The burkini ban and the dangers of political polarization Our generation’s aversion to dialogue is too dangerous. It’s time we stop antagonizing and ignoring conservatives or else we are all doomed.

Woman forced to remove burkini in France

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). Continue readingThe burkini ban and the dangers of political polarization Our generation’s aversion to dialogue is too dangerous. It’s time we stop antagonizing and ignoring conservatives or else we are all doomed.

7 Fallacies That Undermine Antifeminism

Facepalm

As a feminist I am often confronted, especially online, by self-declared antifeminists who passionately denounce the ideology resorting to all manner of creative accusations. But is there any basis for so vehemently attacking feminism? With the occasion of the women’s month, I present the most common fallacies that compromise the antifeminist discourse.

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Why Django Girls? Is it always immoral to treat people differently?

Django Girls StickersIn 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. Continue readingWhy Django Girls? Is it always immoral to treat people differently?

Gender quotas

meritThe 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.

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The tragic consequences of biological determinism There probably are biological differences between groups of people, but the moral cost of making the wrong assumptions should keep us skeptic.

I’ve always been a zoology lover. I grew up watching Animal Planet and comparing the behavior of humans to that of other animals. I ended up not pursuing a career in the area, but reading and watching video-lectures about biology has been one of my oldest and most constant hobbies. I am a fan of Darwin, Dawkins, Frans de Wall and Sapolsky. I always try to find the biological origins of human social behavior and, although I recognize both sides of the nature vs. nurture dilema, I must admit I have a bias towards the former when it comes to personal interest and curiosity. Lately, however, I’m a bit disillusioned. I’ve noticed that many still rely on factoids of the field to defend racist and sexist claims, the inevitability of certain social hierarchies and the maintenance of the status quo, sadly causing many on the other side to, as a defense mechanism, reject behavioral biology altogether. But is it really the case that by giving credibility to this science we inadvertently give basis for these supremacist and deterministic arguments? Is to reject it altogether really the only solution? Continue readingThe tragic consequences of biological determinism There probably are biological differences between groups of people, but the moral cost of making the wrong assumptions should keep us skeptic.