Feminists in Iran

During all the fear-mongering about Iran and repugnance at the position of women in fundamentalist Islam, it’s good to read that amazing changes, mostly unseen in the West, are happening for the women of Iran.  Here from a BBC report

The revolution, Farah says, was very good for women.

“The revolutionists supported women coming out of their homes to demonstrate. They used women to show their strength, but they never anticipated these women also believed in their right to exist outside the home,” Farah remembers.

… Iran’s genies were let out of the bottle. The same genies have gone on to become active members of theological schools and hold positions as judges and engineers. “I don’t care what they spread, radical or fundamental, whether I believe in it or not, they have a voice, it makes me happy,” Farah says proudly.

There’s no greater evidence of women in the workplace, than where we’re sitting [on the Tehran underground], surrounded by women on their way to work. It’s another outcome the Ayatollah hadn’t expected, but with Iran’s economy battered by the revolution, women had no choice but to join the workforce.

Iran and Women

“It forced men to acknowledge that their wives could go out and earn money,” Farah says. Growing up, Farah only remembers affluent families allowing girls to work outside the home. Now, she says, “Nearly all boys prefer to marry a girl who has a permanent job and good salary. Often the women work harder, and longer hours than their husbands, so they do more of the housework – cleaning and preparing meals.”

Much more, with photos….

Right Wingers Crazy About Womens’ Libido

Mike Huckabee is only the latest to let his own libido out of his mouth as he opined that women couldn’t control theirs.


PTSD and Domestic Violence

Actor Patrick Stewart of Star Trek fame, among other movies, has been a strong spokesperson against domestic violence.  Here he fields a question and links PTSD to much violence against women.


Originally found at Upworthy.com

Writing Women In — to Equality

An obituary of Beate Gordon, who died last week at the age of 89, shone a bright light on people who have made enormous differences in the lives of millions, and remained unknown to most of us. Gordon, as a 22 interpreter on General MacArthur’s post war staff in Japan, was assigned to work on women’s rights for the new, US drafted constitution.  Since she had lived in Japan prior to the war, she had seen how women were treated.

“Japanese women were historically treated like chattel; they were property to be bought and sold on a whim,” Ms. Gordon told The Dallas Morning News in 1999. “Women had no rights whatsoever.”

She drafted two articles that became part of Japanese women’s lives.

One, Article 14, said in part, “All of the people are equal under the law and there shall be no discrimination in political, economic or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin.”

The other, Article 24, gave women protections in areas including “choice of spouse, property rights, inheritance, choice of domicile, divorce and other matters.”

She went on to make further wide reaching contributions to Japanese and American lives with the Japan Society as director of performing arts.

Amazing woman.   NY Times  The Asia Society  Japan Times  and her memoir of those years is The Only Woman in the Room

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: Never Order Dominoes Pizza

” The founder of Domino’s Pizza is suing the federal government over mandatory contraception coverage in the health care law.

“Tom Monaghan, a devout Roman Catholic, says contraception isn’t health care but a “gravely immoral” practice.


Monaghan Sues Over Obamacare


No mention what he thinks about the $11.4 billion requested for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which can carry  two 2,000 lb (910 kg) air-to-ground bombs — sufficient to act as abortifactients for many hundreds.  This would be, indeed, a gravely immoral practice worth suing the government over….  In the health act, the fact of having insurance to cover contraceptives does not force any insurance holder to take them; in the war act, the recipient of the bomb has no choice whatsoever….

Boycott Dominoes

Pearl Harbor: The Day After, 71 Years Ago

This report-it-as-I-see-it article never appeared in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.  Too upsetting.  And it is upsetting, even 71 years later.  Amazing, and wonderful that the young reporter would still be here (and working) to see it in print.  Not only does she write directly for an unusual audience — women!– she pulls no punches in her descriptions.

For seven ghastly, confused days, we have been at war. To the women of Hawaii, it has meant a total disruption of home life, a sudden acclimation to blackout nights, terrifying rumors, fear of the unknown as planes drone overhead and lorries shriek through the streets.

The seven days may stretch to seven years, and the women of Hawaii will have to accept a new routine of living. It is time, now, after the initial confusion and terror have subsided, to sum up the events of the past week, to make plans for the future.

…from the neighborhood called Punchbowl, I saw a formation of black planes diving straight into the ocean off Pearl Harbor. The blue sky was punctured with anti-aircraft smoke puffs. Suddenly, there was a sharp whistling sound, almost over my shoulder, and below, down on School Street. I saw a rooftop fly into the air like a pasteboard movie set.

For the first time, I felt that numb terror that all of London has known for months. It is the terror of not being able to do anything but fall on your stomach and hope the bomb won’t land on you. It’s the helplessness and terror of sudden visions of a ripping sensation in your back, shrapnel coursing through your chest, total blackness, maybe death..

See All at Washington Post


Civilian Casualties at Pearl Harbor

Rape-Pregnancy Blocked or Approved by the Almighty?

The dizziness of the American people who propel to the front ranks characters such as Missouri Senate hopeful Todd Aikin and now Indiana Senate hopeful Richard Mourdock has not yet reached its spin-0ut-of-the-universe velocity but it’s damn close.

Aiken, who has a Master of Divinity degre from Covenant Theological Seminary opined on the air a few weeks ago, that “ If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Yesterday, Mourdock, when asked about abortion in the case of rape had another take.  For him, apparently the female body doesn’t have magical powers but God himself has the trump card: “…even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” [And therefore the woman must carry the child to term…]

So here we have two men, convinced they know the mind of God, and willing to exact that interpretation on the lives of those a) whom they do not know, and b) who may have their own interpretations of the mind of God or think that He is mindless.

And worst of all is that, without their backers, the most damage these two could do would be to their wives or daughters, possibly.  By being elevated to positions of secular power the damage spreads like a human whirlwind.  Next thing you know, men such as these will propose incarcerating rape-victims who speak too loudly about not wanting to carry the one week old fetus to term, to prevent self induced abortion and the thwarting of God’s so called will.





GOP Women Shocked, Shocked

Carla Marinucci, at the SF Chron, went out and got the quotes of a life time following Representative Todd Aikin (MO) comments on live television that victims of “legitimate rape” didn’t get pregnant.  She went straight to high-rolling GOP, female fund raisers.

Jillian Manus Salzman, a powerhouse donor to Mitt Romney‘s presidential campaign and a proud pro-choice Republican, said she screamed when she heard Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, a GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate, say that victims of “legitimate” rape rarely get pregnant.


“I was so appalled, so angry – I can’t tell you,” said the Atherton literary agent and philanthropist who has co-hosted major Romney fundraisers in the Bay Area. “His opinion is not just hurtful to others. It’s dangerous.”


Harmeet Dhillon, head of San Francisco’s Republican Party and a candidate for state Senate, says she is appalled by Rep. Todd Akin’s comments and “embarrassed for my party that we have a candidate like that.”


California Republican U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Emken, who is antiabortion and the challenger to incumbent Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, was horrified by Akin’s remarks, which she called “outrageous and indefensible.”

As the mother of two daughters, “I condemn his offensive statements in the strongest possible language,” she said in a statement issued Monday.

It would be easy to be snide about such comments, or more exactly, not the comments but the shallowness of mind that can utter them.  As Capt Renault, in Casablanca, says after Rick protests being closed down: “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on here!”  Just so, these GOP women are shocked to find an ignorant, anti-woman politician in their party.

Todd Aiken is not a little skin-tag, easily removed from an otherwise flawless body.  He is the right thumb of the right hand of the body that produced him.  The assault on women, not to mention crippling scientific ignorance, has been the core of the current leaders of the Republican Party for many years.  How can these good hearted and undoubtedly smart women not acknowledge this?

Ms. Salzman threw a big fund raiser for Ryan who “Like many Republican ... opposes abortion even when a woman has been raped.”  And yet she is outraged.

 Mr. Ryan has said he doesn’t believe in a rape exception when outlawing abortion, and he worked with Mr. Akin in the House in trying to narrow the definition of rape so Medicaid would pay for fewer abortions of poor women. Mitt Romney says he supports a rape exception, but many of the politicians he has invited to speak at next week’s Republican convention disagree with him.

Women!  And men, too.  Please, please, please do your homework before raising gazillions for those who have power (over us) in mind. Ask yourselves:  do I want the lives of  my son or daughter to be rearranged by the proposals and people I am now funding?  Will I be able to stand before those I love and say, “I didn’t know,” when radical actions —promised in the party platform— ruin lives?

Aung San Suu Kyi Nobel Acceptance Speech

Complete Nobel Peace Prize address by Aung San Suu Kyi, for her 1991 award.  Includes lovely Burmese harp rendition, by Metta Shwe Saung of “Loving Kindness and the Golden Harp,” by Aung Lin.  [She starts at about 10:00, but don’t miss the harp….]

 The Text

Edited version and article at the telegraph.co.uk

Nobel Prize. org  with Aung San Suu Kyi featured

Turkey’s Prime Minister: Abortions are Like Bombing Civilians

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey not only announced his opposition to abortions within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, which has been the law since 1983, he did it using incendiary language and added to it the utter confusion of opposition to cesarean births and the paranoia of ultra nationalism.

“I am a prime minister who opposes Caesarean births, and I know all this is being done on purpose. … “I know these are steps taken to prevent this country’s population from growing further. I see abortion as murder, and I call upon those circles and members of the media who oppose my comments: You live and breathe Uludere. I say every abortion is an Uludere.”

Uludere refers to an attack by the Turkish air force on Kurdish smugglers moving from Iraq into Turkey. Although it happened under his government, and Erdogan first defended the attacks, saying the US did not aid them with drone photos but his military had decided on their own, he has since claimed that apologies had been made to the victims. it would seem an enormous increase in admission of guilt to link the raids to his view of abortion as callous and unjustified murder.

[More on the raids and the confused government response.]

Women’s groups have mobilized and protested his remarks and promise to change the long-standing law. Some have been camping outside his office.

Protesters camped outside the Prime Minister's office in Istanbul