That Time I Almost Became a Gender Statistic

This is post 2/4 of an October Friday uncouth rant series leading up to Halloween. Content notice for gendered slurs. The genesis for this was conceived in a Jezebel comment thread of which I was reminded thanks to a friend’s comment thread. 

The meme of Jimmy McMillan of The Rent Is Too Damn High Party, captioned "The ladies' cleaning standards are too damn high!" A few years ago, a few places, notably Forbes, posted pieces along the lines of “you crazy bitches are make it all up! It’s not men’s fault that you do more domestic labor, it’s yours!” Or we don’t communicate enough about it. Somehow, it’s women’s fault.

As I was fresh off being broken up with (as is my wont, apparently) by someone with whom I struggled on this very issue, I couldn’t let it slide.

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Viewing Child Porn Far Is Worse Than Being a Pedophile

Content notice for what the tin says

When I get drunk, I vaguebook or answer the (ahem) after-dark type questions I often get on Ask.fm. It’s not as if laptops, tablets,  smartphones, and other web-enabled devices have built-in breathalyzers that redirect you to child porn if you’re intoxicated enough. According to John Grisham, however, it’s all too easy to get drunk and stumble onto images of underage people intended to titillate the viewer. He has valiantly gone on record defending those poor, helpless white men who consume child pornography.

Via Time:

“We have prisons now filled with guys my age — 60-year-old white men in prison who’ve never harmed anybody,” Grisham said in a recent interview. Grisham said there are men in prison who “got online one night” who “probably had too much to drink” and ended up on child-pornography websites, a crime he said a friend had committed. [However,] he has “no sympathy” for pedophiles. “God, please lock those people up,” he said.

Since when was an action, i.e. consuming child pornography, less worthy of punishment than a state of existence, i.e. being primarily attracted to children?
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#AnApostatesExperience: Why I Declared My Apostasy

Content notice for body image.

The other day, we at EXMNA made #AnApostatesExperience happen in response to Reza Aslan — who utterly missed the point.

He wasn’t the only Muslim responding. I got one Muslim who told me that I would’ve been better off taking off my headscarf rather than full-on coming out to my family as an atheist. This person is hardly alone. More than one Muslim has asked me why I didn’t tell my parents that I wanted to de-veil and stop practicing Islam rather than to declare to them that I had deconverted.

Given that I went from being a devout Muslim to being an atheist without detection but am a terrible liar, pussyfooting around my atheism would have been a pointless strategy. [Read more...]

#AnApostatesExperience: A Plea to Reconsider Your Love for Reza Aslan

Remember when Sam Harris said a misogynistic thing and doubled-down on it by talking about how he has a wife, a mother, and a female editor whose contributions to his work he highly values? Most white liberal atheists saw that for what it was and mocked him. It’s the “I have a black friend” argument.

Reza Aslan did a version of that yesterday regarding #AnApostatesExperience, the hashtag we at EXMNA started.

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Top Five Arguments the Atheist Agenda Doesn’t Have the Right to Use

I’m sure you or someone you know has seen or posted Michael Luciano’s Atheists Don’t Owe Your Social Justice Agenda a Damn Thing piece on The Daily Banter. It’s a short piece using the conference I attended this weekend, Moving Social Justice, to claim that expecting atheists to care about such outlandish things as equality diversity is “silly” because the dictionary definition of an atheist is someone who believes in no god(s). Also implicit in the title is the idea that those of us who care deeply about social justice are not “atheists” even though many of us say we are.

Well, okay, then. Michael Luciano thinks that I’m not atheist since this is “my social justice agenda”, not that of atheists. If that’s true, then atheists like Michael Luciano have no right to bring up Cosmos (i.e. Neil deGrasse Tyson and Carl Sagan), Christian right-wing sexism, the normalization of atheism, religious sex scandals, and Islam’s perceived flaws in their promotion of their purely-atheist agenda. [Read more...]

National Coming Out Day: I Don’t Want to Hang Out in Your Poly Closet

This is post 1/4 of an October Friday uncouth rant series leading up to Halloween. Content notice for horror movie GIFs. A version of this appeared on my Facebook page.

There are days when I do my darndest to be full of subtlety and nuance. This is not one of those days. Since today is National Coming Out Day, let’s talk about closets.

I’m out about a lot of things, things some might say I ought to be a bit less shameless about.

A version of Allie Brosh's "ALL the things!" meme from her “This is Why I’ll Never be an Adult” entry for Hyperbole and a Half reading "Come out about ALL the things"

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Sam Harris Might Be Changing His Tune on Islam

In conversations regarding Sam Harris on a recent post, it was brought to my attention that Harris is collaborating with a noted Muslim reformer, Maajid Nawaz, on a forthcoming e-book. This, along with Harris’s statements that he does not think all Muslims are terrorists, was used to claim that I was misrepresenting Harris’s views.

When I said that “Maher and Harris would have you believe that violent “jihadists” à la ISIS / ISIL / IS / [insert other initialism permutation of your choice here] represent all Muslims”, I was referring back, in the case of Harris, to his paper trail regarding Islam. All the protesting that he doesn’t think all Muslims are like that doesn’t eliminate his history of writing about Muslims and Islam.

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When & How Criticizing Islam Takes a Turn for the Racist

In response to my posting of Debunking the “Islam is Not a Race!” Argument on Facebook, I received the following question.

Since “race” is an imaginary thing anyway, the use of racism seems at the same time apt and inappropriate. Is the author’s message that because we tend to stereotype Muslims the same way we do “races” that this is racism or equal to racism?

I can’t speak for the author of the original piece, but I can speak for myself when I say that the premises behind this question render me unable to choose either answer posited by the asker.

It’s because race is a real thing that criticism of Islam has the potential to become racialized. In other words, it’s not that simple.

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