Frequently-Asked Questions

When the Monogamous Bait Poly Smugness

Among more progressive types, much is made of the smug polyamorists who declare themselves to be more skilled at communicating, better at relationships, and overall more evolved than their monogamous counterparts. As I’ve said before, I’m not on board with that. Poly is my relationship style, not an indicator that I am somehow better at anything than a monogamous person, let alone everything. Being poly is no guarantee against any kind of hurt or pain and can even introduce novel forms of pain into one’s emotional life. Poly is not a shield against any and all harms; given my journey to my current relationship style, I have never have believed it to be so.

Reading through the comments on others’ Facebook walls in response to my last piece on polyamory has reminded me of all this. Many of the comments invoked poly smugness, claiming that (1) responding with “it’s not for me” is a preemptive strike against poly evangelizing, (2) defensiveness is only natural when someone makes an unnecessary mention that they are poly, or (3) both.

I honestly feel a bit at a loss. [Read more…]

Is There Anything in Islam for This Ex-Muslim?

Content Notice for Eating Disorders

Via Ask.Fm:

While you may have given up Islam, are there any trappings of Islam you still practice? For example, do you fast during the month of Ramadan?

I get asked variations of this question all the time, and the answer for me, personally, is no. Nothing I did beacuse of my religious beliefs was anything that continues to be worth it to me for me to continue doing as an atheist. In fact, some of the mandates of Islam are legitimately harmful.

But what about, say, charitable acts, or acts of kindness? Or the benefits of meditation? Or the encouragement to smile? Or the wisdom in certain quotes? [Read more…]

Wholly Self-Indulgent Life Update & Birthday Post

Part of the reason why I took my hiatus for the past two weeks is that, following the American Atheists Convention, my life was swallowed up by the process of moving. Between all the actions necessary to get two people and a storage unit onto a lease and then moved into a third-floor apartment with no elevators, I had little time for anything else other than work and sleep.

It was worth it. Danny and I are, at long last, after years of patience and work and frustration, living together.

Dethklok birthday/dethday lyrics

Thankfully, most of the physical labor and necessary immediate large expenditures have already been completed, meaning that I’ve accomplished my goal of successfully moving before my birthday, which is tomorrow (I share it with Earth Day).  I will be attending ReAsonCon this weekend with the full intention of making up for two frantic, mostly fun-free weeks.

Not everything is quite done yet, though. If you want to and can help out two broke and one disabled, formerly homeless person get their household together as a combination birthday/housewarming/birthday (since his is in June) thing, this is your lucky day. If not, don’t peek below the jump. [Read more…]

Encouraging Women to Own It: 2015’s Atheist of the Year & a Grief Expert

Heina looking excited about the Memphis airport welcome sign

The Memphis airport had a greeting sign for us!

Earlier this month, I attended my first-ever American Atheists Convention in Memphis, TN. It was quite a fruitful weekend through and through. I got to meet, get to know, and/or reconnect with dozens of people. Of the latter group, I had two interactions that reminded me of just how important it is to boost confidence in women,

I hardly mean this in some cliche, simplistic, capitalist-feminist ladder-kicking lean-in sort of way. It’s a lot more meta and much more data-based than that. My strategy was to remind women that men in similar or even lesser-accomplished positions than theirs are, on average, much more assured about it than they are.

[Read more…]

Self-Esteem Is Not Weight-Stigma-Ending Magic

Content Notice for Body Image & Fat Shaming

Self-love is a supernatural power that hides adipose tissue, apparently.

Self-love is a supernatural power that hides adipose tissue, apparently.

Once upon a time, someone asked me why I hate going out to clubs and meat-market-style bars. I answered honestly: I am not a fan of draining my bank account to acquire the overpriced drinks necessary in order to make hanging out with people with whom I have little to nothing in common more tolerable. She laughed at me and asked me why I was “stupid” enough to pay for my own drinks when men would buy them for me. Again, I was frank: Men I don’t know don’t tend to buy me drinks at bars because I’m not the type of person they see as desirable in that setting. She proceeded to tell me that it was my fault for not knowing how to “work it” and for not having “confidence.”

How “confidence” and “working it” would have stopped the many men over the course of my dating experience from saying some variation of “I like you a lot but just not…. physically. Do you have any smaller friends?” (and those were the ones who were being kind), to give just one example, I don’t know. [Read more…]

Support Abu, a Film About a Gay Son & His Fundamentalist Muslim Father

A lot of never-Muslims will ask me what they can do to help out with the suffering of LGBTQ folks in Muslim-dominated countries, cultures, and communities. If you’re in that boat, here’s your change.

There are only 8 days left for the IndieGOGO campaign for Abu, a film about a gay son reconciling with his Muslim father. As I am a supporter of LGBTQ Muslim and ex-Muslim representation and am doubly queer myself, as well as someone who unapologetically values their relationship with their family, a project like this is triply close to my heart.

Throw in a few Canadian bucks to help make this film a reality, if you can. If you can’t (or even if you can), share on social media. Every link tweeted or Facebook shared means more visibility and exposure to more eyes.

[Read more…]

A Note: Hiatus

As the more dedicated among you readers may have noticed, I have been away for American Atheists Convention 2015 the past few days. The respite from daily posts was good for me, and I plan on continuing with irregular or no posts for the next few weeks or so. This gives all of you the chance to catch up and / or check out my archives, which go back through my posts from Skepchick (i.e. late 2011). That’s 317 posts total, all tagged for your reading ease.

To get you started:
Top Ten Posts on This Blog That Aren’t Too Topical

  1. Polyamory: What No One Warned Me About
  2. Do I Get to Dress Like the Women on Matt Taylor’s Shirt at Work Now?
  3. Beauty Level-Up #5: An FAQ on Contouring
  4. Viewing Child Porn Far Is Worse Than Being a Pedophile
  5. What’s Wrong With Saying Hello?
  6. Top Five Arguments the Atheist Agenda Doesn’t Have the Right to Use
  7. #AnApostatesExperience: A Plea to Reconsider Your Love for Reza Aslan
  8. Everything That My Tits Have Gotten Me in Life
  9. Dan Savage: Always & Forever a Mixed Bag
  10. Against Jokes, Expressions of Attraction, & Free Speech for Men

Click through tags and / or search this blog for words and phrases of interest to find more things that may interest you. I’ve said a lot about a lot of things over the years.

See you all in a few weeks or fewer.

Everything Is Lies Day Is Every Day, Actually

I have been bracing myself for today’s “pranks” for a few days now, so I’m ready. While I am something of a fan of the very very obviously false posts, especially the ones on the part of organizations and companies, this day serves as a wince-inducing reminder to me that taking people at their word is considered bad in the world in which we live. [Read more…]

3 Types of Jokes That Tend Towards the Less Problematic

I often hear the lament that no one is allowed to be funny or make jokes anymore. As one of the many humorless feminists on this blog network out to ruin all of your fun, I totally agree and look forward to a world free of jokes, especially from men.

That was an example of an Insider Joke. The other two types I’ll be discussing are the Unexpected Reference and Wordplay.

[Read more…]

Why Insist That Polyamory Is Not for You?

Once upon a time, I was that person who thought that all straight people were secretly non-monosexual; after all, hadn’t I mistakenly identified as straight for years? Later, after wholeheartedly adopting the poly label, I also believed that all monogamous people were probably non-monogamous, and that they, like me, needed just a little awareness to realize their true selves.

I was wrong, of course.

I now fully acknowledge how annoying it is to deal with evangelicals of any kind and apologize for how obnoxious I must have been. That is why, when I speak of polyamory or pansexuality or queerness and so on, I do my darndest to keep it personal. That is exactly what I tried to do when I wrote about my own feelings surrounding poly breakups. As always when I mention my relationship style, however, I received responses to the effect of “Well, I couldn’t do poly, but I support those of my friends who do so.”

Why does this happen? [Read more…]