Is women’s visible pubic hair really so shocking that it must be censored?

For the record I don’t shave my body.  Not my pubes, not my arm pits or my legs.  Now I will admit I am not particularly hairy but sometimes it is the thought that counts.  I’m not much into gender and gender defining me as a woman.  Real women have body hair on their pubes, underarms and legs.  It is gender that tells us it is improper for women to have hair in those places.  It is the bullshit of gender that guilt trips women who do not conform by shaving those areas.  Further gender come up with stupidity such as labeling us gender outlaws and deviants if we don’t obey the socially imposed dictates of gender.

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/23/women-visible-pubic-hair-shocking-censored

Now that more women aren’t depilating, we see depictions of what naturally happens when women don’t shave banned from view

Friday 23 January 2015

Shaved, trimmed, left alone, waxed out of existence or Vajazzled, we are both fascinated and utterly repelled by what women do and don’t do with their hair “down there”. Everyone, it seems, has an opinion about pubic hair – and it’s always that what someone else is doing is a little weird.

Earlier this week, Instagram deleted the account of Australian magazine Sticks and Stones after it posted a picture of two women in bathing suits with (apparently natural) pubic hair sticking out on the sides. In 2013, the social media platform did the same thing to Canadian photographer Petra Collins when she put up a photo of her unaltered bikini line. (Neither photograph displayed anything approaching actual nudity – just pubes poking out the edges of underwear.)

“I did nothing that violated the terms of use. No nudity, violence, pornography, unlawful, hateful or infringing imagery,” Collins wrote at the time. “What I did have was an image of MY body that didn’t meet society’s standard of ‘femininity.’”

Instagram is hardly alone. The television show The Bachelor has been accused of putting a black bar over a woman’s pubic hair, and earlier this year a painting was removed from a London exhibition because it was deemed “pornographic” for displaying a woman’s pubic hair.

So when did the hair at the high tide line become more shocking than a nipple?

Even as social media sites, television shows and museums are censoring any minute display of women’s pubic hair, a natural look is making a comeback. Last year American Apparel featured mannequins with full bushes in a store window and The New York Times Style section claimed “a fuller look is creeping back”. The Guardian even called 2014 “the year of the bush!”.

Lest you worry that bikini waxers will be going out of business by the handful, they too are changing with the times: you can now purchase a “full bush Brazilian” which involves “removing all hair from the labia and butt crack while leaving the top untouched”. (That sounds to me like a vaginal mullet – “business in the front, party in the back”.)

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/23/women-visible-pubic-hair-shocking-censored

Jew Hating Pro-Palestinians Disrupt Council Meeting disruption of the New York City Council meeting during a vote commemorating the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz

Penn & Teller’s Bullshit – Vaccinations

Bishops Freak Out After Catholic Hospitals Consider Giving Equal Rights To Gay People

From Think Progress:  http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/01/26/3615378/bishops-freak-catholic-hospitals-consider-giving-equal-rights-gay-people/

by Ian Millhiser
January 26, 2015

A Catholic Bishop compared requiring all couples to be treated with equal dignity to “the cruelty and torture of the Roman Empire” last week. His statement was a response to a Catholic health system’s announcement that they may extend benefits to the legally married spouses of their lesbian, gay, and bisexual employees.

Mercy Health is a large Catholic health care system with over 40,000 employees in seven states. They recently announced that “in line with recent changes in government regulations, we will extend benefits to all legally married spouses effective this spring.” (Though, in another statement, they added that they are still “exploring how best to expand health care benefits for our co-workers.”)

This indication that Mercy intended to extend equal rights to their gay employees prompted Bishop James V. Johnston, the Catholic bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to raise the specter of Roman torture. “No believing Christian worthy of the name should violate God’s law because of ‘regulations,’” Bishop Johnson said in a statement. “Our ancestors refused to abandon the faith even when subjected to the cruelty and torture of the Roman Empire, but in our age unspecified ‘regulations,’ government funds, and fear of public ridicule is sufficient in order to secure the compliance of some.”

Bishop Johnston’s views were echoed — albeit with less overwrought language — in a statement by the Archdiocese of St. Louis. They told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that “[i]t is simply inconsistent to claim to be a Catholic institution while publicly acting against Church teaching,” the “Church teaching” in this case apparently being the notion that gay couples do not enjoy the same rights as straight ones. The Archdiocese claimed that “Catholic institutions face sanctions from the American government for fidelity to their Catholic identity.”

If the entire Catholic health system adopted a similar view, that could have profound implications for much of the greater American health care system. The Catholic Health Association estimates that approximately one in six patients in the United States are treated in a Catholic hospital. That is a massive network of employees that could be denied benefits under Bishop Johnston’s position — although it is worth noting that the Catholic Health Association has historically taken relatively moderate positions (at least as compared to Johnson) on questions such as birth control.

Continue reading at:  http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/01/26/3615378/bishops-freak-catholic-hospitals-consider-giving-equal-rights-gay-people/

Auschwitz 70th anniversary: Survivors mark camp liberation

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, A death camp in Poland where the Nazis murdered at least 1.1 million prisoners, around 90 percent of them Jewish; approximately 1 in 6 Jews killed in the Holocaust died at the camp.[1][2]

Others deported to Auschwitz included 150,000 Poles, 23,000 Romani and Sinti, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, 400 Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, and tens of thousands of people of diverse nationalities. Many of those not killed in the gas chambers died of starvation, forced labor, infectious diseases, individual executions, and medical experiments.

Never Forget.  Never Forgive. Never Again.

Bill Maher is right about religion: The Orwellian ridiculousness of Jesus, and the truth about moral progress

From Salon:  http://www.salon.com/2015/01/18/bill_maher_is_right_about_religion_the_orwellian_ridiculousness_of_jesus_and_the_truth_about_moral_progress/

“Most religions were pulled into the modern Enlightenment with their fingernails dug into the past”


Sunday, Jan 18, 2015

Excerpted from  “THE MORAL ARC”

Most people believe that moral progress has primarily been due to the guiding light of religious teachings, the activities of spiritual leaders, and the power of faith-based initiatives. In “The Moral Arc” I argue that this is not the case, and that most moral progress is the result of science, reason, and secular values developed during the Enlightenment. Once moral progress in a particular area is underway, most religions eventually get on board—as in the abolition of slavery in the 19th century, women’s rights in the 20th century, and gay rights in the 21st century—but this often happens after a shamefully protracted lag time. Why?

 The rules that were dreamt up and enshrined by the various religions over the millennia did not have as their goal the expansion of the moral sphere to include other sentient beings. Moses did not come down from the mountain with a detailed list of the ways in which the Israelites could make life better for the Moabites, the Edomites, the Midianites, or for any other tribe of people that happened not to be them. One justification for this constricted sphere can be found in the Old Testament injunction to “Love thy neighbor,” who at that time was one’s immediate kin and kind, which was admittedly an evolutionary stratagem appropriate for the time. It would be suicidal to love thy neighbor as thyself when thy neighbor would like nothing better than to exterminate you, which was often the case for the Bronze Age peoples of the Old Testament. What good would have come of the Israelites loving, for example, the Midianites as themselves? The results would have been catastrophic given that the Midianites were allied with the Moabites in their desire to see the Israelites wiped off the face of the earth.

Today, of course, most Jews, Christians, and Muslims believe that moral principles are universal and apply to everyone, but this is because they have inculcated into their moral thinking the modern Enlightenment goal of broadening and redefining the parameters of moral consideration. But by their nature the world’s religions are tribal and xenophobic, serving to regulate moral rules within the community but not seeking to embrace humanity outside their circle. Religion, by definition, forms an identity of those like us, in sharp distinction from those not us, those heathens, those unbelievers. Most religions were pulled into the modern Enlightenment with their fingernails dug into the past. Change in religious beliefs and practices, when it happens at all, is slow and cumbersome, and it is almost always in response to the church or its leaders facing outside political or cultural forces.

The history of Mormonism is a case in point. In the 1830s the church’s founder, Joseph Smith, received a revelation from God to enact what he euphemistically called “celestial marriage,” more accurately described as “plural marriage”—the rest of the world calls it polygamy—just about the time he found a new love interest while married to another woman. Once Smith caught the Solomonic fever for multiple wives (King Solomon had 700), he couldn’t stop himself or his brethren from spreading their seed, along with the practice, which in 1852 was codified into Mormon law through its sacred “Doctrines and Covenants.” Until 1890, that is, when the people of Utah—desirous for their territory to become a state in the union—were told by the United States federal government that polygamy would not be tolerated.

Continue reading at: http://www.salon.com/2015/01/18/bill_maher_is_right_about_religion_the_orwellian_ridiculousness_of_jesus_and_the_truth_about_moral_progress/

Transgender society: Serving in silence / Allyson Robinson, Military, LGBT, Equality

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