Haleh Esfandiari Update

by matttbastard

BBC News reports that jailed Iranian-American academic Dr. Haleh Esfandiari, director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, has been released from Evin Prison after being arrested on May 8th. According to the Wilson Center, after being held for 21 days, Dr. Esfandiari was “formally charged with espionage and “endangering national security through propaganda against the system.”” (The Wilson Center has published a timeline of events [current as of July 26] relating to the arrest and detention of Dr Esfandiari, available in .doc format here.)

Despite her release, it is still unclear whether Dr. Esandiari will be allowed to return home to the US. And she’s not alone. Other Iranian-American nationals accused of “acting against national security by engaging in propaganda against the Islamic republic by the method of spying on behalf of foreigners” still being held in Iran (either imprisoned or as so-called ‘soft hostages’ not allowed to leave the country) include academic Kian Tajbakhsh, RFE-RL journalist Parnaz Azima and peace activist Ali Shakeri (more from IFEX).

And don’t think these detentions are unrelated to the $75 million destabilization ‘democracy promotion’ program undertaken by the Bush administration earlier this year (I’m sure the recent designation of the Revolutionary Guard as a ‘terrorist’ organization is also paying measurable dividends for reformers and dissidents, too). Ezra Klein and Brad Plumer have more on how US efforts at destabilization ‘democracy promotion’ in Iran have predictably resulted in crackdowns by Tehran on internal dissent (heck’uva job, etc).

Related: Akbar Ganji, labeled “Iran’s leading political dissident” by The Boston Review, gives his prescription for effectively fostering change in Iran.

Flashback: ‘An Inappropriate Endorsement’ (or, the enemy of my enemy is not my ally).

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Breaking News: Double Standards Still Suck

by Isabel

The following lists have been posted by PC Bloggs, a British police officer, who also just happens to be a blogger. These are real supervisor notes, taken after rapes have been reported to the police.

1. Incident:
Caller reporting her 17-year-old daughter was raped last night by two named offenders after going out drinking at her local pub. Daughter is very distressed and sore.
Update from supervisor:
Officers to attend and establish the following:
1. Is the daughter making an allegation?
2. Names and descriptions of alleged offenders.
3. How much alcohol was consumed?
4. If allegation is being made, locate scene.
5. Will the victim attend court?
6. If allegation could be true, will she consent to a medical?

2. Incident:
Caller reporting her 18-year-old son was raped last night by a male known to him, following a party at his house. Son is in pain and upset.
Update from supervisor:
Officers to attend and establish the following:
1. Locate the crime scene.
2. Arrange medical examination and take victim to rape suite.
3. Name/description of offender.
4. Preserve forensic evidence, seize clothing.

You may notice some discrepencies:
– at no point is the word “alleged” used in the male notes
– the amount of alcohol consumed by the male is not an issue, but the amount consumed by the female is

The male is seen as a victim, no questions asked. The female may be complicit in her own rape by being so slutty as to get drunk in public, and besides, she might be lying anyway.

Yeah, we don’t really need feminism anymore. Obviously, men and women are receiving equal treatment.

Violet at Reclusive Leftist has more.

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Smoking Is For The Boys. (Or Is It?)

by Isabel

Samhita over at Feministing has discovered a ridiculously sexist article about why women don’t get stoned.

Perhaps the obstacle to female toking is a fear of looking lazy. Getting stoned is, in effect, a great way to relax. Men are allowed to be lazy—being stoned is part of their farting, pajama-wearing, video-game-playing pantheon of acceptable male relaxation techniques. Since Jeff Spicoli made his debut in 1982’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and continuing into the entire oeuvre of director Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up), stonerdom is an accepted part of modern maleness. Their sloth is even kind of adorable.

But modern women are not allowed to be lazy, adorable stoners. Women have to go to college (which they’re now doing at higher rates than men), and then get their careers going quickly, before their biological clocks run out. Then they have to have kids and take them to all of their activities. There is no time for women to be slovenly and relax—and if women do relax, it has to be at a gym.

I don’t know what the author has been smoking, but I am pretty sure that I know at least as many (if not more) female potheads than male ones. And I doubt that I am unique in that. Perhaps, like those surveys that are supposed to determine how many sexual partners women have had in their lives, the women are deliberately underreporting. It’s not hard to figure out why. In our society, having any sort of fun is generally considered “unladylike”. Sex, sports, and getting stoned are things to be enjoyed by the boys, you see. Oh, and it’s currently illegal. Almost forgot about that part, oops.

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