Posts tagged ‘sexism’

The Conundrum of Religious Freedom for Jews

Written By

Lewis D. Eigen

The Jewish prisoner flinched at the accusations of the police officer.  Wearing a traditional white and blue Jewish prayer shawl and publicly praying was so offensive to public morality that for the sake of order in the community, the religious authorities and the police officer had to act.  He had nothing personal against the accused, but it was his job to maintain a level of public order and decorum.  So many people had been so offended by the accused that he had to act.  People took their religion very seriously.  God himself had told man how to behave, and this misguided Jew goes out in public and offends most of the serious, fundamentalist religious believers.  It was not just the clerics stirring up hate.  So many people thought that God and they were being mocked by someone who had no respect for the word of God or man’s religious traditions.

The date was November 18, 2009.  The place most of us assume was probably Saudi Arabia or Iran.  That the fundamentalist Moslem bigots would not allow a Jew to pray in public.  That is the so called law in those countries that blatantly flaunt standards of religious tolerance and commonly violate the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  But this particular gross denial of Jewish religious rights was not in those countries.  It was not even in a Moslem nation.  Nor a Christian one for that matter.  It took place in the Jewish state of Israel.  The police officers were themselves Jewish. (more…)

May 10, 2010 at 8:47 PM 3 comments

Ladies of the Laboratory 3: The Scientific Slut–Émilie du Châtelet

Written by Lewis D. Eigen

There is one marvelous scientist who, in the 18th century, not only brought the new mathematics and physics of Isaac Newton to much of France, but also found and corrected some errors that Newton had made—overturning erroneous physics principles that then had general scientific concurrence.  The scientist was a woman–Émilie du Châtelet.  And yet even many of the modern feminists who have sought to give female scientists due recognition, tend to avoid using this scientist as an example.  The reason is that by modern contemporary standards, she was a slut—a sexual libertine.  She was a little too liberated.  This article is not only about her, but about the culture that to this day inhibits recognition of a female scientist because of her personal sexual predilections—having nothing to do with science.

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December 31, 2009 at 12:12 AM 6 comments

Ladies of the Laboratory 2: How in a Few Months Late in the 19th Century One Man Who Had Little Interest in Gender Equality Hired More Female Astronomers than the World Had Ever Known

The remarkable story of a unique occurance in scientific history where although males were the final controllers, women worked with other women and under female supervision and the science thrived. This one instance a female culture, scientific laboratory was so successful that females produced more science output than all the men in history. The mostly female model succeeded so well that it put itself out of existence. But more females had worked as astronomers in this one instance than in all of prior recorded history.

Continue Reading December 14, 2009 at 2:20 PM 3 comments

Islamic Dialogues: 3 The Dinner of the Tunisian Politicians

A dialogue of two Tunisian senior government officials, both Western educated, regarding the problem of modernizing the rural, desert South of the country where religious Islamic fundamentalism and the desert cultural tradition are major obstacles. The modernity, and relatively successful development of the country, with no oil or other natural resources, compared to other Arab countries is historically, culturally and politically explained in this insightful dialogue.

Continue Reading November 27, 2009 at 3:55 AM Leave a comment

Islamic Dialogues: 1–College in America

A dramatic dialog of an American Moslem father and his son with two imams in Detroit. The boy has been at the Univeristy of Michigan and the father had visited for the first time and was somewhat shocked. He asked his old friend and imam to talk with them as he was not sure that he was being a good father exposing his son to the diverse and non-Islamic culture of a large modern university. The imams view the situation very differently and present a microcosm the range of viewpoints on secular modernism within Islam.

Continue Reading November 7, 2009 at 10:01 PM 2 comments

Ladies of the Laboratory 1: Challanging the Greats

The story of a young, scientist who was one of a very few female PhDs in Europe during the 1930’s and then found herself in a difficult dilemma as she suspected that the great Enrico Fermi had made a mistake in one of his major publications. Her fears and feelings as she developed the courage to “go public”, and the results are all described.

Continue Reading October 18, 2009 at 2:27 AM 4 comments


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