even in their example, undoubtedly more empirically challenging than economics, by this model the number of women in the profession should double. Fifteen per cent to 33 per cent is a significant gap. I’m reminded of debates over the wage gap, where 15 per cent becomes “insignificant” in some economists’ hands.

Third, let’s remember for a second that economics is a social science. Great economic theory draws on all sorts of skills, perspectives and experiences. To the extent that we want to answer questions about the real world, women’s perspectives are necessary.
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #109 on: August 11, 2008, 09:18:28 PM »

Marc-- Don't you think gender is  something of a construct.   Isn't that your argument against gay man adopting straight children?

I'm curious in what ways do  you think men and woman should be treated differently?

GM,
It would be male bashing to imply that because men on average  are less skilled at language they can't be good writers or great ones. 
The article was titled  in such to way to imply that Math is Hard for girls---  which is not true.

There are great women mathematicians who are very capable of higher level  math.

http://www.agnesscott.edu/Lriddle/women/women.htm
http://www.agnesscott.edu/lriddle/WOMEN/alpha.htm
http://womenshistory.about.com/od/sciencemath1/Mathematicians.htm
 
 Don't you think it is possible that some women wouldn't take advance math classes  or do as well on math tests  because they and society believe woman are bad at math.
 
Don't you think it is  possible that there are ways to increase  women ( as well as keeping and increases men's ) participation in advanced math and science.
 
 I am not necessary recommending quotas though I am a big fan of title 9


I am more interested in parents, teachers,  and society  encouraging  both boys/men  and girls/women  to study both Shakespeare and advanced science
 
 One of my favorite quotes about education is


Scott Buchanan
http://www.stjohnscollege.edu/about/donrag.shtml
"Under the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, have you persuaded yourself that there are knowledges and truths beyond your grasp, things that you simply cannot learn? Have you allowed adverse evidence to pile up and force you to conclude that you are not mathematical, not linguistic, not poetic, not scientific, not philosophical? If you have allowed this to happen, you have arbitrarily imposed limits on your intellectual freedom, and you have smothered the fires from which all other freedoms arise."
Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 5540


« Reply #110 on: August 11, 2008, 10:29:54 PM »

Rachel, adding my two cents here -  My mom is a sort of anti-feminist who earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and I noticed very few women in her graduating class from the Institute of Technology in the 1940s.  She says it wasn't from discrimination but from lack of interest from the girls at the time. Thirty years later, my cousin's wife graduated from a technical college and she said they gave free tuition to get girls to go there.  Regarding recent test scores, I find myself pulling for the girls as father of a daughter just entering high school. 

Regarding gender differences and pay differences I don't have the answer but have these suggestions from a public policy point of view: 1) not all observed differences require a 'solution' and 2) not all solutions require government action.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11504


« Reply #111 on: August 11, 2008, 10:30:57 PM »

Marc-- Don't you think gender is  something of a construct.   Isn't that your argument against gay man adopting straight children?

I'm curious in what ways do  you think men and woman should be treated differently?

GM,
It would be male bashing to imply that because men on average  are less skilled at language they can't be good writers or great ones. 
The article was titled  in such to way to imply that Math is Hard for girls---  which is not true.

There are great women mathematicians who are very capable of higher level  math.

**I can't cite the source, but if I recall correctly for every highly gifted female (in the realm of math) there are 8-10 males at the same percentile. Obviously in any population  there are extremes at the ends of the spectrum. On average, males are bigger and stronger than females. This doesn't mean there aren't some women that are bigger and stronger than some men, but as group there is a discernable difference.**


http://www.agnesscott.edu/Lriddle/women/women.htm
http://www.agnesscott.edu/lriddle/WOMEN/alpha.htm
http://womenshistory.about.com/od/sciencemath1/Mathematicians.htm
 
 Don't you think it is possible that some women wouldn't take advance math classes  or do as well on math tests  because they and society believe woman are bad at math.

**It's very possible that it has some impact, though I doubt to the degree that it skews the statistics that dramatically.**
 
Don't you think it is  possible that there are ways to increase  women ( as well as keeping and increases men's ) participation in advanced math and science.
 
**As a nation we need to. If it weren't for the influx of immigration from east asia and the Indian subcontinent, we'd really be suffering in the tech sectors. Not near enough US citizens are getting undergrad and post grad degrees in the hard sciences.**


 I am not necessary recommending quotas though I am a big fan of title 9


I am more interested in parents, teachers,  and society  encouraging  both boys/men  and girls/women  to study both Shakespeare and advanced science
 
 One of my favorite quotes about education is


Scott Buchanan
http://www.stjohnscollege.edu/about/donrag.shtml
"Under the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, have you persuaded yourself that there are knowledges and truths beyond your grasp, things that you simply cannot learn? Have you allowed adverse evidence to pile up and force you to conclude that you are not mathematical, not linguistic, not poetic, not scientific, not philosophical? If you have allowed this to happen, you have arbitrarily imposed limits on your intellectual freedom, and you have smothered the fires from which all other freedoms arise."
Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 5540


« Reply #112 on: August 11, 2008, 10:49:11 PM »

My recollection of Larry Summers in his own words is that his questions had more to do with the long term choices of women being less likely to sacrifice family and personal life for decades or an entire career to reach the very top of their technical profession more than he was questioning their aptitude, ability or academic achievement.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11504


« Reply #113 on: August 17, 2008, 03:43:07 PM »

**Waiting for American feminists to get upset about this anytime now. Yup, anytime soon....**  rolleyes

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-beauty17-2008aug17,0,6108880,full.story

Pakistani women burned by acid or fire rely on beauty of others

K.M. Chaudary / Associated Press
Saira Liaqat, 26, puts make up on a client at the Depilex beauty center in Lahore, Pakistan.
Women who say their husbands threw acid at them or burned them find help in becoming self-reliant through salon work.
From the Associated Press

1:14 PM PDT, August 16, 2008

LAHORE, PAKISTAN -- Saira Liaqat squints through her one good eye as she brushes a woman's hair. Her face, most of which the acid melted years ago, occasionally lights up with a smile. Her hands, largely undamaged, deftly handle the dark brown locks.

A few steps away in this popular beauty salon, Urooj Akbar diligently trims, cleans and paints clients' fingernails. Her face, severely scarred from the blaze that burned about 70% of her body, is somber. It's hard to tell if she's sad or if it's just the way she now looks.

 
Related Content

Moving on

At work
"Every person wishes that he or she is beautiful," says Liaqat, 21. "But in my view, your face is not everything. Real beauty lies inside a person, not outside."

"They do it because the world demands it," Akbar, 28, says of clients. "For them, it's a necessity. For me, it isn't."

Liaqat and Akbar got into the beauty business in the eastern city of Lahore thanks to the Depilex Smileagain Foundation, an organization devoted to aiding women who have been burned in acid or other attacks.

About five years ago, Masarrat Misbah, head of Pakistan's well-known Depilex salon chain, was leaving work when a veiled woman approached and asked for her help. She was insistent, and soon, a flustered Misbah saw why.

When she removed her veil, Misbah felt faint. "I saw a girl who had no face."

The woman said her husband had thrown acid on her.

Misbah decided to place a small newspaper ad to see if others needed similar assistance.

Forty-two women and girls responded.

Misbah got in touch with Smileagain, an Italian nonprofit that has provided medical services to burn victims in other countries. She sought the help of Pakistani doctors. Perhaps the biggest challenge has been raising money for the cause, in particular to build a special hospital and refuge for burn victims in Pakistan.

Her organization has about 240 registered victims on its help list, 83 of whom are at various stages of treatment.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan found that in 2007, at least 33 women were burned in acid attacks, and 45 were set on fire. But the statistics are probably an undercount, since many cases go unreported out of fear.

The victims Misbah has helped need, on average, 25 to 30 surgical procedures over several years, but she soon realized that wasn't enough. Some, especially those who were outcasts in their families, had to be able to support themselves.

To her surprise, several told her they wanted to be beauticians.

"And I felt so sad," Misbah says. "Because beauty is all about faces and beautiful girls and skin."

She helped arrange for 10 women to train in a beauty course in Italy last year. Some have difficulty because their vision is weak or their hands too burned for intricate work. But several, including Liaqat and Akbar, are making their way in the field.

The salon in Lahore is not the usual beauty parlor. There are pictures of beautiful women on the walls -- all made up, with perfect, gleaming hair. But then there's a giant poster of a girl with half her face destroyed.

"HELP US bring back a smile to the face of these survivors," it says.

Working for the salon is a dream come true for Liaqat, whose mischievous smile is still intact and frequently on display. As a child she was obsessed with beauty. Once she burned some of her sister's hair off with a makeshift curling iron. She still wears lipstick.

Akbar, the more reserved one, also carries out many administrative and other tasks for the foundation. One of her duties is collecting newspaper clippings about acid and burn attacks on women.

Both say they are treated well by clients and colleagues, but Misbah says some clients have complained.

"They say that when we come to a beauty salon, we come with the expectation that we're going to be relaxed, in a different frame of mind," Misbah says. "If we come here and we see someone who has gone through so much pain and misery, so automatically that gives us that low feeling also. They have a point.

"At the same time, there are clients who take pride in asking these girls to give them a blow-dry, or getting a manicure or pedicure taken from them."

Sometimes they ask what happened.

According to Liaqat and a lawyer for her case, she was married in her teens, on paper, to a relative, but the families had agreed she wouldn't live with him until she finished school. Within months, though, the man started demanding she join him.

One day at the end of July 2003, he showed up at their house with a package. He asked her to get him some water. He followed her to the kitchen, and as she turned around with the water, she says, he doused her with the acid. It seared much of her face, blinded her right eye, and seriously weakened her left one.

Liaqat shakes her head when recalling how a few days before the incident she found a small pimple on her face and threw a fit.

After she was burned, her parents at first wouldn't let their daughter look at a mirror. But eventually she saw herself, and she's proud to say she didn't cry.

"Once we had a wedding in the family. I went there and all the girls were getting dressed and putting on makeup. So that time, I felt a pain in my heart," she says. "But I don't want to weaken myself with these thoughts."

Her husband is in prison as the attempted murder case against him proceeds. The two are still legally married.

Akbar says she found herself in an arranged marriage by age 22. Her husband grew increasingly possessive and abusive, she says. The two had a child.

About three years ago, Akbar says, he sprinkled kerosene oil on her as she slept and lighted it.

A picture taken shortly afterward shows how her face melted onto her shoulders, leaving her with no visible neck.

Akbar has not filed a case against her now ex-husband. She says she'll one day turn to the law, at least to get her daughter back.

Both women were reluctant for a reporter to contact their alleged attackers.

Liaqat and Akbar have undergone several surgeries and expect to face more. They say Misbah's foundation was critical to their present well- being.

"Mentally, I am at peace with myself," Akbar says. "The peace of mind I have now, I never had before. I suffered much more mental anguish in my married life."

Bushra Tareen, a regular client of Liaqat's, praises her work.

"I feel that her hands call me again and again," Tareen says. She adds that Liaqat and Akbar remind her of the injustices women face, and their ability to rise above them.

"When I see them, I want to be like them -- strong girls," she says.

Liaqat is grateful for having achieved her goal of being a beautician. She worries about her eyesight but is determined to succeed.

"I want to make a name for myself in this profession," she says.

Akbar plans to use her income one day to support her little girl, whom she has barely seen since the attack.

"I'm independent now, I stand on my own two feet," she says. "I have a job, I work, I earn. In fact, I'm living on my own . . . which isn't an easy thing to do for a woman in Pakistan, for a lone woman to survive."
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11504


« Reply #114 on: August 17, 2008, 04:06:09 PM »

http://www.ansamed.info/en/news/ME03.@AM14281.html

TUNISIA: HOME VIOLENCE, 1 OF 5 MARRIED WOMEN ABUSED

(ANSAmed) - TUNIS, AUGUAT 12 - In Tunisia, which mostly takes into consideration the women's role in the active life among the Arab countries, it might seem controversial but the statistics are merciless: 20% of the married women are victims of violence on the part of their spouse. According to the statistics announced by daily Le Temps, many of them become disfigured, handicapped, receive psychological traumas and in various cases end up committing suicide. And all this, or almost all this, happens in silence between the home walls. For fear of further retaliation, and in order not to allow showing that the marriage has been ruined, due to a psychological and physical subjection which have lasted for centuries, such as that for example which requires that the wife should always walk two steps behind her husband. Feminist organisations have been leading for a long time a campaign to raise the awareness aimed at convincing the victims of this violence to at least trust them and the social workers. However, the fact that the first step has to be made by both spouses in the family remains unchanged. The law, obviously, also punishes this kind of violence. However, the feminists observe that the law is totally dissatisfying. Because if the victim intends to file a complaint, they must present a medical certificate issued by a public hospital certifying injures curable in 21 days. In case the prognosis results lower, the complaint will not be accepted. (ANSAmed).
2008-08-12 14:29
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #115 on: August 17, 2008, 08:21:51 PM »

**Waiting for American feminists to get upset about this anytime now. Yup, anytime soon....**  rolleyes

."

GM,
I’m very upset about violence against woman in other countries.  It bothers me greatly. If you want to give a practical suggestion about how I could personally make it better I would be happy to follow it

How can I help those women in India and Tunisia?  A huge piece of Save Darfur (widely supported by feminists everywhere) is about the raping of women.

However, I believe if you want to change the world you start with yourself, your family, your community and your country. I am also very involved with Israel but for me that is a family and community issue. 

When I judge the US, I don’t judge the US according to the standards of other countries. My expectations are not that US be slightly better than the rest of the world.   I expect the US to best it can be, period.

Just because the US treats women better than many other countries doesn’t mean that its treatment of woman is acceptable.

I don’t judge my civil liberties in the US by the civil liberties I would have in India and Tunisia. Why didn’t you mention this argument in the law enforcement thread, for example, we shouldn’t worry about our civil liberties in the US after all it is way better than Tunisia.

Here are Feministe’s 364 posts on international issues.
http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/category/politics/international/


Here is salon's  broadsheet international issues
http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/tag/international_womens_news/index.html

Here is the top link currently at Feministing:
http://www.feministing.com/

In Syrian Refuge, Women Find Barest Survival

http://womensenews.org/article.cfm/dyn/aid/3698/context/cover/

Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #116 on: August 17, 2008, 08:32:55 PM »

This kind of old.  I posted it on my facebook page a couple of weeks ago  but decided not to here because I wasn't sure   anyone would write.
This post was also at shakesville.

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2008/07/28/urgent-action-for-kobra-najjar/
I received an  an urgent email this morning from Tyla at Equality Now, informing me of Kobra Najjar’s desperate situation:

    Equality Now is urgently concerned about Kobra Najjar, an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery who lost her final appeal for amnesty. Iranian women’s rights activists working on her case report that Kobra has exhausted all domestic legal remedies and that her execution by stoning could happen any time.

    Kobra is a victim of domestic violence who was forced into prostitution by her abusive husband in order to support his heroine addiction. He was murdered by one of Kobra’s “clients” who sympathized with her plight. Kobra has already served 8 years in prison as an accessory to her husband’s murder. The man who murdered her husband also served 8 years in prison and is now free after paying blood money and undergoing 100 lashes, while Kobra faces imminent stoning to death for adultery - the prostitution her husband forced upon her.

    Equality Now is also concerned about recent reports of seven other women and one man, all accused of adultery sentenced to death by stoning, whose executions are also reported to be possible at any time. In Iran, adultery is the only crime punishable by stoning.

    [. . .]

    Please write to the Iranian officials below, calling for Kobra’s immediate release, the commutation of all sentences of death by stoning and the prohibition by law of all cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments in accordance with Iran’s obligations under the ICCPR. Urge the officials also to initiate a comprehensive review of the Civil and Penal Codes of Iran to remove all provisions that discriminate and perpetuate discrimination against women, including those regarding adultery and fornication, in accordance with Iran’s own constitutional provision for equality before the law.

Equality Now has all of the relevant contact information, some of which I have reproduced below the jump.

    His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
    Head of the Judiciary
    c/o Ministry of Justice
    Park-e Shahr
    Teheran
    Islamic Republic of Iran
    Email: iripr@iranjudiciary.org, irjpr@iranjudiciary.com and info@dadgostary-tehran.ir
    Phone: +98 21 22741002, +98 21 22741003, +98 21 22741004, +98 21 22741005

Equality Now notes that you may receive delivery problems from the above addresses, but to keep trying.  They also ask that you contact the Iranian embassy in your country.  A full database of Iranian embassies can be found here. Equality Now provides a partial list of embassies on their own website.  Those most relevant to readers of this blog appear below:

    United Kingdom: Embassy of Iran in London
    Tel: 02072253000
    Fax: 02075894440

    United States: Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Washington, D.C.
    Tel: 202 9654990
    Fax: 202 9651073

    Canada: Embassy of Iran in Ottawa
    Tel: 613 2354726 Ext 225
    Fax: 613 2325712

Tyla noted in her email that “mmediate action by the feminist community could be a crucial element in saving Kobra Najjar’s life.” Please take action now — and if you are aware of other ways to help Kobra Najjar, let me know and I will add that information to the post.
Here is an update from equity now
http://equalitynow.org/english/actions/action_2902_en.html

STOP PRESS, 7 AUGUST 2008: It has been reported recently that the Iranian authorities have decided to halt the execution of stoning sentences pending a review of cases. Judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi is said to have stated that four people currently sentenced to stoning will have their sentences commuted: two will have their sentences changed to 10 years imprisonment while two others will be lashed following judicial review. The identities of the four people have not been revealed.

When contacting the Iranian authorities, do acknowledge this development but please continue to write and urge them to release Kobra Najjar, commute all stoning sentences and remove all provisions that discriminate and perpetuate discrimination against women, including those regarding adultery. Stoning still remains a part of Iran’s Penal Code.
Logged
Body-by-Guinness
Power User
***
Posts: 2787


« Reply #117 on: August 22, 2008, 01:42:43 PM »

August 22, 2008, 0:00 p.m.

Olympian Political Correctness
In all the Olympic hype, you won't hear about performance differences between Venus and Mars.

By Todd Gallagher

‘Can Jamaica’s Sprinters Fight Crime?” That’s the tongue-in-cheek headline of a recent Time magazine article celebrating the remarkable Olympics performances of track stars from that Caribbean nation. In the space of a few days, Usain Bolt smashed world records in the men’s 100 and 200 meters, while three Jamaican sprinters swept the medals in the women’s 100 meters.

Time’s question is amusing, but for me, the incredible accomplishments of the Jamaican track team call to mind another question that isn’t so funny to a lot of people — as I learned the hard way.

You see, I wrote a book in which I worked with professional athletes and Olympic medalists to settle a series of long-running sports debates. The questions I heard most often had to do with gender: How big is the gap between the top male and female athletes?

One of my initial findings was jarring: the women’s Olympic record in the 100 meters, set in 1988 by superstar Florence Griffith-Joyner, is virtually identical to the U.S. record for 14-year-old boys — also set in 1988, by the less heralded Curtis Johnson. The winning time of 2008 women’s gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser? Well over a tenth of a second slower than Johnson’s.

Nor is the 100 meters an aberration. In sport after sport, evidence shows that the top female professional athletes in the world are on par with the best American 14- and 15-year-old boys. Nearly every female Olympic record in speed, strength, and endurance events falls between the records set by the best American 14- and 15-year-old boys:

Speed/Endurance Record Times:
Distance   Men’s   Boys’ 14   Women’s   Boys’ 15
100M   9.69   10.64   10.62   10.42
200M   19.30   21.49   21.34   20.97
400M   43.49   47.16   48.25   46.55
800M   1:42.58   1:55.9   1:53.43   1:51.03
1500M   3:32.07   4:04.1   3:53.96   3:51.5
5000M   13:05.59   15:46.8   14:40.79   14:32.8
10000M   27:05.10   32:48.0   30:17.49   31:43.2


Leaping Records (in meters):
Event   Men’s   Boys’ 14   Women’s   Boys’ 15
High Jump   2.39   2.04   2.06   2.18
Long Jump   8.90   7.21   7.40   7.49
Pole Vault   5.95   4.72   4.91   5.33
Triple Jump   18.09   14.74   15.33   14.98

Direct competition between women and boys tends to confirm the gap: the women’s Olympic hockey team has lost to boys’ high school junior-varsity teams; the women’s Olympic soccer team has lost to club teams of 15-year-old boys, the Colorado Silver Bullets professional baseball team has lost to American Legion squads — the list goes on and on.



I was surprised that this information had never been disseminated widely, since the data I researched and the interviews I conducted didn’t take long to put together. Obviously, I’m not suggesting that any slob off the street could outrun Shelly-Ann Fraser; but if she can’t beat the time that a 14-year-old boy set 20 years ago, surely that fact should inform a number of gender-and-sports discussions: Has Title IX done enough to level the playing field for female athletes — or has it actually penalized male athletes? Should golfers like Michelle Wie receive sponsors’ exemptions to compete against men in PGA tournaments? Should Wimbledon award men and women tennis players the same prize money?

Experts in the field of gender differences in sports emphatically argue that men’s superior performance is due primarily to societal factors — if they’re even willing to concede men’s superior performance, that is.

For example, in October 2007, Eileen McDonagh of Northeastern University and Laura Pappano of Wellesley College published Playing with the Boys: Why Separate Is Not Equal in Sports. “The premise of this book, and our work,” McDonagh says, “is that sex segregation does not reflect sex differences between men and women, rather it constructs them.”

I laid out the results of my research for Pappano and asked why male athletes outpace female athletes starting at 14 and 15. She answered: “Women are told around that time that they are athletically inferior to men and that they should start acting like ladies. That’s why we see the boys making such stunning gains at that age and the girls begin to suffer.”

While no one can deny that societal factors play some role, the research makes it pretty clear that there was a simpler explanation for the gap: puberty. The Centers for Disease Control publishes growth charts for the U.S. population which reveal that boys hit their major growth spurt between the ages of 14 and 15 — precisely when the best boy athletes begin to outperform the top adult female athletes.

My interviews with female professionals and others in the world of women’s sports confirmed the importance of boys’ physical development at that age. Aaron Heifitz, the publicist for the U.S. national women’s soccer team, described how the women’s squad performs against the best youth club players in Southern California: “The boys’ 13s we can handle pretty consistently, but when the boys start really developing at 14, and especially 15, that’s when you start to see real separation and they pass even the best women’s players. They’re just bigger, stronger, and faster.”

Eileen McDonagh has suggested that gender differences don’t matter in skill-based games that don’t place a premium on size, strength, and speed — pointedly asking, during a speech at Wellesley, “Why on earth are pool and ping-pong sex segregated?” Here again, even a little research reveals that the best female performers can’t compete consistently with the best males. Ping-pong actually relies heavily on physical attributes, and the difference between male and female competitors is almost as severe as it is in tennis — where the 203rd-ranked male player soundly defeated both Serena and Venus Williams in separate exhibition sets (6-1 and 6-2, respectively). In pool, Jean Balukas — possibly the greatest female player of all time — finished in the middle of the pack in men’s events in the 1980s; and Jeanette “The Black Widow” Lee — formerly the world’s Number One female player — told me, “You would not believe the amount of men, in my world, who can wax me.”

Cathy Young, the author of Ceasefire: Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve True Equality, suggests that that failure to discuss research findings openly and honestly reflects a larger feminist agenda of “bio-denial” to promote the idea that there are no natural differences between the genders. “There’s a whole establishment that’s invested in perpetuating the notion that there are not inborn differences between the genders athletically, and that any differences can only be attributable to sociological circumstances and societal oppression. They have a clear agenda to empower women through a distorted notion of equality but these people are saying things that are completely out of touch with biological reality.”



Kurt Fischer, director of the Mind, Brain, and Education Program at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, has seen this firsthand. “I’ve been at faculty meetings where the notion that there are differences in the genders is ridiculed,” Fischer says. He adds, “[T]he first woman dean at Harvard was my dean when she got here, and when I would try to bring up studies that showed inborn gender differences she wouldn’t even allow it.”

Anyone who saw what happened to Harvard president Lawrence Summers — for even suggesting that there could be inborn gender differences — might conclude that challenging the claims of the Laura Pappanos of the world is an unnecessary headache. “When you have a large group of people with a vested interest in maintaining an agenda,” Fischer observes, “they’re going to find ways to attack anyone or anything that threatens their existence.”

The media have also obscured the facts in this debate. Young suggests a reason for this: “At most newspapers, Title IX is gospel at this point. And anything that could be seen as an argument against it is going to be ignored, attacked, or ridiculed.”

Professor Fischer was not surprised when I told him of my difficulties getting traction with my own data. “I have a colleague here in town that has a biologically based view of gender differences. She’s done a whole lot of research that shows fairly large, important differences between boys and girls in their socio-relationships at an early age. And she was prevented from publishing that at several points from people who just didn’t want to hear that point of view, regardless of the evidence.”

We almost certainly won’t hear anyone discussing controversial gender issues in all the hype surrounding the closing days of these Olympic Games. But maybe if we keep laying out the data in a calm and rational manner, we can advance the discussion beyond the biased, politically correct, opinionated nonsense that passes for serious intellectual debate on this subject.

— Todd Gallagher is the author of Andy Roddick Beat Me with a Frying Pan: Taking the Field with Pro Athletes and Olympic Legends to Settle Sports Fans’ Greatest Debates.
National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ODlmNmJhM2JhMGZmOWQxOTMzMGE1YWFmMzkzZDNlODM=
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11504


« Reply #118 on: August 22, 2008, 02:46:24 PM »

A Response to Feminists on the Violent Oppression of Women in Islam   
By David Horowitz and Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, January 24, 2008

The David Horowitz Freedom Center has succeeded in putting the feminists and Islamists on the defensive. As David Horowitz and Robert Spencer note in the article below, the DHFC's exposure of the feminist movement's lack of attention to women's rights in the Muslim world has caused many of the movement's most prominent activists to sign a letter protesting that they originated concern for Muslim women. The letter, drafted by feminist writer Katha Pollitt, has been signed by such notables as:
Susan Faludi, the author of Backlash: The Undeclared War Against Women, which argues conservatives are trying to suppress American womyn, and The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America, which claims terrorism provided a handy excuse for the American Right to begin binding women's feet again;
Julianne Malveaux, who expressed her feelings about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on PBS' To the Contrary, "I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease"
Jennifer Baumgardner, a Nation writer whose idea of fighting female oppression is staging productions of The Vagina Monologues;
Dana Goldstein, an employee of the Soros-funded Center for American Progress and a writing fellow at the Soros-funded The American Prospect; and
More than 700 more leftists.
The letter spread quickly, beginning on the website of the far-Left's flagship publication, The Nation. (The Nation's piece was also picked up by Yahoo News). Soon, it had been posted on Mother Jones, the Islamic Forum, the University of Maine, and many other sites -- including that of a woman named Heart who is running for president. Not all are pleased; at least one insists U.S. immigration laws and Israeli treatment of Palestinians are a more direct affront to women's rights than clitorectomies. (She asks, "Does Ms. Pollitt think that 'Muslim countries' are particularly hostile to women’s rights for some reason?") Nonetheless, the very fact that the Left, so long silent about the crimes countenanced by its Islamic partners in the antiwar movement, now feels that it must mount a rousing defense is a vindication of our efforts. -- The Editors.

This week, seven hundred feminists signed an Open Letter complaining that “columnists and opinion writers from The Weekly Standard to the Washington Post to Slate have recently accused American feminists of focusing obsessively on minor or even nonexistent injustices in the United States while ignoring atrocities against women in other countries, especially the Muslim world.”

We recognize this Open Letter as a delayed response to the Freedom Center’s Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, which protested the silence of feminists over the “Oppression of Women in Islam” on campuses all over the country last fall, organized sit-ins at a dozen Women’s Studies Departments to protest the absence of courses and department-sponsored events confronting the issue, and made this a matter of national discussion and debate. This is why the signers of the Open Letter complain that “‘Women’s rights are human rights’ was not a slogan dreamed up by David Horowitz or Christina Hoff Sommers,” two of our speakers for Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week. (We never claimed it was.)

The signers of this Letter claim that, “contrary to the accusations of pundits,” they support Muslim feminists in “their struggle against female genital mutilation, ‘honor’ murder, forced marriage, child marriage, compulsory Islamic dress codes, the criminalization of sex outside marriage, brutal punishments like lashing and stoning, family laws that favor men and that place adult women under the legal power of fathers, brothers, and husbands, and laws that discount legal testimony made by women.”

Well, we welcome these avowals of support for the rights of Muslim women. However, forgive us for doubting their sincerity. As one of us pointed out in a speech given at the University of Wisconsin during Islamo-Fascism Week:

“One of our concerns … is the failure of the Women’s Studies Movement to educate students about these atrocities. Our researchers looked at more than 600 Women’s Studies programs on fifteen American campuses, which focus on the unequal treatment of women in society. But they were unable to locate a single class which focuses on the oppression of women under Islamic law.”

What was true last October is still true today. As recently as December 10, a Muslim teenager was strangled by her father for refusing to wear a hijab without a protest from the American feminist movement. And that is only one of many crimes committed in the name of Islam against Muslim women over which the feminist movement continues to be silent.

On New Year’s Day, Amina Said, 18, and her sister Sarah, 17, were shot dead in Irving, Texas. Police are searching for their father, Yaser Abdel Said, on a warrant for capital murder. The girls’ great aunt, Gail Gartrell, told reporters, “This was an honor killing.” Apparently Yaser Said murdered his daughters because they had non-Muslim boyfriends.

The signers of the Open Letter say that they are against honor killing. Here is an honor killing in the United States. Where are these feminists on this issue? Why are they not supporting the hunt for Amina’s and Sarah’s killers and organizing a campaign in the Muslim community to stop such practices?

On Sunday, January 20, the New York Times published an article, “A Cutting Tradition,” which falsely described female genital mutilation practiced under Islamic law as “circumcision” and portrayed it in a generally positive light, and even warned against “blindly judging those who practice it.” The article made no mention of the physical effects of this barbaric practice, which affects 140 million Muslim girls who have their genitals sliced off yearly, and in some 15 million cases their vaginal tract sewn up. These effects, as enumerated by the British Medical Journal in 1993, are “Immediate physical complications include severe pain, shock, infection, bleeding, acute urinary infection, tetanus, and death. Long-term problems include chronic pain, difficulties with micturition and menstruation, pelvic infection leading to infertility, and prolonged and obstructed labor during childbirth.”

Where is the feminist outrage over the New York Times article? Where are the feminist demonstrations against this practice? Where are the campus teach-ins? Where are the candlelight parades? What Muslim organizations have been confronted for their complicity in this assault on female Muslim children? This is a horrific crime against the female gender -- global in extent -- and yet one would be hard-pressed to identify a single public event, protest or march organized by feminists to oppose it.

The Open Letter mentions the feminist “V-Day” organized to protest violence against women. We challenge the signers of this letter to identify the speeches given during “V-Day” that protested female genital mutilation in the Islamic world. We challenge them to identify the Vagina Monologue of Islamic misogyny.

We are encouraged by the fact that these American feminists feel the need to respond to our challenge over their silence as a movement on violence against Muslim women and to assert their opposition to these barbaric practices. We challenge them now to put actions behind their words.

Join us in sponsoring a campus tour on the Oppression of Women in Islam with speakers such as Nonie Darwish, Wafa Sultan and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Form academic committees to provide curricula on these subjects in Women’s Studies courses. Devote a major segment of your V-Day demonstrations to the plight of Muslim women. Join us during Islamo-Fascism Week II this spring in appealing to campus Muslim organizations to condemn these practices.

Then we’ll know you’re serious.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #119 on: September 02, 2008, 12:00:27 PM »

   Many themes here, amongst them gender issues:

 
Huckabee and Social Conservatives
By RYAN T. ANDERSON
August 18, 2008
WSJ
Reports last month told of a meeting of some 90 prominent evangelical leaders deciding to support John McCain for president. While noting disagreements between themselves and Mr. McCain, the group concluded that Mr. McCain shared their most important views, on life and marriage. Matthew Staver, the dean of Liberty University Law School and the organizer of the meeting, said that Mr. McCain "would advance those values in a much more significant way than Sen. Barack Obama who, in our view, would decimate those values."

 
The group also reached a consensus that they would send a letter to Mr. McCain asking him to pick Mike Huckabee as his running mate. Mr. Staver explained that "it's not a demand; it's a request."

Mr. McCain would do well to reject this request, and the evangelicals would do well to rethink their political strategies.

* * *

Consider the primary season. The losing campaigns of Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee offer important political lessons for anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear. Just months ago, pundits were writing the obituary for social conservatism. Frank Rich claimed that the "political clout ritualistically ascribed" to social conservatives "is a sham." "These self-promoting values hacks," he continued, "don't speak for the American mainstream. They don't speak for the Republican Party. They no longer speak for many evangelical ministers and their flocks. The emperors of morality have in fact had no clothes for some time. Should Rudy Giuliani end up doing a victory dance at the Republican convention, it will be on their graves."

Of course, Rudy Giuliani won't be dancing at the national convention. He didn't win a single primary. To judge from his vote totals and delegate count alone, he was not even a top-tier candidate. Mr. Giuliani gambled that he could win without the social conservatives and lost big time. Score one for the "values hacks."

The unexpected relative success of the Huckabee campaign—sustained by a shoestring budget, a makeshift staff, and a policy platform that seemed to be thrown together overnight—showed just how big an impact the so-called values voters can have. Actually, it understated that impact, since many values voters went with other candidates (like Mitt Romney). So one lesson learned from the Giuliani and Huckabee campaigns was the continued political relevance of social conservatives.

Yet that shouldn't be the only lesson we take away, for Mr. Rich was right about one thing: The leaders of the social conservative movement do not speak for mainstream America. And they never will, so long as they follow the Huckabee model.

But they could. The American mainstream is, especially when compared to other industrialized nations, remarkably conservative on social issues. Lifestyle liberalism has always been a liability for the left in America, as witnessed by the fact that the more socially conservative candidate has won five of the past seven presidential elections. Social conservatives can speak for the mainstream but only if they move beyond the Huckabee approach.

To start with, he ran his campaign solely on religious identity politics. If Mr. Giuliani never effectively reached out to socially conservative Christians, Mr. Huckabee never effectively reached beyond them. He continually told evangelical Christian audiences to support him because he was one of them. Everyone else got the message, too. Mr. Huckabee ran his campaign in a way that would appeal only to conservative evangelicals and would offend—even scare—people outside his religious community.

One incident, in particular, illustrates how Mr. Huckabee narrowed the appeal of social conservatism. While stumping to a largely Evangelical audience in Michigan, Mr. Huckabee said: "I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. And that's what we need to do—to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family."

Reaction to this was quick and fierce, even from generally sympathetic sources like National Review Online's The Corner. Lisa Schiffren quickly pointed out: "Mike Huckabee is going to force those of us who have wanted more religion in the town square to reexamine the merits of strict separation of church and state. He is the best advertisement ever for the ACLU, even if you share his ultimate views on the definition of marriage, or the desirability of abortion on demand." Andy McCarthy added that he usually contrasts America to Islamist nations: "Part of my usual response . . . focuses on the Taliban, their imposition of sharia (i.e., God's law), and the marked contrast to our system's bedrock guarantee of freedom of conscience. . . . Where has Huck been for the last seven years? Does he not get that our enemies—the people who want to end our way of life—believe they are simply imposing God's standards?"

On "Hannity and Colmes," Mr. Huckabee tried to explain what he meant. He wasn't talking about mandating that anyone worship on Sunday or tithe. He was talking about two things only: the human-life amendment and the marriage amendment. But these causes cannot effectively be defended in this way.

Arguing that "God said so" won't persuade anyone who doesn't already agree with you. Even though Americans remain a remarkably religious people, the Bible doesn't carry the authority it once did. And many of those who generally hold the Bible in high regard consider it "dated" and "out of touch" on certain controversial moral questions.

* * *

Luckily, social conservatism has resources for public argument besides the Bible. After all, on many of the day's most important issues—human cloning, embryo destruction, creating designer babies—the Bible offers little specific guidance. And our obligations to treat fellow citizens as equals—as well as the practical requirements for broad political consensus—demand that we rise above sectarian appeals to religious authority. If social conservatism is to win the day, social conservatives—especially those seeking and holding public office—must make public arguments using public reasons to defend human life and marriage.

Defending these moral truths with reason and campaigning on those same reasons shouldn't prove difficult. Mr. Huckabee argued that we should amend the Constitution to fit "God's standards," so we might consider what the Christian tradition has had to say about God's standards. St. Thomas Aquinas taught that "we do not offend God except by doing something contrary to our own good." If Thomas is right, then rather than claim that a debased practice offends God, politicians can—and, I would add, should—explain to the public what aspect of some immoral behavior is contrary to our own good, especially the common good—and why a just and decent society shouldn't accept it.

Rather than argue that abortion is contrary to God's law and that we need to bring the Constitution into conformity with God's law, social conservatives should argue that as a matter of scientific fact the child in a mother's womb is a whole, living human being, and that as a matter of moral truth the direct killing of any peaceable human being is gravely unjust.

John Paul II argued as much. If the universal pastor of the Catholic Church could speak publicly about abortion in a way that was intelligible to non-Catholic Americans, why shouldn't American Christian politicians do the same? This approach was natural for John Paul because of his understanding of divine commands: "The Ten Commandments," he said, "are not an arbitrary imposition of a tyrannical Lord. They were written in stone; but before that, they were written on the human heart as the universal moral law, valid in every time and place. . . . To keep the Commandments is to be faithful to God, but it is also to be faithful to ourselves, to our true nature and our deepest aspirations."

Similarly, social conservatives should ask whether America is being faithful to her deepest aspirations and commitments to human equality and dignity: People are valuable not in virtue of the talents they possess or the contributions they can make to society, but simply in virtue of their humanity. This is why we rightly emphasize that race, ethnicity, sex, intellectual ability, wealth and social status are all irrelevant to our fundamental moral worth. But if that is the case, does age, location or stage of development change one's moral status? After all, what can the newborn baby do to merit worth and protection that an unborn baby can't? Social conservatives should press the argument that if human beings really are equal in dignity, then abortion is inconsistent with our fundamental commitments.

Nor should social conservatives be afraid to argue for maintaining marriage's structure. If marriage isn't the union of one man and one woman coming together as husband and wife to become father and mother to any children their marital love may bring, then social conservatives should demand that their opponents explain what marriage is. Is it simply the union of any consenting pair of sexually active adults? If so, then why only two? And why does it have to be exclusive and permanent—why not open or temporary "marriage"? Indeed, if marriage isn't about a bodily union, then why limit it to sexual relationships at all? How about codependent relatives? How are marriage and children connected? Do children need mothers and fathers, or not? These debates can and, in fact, must be had at the level of reason.

* * *

These sorts of arguments—that the moral truths revealed in the Bible are also consonant with reason—are often associated with Catholicism. But it is not Rome's exclusive property by any means. Many scholars are arguing that natural law should be at home in the Protestant churches, where it has strong roots. Stephen Grabill says as much in his "Rediscovering the Natural Law in Reformed Theological Ethics," and J. Daryl Charles makes a similar plea in his new book "Retrieving the Natural Law: A Return to Moral First Things."

The natural-law tradition is neither limited to Roman clerics and Protestant academics nor alien to American political life. The American Founding is largely based on natural law principles understood as "self-evident truths." And the American civil rights movement can serve as a template for how religious reasoning should be brought to the public square and how it can result in meaningful political change. Consider how Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter From a Birmingham Jail" quotes St. Augustine's declaration that "an unjust law is no law at all." He delves deeper into the Christian tradition to explain his point: "A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. . . . To put it in terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law."

Underlying Dr. King's argument, and that of the Christian tradition, is the proposition that human reason can know the moral law, the natural law, because human reason participates in eternal reason, the eternal law. Rather than argue from God's commands down to human endeavors, social conservatives should place their emphasis on human flourishing and the moral principles that protect it. Dr. King put it best when he said: "Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust." Citing the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, he went on to argue that segregation "substitutes an 'I-it' relationship for an 'I-thou' relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things." This is the precise argument that social conservatives should be making when it comes to abortion, human cloning, and embryo-destructive research.

Of course, we need not make moral arguments alone. If Aquinas, Martin Luther King Jr. and John Paul II are correct to say that true morality is about protecting human flourishing, then when true moral norms have been eviscerated we can expect to find the social fallout. With abortion the results need no social-science research: the fetal corpse is evidence enough. Yet social science indicates that the widespread practice of abortion—initially to be used in only the most tragic and desperate of situations—has led to practices that truly devalue human life: abortion on demand as birth control, selective abortion to reduce the number of children when twins or triplets result from in vitro fertilization, eugenic abortion to do away with genetically "defective" children, and now the practice of embryo destruction for biomedical research, human cloning, and animal-human hybrids. These are the fruits of the abortion seed.

Likewise, the breakdown of family life—children being raised without mothers or fathers and outside of marriage—has spelled disaster for our nation's youth. The left-leaning research organization Child Trends has issued a research brief summing up the scholarly consensus:

Research clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps the most is a family headed by two-biological parents in a low-conflict marriage. Children in single-parent families, children born to unmarried mothers, and children in stepfamilies or cohabiting relationships face higher risks of poor outcomes. . . . There is thus value for children in promoting strong, stable marriages between biological parents.
The studies on children of same-sex parents have so far been inconclusive. Still, there is good reason to think that when Child Trends suggests that children raised by two married biological parents do best, part of the explanation may have to do with mothers and fathers bringing different gifts to the parenting enterprise. These social science findings can easily be multiplied. And their results need to be publicized.

* * *

Clarifying the relationship between reason and morality can help us even in our clash with jihadists. (Andy McCarthy was on to something.) This was among the points that Pope Benedict XVI made in his now-infamous Regensburg Lecture. Benedict argued that competing claims about revelation can, to a certain extent, be settled at the level of reason—that there are reasons why one should believe in the Christian God, and reasonsfor resisting aspects of the Muslim conception of God. Not just theology, though; Benedict argued that morality—public morality—can be objectively known, and reason's capacity for moral truth is the only reliable guide for modern pluralistic society. As Benedict noted, summarizing the argument of the 14th-century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus: "Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. . . . The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God's nature."

Amend the Constitution to be in accord with reason, then, is what Huckabee should have said. While Huckabee mobilized many social conservatives to show up at the polls, he did not persuade anyone outside their world to join them. This failure replicated that of social conservatism writ large. Adding Huckabee to the McCain ticket might get evangelicals to vote for McCain in November, but will it get anyone else to? Will it add anyone to the social conservative roster? To be successful, hearts and minds need to be changed. Minds are changed by rational arguments.

 
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #120 on: September 05, 2008, 12:45:53 AM »

What Mrs. Palin
Could Learn
From Mrs. T
By BARBARA AMIEL
September 5, 2008; Page A15

The glummest face Wednesday night might have been, if only we could have seen it, that of Hillary Clinton.

 
Corbis 
Margaret Thatcher was a 49-year-old mother of two when she became Conservative Party leader in 1974.
Imagine watching Sarah Palin, the gun-toting, lifelong member of the NRA, the PTA mom with teased hair and hips half the size of Hillary's, who went ... omigod ... to the University of Idaho and studied journalism. Mrs. Palin with her five kids and one of them still virtually suckling age, going wham through that cement ceiling put there exclusively for good-looking right-wing/populist conservative females by not-so-good-looking left-wing ones (Gloria Steinem excepting). There, pending some terrible goof or revelation, stood the woman most likely to get into the Oval Office as its official occupant rather than as an intern.

Imagine Hillary's fury. The gnashing of teeth after all the years of sacrifice and hard work—a life of it—and then the endless nuisance of stylists, makeovers and fittings for Oscar de la Renta gowns for Vogue covers. And surely that gimmicky holding of the baby papoose style by Todd Palin after his wife's acceptance speech is sacrosanct left-wing territory! If only Chelsea had been younger of course, Bill could have done it and then, well, who knows what might have been forgiven him?

American feminists have always had a tough sell to make. To the rest of the world, no females on earth have ever had it as easy as middle-class American women. Cosseted, surrounded by labor-saving devices, easily available contraception and supermarkets groaning with food, their complaints have always seemed to have no relationship to reality.

Education was there for the taking. Marriages were not arranged. Going against social mores had no serious consequences. Postwar American women (excluding those mired in poverty or the odious restrictions of race) have always had the choice of what they wanted to be. They simply didn't decide to exercise it until it became more fashionable to get out of the home than to run it.

Sarah Palin has put the flim-flam nature of America feminism sharply into focus, revealing the not-so-secret hypocrisy of its code and, whatever her future, this alone is an accomplishment. As she emerged into the nation's consciousness, a shudder went through the feminist left—a political movement not restricted to females. She is a mother refusing to stay at home (good) who had made a success out in the workplace (excellent) whose marriage nevertheless is a rip-roaring success and whose views are unspeakable—those of a red-blooded, right-wing principled pragmatist.

The metaphorical hair stood up on the back of every licensed member of the feminist movement who could immediately see she was a monster out of a nightmare landscape by Hieronymus Bosch. Pro-life. Pro-oil exploration in Alaska, home of the nation's polar bears for heaven's sake. Smaller government. Lower taxes. And that family of hers: Next to the Clintons with their dysfunctional marriage, her fertility and sexually robust life could only emphasize the shriveled nature of the one-child family of the former Queen Bee of political female accomplishment.

Mrs. Palin's emergence caused a spasm in American feminism. Caste and class have always been ammunition in the very Eastern seaboard women's movement, and now they were (so to speak) loading for bear. Sally Quinn felt a mother of five had no business being vice president. Andrea Mitchell remarked that "only the uneducated" would vote for Mrs. Palin. "Choose a woman but this woman?" wrote Baltimore Sun columnist Susan Reimer, accusing Sen. McCain of using a Down's syndrome child as qualification for the VP spot.

The hypocrisy was breathtaking. Only nanoseconds before the choice of Mrs. Palin as VP put her a geriatric heartbeat away from the presidency, a woman's right to have a career and children was a shibboleth of feminism. One always knew that women with views that opposed those of official feminism were to be treated as nonwomen. To see it now out in the open was the real shocker.

The fact that this mom had been governor of a state was dismissed because it was a "small state," as was the city of which she had been mayor. Her acceptance speech, which knowledgeable left-wing critics feared would be effective, was dismissed before being delivered. She would be reading from a teleprompter. The speech would be good, no doubt, but written for her.

Had she been a man with similar political views, the left's opposition would have been strong but less personally vicious: It would have focused neither on a daughter's pregnancy, nor on the candidate's inability to be a good parent if the job was landed. In its panic, the left was indicating that to be a female running for office these days is no hindrance but an advantage, and admitting that there is indeed a difference between mothers and fathers that cannot necessarily be resolved by having daddy doing the diaper run.

All the shrapnel has so far been counterproductive. The mudslinging tabloid journalism—is Mrs. Palin the mother or grandmother of her Down's baby?—only raised her profile to a point where viewers who would never dream of watching a Republican vice-presidential acceptance speech tuned in.

Watching the frenzied reaction was déjà vu from my years as a political columnist in Margaret Thatcher's Britain. Modern history's titan of female political life suffered a similar hatred, fuelled to a large extent by her gender. Mrs. Thatcher overcame it magnificently, but in the end, the fact was that she was female and not one of "them"—a member of the old boys' club of the Tory establishment—played a significant role in bringing her down.

She was bound to be disliked vehemently by the left once she began to reveal her agenda of deregulation, sensible industrial relations, and tax reduction. Still among most of her enemies this had to do more with her ideas than her ovaries at the beginning. It was the aristocracy of her own Conservative Party that could not bear the notion of being led by "that woman." "Until she became leader," says Charles Moore, former editor of the Daily Telegraph and authorized biographer of Mrs. Thatcher, "it was assumed she could not be it because of her sex."

Mrs. Thatcher was originally given the education portfolio by Prime Minister Edward Heath, though she wanted to be Chancellor of the Exchequer, the equivalent of the U.S. Treasury Secretary. Education was considered a woman's job, and regarded as far less important than it would be today. In the education portfolio she was excluded from higher counsels and out of the way. When she challenged Heath for the party leadership in February 1974, at age 49, she turned the tables and used her gender to appeal to the gallantry of disaffected Tory backbenchers. "She's a very brave girl," they would say.

Mrs. Thatcher, a good-looking woman, used her sexual attractiveness to its legitimate hilt. She was known to flirt both with caucus members and the opposition, her face tilted girlishly in conversation. She succeeded politically with those leaders with whom she could flirt—including Ronald Reagan, Francois Mitterrand and most unlikely of all, Mikhail Gorbachev. Her stylish, hint-of-Dr. Zhivago wardrobe for a 1987 visit to the Soviet Union became something of a national obsession.

Such attractiveness had the opposite effect on the Tory grandees. Books have been written on what it was that nurtured their contempt. After all, they were in the same political party, and their fortunes rested on her popularity.

No doubt part of the animosity arose from her origins as the daughter of a Grantham grocer, a woman whose home address was a street number rather than an estate with simply the house name. Lord Ian Gilmour of Craigmillar dismissed Mrs. Thatcher as "a Daily Telegraph woman"—code language for some ghastly suburban creature wearing a tasteless flowered hat. Winston Churchill's son-in-law, Christopher Soames, a man of much genuine intelligence, allegedly called her "Heath with tits"—an inaccurate and inelegant description, but one that captured exquisitely the contempt his class had for her. Both Gilmour and Soames were fired by Mrs. Thatcher in the housecleaning that took place during the late '70s and early '80s. But the core of High Tories remained active in the party waiting to bring her down.

The British feminist movement at that time was of little import. "I owe nothing to women's lib," Mrs. Thatcher remarked, thus assuring herself of a permanent place in their pantheon of evil. During her years in power, Mrs. Thatcher could and did use the rhetoric of home economics in a way a prudent male politician no longer dared do. Metaphors of kitchen and gender abounded in her speeches: "it is the cock that crows," she would say, "but the hen that lays the eggs."

Mrs. Thatcher would have recognized the guns aimed at Sarah Palin as the weapons of the left with feminist trigger-pullers. She also would have known that Mrs. Palin has less to fear from East-Coast intellectual snobs in egalitarian America than she had to fear from her own Tory base in class-prejudiced Britain. She would have told her to stand her ground and do her homework. Read your briefs, choose advisers with care, and, as she once said to me, my arm in her grip and her eyes fixed firmly on mine, "Just be yourself, don't ever give in and they can't harm you."

It wasn't quite true, of course. She did read her briefs, did stand her ground, and in the end they pulled her down, those grandees. But she made history. If a grocer's daughter can do it, a self-described hockey mom cannot be dismissed.

Ms. Amiel is a columnist for Macleans', the Canadian weekly newsmagazine, and a former senior political columnist for the Sunday Times of London.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #121 on: September 07, 2008, 03:28:47 AM »

Let's Talk
About Palin's
Family Challenges
By KATTY KAY and CLAIRE SHIPMAN
September 6, 2008; Page A11

Gov. Sarah Palin's commando muscle-flex in St. Paul Wednesday night eviscerated the argument that she might not be capable of handling the vice presidency and five children at the same time. Indeed, we were left with the distinct impression that on a slow day, she could clean up America, balance our budget with a little help from eBay, and win the Iditarod -- all with 10 kids tied to her back.

What Sarah Palin did not do, however, is put an end to the latest national conversation about "trying to have it all." Because the question we're all asking isn't can she do it, but why is she doing it? Mrs. Palin, you see, happens to be bucking a new national trend. Even as most mothers across America chuckle appreciatively about pit bulls and lipstick and applaud her bravado, they are making choices that look very un-Palinesque.

This week we've heard our feminist foremothers argue that any sentence mixing the words woman, kids and work is inappropriate -- heretical even. "A man wouldn't face this sort of scrutiny," they grumble darkly.

But Mrs. Palin and her career aspirations are not falling victim to a secret cabal of men trying, once again, to impose an impossible standard on women. And this is not a redux of the old Mommy Wars -- that stale, red herring of a debate between "career" moms and their "stay at home" counterparts.

Mrs. Palin is actually putting a spotlight on a new women's movement we call "Womenomics." Thanks to women's fast-growing market value we can finally live and work in a way that wins us time and avoids that agonizing choice of career or kids. Today as never before women can define success on their own terms.

Fed up with 50- and 60-hour weeks and a career ladder we didn't build and don't want to climb, women are looking for jobs that demand fewer and freer hours. We want to work but we also want quantity time, as well as quality time, with our children. Most of us no longer buy the onwards-and-upwards drive to the corner office (or in Mrs. Palin's case, the West Wing) at the cost of a fragmented family life. More and more, women are choosing a tapestry of family and work in which we define our own success in reasonable terms -- even if we sacrifice some "prestige."

In 1992, 57% of women with degrees wanted more responsibility at work, but by 2002 that figure had plummeted to 36%, according to the Family and Work Institute. Four out of five women want more flexibility at work and call it a top priority; 60% of us want to work part-time. What we're saying is we'll trade responsibility, title -- even paycheck -- for more time and more control. And we have company. Increasingly men say they too want more flexibility at work. Gen X and Gen Y won't even talk about sitting at a desk for 10 hours a day.

What makes this revolution possible is that it's grounded in hard-core economics. Women are the hottest commodity in the hunt for talent.

We're 58% of college graduates, we get graduate degrees in greater numbers than men. Companies are waking up to the fact that women are more than a politically correct nod to diversity. We help the bottom line. A recent 19-year study of 215 Fortune 500 firms found that companies that have more women in executive positions make more money. Companies with more women in senior management get higher valuations on the American Stock Exchange.

Overwhelmingly, women are using this professional clout to redefine work, not chain themselves to it. And companies, eager to keep us and terrified of the cost of replacing us, are responding. They've discovered that offering work-life balance actually increases productivity. There are accountants who get home at 3 p.m. every day but remain on the fast track. Top New York Law firms have part-time partners who are still players. Can investment banks be far behind?

This isn't really about whether Mrs. Palin can do the job with five children. Will she do it all well? That depends on your yardstick, at least on the home front. How much time is "enough" with your children, or at work, is an extremely personal decision. The point is we now have reasonable options -- it's not all or nothing. Our mother's generation may bemoan the fact that there is still a dearth of female CEOs, but our generation knows a big part of the reason why isn't that we can't get there, but that most of us don't want to make the sacrifices necessary, as the jobs are now defined, to get there.

It's important to understand why, then, Mrs. Palin has hit a nerve. It's not because she's a woman with children trying to do a man's job. It's because she's actually pushing the combination of professional and personal ambitions beyond the sensibilities of this generation of working moms. As women, we may be awed by her, but she's not necessarily a role model for so many professional women who now say they want to do it differently, that they don't want to do 150% of everything all of the time.

So what you are hearing is less condemnation than a collective gasp of amazement -- and exhaustion -- at the thought of juggling five children, one of them an infant, and the most extreme example of a job with little or no flexibility. It would make supermom feel feeble. And we should celebrate the fact that all of this can now be discussed openly.

It is not sexist to have this conversation. It is sexist not to.

Ms. Kay is a BBC anchor and reporter. Ms. Shipman is an ABC News reporter. They are the authors of "Womenomics: The Workplace Revolution That Will Change Your Life," due out next spring by HarperCollins.
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #122 on: September 12, 2008, 07:30:22 PM »

September 9, 2008
Findings
As Barriers Disappear, Some Gender Gaps Widen
By JOHN TIERNEY

Correction Appended

When men and women take personality tests, some of the old Mars-Venus stereotypes keep reappearing. On average, women are more cooperative, nurturing, cautious and emotionally responsive. Men tend to be more competitive, assertive, reckless and emotionally flat. Clear differences appear in early childhood and never disappear.

What's not clear is the origin of these differences. Evolutionary psychologists contend that these are innate traits inherited from ancient hunters and gatherers. Another school of psychologists asserts that both sexes' personalities have been shaped by traditional social roles, and that personality differences will shrink as women spend less time nurturing children and more time in jobs outside the home.

To test these hypotheses, a series of research teams have repeatedly analyzed personality tests taken by men and women in more than 60 countries around the world. For evolutionary psychologists, the bad news is that the size of the gender gap in personality varies among cultures. For social-role psychologists, the bad news is that the variation is going in the wrong direction. It looks as if personality differences between men and women are smaller in traditional cultures like India's or Zimbabwe's than in the Netherlands or the United States. A husband and a stay-at-home wife in a patriarchal Botswanan clan seem to be more alike than a working couple in Denmark or France. The more Venus and Mars have equal rights and similar jobs, the more their personalities seem to diverge.

These findings are so counterintuitive that some researchers have argued they must be because of cross-cultural problems with the personality tests. But after crunching new data from 40,000 men and women on six continents, David P. Schmitt and his colleagues conclude that the trends are real. Dr. Schmitt, a psychologist at Bradley University in Illinois and the director of the International Sexuality Description Project, suggests that as wealthy modern societies level external barriers between women and men, some ancient internal differences are being revived.

The biggest changes recorded by the researchers involve the personalities of men, not women. Men in traditional agricultural societies and poorer countries seem more cautious and anxious, less assertive and less competitive than men in the most progressive and rich countries of Europe and North America.

To explain these differences, Dr. Schmitt and his collaborators from Austria and Estonia point to the hardships of life in poorer countries. They note that in some other species, environmental stress tends to disproportionately affect the larger sex and mute costly secondary sexual characteristics (like male birds' displays of plumage). And, they say, there are examples of stress muting biological sex differences in humans. For instance, the average disparity in height between men and women isn't as pronounced in poor countries as it is in rich countries, because boys' growth is disproportionately stunted by stresses like malnutrition and disease.

Personality is more complicated than height, of course, and Dr. Schmitt suggests it's affected by not just the physical but also the social stresses in traditional agricultural societies. These villagers have had to adapt their personalities to rules, hierarchies and gender roles more constraining than those in modern Western countries — or in clans of hunter-gatherers.

"Humanity's jaunt into monotheism, agriculturally based economies and the monopolization of power and resources by a few men was 'unnatural' in many ways," Dr. Schmitt says, alluding to evidence that hunter-gatherers were relatively egalitarian. "In some ways modern progressive cultures are returning us psychologically to our hunter-gatherer roots," he argues. "That means high sociopolitical gender equality over all, but with men and women expressing predisposed interests in different domains. Removing the stresses of traditional agricultural societies could allow men's, and to a lesser extent women's, more 'natural' personality traits to emerge."

Some critics of this hypothesis question whether the international variations in personality have more to do with the way people in different cultures interpret questions on personality tests. (For more on this debate, go to www.nytimes.com/tierneylab.) The critics would like to see more direct measures of personality traits, and so would Dr. Schmitt. But he notes that there's already an intriguing trend reported for one trait — competitiveness — based on direct measures of male and female runners.

Competitive running makes a good case study because, to mix athletic metaphors, it has offered a level playing field to women the past two decades in the United States. Similar numbers of males and females run on high school and college teams and in road races. Female runners have been competing for equal shares of prize money and receiving nearly 50 percent more scholarship aid from Division I colleges than their male counterparts, according to the N.C.A.A.

But these social changes have not shrunk a gender gap among runners analyzed by Robert Deaner, a psychologist at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, who classifies runners as relatively fast if they keep close to the pace of the world's best runners of their own sex. When Dr. Deaner looks at, say, the top 40 finishers of each sex in a race, he typically finds two to four times as many relatively fast male runners as relatively fast female runners.

This large gender gap has persisted for two decades in all kinds of races — high school and college meets, elite and nonelite road races — and it jibes with other studies reporting that male runners train harder and are more motivated by competition, Dr. Deaner says. This enduring "sex difference in competitiveness," he concludes, "must be considered a genuine failure for the sociocultural conditions hypothesis" that the personality gap will shrink as new roles open for women.

If he and Dr. Schmitt are right, then men and women shouldn't expect to understand each other much better anytime soon. Things could get confusing if the personality gap widens further as the sexes become equal. But then, maybe it was that allure of the mysterious other that kept Mars and Venus together so long on the savanna.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: September 10, 2008
The Findings column on Tuesday, about gender gaps, misidentified the educational affiliation of Robert Deaner, a psychologist who analyzed competitive runners. He is at Grand Valley State University, in Michigan — not Colgate University, where he received his bachelor's degree.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #123 on: September 12, 2008, 10:51:39 PM »

Excellent find Rachel!

" But then, maybe it was that allure of the mysterious other that kept Mars and Venus together so long on the savanna."

Flipping this around, perhaps the other side of the coin is when we seek to minimize differences we decrease reproduction  (see e.g. Europe) and increase homosexuality? evil cheesy

Seriously though, good piece.
Logged
tankerdriver
Guest
« Reply #124 on: September 18, 2008, 10:57:49 PM »

Just because somebody or someone screams the loudest doesn't make it true!!!!
Logged
JDN
Power User
***
Posts: 2004


« Reply #125 on: September 28, 2008, 06:59:21 PM »

As I worked out (bad knee so I had time) this morning, I read the London "Financial Times" 9/27/08 edition (my gym has a good library).  No online copy is available, but if you get a chance, it is a great newspaper; unbiased and objective and often has a different take on matters.  In the Life & Art's section the front page (long) article is titled "The new class struggle".  It talks about as Kofi Annan "calls girl's education", "the single highest returning social investment in the world today."  Specifically, it talks of women in Zambia, one of the poorest countries in Africa.  Zambia is a Christian nation, very poor, and the expectation for women was/is dismal.  Very few women retain property rights, customary law supports both polygamy and child marriage and women walk in the shadow of men.  Women are like chattel.  Yet the article talks of the benefits and empowerment of education.  While few would call Larry Summers a "women lib" kind of guy it was his seminal paper "investing in all the people" that showed with hard evidence that female education is the variable most highly correlated with improvements in social indicators.  "The benefits of education have a multiplier effect because they empower women to bring about other necessary changes."  Also, the article talks of Llyod Blankfein CEO of Goldman Sach's effort and money to make a difference.  Religion is not the issue, note, it is not an "Islamic" problem, but one of poverty and ignorance.  The article's point is that through education, women can rise and become equal.  And make a difference for themselves and their nation.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #126 on: September 28, 2008, 07:22:52 PM »

Interesting points.  I would quibble with this though:

"Religion is not the issue, note, it is not an "Islamic" problem, but one of poverty and ignorance."

If the religion decapitates and otherwise kills those who teach the girls (as is the case in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere) those schools of Islam are very much the problem.

Were she still alive to speak for herself, I'm guessing this woman would disagree with you as well:

Taliban assassins kill ranking Afghan policewoman
By RAHIM FAIEZ
The Associated Press
Sunday, September 28, 2008; 2:50 PM



KABUL, Afghanistan -- Two Taliban assassins on a motorbike shot and killed a senior policewoman as she left for work in Afghanistan's largest southern city Sunday and gravely wounded her son.

Malalai Kakar, 41, who led Kandahar city's department of crimes against women, was leaving home Sunday when she was killed, said Zalmai Ayubi, spokesman for the Kandahar provincial governor. Her 18-year-old son was wounded, he said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility.

Militants frequently attack projects, schools and businesses run by women. The hard-line Taliban regime, which was ousted in the 2001 U.S.-led invasion, did not allow women outside the home without a male escort.
President Hamid Karzai condemned the assassination, as did the European Union, which said it was "appalled by the brutal targeting" of Kakar.

"Any murder of a police officer is to be condemned, but the killing of a female officer whose service was not only to her country, but to Afghan women, to whom Ms. Kakar served as an example, is particularly abhorrent," the EU said in a statement.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...=moreheadlines
« Last Edit: September 28, 2008, 07:42:47 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
JDN
Power User
***
Posts: 2004


« Reply #127 on: September 28, 2008, 08:35:08 PM »

Zambia is a "Christian" (5% Islamic) nation yet problems persist. Perhaps I am naive, but I sincerely think that through education and opportunity women can and will become
equal regardless of their religion.  I did not mean to denigrate the negative influence of radical Islam upon women in Afghanistan, Pakistan (although note, this woman was chosen and able
to be a policewomen in Afghanistan, an Islamic country), and elsewhere, only to mention (hope) that even in these countries through education and empowerment that they too will "evolve"
and demand equal rights and choice.  They may choose the "old way" i.e. to "walk in the shadow of the man" (Japan for instance) but at least through
education, they have choice and as their numbers increase (more policewomen, businesswomen, and women teachers) their voice will be heard.
The point of this article is that a lack of ignorance, i.e. a good education gives the women a choice, and I think in in an Islamic environment,
education is the best road to choice.  And through education poverty too can be beat and perhaps even religious bigotry.  But it will take time.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #128 on: September 29, 2008, 01:54:32 AM »

No one is challenging the idea that education for women is a very good thing and is a very good way out of ignorance and poverty.

I simply challenged your assertion that Islam has nothing to do with women (and men) being held in ignorance. 

Are you asserting some sort of parity when you speak of Zambia?  Are you saying that Christianity in Zambia is used to hold women down? huh

What communicates here is that you find it difficult to acknowledge what is simple fact-- that there are schools of Islam which kill those whom educate women. 

And when you speak of the murdered woman policeman in Afg ("this woman was chosen and able
to be a policewomen in Afghanistan, an Islamic country") it seems to me that the thought is not complete without noting that she was chosen and became able precisely because of American (and a handful of allies) force of arms against the Taliban form of Islam and that she died because she was an educated woman because of the Taliban form of Islam.

Of course there are also the matters of women being lesser witnesses in Islam, and being beaten for not covering head to toe in 120 degree weather, being prohibited to drive, etc etc. 

Islam in Iran, and elsewhere, is used to issue death sentences for those who write "offensive" books, and world wide riots kill and burn embassies because of cartoons.  As is noted in the thread nearby on Islam vs. Free Speech, there are many expressions of Islam which are quite hostile to freedom of thought and expression which are the essence of education.

Logged
JDN
Power User
***
Posts: 2004


« Reply #129 on: September 29, 2008, 10:47:12 AM »

Actually, I never said Islam had "nothing to do with women being held to ignorance."  I believe in my second post I even acknowledged the
"negative influence of radical (Taliban) Islam upon women" in Islamic countries.

And, I never asserted nor referred to "Christianity in Zambia being used to hold women down" or any "sort of parity" between Christianity and Islam
regarding women being held down, although Christianity and Judism, in their traditional sense also are a male dominated religion.  Yet they have evolved through
time and education to one of tolerance and near parity for women.

I did talk of ignorance and poverty as being the primary and the root core of women's oppression throughout the world. 
And I talked of education as being the "best" solution.




Logged
Body-by-Guinness
Power User
***
Posts: 2787


« Reply #130 on: September 29, 2008, 11:11:17 AM »

Your blithe equivocations get old. You stated:

"Religion is not the issue, note, it is not an "Islamic" problem, but one of poverty and ignorance."

Dance around it all you want, but on significant portions of the planet religion does indeed inform those who seek to keep women in poverty and ignorance.

Can't wait for the next circular deconstruction. . . .


Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #131 on: September 29, 2008, 04:29:39 PM »

"Religion is not the issue, note, it is not an "Islamic" problem, but one of poverty and ignorance."

This indeed is what got me started  smiley
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11504


« Reply #132 on: September 29, 2008, 11:30:01 PM »

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1874471.stm

Friday, 15 March, 2002, 12:19 GMT
Saudi police 'stopped' fire rescue
 
The Mecca city governor visited the fire-damaged school
Saudi Arabia's religious police stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress, according to Saudi newspapers.
In a rare criticism of the kingdom's powerful "mutaween" police, the Saudi media has accused them of hindering attempts to save 15 girls who died in the fire on Monday.

About 800 pupils were inside the school in the holy city of Mecca when the tragedy occurred.

 
15 girls died in the blaze and more than 50 others were injured
According to the al-Eqtisadiah daily, firemen confronted police after they tried to keep the girls inside because they were not wearing the headscarves and abayas (black robes) required by the kingdom's strict interpretation of Islam.

One witness said he saw three policemen "beating young girls to prevent them from leaving the school because they were not wearing the abaya".

The Saudi Gazette quoted witnesses as saying that the police - known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice - had stopped men who tried to help the girls and warned "it is a sinful to approach them".

The father of one of the dead girls said that the school watchman even refused to open the gates to let the girls out.

"Lives could have been saved had they not been stopped by members of the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice," the newspaper concluded.

Relatives' anger

Families of the victims have been incensed over the deaths.

Most of the victims were crushed in a stampede as they tried to flee the blaze.

The school was locked at the time of the fire - a usual practice to ensure full segregation of the sexes.

The religious police are widely feared in Saudi Arabia. They roam the streets enforcing dress codes and sex segregation, and ensuring prayers are performed on time.

Those who refuse to obey their orders are often beaten and sometimes put in jail.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11504


« Reply #133 on: September 29, 2008, 11:45:47 PM »

rticle 7: Right to equal protection by the law

Read this article in full

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/people/features/ihavearightto/four_b/casestudy_art07.shtml

Case Study: SHARIA LAW

Sharia law, the traditional Islamic law, is a far-reaching moral code that prescribes how Muslims should best conduct their lives.
It was originally conceived to regulate all aspects of life in Muslim societies, from the behaviour and habits of individuals to the workings of the criminal justice system and financial institutions.
In 2002, it came under intense international scrutiny when it was revealed that a young Nigerian woman had been sentenced to death by stoning for bearing a child out of wedlock.
One third of Nigeria's states have adopted a strict interpretation of Sharia law following the return to civilian rule in 1999.
Human rights advocates are charging that, in some countries, the Sharia law does not protect men and women or Muslims and non-Muslims equally and thus violates international human rights agreements.

A Moral Code

Long associated in the non-Muslim world with severe punishments such as stoning and amputations, the system of traditional Islamic law known as Sharia is often criticised but rarely understood.

It was originally designed to regulate all aspects of life in Muslim societies, from the behaviour and habits of individuals to the workings of the criminal justice system and financial institutions.

It stipulates, for instance, that men and women must dress modestly, refrain from alcohol and pray five times per day. It also prohibits banks from collecting interest.

The Sharia derives from the Koran, the Islamic holy book, and the teachings of the Prophet Mohammad, known as the Sunna.

Varying Interpretations

The implementation of Sharia varies tremendously in the world's predominantly Muslim societies.

In countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Sudan, and in the Taleban-era Afghanistan, which are governed by Islamists who view Islam as a political ideology as well as a personal faith, a strict interpretation of the Sharia serves as the supreme law of the land.

In the majority of Muslim countries, however, the Sharia is applied selectively. Some countries adopt only a few aspects of Sharia law; others apply the entire code.

While some aspects of traditional Sharia law are still present, the legal systems of these countries have also been deeply influenced by European-style common and civil law.

Severe Punishments

Within Sharia law, there is a category of crimes known as the hudud (Koranic) offences, for which there are specific penalties for particular crimes. For example, fornication is punished by stoning, the consumption of alcohol by lashing, and theft by the amputation of limbs.

The penalties for hudud offences have not been adopted in all Islamic countries. Many predominantly Muslim countries, such as Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria, have not adopted the hudud penalties in their criminal justice systems.

Deterrent

Supporters of the hudud penalties argue that they serve as an effective crime deterrent.

Moreover, they also argue that the hudud penalties are rarely carried out. They are more symbolic as the fear of punishment promotes lawfulness.

Sharia Revival

In some parts of the Muslim world, a stricter interpretation of Sharia law appears to be making a return. In recent years, some Muslim leaders have advocated 'pure' Sharia law, complete with a reinstatement of the traditional punishments for the hudud offences.

In September 1999, several of Nigeria's predominantly Muslim northern states began to adopt a strict interpretation of the Sharia law. By late 2002, 12 out of Nigeria's 36 states had done so.

The new laws impose segregation of the sexes and traditional punishments for the hudud offences.

Women have been banned from working outside of the home and from sharing taxis and buses with men. Fornication outside marriage is now punishable by stoning and theft by amputation.

The sale and consumption of alcohol has also been prohibited, and is punishable by public lashing.

Equal Protection

Both non-Muslim and Muslim human rights activists have charged that the application of Sharia law in some countries has breached international human rights law as codified in numerous conventions and treaties.

They have argued that in some places, the application of Sharia law does not offer equal protection for men and women. Critics say it favours men.

In Saudi Arabia and Pakistan

For example, in Saudi Arabia, a women's testimony in court is worth half that of a man's testimony, according to a Human Rights Watch report in 2002.

Under the so-called zina (fornication) law in Pakistan, extramarital sex is punishable by public whipping or even stoning to death.

If a woman is raped, she runs a high risk of being charged with zina, particularly if she becomes pregnant. In order to prove an absence of consent, however, a woman is required to provide four witnesses to the rape, a near impossible task.

In Nigeria

In the northern Nigeria state of Katsina, Amina Lawal, a 30 year-old divorcee, was convicted by a Sharia court in March 2002 for bearing a child out of wedlock. The charges against the alleged father of Amina's baby, however, were dropped after he denied having had sexual relations with her.

With the help of several human rights and women's organisations, Amina filed an appeal against her death sentence. Despite this, her conviction was upheld in August 2002.

The court's ruling has renewed tension between Nigeria's Muslim and Christian communities. While Muslims make up 50% of Nigeria's population, Christians are a substantial minority that make up 40% of the population.

Christians in states that have reinstated Sharia law are worried that their rights will not be equally protected before Sharia courts. They argue that the new laws create an atmosphere of intimidation.

Human rights organisations all over the world have urged that Sharia law be interpreted in a manner that is in accordance with international human rights standards and the conventions of international law.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11504


« Reply #134 on: September 29, 2008, 11:59:50 PM »

http://islamweb.net/ver2/fatwa/ShowFatwa.php?lang=E&Id=87751&Option=FatwaId

A female witness is considered half of that of a man by the text of the Qur'an:
 
Allah says (interpretation of meaning): {… And get two witnesses out of your own men. And if there are not two men (available), then a man and two women, such as you agree for witnesses, so that if one of them (two women) errs, the other can remind her. …} [2:282].
 
Imam Bukhari reported from the Hadith narrated by Abu Said Al-Khudri, and Muslim from the Hadith narrated by Ibn Umar (Radiya Allahu Anhum) that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: “I have never seen before women who are weak in mind and religion who overcome the people who are more minded than yourselves.”  A woman said: ‘O, Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam), what is the weakness of mind and religion.’  The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) replied: “The weakness of mind is that the witness of two women is equal to the witness of one man, this is the weakness of mind.  And a woman spends several nights (or days) without praying, and she breaks the fasting in Ramadan (while she is in menstruation or after childbirth – while men are fasting), and this is the weakness of religion.”
However, she is not blamed for this weakness because she cannot do anything to avoid it.  Allah, the Most-High, pointed out her weakness as a witness by saying (interpretation of meaning): {… so that if one of them (two women) errs, the other can remind her. …} [2:282].
She might forget when standing as a witness, and another woman would remind her.  That’s why the Islamic jurisprudent could not take the testimony of one woman only, but of the two together.
 
Sheikh Zindani mentioned that modern science discovered that there are two focuses (in the brain) for each of the man and the woman, a focus for speech and a focus for remembering.  When a man speaks, one-focus functions and the second remains for remembering.  However, when the woman speaks, the two focuses function, that’s why she cannot completely remember what she is giving witness to, so the second woman would remind her, so that the purpose of witnessing will not be missed.
As regards the witness of one woman if she is the only witness on a murder, then her witness is considered as indication, not an evidence, because even if the witness is one man, his witness will not be considered as a sufficient evidence to prove the murder, because there must be two trustworthy witnesses to establish the evidence, but that would be considered as an indication that a given person is the murderer.
 
Allah knows best.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11504


« Reply #135 on: September 30, 2008, 01:47:23 AM »


Fareeda's fate: rape, prison and 25 lashes
Up to 80 per cent of women in Pakistan's jails are charged under rules that penalise rape victims. But hardliners have vetoed an end to the Islamic laws
Dan McDougall in western Pakistan
The Observer, Sunday September 17 2006

In the blinding white desert sunlight in a farm courtyard on the outskirts of the ancient town of Shekhupura, Fareeda nervously passes a green silk hijab between her fingers. Unusually for a young Pakistani woman, her fingernails are not pristine and carefully painted but chewed, cracked and grubby.
Fareeda says she feels safe here - a safe house for rape victims run by a local NGO. Littered with rusting motorcycle carcases and parts of discarded fridges and cookers, it feels like a scrapyard.

The story of this 19-year-old's journey here is horrifying. In spring 2005 she was raped by her family's neighbour, a postman, and his teenage son. She fell pregnant - and later miscarried - as a result. Her mistake was to tell her parents. With their consent, under Pakistan's orthodox Islamic laws, she was charged with fornication outside marriage and sentenced to 100 lashes, later reduced to 50 and then 25 because of her age, and sent to jail. After four months her prison ordeal ended when a family friend secretly paid a bribe. Her plight is not unique.

According to a recent report by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a woman is gang-raped every eight hours in the country. However, because of social taboos, discriminatory laws and the treatment of victims by police, campaigners believe the real figure is far higher. Women who report their rapists remain more likely to go to prison themselves than see justice, so most cases are never reported. Women who are raped can face legal difficulties anywhere in the world, but human rights groups remain particularly concerned over Pakistan's record. Their alarm is centred on enforcement of the 'Hudood ordinances', a complex set of Koranic laws whose name is derived from hud meaning 'punishment'. Similar sharia laws have existed in Saudi Arabia, Iran and Sudan for centuries, but Pakistan's were enacted by former President Zia ul-Haq only in 1979, as part of his radical attempt to 'Islamicise' the country.

The legislation has always been full of legal ambiguities, and none more so than the Zina ordinance which deals with adultery, premarital sex and rape. The maximum punishment for adultery is stoning to death for married people and 100 lashes for the unwed.

For a rape trial to go ahead in Pakistan, four adult Muslim men, 'all of a pious and trustworthy nature', must have witnessed the attack and be willing to testify. Evidence from female and non-Muslim witnesses is considered worthless. A woman who can't produce those witnesses can be prosecuted for fornication and alleging a false crime, the penalties for which are stoning, lashings or prison.

Last week, despite claims by President General Pervez Musharraf that he was willing to reform the way rape is handled, as part of his much-trumpeted 'enlightened moderation', hardliners in the Pakistani parliament refused to sanction the introduction of a bill that would have ended the archaic laws. The vetoed legislation, the Women Protection Bill, proposed to transfer rape and adultery cases from the Islamic legal system to Pakistan's British-influenced secular penal code. The bill would have scrapped the most controversial element of the law, the need for four male witnesses. Women's rights campaigners, who marched in their thousands in Islamabad last week, claim that up to 80 per cent of women in Pakistan's jails face charges related to the Hudood ordinances and accuse the international community of ignoring the issue.

Yesterday Pakistan's government announced it would now ask a parliamentary committee to review the repeatedly delayed bill.

Lawyers who handle such cases say the legislation is mainly used as a means of revenge by parents whose daughters have refused arranged marriages, or by husbands in divorce cases. In conservative rural areas, where family honour is paramount, many parents file charges against children who defy tradition to choose their own partners.

'Violence against women is a universal problem,' said Kamila Hyat of the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. 'Many governments have taken serious steps to deal with it, Pakistan hasn't. There are thousands of victims of rape and few of them have come close to getting justice; many have been punished for their plight. Simply bringing a rape case to court is widely considered in itself a confession of unlawful sexual intercourse outside marriage.'

But defenders of Hudood claim it is more of a deterrent than anything else, and the penalties are rarely invoked. 'We don't think Hudood laws are against human rights,' said Dr Mirajul Huda, from Jamaat-e-Islami, the biggest group in the six-party Islamist alliance that forced the legislative climbdown. 'They prevent people going to the limits. They put an obstacle on all types of obscenity and protect society.'

For Musharraf, who has survived several assassination attempts since his 1999 military coup and has repeatedly angered Muslim clerics by allying himself with the US, the climbdown is seen as an attempt to placate hardliners. But it plays to fears of what some commentators call a 'creeping Talibanisation' across Pakistan. His supporters claim that Musharraf, who heads a fragile coalition, has taken some action. Several months ago he issued a decree making 1,300 women awaiting trial on Hudood violations eligible for bail, but The Observer has discovered that fewer than 400 of those have been released.

'The ordinance is like a sword hanging over the heads of all the women of Pakistan,' said Dr Rubina Saigol, director of Actionaid Pakistan, which gives shelter and legal support to victims of violence. 'It is tragic that the government has reneged on the reforms. Women's rights are not negotiable.'

For Sharma Zia, another victim in the safe house, it is unlikely the fear of being raped again will go away. 'I know I can't stay here for ever,' she says. 'My home town isn't that far away, but I can't return. The men who raped me live close to my parents and even they took the side of my rapists. My allegations only brought them shame. Sometimes I feel like I only bring people shame. I wish I could leave, go abroad, but I know that will never happen.'
Logged
JDN
Power User
***
Posts: 2004


« Reply #136 on: September 30, 2008, 10:10:40 AM »

"Religion is not the issue, note, it is not an "Islamic" problem, but one of poverty and ignorance."

This indeed is what got me started  smiley

As I mentioned above, before GM as usual added his usual four posts with no comment or relevancy to the topic, i.e. a focus on AFRICA, poverty, ignorance and lack of education therein, I agreed Islam truly can and does have a negative influence on women.  I do not dispute this fact.  However, THIS article in the Financial Times that I referred you talked about women being treated as second class citizens focused on AFRICA.  On another post regarding female genital mutilation, AND in this lengthy article, the primary cause of this subrogation of women in AFRICA was identified and confirmed as "poverty and ignorance".  And in this article, the thrust of the article, education was the solution.  No where in the very long article did it mention Islam as a primary (actually Islam was not mentioned at all) cause of women's problems.  Although in no way way was Christianity or any other religion blamed, Zambia as I pointed out is a Christian nation - still, issues such as women having no property rights, polygamy is legal, child marriage is prevalent, etc. exist.  Religion is not the primary issue; the article's point was that subrogation of women was prevalent in AFRICA and as proven on another post, the primary cause of such subrogation and abuse of women in AFRICA was/is poverty and ignorance.  The reason I posted this article was to identify the truly amazing positive results of education to prevent abuse of women in AFRICA; that includes Islamic countries, Christian countries (Zambia and others) and in countries with other religions. Education has been proven to be the best way to beat poverty and ignorance, and through beating poverty and ignorance, women's abuse in AFRICA will and does decrease. 
 
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11504


« Reply #137 on: September 30, 2008, 10:37:24 AM »

"Religion is not the issue, note, it is not an "Islamic" problem, but one of poverty and ignorance."

This indeed is what got me started  smiley

As I mentioned above, before GM as usual added his usual four posts with no comment or relevancy to the topic,

**It's pretty clear to most everyone that has a reading comprehension ability above a 4th grade level.**

 i.e. a focus on AFRICA, poverty, ignorance and lack of education therein, I agreed Islam truly can and does have a negative influence on women.  I do not dispute this fact.  However, THIS article in the Financial Times that I referred you talked about women being treated as second class citizens focused on AFRICA.  On another post regarding female genital mutilation, AND in this lengthy article, the primary cause of this subrogation of women in AFRICA was identified and confirmed as "poverty and ignorance". 

**Because it's politically incorrect to point out the direct connection between islam and the various pathologies that stem from it's core theological beliefs.**


And in this article, the thrust of the article, education was the solution.  No where in the very long article did it mention Islam as a primary (actually Islam was not mentioned at all) cause of women's problems. 

**Just because the article glosses over islam's global role in oppression, doesn't mean it isn't so.**

Although in no way way was Christianity or any other religion blamed, Zambia as I pointed out is a Christian nation - still, issues such as women having no property rights, polygamy is legal, child marriage is prevalent, etc. exist.  Religion is not the primary issue; the article's point was that subrogation of women was prevalent in AFRICA and as proven on another post, the primary cause of such subrogation and abuse of women in AFRICA was/is poverty and ignorance.  The reason I posted this article was to identify the truly amazing positive results of education to prevent abuse of women in AFRICA; that includes Islamic countries, Christian countries (Zambia and others) and in countries with other religions. Education has been proven to be the best way to beat poverty and ignorance, and through beating poverty and ignorance, women's abuse in AFRICA will and does decrease. 
 

**The Saudis are far from poor, yet they do all sorts of horrific things, why? The al qaeda leadership, and many of it's high/mid level operatives come from wealth and on average have post-graduate degrees and are multi-lingual. So where does this leave the "poor and uneducated" theory? Why do muslims buy islamic books advocating female genital mutilation while living in first world countries?**
Logged
Body-by-Guinness
Power User
***
Posts: 2787


« Reply #138 on: September 30, 2008, 11:25:13 AM »

Quote
**The Saudis are far from poor, yet they do all sorts of horrific things, why? The al qaeda leadership, and many of it's high/mid level operatives come from wealth and on average have post-graduate degrees and are multi-lingual. So where does this leave the "poor and uneducated" theory? Why do muslims buy islamic books advocating female genital mutilation while living in first world countries?**

Sheez, GM, you're not paying attention. We're talking about AFRICA, and hence circumlocuting around the unpleasant fact that in many Muslim countries in AFRICA and elsewhere women are horribly treated as a religious tenet. You must therefor ignore sweeping statements made within posts about AFRICA and only heed the parts which don't dance around unpalatable realities. Near as I can tell, at least.

Clearly you need to spend more time on a college campus in an identity politics cloister lest you be nominated for reeducation.



Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #139 on: October 01, 2008, 07:13:32 AM »

JDN:

"before GM as usual added his usual four posts with no comment or relevancy to the topic,"

Although his posted articles may not fit wtihin the logic of YOUR argument, the fit within the logic of HIS argument-- a logic the relevance of which I found easy to discern even with his tradition of not adding an explanatory sentence or three  wink

Anyway, with the beginning of the Sharia thread nearby, I return to a subject which appears regularly in this thread:


http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/same_sex_marriage_lessons_from_canada/
Same-sex marriage: lessons from Canada
Where gay rights triumph, new rights battles begin.

In May this year the California Supreme Court ruled that Proposition 22, which affirmed opposite-sex marriage, was unconstitutional. To date, only Massachusetts in the United States allows same-sex marriage. So what are the Canadian lessons for California and other states that will, in time, face a debate about the redefinition of marriage?
Firstly, where gay rights triumph, new rights battles begin. One example is over the rights of children. Another is over polygamy, which soon involves freedom of religion. A third battle is over freedom of speech -- the right to publicly advocate traditional marriage can be challenged as homophobic. Secondly, where marriage is not understood as an institution, it cannot be defended adequately in the public square. In short, if North Americans are not educated on what marriage is, they will not, in the long term, support an exclusive definition, one that will appear discriminatory even if this is not the case or the intention.

Marriage as an institution is meant to constrain human behaviour, not liberate or grant rights. Put differently, where individuals have both rights and responsibilities, marriage falls more in the latter category; it is a responsibility, not a right.

In his book, The Future of Marriage, American family scholar David Blankenhorn says that "a social institution creates and maintains rules, including rules for who is, and is not, a part of the institution… [A] social institution creates public meaning… [Such institutions] exist to solve basic problems and meet core needs.”

Blankenhorn goes on to say this: “In nearly all human societies marriage is socially approved sexual intercourse between a woman and a man, conceived both as a personal relationship and as an institution, primarily such that any children resulting from the union are—and are understood by the society to be—emotionally, morally, practically, and legally affiliated with both of the parents.”

Keeping this definition in mind, any culture which sanctions same-sex marriage will place children’s rights at odds with adult desires. The January 2007 Ontario court ruling that a child could have three parents was inevitable because with same-sex marriage the concept of biological parenthood is immediately displaced. Same-sex reproduction immediately involves a third party. The idea of a "legal parent" replaced the idea of a “natural parent.”

And from three parents to polygamy: to date, our legislators have ignored the fact, revealed in February, that polygamous Muslim families are living in Toronto and claiming multiple Canadian welfare benefits in many cases. The logical and legal grounds to resist polygamy have been removed, making it difficult to prosecute.

Canadians, we are told, are laid back. But mention polygamy, and precisely the same cultural elites who sanctioned same-sex marriage become a little anxious. Will they accept that? Or will they trample religious freedom to prosecute polygamous families?

The right to practice religion freely has not fared well against gay equality rights. We see this most clearly through the human rights tribunals. In British Columbia, the Catholic Knights of Columbus were fined for declining to host a lesbian couple’s wedding reception. Chris Kempling, a teacher, was disciplined by the teachers’ governing body for a letter to the editor about homosexuality and in Alberta, on May 30, 2008, a pastor, Stephen Boissoin, was fined for the same, and ordered never to speak “discriminatorily” on the topic of homosexuality again.

Certainly, this is not the result of legalizing same-sex marriage. Many factors have combined to create an atmosphere in which marriage looks to be amorphous -- the introduction of no-fault divorce and increasing rights for cohabiting couples changed how we view the institution. Marriage now looks to be strictly religious and strictly private. That it is not purely religious or private at all is lost as equality discourse prevails.


On August 16, 2008, presidential hopeful Barack Obama told a California church audience that marriage was between one man and one woman. California is not a conservative state, yet polls there show support for traditional marriage. But the law also acts as a kind of teacher, which means that, in time, Californians could vote differently, given the recent Supreme Court ruling.

Since same-sex marriage became law, Canadians have been quiet. This is largely self-censoring, led by the real possibility that speaking out will result in public maligning, or worse. California is at a crossroads that Canada has already passed. But both north and south of the border, we need to begin to learn about marriage as an institution, and let those lessons lead public policy in the future.

Andrea Mrozek and Peter Jon Mitchell are staff members of the Institute of Marriage and the Family Canada, a social policy think thank based in Ottawa. This article first appeared in the IMFC's bulletin eReview. 
Logged
JDN
Power User
***
Posts: 2004


« Reply #140 on: October 01, 2008, 08:58:21 AM »

JDN:

"before GM as usual added his usual four posts with no comment or relevancy to the topic,"

Although his posted articles may not fit wtihin the logic of YOUR argument, the fit within the logic of HIS argument-- a logic the relevance of which I found easy to discern even with his tradition of not adding an explanatory sentence or three  wink


Actually, as Body-by-Guinness succinctly pointed out, "Sheez GM, you are not paying attention.  We're talking AFRICA..."

While GM's posts may fit with his "logic", there was no "logic of HIS argument" or "relevance" to this discussion of oppression of women
in AFRICA therefore...

But as you said, let's move on...   smiley

GM in his post on the Sharia thread does make some interesting comments on same sex marriage and polygamy.  While they are definitely relevant
to Sharia, they also may be germane to this Topic?

« Last Edit: October 01, 2008, 09:02:55 AM by JDN » Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #141 on: October 01, 2008, 09:16:27 AM »

As is often the case in Life, the boundaries are not clear.  Play it as you will. smiley
Logged
Body-by-Guinness
Power User
***
Posts: 2787


« Reply #142 on: October 01, 2008, 10:29:55 AM »

Quote
Actually, as Body-by-Guinness succinctly pointed out, "Sheez GM, you are not paying attention.  We're talking AFRICA..."

I did indeed, JDN, and as is your custom you are misconstruing the point, which was "don't make blanket statements and then demand adherence to strictures identified after the fact."
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #143 on: October 01, 2008, 01:40:44 PM »

Hey JDN:

Is it OK to "marry" your ewe?

Yip!
========================

9-25-08
The Flint Journal


LANSING

Man involved with sheep will stay off registry

The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that a Battle Creek man who pleaded no contest to sodomizing a sheep does not have to register as a sex offender after his release from prison.

Jeffrey Haynes, 45, is serving 2 1/2 to 20 years for sodomy- a "crime against nature" under state law. Haynes was sentenced in 2006 after police said he had sex with a sheep at a Bedford TOWNSHIP FARM IN 2005.

The animal's owner caught him on the property, and the sheep was found injured. A DNA sample taken from the animal matched Haynes' genetic material.

A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing purposes.

In a 3-0 opinion released Wednesday, the appeals court said the state sex offender registry is intended to track people who have committed crimes against humans, not animals.
Logged
JDN
Power User
***
Posts: 2004


« Reply #144 on: October 01, 2008, 07:50:01 PM »

lol
And to think I ate lamb for dinner this week!!!

ps pretty funny, but 20 years?  Now that's not funny.
I doubt if you raped a women if you would get 20 years...
Now that's a thread for the gender forum.
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #145 on: October 01, 2008, 09:50:24 PM »

http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/285/slipperyslopeel4.png
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #146 on: October 02, 2008, 12:12:07 PM »

Well, some folks think partial birth abortion (supported by BO btw)  is infanticide, likewise leaving aborted fetuses to die outside of the womb (supported by BO btw)  -- this apart from the general circular discussion about when life begins.

Furthermore, it does seem like polygamy is on the radar screen, see e.g. the beginnings of Sharia in the UK, Canada, as discussed in other threads.
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #147 on: October 24, 2008, 06:50:22 PM »

http://www.forbes.com/opinions/2008/10/23/women-leaders-politics-oped-cx_ee_1024eaves.html
Pandora
Women Don't Make Better Leaders
Elisabeth Eaves 10.24.08, 12:00 AM ET

A story in The New York Times on men who support vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin elicited some interesting quotes. An insurance agent from Indiana asked rhetorically, "Who can't trust a mother?" A former truck driver in North Carolina said, "They bear us children, they risk their lives to give us birth, so maybe it's time we let a woman lead us." He went on: "The sexual drives and big egos of male leaders have gotten in the way of politics in this country."

They may not know it, but these men are what academics call "difference" or "cultural" feminists, believing that women deserve equal rights not because, as humans, they are basically the same as men, but because of their differences--and even that those differences in some ways make women superior.

This idea that inherent female qualities make women better leaders has been kicked around many times by everyone from radical feminists, who argued that women were flat-out better, to the Catholic Church and its cult of Mary. In the 19th century, adherents of the so-called Cult of True Womanhood deemed women more pure and pious than men.

Back in 2000, when Elizabeth Dole ran for the Republican presidential nomination and we were all suffering from Clinton fatigue, some pundits suggested that, at the very least, having a nice old lady in charge would spare us another agonizing sex scandal. She was seen as someone who could bring a calming maternal propriety to the White House after the yahoo from Arkansas ran roughshod.

But is there really any reason to believe that we should prefer female leaders categorically? In tough times, it's tempting to think that there must be some whole class of people who wouldn't have screwed things up as badly. That a woman would have known better than to launch a gratuitous invasion, or that some instinct for fairness and generosity would have prevented the ladies from running Wall Street into the ground.

But other than the fact that we tend to have warm, fuzzy associations with our mothers, there's nothing whatsoever to suggest that this fantasy of better--or even qualitatively different--female leadership might be true. The only reason we don't have many examples of terrible female leaders is that we have had vastly fewer women in charge, period.

The examples we do have, meanwhile, suggest that autocratic tendencies and bad judgment appear to be distributed along a bell curve for women just as they are for men. Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi indulged in a period of dictatorial rule. Benazir Bhutto's femininity didn't make her immune to the nepotism and corruption of Pakistani politics.

Nor, as is sometimes supposed, is there evidence that female leaders as a group are any less martial or cutthroat in their approach to power. Catherine the Great put down the peasants and eliminated rivals. Margaret Thatcher invaded the Falklands and told George H.W. Bush not to "go wobbly" on Saddam Hussein, sending troops to back up her words.

Power attracts people who like power, and they share certain qualities with one another regardless of gender. There's no reason to imagine, for example, that if women ran Wall Street it would all be different, because you wouldn't work your way to the high reaches of high finance if you didn't possess a certain amount of greed and ruthlessness to begin with. If you are a woman driven to run for high office or make billions of dollars, you probably share leadership traits with men who have those same goals.

And while it makes for a nice ego massage to be told of one's superiority, women should be wary of attempts to categorize them as "better." For one thing, putting someone on a pedestal makes her followers that much more disappointed when she falls from grace. For another, those who obsess over inherent differences tend to do so as a springboard to something else: The Cult of True Womanhood served as a basis for the argument that a woman's proper place was in the home.

And having a greater virtuousness attributed to oneself is as much burden as privilege, saddling the bearer with a higher standard to uphold and be judged by. It's why, even in 2008, promiscuous girls are still sluts while promiscuous boys are just boys.

In the West, for adult women, this may amount to not much more than an annoyance. In cultures where it makes women the bearers of male "honor," it can be deadly. Globally, according to a United Nations estimate, more than 5,000 women a year are murdered by their own family members for perceived sexual improprieties.

Women do not make categorically better leaders, and it's no favor to them to suggest that they do. By all means, let's elect smart, judicious leaders who happen to be female--but don't expect them to do a better job than the men by reason of estrogen alone. As New York mayor Fiorello LaGuardia noted, "There is no Democrat or Republican way to pick up garbage." For the vast majority of functions of leadership, there's no male or female way to do it either.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #148 on: October 26, 2008, 01:53:42 AM »

I'd have voted for Margaret Thatcher for President of the United States in a flash.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11504


« Reply #149 on: October 26, 2008, 08:39:10 AM »

I'd vote for Sarah Palin in a flash. And Thatcher as well.
Logged
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 11 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!