Date: November 19, 2015

Weekly Reading List: Paris Attack, Israel-Palestine and Hopelessness

We all know the feeling, when the lines between good and evil fades, black and white turns grey. It is easy to be in a news room or at a conference analyzing war in Syria, a land far away, but when the war hits home, in the streets of a city seven hours drive from yours, things get blurry.

Narratives get smudged, paranoia reigns, fear increases, not just of more attacks, but of reprisals. Western Europe hasn’t seen urban warfare of this scale on her streets since Second World War. All that changed overnight with Paris under curfew, the first time since 1941.

The Eiffel Tower went dark, like a Nazi bombing raid. And with the massacre inside Bataclan, and the stories of people being butchered one by one, the mind raced back to another winter night in Mumbai seven years back; same modus operandi, same style, same result.

However, the work of a Political Scientist is to analyse, being bereft of emotions. So here’s a recap of my primary predictions regarding Paris attacks, in my first column of the week.

On the other hand, it is just hopeless in Israel and Palestine, where the two state solution is probably dead for good. My second column of the week.

In sadness, on behalf of the team from B&D. I Hope your weekend is better.


#InternationalMensDay activists take up feminist tactics in the name of men

Feminists and anti-feminists seem to have a kind of war going online if you pay attention to Twitter. Feminists say women are being victimized by a patriarchy. Anti-feminists mock feminists for thinking all of their problems are caused by “the patriarchy.” And back and forth and so forth.

But today is #InternationalMensDay, and if you search the hashtag, you can see that not all anti-feminist activists are really so. Indeed, many anti-feminists and MRAs are just feminists in pants. Or, feminists without boobs, to borrow a term from noted video games feminist Anita Sarkeesian.

They are using the same tactics and the same victimization tropes as the kinds of feminists they deplore. They post a social problem and then try to turn it into a gender-related problem. They take a facts and statistics out of context, presenting them in a one-sided way. They apply stereotypes to an entire gender and ignore that many of the problems individual men face are caused by individual factors that can be solved as individuals.

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