Category Archives: Religion

Small Thoughts on the US Elections

Despite not being American, it’s hard to ignore US elections. This is always the case anyway because America is so central to the world stage, but it’s particularly hard this time around because it’s so weird.

Watching this, the latest instalment from the lovely people at Cooch Watch:

I’m struck once again by the sheer bewilderment I inevitably get when I consider that there’s so much as a single woman in the entire United States of America even considering actually voting for Romney and his gaggle of misshapen misogynists. I’m kinda disappointed that any men are, either, but not exactly surprised. But women?

I mean, OK, I kinda get the mindset some female voters will have about the abortion issue. Women who are certain they won’t ever need one (too busy filling their quiver) and are equally certain that their daughters won’t ever need one (because they’re Promise virgins, not like them other sl*gs). See?

I don’t like it but I get it.

But rape? I can’t even list the recent gaffes made by Republican politicians about rape because I’m assuming that even the Universe has some kind of finite time frame and, whatever it is, it won’t be sufficiently long to get them all down.

Suffice to say, it’s always a woman’s fault, it’s never ‘rape rape’ anyway, and a child resulting from rape is both a gift from god and a biological impossibility.

You get my drift.

But. I suppose that the same women with Promise virgin daughters believe all this shit, so they’re equally certain that they and their offspring won’t get raped, either. But what about the other 99% of American women who haven’t leapt off the edge of reason and hit their head on the way down?

I hate to reveal this to my American readers but there is a perception over my way that Americans are just a bit, just ever so slightly, completely nuts. Which is typically self-hating given that the people who hold this view are the same as those who think Americans are our soul mates.

I, however, subscribe not at all to that view; as I’ve mentioned before on this blog, Americans are no more nuts than any other nationality. They’re just more able to put their nuts in our face is all.

So, American women: not particularly nuts, still considering voting for Romney.


And then I saw something which attempted to explain it. Thank shit for that, I thought.

And, no, I can’t find the link, but the reason boiled down to ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’

It seems that a substantial proportion of the women intending to vote for a misogynistic sack of shit are doing so because they believe Romney will be better for the economy than Obama.

[An Aside: I think Obama is pretty great, and if you don’t I suggest you come over here and admire the NHS before Cameron fucks it completely to understand how awesome universal healthcare is.]

I ceased to thank shit and proceeded to slap it around the face.

The economy? The economy? That thing left in such a state by the previous Republican administration that I’ve named it twice?

But let’s ignore the past and move forward, eh? I don’t know enough about the intricacies of the economic policies of either Republicans or Democrats, so – although I have my suspicions which will be more mindful of the needs of the vast majority of Americans – I can’t really comment on their relative merits.

But Romney? A man who, as far as I can gather, made his money deliberately putting vast swathes of Americans out of work and generally behaving like Richard Gere in Pretty Woman but without having had the good fortune to meet a prostituted woman whose simply country goodness and stunning beauty makes him see the error of his ways?

You want to give this man an entire economy?? Are you nuts?

Now you no longer need to be a woman for me not to understand why you’d vote for Romney.

Unless you are a billionaire, this man will fuck you. He’s not even hiding it, not even trying to. He’s ‘not concerned with the very poor’, which, should he be elected, will soon be the vast majority of the American population. He ain’t lyin’, either, though he does, it seems, lie about a lot of other things. Like his tax payments, for example.

And because this is pertinent but also just because I love fuck yous set to music even if they’re not entirely feminist, I present to you the thoroughly smashing Wrong Direction:

I’ll leave you with one thought. We voted in our own Romney. Like Romney, David Cameron promised to fuck us and we voted him in anyway. Now, he’s getting busy fucking us and, let me tell you, it really isn’t very nice.

Save yourselves. Before it’s too late.

The Anti-Abortion Queen Rides Again

Over at Represent!, they have a post up about Mississippi representatives introducing a personhood bill into the Mississippi legislature, despite the fact that a personhood bill was recently put to the vote in that state and was soundly defeated with 60% of the vote.  Just to be clear: that means that the fine people of Mississippi, having been politely asked, do not, no thanks, not at all, no, siree Bob, want to define personhood as arising from the moment of conception.  Are we clear?  And Republicans (and no I haven’t checked they’re Republicans, but if they’re Democrats, I really do just give up), have taken that resounding no and told voters to go fuck themselves.  Are we clear?

And it’s too easy, over on this side of the pond, to just yawn and dismiss this as yet another example (and not even a particularly fine example at that) of bat-shit Republican craziness, given that every word attached to ‘Republican’ these days seems to be either ‘anti-abortion’, ‘anti-contraception’, or ‘trans-vaginal probe’.  And that’s just when they’re trying to win the women’s note.  Bat-shit crazy.

This would never happen here, though, amirite?

Nadine, Nadine.  Aah, lovely Nadine!  What would we do without you to remind us that pride comes before an ungainly trip straight on the noggin?

Nadine Dorries, the MP for somewhere clearly bonkers (I can’t remember where, but just look for the large hole in the ozone layer and the hanging smell of over-cooked brains somewhere over the Home Counties ).

I’ll be kind because she may have just forgotten, so I’ll remind her what she was up to last year.  She was introducing a bill to parliament which sought to ‘strip charities and medics of their exclusive responsibility for counselling women seeking an abortion‘.  In other words, she wanted to stop organisations providing abortions from offering counselling to women thinking about having one.  Her stated rationale was was that they had a conflict of interest because they both provided counselling and were paid to provide abortions. She also maintained that ‘alternative’ counselling would prevent women being rushed into abortions that they may later regret.

Those evil abortion pushers, eh?  Does anybody seriously believe that charitable abortion providers try and push abortions on women to get a few quid?

No, nobody did believe it, Nadine.  Even the other members of parliament (known for a degree of bat-shit craziness themselves) understood that the whole idea was just bat-shit craziness.

Dorries is now a member of a cross-party group of MPs which is now looking to give anti-abortion groups an official role in abortion counselling.  As in, yes, exactly what was defeated last time around.  This is the same cross-party group, by the way, that MP Diane Abbott walked out of saying she was leaving ‘because the talks were little more than window dressing for the agenda of “Tea Party Tories” determined to prevent abortion providers, such as Marie Stopes and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, from offering counselling.’  This is also the same cross-party group that includes Catholic MP Louise Mensch, just so we can be certain where this is all going.

The Guardian has the low-down on the three policy options this group is currently being offered:

One option is to make no change while another resembles Dorries’ original proposals, which would have prevented abortion providers such as Marie Stopes and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) from providing counselling services.

‘It is understood, however, that most discussions are focusing on an option that would create a register of counsellors eligible to tender for pregnancy counselling – including anti-abortion organisations.’

It has been suggested, quite rightly, that this is an attempt at back door legislation which would introduce radical changes to current abortion laws.

It has also been suggested, again quite rightly, that this is Dorries way of telling women to go fuck themselves (that was my suggestion).

Or, as Clare Murphy from BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) puts it: ‘There was a major discussion about pregnancy counselling last year and a comprehensive defeat of these campaigners in parliament. It seems extraordinary to then turn around and effectively say: “It doesn’t matter that this has been talked about and voted on. We’re going to do it anyway.”‘

And all this when there is no evidence that there is anything wrong with the current standard of counselling being provided.  It’s almost like Dorries has invented a problem where none exists!  You’d almost believe it was nothing about women and the standard of care they receive and all about ideology!  Unbelievable I know!

As Marie Stopes’s Tracey McNeill put it, the current system provides ‘access to impartial, non-directive and expert support from trained counsellors, if [women] decide they want it’.

She also said, and this here’s the rub:

We simply don’t believe that organisations whose own publications describe abortion as “a most grievous sin” can provide impartial pregnancy counselling to women.’ [emphasis mine]

So, sure, you could ask an avowedly anti-abortion religious group for advice on your abortion but, then again, you could ask a PETA activist advice on whether to buy a fur coat, but it sure as fuck wouldn’t be a good idea.

We Love Self-Defence!

I don’t advocate violence.  Really I don’t.

But I very much advocate self-defence.  I love self-defence!

And so much love goes to the Egyptian women featured here.

Vigilante gangs of ultra-conservative Salafi men have been harassing shop owners and female customers in rural towns around Egypt for “indecent behavior,” according to reports in the Egyptian news media.

‘But when they burst into a beauty salon in the Nile delta town of Benha this week and ordered the women inside to stop what they were doing or face physical punishment, the women struck back, whipping them with their own canes before kicking them out to the street in front of an astonished crowd of onlookers.’

What can I say?  Kick arse women like these make me feel happy.  Oh, and very cowardly.  But I’m a happy coward today.

Be Ye Not Afraid!

No, not going all religious on you (it’s the Angel Gabriel speech, stoopid! or kind of).

Be ye not afraid of ‘making people uncomfortable’ – the message I really liked from mind body mama.

So often when we break a silence we are vilified for causing whatever pain ensues. But the truth is that we are simply opening the container of hurt we’ve been carrying and inviting all the relevant parties share in its contents

That guy who sits too close in the bar, puts his uninvited arm around your shoulders? Looking him in the eye and saying, “Please don’t touch me” is just giving back the discomfort he gave you when he initiated unwanted touch. I don’t mean “giving it back” as code word for throwing attitude, either. You’re simply not holding on to something that wasn’t yours to begin with. It’s like picking up a glove he dropped and handing it to him; like saying, “I think this is yours.” You’re just telling the truth.’

Read it – she gives a couple of other examples, enough to show that this is basically applicable in all situations when people don’t respect your boundaries.

You’re already uncomfortable, so share it around.  That’s what christian spirit is all about, right?

Look at me; I am going all religious on you, ha!

Paradigm Shifts

Some people – no names will be mentioned – do not like change.  Scared of uncertainty in an uncertain world, they resist change in the very place it matters most: in their heads.

The older you get, the more scared you get.  Or maybe just more tired.  Or maybe the more scared you get the more tired you are?  Being scared takes way more energy than flying full face into everything, weird though that may sound.

Now, I get scared and I certainly get tired but there is nothing, nothing I like better than having the eggs in my head scrambled.  Having my paradigms shifted, so to speak.

So I really liked this:

Fashion is a Feminist Issue by Greta Christina (via Femblr)

because it really made me think.  It took a subject I had a view on and made me think really hard about whether it changed that view or not.  I thunk really hard until my head hurt.  Jeez, I love it when that happens!

The basic point was thus:

‘Fashion is one of the very few forms of expression in which women have more freedom than men.

‘And I don’t think it’s an accident that it’s typically seen as shallow, trivial, and vain.

‘It is the height of irony that women are valued for our looks, encouraged to make ourselves beautiful and ornamental… and are then derided as shallow and vain for doing so. And it’s a subtle but definite form of sexism to take one of the few forms of expression where women have more freedom, and treat it as a form of expression that’s inherently superficial and trivial.

‘Like it or not, fashion and style are primarily a women’s art form. And I think it gets treated as trivial because women get treated as trivial.’

But read it, cos it’s pretty cool, cos stuff that makes you thunk and thunk is always cool.

On a related side note, I think I just cured Boogie of her nascent ‘Christianity’ by introducing her of the more Catholic, more ‘Old Testament’ god, y’know, the smiter of nefarious types, the giver of boil plagues and such.  It quickly became apparent that Boogie has, so far, only made the acquaintance of the cuddlier, New Testament hippy, Jesus.

‘But Mummy, why does god do these things?’

‘Why sweetheart, I don’t know, but trust me, god gets way pissed easily and really often,’

‘But why, mummy?’

‘Hell, I don’t know, you’re the god-botherer, you tell me.’

Let’s not go into the discussion of ‘mummy, but what is hell?‘ that followed because, frankly, that all just got unnecessarily graphic for a 6 year old about to go to sleep, and I feel slightly bad…but there is a part of me…which shouts, welcome to my world, kid! – born and raised Catholic, going to sleep was always scary as shit; first, the ‘if I die before I wake’ prayer (just so the thought of dying was right there), followed by the realisation that I’d sinned a fucking lot in the day and if I died in my sleep I wouldn’t make it to confession beforehand and I would therefore go to hell! if I did die…

Sometimes it’s just too much fun to fuck with your kid’s head to resist.

Like, Boogie is pretty sure that Santa doesn’t actually live on ‘homework juice’ and is therefore pretty sure that he won’t actually die if she doesn’t do hers, but there is always, just always, that iddy-biddy, teensy-weensy bit of doubt.  And so with god, as with Santa: better to believe just in case, eh?

Y’All Get that these People are Bat Shit Crazy, Right?

It’s not just me, right?

I’ve got no truck (well, not really), with people believing in ‘god’ per se; I see that there are many reasons why people choose to do so and, hey, who am I to judge?

Course, when those people ally that belief to a belief system which judges me – for swearing like a trooper, for having children out of wedlock, for eating chicken fried rice on a (gasp!) Friday or, say, oh, just being female – then I am exactly the person to judge.  ‘Belief system’ here obviously therefore covers every major, and every minor, religion on this planet.  And no, don’t argue with me because when even buddhism, the ‘belief system’ so beloved of left wing hippies it’s almost like it couldn’t exist if drugs didn’t, discriminates against women, you know you’re up shit creek and, regardless of the availability of propulsion systems, it frickin’ stinks.

I would say that this is what happens when religion turns bad, but this is just what happens when you have religion.  More specifically, it’s what happens when people decide they know what ‘god’ wants.

And God advocates child abuse.  No, not that kind of religious child abuse; cripes, even the Catholic priests didn’t try and pretend that ‘god’ told them to do it.

Bat. Shit. Crazy.