Saturday, December 27, 2014

Snippet Posts 12/27/14: On Polygamy, Conspiracy Theories, Female Bishops And More

1.  I came across a piece of news about the South African president Jacob Zuma.  He's thinking of taking a fifth wife, because in the Zulu tradition rich men who can do so take a young wife in old age to take care of them.  This is an interesting example of the clash of cultural values and gender equality, because I'm pretty sure that a female South African president wouldn't get four husbands paid for from the public funds.  It's not  traditional, you see.

Traditional polygamy is not gender equal.  Each wife gets a snippet of a husband, the husband gets lots of wives and retains at least one half of all decision-making power. 

2.  If you want to read a comments section which will make you despair of humanity and want to apply for membership in the elves instead, go right over here.  Conspiracy theories bloom as in the weirdest possible garden!  I get that people who live in the comments sections of newspapers tend to be from the bottom of the brain barrel, mostly, but I've never seen all the different conspiracy theories jostle for elbow-room in one place!  What's the point of research?  Note also the opinions expressed in this 2011 Pew Survey.

3.  The Church of England has its first female bishop, Libby Lane.  This is the result of years of "sometimes contentious debate":

Women have been able to serve as priests in the Church of England since the early 1990s. But some traditionalists resisted the move to allow them to become bishops, culminating in the issue being narrowly voted down in 2012 by the General Synod, the three-times-a-year meeting that sets policies for the church.
What's interesting about that is the difference between priests and bishops.  Because bishops have more "power over" the resistance towards having women as bishops is stronger.

I shouldn't criticize the Church of England too much here, because so many of this world's religion give women a lot less power than that.

4.  Two Saudi women who defied the driving ban are going to be tried in the terrorist court, even though the women have not broken any law:

Although no law exists in Saudi Arabia forbidding women to drive, religious edicts to keep women from driving have resulted in arrests for decades. Religious conservatives justify the ban by asserting that it is improper for women to travel, no matter how short the journey, without being accompanied by a man, but one Saudi cleric went so far as to say that driving is bad for women's ovaries.
5.  An orangutang called Sandra (by humans) has been granted certain limited rights by an Argentine court.  If the decision stands, Sandra will be allowed to live the rest of her life in an animal sanctuary.  She probably won't be allowed to drive, however.