According to the [UK] Daily Mail Online:
A hardline Islamist group in Somalia has begun publicly whipping women for wearing bras that they claim violate Islam as they are 'deceptive'.
The insurgent group Al Shabaab has sent gunmen into the streets of Mogadishu to round up any women who appear to have a firm bust, residents claimed yesterday.
The women are then inspected to see if the firmness is natural, or if it is the result of wearing a bra.
If they are found wearing a bra, they are ordered to remove it and shake their breasts, residents said....
'Al Shabaab forced us to wear their type of full veil and now they order us to shake our breasts,' a resident, Halima, told Reuters, adding that her daughters had been whipped on Thursday.
'They are now saying that breasts should be firm naturally, or just flat.'...
- Teen Girl Falls in Open Manhole While Texting: The family may sue the city.
- "Orgasm A Day" Campaign Directed At British Schoolchildren Sparks Controversy: The leaflet for high school students includes the slogan "an orgasm a day keeps the doctor away".
- Wells Fargo Bank Sues Itself: "Wells Fargo holds the first and second mortgages on a condominium [and as] holder of the first, Wells Fargo is suing all other lien holders, including ... itself."
Two online discussions started by parents concerned about their sons' sexuality:
I'm not sure if the latter letter from the concerned parent is satire or beyond satire. Any opinions?
I was surprised to hear that Pastor Rick Warren considers homosexuality to be comparable to incest, polygamy, and pedophilia. I hadn't even known he'd tried all of them.
From the Telegraph:
A Russian advertising executive who sued her boss for sexual harassment lost her case after a judge ruled that employers were obliged to make passes at female staff to ensure the survival of the human race.
She alleged she had been locked out of her office after she refused to have intimate relations with her 47-year-old boss.
"He always demanded that female workers signalled to him with their eyes that they desperately wanted to be laid on the boardroom table as soon as he gave the word," she earlier told the court. "I didn't realise at first that he wasn't speaking metaphorically."
The judge said he threw out the case not through lack of evidence but because the employer had acted gallantly rather than criminally.
"If we had no sexual harassment we would have no children," the judge ruled.
Since Soviet times, sexual harassment in Russia has become an accepted part of life in the office, work place and university lecture room.
According to a recent survey, 100 per cent of female professionals said they had been subjected to sexual harassment by their bosses, 32 per cent said they had had intercourse with them at least once and another seven per cent claimed to have been raped.
Eighty per cent of those who participated in the survey said they did not believe it possible to win promotion without engaging in sexual relations with their male superiors.
Women also report that it is common to be browbeaten into sex during job interviews, while female students regularly complain that university professors trade high marks for sexual favours.
Only two women have won sexual harassment cases since the collapse of the Soviet Union, one in 1993 and the other in 1997.
Human rights activists say that Russian women remain second-class citizens and are subjected to some of the highest levels of domestic abuse in the world.
According to the Associated Press, San Diego businessman Doug Manchester "gave $125,000 to a group backing a California ballot initiative to ban gay marriage". When threatened with a boycott, Manchester said "that he welcomes gay guests at his properties but as a Catholic believes marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman".
I applaud Manchester for living by his principles and expect him to soon initiate efforts to:
- ban marriage between Catholics and non-Catholics.
- ban remarriage by anyone whose divorced spouse is still living.
Doubters who accuse him of prejudice against homosexuals, instead of being a man of consistent religious beliefs, will then have to apologize for criticizing such a principled saintly man.
On a personal note, such an amendment would dissolve my ten-year marriage to my dear husband Keith (who, unlike me, was baptized), but it is vital in a democracy that couples' freedom and happiness be subordinated to others' religious beliefs.
Via Consumerist, a very bad idea for candy:
There are some great comments on various blogs, such as:
- Don’t eat too many, you’ll have to get your stomach pumped.
- Oh man that’s a riot! So if you handle them too much does it turn into a Jolly Rancher?
- I understand those gummi Georgia O’Keefe miniatures didn’t go over too well, either.
- Is this hard or soft candy? Does it depend how hard you rub it before you put it in your mouth?
Does anyone know if this is a hoax? It seems a little hard to swallow.
Same-sex marriage is much in the thoughts of me and other like-minded Californians excited about its upcoming legalization. Here are some items on that theme.
Defenders of Marriage song
Every time we think about same-sex marriage
Makes us sick to our guts
I mean, two people who want to commit to a
stable monogamous life-long relationship
What are they, nuts?
Now a man should not lie with a
person who is a guy
He should only lie to his wife,
the bible is clear
Homosexuality is a choice?
Opponents of gay rights often claim that homosexuality is a choice. Let's think about that for a moment...
Anyone who makes that claim is implying that they consciously chose not to be homosexual, presumably due to their moral superiority. If these people were only attracted to members of the opposite sex, however, they wouldn't have needed to make such a choice. Thus, they're unwittingly making a confession about their own sexual orientation.
Flashback to 2004
Here's a reprint of my February 2004 email to family and close friends about my experiences around San Francisco's unilateral (later overturned) decision to allow same-sex marriages:
As you may know, San Francisco has been allowing gay couples to marry over this holiday weekend. As you may also know, Keith and I support gay marriage. I want to share with you how this has touched our lives. I know not all of you support gay marriage, but I know you support hospitality and standing up for what one believes in, even if you choose different causes.
Saturday, which was Valentine's Day, Keith and I stocked up on tchochkes and headed to City Hall in our little electric car. There was a huge line of people waiting for marriage licenses. We went down the line, giving out Hershey's kisses ("A kiss for the bride?"), champagne ("genuine Trader Joe's"), fancy-schmancy picture frames, and our best wishes. I loved Keith more than ever, seeing him heartily congratulating brides and grooms (which, analytical as always, I figured he wouldn't do if he regretted his state of matrimony). We spoke with a reporter from New York Newsday. After giving our names, I told her that Keith and I were married -- that the (temporary and local) legalization of gay marriage hadn't destroyed ours. We weren't quoted in the article; instead, the writer focused on the celebrants, which I think was appropriate.
Sunday morning, I went shopping again for more goodies, including some rainbow candles from the Castro. Unfortunately, the store that sold same-sex cake toppers wasn't open yet. Keith and I went to City Hall in the afternoon. After hearing a bride talk about her Jewish wedding at her grandmother's nursing home, I gave her a pair of big rainbow candles for Shabbos (Sabbath) and mentioned how Keith and I couldn't marry either under strict Jewish law. While we were able to give away all the candles and drinks, there were so many people handing out snacks that we went home with chocolate kisses.
That evening, I read online about people camping out at City Hall so they could be sure of getting married the next day. I made another trip out, with blankets and sweaters, because it was a wet chilly night. When I got home, Keith melted down the leftover chocolate kisses and made us warm chocolate pudding. Yum!
On Monday, I showed up at City Hall at 9:30 to volunteer inside, but they had more than enough people, and I was turned away, despite professing computer expertise. After getting over my disappointment, I assisted people who were handing out coffee, food (bagels and doughnuts), and stickers, and asked people in line what else they needed. I wasn't able to help with the request for a catheter, but I was able to come back later with dry socks and gloves, which were appreciated. By this time, some people in line recognized me, either from previous days or repeated appearances that day.
Everyone expects the courts to issue an injunction today stopping the granting of marriage licenses. We don't know whether this weekend's marriages will be voided. In any case, it will be the start of a state-wide and federal legal battle. For the friends of ours who married this weekend and didn't get a present from us, we'll make a donation to a legal fund in their honor.
I know that several of you participated in the Civil Rights movement. I'm proud and happy that I was able to participate in San Francisco's civil disobedience and civil rights movement.
Historical note: The weddings were halted by court order on March 11, 2004, and legally voided on August 12, 2004 .
I added The Art of the Prank to "Links we like" on the right side of the page. Some recent stories:
- Eunicure, "a loosely affiliated group of “board-certified urological surgeons” that offers hope—in the form of castration—to homosexuals that have failed to control their desires through prayer, meditation" (originally from Dan Savage in The Stranger)
- Obay: a drug to prevent children from having ideas of their own (from Alma's Soulfood)
- Penn and Teller get environmentalists to sign a petition to ban water (originally posted by Lew Rockwell)
I gave an unconventional inspirational talk at the first Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner. Instead of spoiling any of the surprises, I'll invite you to watch the below video. I recommend starting at 2:15; my part is about 5 minutes.