Fancy Clothes on a Messy Person: On Stain Removal

About 3 years ago, I decided I was done trying to conform to the pricey, difficult, nerdy “not like those other girls” fashion standards. That is, I was tired of shelling out $30+ for quality “girly” tees with logos or designs on them and about as much for jeans that fit me. My heart yearned for dresses of all kinds: fancy, summery, floral, weird. Now, between thrift shops, ModCloth, eBay, and Etsy, I have accumulated a collection that would have made 3-years-ago-Heina weep with envy.

Heina dancing in a white dress with coral embellishments and black trim.

At least I had fun that night.

Despite wearing dresses 90% of the time, I am no delicate flower. I am, as a matter of fact, rather clumsy, including with my food and drink. Yet I’ve only prematurely lost a single dress to a stain (half a glass of red wine on a white bodice — RIP, lovely). What is this sorcery?!

More like chemistry by way of motherly/grandmotherly wisdom and Google.

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Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Care About Ex-Muslims

Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t care about those of us in less-privileged populations and doesn’t want us to use Facebook in the way that’s safest for us.

Via Michael Zimmer come some choice quotes from the social media magnate himself.

“You have one identity,” he emphasized three times in a single interview with David Kirkpatrick in his book, “The Facebook Effect.” “The days of you having a different image for your work friends or co-workers and for the other people you know are probably coming to an end pretty quickly.” He adds: “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity.”

I suppose that Mark Zuckerberg thinks that being an ex-Muslim causes someone to “lack integrity” and therefore doesn’t belong on his social media site.

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So, What Can You Even Order on a First Date?

[Content Notice for Eating Disorders]

Prescriptive articles about what not to order on a first date seem to have a huge hate-on for non-WASP food (stereotypically speaking). They hate a lot of WASP-ish foods and other foods, too, just without the xenophobic and/or racist commentary.

For fun, I aggregated 19 such lists and discovered that you can’t really order much if you follow all the rules.

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Racism: It’s What’s for Dinner on First Dates

[Content Notice for Eating Disorders]

When I say that racism is everywhere, I can almost feel the response welling up in naysayers. Racism enablers and denialists seem to think that those of us who point out racism are Oprah, handing out a racism to everyone and everything. “You get a racism! And you get a racism! And you get a racism! Everybody gets a racism!”

Oprah smiling and pointing outward, caption reads "This is racist. That is racist. That is racist. Everything is racist."

Calling out racism is more along the lines of the image. We’re not hunting for racism any more than we are hunting for sexism. Instead, we’re seeing it where you might not realize it exists.

Like, for example, in articles about what not to order on a first date.

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An Ex-Muslim’s Quest for Pigs (Hold the Sexism)

I’ll mince no words here: the premise contained in the title of Sam Harris’s response to #EstrogenVibe (you can easily find his piece if you want to read it) doesn’t offend me — it disgusts me to my core. As it’s on his personal site, the title can’t be blamed on a clickbait-hungry editor or website, either. He defensively chose to claim that atheist feminists like me are constantly and eagerly looking for a sexist pig to chide.

Speaking personally, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

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Why I Don’t Like Calling Myself an “Activist” or “Ally”

This isn’t to say that there’s nowhere online where I am described as an activist or an ally to something or other, mind you. It’s that I very much hesitate to call myself by either of those terms.

I call myself a writer, blogger, soon-to-be-author, speaker, presenter, facilitator, workshop coordinator, quasi-professional ex-Muslim, disrupter of narratives. I claim the titles that relate to my identities: atheist, secular humanist, feminist, queer, woman of color, pansexual, non-monogamous, polyamorous. I might say I engage in activism of some specific type or in some specific context.

I won’t call myself an activist or an ally because I don’t want to fool myself into thinking I’m already there.

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On the Use of Drugs for Their Prescribed Purpose

Note: I’m sorry for having to continue to blog about this. Ignore it if you prefer my posts that aren’t about community issues. I try to keep those rare and still have a point to them beyond “they said / did a thing, here’s what I think.”

To follow up to my last post, Eshto reactivated then deactivated his Twitter, but not before quoting two of my friends-only posts on Facebook. These have been apparently been shared on a certain thread dedicated to hating on us Skepchick / FtB types on a certain forum. The sharing, including that of a post in which I mentioned that I use marijuana and Ambien, was ostensibly out of concern for Ryan Grant Long. How my personal choices represent something “cruel” I’ve said about him, I will never know.

That said, I’m going to publicly set the record straight: In my view, using legal drugs for their prescribed purpose is nothing to be ashamed of.

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At Least Four Internet Jerks Are Not Nice People Offline

Many thanks go out to those who helped me with editing and revising this: Stephanie, OpheliaDanny, and especially Alex, who generously copy-edited this for free and could really use some help right now.

There are some who claim that if only we were all away from this Internet thing, everything would be alright. According to this theory, perfectly nice, decent people suddenly morph into complete monsters lacking any and all humanity online. Trolls, their defenders, and people who hate technology all chant this “He means well” and “I’m sure she’s nice if you get to know her not-on-the-Internet” bullshit.

And it is bullshit.

What’s after the jump might count as drama-blogging and discusses some very unpleasant things using appropriately unpleasant language. It is an account of the in-person time I have spent with John Rael, Emery Emery, Heather Henderson, and Ryan Grant Long.

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A Woman’s Room Online Event & Live Feed

What a week for skepto-atheist sexism it has been: Shermer, Dawkins, Harris — not to mention their defensive fans who are so irrationally invested in the perfection of their heroes that they cannot see blatant, shameless misogyny for what it is.

While Shermer, Dawkins, and Harris aren’t vicious internet trolls, their expressed sexism and misogyny helps to create a sense of safety and acceptance for the aforementioned awful. I am not the recipient of much vitriol, through no doing of my own, but I know far too many women who are. Some of those bad-ass ladies will be sharing the bile they receive via a very special project.

Tonight is the opening of A Woman’s Room Online, an activist art installation by Amy Davis Roth, aka Surly Amy, my former colleague at Skepchick. The event is taking place at CFI-LA. Amy is setting up a live feed of the opening; the link will be posted on Skepchick when the event begins, this evening between 6 and 7 PM PDT.

As I am going to attend the event, you’ll probably see me. A lot of other LA-area and visiting feminist atheist types will be in attendance, as well. I, for one, am looking forward to a night of camaraderie and commiseration in fancy dresses.

Sam Harris: Misogynistic or #EstrogenVibe Entrepreneur?

Sam Harris said something… well, interesting is a word.

There’s something about that critical posture that is to some degree instrinsically [sic] male and more attractive to guys than to women,” he said. “The atheist variable just has this – it doesn’t obviously have this nurturing, coherence-building extra estrogen vibe that you would want by default if you wanted to attract as many women as men.”

Of course, as soon as some of us took to the Intertubes to call people’s attention to its wildly gender essentialist nature, others took to our corners of the Intertubes to tell us that we were wrong. Nothing sexist or misogynist — I’m sorry, “misogynistic” — about it.

The pedant who so bravely corrected me on my misuse of “misogynist” for “misogynistic” very misandrically asserted that the statement made sense because men are naturally more violent than women. Furthermore, he cited the term “evolutionary psychology” but provided no citations. Since neither assertion is very credible, how could such a blatantly generalizing statement be neither sexist nor misogynistic? It seems to blame hormones for a lack of participation by women in a community in the grand tradition of hysteria.

I think I have a theory: sex toys.

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