FGM: An American Problem

We may like to think that the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation is a Third World relic, happening only in distant and uncivilized backwaters. Not so. FGM is happening right here in America, in communities of successful and highly educated people.Here's some unfortunate evidence. In April, the FBI arrested Jumana Nagarwala, an emergency-room doctor and native-born American citizen, on charges of cutting two seven-year-old girls. Two more people, including another doctor, were … [Read more...]

Why Skeptics Fall For Misogynist Ideology

Since I've spent much time condemning religious sexism and misogyny, it's only fair to acknowledge that atheists aren't free of it either. Case in point: this article from the Daily Beast, which makes a case that Robert Fisher, a 31-year-old Republican state representative from New Hampshire and an out-of-the-closet atheist, is the creator of the popular "Red Pill" forum on Reddit where misogynists congregate.Based on evidence presented in the article, Fisher created the Red Pill forum in … [Read more...]

The Barbarism of Religious Honor Codes

You may have a mental image of Mormons as relentlessly nice, polite to a fault, persistent but basically harmless. But underneath that carefully crafted facade, they're just as regressive and misogynist as all the other major religions. In 2017, the Salt Lake Tribune won won a Pulitzer Prize* for an article series that proves the point: examining "the perverse, punitive and cruel treatment given to sexual assault victims at Brigham Young University, one of Utah's most powerful … [Read more...]

Fear of Female Friendship

Since these are the beliefs now running our country, there's renewed interest in Mike Pence's rule that he'll never be alone with any woman who isn't his wife. Supposedly this is called the Billy Graham rule, after the famous evangelist who lived by a similar precept, as a hedge against temptation. (Yes, this man willingly chose to work for President Grab-Her-By-The-Pussy. Christian hypocrisy knows no bounds.)Several pundits noted that it would be impossible for a woman to have a career in … [Read more...]

How Liberal is Catholicism, Really?

Last month, I wrote about a Catholic church's attempt to rebrand itself as a hip, welcoming institution. At the time, I noted that the clergy were striving to broadcast an aura of tolerance without changing any of their actual rules.More recently, I mentioned a conservative archbishop urging liberal and moderate members to quit the church. Much debate ensued, but there was at least one person who felt I was being too harsh:Catholic social doctrine is only "conservative" on a very … [Read more...]

Women Deserve Equal Rights, Not Chivalry

Donald Trump's boasting about his ability to "grab [women] by the pussy" has opened the floodgates.Since those remarks came to light, corroborating stories are popping up all over. In a 2005 interview with Howard Stern, Trump chortled about how, at beauty pageants he owned, he would barge into the contestants' dressing rooms in the hope of seeing them naked. Five women in the Miss Teen USA pageant have confirmed that he did this to them - yes, peeping on teenagers.Other women have also … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: July 30

• Yes, the Green Party nominee Jill Stein is an anti-vaxer. Since Stein is an actual doctor, this is especially inexcusable. Note that Hillary Clinton is the only remaining presidential candidate who's pro-vaccine.• In very good news, a federal court strikes down North Carolina's brazenly racist voter ID law. They didn't even try to disguise what they were doing:As the court explains, North Carolina passed its omnibus voting bill, SL 2013-381, almost immediately after the … [Read more...]

Open Thread: Ghostbusters

There's so much darkness in the world lately, I feel like we could all use a break to talk about something light-hearted. So how about that new Ghostbusters movie?I saw it over the weekend, and the theater was packed. If the internet backdraft has hurt the box office at all, which I doubt, it wasn't noticeable where I live.Overall, it was solidly entertaining. There weren't any huge surprises, but it was a fun popcorn movie and it met my expectations. If you liked the original - and if, … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: June 4

I'm in Washington, D.C. this weekend. If you're here for the Reason Rally, come find me! Meanwhile, here are some worthwhile long reads:• Since she'll very likely be our next president, you ought to read this in-depth profile of Hillary Clinton, the candidate and the person. To understand why she is who she is, you have to understand the male entitlement, sexist double standards, and sheer hateful prejudice that have dogged her throughout the decades of her career in public … [Read more...]

Dawkins Denied: Secular Sexism Finally Has Consequences

As I've said before, I don't make it my mission to chronicle every obnoxious thing that Richard Dawkins says. But this week he hit a low point, even for him, with something so outrageous I couldn't let it go by. More importantly, the response gave me a new and unfamiliar feeling: a glimmer of hope that the wider atheist community is coming around to enlightenment.It started when Dawkins approvingly tweeted a revolting video created by "Sargon of Akkad", a notorious internet misogynist, that … [Read more...]