Posts Tagged “women”
I’ve blogged a number of times about ultra-conservative Jews in Israel targeting women as sub-human. They appear to believe — as do a lot of conservative Muslims, and Christians — that women are to be neither seen nor heard, and are not to be treated as human beings.
What’s remarkable is that ultra-conservatives have commandeered the government of Israel to do their bidding in order to keep “the Weaker Sex” in its place. The Hartford Courant reports on some arrests of women who insolently dared to thwart ultra-conservative sensibilities (WebCite cached article):
Israeli police detained 10 women, including a rabbi from Bloomfield, at one of Judaism’s most sacred sites on Monday for wearing prayer shawls, which Orthodox tradition sees as solely for men, a spokesman said.
The incident at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City highlighted the divisions between the more liberal streams of Judaism and politically powerful Orthodox groups that traditionally limit the role of women in prayer.
The Western Wall is administered under strict Orthodox ritual law, which bars women from wearing prayer shawls or publicly reading from the holy scriptures.
Among those held was Debra Cantor, rabbi of B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom in Bloomfield, and Susan Silverman, a reform rabbi who is a sister of American comedian Sarah Silverman.
I’m curious as to precisely what awful thing the ultra-conservative Jews think will befall their country, if some people with two “X” chromosomes stand before the Western Wall. I really don’t get it. It’d be nice if someone could explain it to me — but somehow I doubt it will ever happen. Seriously, what is the problem with women wearing prayer shawls, and praying, on that spot? Anyone?
This just goes to show that it’s not just Christians or Muslims who think poorly of women and want to repress them. Most religions, in fact, don’t seem to want women around — in spite of the fact that they’re 50% of the population.
Photo credit: Reuters, via the Hartford Courant.
, deborah cantor
, prayer shawl
, prayer shawls
, sarah silverman
, western wall
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As if anyone needed further proof how reprehensible the Roman Catholic Church’s dogmatic approach toward women is, here’s one more sterling example. The Irish Times reports on a woman who died because a hospital’s allegiance to the R.C. Church was stronger than its desire to keep her alive (WebCite cached article):
Savita Halappanavar (31), a dentist, presented with back pain at the hospital on October 21st, was found to be miscarrying, and died of septicaemia a week later.
Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. He says that, having been told she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, Ms Halappanavar asked for a medical termination.
This was refused, he says, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, “this is a Catholic country”.
She spent a further 2½ days “in agony” until the foetal heartbeat stopped.
Sadly, this proved to too late for Ms Halappanavar; she died of septicemia a few days later.
I’m not sure, but I don’t think University Hospital Galway is Catholic Church-owned or -operated. So this might not be a case where the Church directly and on its own orders caused Ms Halappanavar’s death. Nevertheless, even if it’s not, Catholicism taught the fiercely dogmatic medical philosophy which was applied here, so Church culpability is unavoidable.
I have to ask all of you supposedly “pro-life” Catholics out there who are proud to trumpet that “all life is sacred” and that’s why you militate against any and all kinds of abortion: Please explain how and why your Church’s policy, in this case, did anything to protect “life”? In the name of protecting a dying fetus — which you claim is a “life” than must be saved — you ended up losing both that fetus and the mother who carried it. So whose “life,” here, was protected? I want to know how that “pro-life” policy works, when by your own definitions of “life,” two lives were lost in this case, one inevitably, the other needlessly.
I dare you to explain this. Really. Honest. If you truly believe your Church’s doctrines have any veracity, and if you’re secure in your “pro-life” beliefs, then you should have no problem doing so. So go ahead. Do it. The comment box below is available for you, so get to work and explain this. If you dare.*
Note that this event puts the lie to (now lame-duck) Rep. Joe Walsh’s claim that medical advances have made it so that it’s never necessary to abort a fetus in order to save a woman’s life. We all knew he was talking out his misogynistic, religiofascist ass when he made that comment, but this example provides verifiable, incontrovertible — and horrific — evidence that he was absolutely wrong.
*Appeals to ignorance … such as the old & tired “it’s a mystery” or “God works in mysterious ways” … will not suffice, so don’t insult me by offering anything like that. Those clichés aren’t explanations of the benefits of Catholic doctrine. They’re just admissions of ignorance, and falling back on them betrays a lack of desire to provide an explanation.
Photo credit: Irish Times.
Hat tip: Unreasonable Faith & Friendly Atheist.
, catholic church
, needless death
, roman catholic
, roman catholic church
, savita halappanavar
, university hospital galway
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On a few occasions I’ve mentioned that the Religious Right tries to make their irrational, reflexive opposition to abortion appear to have a reasonable, even scientific veneer. Their problem is that it’s a lie; their real motivation is their religionistic hatred of women and a desire to control them. Rep Todd Akin, for example, revealed the disingenuity of this effort back in August, when he claimed that a woman cannot be impregnated during rape. Late last week, as the Los Angeles Times reports, Illinois Rep Joe Walsh stepped into the same trap himself (WebCite cached article):
Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), who is facing a tough race to retain his seat in Congress, told reporters Thursday that he was opposed to abortion under any circumstances — and that thanks to medical progress, “you can’t find one instance” when it might be necessary to perform an abortion to protect a woman’s health.
“There’s no such exception as life of the mother,” Walsh said, according to this report from Bloomberg News. “And as far as health of the mother, same thing, with advances in science and technology. Health of the mother has become a tool for abortions any time, under any reason.”
Walsh, you see, is among the most fiercely Puritanical of the anti-abortionists, who refuse to provide any exceptions in their anti-abortion legislation. His problem — aside from the fact that he has no medical training whatsoever and hasn’t the expertise to make this claim — is that this is simply not true:
Within hours, women’s heath advocates — and physicians — attacked his remarks.
“Joe Walsh’s ignorance about women’s health is alarming,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood, in a statement.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) fired its own salvo, calling the congressman’s comments “inaccurate” in a widely distributed response.
“Abortions are necessary in a number of circumstances to save the life of a woman or to preserve her health,” the doctors’ organization said. The group reported that more than 600 women die every year from pregnancy and childbirth-related causes and that “many more would die each year if they did not have access to abortion.”
There are, in fact, any number of problems that might come along, which require an abortion to save a woman’s life. Walsh cannot simply declare they don’t exist. For him to do so, is fucking ridiculous.
I have news for Rep Walsh and others of his ilk: That you have certain metaphysics beliefs — e.g. that abortion is impermissible — does not entitle you to lie in support of that belief. You can’t just make scientific or medical claims that aren’t true, in order to make your beliefs apear valid. That he’d do this, places Rep Walsh in my “lying liars for Jesus” club, where he’s sure to enjoy the company.
Finally, that Rep Walsh thinks women must be allowed to die, merely because of a problem during their pregnancies, is a downright evil proposition. Even so, he’s not the only one who espouses this very philosophy; The Roman Catholic Church teaches it, too.
Photo credit: PsiCop original, based on proverb.
, christian right
, joe walsh
, pregnant women
, religious right
, rep joe walsh
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Trouble’s been brewing in Waterbury, CT for some time. Its two hospitals spent more than a year trying to negotiate a merger. The proposed deal would have benefitted the hospitals — because they’ve both been losing money for a while — as well as the people of Waterbury, because they’d get a new, bigger and better hospital once the merger took place. But one of the two hospitals, St Mary’s, is Catholic, which meant the R.C. Church was involved. Finally, as the Hartford Courant reports, the archdiocese of Hartford proved intransigent and saw fit to derail this deal (WebCite cached article):
Waterbury Hospital officials have abandoned their quest to merge with St. Mary’s Hospital, concluding after more than a year of negotiations that it would be impossible to comply with the Catholic hospital’s directives on birth control.
“We confronted numerous challenges and obstacles that made it difficult for both of the hospitals in Waterbury to remain true to their respective missions,” Darlene Stromstad, president and CEO of Waterbury Hospital, said in a statement released Saturday. “The objectives that needed to be satisfied in order to proceed — particularly as they relate to our efforts to comply with the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Catholic Church — were too many and too insurmountable to allow us to realize our goal.
“We’ve come to the conclusion it simply isn’t going to work.”
It’s not as though the management of both hospitals hadn’t been trying, for over a year, to get this deal to work, as the Courant explains:
To resolve the thorny issue of birth control, a proposal was made to build a “hospital within a hospital” — a separate, independently operated facility within the hospital building — that would provide reproductive health services prohibited by Catholic doctrine. But that plan was rejected by Hartford Archbishop Henry Mansell.
The archdiocese went so far as to come up with another scenario, that would have placed women’s lives at risk:
Officials also considered an idea for an ambulatory surgical center near — but not part of — the main hospital campus. But that would have been problematic for some women seeking tubal ligations, a surgical form of birth control that is barred in Catholic hospitals. Tubal ligations are often performed after C-sections, and in those cases, women receiving C-sections in the main hospital would have had to be sewn up and transported to the satellite facility for the second surgery.
Diocesan officials approved the idea of a wholly separate facility, but state officials ultimately rejected the proposal because the facility would not be equipped to serve women who are considered high risk.
Now, the average rational thinker would ask the obvious question of why the R.C. Church would want to endanger women’s lives over its dogmatism. But I know better than to even ask this question. The Church has already gone on record as considering the lives of women of child-bearing age forfeit. Where their dogma and a woman’s life are concerned, they happily choose dogma over life. The Church and its princes are viciously, hatefully misogynistic. There’s no other way to put it, so I won’t even try. I will simply state it clearly and succinctly: The Catholic Church wants women to die unnecessarily.
In any event, the management of Waterbury Hospital clearly deserves kudos for taking a stand against the Church and its effort to destroy the lives of women in the Waterbury area. They refused to knuckle under to Archbishop Mansell, and called off this merger, despite their own institution’s financial peril.
Photo credit: Termin8er, via Flickr.
Tags: archbishop henry mansell
, archdiocese of hartford
, birth control
, caesarian section
, catholic church
, health care
, henry mansell
, hospital merger
, roman catholic
, roman catholic church
, st mary's hospital
, tubal ligation
, waterbury CT
, waterbury hospital
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Pity the poor Saudis. The homeland of the prophet Mohammad is populated by (mostly Wahhabist) Muslims who — for some reason that my all-too-rational-mind will never comprehend — can’t handle the fact that women exist. In order to avoid knowing they’re around, they force them to shroud themselves in burqas, and limit their ability to get around (such as preventing them from driving, leaving home without a male, etc.). The desire never to see a woman … ever … leads to all sorts of ridiculous outcomes. One of these, as the Wall Street Journal reports, is the intentional removal of women from photos used in the IKEA catalog there (WebCite cached article):
Representatives for Swedish furniture giant IKEA on Monday said the company regrets removing women from some of the photos in catalogs shipped to Saudi Arabia. The move sparked criticism from government officials in Sweden and raised questions about whether some IKEA franchises can violate values that most company stores abide by. …
A comparison of the Saudi catalog to a standard version of the catalog showed that several women photographed in the standard version are missing from pages of the Saudi version. Otherwise, the photos throughout the catalog appear to be virtually identical.
The discrepancy was first reported by Metro, a free newspaper in Stockholm. A spokeswoman for the IKEA Group—which handles the catalog for the furniture company—said the move is in conflict with company values and IKEA is reviewing its procedures as a result.
Here’s a sample of the difference between the original artwork and its Saudi rendition:
A woman photographed in the standard version of the IKEA catalog, left, is missing from pages of the Saudi version, right / IKEA, via the Wall Street Journal.
IKEA’s corporate response was — as one might expect — to express some regrets:
“As a producer of the catalog, we regret the current situation,” Ylva Magnusson, spokeswoman for IKEA Group, which runs 298 of 337 IKEA stores world-wide, said. “We should have reacted and realized that excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalog is in conflict with the IKEA Group values.”
This response clearly implies they were taken by surprise. And perhaps they were. But while IKEA Group has stated that IKEA stores in Saudi Arabia are run by a franchise, not directly by them, they did produce the catalog for the franchisee … so they really ought not be acting as though they’re caught up in something that’s out of their control. They had control of it … full control. They produced the catalog. They could have refused to cave into rigid Saudi misogyny … but they chose not to.
I can’t help but be reminded that the very same thing having happened in conservative Jewish newspapers from time to time. The idea that God doesn’t want women ever to be seen is not, therefore, a particular problem for Saudis, for Wahhabism, or even Islam. Other religions also seem to have a beef with the fact that women exist. I really don’t get why … I guess it must go over the head of this cynical, godless agnostic heathen. Even so, forcing some one-half of one’s own society to neither be seen nor heard, sure sounds like a fucking ridiculous idea to me. And the fact that someone at IKEA, in a very modern and civilized country like Sweden, would want to go along with this religionistic absurdity, is nearly as incomprehensible and ridiculous.
Photo credit, top: Henrik Montgomery / AP, via USA Today; middle: IKEA, via the Wall Street Journal.
, saudi arabia
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America’s Roman Catholic bishops continue the massive political and social pushback campaign they launched some time ago, in the wake of the “priestly pedophilia” scandal that erupted in their dioceses in the last 10 years. They’re done listening to crap about it, are angry that American society no longer defers to them as much as they once did (considering it an impermissible reduction of their “religious liberty” for the public to be so insolent as not to just let them run the country however they wish), and have decided to go after what they perceive as their “enemies.” In that vein, the Washington Post reports they’ve decided to train their guns on — of all organizations — the Girl Scouts (WebCite cached article):
The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops are reviewing the church’s long-standing ties to the Girl Scouts of the USA after complaints that some of that venerable organization’s programs might contradict church teachings on contraception and abortion.
They’re basing this review on what they consider to be compelling and impeccable information:
The inquiry by the Catholic bishops has been ongoing for two years and was prompted by persistent reports, circulated on the Internet and by some social conservatives, that the Girl Scouts of the USA has ties to Planned Parenthood or, for example, endorses material on sexuality that the church would not approve. …
Girl Scout leaders have denied the claims, but the bishops decided to continue their inquiry. In a March 28 letter to his fellow bishops, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, wrote that “important questions still remain and need to be examined.”
Because we all know, of course, that reports “circulated on the Internet” and offered up by “social conservatives” could never possibly be anything less that 100% true! Right?
Given that the Roman Catholic Church worldwide views itself as being “under attack” by the Forces of Evil — as I’ve blogged any number of times, based on Catholic officials themselves saying so — my assumption is that they now view the Girl Scouts, along with many other organizations such as Planned Parenthood, as being an element of the grand Army of Darkness that’s trying to destroy them, and they’re making a pre-emptive strike.
Sooner or later their delusional thinking is going to catch up with them. Unfortunately I don’t see this happening any time soon, especially given that the Religious Right in the US largely agrees with the idea that Satan is attacking God’s nation and is cheering the bishops on.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Tags: bishop kevin c rhoades
, catholic church
, Committee on laity marriage family life and youth
, girl scouts
, kevin c rhoades
, planned parenthood
, roman catholic
, roman catholic church
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Ultra-orthodox Jewish men in Israel apparently decided they’ve had enough of those insolent, “uppity” females who don’t believe as they do and whom they think can never be seen in public. They’re no longer resorting to bullying schoolgirls; instead, a bunch of them ganged up on and viciously attacked a lone woman in Beit Shemesh, as the Jerusalem Post reports (WebCite cached article):
Beit Shemesh resident Natalie Mashiach, 27, was hanging up flyers for the national lottery in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet on Tuesday afternoon, when she was approached by haredi man who she said cursed her and spat in her face.
According to Mashiach, she retreated to her car, when dozens of men started pelting her vehicle with stones, punctured her tires, poured bleach on her inside the car and stole her car keys. She then fled to a nearby building chased by the mob, before the police arrived and dispersed them.
Mashiach sustained a light injury from a rock which was thrown at her head during the incident.
How manly of these guys to attack one woman. What an accomplishment! Why, they must be so proud of themselves for having taken on such a mighty foe!
Fucking cowards … !
Photo credit: Alexbip.
, beit shemesh
, beit shemesh bet
, nachman segel
, natalie mashiach
, ramat beit shemesh bet
, refael ekstein
, yehoshua mordechai bloi
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I already blogged about some ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel who bullied a girl because they subjectively interpreted her attire to be “immodest.” They then reacted to criticism over their behavior by hurling a reductio ad Hitlerum at their critics. In spite of the outcry against that, they’ve continued their assault on women in Isreal, as the AP reports via the Boston Globe (locally-cached article):
A small group of ultra-Orthodox Jews has prevented some women from voting in local elections in Jerusalem. It’s the latest step by the extremely pious Jews to try to force their practices on others.
Israel’s Channel 2 TV video showed the men screaming at a few dozen women, demanding that they leave a voting station Wednesday. Then the men pushed them away.
The article makes one final point:
The vast majority of Israel’s Jews object to such measures.
If this is truly the case, one wonders why this stuff is even happening at all, not to mention accelerating in frequency and militancy. Hmm.
Hat tip: Unreasonable Faith.
Photo credit: vicki wolkins.
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