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Men who explain things

Men who explain things - Los Angeles Times

Men explain things to me, and to other women, whether or not they know what they're talking about. Some men. Every woman knows what I mean. It's the presumption that makes it hard, at times, for any woman in any field; that keeps women from speaking up and from being heard when they dare; that crushes young women into silence by indicating, the way harassment on the street does, that this is not their world. It trains us in self-doubt and self-limitation just as it exercises men's unsupported overconfidence.

This syndrome is something nearly every woman faces every day, within herself too, a belief in her superfluity, an invitation to silence, one from which a fairly nice career as a writer (with a lot of research and facts correctly deployed) has not entirely freed me. After all, there was a moment there when I was willing to believe Mr. Very Important and his overweening confidence over my more shaky certainty.

More extreme versions of this syndrome exist in, for example, those Islamic countries where women's testimony has no legal standing; so that a woman can't testify that she was raped without a male witness to counter the male rapist. Which there rarely is.

April 23, 2008

Lynchings in Congo as penis theft panic hits capital

Lynchings in Congo as penis theft panic hits capital - Yahoo! News

KINSHASA (Reuters) - Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft.

Reports of so-called penis snatching are not uncommon in West Africa, where belief in traditional religions and witchcraft remains widespread, and where ritual killings to obtain blood or body parts still occur.

Rumours of penis theft began circulating last week in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo's sprawling capital of some 8 million inhabitants. They quickly dominated radio call-in shows, with listeners advised to beware of fellow passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings.

April 22, 2008

Those near crazy hoaxer stunned she did not identify herself as a crazy hoaxer

It's always the quiet ones.... poe news | Salt Lake City Tribune | Roommate stunned by claims Colo. woman's bogus call triggered FLDS raid | And, Post reports, she's listed as Obama delegate
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A 33-year-old Colorado Springs woman who may have sparked a massive child-protection raid at a polygamist compound in Texas kept a steady job and gave no hint of her activities to those closest to her. "She is the last person I would expect to do something like this," said a woman in her mid-20s who described herself as the roommate of Rozita Swinton. Speaking at the door of their apartment, the roommate described Swinton as a steady, soft-hearted person. But growing evidence indicates Swinton repeatedly made calls to authorities in multiple jurisdictions, setting off large emergency responses that sometimes involved dozens of police officers. The Texas Ranger Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed Friday that Swinton was a person of interest in calls placed to a crisis hotline by someone claiming to be Sarah, a 16-year-old girl who had been sexually abused and beaten by a 50-year-old polygamous husband.
She was also know to call GameStop and ask if Battletoads was in.