Grabbed baby Jesus statue
Thomson Reuters, December 27
Vatican City – The Vatican said it had arrested a member of women’s rights group Femen who on Christmas Day bared her breasts and grabbed a statue of the baby Jesus from a nativity scene in front of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square.
Femen’s website says the woman was protesting as part of its anti-clerical “Massacre of the Innocents” campaign contesting religions’ “maniacal desire to control women’s fertility”.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said Friday that Ukrainian citizen Iana Aleksandrovna Azhdanova was being detained and questioned by a Vatican judge. On Saturday, the Vatican said she had been released and was forbidden to return to the Holy See.
He said she was accused of vilification of religion, obscene acts in public, and theft. He said her action “offended the religious feelings of many people”.
Guardian – The US Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked key parts of a 2013 law in Texas that had closed all but eight facilities providing abortions in America’s second most-populous state.
In an unsigned order, the justices sided with abortion rights advocates and health care providers in suspending an October 2 ruling by a panel of the New Orleans-based US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that Texas could immediately apply a rule that would force abortion clinics statewide to spend millions of dollars on hospital-level upgrades.
Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.
(The Guardian) How do you feel about the fact that Iceland is holding a conference on gender equality, feminism and sexual violence – without a single female invitee? “It will be the first time at the United Nations that we bring together only men leaders to discuss gender equality,” Iceland’s foreign minister, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, announced to the UN last week.
World People Making a Difference Change Agent
Katrell Christie, owner of a tea shop in Atlanta, helps educate girls in India, giving them choices beyond lives of hard labor.
Buy a discount maid at Singapore’s malls
In Singapore, maids are put on display and made available for ‘purchase’ in central shopping malls.
Steph Harman : ““When I heard Julia Gillard’s parliamentary speech addressing misogyny, it struck me that behind the politics there was a lot of personal feeling being communicated,” writes composer Rob Davidson, in the description which accompanies this delicious treat. “I wanted to put a frame around this slice of time, to heighten my perception of what was being said behind the words, in the intonation of the voice, and in the dynamics of what was being said in interjections and reactions.” The resulting piece, performed by award winning The Australian Voices, is called ’Not Now, Not Ever’.”
#JuliaGillard #Australia #Feminism #Misogyny
If conservatives want to help the poor they should improve education, cut inequality, and ensure access to contraception.
The Guardian (Comment is free), By Jill Filipovic, January 30
It’s time for marriage promotion programs to die.
The first problem is that they don’t actually convince people to get married; nor do they get fathers to spend more time with their children, make children more emotionally secure, encourage parents to stay together or make families more financially stable. The second is that, contrary to right-wing narratives, marriage doesn’t fix poverty – yet those same conservatives demand that the federal government continue to funnel money into failed marriage promotion programs, and even encourage politicians to curb reproductive rights to force couples into marrying. It’s bad policy stacked on bad policy, with women and their children being made the primary victims.
It is not surprising that Rush Limbaugh, spiritual leader of the Republican Party – the man who determines Republican ideology and who enforces obedience to orthodoxy within the party – now finds Pope Francis a “Marxist”. Pope Francis, spiritual leader to over one billion Catholics, has issued a direct assault on the Rush Limbaugh’s of this world, their paymasters in the business and financial community, and their political lackeys such as Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin, Stephen Harper, David Cameron, Shinzo Abe, Tony Abbott, and Li Keqiang. “I ask God to give us more politicians capable of sincere, effective dialogue aimed at healing the deepest roots – and not simply the appearances – of the evils in our world!” Francis put an exclamation point at the end of that sentence, and he could have said “give us just one politician” rather than “more politicians”, because it is clear when you read his pastoral exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (the Joy of the Gospels), that none of the men or women in positions of power over today’s global economy qualifies as a healer of anything or anybody.
Political leaders come and go, but men like Rush Limbaugh seem to linger forever. What is it about Pope Francis that makes Limbaugh see shades of Lenin, Stalin, and Mao? Could it possibly be criticisms such as these:
Over the past few days in Sri Lanka, the heads of the British Commonwealth met. Except some chose to boycott it. Some had even left such as Gambia. Roger Boyes in the Times stated that it is a“a country club for corrupt leaders”
Sri Lanka was hoping hosting CHOGM would infer legitimacy for its government since 2009. However, Tamil widows are sexually abused by the police, para-military and the military; and successful Tamil businessmen are victims of standover tactics. Over 40,000 abuses are alleged.
David Cameron had no option but to make the call for an inquiry but it has been rejected.
The era of ‘Rule Britannia’ is long gone. China has infiltrated Africa and the Pacific. Well may we say “God save the Queen” for nothing can save the Commonwealth. (with apologies to Gough Whitlam)
RT, October 24
Saudi Arabian authorities are threatening to forcefully suppress an Oct. 26 “protest drive” by women against a de facto ban on them driving cars in the country, citing bans on “illegal gatherings and marches.”
The “October 26 Driving” campaign led by Saudi women is calling for citizens to put the campaign’s logo on their cars, and is urging the women with international driving licenses to get behind the wheel that day. The protest has come to symbolize the struggle for women’s rights in the extremely conservative monarchy, which enforces a harsh form of Sharia law.
Saudi women’s rights activists have already posted photos and videos of themselves defying the ban. It followed some members of the Shura Council that advises the government calling for the leadership to end the ban.
(LATimes) – Marginalizing gay priests is wrong, but marginalizing women is still okay!
What if there is a much larger scandal lurking within their private lives? What if the “whole lot of therapy” was merely a ruse, a going through the motions. What if it was an act necessitated by the need “to get to a place where [Abedin] could forgive Anthony?” Not for engaging in a relationship with another person intimate enough for the exchange sexts, but rather forgive him for being so stupid as to get caught.
A greater scandal than infidelity would be an open marriage.
Let that sink in.
Because the authoritarians out there are fine with infidelity. They do it themselves. What they will neither abide nor tolerate though, is a challenge to their moral superiority. The challenge of the sexual revolution of the sixties for the moral fundamentalists was not free love. It was guilt-free love. It’s ok to have sex. It’s just that after almost every instance you are required to feel guilty.
The sixties freed us of “premarital” sex guilt. So much so that the very word “premarital” is falling out of common usage.
But “open marriage” guilt. Not by a long shot.
And it’s beyond ironic that one of the kind of people most in need of standards of conduct within an open marriage are politicians. The essence of politics is lots of interaction with lots of people. Both shallow and deep interactions and interfaces. It was a revelation to my daughter when I pointed out to her the high likelihood that the Clintons had between them broad understandings of what they would permit of each other. And a greater revelation that agreements of that sort would be more scandalous than the acts themselves.
It is a sense wrongness that can constrain progressive politicians from living our values. Best if felt by the politician but sufficient if merely felt by the voters. Even if Anthony Weiner feels that sexting is ok, he has to lie.
Eliot Spitzer, of course, has a similar problem. Even if engaging professional sex services is allowed within his relationship and his personal ethics, it is beyond efficacy to say so.
And this is what drives the moral superiority of the authoritarians. They can still safely feel at one with their beliefs. As long as we feel, and I mean feel, that we must deny our fundamental beliefs, we will be at a disadvantage in the political arena.
Back in 2003 Kristof wrote Alone And Ashamed, highlighting one of my heroes, Dr Catherine Hamlin. It is pleasing to see that he still seeks to awaken the world to the fistula issue. Over the years the language used often tugs at our heart strings.
However, Maggie Bangser importantly counsels us in our mindset.
CBS, July 12
In her first public speech since being shot by the Taliban last year for simply attending school, Pakistani schoolgirl and education activist, Malala Yousafzai spoke at the UN headquarters in New York Friday, the day of her 16th birthday.
“The terrorists thought that they would change our aims and stop our ambitions but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born,” she said.
Back in the day, for those of you younger folk, Dustin Hoffman made a movie called “Tootsie.” It was a hilarious and touching movie about an actor who can’t get a gig, decides to become a woman to see if it helps, and scores a role on a soap opera. Hilarity ensued. But it was more than just a comedy. Here’s why.
See this short worthwhile video at Upworthy