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Category Archive: Sex and relationships

Aug 17 2013

“If you think rape is a problem, talk about it right.”

[Content warning: discussions of harassment, sexual violence, domestic abuse and victim blaming, both here and in the OP.] Jonathan Lindsell of the Haywire Thought blog has a post about rape, and how we discuss it. If you’ve heard the phrase “rape culture” and been mystified by it, this post is for you. It says a variety of essential …

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Aug 17 2013

You want sex? So stop asking for coffee

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If you weren’t aware by now that arguments about harassment are burning through the skeptosphere again, you can’t have been paying much attention. I won’t be entering that fray myself just yet, except to say – in general terms, in principle – that reports of abuse or harassment should always be taken seriously and investigated. …

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Aug 13 2013

On Stephen Fry’s letter and Russia: the oppression Olympics

There’s much to admire and enjoy in Stephen Fry. I respect his public openness about mental illness and HIV-AIDS awareness-raising; his articulate promotion of secular humanist aesthetics; his brightness and wit on QI. I respected, admired and enjoyed less his open letter to David Cameron, calling recently for ‘an absolute ban on the Russian Winter …

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Aug 06 2013

Yes, Richard Dawkins, your statements on Islam are racist

[Disclaimer 1: this post isn't intended as a character assassination - I'm not sure it's helpful to talk about people (as opposed to actions or statements) as being innately racist, and what I say here refers to the latter.] [Disclaimer 2: I’m writing from the point of view of a white atheist who isn’t and …

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Jul 19 2013

More creationism at the Keswick Convention

Remember the ‘Scale model of Noah’s ark‘ creationist exhibit, from this time last year in my hometown? The Keswick Convention is in full swing again, and a friend just linked me to this footage from the local marketplace. Watch out for more young earth creationism, threats of Hell, the blood of Jesus and salvos against …

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Jun 30 2013

Appropriation, erasure and historical revisionism: gay marriage’s hyperconservative origins, and why DOMA’s repeal mustn’t be framed as a secular(ist) victory

Since Wednesday, I’ve watched friends and allies either side of the Atlantic celebrating the Defense of Marriage Act’s partial repeal. On reflection, perhaps tellingly, the ones who’ve celebrated most have been my colleagues in the atheist community, or at least the part of it which keeps an eye on social issues: in the chorus of …

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Jun 20 2013

A queer atheist’s survival guide: thoughts from my friends’ church wedding

Four days ago, for the second time this year, I went to church. Some months ago an elderly friend died, through whose funeral – an Anglican affair, dusty and impersonal if dignified – I sat with family members; it was the first I ever attended, and on Saturday, also for the first time, two friends …

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Feb 26 2013

Westminster’s sordid history of queer sex scandals

In common with most of humanity, I like sex. So, probably, do you. If you don’t like it, and plenty of people don’t, that’s your prerogative and equally dandy – but personally, I like various kinds of it with various people and with various motivations. I’m not a nymphomaniac: it matters less to me than Doctor …

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Dec 23 2012

More sexist religion from my family’s bookshelves

Remember Leadership is Male, the book I posted about at the start of June? As Christmas Eve approaches, another gem has revealed itself on my relatives’ bookshelf. What’s the Difference? Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible is a similar volume by John Piper, and like Leadership is Male has a foreword by Elisabeth Elliot. (Because, …

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Aug 28 2012

A secular state is important, but (for me) it’s not enough

Sunday’s post on humanism has gained lots of attention, including the National Secular Society’s, who shared it on their homepage. (Thanks to them for the readers that sent the blog.) One issue I mentioned half way through that post, and that I’ve brought up a lot elsewhere recently, is that I want to focus my …

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