Originally posted on Feminist Philosophers:
Originally posted on World:
A shocking new report on the Syrian regime’s use of torture and starvation has been released by a team of renowned war-crimes prosecutors, threatening to upend Syrian peace talks scheduled to start on Wednesday in Montreux, Switzerland.
The 31-page confidential report, first disclosed by CNN and the Guardian newspaper, lays out in excruciating detail “direct evidence” of the “systematic torture and killing” of thousands of men between the ages of 20 and 40 who are thought to be victims of the regime’s notorious security agencies.
The report’s authors, David Crane and Desmond de Silva, both former chief prosecutors of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and Geoffrey Nice, former lead prosecutor in the case against ex-Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic, based their findings on tens of thousands of meticulously catalogued photos taken by a military-police photographer turned defector. For security reasons, this source is identified in the report only as Caesar.
Originally posted on World:
For more than a decade Razan Zaitouneh, Syria’s celebrated 36-year-old human-rights lawyer and activist stood her ground against the depredations of President Bashar Assad’s regime. But her strength was no match for the masked men who abducted her, along with her husband and two colleagues, from her home in the Damascus suburb of Douma on Monday night. They are the last in a long line of scores of Syrian civil rights activists to be abducted, assassinated or driven out of the country as the once peaceful uprising, launched in March 2011, has devolved into armed conflict.
Her kidnapping, from a rebel-held area, came as a shock to Syrians who have long held her up as a symbol of peaceful defiance. “She was my Mandela,” laments colleague and antiregime activist Assaad al-Achi, speaking to TIME by phone from the U.K. (although he goes in and out of Syria regularly). It is not yet clear who is behind the abduction, but many accuse Islamist rebels in control of Douma, who have threatened Zaitouneh in the past. Yassin al-Haj Saleh, a prominent antigovernment intellectual married to one of Zaitouneh’s kidnapped colleagues, openly accused the Army of Islam, writing in a Facebook post, “Based on my intimate knowledge of the situation in Douma, I see that ‘the Army of Islam’ bears full political and moral responsibility for the abduction of Samira [his wife], Razan, Wael, and Nazem.” Army of Islam commander Muhammad Aloush denied responsibility in a Facebook post, saying “Abducting people is not part of [our] approach.”
As armed opposition factions reshuffle their alliance and extremists rise in the ranks, the revolutionary fervor of the Arab Spring has been supplanted by a vicious and increasingly sectarian civil war in which every party’s motives appear dubious. Anti-Assad extremists are subjecting Syrian citizens to abuses identical to those meted out by the Syrian government over the past four decades, leading many to wonder if the country is ever going to change for the better. As a result, Syria’s civil rights movement has faltered.
Originally posted on The Dish:
[M]en are pressed — from the time they’re very young — to disassociate from everything feminine. This imperative is incredibly limiting for them. Paradoxically, it makes men feel good because of a social agreement that masculine things are better than feminine things, but it’s not the same thing as freedom. It’s restrictive and dehumanizing. It’s oppression all dressed up as awesomeness. And it is part of why men have a hard time being friends.
To be close friends, men need to be willing to confess their insecurities, be kind to others, have empathy and sometimes sacrifice their own self-interest. “Real men,” though, are not supposed to do these things. They are supposed to be self-interested, competitive, non-emotional, strong (with no insecurities at all), and able to deal with their emotional problems without help. Being a good friend, then, as well as needing a good friend, is the equivalent of being girly.
Katy Waldman thinks it’s also about gay panic: