Afghan law to silence victims of domestic violence


The small but significant change to Afghanistan‘s criminal prosecution code bans relatives of an accused person from testifying against them. Most violence against women in Afghanistan is within the family, so the law – passed by parliament but awaiting the signature of the president, Hamid Karzai – will effectively silence victims as well as most potential witnesses to their suffering.


Let’s hope it doesn’t get signed.   (Thanks, R!)

Young Feminist Philosopher of the Week: Natalie, Founder of the Brave People Protest

A guest post by Amie Thomasson, University of Miami:


Natalie was just over six when she noticed something. She had been to science camp before. She saw the new flier coming in the mailbox around spring break, announcing the new science, space and rocket camp. Awesome. But where were the girls in all the pictures of happy campers? Natalie went to camp anyway, full of enthusiasm. When she got there, she noticed something. There were only about three girls in a camp full of about twenty children. She had two friends who were four year old girls, and, as she put it ‘that was about it for her friends in science camp’. She decided to talk to the camp director about it—at lunch break, all sitting on the floor in the over air-conditioned function room of the large student union, she asked around the young counselors until they could point her to the Big Cheese. She didn’t have to get up the nerve to talk to him: she had the nerve already. Told him he needed to put more girls on his fliers, recruit more future scientists. He readily agreed. Natalie was thrilled. (This new flier we got a week ago still showed no girls in any of the 5 face shots.)

Long tired of pink, frills and hair gear, and never interested in princesses, it was time for Natalie to expand her protest. So she got out her markers. She made a sign. She got out her colored pom poms and glued them around the sign like footlights. (To attract attention.) She found an old green plant stake in the garden shed to attach the sign to. She led marches (with Mom, Dad, baby sister) whenever they went out to eat. Talked to anyone who would listen (and many who wouldn’t) about her ‘protest against girl/boy differences’. Even found one enthusiastic ally, and got a few high fives. But the work wasn’t done. So she organized a bicycle protest: attached signs and bells to the family bikes, laboriously hand-wrote fliers (four whole copies) explaining the problem, rode behind her mom on the tandem bike to the park. Handed out her fliers to anyone who would talk to her, including a rather hostile French woman (‘I don’t understand what the problem is. There is no difference. You do whatever you like to do’). She made protest t-shirts using fabric markers and cheap cotton t-shirts (for her) and onesies (for the baby sister). The writing may have been hard to parse, but the super-girl insignia was unmistakable. This past Sunday she had plans to sell pink and blue lemonade (pink only to boys; blue only to girls), but Mom and Dad said there wasn’t time for lemonade making and a sale at the park. There was homework to do, errands to run.

So Natalie had an idea, and she got to work. If they were going to Toys R Us, the protest could be brought there: The perfect place: the very symbol of segregation in the toy industry. She set to work making signs. Got out her pink and blue glitter. ‘No More Girl-Boy Differences’, ‘Princesses for Girls, Trucks for Boys: NO!’ ‘Cleaning for Girls, Trucks for Boys: NO!’. She snuck in the tape and feigned interest in toys, then posted her signs in every section of the store: between the princess and dinosaur pajamas, underneath a row of princesses, on the giant green trucks. She even optimistically put up a ‘Sign up to help’ sheet on a kitchen she found that was in brown and tan, showing pictures of both a girl and a boy playing together. That would attract the right kind of kid to help join her protest, she thought. (The kitchen, of course, was located in the pink ‘girls’ section of the store, despite the thoughtful marketing by its maker.)

The Brave People Protest is ready to go worldwide. Make your own signs, share your own ideas. Post on her new Tumblr site pictures of your own guerilla protest posters against the early channeling of girls and boys into separate and narrow gender roles.

Go here.


Or as Natalie says:

“Join my protest. You can join my protest too you can, put posters up in your own Toys R Us and some other places that you think aren’t fair. You can try to get people in your own neighborhood to join and find other unfairnesses and just try to stop them. That’s how you can join my protest.”

Natalie turns 7 today. Nothing would make her happier than for her protest to spread. I don’t know if she’ll manage to change the world, but I’m so proud of her for noticing, and for trying.

Says Natalie: “I will manage to change the world. Cause I can do anything if I put my mind to it”.

More Colorado News

An article by Annaleigh Curtis:

When I saw the release from CU Chancellor Philip DiStefano about the university’s concerns about, and actions regarding, sexual harassment in the philosophy department last week, I was not surprised by the allegations. I was surprised to see that the university was claiming credit for taking action and patting itself on the back for a job well done.

And another which sheds new light on the “removal” of the chair, and the department’s attitude toward the report.

After receiving the external report, the department conducted an informal online survey to gather faculty opinions, said Monton, an associate professor.

Many of the survey questions centered around Forbes and whether bringing in an external chair — as suggested in the independent report — was a good idea.

According to survey data provided by faculty, 17 of 23 people voted that an external chair from another campus department was the best way to move forward.

In addition, 20 of 21 respondents said they agreed with the statement, “We do not find Graeme Forbes to be at fault here,” and 19 of 21 people said they felt the external report contained “good, constructive” recommendations.

The Adjunct Project

About This Project
Two-thirds of the faculty standing in front of college classrooms each day aren’t full-time or permanent professors. But getting information about the salaries of this army of adjuncts and about their campus working conditions has been difficult. This site, which is intended to pull together that information and make it publicly available, represents the evolution of a simple spreadsheet created in 2012 by Joshua Boldt, a composition instructor in Athens, Ga.

About the data:
The data come from adjuncts themselves. Often the hiring of part-time faculty members is done by individual academic departments. Even on the same campus, individual departments may pay and treat adjuncts very differently. We wanted to capture those differences and give adjuncts a place where they can share their own experiences.
Colleges are invited to contribute data as well. That information will be shown in addition to data that adjuncts have contributed.
Initial submissions came from anonymous contributions to a Google spreadsheet created by Joshua Boldt in 2012. Those submissions have been matched to specific departments. Where that wasn’t possible, those entries are identified as “not specified.”

Go here for more information. Thanks, Jackie!