Her God-Ordained Identity

A lovely story coming our way from ABC News:

Christian School Bans Tomboy for ‘Direction She’s Heading’

Well, now. Here’s a story that just confirms all of the biases I have about good ol’ down south bible schools.

Sunny wasn’t girly enough for Timberlake Christian School, so they wrote a concerned letter to her guardians and told her that she wouldn’t be allowed back in school in the fall unless she girl-ified her attitude. Wouldn’t want any of that tomboyishness or assertiveness confusing her schoolmates and teachers now, would we?

Of course, Timberlake says NO NO NO there are deeper problems beyond the length of Sunny’s hair. Yup. I’m betting those problems have to do with Sunny carving out her own identify and not conforming to the godilicious cardboard cutout that her administrators would like to see.

It’s gratifying to see that Sunny’s grandparents removed Sunny from Timberlake and enrolled her in public school. May she have better times there.

h/t to Mary B. for providing the link to this story.

 

A&F – Attractive & Fat

How badass is this?

Jes over at The Militant Baker has posted the most gorgeous and smoldering retort to Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries.

In her letter she challenges A&F’s fat-hating and sexist business practices,

The only thing you’ve done through your comments (about thin being beautiful and only offering XL and XXL in your stores for men) is reinforce the unoriginal concept that fat women are social failures, valueless, and undesirable.

she comments on current marketing perspectives of beauty and attraction,

Never in our culture do we see sexy photo shoots that pair short, fat, unconventional models with not short, not fat, professional models. To put it in your words: “unpopular kids” with “cool kids”. It’s socially acceptable for same to be paired with same, but never are contrasting bodies positively mixed in the world of advertisement.

and then stars in a jaw-dropping, sultry, sexy photo shoot by Liora K Photography, shot in the style of the Abercrombie & Fitch catalog and advertisements. You get one teaser here – for the rest, go visit the Militant Baker.

A&F

Jes in an embrace with model John C. Shay, giving the camera a dark glance as Shay lifts her chin towards him. This is one of many shots that shows off Jes’s tattooed, curvalicious bod. All of the displayed set is in black and white. Many of the other photos feature Jes wearing an Abercrombie & Fitch t-shirt.

In the letter she explains her motivations for the project:

I didn’t take these pictures to show that the male model found me attractive, or that the photographer found me photogenic, or to prove that you’re an ostentatious dick. Rather, I was inspired by the opportunity to show that I am secure in my skin and to flaunt this by using the controversial platform that you created. I challenge the separation of attractive and fat, and I assert that they are compatible regardless of what you believe. Not only do I know that I’m sexy, but I also have the confidence to pose nude in ways you don’t dare.

To end the set, Jes gives Jeffries the bird, as so many of us have.

Hat tip to C. Brown on Facebook for the link to the Buzzfeed article about Jes’s blog.

Geeks Without God

geeks-without-god-podcastGeeks Without God is a podcast put out by three Minnesota-based geeks and atheists, Tim Wick, Molly Glover and Nick Glover. And I am this week’s guest! So much fun – let me repeat this part of the blog – SO. MUCH. FUN. I was invited over to their recording studio (read: basement – steep stairs but good acoustics and apparently decent recording equipment – the sound quality is great, at least to my untrained ear) and we spent about 38 minutes bullshitting about blogging, Atheists Talk Radio, abortion clinics, Excel spreadsheets and board games. And of course, I had the supreme high honor of answering The Five Questions. I also got to say “geeky boner” and “cockmonster” while recording, so there’s all sorts of goodies on that thar show. You can listen to the episode on the Geeks Without God website, or you can download the podcast on iTunes. And if you visit the website maybe throw in a few bucks for their Camp Quest holiday fundraiser. The Razoo app is on the left side of the main page.

Student Atheists on the Radio

On Sunday I had the pleasure of interviewing two members of the University of Minnesota’s Campus Atheists, Skeptics and Humanists (CASH), Bryan Carver and Joshua Brose. The interview was a live, in-studio chat for Atheists Talk on KTNF (AM950). Carver and Joshua were good sports and agreed to take a photo with me, even though it was before 9am on a Sunday morning.

From the left: Joshua Brose, me, Bryan Carver

During the interview we discussed Joshua and Carver’s background, how they as students found CASH, and what their involvement in the group is. We chatted about the role that CASH plays on campus and in its members’ lives. We discussed some of the events that they’ve already held this year including the Brother Jed counterprotest and Everyone Draw Mohammed Day. They shared information about upcoming CASH events (which are usually open to the public), including a mentalist in November and SkepTech, a conference that they’re hosting next spring which will feature some pretty big names in the secular community (whoever is first on the list is the coolest speaker ever. Truth.). And to close the interview, they each shared what they believe is the one of the most important issues affecting young atheists today.

I had a very good time doing this interview, and I love working with Atheists Talk radio as a host and interviewer. I like knowing that there is a weekly atheist radio in my area that not only delivers awesome interviews (In the past couple of months alone we’ve have Alex Bezerow, Howard Bloom, Chris Rodda, Rebecca Stott, Guy P. Harrison, Matt McCormick, Herb Silverman, Teresa MacBain, David Niose, Jessica Ahlquist…well, I could go on, but now we’re all the way back to July), but also information about local atheist events and activities individuals and families.

You, uh, know we primarily fund this radio show with donations from listeners and supporters, right? *cough* Anyone, any donation amount, anytime. Go ahead, click the link. You know you want to. We have the best tagline ever: “Atheists Talk: It’s good radio without the Good Book.” That’s worth a few bucks just for sheer awesomeness, right?

You can listen to the CASH interview with Joshua, Carver and me in several places: the Minnesota Atheists radio page, in the KTNF archives, or you can search on iTunes for the podcast “Minnesota Atheists Atheists Talk”. Or maybe even here if the player embeds correctly:




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Voter ID Laws

I was notified on Flickr that a group had used one of my photos for an article. I was a bit worried for a second because the photo that was used was this one:

Vote Yes on Voter ID

In my brain: “Please don’t be a pro-Voter ID article, please don’t be a pro-Voter ID article…”

I was happy to discover that the article was entitled: “How the New Voter ID Laws Impede Disadvantaged Citizens“. The article is on the The Society Pages Scholars Strategy Network. “SSN participants share a commitment to connecting good public policymaking to citizen engagement and responsive democratic government.”

Voter ID laws have more potential to disenfranchise minority voters than to solve the fake non-issue of in-person voter fraud. I’m pleased as punch that an article pointing out the downsides of Voter ID laws is using my work. Also, here’s another shout out for Creative Commons – sometimes your original content shows up in some pretty cool places!

Look Who’s In The News!

Stephanie Zvan from Almost Diamonds and a handful of my fellow Minnesota Atheists participated in an extensive interview with Canadian media La Presse. The article is in French, but the page seems to translate pretty well on Google Chrome. The interview is mostly in English with French subtitles, although there are a few moments of French narration (mock outrage: French!? I thought this was about ‘Murica!). The piece was done for an ongoing project called “Sur La Route Du Mississippi”, which is described this way by the site:

On the eve of the U.S. elections, journalist Isabelle Audet and cameraman Frédéric Guiro roam the Mississippi Valley from north to south, to meet the Americans.

I can’t figure out how to embed the video, so click on the link to be taken to the source. Way to represent, y’all!