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Archive for the ‘Sexism’ Category

Stupid is as Stupid does: Farage in the U.S.


‘Once, young conservatives in the US looked across the ocean to Margaret Thatcher. Now the model is Nigel Farage. According to The Guardian, the garrulous chain-smoker has become the model of trans-Atlantic conservativism to many on the right. The Brexit vote was greeted with jubilation by many on the American right. On talk radio, Rush Limbaugh praised the vote as a nation of people rising up against the ruling class and the elites, while Fox TV’s Sean Hannity described the Leave vote as “the British people, in their very polite way, showed Obama their middle finger”. And while Donald Trump vocally endorsed Brexit, many vehement Trump opponents on the American right also did so as well. Ted Cruz called the result “a wake-up call for internationalist bureaucrats from Brussels to Washington DC that some free nations still wish to preserve their national sovereignty”. As the American right combines long-standing suspicion of big government and growing hawkishness on immigration, the admiration for Farage and UKIP in the US is only likely to grow. Published on Jun 28, 2016′.

Seen from this side of the world. one cannot but be struck by the fact that people across the pond oftentimes, if not all the time, appear to be totally clueless. As such, Mister Farage has been biting the hand that feeds for the past 17 years, pocketing his MEP salary and stashing it away in an offshore tax haven . . . Farage, it turns out, set up a “trust fund in an offshore tax haven which could have enabled him to cut his tax bill. Farage, who previously condemned tax avoiders in a speech to the European parliament, said that he paid a tax adviser to set up the Farage Family Educational Trust 1654 on the Isle of Man”.[1] Apart from being a populist and jingoistic opportunist, Mister Farage also shows himself to be a first class hypocrite at the end of the day.


And now, Conservatives in the U.S. have apparently discovered this little man as well . . . replacing Maggie Thatcher and rivalling the Drumpf in his appeal to the uninformed and intellectually ill-equipped. This really is a brave new world we live in today . . . Farage to a newspaper that “[m]y financial advisers recommended I did it, to have a trust really for inheritance purposes and I took the advice and I set it up. It was a mistake. I was a completely unsuitable person for it. I am not blaming them, it was my fault. It’s a vehicle that you chuck things in through your life that you don’t need and you build up a trust fund for your children or grandchildren. It was called an educational trust and could have been used for grandchildren’s schools fees, things like that. It was a mistake for three reasons. Firstly, I’m not rich enough to need one and I am never going to be. Secondly, frankly, the world has changed. Things that we thought were absolutely fair practice 10 years, 20 years ago, 30 years ago aren’t any more. Thirdly, it was a mistake because it cost me money. I sent a cheque off to set it up”.[2] In his own words, somebody has thus for years been making the wrong plans for Nigel . . .



[1] Rajeev Syal, “Nigel Farage admits setting up tax haven trust fund was a mistake” The Guardian (21 June 2013). http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/jun/21/nigel-farage-tax-haven-trust-fund-mistake.

[2] Rajeev Syal, “Nigel Farage admits setting up tax haven trust fund was a mistake”.

Mass Murder of Women in Turkey Today


It has been quite a while now that I posted “[v]iolence against Women in Turkey: A 1,400% Increase in Seven Years”,[1] and sadly the situation has all but deteriorated over the past years. Now that Turkey is steadfastly moving down the post-Kemalist path towards the establishment of a veritable AKP Sultanate of Kitsch, the issue of women’s rights and gender equality has taken on a particularly troubling outlook. Recently, the Doğan News Agency reported that “[s]ome 413 murders of women were reported by the Turkish media in 2015, the Umut (Hope) Foundation has stated in a new report, underlining that the trend has been increasing since the beginning of 2016. The foundation called on Feb. 16 for NGOs to conduct comprehensive studies on the issue, which it described as a ‘mass murder of women’. It said the death toll ranged from women older than 85 to a six-week-old fetus. Of the 413 killings, 309 were a result of armed attacks, and 40 women have been killed since the beginning of January 2016 alone. Most young women were killed because they requested a divorce or separation from their partners, the foundation noted, adding that many cases involved victims of ‘shady suicides’, mostly in southeastern provinces. In addition, data shows that 55 husbands committed suicide after killing their wives from the beginning of January 2015”.[2]


The Umut Vakfı press statement concluded that in Turkey today “[o]ne in three women is subjected to violence”.[3] In the Turkish press it is not uncommon to come across a sentence like this one: a “local man in the southeastern province of Gaziantep disappeared after killing his wife, who had demanded a divorce, and eight other family members, using a pump-action rifle”.[4]

Sultana – Biz Neysek

The above YouTube clip was released on 17 February 2016: “Biz Neysek bir sosyal sorumluluk projesidir. My social responsibility song to raise awareness for female existence”. Sultana [born Songül Aktürk] is a rapper and pop singer, born and raised in Turkey who “holds her mirror to social and women’s issues as a young artist living both in Turkey and the United States”.[5]


[1] “Violence against Women in Turkey: A 1,400% Increase in Seven Years” The Erimtan Angle (21 Sep 2011). https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/violence-against-women-in-turkey-a-1400-increase-in-seven-years/.

[2] “413 women killed across Turkey since start of 2015 according to media: Association” Hürriyet Daily News (17 Feb 2016). http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/413-women-killed-across-turkey-since-start-of-2015-according-to-media-association.aspx?pageID=238&nID=95308&NewsCatID=339.

[3] “413 women killed across Turkey since start of 2015 according to media: Association”.

[4] “413 women killed across Turkey since start of 2015 according to media: Association”.

[5] “Sultana (2)” Discogs. https://www.discogs.com/artist/600409-Sultana-2.

Islamic State Sex Manual or Su’al wa-Jawab fi al-Sabi wa-Riqab

The Zionist Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has a specific Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM), which scrutinizes ‘Islamist terrorism and violent extremism worldwide, with special focus on activity within and emanating from the Arab world, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran’. And at the beginning of the month, the JTTM published an English language translation of the Islamic State’s Pamphlet On Female Slaves or rather Su’al wa-Jawab fi al-Sabi wa-Riqab (“Questions and Answers on Taking Captives and Slaves”) dated Muharram 1436 (October/November 2014).[i]  This translation was culled from excerpts from the pamphlet, posted on a pro-ISIS Twitter account (Umar Khatab, @U112842). The question-and-answer format corresponds to the compositional makeup of fatwas, and therefore, the documents pronouncements have to be regarded as incumbent upon believers or rather members of the Islamic State.

Here follows the translation:

“Question 1: What is al-sabi?

“Al-Sabi is a woman from among ahl al-harb [the people of war] who has been captured by Muslims.

“Question 2: What makes al-sabi permissible?

“What makes al-sabi permissible [i.e., what makes it permissible to take such a woman captive] is [her] unbelief. Unbelieving [women] who were captured and brought into the abode of Islam are permissible to us, after the imam distributes them [among us].”

“Question 3: Can all unbelieving women be taken captive?

“There is no dispute among the scholars that it is permissible to capture unbelieving women [who are characterized by] original unbelief [kufr asli], such as the kitabiyat [women from among the People of the Book, i.e. Jews and Christians] and polytheists. However, [the scholars] are disputed over [the issue of] capturing apostate women. The consensus leans towards forbidding it, though some people of knowledge think it permissible. We [the Islamic State] lean towards accepting the consensus”

“Question 4: Is it permissible to have intercourse with a female captive?

“It is permissible to have sexual intercourse with the female captive. Allah the almighty said: ‘[Successful are the believers] who guard their chastity, except from their wives or (the captives and slaves) that their right hands possess, for then they are free from blame [Koran 23:5-6]'”

“Question 5: Is it permissible to have intercourse with a female captive immediately after taking possession [of her]?

“If she is a virgin, he [her master] can have intercourse with her immediately after taking possession of her. However, is she isn’t, her uterus must be purified [first]”

“Question 6: Is it permissible to sell a female captive?

“It is permissible to buy, sell, or give as a gift female captives and slaves, for they are merely property, which can be disposed of [as long as that doesn’t cause [the Muslim ummah] any harm or damage.”

“Question 7: Is it permissible to separate a mother from her children through [the act of] buying and selling?

“It is not permissible to separate a mother from her prepubescent children through buying, selling or giving away [a captive or slave]. [But] it is permissible to separate them if the children are grown and mature.”

“Question 8: If two or more [men] buy a female captive together, does she then become [sexually] permissible to each of them?

“It is forbidden to have intercourse with a female captive if [the master] does not own her exclusively. One who owns [a captive] in partnership [with others] may not have sexual intercourse with her until the other [owners] sell or give him [their share].”

“Question 9: If the female captive was impregnated by her owner, can he then sell her?

“He can’t sell her if she becomes the mother of a child”

“Question 10: If a man dies, what is the law regarding the female captive he owned?

“Female captives are distributed as part of his estate, just as all [other parts] of his estate [are distributed]. However, they may only provide services, not intercourse, if a father or [one of the] sons has already had intercourse with them, or if several [people] inherit them in partnership.”

“Question 11: May a man have intercourse with the female slave of his wife?

“A man may not have intercourse with the female slave of his wife, because [the slave] is owned by someone else.”

“Question 12: May a man kiss the female slave of another, with the owner’s permission?

“A man may not kiss the female slave of another, for kissing [involves] pleasure, and pleasure is prohibited unless [the man] owns [the slave] exclusively.”

“Question 13: Is it permissible to have intercourse with a female slave who has not reached puberty?

“It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn’t reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse; however if she is not fit for intercourse, then it is enough to enjoy her without intercourse.”

“Question 14: What private parts of the female slave’s body must be concealed during prayer?

“Her private body parts [that must be concealed] during prayer are the same as those [that must be concealed] outside [prayer], and they [include] everything besides the head, neck, hands and feet.”

“Question 15: May a female slave meet foreign men without wearing a hijab?

“A female slave is allowed to expose her head, neck, hands, and feet in front of foreign men if fitna [enticement] can be avoided. However, if fitna is present, or of there is fear that it will occur, then it [i.e. exposing these body parts becomes] forbidden.”

“Question 16: Can two sisters be taken together while taking slaves?

“It is permissible to have two sisters, a female slave and her aunt [her father’s sister], or a female slave and her aunt [from her mother’s side]. But they cannot be together during intercourse, [and] whoever has intercourse with one of them cannot have intercourse with the other, due to the general [consensus] over the prohibition of this.”

“Question 17: What is al-‘azl?

Al-‘azl is refraining from ejaculating on a woman’s pudendum [i.e. coitus interruptus].”

“Question 18: May a man use the al-‘azl [technique] with his female slave?

“A man is allowed [to use] al-‘azl during intercourse with his female slave with or without her consent.”

“Question 19: Is it permissible to beat a female slave?

“It is permissible to beat the female slave as a [form of] darb ta’deeb [disciplinary beating], [but] it is forbidden to [use] darb al-takseer [literally, breaking beating], [darb] al-tashaffi [beating for the purpose of achieving gratification], or [darb] al-ta’dheeb [torture beating]. Further, it is forbidden to hit the face.”

Question 20: What is the ruling regarding a female slave who runs away from her master?

“A male or female slave’s running away [from their master] is among the gravest of sins”

“Question 21: What is the earthly punishment of a female slave who runs away from her master?

“She [i.e. the female slave who runs away from her master] has no punishment according to the shari’a of Allah; however, she is [to be] reprimanded [in such a way that] deters others like her from escaping.”

“Question 22: Is it permissible to marry a Muslim [slave] or a kitabiyya [i.e. Jewish or Christian] female slave?

“It is impermissible for a free [man] to marry Muslim or kitabiyat female slaves, except for those [men] who feared to [commit] a sin, that is, the sin of fornication”

“Question 24: If a man marries a female slave who is owned by someone else, who is allowed to have intercourse with her?

“A master is prohibited from having intercourse with his female slave who is married to someone else; instead, the master receives her service, [while] the husband [gets to] enjoy her [sexually].”

“Question 25: Are the huddud [Koranic punishments] applied to female slaves?

“If a female slave committed what necessitated the enforcement of a hadd [on her], a hadd [is then] enforced on her – however, the hadd is reduced by half within the hudud that accepts reduction by half”

“Question 27: What is the reward for freeing a slave girl?

“Allah the exalted said [in the Koran]: ‘And what can make you know what is [breaking through] the difficult pass [hell]? It is the freeing of a slave.’ And [the prophet Muhammad] said: ‘Whoever frees a believer Allah frees every organ of his body from hellfire.'”

[1] “Islamic State (ISIS) Releases Pamphlet On Female Slaves” MEMRI (04 December 2014). http://www.memrijttm.org/islamic-state-isis-releases-pamphlet-on-female-slaves.html.

Religious Fundamentalism Is Wrong???

Via the BBC: “Officials in Pakistan are travelling to a remote north-western region to find out if four women, who apparently sang and watched as two men danced, have been murdered in an honour killing”. Ana Kasparian and Cenk Uygur share their take on religious fundamentalism and judging a culture (11 June 2012).

The BBC reported this story some days ago: ‘Officials in Pakistanare travelling to a remote north-western region to find out if four women, who apparently sang and watched as two men danced, have been murdered in an honour killing. Video footage of the men and women, who gathered as part of a wedding celebration, has been widely seen. Villagers say the women were later killed. Local officials deny this. The men in the video appeared in court on Wednesday charged with creating conditions for tribal violence. Local officials not only failed to produce the women in the court on Wednesday [, 6 June] but were also unable to produce any proof they were still alive, as directed by the court earlier’.[1]  The events took place in the remote area of Kohistan (or the Land of the Mountains).

And as it turns out, the culprit is not necessarily the “culture” of the area, but more likely the influence of a man, namely Maulvi Abdul Haleem. This religious leader, able to issue fatwas among other things, is a well-known enemy of women’s rights.

People, men as well as women, seldom act as a result of their own volition. A certain degree of persuasion and manipulation always helps. Last May, for instance, Abdul Haleem issued this decree, as he told a diligent journalist taking notes: “I issued a decree during Friday sermon [on 4 May 2012] that getting education for degrees by women is repugnant to Islamic injunctions because if a woman gets degree, she may use it for job, an act which Islam doesn’t allow in absence of mehram [close relatives]”.[2]  Rather than simply blaming “religion” or “culture”, these facets of human civilization are easily manipulated by power-hungry leaders of men, such as Maulvi Abdul Haleem, who unscrupulously further their own cause by exploiting the weak. The fact that Mister Abdul Haleem uses the sobriquet maulvi, denoting a high rank of seniority as a scholar of Islam, discloses his envious grip on power of his fellow-men in Kohistan. In a proud voice, the Maulvi even stated that “That’s why girls are not going to schools in Kohistan and girl schools are used as cattle pen”, [3] obviously referring to his own decrees and judgements.

 In order to give an idea of the terrible power wielded by the frustrated maulvi, here is a clip of two Pakistani Girls who have the good fortune not to be living in Kohistan and formed a band called The Cheapmunks.

 And here is a clip of Zeb & Haniya performing their surprise  hit song “Chup”.

[1] “Pakistan probes ‘honour killings’ of four women” BBC News (06 June 2012). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18341379.

[2] “Ex MNA from Kohistan Threatens Working Women” Dawn (05 May 2012). http://www.aboardthedemocracytrain.com/ex-mna-from-kohistan-threatens-working-women.

[3] “Ex MNA from Kohistan Threatens Working Women”.

Pussy Riot: Feminism against Putin

From Moscow, FT’s Charles Clover reported last month that “[t]wo members of an all-girl punk band have been jailed and may face stiff prison sentences for a prank-like performance inside Moscow’s main Orthodox cathedral last month. The harsh treatment of the musicians seemed to signal a rising intolerance for dissent in the wake of Sunday’s presidential elections which won Vladimir Putin a third term as Russian president. It is also a test of sorts for radical feminism – a fringe ideology in macho Russia, yet one which seems to be catching on amid three months of protests against the Kremlin”.[1]

The all-girl punk band mentioned above is the “feminist punk-rock collective” called Pussy Riot. They stage ‘politically provocative impromptu performances in Moscow, on subjects such as the status of women in Russia, and most recently against the election campaign of Prime Minister Putin for president of Russia. Their usual costume is skimpy dresses and tights, even in bitterly cold weather, with their faces masked by brightly colored balaclavas, both while performing and giving interviews, for which they always use pseudonyms. The collective is made up of about 10 performers, and about 15 people who handle the technical work of shooting and editing their videos, which are posted to the Internet. The group cites American punk rock band Bikini Kill and the Riot Grrrl movement of 1990s as an inspiration. “What we have in common is impudence, politically loaded lyrics, the importance of feminist discourse and a non-standard female image,” Pussy Riot said’, as related by the ever-trustworthy Wikipedia.[2]

The Wiki entry goes on to explain: ‘On February 21, 2012, as a part of the growing protest movement against Vladimir Putin, Pussy Riot performed a punk rock song in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In the song, the group prayed to the “Holy Mother, Blessed Virgin” to “chase Putin out.” On March 3, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, two alleged members of Pussy Riot, were arrested by Russian authorities and accused of “hooliganism”, for which they face up to 7 years in prison. Both arrested women deny being members of the group and started a hunger strike in protest against being held in jail away from their young children until their case comes to trial in April. On March 16, another woman, Irina Loktina, who had earlier acted as a witness in this case, was similarly arrested and charged. According to Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners, all women are charged with “hooliganism” according to article 213/2 of the Russian Criminal Code, without any evidence for incriminating such charges, which makes both pre-trial arrest and the charges illegal. This action may cost the women up to seven years in prison, if convicted. All three are recognized as political prisoners by the Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners (SPP). Amnesty International named them prisoners of conscience due to “the severity of the response of the Russian authorities”. However, opinions in Russia about this act and its social acceptability differ significantly. ­Speaking at a liturgy in Moscow’s Deposition of the Robe Cathedral on March 21, 2012, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill I of Moscow condemned Pussy Riot’s actions at Christ the Savior Cathedral as “blasphemous” saying that the “Devil has laughed at all of us. We have no future if we allow mocking in front of great shrines, and if some see such mocking as some sort of valour, as an expression of political protest, as an acceptable action or a harmless joke,” the Patriarch said. Meanwhile, several thousands of Orthodox and Catholic believers, the believers of other religions and even atheists signed a petition to Patriarch Kirill, begging the head of the Russian Orthodox Church to stand up for the girls. inger Alla Pugachyova appealed on the women’s behalf, stating that they should be ordered to perform community service rather than be imprisoned’.[3]

On 19 April 2012, the news agency Reuters reports that ‘Russian police detained at least 13 people who demonstrated outside a courthouse on Thursday against the arrest of three members of a women’s punk rock group that performed a protest song in Moscow’s main cathedral, witnesses said. The court was to decide whether to extend the detention of the three women over the performance, in which the group known as Pussy Riot sang a song against president-elect Vladimir Putin in short dresses and coloured masks in Christ the Saviour Cathedral. About 60 of the group’s supporters chanted “Freedom! Freedom!” outside the beige brick Moscow courthouse and some released green, pink and yellow balloons with Pussy Riot’s trademark masks drawn on them. Scuffles broke out when a Russian Orthodox bystander threw an egg at the husband of one of the three detainees. A Reuters reporter saw police drag at least 13 people off into police vans, two of them for throwing a smoke bomb. The three women could face seven years in jail on hooliganism charges but deny taking part in the protest in February. No date has been set for trial and the court was expected to extend their pre-trial detention. Anger over their arrest has fuelled criticism of the Russian Orthodox Church, whose status has improved vastly since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and which has played an increasingly active role in politics since then’.[4]

[1] Charles Clover, “Russia jails female punk band members” FT (08 March 2012). http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/0112976c-6938-11e1-9618-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1sWY1y9yQ.

[2] “Pussy Riot” Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pussy_Riot.

[3] “Pussy Riot” Wikipedia.

DSK Go Away!!

Angry students chanted “DSK, go away” and “Shame on you” outside the Cambridge University Union Society on Friday, as former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn gave a speech inside. There were scuffles as a few protesters tried to scale a metal barrier outside the building. Police said two people were arrested on suspicion of assaulting police and disruptive behavior (9 March 2012).


The Bro Code: How Contemporary Culture Creates Sexist Men

In The Bro Code, filmmaker Thomas Keith takes aim at the forces in male culture that condition boys and men to dehumanize and disrespect women. Keith breaks down a range of contemporary media forms that are saturated with sexism — movies and music videos that glamorize misogyny; pornography that trades in the brutalization of women; comedy routines that make fun of sexual assault; and a slate of men’s magazines and cable TV shows whose sole purpose is to revel in reactionary myths of American manhood. The message he uncovers in virtually every corner of our entertainment culture is clear: It’s not only normal — but cool — for boys and men to control and humiliate women. By showing how there’s nothing natural or inevitable about this mentality, and by setting it against the terrible reality of men’s violence against women in the real world, The Bro Code challenges young people to step up and fight back against the idea that being a real man means disrespecting women. Featuring interviews with Michael Kimmel, Robert Jensen, Shira Tarrant, J.W. Wiley, Douglas Rushkoff, Eric Anderson, and Neal King (4 Jan 2012).