Religion of Misogyny Watch: Iran bans women from college courses

August 20, 2012

Can’t have women getting an education; they might get uppity and think they’re men’s equals.

In a move that has prompted a demand for a UN investigation by Iran’s most celebrated human rights campaigner, the Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, 36 universities have announced that 77 BA and BSc courses in the coming academic year will be “single gender” and effectively exclusive to men.

It follows years in which Iranian women students have outperformed men, a trend at odds with the traditional male-dominated outlook of the country’s religious leaders. Women outnumbered men by three to two in passing this year’s university entrance exam.

Senior clerics in Iran’s theocratic regime have become concerned about the social side-effects of rising educational standards among women, including declining birth and marriage rates.

Under the new policy, women undergraduates will be excluded from a broad range of studies in some of the country’s leading institutions, including English literature, English translation, hotel management, archaeology, nuclear physics, computer science, electrical engineering, industrial engineering and business management.

Now there’s a smart way to develop your country — if your goal is to march boldly into the 12th century, that is.

The Iranian Minister for Science and Higher Education claimed the move was necessary to restore “gender balance” in the universities. How progressive of him. But an observation at the end of the article hints at the real reason for the imbalance, and therefore the ban:

Iran has highest ratio of female to male undergraduates in the world, according to UNESCO. Female students have become prominent in traditionally male-dominated courses like applied physics and some engineering disciplines.

Sociologists have credited women’s growing academic success to the increased willingness of religiously-conservative families to send their daughters to university after the 1979 Islamic revolution. The relative decline in the male student population has been attributed to the desire of young Iranian men to “get rich quick” without going to university.

In other words, too many Iranian boys are cocksure, lazy dummies, while the women are willing to work hard to get ahead. So the answer, of course, is to close the doors on the most energetic and ambitious of your people.

It was Muhammad’s favorite wife, his child-bride Aisha, who once said:

“I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women” (Bukhari 72:715)

Over 1,400 years later, not much has changed.

via PJM

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Could Obama lose Illinois?

August 20, 2012

According to Alexis Levin of The Daily Caller, Obama may have to start spending real money to guard his home base (1):

President Barack Obama could lose his home state of Illinois in November, a new poll shows.

A poll conducted by Illinois-based pollster and political strategist Michael McKeon found Obama leading Republican Mitt Romney by 49 percent to 37 percent in Cook County, the home of Chicago. That puts him ahead by a far thinner margin than expected in a county he should be winning handsomely.

Cook is the most Democratic leaning county in the state. It is also the most populous.

Those numbers do not bode well for the president.

No, they don’t. But… come on. This is Illinois, where everyone gets to vote. Twice. Even the dead. Surely the Combine will scare up/buy up  enough voters to make sure their guy doesn’t suffer a humiliating loss in his home state. I’ll have a hot date with Kate Upton before that happens.

But then again…

As Levin points out, Democratic dominance of Illinois is largely dependent on the corrupt politics of Chicago itself and Cook County, and to a lesser extent in the ring of counties surrounding the two. “Downstate” Illinois is much friendlier to Republicans; in the last governor’s race, upstart Republican Bill Brady only narrowly lost to Democrat Pat Quinn by winning most of downstate. Obama’s number have to be worrisome to him and his team: Romney leads The One 45-38 in the area around Chicago, and among independents in Cook County Romney leads 43-31. Obama has to win big in these areas to overcome his unpopularity downstate, but his only lead is in core Chicago (which is huge, 60-29).

I still don’t expect Obama to lose Illinois, but the needle has moved from “not a snowball’s chance” to an intrigued “Hmmm…”.  And anything that makes him spend money here means less he has for the traditional battleground states.

Maybe I should start planning where to take Kate for dinner. Just in case.

Footnote:
(1) No, not Nairobi, you silly people!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)