Tag Archives: Women’s Rights

Iran To Ease Ban on Women Attending Sporting Events

Women Sporting Events Iran

Now that Iran has agreed to suspend its nuclear program (pending Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s recent ultimatum that Iran will only sign a final nuclear accord with six world powers if all sanctions against the country are lifted), the country can start focusing on more important things – like softening the ban on women attending sporting events.

Since Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, the government has barred women from attending most sporting events involving men, deeming that mixed crowds watching games together was un-Islamic. Then, in January, the Iranian government eased up a little, saying it would allow foreign women to attend men’s matches, but it was still out of the question for Iranian women. Until now… sort of.

Following criticism from international sport federations and protests by Iranian women and women’s rights activists, Iran’s deputy sports minister, Abdolhamid Ahmad, announced that the government would partially lift the ban on women attending men’s sports matches.

And by “partially”, he means while women and families may be allowed to enter some sports stadiums, the rules won’t change for all matches because some sports are mainly related to men and “families are not interested in attending” them. Plus, some “masculine” sports, like wrestling or swimming, which leave little of the male figure to the imagination, are far too risqué for Iranian women.

And by “attending men’s sport matches”, Ahmad means women will most likely be assigned to special sections in the stadiums and perhaps some mixed seating will be available for families. Iranians consider the regular seating areas too rowdy and “not Islamic enough” for women.

Well, I guess progress is progress, no matter how small – plus, it’s more than Saudi women get. Now, if only Iran could ease up on hanging homosexuals from cranes and stoning women for adultery…

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Indian Lynch Mob Hangs Suspected Rapist

India Lynch Mob

A lynch mob in the Indian state of Nagaland broke into a jail and hung a suspected rapist in public on Thursday night. Whoa – we all knew India needed to step up it’s game when it comes to ending the country’s rape culture, but is a lynch mob the best they could come up with?

Thousands of furious Indians swarmed the streets and broke into the Central Jail in the city of Dimapur, where they stripped and beat Syed Farid Khan, a Muslim immigrant from neighboring Bangladesh who was accused of raping a 19-year-old Naga tribal woman multiple times. The crowd then tied his body to a motorcycle and dragged it 7 kilometers to a clock tower, where he was strung up for display. And just in case that wasn’t enough, the violent mob also destroyed Muslims’ houses and shops in town.

Khan’s brother has accused police of falsely implicating his brother in the rape to try to root out non-tribals from Nagaland, which is predominantly Christian. Apparently indigenous groups have long accused Muslim migrants from Bangladesh of illegally grabbing their fertile land and have previously campaigned to evict Bengali-speaking immigrants from their territory. But the girl is sticking to her story and town police superintendent Meren Jamir said her initial medical report “confirmed rape and other … injuries on her body”.

Well, I certainly hope Khan was guilty because that was a fairly brutal way to go – especially considering he hadn’t even gone to trial yet. If corruption in India lets rapists get away with their crimes, it’s quite likely that it also gets innocent men arrested for rapes committed by others. Maybe India should hold off on the mob justice for now… or at least until after the trial?

Khan’s lynching coincides with controversy over a government order to ban the broadcasting of India’s Daughter, a documentary about the fatal gang-rape in December 2012 of a young student in New Delhi. The film by award-winning Briton Leslee Udwin features conversations with Mukesh Singh and fellow convicts who raped and tortured the 23-year-old woman on a moving bus.

In the documentary, Mukesh blames the victim for the crime and resisting rape. He also says women are more responsible than men for rape.

“You can’t clap with one hand — it takes two hands,” he says in the film.

“A decent girl won’t roam around at nine o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy …. Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things. About 20 per cent of girls are good.”

The documentary was due to air on the Indian news channel NDTV to mark International Women’s Day but was dropped after the government intervened.

The Indian government also asked YouTube to block global access to the documentary. Unfortunately for them, asking for a worldwide ban is the pretty much the most effective way to get the entire world to watch it. Didn’t they learn anything from watching Kim Jong un freak out over The Interview?

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In Honour of International Women’s Day, Indonesian Clothing Company Salvo Sports “Apologizes” for Sexist Labels

sexist_indonesian clothing label

Indonesian sports wear manufacturer Salvo Sports has “apologized” for a sexist label printed on shirts of a top football club.

Salvo Sports printed “Washing instructions: Give this jersey to your woman. It’s her job” on the shirts of Indonesian Super League team Pusamania Borneo.

The shirt label went viral on social media, sparking a torrent of criticism and prompting an apology from the company through a series of tweets on March 8, International Women’s Day. Turns out the company simply intended the offensive washing instruction to be a “compliment” about the domestic skills of women.

“The message is simply, instead of washing it in the wrong way, you might as well give it to a lady because they are more capable,” Salvo Sports posted on Twitter.

“There is no intention to humiliate women. In contrast [we want to tell the men] learn from women how to take care of clothes,” it said.

“Not all men know how to treat their clothes and women have more expertise.”

Wait… was that an apology or did that just make it ten times worse? Not only did the company reiterate that domestic chores are a woman’s domain, they also managed to insult men’s ability to figure out something as complicated as laundry. On the plus side, at least the series of tweets offended both men and women. Gender equality, one half-assed apology at a time!

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Turkish Men Show Their Balls by Wearing Miniskirts

TURKEY-WOMEN-RIGHTS-DEMO

Men throughout Turkey and neighboring Azerbaijan are tweeting images of themselves in miniskirts to protest the death of a young woman who was murdered after fighting off a sexual assault by a minibus driver.

The brutal death Ozgecan Aslan, a 20-year-old student who fought off an attempted rape before her body was burned and dumped in a riverbed, provoked a widespread reaction on social media and spurred Turks everywhere to protest violence against women.

On Wednesday, a group of men in Azerbaijan are believed to have started the hashtag #ozgecanicinminietekgiy, which translates to “wear a miniskirt for Ozgecan.” The hashtag went viral and thousands of men from Azerbaijan and Turkey have since tweeted out images of themselves wearing skirts in honor of women’s (and Scottish men’s?) rights.

Screenshot 2015-02-24 17.16.32

A Facebook page supporting the campaign explains, “If a miniskirt is responsible for everything, if [wearing] a miniskirt means immorality and unchastity, if a woman who wears a miniskirt is sending an invitation about what will happen to her, then we are also sending an invitation!”

On Saturday the protest went from the internet to the streets as hundreds gathered in dresses, skirts and miniskirts to march through Istanbul in solidarity with women who have been protesting violence against women since the recent murder of Ozgecan Aslan.

Miniskirts Protest

Prominent Turkish lawyer and activist Hulya Gulbahar said the skirt protest is “very effective” and the first time women’s rights have been so widely endorsed in Turkey.

“The women’s movement is trying to tell society, ‘My dress is not an excuse for your rape or sexual harassment.’ But society didn’t want to hear these voices. People try to find excuses for rapes and killing. But they didn’t find any in this case, because Aslan was very innocent, purely innocent. The protest shows that a short skirt is not an excuse for rape.”

Women’s rights in Turkey don’t exactly have a stellar rep. Reported sexual and physical violence against women in Turkey has risen 14-fold since 2002. Just last summer a Turkish court ruled that a woman who was attacked and wounded with a knife by her ex-husband had “provoked” him by wearing leggings. And President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hasn’t been much help tackling the issue, declaring last year that he doesn’t believe in men and women’s equality. So if Turkish men have to take to the streets dressed in miniskirts to drive the point home, then they might as well look good doing it:

Turkey Skirt

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Saudi Businesswoman Fined For Driving Herself to the Hospital

Saudi woman driving

Aliyah Al-Farid, a Saudi businesswoman and member of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), was fined by police after she drove herself to the hospital to receive treatment for a medical condition. A woman driver? What’s next? A woman doctor?!

In Saudi Arabia, it is not illegal for women to drive on the road, but it is illegal for them to be granted a driver’s license – which pretty much wipes out the former law. As the Quran says, “No woman shall operate a motor vehicle. Ever.”

But Al-Farid claims no one else was available to drive her when she began to experience the medical emergency.

“I told the traffic officers that I had to drive because it was an emergency case,” Al-Farid later told reporters.

“I didn’t do it on purpose and I’m not after fame or media hype. I was very sick and that was it,” she said.

The Saudi police were very understanding and allowed her to proceed to the hospital. But waited for her outside…

When she emerged from treatment, four police cars were waiting to escort her to the local Traffic Department office. While at the station, Al Farid, who has reportedly been caught driving twice before, paid the fine for driving without a license but refused to agree to a police request to never drive again.

The Saudi businesswoman owns a centre caring for people with special needs and on occasion must rush her patients to hospital.

“We can’t leave an epileptic patient convulsing on the ground while waiting for our male driver to come and transport him to hospital.”

“I have to get behind the steering wheel and do it,” she explained.

So… what are Saudi women supposed to do if they are home alone and have a medical emergency? Sit there and die? Well, considering this is the same country where religious police forced schoolgirls back into a burning building because they weren’t wearing the correct Islamic dress, I guess the answer is yes.

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Hobby Lobby Religiously Objects to Contraception… Viagra & Vasectomies Are Okay Though

Hobby Lobby

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby on Monday that for-profit employers (Hobby Lobby) with religious objections (definitely Hobby Lobby) can opt out of providing contraception coverage under Obamacare.

Hobby Lobby, a craft store chain owned by evangelical Christians, had some beef with the Obamacare stipulation that employers must provide health insurance coverage for contraception. The owners of Hobby Lobby challenged this provision, arguing that it violated their religious freedom.

According to the Hobby Lobbies, life begins at conception and any contraceptives such as Plan B, Next Choice, or Ella, that would prevent a woman’s ovaries from releasing an egg that could be fertilized after unprotected sex, is tantamount to murder (despite the general scientific consensus that the contraceptives are not equivalent to abortion.) Oh, and they also object to long-term birth control methods such as IUDs, which can cost women up to $1,000. Anyways, Hobby Lobby complained all the way up to the Supreme Court and, for some reason, five old men on the Supreme Court took their side.

The court’s four more liberal justices called it a decision of “startling breadth” and expressed concern that the majority decision could open the door to other corporations seeking to withhold coverage for other medical procedures at odds with firm religious beliefs.

Hillary Clinton also expressed her dissent, calling the Hobby Lobby case “deeply disturbing.”

“It’s the first time that our court has said that a closely held corporation has the rights of a person when it comes to religious freedom, which means the corporation’s … [‘closely held’] employers can impose their religious beliefs on their employees, and, of course, denying women the right to contraceptives as part of a health care plan is exactly that,” she said. “I find it deeply disturbing that we are going in that direction.”

“It’s very troubling that a sales clerk at Hobby Lobby who need contraception, which is pretty expensive, is not going to get that service through her employer’s health care plan because her employer doesn’t think she should be using contraception,” Clinton said.

Despite the disagreement over the ruling, the craft store is now free to drop contraceptives from its workers’ health insurance plans. Viagra is still up for grabs though. Hobby Lobby has made no indication that it plans to limit men’s access to penis pills and pumps. Well, I guess curing erectile dysfunction encourages procreation… but what about vasectomies? Hobby Lobby doesn’t personally object to covering vasectomies for men… much like it doesn’t personally object to buying the majority of its products from China, which effectively has a government-mandated forced abortion policy and where Christians are persecuted regularly…

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Restaurant Gives Customers What They Want: More Skin

 Potato Skin

After a customer posted a review on Urban Spoon demanding the servers show more skin, the Atomic Grill in Morgantown, West Virginia decided to give the customer what he wanted: more skin.

You want more skin? I’ll give you more skin… potato skins…

The restaurant took action by offering a potato skin special for $7, and 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information Services.

Atomic Grill Owner“We took offense to the review and wanted to flip it in a positive way,” Atomic Grill owner Daniel McCawley explained.

“It was brutish. I was upset. I’m a father of a 12-year-old girl and I’ve got five sisters,” McCawley said. “The way that women are treated is pretty personal as far as I’m concerned.”

The post on Urban Spoon has been removed, but the Atomic Grill hopes the potato skin special educates people, raises awareness, and makes the anonymous reviewer look like an even bigger dick.

“If you have a minute, have some potato skins, try some fresh, local barbecue and give to a good cause. It’s important to us, it should be important to the community,” McCawley said.

And if potato skins aren’t enough skin for you, take a drive over to Hooters. Instead of potato skins and donations to rape crisis centers, Hooters offers scantily clad servers and rape jokes. On Saturday, a rape joke showed up on Hooters’ official Facebook page with the caption “EXHIBIT A: The proof that she was asking for it your Honour”.

Hooters Joke

After the restaurant was called out for the offensive joke, Hooters claimed their Facebook page was hacked and quickly took the picture down. But since the photo isn’t too far off from the kind of pictures the restaurant usually posts, you’re probably better off eating at the Atomic Grill.

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Yoga Pants Are Responsible For Rape

Brother Dean Yoga Pants

Arizona Pastor and University of Arizona student Dean Saxton believes any woman who dresses provocatively and gets intoxicated is partially to blame for their rape – especially those wearing yoga pants.

Brother Dean Saxton is not the most popular student on campus – probably because he spends the majority of his time standing around with signs telling people they deserve to be raped – but what he lacks in popularity, he makes up for in notoriety. Best known for slut shaming everyone with a vagina on the University of Arizona campus, Saxton spent some time talking with Vice, who were putting together an online mini-documentary on the resident campus preacher.

When asked to explain why he protested outside a documentary about 1998 Miss World Pageant winner and rape survivor Linor Abargil last month, the Arizona pastor defended his position that some women “deserve” rape.

“She is a beauty pageant contestant and there’s a lot of provocative, you know, seductive pictures of her that she has put out of herself,” he said. “I believe that if she was at home, and if she had kept to her Orthodox Jewishness, that rape would really probably would not have happened.”

“I believe that there are certain qualities that may be worthy of rape. If a woman dresses provocatively, gets blackout drunk and is wearing really revealing clothing then I would say that she is partially responsible for the rape,” Saxton told Vice

During the protest, Saxton was spotted holding a sign that read, “You Deserve Rape” while simultaneously shouting at random women to quit dressing like whores and “yoga pants are sin.”

“Give up your immodest clothing. You need to stop being a camel toe. You need to stop masturbating. Yoga pants are sin,” he bellowed to students through a bullhorn.

Well, I certainly hope no one tells Brother Dean about Lululemon’s see-through yoga pants fiasco, otherwise he might really lose it.

In addition to yoga pants and other revealing outfits, feminism, Miley Cyrus, masturbation, rock music, being gay, premarital sex, being Muslim, and women going to college are all on Brother Dean’s naughty list. Yeah, I can see why he’s not the most popular kid on campus…

Full Vice video: Here!

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Boko Haram Kidnappings

Current Event Cat of the Day - Boko Haram

Boko Haram keeps the kidnappings coming! Gunmen from the Islamic extremist group, who abducted 276 Nigerian girls last month, have added eight more to the mix.

The latest kidnappings happened on Sunday night in the village of Warabe, Nigeria. Boko Haram gunmen shot their way into the village, grabbed eight girls between the ages of 12 to 15 and, to add insult to injury, stole some livestock along the way.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has said via video that he plans to sell the hundreds of kidnapped Nigerian girls in the market… most likely the black market.

“I abducted your girls,” he said. “I will sell them in the market, by Allah.”

His reasoning? Education bad, child brides good.

“I abducted a girl at a Western education school and you are disturbed. I said Western education should end. Western education should end. Girls, you should go and get married,” Shekau said in the 57 minute video.

“I will repeat this: Western education should fold up. I abducted your girls.”

Got it. Western education is a sin but armed abduction and sex slavery is totally acceptable.

Three weeks ago, 276 girls were abducted from their boarding school after Boko Haram gunmen stormed their dormitories. 50 or so managed to escape the militants, but among those who didn’t, some have already been sold as child brides in Chad and Cameroon – some for as little as $12.

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan and his administration have been under mounting pressure to act since the girls were taken, but he seems to have dropped the ball on this one. Goodluck has publicly promised to find the girls, but Nigerians are angry over the perceived slowness in rescuing the school children.

Since President Goodluck doesn’t seem to the doing much and Liam Neeson is too busy filming Taken 3, the U.S. decided to offer some assistance. Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday he’s offered to send FBI agents into Nigeria to aid in the rescue of the more than 200 girls being held hostage by terror group. US Secretary of State John Kerry backed him up, vowing that Washington would do “everything possible to support the Nigerian government to return these young women to their homes.”

Meanwhile, President Goodluck’s wife, Patience, has been doing her part by arresting the woman leading the protests over the abduction and the government’s ineffectual response. The First Lady, a politically powerful figure in Nigeria, ordered police to detain Naomi Mutah, a representative of the Chibok community where the girls were seized from their school, after she organized a protest outside parliament. How dare someone expect the government help them rescue their kidnapped children from a dangerous terrorist group in a timely manner! The Nigerian government has better things to do with the time! Like thinking of new, creative ways to vilify homosexuals…

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Nigerian Child Bride Poisons Her Groom

Child Bride

A 14-year-old child bride in the northern Nigerian state of Kano had two choices: stay married to the 35-year-old stranger her father forced her to marry and likely be subjected to a lifetime of abuse OR kill him by concealing rat poison in his food. Spoiler alert: She chose the rat poison.

The child bride, Wasilu Umar, admitted to killing her husband and three of his friends with a meal laced with rat poison.

The 14-year-old was married last week to 35-year-old Umaru Sani. The groom was quite pleased with the nuptials and invited a dozen friends to celebrate at his Ungwar Yansoro village. The bride, however, was not so pleased with the idea of marrying a man twice her age. The teenager told police she bought rat poison at a village market and used it to prepare a dish of rice. The groom and his friend died that same day while two other of his buddies died later on in the hospital.

“The suspect confessed to committing the crime and said she did it because she was forced to marry a man she did not love,” assistant superintendent Musa Magaji Majia told The Associated Press.

Well good for her! And given that childbirth and complications in pregnancy are the leading cause of death among teenage girls worldwide, she may have ended up saving her own life. But I doubt that the court will see it that way… The child bride is likely to be tried in a juvenile court and charged with culpable homicide.

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