South Africa is certainly a country with contradictions. Most obviously, there is the fact that part of the population lives in a first world situation while another part lives in a third world situation but, beneath that, there is also the sharp contrast between people’s views. For example when I spoke about the good parts of my home city, I mentioned that South Africa was the fifth country in the world, and first in Africa, to legalise gay marriage. In fact such a tolerant legal attitude was in stark contrast to many other African countries. Continue reading
I said yesterday that there was some disagreement about hate speech and that I would offer my thoughts. The issue came up with regards to principle four of the Free Speech Debate project.
We speak openly and with civility about all kinds of human difference.
Jeremy Waldron expressed his support for legislation limiting hate speech on the grounds that it is harmful to people in vulnerable groups by lowering their status in the eyes of the public, creating a poisonous atmosphere and intimidating them. I disagree and think there is no place for laws that prevent hate speech, only for laws that are designed to emphasise reason and protect against calls for harm. Continue reading
About four years ago I came across a series of lines starting with “I am” (and two with “we are”) and the request for them to be shared. I thought they were something worth keeping in mind and I printed them out and kept them on my wall. Today I’ve taken the page down and so I’m sharing them on here for everyone else to read. Read them, share them and do your part to stop the hatred. Continue reading
If you’re a Catholic you need to accept that the Vatican and the Pope control the church’s official position on matters. These decisions are supposedly inspired by god and are not up for debate.
The Pope has recently spoken out against calls for female priests. If you are a Catholic that wants to see equality you need to accept that you are in opposition to your religion. Either, as Catholics are supposed to believe, the Pope is infallible or you are not truly Catholic because you do not believe what is required of you. If you don’t believe then you need to stop calling yourself Catholic just because of tradition or loyalty to the idea. Continue reading
This year, the 20th of January was the fourth International Fetish Day, building off the 2008 National Fetish Day in the UK. The purpose is both to raise awareness and support for the BDSM community and create opposition to laws concerning extreme pornography. I’m mostly going to focus on the laws as it shows what I’d consider governments going to far, i.e. attempting to regulate people’s private lives. Continue reading
Happy International Fetish Day.
I do have something to say about this but I haven’t written the post yet and, since it’s my aunt’s birthday and I’ve been drinking, I don’t think I’ll be in the right condition to compose anything today. This is mostly then to say this will be the focus of my next post. I realise this week has been quite focused on sexuality but hopefully I’ll find an interesting science story soon as well or my letter to a local newspaper will be accepted and I will post it here. Or I might just use it as the base for a new religion-based piece.
This was supposed to have been posted on Tuesday but then it got postponed to Wednesday. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get the links I needed with some sites down in protest over SOPA/PIPA. It can finally be posted today though.
In the previous post we touched on homosexual relationships which still lack acceptance in some parts of the world. In the US I only a few states recognise gay marriage while in Africa there are some countries have tried to criminalise homosexuality and others have succeeded, often with the anti-gay movements led by the religious, and even in South Africa, where gay marriages have been recognised for a few years, there are attacks directed at homosexuals termed “corrective rape.” Some in the Vatican even think the UN has a secret agenda to increase the number of homosexuals in the world.
There is the suggestion that perhaps further equality would be better pursued by making a separation between religious marriage, where the church can deny gay marriages if it so wishes, and secular civil unions which are available for all members of society and are recognised by the state. It’s actually a decent idea because it doesn’t require forcing religions to do something but it still opens up the full-spectrum of relationships for everyone. Churches will be able to make decisions on church policies and the state will make secular decisions. The complication is then tied to how religious the institution of marriage actually is and whether the gay movement is more interested in a real change or the symbolism of marriage. Continue reading
It’s not really a secret that religions often have warped views of sex, generally that it is a terrible, disgusting act that people should do purely for procreative reasons. This obsession with sex appears to have reached the climax of irrationality in the Islamic world (pun intended). In the past week not only have we been warned that “letting women drive would increase prostitution, pornography, homosexuality and divorce” but that women need to be prevented from contact with certain vegetables, namely bananas, carrots, cucumbers and zucchinis, because they “resemble the male penis.”
On a related note you can fight back against these sort of warped attitudes by submitting a photo for a nude calender in support of Aliaa Magda Elmahdy. Aliaa and her boyfriend are both facing legal action from the Coalition of Islamic Law Graduates for “violating morals, inciting indecency and insulting Islam” after she posted a nude photograph of herself on her blog to show her “screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy.”