The Week in Women: an exonerated witch, an absurd prison sentence, and a pancake showdown

“Justice” is a noble and lofty concept that sometimes gets a bit muddled in day-to-day interpretations. The past week has seen some, erm, interesting uses of the legal system, plus a very noble pancake crusade by the citizens of Twitter. Let’s take a look back, shall we?

An unfortunate Italian woman who was beheaded for witchcraft (and then burned, just for good measure) will receive a retrial 300 years after her death. Sixty-year-old Maria Bertoletti Toldini was arrested in August of 1715 and accused of blasphemy, heresy, making land barren, damaging a local vineyard, and tossing a 5-year-old into a pot of boiling cheese, for heaven’s sake. A local culture minister named Quinto Canali was moved to clear Toldini’s name after he saw a reenactment of her execution, which he deemed “a murder that was not justified, that should not have happened.” Moral of the story? Accusations of murder-by-Asiago should always be thoroughly fact-checked.

The Hungarian camerawoman who lost her job and became an international pariah after she was filmed tripping and kicking refugees is planning to sue Facebook and—get this—one of the refugees she kickedPetra Lazslo said she will file a lawsuit against Facebook for allegedly refusing to remove groups that threatened her, while deleting groups that expressed support. A second lawsuit will be directed against Osama Abdul Mohsen, whom Lazslo claimed doctored his testimony to implicate her. Lazslo can clearly be seen tripping Mohsen, who was carrying his young son, in two different videos, so … Good luck in court.

Zainab al-Khawaja, a 32-year-old opposition activist in Bahrain, has been slapped with a one-year prison sentence for tearing up photos of King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa. Last year, Al-Khawaja was put on trial for the same offense, and because she is a total boss, she ripped up a photo of the king in front of the judge. Now, she will serve a prison sentence for “insulting the king” a second time. In 2012, al-Khawaja very aptly wrote in a post on Twitter that “tearing up pictures of a criminal dictator is a legitimate method of peaceful resistance.”

Pancake house IHOP received its just desserts (see what we did there?) after tweeting an ill-advised joke about flat-chested women. The tweet, which paired a photo of a pancake stack with the message “flat but has a GREAT personality,” was met with a wave of complaints about its racy, misogynistic tone. The tweet was removed, and an apology for the puerile quip soon followed. Nice damage control, IHOP, but we expected more from the esteemed creator of the Rooty Tooty Fresh N’ Fruity pancake.

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