As everybody knows, last month France started enforcing an extremely controversial ban against the so called “burkini”. The ban was eventually overturned, but the debate is still very much alive. In the age of social media, when we all live in echo chambers ¹, I still haven’t had a chance to talk to a person who is actually in favor of the burkini ban. But the mere mention that “it’s hypocritical to display so much outrage towards this and then turn a blind eye to the culture of forced modesty in Muslim communities around the world” or that “I can understand why this ban appeals to the masses” is already enough to trigger some progressive liberals and turn them into paranoid anti-Islamophobia police (or, as Maajid Nawaz would call them, regressive leftists).Read More »The burkini ban and the dangers of political polarization
Freedom. An apparently simple concept that you’d think people understand pretty well, after all it’s a fundamental human right. But no. It’s probably the concept people abuse and misuse the most when discussing about politics, law and the role of the state. People defend all sorts of nonsense in the name of freedom. This madness must stop. So let’s take some time to think about it.Read More »Six facts free speech fundamentalists love to ignore
In February and March this year Django Girls will be organizing free Django workshops for women in cities all over the world. As a Python/Django developer and feminist myself, I naturally applied as a coach. What for some may seem like a great initiative, however, is attacked by others as a gross display of hypocrisy and misandrist double-standard. In this article I hope to explain why supporting such events doesn’t imply you hate men or seek to overthrow patriarchy and install a regime of female supremacy.Read More »Why Django Girls?
The subject of gender quotas was trending in Brazil a few months ago and I wrote about it in Portuguese. Now that the same topic has sprung in Romania, it’s time to write an English version. As should be no surprise, there’s a strong backlash against the idea of quotas and affirmative action in general. The anti-quota arguments are typically the same: that this type of approach is “anti-democratic”, “unjust”, “discriminatory”, “unequal”, etc. Although I agree that this is not an ideal solution, these arguments hardly sustain themselves. It may even be that there are legitimate reasons for us to be skeptical about quotas and affirmative action, but the aforementioned ones are certainly not in this category, and I’ll explain why.
There probably are biological differences between groups of people, but the moral cost of making the wrong assumptions should keep us skeptic.
Read More »The tragic consequences of biological determinism
In Romania it’s common for people to condemn the accent from other regions without any pudency. And many don’t do it jokingly, they really mean it. They call people with accents “peasants” and “rednecks” that destroy the Romanian language and nobody reacts, it’s socially acceptable. Openly complaining about gypsies with strong language is even more common. Some even say they’re a “spoilt race” that is genetically damaged, although these tend to be more extreme than the majority. But even the less extreme ones seem to find it normal when they hear it. They’re used to it, and even if they disagree with the choice of words, they wouldn’t defend gypsies because, after all, all they do is steal, beg and destroy the reputation of Romanians in Western Europe.Read More »Everyday hate speech in Romania
The atheist movement has seen a somewhat recent boom. Some say it was triggered by the 9/11 attacks and call it the “New Atheism” movement. There are many great things about atheists speaking out and forming a community. It encourages other people to “come out of the closet”, it raises awareness about discrimination against religious minorities, mob rule, threats to secularism etc. On the other hand, many criticize the movement for its aggressiveness, arrogance and lack of diplomacy. Some even claim that atheists shouldn’t be outspoken at all. They say they’re being more religious than the believers they criticize, and attack any atheist association as being hypocritical and turning atheism into a cult.Read More »Atheism is becoming politically incorrect and we have to stop it
Many people complain that black people can talk about “black pride” but that white people can’t. That a band called “Black City” is cool but one named “White City” with Caucasian members is racist. Or that a parade of gay pride is acceptable but one of straight pride is not. That the media turns to women on their day and some even receive flowers and chocolate, but that nobody remembers men on their day. Indeed, all of this seems to be true. However, many people usually criticize this as something illogical and hypocritical, an unfair double-standard. Is it really so? Let’s give it some thought. When did these movements begin? Why did minorities start to have this attitude in the first place?
Atheists are often accused of arrogance and prejudice against religions. Sentences like “Each to their own”, “What is the problem with believing in God?”, “Religion is personal” are always used to defend religion. In this text I explain the cause to my opposing religion and how, in some cases, the mere existence of religious persons may have negative consequences to the construction of a just and equalitarian society.Read More »Moralism and Religious Intolerance