Thursday, April 7, 2011

2 Stories: 1 Carter on Women; 2 Headlines

Here are two different stories.

First, Jimmy Carter earlier this week made several statements in praise of and in defense of women in "an interview with VOA." Voice of America's own Peter Clottey reported on this on Tuesday, April 5, 2011, and the report was posted here at President Carter said the following specifically to the VOA interviewer:
“The discrimination against women on a global basis is almost attributable to the declaration by religious leaders in Christianity, Islam and other religions that women are inferior in the eyes of God, and this gives men a right to abuse women, whether it’s the husband beating up his wife or depriving a woman of her basic rights.”
President Carter said a number of other things in praise of women. Here's the original headline out of VOA Africa:

Former US President Says Women 'Pivotal' in Uprisings

Please read the entire interview and news report for yourself here at

Second, some unnamed somebody at picks up this story from somebody else somewhere else. It gets featured as an Associated Press article (but a search of shows that to be just bogus). The dateline is today, April 7, 2011, AP ATLANTA. And the full little article reads:
ATLANTA (AP) - Former President Jimmy Carter says much of the discrimination and abuse suffered by women around the world is attributable to a belief "that women are inferior in the eyes of God."

Carter said such teachings by "leaders in Christianity, Islam and other religions" allow men to beat their wives and deny women their fundamental rights as human beings.

The former president made the remarks Wednesday at a gathering of human rights activists and religious leaders from more than 20 countries at the Carter Center in Atlanta.

Carter said he doesn't fault religions for oppressing women, but blames men who selectively interpret the Bible and other scriptures. He suggested there are other, more flexible interpretations.

Carter called mistreatment of women "the most serious and all pervasive and damaging human rights abuse on Earth."
So Fox news online reposts it as a legit source. Some editor re-writes the headline as follows:
Jimmy Carter: Religion Makes Men Beat Their Wives
And now the Internet, the blogosphere, is just aflame with flamatory headlines and blogpost openers that disparage the former Presidents for these statements. When you google this ("Former President Jimmy Carter says much of the discrimination and abuse suffered by women around the world is attributable to a belief"), then just see what you get. Notice how many sexist bloggers are making disparaging comments as they post. Some are women bashing the former President in the name of conservatism. For example, here's a headline from the Diary of a Mad Conservative:
You handcuff your wife to a stove? New defense: It’s the Bible’s fault.
And commentary in red letters from the same:
Is this guy for real? Oh Lord, unfortunately he is.
Sorry to inform the former Dork-in-Chief, but Islam is the religion that abuses and denigrates women. There aren’t a lot of stories of Christians killing their daughters to preserve family honor. Or Christian men cutting the noses off their wives to make them “too ugly for anyone else.”
Another blogger who calls himself Noman (and who identifies as a Christian reading Ephesians 5), ridicules President Carter and concludes:
Should Noman ever slip up and turn into an abuser, he assures Jimmy that it will precisely be because he quit listening to his religious leaders, lost his faith, and left his religion, not because he misinterpreted it.


So we get two stories today. The real one from Tuesday and the inflamed fake, remake of that one from Thursday.

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