What is your favorite solitary game? Could be a card game (one of the many forms of Solitaire), a puzzle game, a word game, a video game, whatever. Just the think you most like to play when you want or need to amuse yourself with a game.
Tom Hardy and a Puppy Visit Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant in Door County, Wisconsin, Where Goats Graze on the Grass Roof
"Tom," said the puppy, flicking its ears, "why is it that so many people try to fight oppression with the same kind oppression?" And Tom asked, "Do you mean people who think the answer to violence is more violence, or people who think combating body policing by making fun of the appearance of a body policer is an effective strategy, or people who try to justify exploitation with more exploitation?" And the puppy said, "Yes, exactly. I don't understand it. How can anyone calculate that more of the same bad thing is a solution to the bad thing?" And Tom said, "I don't know, puppy. One of the greatest barriers to dismantling oppression is the terrible instinct to replicate the oppression because we're so submersively indoctrinated in it that many of us can't comprehend an alternative." And the puppy said, "I need a hug." And so Tom gave him one.
Pope Francis says atheists aren't monsters. "Even the atheists" have the capacity for good. EVEN THE ATHEISTS. Well, I certainly feel relieved to have the Pope's validation that I can be a decent person.
The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: Do good and do not do evil. All of us. "But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good." Yes, he can... The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: All of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! "Father, the atheists?" Even the atheists. Everyone!... We must meet one another doing good. "But I don't believe, Father, I am an atheist!" But do good: We will meet one another there.On the one hand, I appreciate that the Pope is telling Catholics that atheists aren't garbage demons. Thank you for doing the bare minimum, sir!
On the other hand, there are some problems with the message, not least of which is that I'm not sure that Pope Francis and I would define "doing good" in the same way. HA HA we definitely don't have the same ideas about "doing good" when it comes to reproductive rights advocacy or marriage equality! FOR EXAMPLE.
And, you know, I'm no more thrilled about being told I'm totes going to heaven ("you're so redeemed, lady; I will meet you in heaven for crumpets!") than I am about being told I'm going to hell. If you respect my right to be an atheist, then stop trying to shoehorn my life into your religiously-defined eternal fates.
For the record: "God loves you even though you're an atheist" isn't a compliment.
[H/T to Shaker newdealwithit.]
[Content Note: Choking death.]
WHUT. Below, the trailer for NBC's new zany comedy Save Me, starring Anne Heche as an irredeemable (OR IS SHE?!) party girl, who becomes a messenger of God after choking on a piece of food and then being resurrected. No, really.
As Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" plays, Anne Heche, a middle-aged blonde white woman, wearing a gold jacket, has been pulled over for drunk driving by a police officer. "Now touch your nose," he instructs her, shining a flashlight at her. She flops over and looks at him upside-down through her legs. "Wait—did you say nose or toes?" she asks.
Cut to Heche dancing on a table at a party and then dirty dancing with some dude, wearing a gold jacket and a cowboy hat. "Beth Harper was no angel," says a male voiceover. Cut to Heche, working as a meteorologist, pulling a pink bra from under her shirt and yelling excitedly as she waves it at the camera. "Until she choked," says the voiceover, as Heche drinks champagne straight from the bottle out of her fridge, then chokes on a bite of a leftover sandwich, "on a message from God."
Cut to Heche in a bathrobe, standing on her front lawn in the rain, lifting her arms and looking to the sky. Cut to Heche sitting at her kitchen table, telling a white man who appears to be her husband, "God saved me." He asks: "Now you're a prophet?" She laughs and nods: "Yes."
Cut to Heche making ta-daa! arms. "Anne Heche is spreading the word," says the voiceover. Cut to Heche pointing at a young white girl who appears to be her daughter, who asks, "What is going on?" Heche's head spins, and she gets a vision of her daughter making out with a boy in a car. "You and Ben Tompkins? Our next door neighbor!" Her daughter looks terrified and yells, "Dad!"
"In an inspired new comedy," says the voiceover. Cut to Heche out on her lawn in a storm, brandishing something. She points with it and yells, and a bolt of lightning hits some lady. Cut to Heche about to put on sunglasses (CARUSO!) and quipping at her husband, "God knows when you're naughty." He says: "That's Santa."
Cut to an image of Heche as an angel in white dress and wings with halo. "NBC's Save Me. Premieres Thursday, May 23, at eight, seven central," says the voiceover.
Hey, that's today! What luck! I can't wait to not watch it!
I think the thing I love most about this trailer is how it implies (and who knows what the actual show will be like; I'm sure it will be TERRIFIC, though!) that there's no one worse than a woman who refuses to settle down and be a good wife and mother (and is Heche's character irresponsible, or an actual alcoholic?—because, if it's the latter, whooooooops your conflation of addiction with "bad behavior"), and that being God's prophet in the modern age consists of harnessing nature to kill people, tossing off sanctimonious one-liners, and policing your daughter's sexuality. Sounds great!
[Content Note: War; drones; detention.]
President Obama gave an important foreign policy address today, the full transcript of which is available here.
Some of what is being packaged as a realignment looks a lot like the same old shit to me. I'm always going to have a problem with a foreign policy that's largely rooted in the principle of taking offensive and/or defensive action against any state or entity that is deemed a threat to US security, or to the security of key allies, because that has been used to justify war with precious little evidence of both the will and capacity to do immediate harm. It's also too easily invoked in defense of a failure to engage in humanitarian intervention: There's no direct threat to us, so too bad.
There was some good stuff in the address, though, namely the President's call on Congress to get moving on shutting down Gitmo:
Today, I once again call on Congress to lift the restrictions on detainee transfers from GTMO. I have asked the Department of Defense to designate a site in the United States where we can hold military commissions. I am appointing a new, senior envoy at the State Department and Defense Department whose sole responsibility will be to achieve the transfer of detainees to third countries. I am lifting the moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen, so we can review them on a case by case basis. To the greatest extent possible, we will transfer detainees who have been cleared to go to other countries. Where appropriate, we will bring terrorists to justice in our courts and military justice system. And we will insist that judicial review be available for every detainee.Also good was his call to revoke the dreadful AUMF:
Even after we take these steps, one issue will remain: how to deal with those GTMO detainees who we know have participated in dangerous plots or attacks, but who cannot be prosecuted – for example because the evidence against them has been compromised or is inadmissible in a court of law. But once we commit to a process of closing GTMO, I am confident that this legacy problem can be resolved, consistent with our commitment to the rule of law.
I know the politics are hard. But history will cast a harsh judgment on this aspect of our fight against terrorism, and those of us who fail to end it. Imagine a future – ten years from now, or twenty years from now – when the United States of America is still holding people who have been charged with no crime on a piece of land that is not a part of our country. Look at the current situation, where we are force-feeding detainees who are holding a hunger strike. Is that who we are? Is that something that our Founders foresaw? Is that the America we want to leave to our children?
Our sense of justice is stronger than that.
All these issues remind us that the choices we make about war can impact – in sometimes unintended ways – the openness and freedom on which our way of life depends. And that is why I intend to engage Congress about the existing Authorization to Use Military Force, or AUMF, to determine how we can continue to fight terrorists without keeping America on a perpetual war-time footing.Discuss.
The AUMF is now nearly twelve years old. The Afghan War is coming to an end. Core al Qaeda is a shell of its former self. Groups like AQAP must be dealt with, but in the years to come, not every collection of thugs that labels themselves al Qaeda will pose a credible threat to the United States. Unless we discipline our thinking and our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don't need to fight, or continue to grant Presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states. So I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF's mandate. And I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further. Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end. That's what history advises. That's what our democracy demands.
[Content note: Death]
A Texas high school teacher's heart wasn't beating when she delivered her baby, but three of her co-workers are credited with saving her life and her newborn's. You know what? We don't pay teachers enough.
When a dying boy's wish to meet Queen Elizabeth was rejected, Helen Mirren, acting as the Queen, stepped in to have tea with the boy. Go, Helen!
Fill this out: Atlas Shrugged Movie Audience Survey.
Popular gay Japanese porn star Masaki Koh died from complications arising from surgery for peritonitis.
Anthony Weiner is definitely running for mayor of NYC.
The solider who was killed in yesterday's attack in London has been identified as Drummer Lee Rigby of 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
The principal and dean of discipline came over and asked me to tell them what happened. I was kind of scared, but I thought they'd understand it was an accident. Before that, I've never gotten in trouble this year other than a dress code violation because my skirt was two inches too short. I told him it was my science experiment. In my third period class I was called up to discipline. I wrote a statement to the dean of discipline explaining what had happened. Afterward I was told to sit on the resource officer's office. They told me I made a bomb on school property, and police possibly have the right to arrest me. I didn't know what they classified as a bomb. I was worried I accidentally made a bomb. I was really hurt and scared. I was crying.Just go read the whole thing.
They didn't read me any rights. They arrested me after sitting in the office for a couple minutes. They handcuffed me. It cut my wrist, and really hurt sitting on my hands behind my back.
They took me to a juvenile assessment center.
...I was very relieved they were dropping the charges. It means I can actually do something with my life. I was afraid this would be on my criminal record. I want to go to college and get a degree in technology design and engineering. I want a career building robots that can do tasks like surgeries or driving cars.
Video Description: Zelda, standing on the floor, flops a plushy toy on Dudley's head, while he lays sprawled out on the ottoman. He paws the plushy away, annoyed, then twists his head around and nips at it lazily. Finally he grabs it in his mouth, and Zelda pulls backwards, playing tug-o-war with him, until he just lets it fall from his jaws. Then she tries to play keepaway, but he steadfastly won't budge. So she flops to the ground and NOMs on it contentedly.
[For those of you who watch video game channels on YouTube, yes, that's Boogie2988 reviewing the details of the new Xbox in the background.]
As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.
[Content Note: Misogyny; objectification; hostility to consent.]
On Tuesday, I noted that one of Star Trek 's writers, Damon Lindelof, defended the gratuitous and consent-hostile scene of Dr. Carol Marcus (played by Alice Eve) in her underwear by drawing an equivalence between female and male nudity and giving pathetic lipservice to critics in an attempt to diffuse the criticism while clearly standing behind the scene.
Last night, director J.J. Abrams was a guest on Conan O'Brien's show, and doubled down on the same strategy in an awkwardly staged segment designed to feign concern about the criticism while implying in every conceivable way that critics are oversensitive hysterics. The scene is pitched at O'Brien's show site with: "To answer charges of sexism in 'Star Trek,' J.J. shows a cut scene of Benedict Cumberbatch showering." Which pretty much sums it right the fuck up.
O'Brien: We had the beautiful Alice Eve on the show last night—Again, women's bodies and men's bodies are not objectified in the same way, and that is a truly contemptible argument that anyone should be embarrassed to make in the year of our lord Jesus Jones two thousand and thirteen. Even if they were (AND THEY ARE NOT), the scenes of Marcus in her underwear and Kirk in bed with a naked woman (who has no other role in the film) are fundamentally different in that Kirk breaches Marcus' consent by looking her in direct contravention of her explicit request that he not look. That's not showing Kirk to be a "womanizer"; it's showing Kirk to be a predator who's committing a sexual assault.
O'Brien: —who does a terrific job in the movie, and I guess [clears throat] you've been taking some heat for a scene—
O'Brien: —I didn't personally see what the fuss was about; I was quite happy about the scene—uh, but, um, there's this scene where, uh, Alice Eve—Kirk gets a quick look at her in her underwear—
Abrams: Well, she's changing—
Abrams: —and the idea was, the intent was it's Kirk, who was always a sort of womanizing character.
Abrams: The idea was: Have a beat like that in the midst of all this action and adventure—
O'Brien: He takes a quick peek, yeah.
Abrams: —have a scene where he looks and then looks away. I don't think I quite edited the scene in the right way, but, look, she, she—to me, it was a sort of balance—there's a scene earlier where he's not dressed, either, so I felt like it was a sort of, you know, a trade-off. But some people did feel like it was, uh, uh, you know, exploiting her [gesture to indicate he thinks that's absurd], and, while she is lovely, I can also see their point of view.
O'Brien: Okay, well, there is—I think we should explore this more. This is the photo still of her in the scene. [puts up still shot from film of Alice Eve in her underwear; laughter and applause] Very beautiful. Uh, and I, you know—
O'Brien: And you defended this—you can take it away, that's okay; our director wanted to keep it up— [cuts back to the show; laughter]
Abrams: I'm not defending it, but, but, but, but I think there's a picture of Kirk, who's also— [puts up still shot from film of Kirk, shirtless in bed, with a disrobed female character behind him, her arm wrapped around him, gazing at him] And the other thing—he, he's like, he's [inaudible] for girls—
O'Brien: Yeah, so that's okay, that should balance it out.
Abrams: We had a scene—this is true—we had a scene, a shot, of the, the, the villain, played by Benedict Cumberbatch—  We had a scene with him where we saw him actually, uh, taking a shower. And, uh, I actually brought a piece of the clip—
O'Brien: This didn't make it—
Abrams: It's not in the movie, but we had this, and this is one of those things we ended up cutting, so we can show it…
O'Brien: Let's take a look at this. [footage of Benedict Cumberbatch from mid-chest up, taking a shower, with a very serious look on his face and accompanied by serious music; cheers and applause] Wow. He's not enjoying that shower very much. [laughter]
Abrams: No, he—that was a shower of evil.
O'Brien: Yeah. A shower of evil. [laughter] You know, I saw that just seconds before the show, and I thought: That would look better with different music.
Abrams: What do you mean?
O'Brien: This is just—well, take a look. [same clip, but set to porn music; laughter and applause]
Abrams: You know, uh, I—I would've used it if we had had that music. I would've kept it in the movie.
O'Brien: [laughs] You didn't have access to that kind of—
Abrams: That's true!
O'Brien: I have a budget here that you could never dream of.
Abrams' claim that the scene of Marcus isn't exploitative is further undermined by his attempt to equate it with a deleted scene of Benedict Cumberbatch in a shower, which is "improved" by setting it to porn music. Of course he knows it's exploitative garbage that isn't the same as a scene of a disrobed man; that's why it takes broadcasting on national television a pornified deleted scene of a male character to try to "balance" its inclusion. In his pathetic attempt at defending the scene, Abrams underscores exactly why it's indefensible.
Finally: I find utterly reprehensible the idea that, if only we try hard enough!, we can somehow sexually objectify men just as effectively as we do women, in order to justify the continued objectification of women's bodies. That's not progress. That's a step forward only in a race to the bottom, and there is little to be gained by pretending that service to the lowest common denominator is a favorable equalizer.
Sexual objectification is dehumanizing. I don't want things to be "just as bad" for men. I want things to be better for us all.
"Men aren't asked about age. Men aren't asked about their children. Not that these things aren't important, but I do feel like it becomes reductive when a woman's life becomes, 'Talk to me about your kids and how you feel about plastic surgery.'"—Actress Julianne Moore, in the June issue of DuJour.
I also really loved this bit from the same interview:
"We try to impose a narrative on everything where it doesn't exist, because we like narrative," she says, after I ask a general question about the arc of her career. "We love story—I particularly love story—and so we think, That was the beginning, and this is the middle, and then there's going to be the conclusion. We even talk about it! Like, in magazines, they'll say, 'This next chapter of her life...' Chapter? Like something ended, and you're beginning something new, when really there's just a continuum. The fact of the matter is, you can't impose a narrative until someone's dead, because you don't know what's going to happen.Love her.
"There's not an arc," she goes on, "just a line that moves forward, without being able to see past the horizon. That's my philosophy these days: I don't try to go ahead of that, because there's no sense in it. Ahead of that, you don't know what's going to happen. It's not true. It's not real. It's imagined."
[Content Note: Fat hatred; lookism; bullying; eliminationism.]
So, many years ago, Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries did an interview with Salon all about how the brand is for young, thin, attractive people. It's one of those interviews that's a classic in fat-hating among the fat activist community, but it recently started getting more widespread attention. At Forbes, Barbara Thau traces how Jeffries' old comments found new life and went viral recently after "Business Insider quoted Robin Lewis, co-author of The New Rules of Retail and CEO of newsletter The Robin Report, weigh[ing] in on Jeffries' 7-year old remarks, saying, 'He doesn't want larger people shopping in his store.'" Thau notes:
The story went viral, and all manner of protests unfurled. A video of a man handing out A&F clothing to homeless people blew up on YouTube. The Blog The Militant Baker whipped up "Attractive & Fat," a mock Abercrombie ad campaign showcasing a heavy model wearing the retailer's clothes.This entire thing has been very interesting for me to watch, for several reasons. As I noted in a conversation mostly with Amadi and femmina on Twitter, I'm rather bitterly amused at the dedicated outrage at A&F, whose chief is merely more outspoken about not having a plus-size line. It would be easier for me to list the designers who do offer a plus-sized line, than the ones who don't. And then there are the retailers, like Old Navy, who offer plus-size lines, but only online, because they don't want fatties uglying up the shop. Do all the people getting angry at A&F think that most other retailers don't treat fat people the same way? Because whoooooooooops they do.
Then celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres and Kirstie Alley offered up their contempt for the chain's anti full-figured ways.
The thing that makes A&F different, at least for many of the people currently jumping on the A&F shaming wagon, is that Mike Jeffries has had a lot of plastic surgery in pursuit of the youthful beauty ideal the brand privileges. And never mind that he's fucked with his face because he has a history of being bullied and disordered eating: He is a perfect target for mockery, by people who want to feign concern about fat people as a cloak to bully him about his appearance.
In the past couple of days, I have seen all kinds of cheers and applause for Ellen Degeneres, whose "Fitch, please!" video includes the admirable line: "As long as you're healthy and you're happy, that's the most important thing." Which would indeed be awesome, if Ellen Degeneres weren't also a prominent celebrity endorser of Jamie Oliver's eliminiationist, fat-hating "OBESITY IS PREVENTABLE" campaign.
Listen, I want allies who call out anti-fat bigtory, but jumping on a really random bandwagon and pretending to be an ally in order to make fun of someone's appearance isn't being an ally. And pretending you're some kind of crusader for tolerance when you're also a supporter of a campaign that literally and explicitly wants to stop people who look like me from existing isn't being an ally. All of that? Is appropriative, opportunistic bullshit.
And where are the cheers and applause for Kirstie Alley, or for the fat people who have been saying this shit about A&F and every other retailer who discriminates against fat people for years? Oh right. We're fat. So who cares what we have to say for and about ourselves.
(Content note: military sexual trauma, rape culture, hostility to consent]
After nearly two years of requests from Stars and Stripes, the U.S. Army finally released the 28-page report of a task force convened to address the problems of sexual assault at Army installations in South Korea.
If you have the spoons, you may want to read the whole thing, as it very thoroughly goes over the rape culture problem of the Army, many of which are familiar territory (i.e., survivors are afraid to speak out for fear of being disciplined themselves; there are insufficient numbers of female unit victim advocates, etc.)
The report particularly singles out problems in the leadership. It notes, for example, that sexual assault prevention isn't taken seriously, but "perceived as a mandated check-the-block requirement to be quickly completed rather than training to a level of working knowledge." In light of that, it is depressing but unsurprising that the task force's findings also included the following (bold emphasis mine):
There is a lack of knowledge among leadership about how to handle reported sexual assaults. The report implied that leaders, along with their subordinates, might not even be able to distinguish between consensual sex and sexual assault. “Questions remain about what constitutes consent,” the draft said.
"Might not even be able to distinguish." "Questions remain." Sure.
And is the Army getting right on task with addressing the report's findings? Well, not so much:
According to military officials at the time, the task force was initially scheduled to present its findings to the Eighth Army commander within a matter of months.
However, nearly two years later, Eighth Army officials say that the report has yet to be finalized and approved by leadership, even though some of the task force’s recommendations, such as the installation of closed-circuit cameras in barracks, were enacted more than a year ago.
I have plumbed the depths of my vocabulary of profanities, and still I find no words for how contemptible this is.
[Content Note: War; death.]
In his first major speech on counterterrorism of his second term, Mr. Obama hopes to refocus the epic conflict that has defined American priorities since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and even foresees an unspecified day when the so-called war on terror might all but end, according to people briefed on White House plans.So, the administration discloses it has killed four US citizens in drone strikes, and defended those killings by "arguing that its actions were justified by the danger to the United States," and we're supposed to feel better than the administration is revisiting its drone policy to use it only when there's a threat to the US, which was the justification just used to defend the droning of US citizens on foreign soil. Cool. I feel totally confident that this is meaningful change in our reprehensible drone policy. (No, I don't.)
As part of the shift in approach, the administration on Wednesday formally acknowledged for the first time that it had killed four American citizens in drone strikes outside the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, arguing that its actions were justified by the danger to the United States. Mr. Obama approved providing new information to Congress and the public about the rules governing his attacks on Al Qaeda and its allies.
A new classified policy guidance signed by Mr. Obama will sharply curtail the instances when unmanned aircraft can be used to attack in places that are not overt war zones, countries like Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. The rules will impose the same standard for strikes on foreign enemies now used only for American citizens deemed to be terrorists.
Lethal force will be used only against targets who pose "a continuing, imminent threat to Americans" and cannot feasibly be captured, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a letter to Congress.
Suggested by Shaker Nice_Shirt: "What do you really hate, but wish you liked? (Food, genre of music, activity, etc.)"
I hate eggs, and I wish I liked them, because I love the idea of quiches and omelets and other eggy dishes, but I just can't even think about eating egg.
"We're thinking about you, London," said Tom and the puppy.
Shaker GoldFishy sent this to me. Trying to find the original source, I discovered it's actually an old image—apparently something Glamour ran in 2008. But I'd never seen it before, and I figured I might not be alone in never having gazed upon this extraordinary work of pantsuit art!
True Fact: One of the times I was able to see Hillary Clinton speak during the 2008 primaries, she was wearing one of the most beautiful pink blazers I've ever seen.
[Content Note: Sexual assault.]
So far this month: An Air Force sexual assault prevention chief was charged with a sexual assault; an Air Force brochure on sexual assault was found to engage in victim-blaming and advise potential victims to submit to attackers; the Air Force's top commander blamed "the hookup mentality" for the US military's pervasive rape problem; Fort Hood's sexual assault prevention chief was relieved of his duties pending an investigation for "abusive sexual contact, pandering, assault and maltreatment of subordinates"; and the head of Fort Campbell's sexual assault response program was arrested after violating an order of protection.
And now this:
A sergeant first class on the staff of the United States Military Academy at West Point faces charges for allegedly videotaping female cadets without their consent, sometimes when they were in the shower, according to Army officials.So, just to recap, the person responsible for the health and welfare of a company of cadets at an institution that is 15% female is alleged to have been secretly filming female cadets in the shower.
...The suspect, Sgt. First Class Michael McClendon, faces charges under four articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for indecent acts, dereliction in the performance of duty, cruelty and maltreatment, and actions prejudicial to good order and discipline. Sergeant McClendon, who had been assigned to the school since 2009, was transferred to Fort Drum, N.Y., after charges were filed on May 14, Army officials said.
During his tenure at West Point, Sergeant McClendon served as a "tactical noncommissioned officer," described in academy personnel documents as a staff adviser "responsible for the health, welfare and discipline" of a company of 125 cadets. The person in the position is expected to "assist each cadet in balancing and integrating the requirements of physical, military, academic and moral-ethical programs."
For the record, sexual assault is not conducive to one's health nor one's welfare.
That statement probably seems laughably self-evident, but apparently there is still some question about its veracity in the US military.
[H/T to Jordan.]
[Content Note: Misogyny; FGC; domestic violence; rape culture.]
"In the last two-and-a-half years, we have seen remarkable and hopeful development in world history. Just think about it: More than 50 million men, women and children have been liberated from two of the most brutal tyrannies on earth—50 million people are free. All these people are now learning the blessings of freedom."—Then-President George Bush, at a White House Celebration of International Women's Day, March 12, 2004, referring to the "success" of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Women's lives worse than ever."—The actual headline of a February 2008 article in The Independent about the state of women's (and girls') lives in Afghanistan, six years after our war to "liberate" them.
FMF News, today: Afghan Women Arrested for 'Moral Crimes' Increases 50%.
A new report by the Human Rights Watch shows that in the past 18 months the number of women in Afghanistan incarcerated for 'moral crimes' has increased from 400 to 600, a 50% growth."The rights of women and all human beings can be assured only within the framework of freedom and democracy. If people aren't free, it is likely that women will be suppressed. Human rights are defined by a constitution; they're defended by an impartial rule of law; they're secured in a pluralistic society. The advance of women's rights and the advance of liberty are ultimately inseparable."—Then-President George Bush, from the same 2004 International Women's Day speech.
Many of the women imprisoned for moral crimes were arrested running away from forced or abusive marriages and families, even though there is no law against leaving. Others are imprisoned for rape, as it is considered "forced adultery." Many of the women imprisoned were also forced to have "virginity tests," an invasive and medically inaccurate exam. Of the female prison population in Afghanistan, 95% of girls and 50% of women are in jail for moral crimes.
Let us never, ever, forget that George W. Bush sold his bullshit wars partly on the premise that he was going to be making women's lives better. He used the women of Afghanistan and Iraq as political props to justify war, and then abandoned them after destroying their countries. Their lives are not better.
One of many lies he told, one of many false promises that too many USians believed.