Lawyers for two Guantanamo Bay detainees cited the Hobby Lobby decision to argue for their clients’ rights to perform prayers during Ramadan. However, federal courts have argued that the detainees didn’t qualify as persons under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Wow.
I swear this just reminds me more and more of Animal Farm.
Marking 100 days since the abduction of schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria, by Boko Haram terrorists, Ban Ki-moon reiterated his call for their immediate release, while expressing his full support for the worldwide vigils that took place on Wednesday.
The UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, urged the international community to stand in solidarity with the kidnapped schoolgirls and “never to abandon them”, while “reminding people that we are in the midst of a global civil rights struggle”.
Read more here.
I could talk about the PE teacher in my town who was asked to resign due to his harassment of female students, who was then hired as a school bus driver for a rural route with both primary and high school students. I could talk about how, from the age of seven, I refused to wear skirts or dresses, and from the time I entered high school at 10 to when I moved at 16 I always wore bike shorts or CCC shorts under my dress, because he was not particularly subtle about the way he looked at us – and those bus steps are high. I could talk about how this was common knowledge and was never denied by any authority figure we ever raised it with, but rather we were just kind of brushed off. I could talk about how, sometimes, I was the last person on my bus in the afternoon and I was never quite sure if something bad would happen to me, even though for a long time I probably couldn’t have articulated what it was that I feared.
I could talk about how I spent ten years of my childhood believing it was perfectly normal and acceptable for a seven year old child to stop wearing her favourite clothes because a grown man she relies on to get to and from school from a relatively remote location gets a thrill from looking up her skirt.
I could talk about the art teacher at my high school who used to run his hands up and down our backs, right along the spot where your bra sits. Considering most of us were fairly new to wearing bras in the first place, this was a decidedly uncomfortable experience. I could talk about how he used to get just a little too close for comfort in the supply room. Nothing overt, nothing nameable – just enough to make you drag someone else along with you if you needed a fresh piece of paper or you ran out of ink. I could talk about how the odd comment or complaint that was made was completely handwaved, that we were told to be very careful about what we were saying, that we could get someone in a lot of trouble by “starting those kinds of rumours”, and did we really want to be responsible for that?
I could talk about the first time I was made to feel ashamed of my body, at twelve or thirteen, getting into a water fight with my stepfather and uncle in the height of summer. I could talk about my grandmother completely flipping out, talking about how disgusting it was, how grown men should be ashamed of the way they were behaving with a girl. I could talk about how she then spent the next few hours trying to convince me I was being somehow victimised, while I was mostly confused about what had taken place – it took me a long time to work it out. I could talk about the unvoiced but ever-present fear for months afterwards that my grandma would bring it up again, that she would bring it up in the wrong place or to the wrong people and that my uncle, a schoolteacher, would suffer for it.
I could talk about how that destroyed what had been a fantastic relationship with my uncle, and how, ten years later, he still won’t hug me at Christmas.
I could talk about being called a frigid bitch and a slut in the same breath in high school. I could talk about multiple instances of sitting in a big group of friends, hearing someone trying to get into someone else’s pants, starting off sweet enough but quickly descending into emotional manipulation and thinly veiled abuse. I could talk about the time I went off with someone willingly enough and being followed by someone I considered a friend, someone who would not leave no matter how many times I said “no”, who only went away when the person I was with said that he “didn’t feel like sharing”.
I could talk about the family friend who always made me feel a little bit off for no discernible reason. The one who if I was left alone in the room with him, I would always find an excuse to leave. The one time I expressed this, I was told I was being a drama queen, and that I needed to grow up and stop being so precious, that one day I was going to have to deal with people I didn’t like and I might as well get used to it. I could talk about how he never did anything untoward, never gave me any specific reason to feel unsafe – but years after I last saw him, when he was found guilty of four historical sexual assault charges, one of rape and three of indecent assault on girls under twelve, I was, for reasons I still don’t entirely understand, completely unsurprised.
I could talk about my boyfriend justifying his rape of me with “you could have fought me off if you really wanted you, you slut”. I could talk about how, when I tried to tell people, I was told I was being a nasty, spiteful, vindictive bitch. I could talk about how selfish it was of me to say such things, that he’d overcome such a hard life and was going to go on and make something of himself, who the hell was I to try and stand in his way?
I could talk about how my response to being raped was to sleep with anyone and everyone because I rationalised that if I never said no, then no one could force me. I could talk about how I have been told time and time again, by people who should know better, that this is a sign that I wasn’t really raped at all.
I could talk about how, when I finally worked up the courage to make a formal complaint of sexual harassment against my boss, I was asked why I had let it continue for so long, and what I had done to make him think his behaviour would be welcomed.
I could talk about how when a much later boss got me completely wasted at my leaving party, to the point where I couldn’t walk, and fucked me in a back alley, he waited until I was sober the next morning to tell me that he had a pregnant wife, because he heard through the grapevine that I was very strict about not sleeping with married people or straight women, and he thought I should “learn my place” and realise that I’m “not such a high and mighty bitch with a moral high ground after all”.
I could talk about these things, but I very rarely do. Since I was seven years old, I have been told that my body is not my own, that my consent is not my own, that my feelings of discomfort are not my own. I have taught myself to suppress my gut instinct upon meeting people. I have been taught to smile, to be polite, to suck it up if I feel unsafe. When I complain, I have been told I’m being irrational, oversensitive, and selfish. The underlying message is, how dare I try and ascertain any kind of control over my own body?
I should talk about it. But I don’t actually know whether I can.An anonymous guest post on The Lady Garden. This is the reality for so many women. #YesAllWomen (via takealookatyourlife)
(Note: While this post discusses the recent doxxing of a well-known member of the Welcome To Night Vale fandom, I will not be using her real name at any point. While the name is undoubtedly known to many people, I nonetheless ask anyone reblogging or commenting on…
Reblogging because this is *really important*, and some good commentary has been added since I previously posted it. Please, even with the best of intentions regarding social justice, don’t irresponsibly cause real-life harm by revealing the identities of pseudonymous fans/writers/authors — this is the kind of thing that can follow people around permanently, personally and professionally.
If you believe that someone has committed a crime or is at risk of causing harm to someone vulnerable (or to themselves), the right person to be contacting is the appropriate authorities. It is NEVER the right, or the responsibility, of fandom to carry on witch-hunts that involve outing other people’s online identity — not only are you likely damaging their reputation in a way that may not be recoverable, but you may also endanger their personal safety in ways that you might not have anticipated.
Particularly when, as in this case, many people passed on the allegations without confirming their truth — while one person may have objected to the author’s writings, that does not mean that the author is in the wrong for having written the fics in question (particularly since fic can be cathartic, can be a safe way to work out personal issues, or can involve fantasies that are intended to be shared with others who may share them — that’s what the content tags are *for*, so that people who will be triggered or do not wish to read material of a certain nature can avoid it.) And, as it turns out, the tags were deceptive — the content of the fic was not exploitative, but the excerpted tags *alone*, without context, appeared to be damning.
And this is why it is *incredibly* wrong and irresponsible to go off half-cocked and spread rumors without verifying their truth, particularly when they involve doxxing someone’s fandom identity in an extremely damaging and distorted fashion.
(Quite seriously, having worked in positions where I needed background checks and fingerprinting to do volunteer work with abused children, as well as having professionally worked with children, something like this coming up in a Google search could have barred me from jobs and gotten me blacklisted — not to mention that throwing someone’s legal name around in connection with the words “underage rape porn” is the kind of thing that can get them investigated, can cause them to lose custody of their children, or can cause someone to assault them with the belief that they are administering vigilante justice to a child abuser.)
Shining light on injustice, calling out terrible behavior, speaking out about bigotry and discrimination — those are worthy tasks, and I applaud them.
But, in your zeal, please remember that it is *crucial* to verify the truth of any allegations that you attach someone’s real name to (and, frankly, any serious allegations deserve to be checked out personally rather than simply repeating the words of others without critically examining them for factual accuracy), because the harm done in situations like these cannot be undone by the simple deletion of an accusing post — the harm done to a real person by the actions of the original accuser, and by everyone who reblogged that post and passed on the allegations, is permanent and irrevocable.
YouTube comments aren’t “just the Internet.” They’re not the product of a group of otherwise nice guys who suddenly become evil when they wear a veil of anonymity. YouTube comments are actually a nightmarish glimpse into the sexist attitudes that define the fabric of our own existence in the “real world,” a world that, like YouTube, is owned and dominated by men. The most terrifying gift that the Internet has given us is that it’s shown us how men honestly perceive the world: as a place where women exist exclusively for their sexual pleasure.
In the wake of VidCon, and as more and more women start speaking up about the harassment they face online, it’s time to start realizing that our narrative of progress is deeply flawed. Things aren’t getting better for women on the Internet; they’re deteriorating and ignoring the problem amounts to being complicit in it."For women on the Internet, it doesn’t get better" by Samantha Allen (via sunny-burn)
On the morning of September 4, 1957, fifteen-year-old Dorothy Counts set out on a harrowing path toward Harding High, where-as the first African American to attend the all-white school – she was greeted by a jeering swarm of boys who spat, threw trash, and yelled epithets at her as she entered the building.
Charlotte Observer photographer Don Sturkey captured the ugly incident on film, and in the days that followed, the searing image appeared not just in the local paper but in newspapers around the world.
People everywhere were transfixed by the girl in the photograph who stood tall, her five-foot-ten-inch frame towering nobly above the mob that trailed her. There, in black and white, was evidence of the brutality of racism, a sinister force that had led children to torment another child while adults stood by. While the images display a lot of evils: prejudice, ignorance, racism, sexism, inequality, it also captures true strength, determination, courage and inspiration.
Here she is, age 70, still absolutely elegant and poised.
she deserves to be re-blogged.
she’s so goddamned inspirational
this makes me want to cry
July 21 2014
The FBI encouraged and sometimes even paid Muslims to commit terrorist acts during numerous sting operations after the 9/11 attacks, a human rights group said in a report published Monday.
“Far from protecting Americans, including American Muslims, from the threat of terrorism, the policies documented in this report have diverted law enforcement from pursuing real threats,” said the report by Human Rights Watch.
Aided by Columbia University Law School’s Human Rights Institute, Human Rights Watch examined 27 cases from investigation through trial, interviewing 215 people, including those charged or convicted in terrorism cases, their relatives, defense lawyers, prosecutors and judges.
“In some cases the FBI may have created terrorists out of law-abiding individuals by suggesting the idea of taking terrorist action or encouraging the target to act,” the report said.
In the cases reviewed, half the convictions resulted from a sting operation, and in 30 percent of those cases the undercover agent played an active role in the plot.
“Americans have been told that their government is keeping them safe by preventing and prosecuting terrorism inside the US,” said Andrea Prasow, the rights group’s deputy Washington director.
“But take a closer look and you realize that many of these people would never have committed a crime if not for law enforcement encouraging, pressuring and sometimes paying them to commit terrorist acts.”
US Attorney General Eric Holder has strongly defended the FBI undercover operations as “essential in fighting terrorism.”
“These operations are conducted with extraordinary care and precision, ensuring that law enforcement officials are accountable for the steps they take -– and that suspects are neither entrapped nor denied legal protections,” Holder said July 8 during a visit to Norway.
The HRW report, however, cites the case of four Muslim converts from Newburgh, New York who were accused of planning to blow up synagogues and attack a US military base.
A judge in that case “said the government ‘came up with the crime, provided the means, and removed all relevant obstacles,’ and had, in the process, made a terrorist out of a man ‘whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in scope,’” the report said.
The rights group charged that the FBI often targets vulnerable people, with mental problems or low intelligence.
It pointed to the case of Rezwan Ferdaus, who was sentenced to 17 years in prison at age 27 for wanting to attack the Pentagon and Congress with mini-drones loaded with explosives.
An FBI agent told Ferdaus’ father that his son “obviously” had mental health problems, the report said. But that didn’t stop an undercover agent from conceiving the plot in its entirety, it said.
“The US government should stop treating American Muslims as terrorists-in-waiting,” the report concluded.
Mike German, a former FBI agent now with the Brennan Center, said FBI counterterrorism excesses were a source of concern — “concerns that they both violate privacy and civil liberties, and aren’t effective in addressing real threats.”
But JM Berger, a national security expert, said law enforcement faces a dilemma: it can’t just ignore tips or reports about people talking about wanting to commit a terrorist action or seeking support for one.
“The question is how to sort out which cases merit investigation and which do not,” he said.
”The rights group charged that the FBI often targets vulnerable people, with mental problems or low intelligence.”
THIS needed to be bolded.
This happened in Portland, OR a few years ago. The FBI pressured Mohamed Mohamud into attempting a bombing in downtown Portland, and then arrested him once they pushed him into doing it.
Like when he said he didn’t want to do it they set out to convince him.
We talk a lot about “security theater”, but this is one of the worst examples.
The point of these abuses isn’t that the people targeted really are “dangerous radicals”, it’s simply to produce “results”… i.e., something the FBI can point to in order to justify their budget and “make the American people” (minus the targeted communities) feel safe”.
#if you don’t think what the feds did to mohammed mohammed wasn’t entrapment from word one then kindly fuck off#they isolated him#removed every option he had for employment and stability#blocked him from leaving the country so he could work on a fishing boat#and after all that#he still had to be cajoled into the bombing#he was set up and manipulated every single step#and that’s american justice in a nutshell#racism#state repression#police state#chloe rants
A couple hours ago I found out a leak from under my basement floor caused me to lose hundreds of dollars of essential art supplies (drawing paper, watercolor paper, illustration board, rulers, angles, foam core, cutting matts, a portfolio case, and much more), including some irreplaceable initial drawings for digital paintings i’ve done, years worth of drawing notes on perspective, anatomy, etc, so I am opening super cheap commissions to help because I absolutely need all this back. I especially need to replace the cutting matts ASAP and they are expensive. And this is on top that at this same time I have several bills coming up to pay. So I seriously need every penny/all the help I can get.
Other ways you can help: My regular commissions post, my Storenvy, my Society6, my not work safe Society6, and even if you can’t buy anything, signal boosting this post or any posts about my Storenvy or Society6 you can find in my fanart tag or original art tag would be greatly appreciated and helpful.
These emergency commissions will basically be like what you see in the examples: simple full body poses in this doodle style, using brush pen and copics. You will get a 300 DPI JPG FILE, if you want the original it’s an extra $1 USD plus shipping. Keep in mind the originals will be done on sketchbook paper so there will be 1 rough/torn edge and 2 rounded corners because of the shape and type of binding of the sketchbook. These are approximately 5”x8”.
1 character = $4 USD
2 characters = $6 USD
Please no complicated poses, excessive details, or erotica just due to the nature of these commissions, which are supposed to be “quick and simple.” All the rules of my regular commissions post (linked preciously) still apply.
Please send me an ask or fan mail, what you want, and your Paypal email. I will not start your commission until I receive payment.
Thank you for any help!