#Feminism Wouldn’t Do Its Job If It Didn’t Piss Off a Few People!

REVOLUTIONS IN MY SPACE: A BLOG BY RITA BANERJI

Below I share an excerpt from an article I just came across, “Why Feminism Needs to be Angry” by Will Robert — a man!  Loved it!  Also see my article “Why Kali Won’t Rage: A Critique of Indian Feminism

Beth Sutton’s interruption of Monday’s debate to denounce  George Galloway as a ‘rape apologist’ may not have been the popular choice but it did succeed, in a small way, in bringing these issues to the forefront.  The outspoken anger that Ms. Sutton displayed on Monday, (which the article claims to devalue the feminist movement) has long been a necessary facet of pushing forward woman’s rights. Voting rights, divorce rights etc. were won through aggressive public campaigning and often without the support of public opinion. 

Presenting a sanitised version of feminism so that it is palatable for the majority does not push woman’s rights forward in any meaningful…

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What Tata Starbuck’s Female CEO Thinks About #Women in the #Workplace!

REVOLUTIONS IN MY SPACE: A BLOG BY RITA BANERJI

starbucks-IndiaInk-blog480 Here’s yet another brilliant example of how misogyny is internalized even among the educated, savvy, career-oriented women occupying powerful positions in India!

The CEO of Tata Starbucks Avani Davda, the first female CEO of the company, when asked in an interview about why women form only 15% of Starbucks retail outlet workforce said, “Women need to appreciate that meritocracy cannot be given up for diversity.”

In other words, the reason Tata Starbucks has such few women working in their stores is because the company finds women overwhelmingly incompetent.  Indeed too incompetent to even make coffee in an automatic coffee maker, and pour it into a cup for a customer at one of their stores, or sell them one of their over-priced coffee mugs or coffee packets over the counter.

Then Davda is asked about women’s careers and jobs outside of home and family.  And to that she says

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Here’s Why I Need To Be the #MothersDay Party Pooper!

Brilliant. The brilliant Rita Banerji.

REVOLUTIONS IN MY SPACE: A BLOG BY RITA BANERJI

I know I’m going to be the party-pooper at this grande-monde day of celebration of madre-hood.

But here is why I don’t buy the idea of a ‘mother’s day’ or for that matter a ‘father’s day.’

One of my mother’s friends once commented, “You know that Elton John singer. He’s gay and he married a man (thank god!).  And now they have a baby. That’s impossible.” I asked why. And she said, “How are they going to raise a baby without a mother? A baby needs a mother.” I told her that this ‘mother fixation’ was illogical and compulsive like the breast fixation that men have with regards to women.  When I taught biology, I found that when asked to identify the sex of fetal pigs, the boys would invariably write, “Female, because it has nipples.” And I always told them that they needed to go home, take a good…

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Why More #Women in #Government Won’t Help Women of #India

THE 50 MILLION MISSING CAMPAIGN BLOG ON INDIA'S FEMALE GENDERCIDE

by Debolina Dubois

Women-Reservation-bill-india1-300x260I was watching Eve Ensler, author of ‘Vagina Monologues’ on an YouTube channel around the time of the December 2012 Delhi Gang Rape uprisings, and she was asked what she thought might help stop violence against women in India? She suggested, “Get more women in”, into government, police – positions of power and decision-making.

Unfortunately in India this theory does not work. Otherwise the religious totems would not have existed. The rape culture and indoctrination and religious obsessional neurosis is such that in India women in positions of political power do not think the welfare of their own sex, or for that matter even extreme violence on women in India is any of their concern. They don’t act on women’s-rights or even legislate on it. They don’t discuss it, and if necessary to keep the terror going they would torture women and children to remain in political…

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94 who are in prison for being gay, 75 more awaiting trial

76 CRIMES

Iran's Revolutionary Guards arrested dozens of "homosexuals and devil-worshippers" in October 2013. (Photo courtesy of Mehr News Agency) Iran’s Revolutionary Guards arrested dozens of “homosexuals and devil-worshippers” in October 2013. (Photo courtesy of Mehr News Agency)

A look at 169 people who fell victim to anti-gay laws

Worldwide, at least 94 people are currently in prison for allegedly violating laws that punish those who are born gay, lesbian or bisexual. In addition, at least 75 other people are awaiting trial on charges related to  homosexuality.

Those are the tallies in the latest Erasing 76 Crimes list of people whose lives have been devastated by anti-gay laws in some of the 76-plus countries where homosexuality is currently illegal. Admittedly, listing 168 people is probably an extreme understatement of the number of people worldwide who are behind bars or awaiting trial on anti-homosexuality charges, but finding out about specific cases is difficult, especially in countries without a free press.

Jackson Mukasa, left, and Kim Mukisa The possibility of life in prison confronts Jackson Mukasa, left…

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UN Debates the Future of Killer Robots

Stop Making Sense

Samuel Oakford writes for VICE News:

‘The arms race is going sci-fi, and humans are playing catch-up. United Nations diplomats convened today in Geneva for a week-long meeting of experts on killer robots. Lethal Automated Weapon Systems (LAWS) — their more technical term — would be able to track and engage targets on their own, without human intervention. They don’t yet exist, but several countries are close. Though armed robots conjure images of Terminator-like humanoids, they would likely first come from the sky, the evolved offspring of drones used by the CIA.

…Drones as we know them — the ones buzzing over tribal lands in Pakistan and attacking convoys (and weddings) in Yemen — are not considered autonomous since operators control them, albeit with a joystick, thousands of miles away. However, US defense contractor Northrop Grumman has developed the X-47b, an autonomous drone aircraft capable of flying itself, and, with…

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The sky is falling because of feminist biology, Factual Feminist edition

Family Inequality

The other day I explained why, despite her mocking tone,  the “Factual Feminist” (Christina Sommers) doesn’t have the factual basis to undermine commonly-used statistics on rape. Now she has a video out on “feminist science.” No, it’s not a joke from The Simpsons, she says:

A new feminist biology program at the University of Wisconsin is all too real… Is feminist biology likely to contribute to our knowledge and understanding of the world? The Factual Feminist is skeptical.

The program in question is really just a post-doctoral fellowship. It looks like a privately-endowed fund to hire one postdoc. This is not a major curriculum intervention. The first postdoc in the program is Caroline VanSickle, a biological anthropologist from the University of Michigan who does work on ancient female pelvic bones and their implications for birth stuff. She was quoted by the right-wing Campus Reform (a project of the Leadership Institute

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Readers’ wildlife photos

Why Evolution Is True

There’s just one photo today, but it’s a doozy. Stephen Barnard sends us a photo labeled “Tree swallow picking midges off the surface”.  His note:

These birds are really difficult to catch in flight. I shoot them for practice and occasionally get lucky.

RT9A2632

Tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) are ubiquitous from Canada to southern Central America; their normal diet, as evidenced above, is insects.

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We are NOT using the evidence: it’s time to change

SHEENA BYROM

 Image

I am posting this on #NHSChangeDay 2014.

I pledge to continue to make the case for change in maternity services, until ears listen.

Recently, my lovely Italian midwife friend who is a Doctoral student in England, told me of her confusion. ‘What I can’t understand’, she began ‘is why practice in maternity services in UK remains unchallenged when you have so many esteemed academics and the some of best research evidence in the world? She made me think.

Last week I was invited to present evidence related to continuity of care and choice in place of birth at one of the Personalised Maternity Care stakeholder events, in Leeds. The events are being held around the country, and are hosted by NHS Health Education England in response to a request from the Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr Dan Poulter. Dr Poulter wants to explore the ambitions for future Maternity Services…

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