Royal Brunei Airlines' first women flight crew lands in Saudi Arabia, forbidden to drive there

Captain Sharifah Czarena Surainy Syed Hashim, Senior First Officer Dk Nadiah Pg Khashiem and Senior First Officer Sariana Nordin in the cockpit of  a Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Royal Brunei Airlines's first all-women deck crew flew into Saudi Arabia this week. Unfortunately, they will not be allowed to drive there, since Muslim clerics in that country forbid it.

From The Independent:

In December 2014, Loujain al-Hathloul was detained after she tried to drive into Saudi Arabia from the United Arab Emirates. Maysa al-Amoudi, a friend who turned up to support her, was also detained. Both were released after more than 70 days in custody.

Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East and North Africa director for Human Rights Watch said at the time: “After years of false promises to end its absurd restrictions on women, Saudi authorities are still arresting them for getting behind the wheel.

"The Saudi government’s degrading restrictions on women are what bring shame to the country, not the brave activists standing up for their rights.” Read the rest

Lies Actually

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Because it’s the holiday season, Lady Parts Justice League is giving back by reminding us about the anti-choice forces responsible for creating these terrorists with a reinterpretation of a scene from the Christmas classic, “Love Actually”.

When trying to make sense of these horrifying killing sprees, it's easy to lump the attackers into neat little boxes that give us peace of mind. When we look into those boxes, we don't see ourselves.

There’s a box for the “religious extremist” (but only if it’s in the name of Islam) and one for the “delusional loner” (because if we keep pushing the “loner” idea then we don’t have to face the American epidemic of gun violence).

But there is one mass murderer who doesn’t easily fit into any box: the abortion clinic terrorist.

During his arraignment, Robert Dear said, “I am a warrior for the babies!” 17 times. There's no evidence presented that he had a psychotic episode, but we all hear the voices that dominate our airwaves and the national conversation. Certainly, the clinic terrorist may be a “religious extremist” or a “delusional loner.”

What’s different about the abortion clinic attacker is that the voices in their head are not self-created delusions. Rather, they are the voices of mainstream politicians, mainstream religious figures, and mainstream media. Read the rest

#BlackLivesMatter activists are monitored by U.S. Homeland Security and cybersecurity firms

Image: Wikipedia.
In a Reddit AMA, activists DeRay McKesson, Johnetta Elzie and ACLU’s Nus Choudhury talked policing and police reform in America, and surveillance of activists.

Singer Alysha Brilla and sisters argue with police over right to ride bikes while shirtless

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Indo-Tanzanian-Canadian musician singer Alysha Brilla and her two sisters, Tameera and Nadia, said that a police officer pulled them over because they were riding bikes at night without wearing shirts. The officer told them to put their tops on and the three women argued with the officer.

CTV News of Kitchener reports:

"We passed by a cop in an SUV and he immediately makes a U-turn after seeing us from the front," she told CTV Kitchener over the weekend.

"He says, 'Ladies, you're going to need to put shirts on.'"

As the sisters began to argue with the officer, Brilla pulled out her cellphone and recorded the interaction. She said the conversation changed when she began recording.

"What are you stopping us for?" she can be heard asking. The officer asked her whether she had lights on her bike.

"He would have seen our lights shining on him and our helmets and everything," she told CTV.

According to a city clerk in Vancouver, it is perfectly legal for any human being to go topless. The sisters are planning a top freedom ralley in Waterloo this weekend. Read the rest

Have you seen Judd Apatow channel noted serial rapist Bill Cosby? Watch this video.

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“Trainwreck” director Judd Apatow as Bill Cosby on The Tonight Show.

Read the rest

Ellen Pao: “The trolls are winning.”

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“I have just endured one of the largest trolling attacks in history,” writes Reddit's recently-departed interim CEO Ellen Pao in a Washington Post op-ed today. “And I have just been blessed with the most astonishing human responses to that attack.” Read the rest

Stop telling women to smile

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Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is a Brooklyn artist who tried something new to speak up for herself—and address street harassment—through art. Read the rest

"Pee buddy" helps Indian women stand up for their own hygiene—literally

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India's often-unsanitary public toilets are breeding grounds for disease, leading many women pay to access toilets in places like McDonald's and KFC. The new "pee-buddy" is providing local women with urine liberation, reports the BBC. Read the rest

Here's what official Islamic State “wear a hijab, or else, ladies” paperwork looks like

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“The beauty of women can hurt her and attract evil,” it reads.

I survived an illegal abortion

Fran Moreland Johns sought an abortion in 1956 following a workplace rape. Now the author of Perilous Times: An Inside Look at Abortion Before and After Roe v. Wade, she survived a back-alley procedure in the days before legalization, and warns that with women's rights under renewed assault, those grim days are returning.

Sarkeesian on sexism in video games, and becoming a hate-target for talking about it

Mother Jones reporter Nina Liss-Schultz asked Anita Sarkeesian why she thinks she has been targeted by knuckle-dragging assholes on the internet--vicious threats, death, rape, and beatings by haters who happen to be men, and believe that women like Sarkeesian should shut up and stay out of their clubhouse. Read the rest

Where are the stolen girls of Nigeria? And why don't we care more?

Maybe if the more than 200 Nigerian girls abducted from their school weeks ago were on a ferry in Korea, a jet liner in the Indian Ocean, or were white, the world would pay more attention. Xeni Jardin on why it took so long for America to notice an intractable tragedy unfolding abroad.

Hobby Lobby, IUDs, and the facts

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide later this year whether a corporation can have religious beliefs. Maggie Koerth-Baker looks at the science of birth control, and how it might inform the debate.

Unaccompanied women banned from Saudi hospitals

Saudi Arabia's Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice has banned women from visiting hospitals without male guardians, reports Arab News. Read the rest

The story of the rapist's wife

The rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student last December drew worldwide attention to India's struggles with tradition, women's rights, and street harassment. In a piece for the Wall Street Journal, Krishna Pokharel and Aditi Malhotra add another layer to that onion, following the story of Punita Devi, the wife of one of the convicted rapists. She, too, is suffering from the fallout of her husband's choices — and in ways that come back to those issues of tradition and equality. Living in a rural area where widows lose both their honor and any viable means of financial support, Devi is facing a future where she expects to be turned out of her in-laws' home, cannot return to her parents, and is judged and punished ... not for being the wife of a rapist, but for being nobody's wife. Read the rest

Texas passes draconian law limiting women's health care options

Earlier this week on Facebook, Senate Democratic caucus chairman Kirk Watson posted this photo.

The NYT's John Schwartz, who is himself from Texas, live-tweeted the dramatic proceedings yesterday in the Texas Senate surrounding one of the strictest anti-abortion measures in the country. The law was pushed forward by governor Rick “The louder they scream, the more we know that we are getting something done” Perry.

No surprise: it passed. Read John's coverage today, and weep. Read the rest

For Anonymous: an ode to the Delhi rape victim, by Nilanjana Roy

"Let there be an end to this epidemic of violence, this culture where if we can’t kill off our girls before they are born, we ensure that they live these lives of constant fear. Like many women in India, I rely on a layer of privilege, a network of friends, paranoid security measures and a huge dose of amnesia just to get around the city, just to travel in this country. So many more women have neither the privilege, nor the luxury of amnesia, and this week, perhaps we all stood up to say, 'Enough,' no matter how incoherently or angrily we said it." For Anonymous, by Nilanjana Roy. Read the rest

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