It’s been a tough week. Here, read some great things.
1. Patrick has a fantastic post about being an ally–both to female-identified feminists and to the queer community. “There is a role for male-identified people in feminism. Many hands makes light work. There’s a 500-ton stone block sitting on the neck of half of humanity. It’s our job to lift it, and if we all chip in, we can do it, even though it seems impossible from here. But what we cannot do is all direct how the lifting should be accomplished. The person whose neck it is on is the person who should be signaling the lift, calling the shots, their own voices being heard.”
2. Cliff Pervocracy on the dangers of assuming that what you see in your immediate surroundings is “normal” or “the way things should be.” “It’s easy to look around your little corner of the world, and the bits of patchy evidence you get from other places, and think that you know how the world is. It’s easy to conclude on the most threadbare evidence that you’re hideously abnormal or that the suffering you’re enduring or causing is normal.”
3. Gretchen thinks that prospective parents who know that they will disown their children for being gay or for loving someone of another race should seriously consider not having children. “If there is a ‘type’ that you would disown your adult child for being in love with, do that child and the rest of the world a favor and don’t reproduce. Because you never know.”
4. Sarah explains why Hermione from Harry Potter is awesome and compares her to a few female activists she knows–including me. :P
5. This is old–like, extremely old–but in this post John Scalzi describes what being poor is really like, and it should be required reading. “Being poor is thinking $8 an hour is a really good deal. Being poor is relying on people who don’t give a damn about you. Being poor is an overnight shift under florescent lights. Being poor is finding the letter your mom wrote to your dad, begging him for the child support. Being poor is a bathtub you have to empty into the toilet.”
6. Figleaf offers a great rebuttal to those nonsense metaphors about virginity being like unchewed gum or unwilted roses or whatever.
7. I keep hearing arguments like “I can’t be a misogynist; I love women!” or “I can’t be a homophobe; I hate the sin but love the sinner.” Does it matter? Not really, because hate is not a prerequisite for bigotry.
8. This is not new, but it’s a great analogy for how depression and neurotransmitters work that’ll hopefully clear up some confusion about “chemical imbalances.”
9. This poly writer argues that there’s nothing wrong with helping someone who’s in a monogamous relationship cheat. It’s a compelling article, but I ultimately disagree. Yes, the problem isn’t the sex that you and this person are having; the problem is that they are deceiving their partner. However, personally, if I were propositioned by someone who would be cheating, I would feel that 1) their partner would not consider me blameless, and their feelings matter; and 2) a better thing to do would be to encourage them to either ask their partner for an open relationship or resolve whatever issues are causing them to want to cheat (even if that means leaving the partner). If you’re so inclined, read this and let me know what you think.
10. Aoife writes about being kind to ourselves as skeptics and atheists when we have those little moments in which we believe in “silly” things. “I feel that it is essential that we are as compassionate as we are honest. That compassion, if it is to be truly genuine, needs to be extended to our selves as well as to others. When I let a part of my brain feel (not believe) that my departed loved ones still somehow exist, I’m not denying reality. I still know that they are not….But allowing a little conscious cognitive dissonance into my mind is a comfort. It’s a way to let my mind bring those memories to life….A way to get back to sleep in the middle of the night.”
11. Here are two great pieces explaining the controversy surrounding the Good Men Project and their rape apologism. I’ve had a piece published there before (that’s how you know it’s not all bad! :P) but I can’t abide by this.
12. My friend Brendan writes about systemic violence and the misconceptions surrounding the Sandy Hook shooting. “When we fail to discuss the toxic aspects of our society as violent tragedies occur, we are passive. When we allow students and faculty to carry firearms into our institutions of higher learning, we are acquiescent. And when we wake up the following morning only having mourned and not discussed systemic violence, we are silent. So if anyone tells you to be silent in the face of gun violence, tell them they are wrong.”
13. Why we need to talk about gender and mass shootings. “We need to take a close look at male culture, and ask ourselves what lessons we teach young boys about what it means to be a man. We need to question the link between masculinity and power, between masculinity and dominance….Most of all, we need to address the crisis in male emotional health, and ask ourselves why crying, expressing love, fear, or hurt, are emotional outlets that are denied to most men and boys.”
14. Paul, my fellow FtB newbie, wrote this piece about going through therapy after being brutally attacked. His honesty is touching and beautiful. Thank you for sharing this, Paul.
That’s it for now. As always, please share links to stuff you’ve written recently if you’d like to!