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Laughing Liberally at Netroots Nation

17 Jul

Join the performers of Laughing Liberally for a free special engagement at Netroots Nation. Enjoy an evening of laughter from the left with top political comics from Comedy Central, The Onion and the Laughing Liberally National Tour. Featuring Netroots Nation favorites including Lee Camp, Katie Halper, Negin Farsad, Julianna Forlano, Baratunde Thurston, Lizz Winstead, Elon James White and more.  Laughing Liberally, the national comedy project of Living Liberally, has been touring the country, producing videos and special campaigns with progressive partners, running Off-Broadway in New York City and is preparing an election season of political laughter across the country. laughingliberally.org.

Starts: Thursday, Jun. 7 9:15 PM

Ends: Thursday, Jun. 7 11:00 PM

Room: Rotunda

See more about the event and each of the panelists at the Netroots Nation website.

Caveman rapist accessories are a huge hit on Fox News

17 Jul

Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 11.56.34 PM

If there’s one thing men and women can agree on, it’s that accessories depicting pre-historic rape are awesome.

But don’t take my word for it. Check out what happened on “Outnumbered,” the Fox TV  program featuring four lady anchors and one lucky guy guest. With its daring coverage of such topics as apps that let you stalk your boyfriend’s cell phone, the show offers TV journalism at its best. But that doesn’t mean “Outnumbered” doesn’t know how to have a good time. On Friday, as the episode was wrapping up, an extremely astute and observant Sandra Smith pointed out something(s) adorning the wrists of guy guest Charles Payne, the businessman, TV and radio show host and settlement-paying alleged violator of the SEC: ”I just caught the bling on your cufflinks. What are the cufflinks by the way?”

Payne went on to describe the scene captured by his cufflinks with the clarity and detail of an art historian or anthropologist:

This is a, this is a caveman dragging a woman by the hair with one club in one hand and the woman in the other hand.

The women, understandably, chuckled with delight.

Read the rest at Raw Story

 

“Las Libres” film on Mexican women convicted for homicide for abortions is coming to a theater near you

16 Jul
image via Las Libres

image via Las Libres

Las Libres, a Mexican documentary about the struggle to free women convicted for homicide and thrown in jail for having abortions is coming to a theater (possibly) near you. And you’ll want to see it.

We’ve written about Las Libres before, but in case you missed it, the documentary focuses on how Las Libres, a women’s human’s rights organization in Mexico, fought to free six women who had been incarcerated and convicted of homicide for terminating their pregnancies. (One of the women hadn’t even had an abortion, but had miscarried. But that didn’t matter.) All of them were sentenced to between 20 and 30 years in jail. As I wrote:

The case of Adriana Manzanares is a especially frightening example of the way different forms of sexism interact. Adriana didn’t actually terminate her pregnancy. She miscarried. And when her community found out, they threw stones at her. Even more perverse is the fact that Adriana miscarried because she had already been hit with stones and rocks for committing adultery. Adriana’s husband had been gone for years working in the United States, so she started a relationship with a man who would become her boyfriend and became pregnant. When her husband came back he beat his pregnant wife. Then Adriana’s father beat her. And finally, members of the community beat her. So some of the very people who beat Adriana and caused her miscarriage would later throw stones at her for miscarrying.

And now, you can see the movie, which is going on tour! The documentary, as well as its director and representatives Las Libres will be at the U.S. premiere this Thursday, July 17th, at NYU, where it will be presented by the Latina Institute for Health. And the movie will also be having various screenings in Mexico and Argentina. If you want to bring the movie to your community, reach out to them on Facebook.

And catch the trailer below.

Las libres Official Trailer from Gustavo Montana on Vimeo.

Originally posted on Feministing.com

Infographic: How gun background checks save women’s lives

16 Jul
Image via Everytown

Image via Everytown

Everytown, an organization which advocates for gun safety, published this infographic, as well as a report on how the US’s weak gun laws put domestic violence victims at risk. It found that:

  • Federal law does not keep guns out of the hands of abusive dating partners or convicted stalkers.
  • Many state gun laws fail to protect domestic violence victims.
  • Federal law and the law in most states, allows domestic abusers and stalkers to easily evade gun prohibitions by purchasing guns from unlicensed, private sellers.
  • Forty-one states do not require all prohibited domestic abusers to relinquish guns they already own.

Check out the full infographic after the jump. 

Women and Gun Violence V3

Originally published on Feministing.com

5 Atheist and Muslim Billboards That Really Pissed Off Right-Wing Christians

15 Jul

Ads that promote other religious beliefs and atheism are likely to rile up the Christian right.

In weeks past, we’ve brought you some outrageous signs and billboards posted by right-wing Christian churches. It turns out certain people can dish it out a lot better than they can take it. Here are some signs posted by people of other beliefs that caused major upset among conservative Christians.

1. Come out of the Christian Closet!

Photo Credit: American Atheists

The organization American Atheists doesn’t hate Christmas. They believe in celebrating the holiday season. They just don’t think the religious stuff makes sense.  Or, as they put it on a billboard in Manhattan’s Time Square, “Keep the MERRY. Dump the MYTH.”  Now, it may look at first glance like these American Atheists are themselves confused. They don’t buy the whole son of god thing, but they’re OK with Santa Claus? Seems pretty gullible to me. What they’re saying, of course, is that they enjoy the Christmas festivities without needing it to be Christian. As the organization’s president David Silverman explained, “If you know god is a myth, you do not have to lie and call yourself ‘Christian’ in order to have a festive holiday season. You can be merry without the myth, and indeed, you should…. We encourage people to be honest with themselves and their families this year. If you don’t believe in God, tell your family — honesty is the greatest gift, and they deserve it.”

The billboard inspired not only honesty but some major wit from Answers in Genesis, the multimillion-dollar Christian ministry behind the Creation Museum outside Cincinnati. They responded by spending $200,000 on their own Time Square ad, which  read, “To all of our atheist friends: Thank God you’re wrong.”  As Answers in Genesis president Ken Ham explained, “We’re not trying to attack them personally, but we do believe they’re wrong. From an atheist’s perspective, they believe when they die, they cease to exist. And we say no, you’re not going to cease to exist; you’re going to spend eternity with God or without God. And if you’re an atheist, you’re going to be spending it without God.” Sounds pretty Christian to me.

2. Merry Xmas and Happy Holocaust!

Photo Credit: atheists.org

Lest you think American Atheists limit themselves to flat graphic art, they also posted  a video on a digital billboard  in Time Square. Guess they like the neighborhood. “Who needs Christ during Christmas?” asked the 40′ x 40′ installation last December.  According to American Atheists president David Silverman , Christmas isn’t just for Christians: “We all love this time of year…Christianity has been trying to claim ownership of the season for hundreds of years. But the winter solstice came first and so did its traditions. The season belongs to everybody.”

But not everyone was so happy about this Happy Holiday billboard. State Senator Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island)  called the billboard an “expression of hatred,” saying, “Just as millions of Americans are preparing to celebrate Christmas, the American Atheists organization has ridiculed the solemn beliefs of millions of New Yorkers.” What’s worse, this billboard, like so many other things that have absolutely nothing to do with the Holocaust, will lead to the holocaust: “Religious persecution of the kind that similarly led to the Holocaust began with small baby steps of ridicule and hatred of the religious beliefs of others.”

Continue reading and see the rest of the billboards at alternet.org

Why same-sex parents have healthier and happier kids

11 Jul
image via http://myfertilitychoices.com/2012/09/same-sex-parenting-is-on-the-rise/

(Image via fertility choices)

Sorry, bitter homophobes. It turns out having two mommies or two daddies doesn’t make you a sick and unhappy child. A new study not only debunks this claim but suggests that kids raised by lesbian or gay parents score better when it comes to measures like family cohesion and general health. And the potential reason may — or may not — surprise you. 

The study from the University of Melbourne, Australia surveyed 315 same-sex parents and 500 children and found that, overall, the kids were just as happy and healthy as the kids of the general population. The only difference was that, “children from same-sex families scored, on average, 6% better on two key measures, general health and family cohesion, even when controlling for a number of sociodemographic factors such as parent education and household income.”

Not surprisingly, the study, published in the journal BMC Public Health, showed that same-sex families do face stigma which has a negative effect on the mental health of children. But families of all backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities can be stigmatized for several things. So how does one explain the fact that children from same-sex families are doing so well?

According to Simon Crouch, MD, a public health doctor and the lead researcher in the study, it may well derive from the lack of conformity to gender stereotypes when it comes to splitting household responsibilities:

Interestingly, there is growing evidence to suggest that the structure of same-sex parent families, particularly in relation to work and home duties, plays an important part in how well families get along. Same-sex parents, for instance, are more likely to share child care and work responsibilities more equitably than heterosexual-parent families.

This freedom from traditional and confining roles means that parents can divide their labor according to strengths and what makes them happy:

So what this means is that people take on roles that are suited to their skill sets rather than falling into those gender stereotypes, which is mum staying home and looking after the kids and dad going out to earn money.

What this leads to is a more harmonious family unit and therefore feeding on to better health and wellbeing.

Of course, these lessons can apply to all kinds of families and relationships. If only the people who insist on pathologizing same-sex child-rearing knew about this. Maybe if they were happier in their own lives they wouldn’t spread lies about the non-existent dangers of having gay or lesbian parents.

Morning Jew 39: Luis Suarez, Dating a Spanish futbolista & Nazi Jazz Hands!

2 Jul

Comics Heather Gold (@heathr) and Katie Halper (@kthalps) look at the headlines and ask: Is it good for the Jews? Today we return to the World Cup and discuss Javier Suarez: the bite that was felt around the world. Plus we talk about the soccer team called “The Jews” by its fans, and the soccer player whose grandparent was a holocaust survivor. And guess which Jewish dated a closeted Spanish soccer player!

European Court upholds France’s veil ban because covered faces make people uncomfortable

2 Jul

In a surprisingly honest but disturbing decision, the European Court of Human Rights upheld France’s ban on the full-faced veil because veiling makes people uncomfortable.

S.A.S. is a 24-year-old French Muslim woman who wears a full-faced veil or niqab. She challenged the 2010 French law–which we’ve covered before–that bans wearing clothing that covers the face in public and imposes a fine of 150-euro ($205) and/or citizenship instruction. The ban, S.A.S. argued before the European Court of Human Rights, violates the European Convention on Human Rights, specifically the freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, and the prohibition of discrimination. The Court, however, disagreed and upheld the ban in a decision that cannot be appealed.

Why, according to the Court, is the ban OK? Is it a safety issue related to concealing ones identity? No. And, it is worth noting, S.A.S. willingly removes her niqab for identity check purposes at places like airports and banks, for example.

Is it about protecting women from alleged coercion? No. As the court said, “The applicant also emphasised that neither her husband nor any other member of her family put pressure on her to dress in this manner” and that she “wished to be able to wear it when she chose to do so… to feel at inner peace with herself.” And the Court explicitly rejected the claim of the French government that the ban related to women’s rights: “The Government referred to the need to ensure ‘respect for the minimum set of values of an open democratic society’, listing three values in that connection: respect for gender equality, respect for human dignity and respect for the minimum requirements of life in society (or of ‘living together’).” Though the Court ”dismiss[ed] the arguments relating to the first two of those values, the Court accepted that the barrier raised against others by a veil concealing the face in public could undermine the notion of ‘living together’. In that connection, it indicated that it took into account the State’s submission that the face played a significant role in social interaction.”

So, according to the Court, “living together” requires being able to see people’s faces. And, according to the Court, covering ones face violates the rights of individuals who, “might not wish to see, in places open to all, practices or attitudes which would fundamentally call into question the possibility of open interpersonal relationships, which, by virtue of an established consensus, formed an indispensable element of community life within the society in question. ” Forcing people to see other people wearing veils violated “the right of others to live in a space of socialisation which made living together easier.”

Amnesty International’s John Dalhuisen described the ironic consequences of the ruling: “As the European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly insisted, discomfort and shock are the price democratic societies must pay precisely to enable ‘living together’. The reality is that in forcing people to ‘live together’, this ruling will end up forcing a small minority to live apart, as it effectively obliges women to choose between the expressing their religious beliefs and being in public.”

If France and the European Union are really committed to “living together” they must defend and protect the rights of all citizens, not just the majority.

Originally posted on Feministing.com

Morning Jew Ep. 38: Live from Rio! The World Cup’s Only Jew & Naked Soccer Players

28 Jun

Comics Heather Gold (@heathr) and Katie Halper (@kthalps) look at the headlines and ask: Is it good for the Jews? This week, we talk to special guest  Brazilian Journalist Mariana Rebuá Simões about the World Cup, and naked soccer players and their hair. Plus, who is the one Jew in the entire World Cup? Found out! And celebrate how soccer is the only professional sport which lets us objectify men!

Morning Jew 37: Mark Cuban, Jews Owning Sports Teams, Bulletproof Blankets

27 Jun

 

Comics Heather Gold (@heathr) and Katie Halper (@kthalps) look at the headlines and ask: Is it good for the Jews? We pick up where our Canadian-storm-technical-difficulties set in last week and answer the question on everyone’s mind: why are so many sports’ team owners Jewish? Heather reveals an offer once made to her about Mark Cuban, bulletproof blanket scheme is bizarrely good for the Jews and the secrets of almond milk and the Catholic Church are revealed.

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