It is my great pleasure to introduce a new contributor to the Manifesto, Edwin Hodge.
Well hey there! You’re probably asking yourself exactly why, after finding your way to the blog of the Crommunist, you are instead reading a pile of words written by me, a complete stranger. Well, that’s a great question, my friend, I’m so glad that you asked it! Introductions are in order, and so I will oblige!
My name is Edwin, and I am a blogger, author, and political scientist soon to be attached to the University of Victoria. While my academic work is focussed almost exclusively on the subjects of gender and white supremacy, my non-academic ramblings are rather more wide-ranging. Over at my own little piece of the Internet – an obscure blog called the “Skeptical Cubefarm” – I write about pretty much anything that interests me, which usually includes the nonsense that is cult archaeology, the vapid mouthings of creationists, or the baseless assertions of alt-meddlers.
Every now and again though, I get it into my head to pick a fight with those groups who I feel are specifically poaching on my professional turf, and that more often than not tends to include the perpetual whiners from the Men’s Rights Movement. When I said that my academic work is concentrated around gender, it’s more accurate to say that I study masculinities in contemporary North American society – an area that MRAs seem to think is their area of expertise. It’s not. It’s mine, and they can’t have it.
I’ve only recently become somewhat involved in the area of social justice activism – mostly through my association with the Kelowna chapter of the Centre for Inquiry – and, if you take the time to read the work over at my blog, you’ll see that my entries have only more recently begun to stray into that area as well. A major reason for my earlier hesitance to dive into the realm of activism is that I am still struggling with my own privilege. That’s not to say that my privilege is a burden – quite the opposite in fact – and its relation to the aims of social justice is something I am trying to understand. I am a white, heterosexual, cis-gendered man of able body; I sit very near to the absolute pinnacle of the social hierarchy in Canada. If it wasn’t for my atheism and my rather-more-than-slightly-
Once upon a time, there was a gathering of skeptics in the sunny city of Kelowna. We had gathered in order to impress upon our fellow Kelownians (Kelownites? Kelownials?) the importance of vaccinations. We desired for our conference, a moderator and guest speaker who would bring great prestige and attention to our cause. We couldn’t afford one though, so we instead invited an up-and-coming blogger by the name of the Crommunist. We met at an informal meeting the night before the event, and he and I hit it off immediately. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the Crommunist has a rather large personality; I do as well (so I’ve been told), and we were therefore destined to move towards each other as the laws of gravity and social interaction dictate. No one else really had much speaking time that evening, as the two of us rather quickly dominated the conversation, and after the next day’s event, we went our separate ways. We did not meet again for several months, until the Imagine No Religion 2 Conference in Kamloops, when our paths crossed once more.
We picked up pretty much where we left off, and by the end of that weekend, I felt pretty confident in considering this boisterous dude a friend. We’ve kept in contact in the time since the conference, and then, one day, I received a message from him asking if I’d like to contribute to his blog. Well hot damn, I thought to myself; that sounds like an excellent idea. And so it was that a decidedly minor blogger from an inconspicuous corner of webdom came to appear on this wonderful blog to share with a whole new crowd of readers my insights into the world of skepticism and social justice. I hope you will enjoy what I contribute, and I am eagerly looking forward to discussing and debating these issues with you!