IKEA and Starbucks Bow Down to Islamic Misogyny

In a misguided effort to placate the misogynistic government of Saudi Arabia, IKEA bent over backward and kissed ass by taking the morally bankrupt step of erasing all women from the Saudi edition of their catalog. By erase, I mean the same catalog pages now have the women photoshopped out (see the image below for a sample). Saudi Arabia, that bastion of human rights, is a strange land where men apparently can't keep their penises in their pants if they even see an inch of female flesh. To that end, they encase their women in black bags leaving a small slit for the eyes. After all, the women still need to do all that woman work and if you can't see, you can't sweep the floor. Since the women in the IKEA catalog wore more civilized dress, they couldn't be allowed to remain, so out came the magic eraser.

IKEA has been rightly reamed in the media for this and they deserve every piece of bad press they get for this. They now say they 'regret' their callous move, but will they show moral fortitude and allow their standard catalog images to appear in the Saudi Arabian edition? Are they willing to face down the repressive Islamic regime in the name of human decency? And if Saudi Arabia claims it hurts their religious feelings, will IKEA take that regret to the bank and close its Saudi stores? Time will tell just how much regret they are willing to show. I remember back when IKEA was Swedish for "common sense", not "who cares about women anyhow".

Meanwhile, over in the coffee aisle, Starbucks is busy caring about the environment, but women are apparently not part of the environment. When I posted my dismay about IKEA earlier today, a friend pointed out that Starbucks is also big on kissing Saudi fanny. They too have erased women from their corporate image when it comes to placating the sexuallly repressive misogynystic male population. It seems that the mermaid logo still shows too much female flesh, so Starbucks also chose to erase half the population, if only symbolically. Their famous logo, featuring the two-tailed mermaid, was changed for the Saudi market to show only a stylized crown over waves; see the image below left for the current Starbucks logo with the Saudi version to the right.


All this while the United Nations General Assembly pushes for an international law that would make blasphemy a crime, and imposing a worldwide ban on insulting or criticizing religious beliefs or customs. This should scare the hell out of you because a law like that can only be used to opress and silence opposition to even more heinous crimes. It means you and I will no longer to criticize and ridicule criminal states like Saudi Arabia for their catalog of human rights abuses if they explain that it's part of their religious culture. It also means that we'll have to accept that companies like IKEA and Starbucks are just showing respect instead of displaying a love of money that supercedes any moral compass. 

The justification pushing this blasphemy law comes from outraged Islamists who figure that destroying property and murdering people is a fair balanced response to some idiot making an atrociously bad film about the prophet Mahummad. 

This is why we need to crush any attempts to institute blasphemy laws.  We, as evolved, civilized human beings, must not shy away from speaking out when religion trumps human rights. At these times, blasphemy, heresy, and ridicule are some of our best weapons. 

And so coffee has entered the gay rights debate.

Wait. There's a debate?

Apparently. And it seems that some people think the world will implode (and God will get irate) if gays and lesbians have the right to marry and it upsets them. It upsets them so much in fact, that they are going to go after anyone who supports gay marriage. For the record, we have gay marriage here in Canada and nothing terrible has happened. Nevertheless, some of these folk who fear gay marriage signals the apocalypse have put together a Website to raise money to fight Starbucks. 

Yes. Starbucks.

You see, Starbucks has come out (so to speak) as a company, and publicly stated that they support the rights of gays and lesbians to marry, saying that it 'is core to who we are and what we value as a company.' And so, they put up a Website and are asking you to get your hate on for Starbucks. Oh, and send money. I did mention the money part, right?

As you might expect, some people don't feel that hate-filled religious people should get down on Starbucks. Besides, there are other reasons to be upset at Starbucks -- blame the coffee company for having come up with devilishly clever ways of making you spend lots of money on fancy coffee drinks. Blame them for making you say "Venti" when you want a large. But for sticking their corporate necks out and saying that gays, lesbians, et al should have the same opportunity as heterosexual folk for married bliss (or not), they'll pay the tab for that lovely cafe mocha (with whipped cream please) and give their thanks online.  You can vist their Website here.

Interestingly enough, the people who just want to thank Starbucks for their support of homosexual marriage aren't asking for money. Interesting.

So, will you be dumping Starbucks or will you be drinking even more? 

Personally, I think I'm going to slip out and get myself a Tall vanilla latte. Hmm . . . 


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