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Category Archive: discourse

Feb 27 2013

Damn Sensible Advice

Sage advice. Image courtesy Shut the Front Door.

My stepmother posted this in her timeline, and it seems quite apropos. Damn skippy I’m not. Never have been – I don’t have this diplomatic tendency to run about trying to make everyone all harmonize together. I don’t mind patiently talking to someone whose point of view differs from mine, as long as they aren’t …

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Feb 03 2013

Ensuring Women Remain Part of the Secular Movement

Having your consciousness raised is interesting. It’s a strange sensation, seeing the scenes that previously wouldn’t have caused a single eyelash to step up to the plate, spit on its hands, and prepare to bat. Then it’s pointed out to you that something’s wrong with the picture, and your eyelashes resemble the batter’s cage at …

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Jan 29 2013

A Refresher for Allies

Recently, I watched a conversation among allies go sadly awry. This was a private venue and I won’t repeat the specifics. They’re not necessary, really: gather together a mixed collection of people whose goals are similar but backgrounds are not, and you can watch the same thing happen. The folks in the group that are …

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Dec 31 2012

Beauties, Beasts, and a Lesson Most of Us Don’t Want To Learn

This is a good read, an important read, and I’d like you to read it all. Gyzym is gentle but firm in explaining why movies like Beauty and the Beast can be jarring for those who didn’t realize that the fairy tale is actually a classic domestic violence scenario. That’s important to face. And for …

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Dec 08 2011

Warning: Fencesitters and Bystanders May Be Affected

At the risk of inviting a miasma of socks, I am going to talk about Womanspace once again. It’s important, and I’ve got a point to make. There are a couple of open letters that are worth reading. Dr. O’s An open letter to Dr. Rybicki makes a very important point: Maybe your short story isn’t …

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Aug 06 2011

In This Case, Gonna Have to Say “Down With the Revolution!”

I’d really never thought of Google’s “real names” policy like this – but the Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal calls it “revolutionary”: Imagine you’re walking down the street and you say out loud, “Down with the government!” For all non-megastars, the vast majority of people within earshot will have no idea who you are. They won’t have …

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Jul 30 2011

An Open Letter to Those Who Think Real Names Solve the Civility Problem

Dear People Who Think Real Names Make People Behave Better: I understand the desire for a more civil discourse. Most of us would like that (except for the trolls, one supposes), but a “real name” policy isn’t the magic cure that will make everyone nice. Allow me to direct your attention to what people feel …

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Jul 29 2011

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Bard?

It may seem bizarre that in the land infamous for a dry sense of humor, satire is banned. But politicians in both Great Britain and Ireland, it appears, are terrified of people like Jon Stewart. So terrified, in fact, that they’ve come up with inane rules meant to prevent the carpets in their halls of …

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Mar 06 2011

The Limits of Tolerance

Johann Hari asks a very good question: “Can we talk about Muslim homophobia now? (h/t)” Here’s a few portents from the East End that we have chosen to ignore. In May 2008, a 15 year old Muslim girl tells her teacher she thinks she might be gay, and the Muslim teacher in a state-funded comprehensive …

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Aug 29 2010

DBAD: The Return

Poor Phil.  His Don’t Be A Dick stuff’s still getting panned.  Our own George W. took it apart: I like Phil Plait a lot, but he’s recently been on a thing about “Not Being A Dick” and his recent video is supposed to be a clarification of that position.   This reminds me of the scene …

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