Tag Archives: Pussy Riot

Shame Day: The Sochi Olympics

I have this weird thing where I actually really love crowds, so if I was in Sochi right now I would be all up in the Olympic excitement. And of course as a Canadian I’m particularly excited to be a winner in something sporty, even if my association with winning is only via my citizenship.

That being said, I’m going to have to pull a Debbie Downer here and remind everyone of all the crap that has happened in Russia as a direct result of the Olympics.

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Boycott Russia

2014 will see the XXII Winter Olympics held in Sochi, Russia. Or at least, such is the current proposal of the Russian state and the Olympic committee. Personally, I’d like to keep that from happening.

Here’s why:

Russia isn’t exactly a beacon of freedom and human rights today (or since 1929, for that matter). In spite of having the basic decency to offer former-NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden something of a safe haven, the modern Russian Federation has more than a few dents in its reputation.

And its cars…

While massive corruption has been an issue for a long time, and while Russia is no more free from the ugly face of white supremacism than any of its fellow European nations, a few recent events stand out as especially damning. Continue reading

Shame Day: Concerned Women for America

“Concerned Women for America.”

It sounds almost like a cartoonish satire of the kind of people who storm into PTA meetings demanding to know why their children have been
“exposed to filth” after discovering a copy of Catcher in the Rye, Slaughterhouse Five, or Harry Potter in their kids’ assigned reading list. The kind of people who warn about the corrosive and unwholesome messages hidden in rock songs, or who sit horrified in front of the TV as some sensationalist dead-inside “journalist” warns about the latest secret teenager trend that’s sure to kill them/get them pregnant.

And as much as it sounds like something that’s ripped out of Footloose, Concerned Women for America is very real.

And that is an absolute shame.

Let’s take a look at some of the bilge that these guys are producing.

What caught my eye was a recent article of theirs on Malala Yousafzai, a heroic Pakistani girl and women’s rights and peace activist. In this post, the authors launch a vicious attack on Islam as being an inherently barbarous and misogynistic religion with a murderous agenda for any who dare oppose it. As the article states

“Malala questioned the station of women under Islam’s oppressive thumb, and the Taliban tried to put her six feet under the ground.”

This, quite simply, is a lie.

Yes the Taliban tried to kill Malala, and yes, Malala questioned the station of women-but what the authors of the article neglect to mention is that Malala Yousafzai is a Muslim herself.

Apparently it’s not enough that this fifteen year old girl (and she is fifteen, not fourteen, as the CWA article wrongly states) has to deal with the threat of violence and murder- she now has to endure her activism being hijacked by the “Concerned Women for America” bent on turning her sacrifice into a smear campaign against her own religion, which they claim is both “false” and “hate-filled.”

But why stop there?

The “Concerned Women for America” are also turning their ignorant ire against the “Slut Walks,” which for those of you who may be unaware, are parades of women wearing clothes of different degrees of modesty or exposure to make the point that it doesn’t matter how you’re dressed- one’s wardrobe is never an “invitation to rape” as some sex-offenders have tried claiming.

Being the moral, upstanding people that they are, CWA has sent up a howl of protest against these walks, declaring:

“The latest desperate bid for attention by the publicity-starved feminists is to sponsor SlutWalks — events where scantily clad women take to the streets en masse to claim their “right” to dress and behave however they want or to go anywhere at any time without the risk of being sexually assaulted or deemed streetwalkers.”

“They propose somehow to make the point that even if what they wear, their drunken state, or their presence alone in a very vulnerable place might indicate their willingness to participate in a sexual free-for-all, women should not be subject to lewd propositions or be at risk of being raped.”

Now I could leave it right there- those two statements alone are enough to demonstrate without a shred of doubt just what vile, reprehensible misogynistic scum the CWA is made of, but just to hammer in a few more nails for safe measure, here are some of there other quotes.

Here’s a lovely little comment regarding the Russian punk-rock protest group “Pussy Riot,” recently sentenced to two years in prison for singing an anti-government song in a cathedral.

Their formal statements about the incident reveal their utter lack of morality, embrace of a “blame-everyone-but-us” ideology, and disdain for capitalism and individual responsibility. Like their U.S. counterparts, they want “human rights, civil and political freedoms” for themselves but not for Christian believers or anyone else with different beliefs… Christians around the world are facing intolerance of their beliefs and sometimes violence as well. In spite of the Constitution, religious liberty is under attack in the United States, with the federal government telling religious institutions that they must violate their beliefs and support homosexual “marriage,” homosexual adoptions, contraception, and abortion or face penalties.

Really? A handful of women sing a song in a church decrying the increasingly totalitarian state, get the ridiculous sentence of two years prison for doing so (the same action in the US would merit a fine, if that) and it’s you who are the persecuted ones.

Here’s another good one- outrage that a Macy’s employee was fired for confronting a transgender person for using the women’s dressing room.

Transgender?  Give me a break!  First of all, there is no such thing; it is a choice of behavior.  And hope as we might, our desire to behave in a certain way does not legitimize a chosen behavior.  It certainly does not entitle them to circumvent the rights of society and our moral tenets in order for them to “have their way.”  Natalie Johnson, the employee in question, was quoted in an ABC interview, “I refuse to comply with this policy,” and “There are no transgenders in the world.  A guy can dress up as a woman all he wants.  That’s still not going to make you a woman.”

An easy call? Certainly not, but this self-righteous outrage is just plain stupid. What if the person in question had been born a hermaphrodite? How would he or she be treated then? Would that kind of ambiguity have justified the guy/gal being denied service? If that’s our logic, why not deny service to people in wheelchairs for not conforming to the societal norm? That logic just doesn’t hold up.

End of the day, “Concerned Women for America” is what cancer would look like if it were an social movement. Shame on this vile organization.

October 15: What’s Not Being Talked About In The News

For the most part, I try to keep my politics toned down here at CWR, but every once in a while, something comes along that straddles the line between ideology and culture that’d be wrong not to talk about.

I’m guessing you may have heard of Malala Yousafazi.

Young Pakastani girl known for being a women’s education and peace activist, shot by a reported Taliban assassin just short of a week ago and just today being flown to England to continue her recovery.

You may have seen this picture of her:

But the picture you may not have seen is this one here:

That’s young Malala wearing a hijab, a head-covering worn by many Muslim women as part of their understanding of modesty. Yep, Malala’s a Muslim– but that’s something you’re not gonna hear on the news or read in your paper.If Islam is mentioned at all, chances are, it’s in reference to Malala’s would be assassin- not her (or her friends who were with her). Why is that? How come the same frenzied media attention that is devoted to listing off every attack or offense on the part of “Radical Islam” utterly fails to note the Islamic element when it’s related to something positive. I can understand- maybe even overlook- the fact that the news doesn’t offer any attention to the millions of Muslims (the ones I grew up with) who just go about their day without doing anything to anyone. But the moment  a Muslim man or woman stands up for what he or she believes, even going so far as be nearly murdered for those beliefs and actions, religion disappears from the picture.

And while we’re at it, there’s another thing that’s been bothering me.

You remember Pussy Riot? Feminist Punk Band who got into trouble for playing anti-Putin songs in a historic Russian cathedral?

Why is it that when they got convicted of “hooliganism” and were sentenced to two years in prison (a term waaay disproportionate to the crime) the world united in outrage, and when Leah-Lynne Plante was arrested-

Oh.

Who’s “Leah-Lynne Plante”?

She’s an activist up in Washington State whose apartment was raided by FBI and SWAT Teams. See, back on May 1st, there was some vandalism that occurred in Seattle and Leah-Lynne was a suspect.

How many people who have vandalized walls or billboards actually have the police investigate them, let alone the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force? Of those people, how many have black clothes and books confiscated as “evidence”?

Obviously this has about as much to do with vandalism as Pussy Riot’s sentencing had to do with disturbing the peace. See, Leah-Lynne Plante is a self-proclaimed anarchist, and after refusing for a third time to answer questions before a grand jury. Considering the Grand Jury that’s investigating these and other alleged anarchist criminals was first created in March (two months prior to when she allegedly committed these crimes) doesn’t exactly reflect well on the whole “liberty and justice for all” element of the legal system.

But that’s all beside the point.

The point is, you probably don’t know about it. Your news has almost certainly never reported it, and considering the similarities between the two cases, doesn’t Leah-Lynne Plante’s case deserve your attention just as much as anti-government rockers off in Moscow?

Your media doesn’t think so.

And I think we’re being asked too much. I think we’ve had enough.

See, you can’t pick and choose- if the media want to take the violent or oppressive actions of Muslims as being representative of their faith, they have to apply the same logic to Muslim heroism as well. The same goes for equal air-time. The news can’t report on a bunch of women in brightly colored balaclavas for being broadsided by the state and then whistle Dixie while one in a black shirt has her home raided by men in kevlar.

Consistency- I’m not expecting that the news be factual (and considering it’s the news, that’s a pretty big thing to let slide) but they have got to be fair
or stop calling themselves reporters. If they wanted to pick and choose their battles, they should’ve become bloggers instead.