Been following this insane anatomical discussion going on in the Michigan Congress? If not, here's a quick refresher: Representative Lisa Brown—a Democrat in the state that has Ted Nugent among its voting constituency—was taking part in a debate on the state's anti-abortion bill when she said a word that “violated the decorum” of the congressional chamber. You see, while discussing this highly-controversial and heavily-opinionated bill, she uttered a word that has no place in sophisticated and logical discourse regarding the matter at hand: “vagina.”
Another Representative, Barb Byrum—who, as her name probably already gave away, is also a disgusting woman who carries around one of those gross hoo-has in her genital region—was also barred from chiming in on the debate after she began talking all about vasectomies, a procedure that's unbecoming of a lady to discuss.
In summary: Two women, silenced by men, from speaking in a debate which deals exclusively with female bodies. The irony is what made this story a media darling, but if you think this kind of censorship is unique or “oddball,” well, you haven't been paying close enough attention.
This patriarchal dominance over females—specifically their ability to make babies—has been around since the first male high priest, or rabbi, or whatever, said he could hear God speaking to him, and that God decreed men are better than women. (Woman came from man, remember?) Its idealogically-sexist offspring has all kinds of commonplace ramifications today: Priests allowed only to have penises, women forcing to cover up lest they be judged as whores, “honor killings,” females in Saudi Arabia not being allowed to drive, and on and on and on. Women are constantly being censored, silenced, and dismissed by men, and 9 times out of 10 it can be traced back to the teachings of religion. (The other time is because some girl in grade school broke a heart.)
So then, time for a little call-to-action: Are you a woman married to, or a mistress having an affair with, a congressional employee who votes against reproductive rights, or otherwise treats women as secondclass citizens by, say, kicking them off congressional floors for saying words like “vagina”? Then it's time to take a stand by using the same part of your body that's being infringed upon. Withhold the sex! The only folks allowed access to the vagina should be the ones not disgusted or threatened by it.
Onto the roundup!
- Author Alice Walker chimed in on this long-running Israel vs. Palestine bruhaha by not allowing her pivotal novel The Color Purple to be translated into Hebrew. Her official reasoning: “Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and in the Occupied Territories.”
- Wuh oh. Terrorists from Palestine shot at least 33 rockets into southern Israel, killing no one. The Israeli Air Force responded to this attack by blowing up nebulous “military targets” and killing at least six Palestinians.
- An investigator for the U.N. condemned the Obama administration for using bomb-dropping drones rather than, you know, capturing and prosecuting Taliban and al-Qaeda members with the due processing and what-not.
- A man in Saudi Arabia was beheaded on charges of witchcraft and sorcery after he was found in possession of books and talismans. He also committed adultery with two women, which I'm guessing was the main motive for the murder.
- Witchcraft was also all the rage in Zululand, South Africa after a 72-year-old grandmother and her two grandchildren (ages 11 and 3) were burnt to death by locals. Social workers attribute the old woman's “interesting” behavior less to practicing witchcraft and more to old-fashioned senility.
- In France, a gunman claiming to be from al-Qaeda held four people hostage while demanding to speak to members of the police force who took out Islamist militant Mohammed Merah back in March. Instead of acquiesing (i.e., “being French”) they just sent in the regular cops, who shot the dude in the thigh.
- North of Kabul, Taliban fighters took over a lakeside hotel and killed more than 18 people. All five attackers were then killed themselves.
- A court in Indonesia sentenced Umar Patek—the man responsible for making the bomb used in a 2002 nightclub suicide attack that left 202 people dead—to 20 years in prison. While Patek still disputes his role in the attack, what's not left to question is that al-Qaeda was behind that bombing.
- In Baghdad, a whole bunch more of these bombings targeting Shiites took place, this time killing 13 and wounding 100 near a marketplace.
- Thousands of students are exiting northern Mali after the area was taken over by Islamist militants and placed under strict Sharia law. Among the rules imposed by the new order: Dress codes! Boys and girls in separate classes! Subjects that “promote infidelity” are banished from the classroom! So, in other words, pretty much Catholic school.
- Throw another massive religion into the homophobes' corner: England's office of the Chief Rabbi said official Jewish Law prohibits homosexuality, which of course means all this talk of same-sex marriage is meshugganah.
- An Indian man was arrested after he strolled into a police station, John Doe from Seven-style, covered in blood and carrying his daughter's head. Turns out, he chopped off her head after she was acting “indecent” with some men. Related: A new poll listed India as the worst place to be a woman among the top 19 global economies.
- Even the Jehovah's Witnesses are into the whole peddedling scene: An Oakland jury awarded $28 million to a woman who said the church looked the other way while a 40-ish-year-old congregant diddled her 9-year-old self.
- Former KKK leader David Duke has come out in support of Charles Barron, a former Black Panther, in an election for Brooklyn's 8th Congressional district. (Yeah! Racism is over!) But the only reason he did so because Barron hates him some Jews. (Boo! Anti-Semitism is still kicking!)
- Your new Egyptian president: Mohamed Morsi, the 60-year-old candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood party. That's certainly a scary-sounding constituency.
- Got some extra dough and in the mood for a documentary about MMA-crazed Christians, and the inherent oxymoronic mindset that comes with turning the other cheek and then kicking some ass? Then head on over to Kickstarter and throw a few bucks into the “Fight Church” till.
- And our Person of the Week: Nate Phelps, the 6th of 13 children sired by Fred Phelps, leader of that crazy Westboro Baptist Church (the so-called “God Hates Fags” bunch). Nate, who left the church on his 18th birthday, gave everyone a little behind-the-scenes look at the goings-on of the Westboros during a little online Q & A last week. The whole thing's worth a look.
Previously - Yogi Wants to Bang