Thursday, May 15, 2014
Try telling my little girl it's sexist to love pink!
ANGELA EPSTEIN says that warnings against letting girls love pink is 'Lefty hokum'
Ms Epstein is an outspoken Jewish lady -- a Jewish Mancunian, rather startlingly -- and I am greatly pleased to read her comments below. But I can't help asking myself why we had to leave it to a Jewish lady to answer the feminist idiocy. Where are all the goyim who might have replied with equal verve? -- JR
As I run through the official checklist of the things my ten-year-old daughter Sophie needs for Brownie camp, I notice a handwritten postscript added in a flourish at the bottom of the form.
‘Mummy, whatever you buy, just make sure it’s pink!!!!’
I do my best to fulfil the remit. Pink swimming cap? Tick. Pink torch? Tick. Pink hiking boots? Well, that’s a struggle but I find some with pink laces. So, almost tick.
Where Sophie is concerned — to misquote U.S. motor manufacturer Henry Ford — she will have any colour… so long as it’s pink.
Ever since she was old enough to point an autocratic finger at her colour of choice, that little digit has always swung to the most feminine end of the palette. On planet Sophie, the world is one unapologetic riot of pink, from the rose-coloured bows she clamps in her hair to her favourite strawberry ice cream.
Yet, if right-on ‘experts’ are to be believed, by allowing my daughter to succumb to her love of pink, I could be boxing in her ambition, damaging her prospects and condemning her to a life chained to the kitchen sink.
Only the other week, Hannah Webster from the Independent Association of Prep Schools warned that having blue for a boy and pink for a girl is ‘pernicious’ because it leads them towards certain roles.
In the biggest pile of Lefty hokum, she wrote: ‘If we designate a particular colour to a gender, it leads us to designate all manner of other things by gender, too. The result is girls and boys read different kinds of books, play with different kinds of toys, study different subjects, consider different occupations, have different roles within the workplace and family, and are ultimately valued differently by society.’
Clearly, she has never met my daughter — a steel-willed, focused and determined young lady, whose choice of pink is a robust and frank expression of her own ideas and identity.
Ironically, there was every likelihood Sophie would become a tomboy — arriving as she did after three brothers. Yet despite the prevailing toilet humour and boys-will-be-boys influences in our house, her love of pink has remained steadfast. This then is nature, not nurture, leaking from within to literally colour every choice she makes.
And why shouldn’t it? She’s a girl, for goodness’ sake. Does giving in to her feminine instincts somehow mean she won’t be encouraged — as I have done with her older siblings — to aim high, work hard and set her cap at a professional career? Of course not.
She only has to look to her mother, working as a writer and broadcaster, to see how much I believe in women having strong careers.
Webster isn’t the only one to peddle the lazy, oven-ready view that girls playing with pink dollies and boys ramming footballs into a net is somehow offensive to the evolution of the modern child. Marks & Spencer has now pledged to make toys ‘gender neutral’ (despite happily taking thousands of pounds from me over the years for Sophie’s frilly pinafores).
In a recent parliamentary debate, MPs Jenny Willott, Elizabeth Truss and Chi Onwurah fretted over the ‘pinkification’ of toys for girls, maintaining it was adding to gender inequality in science, technology, engineering and maths careers.
Yet Melbourne academic Cordelia Fine, writing recently in the New Scientist, admits ‘there is no research linking gendered marketing of toys and books and later occupational discrimination or sharing of household chores.’
So why do so many people persist in peddling such inane views? Why can’t little girls be left to be little girls?
We live in an age when more girls than boys go to university, when our medical schools churn out more female than male doctors. Yet we still have these deeply misguided voices who — like forcing left-handed children to pick up pencils in their right — keep insisting that pink stymies girls’ development.
If Sophie wants pink, she can have pink — in fact, I’m proud to say, I wouldn’t be able to stop her, since her will and determination are unapologetic and immovable.
Once again modern feminism has shot itself in the foot. By spoiling for fights where they don’t exist and failing to acknowledge that biology doesn’t make us unequal, just different, today’s ‘pro-wimmin’ lobby squashes my daughter’s voice.
If the blinkered anti-pink campaigners think neutralising a love of this colour is the way to greater equality and career satisfaction, they need to drop those rose-tinted glasses. Or whatever colour they choose to wear.
Some Leftist objections to Sharia law in Britain
About 70 protesters rallied outside the office of the Law Society to condemn their endorsement of discriminatory sharia law on April 28 2014.
The protest was organised by anti-racist, feminist and human rights groups, namely One Law for All, Southall Black Sisters, Centre for Secular Space, and London School of Economics SU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society.
Chris Moos was the master of ceremonies of the rally.
At the protest, Pragna Patel, director of Southall Black Sisters called upon the Law Society to withdraw its guidance:
Our message to you is this: Wake up: You are the Law Society and not a body advising on the compatibility of the law with religious principles! You have no business in normalising discriminatory religious principles in the legal culture and practice of this country. Your business is to ensure that the law is human rights complaint and not anti-rights compliant. Your business is to tear up the guidance. Your business is to stand with us on this side of the fence and on this side of history.
Maryam Namazie, founder of One Law for All and Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation argued:
There is no place for Sharia in Britain’s legal system just as there is no place for it anywhere. Sharia – like all religious laws – is based on a dogmatic and regressive philosophy and a warped understanding of the concepts of equality and justice. It is primitive and patriarchal and based on inequality, retribution and religious [im]morality. It is not a rule for equals and has no place in a modern state or system of law. Law Society listen up: you must immediately withdraw your shameful guidance. Now! In the words of Algerian women singing for change: “We aren’t asking for favours. History speaks for us”.
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said:
The Law Society is violating its own equality policies by providing guidance on Sharia-compliant wills and offering training courses in Sharia law for high street lawyers. It is colluding with Sharia law principles that discriminate against women, non-Muslims and children who are adopted or born to unmarried parents. This is a direct attack on the equal rights of many Muslims, especially women. The Law Society is supposed to uphold the equality values of British law. Instead, it is undermining them. The Law Society would never provide guidance to facilitate racist or homophobic-compliant wills. Why the double standards?
Kate Smurthwaite, comedian and activist, appealed to the Law Society:
Religious bigots are highly skilled at trampling on the rights of women, children and non-believers. They don’t need The Law Society to help them. The value of daughters is THE SAME as the value of sons. All marriages, religious, non-religious, gay or straight are marriages. And every child is legitimate. Faced with bigotry it is the job of all of us – including the Law Society – to challenge it. The protestors today did exactly that. When will The Law Society follow suit and rip up this ‘guide to discrimination’?
Abhishek Phadnis, president of the LSESU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist society, added:
I come from a country which has seen this divisive trend being taken to its logical conclusion – where a woman’s rights to, among other things, alimony and inheritance, depend entirely on her religion, there being different laws for each community. The resulting discrimination has visited appalling suffering upon Muslim women in particular. I have no wish to see it replicated here. A man may choose to be as spiteful and chauvinistic as he wishes, but it is not something our public institutions should encourage or condone. I hope the Law Society will withdraw this Note before it causes any further damage.
James Bloodworth, the Editor of Left Foot Forward, said:
In issuing its guidance on Sharia-Compliant Wills, the law society is lending respectability to something that should have none: the view that women are in some way second class citizens.
Diana Nammi, Chief Executive of the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation, commented:
I am here today to represent thousands of women and girls from the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan who live here in the UK. Many of these women, like me, have fled countries where Sharia law is practiced. […] There is a lot of money to be made by lawyers from drafting Sharia compliant wills. We cannot allow for women’s rights to be sacrificed so that lawyers can cash in. The Law Society must never step beyond its remit of secular law. It has no just reason to legitimise any religious law.
Ramin Forghani, Vice-Chair of the Scotland Secular Society, who had travelled from Glasgow to join the protest, asserted:
I’m Iranian and I well know what happens when the barrier between religion and legal system gets destroyed. Shame on the Law Society!
Rumana Hashem from Nari Diganta – Women in Movement for Social Justice, Secularism and Equal Rights added:
As a Bengali-Muslim resident in the UK, I faced enough discrimination in this country in relation to ethnicity, gender and migration for the last seven years. I cannot tolerate further discrimination in relation to my religion and sex. [...] When Muslim countries like Bangladesh are moving away from religious law and moving towards secularism and gender equity by overcoming religious rules, how can the Law Society in the UK provide guidance for legitimising Sharia Law in a state which is meant to provide secularism and human rights for all?
Other speakers at the rally included Jason Scott of the London Atheist Activist Group and Yasmin Rehman of the Centre for Secular Space.
The rally finished with protesters tearing pages from a copy of the Equality Act and pinning them to the fence of the Law Society, symbolising the contravention of the Act by the Law Society.
As the master of ceremonies of the rally, Chris Moos concluded:
Our protest has sent a clear and loud signal to the Law Society that secularists and equality campaigners will not stand by and watch while the Law Society is undermining the basic principle of secular equality enshrined in the law. We hope that the Law Society will accept our legitimate concerns and address them by immediately withdrawing the practice note. The Law Society needs to act now, or face even more scrutiny from secular and human rights campaigners.
The open letter kick-starting the campaign against the Law Society on March 23rd was signed by scientist Richard Dawkins; Egyptian activist Aliaa Magda Elmahdy; writer Taslima Nasrin; Founder and Director of Basira for Universal Women Rights Ahlam Akram; founder of Secularism is a Woman’s Issue Marieme Helie Lucas; and Raheel Raza, President of Council of Muslims Facing Tomorrow amongst others.
Bill Maher’s blistering anti-Islamist rant
Bill Maher may be a major financial supporter of the Democratic Party, but he is anything but a blind follower.
Last Friday night, Maher used his usual brand of intellectual, scathing sarcasm to challenge his liberal guests about Islamic violence during a discussion of Nigeria’s Boko Haram.
Maher took his audience, and panelists Arianna Huffington and comedian Baratunde Thurston, off-guard when he pushed them on the role of Islam in justifying Boko Haram’s kidnapping of 300 young women and threatening to sell them on the open market. He questioned why liberals do not openly condemn Islamic violence, and pointed to the strong link between current day terrorist attacks and the religion.
Maher noted, “There’s no mention here of connecting this to the religion, which is always what I am seeking to do because I think that’s the elephant in the room. And that in the religion at large, women are seen as property, second-class at best, often as property.”
Both Huffington and Thurston challenged Maher, warning him against blaming an entire religion for the work of a few extremists.
Thurston’s statement that Islam does not have a monopoly on extremism prompted a swift retort from Maher, who noted, “Kind of, they do.” Maher pointed out that while other religions may have occasional instances of extremism, Islam seems to have large numbers of radicals.
Maher’s reply to Thurston’s statement that Christians also commit acts of violence was equally scalding, “If this was the 14th century,” said Maher, “I would be coming down on the Christians because that’s when they were too violent.” Then he added, “Religions and cultures change.”
Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza then backed Maher, noting that most modern day terrorist attacks have some tie to Islam, making an odd team of Maher and D’Souza versus Huffington and Thurston.
Maher’s most scathing comment was in response to Huffington, after she asserted that it is dangerous for people to stereotype all Muslims as terrorists.
Maher noted, “Where it becomes dangerous is that liberals like yourself do not stand up for liberalism. Liberalism means, one, mostly, equality of women.”
The talk show host is notoriously liberal, and is also a rabid backer of the Democratic Party. In 2012, Maher publicly disclosed that he gave $1 million to President Obama’s Super Pac.
Everything’s offensive: Since when did we become a society of politically correct Nazis?
Most people have heard about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but it seems to have escaped the notice of the people who run Instagram (the same people who run Facebook).
Especially this bit —Section 2(b): “Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.”
With exquisite timing, just before Mother’s Day, Instagram shut down Heather Bays’ account because it featured pictures of her breastfeeding her 20-month old daughter. Heather, who’s originally from Winnipeg and now lives in Toronto, may have thought she was sharing a beautiful picture celebrating motherhood with her community, but Instagram apparently thought she was trafficking in child pornography.
Seriously. One photo showed her daughter’s bare torso, and another one exposed a full breast and someone took offence and complained.
Let’s remember that Heather Bays is a maternity photographer. Unlike millions of moronic selfies, her photos are actually good.
Meanwhile, over in Vancouver, people are trying to get Dr. Seuss banned again. This time, it’s If I Ran the Zoo, because there’s a line about zoo helpers who “all wear their eyes at a slant” alongside illustrations of Asian stereotypes. While this was all viewed as perfectly acceptable back in 1950, it is offensive through a 2014 lens.
The Vancouver Public Library is resisting the call for the ban, wisely recognizing that if they ban Dr. Seuss, they would have to ban half the world’s literature, from Sophocles to the Arabian Nights.
At one time or another, everything and everyone offends. These days, everyone is offended. I don’t envy the gatekeepers. When everything is offensive, what do you do?
If you ask me, it’s simple. Just remember the Nazis. They loved to find things offensive. They burned books and banned works of art because they were decadent or written by Jews. The Nazis weren’t interested in freedom of thought, belief, etc. In fact, they loathed and opposed such things.
Good thing we’re not like the Nazis, eh?
Look. As far as I’m concerned, lots of things are offensive. There are times when I wish country music, Hallmark greeting cards and cat videos were ruthlessly suppressed. But then I come to my senses.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.