Skepchick Quickies 11.22

  • About pepper spray – “We’ve taken to calling it pepper spray, I think, because that makes it sound so much more benign than it really is, like something just a grade or so above what we might mix up in a home kitchen…Until you look it up on the Scoville scale and remember, as toxicologists love to point out, that the dose makes the poison.”
  • Russian dead alien video surfaces – From jes3ica.
  • Don’t muzzle our doctors – “Ontario’s College of Physicians and Surgeons is bending to the trend with a new policy inhibiting doctors’ criticism of unconventional therapies. In doing so it risks encouraging even broader use of dubious and potentially harmful treatments.” From cerberus40.
  • Forget breasts, cover those tempting eyes – And be sure to check out the rest of Maryam Namazie’s excellent blog on feminism and secularism in the Muslim world. In an earlier post she links to this petition for a free and secular Middle East and North Africa so please give your support. From Hena.


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. Thank you for the pepper spray article. I have not agreed with some of the recent allegations about police brutality (some of the accusations, I felt, were unwarranted or exaggerated) but some of the actions in Oakland and the UC Davis response, even I felt was wrong and excessive. Pepper spray should be limited to respond to violence or when an officer truly feels threatened (and this was not either of those cases from the videos I have seen). Pepper spray can be very dangerous for some people, and is awful to experience for most. I don’t think the police should not be allowed to have it, because in all honesty I’d rather have them use something like that than resort to restraining or physically enforcing (with batons or stun guns), but they should be more conscious, and when excessive use is witnessed officers should be willing to stop each other and the officers at fault should be disciplined.

  2. I think that OC spray is preferable to wrestling someone to the ground to effect an arrest or hitting them with a baton, due to the potential for injury, however, I do not think it should be used punitively or to just get people to follow orders. If they had placed the protesters under arrest and they resisted and then the OC spray was used, it would have been a different story. I am sure that some policeman would tell me that the protesters were concealing parts of their bodies, so the police officers were afraid for their safety, to which I respond that I am always concealing parts of my body. Does that mean you can always spray me?

  3. Many years ago a friend left the local police force and gave my wife his key ring size pepper spray. One day after work she tossed her keys on the couch, shortly there after I found the keys when the pepper spray discharged when I sat down. The only place the pepper spray hit was the thick skin on my butt, no mucus membranes, no delicate parts. It irritated the skin enough to require an immediate shower. I can only imagine how painful getting this stuff in the eyes, mouth and throat would be.

  4. Amanda

    I”m really glad, that Maryam Namazie started that petition. I hope some good comes of it, but changing those societies, will be easier said than done. Her blog also looks pretty good.

  5. Thank you for the brief mention of feminism and secularism in the Muslim world, and for the link to Maryam Namazie’s blog.

    I look forward to reading more Skepchick blog posts on the formalized, institutional misogyny of the worlds second most popular religion.

    1. Majortom,

      Its also nice to read a blog by someone who is critical of Islam, and isn’t an anti Muslim bigot.

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