Link Love (19/06/2012)

News Across the World

Afghanistan: “The lack of commitment by the Afghan government to equality and to tackling the high rates of ill-treatment of women in the home and in the workplace is raising real fears they will be at the bottom of the political agenda in the push for power after Nato forces leave the country.” Afghan women leave the country in fear of Taliban return – The Observer, “After being forced to marry one of her captors the next day in an illegal ceremony, Bibi, who says she’s 13, spent the ensuing five days in a dark room being tortured, beaten, and repeatedly raped. Her ordeal ended a week after her capture when she was dumped, bruised and battered, outside her home in a remote village in northern Konduz Province.” Rape Case Tests Afghan Justice – RFERL & “”I tell the men of the village, all I want is your prayers,” she says. “When you have a problem, I’ll speak to the government on your behalf and whenever there is any disturbance at night-time, I’ll pick up my gun and come to your house to see what’s going on.”” Afghanistan’s supergran crimebuster on wheels – BBC

Malawi: Muslim women ask Malawi President to allow Hijab in offices – Malawi News

Pakistan: “Under Pakistan’s law, abortion is only legal to preserve a mother’s health. It is a highly taboo subject in the 97% Muslim country, where sex outside of wedlock has been punished by stoning.” When choosing kills – Unsafe Abortion in Pakistan – Guardian

Sudan: “Her age is in dispute with some reports giving Intisar’s age as either 16-17 years-old or 20 years-old. This is significant because, if she is a minor, corporal punishment is illegal under international law.” Human rights groups condemn woman’s stoning sentence – Sudan Tribune

UK: “After the pain, it was the screaming that I’ll never forget. It wasn’t just mine and my sister’s screams, there were so many other girls there – all being cut. I’ve never heard screams like that again and I don’t think I ever will.” The horror of female genital mutilation – Al Jazeera & “The real reason, it will transpire, that you are being taken away from Britain is that you are to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), the removal, often by female relatives, of some or all of your external sexual parts, followed in many cases by infibulation – sewing up the open wound so that only a tiny hole remains, and where before there were healthy, elastic passages, there is now only scarring and the daily evidence of the damage wrought on your most intimate person. The subtext of FGM is the subjugation of women, in cultures where they are seen only as adjuncts to men.” Hilary Burrage: Female Genital Mutilation in Britain: The Scandal About to Break… – Huffington Post

US: Children Taught to Obey Genocide Orders in US Schools – Care2


“He wanted to go further and further and further, I kept saying no, but then at a certain point, no just wasn’t alright anymore. After all, I’d come to his apartment. For some crazy reason, I felt bad. I felt like I couldn’t say no or back out. However uncomfortable I was, I felt obligated. And trapped.” On Guilt, Shame & Getting Over It – Bangs and a Bun


“It seems that God wasn’t so clear about his moral grounding after all since so many Christians disagree about God’s moral grounding. We really need to ask, how do we know what God commands?” Atheism 101: Is there moral grounding without God? – Examiner

“That is yet another issue with religion. It has been my observation that religious websites (Christians aren’t alone in this) tend to “moderate” their comments and it just so happens that most of the dissenting opinions don’t make the cut. They may allow a little bit of disagreement, but it doesn’t take much for them to cut off discussion and debate.” Christians Claim Credit for Free Society – Dangerous Talk

“The evidence for this is to be found where? You’ve guessed it; in the Bible which was written by people who wanted you to believe Jesus was the Jewish Messiah and  is still alive. No other evidence exists outside the Bible and no contemporaneous written accounts of it appear anywhere in any records or any non-biblical sources what so ever.” Jesus Is Risen – And Pigs Can Fly! – Rosa Rubicondior

“The always excellent Mr. Deity presents us with an absurd situation that is simply accepted by so many: loving someone who is set on torturing your loved ones.” Mr Deity Presents: My Best Friend, the Torturer – Friendly Atheist

“This started my brain twitching. I knew Sean was still a good person, that he still maintained the same moral standards he had when he married me. The Church was wrong about him. What else might they be wrong about? I shoved the thought away.” I Was a Good Mormon Wife… Until My Husband Stopped Believing in God – AlterNet

“To begin with the author assumes that only those husbands who abandon their faith become angry, bitter, and abusive – and she offers no help for women whose abusive husbands are fully committed Christians acting in accordance with patriarchal teachings derived from the bible; she quotes random bible verses out of context to convince abused women that they are safe from actual violent abuse so long as they remain close to God; she appears to believe a woman’s display of piety (praying out loud for her abuser and telling him that she is giving him over to the Lord, for example) is the way to truly intimidate her abusive husband and get him to back off; she advises victims not to “make the abuse worse” by reacting to their abusers’ anger (followed by the whiplash-inducing about-face when she admonishes victims to never allow anyone to convince you that the abuse is your fault); and to top it all off, the author encourages abuse victims to take charge of their lives by finding a hobby.” How to Use a Woman’s Faith & Trust to Make Her a Willing Accomplice to Her Own Abuse – No Longer Quivering


“It didn’t occur to me to ask why he didn’t just look away if the sight bothered him so much. Or to ask what gave him the idea that he had the right to look, evaluate and judge every woman he came across” Dignity and invisibility – A Sober Second Look

The morning-after pill is not an abortion pill – Feministing That’s just some outdated medical information that is repeated on practice, but has never been scientifically proven.

Why Parents of Transgender Children Are Faced With a Difficult Decision – New York Magazine

“The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly unanimously decided at the end of May that gay marriages have “the same sense of holiness and joy as that expressed in heterosexual marriages.””Conservative Rabbis Approve Gay Marriage – Care2

“What she doesn’t seem to notice is that other people’s behavior is what was making her uncomfortable in the first place. The beliefs of her family-to-be (that modest dress is a prerequisite for respect) cause them to stare at her breasts and make her uncomfortable in that subtle, infuriating way that Christian fundamentalists patronizingly smile and conspicuously try not to look at the legs of a newcomer in a short skirt. Her family-to-be’s body language is sending her subtle social signals that she is not okayBecause she is internalizing their ideas and bad behavior, she feels like she is “empowered” when she does what they want and covers up.” Modesty and False Empowerment – The Phoenix and Olive Branch

“The takeaway is an obvious one: If women want to compete for what they’re told is an ever-shrinking number of ambitious and attractive men, they’ve got to intensify their efforts to pursue physical perfection. Thus, this growing perception of “good guy scarcity” is what makes the body image crisis worse for women even as female participation in higher education and the workplace soars.” How the ‘Man Crisis’ Makes Women’s Perfectionism Worse – Role / Reboot


Unexplained infertility? It might be caused by gluten – Julianne’s Paleo & Zone Nutrition

Is Going Grain Free Healthy? – Mark’s Daily Apple

Beauty & Body Image

“It’s much less socially acceptable for those of us who love our bodies to express it than it is for women with body image issues to do so.” Self-love as Bravery – Already Pretty

“And somewhere along the way, instead of building an awesome, top-notch wardrobe, I’ve got… a whole lot of nothing? How did THAT happen? Instead of a beautiful, well-curated, and all-coordinating closet, I’m scrambling to put things together.” Building a Better Wardrobe – Ash in Fashion

Bodies Then vs. Bodies Now – male pattern boldness

“It didn’t occur to me to compare myself to models for a few years – that would have made about as much sense as comparing myself to a giraffe or a gazelle – until I turned fourteen, got contact lenses and started hearing that I should try to be a model.  Suddenly I found myself scrutinizing the women in the pages of the magazines, and much to my everlasting chagrin, I was always coming up short.” A year without women’s magazines – Fit and Feminist

“Um, do black women have skin? And zits and wrinkles and other cosmetic annoyances? Within three months, Iman says, the liquid foundation became her top-selling item. Moral of the story: Retailers, put makeup for black women in your makeup aisle. It’s ridiculous that this is an issue today.” Iman Proved That Black Women Do Indeed Buy Liquid Foundation – The Cut


“I want an answer. I want to learn. And I want to get comfortable with the twist of truth to this whole process: I’m going to spend the rest of my life figuring it all out.” The Three Cs (and an Intro to This Blog) – Make Every Day Count

“What I’m talking about takes time. And actual work. But it’s not hard work; it’s actually enjoyable. With enough time and consistent, small effort, I expect the results to compound and grow exponentially, to leave me — and anyone else who uses it — completely transformed, from the inside out.” How I’ve Begun Changing My Life, One Habit at a Time – No Meat Athlete

“You tend to become the things you believe are important. This idea alone defines much of the different trajectories people take. Luck, talent and habits constrain the path, but they matter less than which direction you decide to take.” Wanting the Right Things – Scott H Young

While transitions might never be as simple or effortless as we’d like them to be, we can at least love ourselves through them by being attentive, mindful and intentional. And as we practice transition in its many forms, maybe, sometimes, we’ll find ease in the midst of it all.” How to support yourself through big transitions – effervescence

Tips for cheering yourself up – from 1820 – The Happiness Project

“But if I had to pick just one, it would be this: learning to be happy with yourself.” The Most Important Skill to Master – zen habits


“One, Henry Miller was a pure pro. His commandments would work equally well for a diet, training for a triathlon, starting a new business or planning to invade (or decamp from) Afghanistan.” Writing Wednesdays: Henry Miller’s Eleven Commandments – Steven Pressfield

“But these limitations ignore a bigger one: most people suck at marketing themselves. Even if a degree isn’t a prerequisite to competing in your field, the advantage of credentials is that they do the signalling work for you. The more unconventional you are, the less you can leverage positive stereotypes to define yourself.” Nonconformers Need Better Social Skills – Scott H Young

5 Mistakes of New Fiction Writers – The Creative Penn


7 Secrets for Supporting a Stressed Spouse – Project Happily Ever After

21 ways to be a better spouse – Roots of She

People will treat you the way you let them treat you. – You can’t control them, but you can control what you tolerate.  Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from negative people.  Doing so does not mean you hate them, it simply means you respect yourself. ” 15 Relationship Truths for Tough Times – Marc and Angel


How to Buy a Round-the-World Plane Ticket – The Art of Non-Conformity

How We Went Paper Towel-less – Grouchy Girl Does Life

Packing How-to’s: Clothing – Fashion For Nerds & Clothing Part 2

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