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Cellar Door Week’s Distractions

January 14, 2012

Egyptian women cane morality police

Modeling themselves after Saudi Arabia’s morality police as a “Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice,” the young men raided clothing and other retail shops around the Qalubiya province over New Year’s weekend declaring they were there to enforce Islamic law, according to the Tahrir News.

Shop owners were told they could no longer sell “indecent” clothing, barbers could no longer shave men’s beards, and that all retail businesses should expect regular and surprise inspections to check for compliance. Frightened customers were ordered to cover up and threatened with severe punishment if they did not abide by “God’s law on earth.”

But when the women in a Benha beauty salon stood up to the young Salafi enforcers, they found support on the streets as well as online, with one amused reader suggesting that women should be deputized to protect the revolution’s democratic values.

Guantánamo Prisoners Stage Peaceful Protest and Hunger Strike on 10th Anniversary of the Opening of the Prison

India named world’s largest arms importer

In its race to join the club of international powers, India has reached another milestone — it’s now the world’s largest weapons importer.

The Horrors of International Adoption in ‘Finding Fernanda’ – an interview with Erin Siegal (author)

Adoption in Guatemala quickly became a multimillion-dollar industry. I don’t think it’s surprising that the relatively enormous amount of cash flow coming into a viciously impoverished, notoriously corrupt country ended up motivating certain people to buy, trade, steal and sell children.

The Strange Relationship between Sex Work and Feminism

Australian Charity Accused of Faking Hill Tribe Children Rescue From Sex Slavery

Officers of the Australian Federal Police were summoned to the Thai government complex in Bangkok today (Friday) and urged to look into the alleged fake rescue from sex slavery of 21 hill tribe children by an Australian registered charity.

Tranarchism: Guest Post: Every day I wake up and I keep Fighting – a haunting post


Rep. Richard Floyd is defending his bill to harass transgender people using public bathrooms. The Chattanooga Republican defiantly tells Andy Sher he’d “stomp a mudhole” (whatever that means) in any transgender person who troubled his wife or daughters.

“I believe if I was standing at a dressing room and my wife or one of my daughters was in the dressing room and a man tried to go in there — I don’t care if he thinks he’s a woman and tries on clothes with them in there — I’d just try to stomp a mudhole in him and then stomp him dry,” Floyd said.

It Did Not Start With Stonewall: Black Lesbian Elders Tell Their Herstories

Zanele Muholi’s wonderful photo exhibition

In response to these atrocities Zanele Muholi has, since 2007, committed to photographing these women’s portraits as part of her ongoing series Faces and Phases and Beulahs (a gay South African slang word for “Beauties”) affording a positive identity to black lesbians. She considers herself a visual activist.

If Walls Could Talk: A wonderful public art with incarcerated mothers.

Genome Study Points to Adaptation in Early African-Americans

Researchers scanning the genomes of African-Americans say they see evidence of natural selection as their ancestors adapted to the harsh conditions of their new environment in America.


Relatives who suspected a British teenager of practicing witchcraft beat and drowned him Christmas Day 2010 as he “begged to die” because of the pain they were inflicting, prosecutors alleged in a London court.

This man stood against Barack Obama in the New Hampshire Primaries. His platform? Free Ponies for All Americans. Terrorist-fighting Ponies.

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