Frequently-Asked Questions

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.

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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…]

What’s In a Name? Not Necessarily Religion.

Content Notice for ableist slur in tweet screencap

Spike the dragon from My Little Pony wearing a top hat and twirling a fake mostache

I imagine an extravagant mustache twirl accompanying the asking of “gotcha”-style questions.

“If you’re not a Muslim, then why do you have a Muslim name?”

Boy, do theists love them some cliche-as-all-heck “gotcha!”s or what? Well, so do atheists, but since there are more of them than there are of us, and I’m currently dealing with a fresh slew of smug believers on Twitter, let’s talk about name origins.

To start, my name isn’t strictly “Muslim”, per se[Read more…]

If Not Excluding White Male Authors, Then What? + Response to Secular Round Table

If there is anything I’ve learned from the backlash against reading authors who aren’t white men, it is that people have a fairly simplistic view of what equality looks like. According to the commenters who think it’s horrible that I’m taking two years to correct a reading imbalance that has persisted for two decades, including one of the members of The Secular Round Table, I’d be better off and more egalitarian by continuing to read mostly or even only white male authors as long as I never consciously discriminated against or in favor of authors based on their race or gender.

Frankly speaking, I see that as ludicrous. It would be unfair of me, however, to not allow for anyone of that persuasion to proffer an alternative. So here’s your chance, if you think me reading selectively for two years is a bad thing: What ought I do instead?

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When Discrimination Is Necessary to Achieve Equality

Attempts to correct unthinking prejudice with pro-active steps are always met with backlash. Science fiction author K.T. Bradford’s now-notorious “No White Male Authors” Challenge is no exception.

In an xoJane essay published last month, Bradford proposed that readers stop reading white, straight, cisgender male authors for a year, in order to focus on marginalized authors to support them and broaden readers’ horizons. The xoJane piece set off a firestorm of controversy from the moment it was published, starting in its own comment thread and quickly spreading to other platforms. Prominent support for her challenge came from fellow feminist genre writers John Scalzi and Saladin Ahmed, as well as from Neil Gaiman, the same white author whose book was featured with a large red cross-out sign on it in Bradford’s piece. Uncanny Magazine, a sci-fi/fantasy publication, offered free copies of its latest issue to anyone taking Bradford’s challenge.

Others in the literary world, however, were not so supportive.

Read more of my op-ed Is it time to stop reading books by white men? at The Daily Dot.

Main image via.

Why Progress Towards Equality Feels Unfair

With a view of the progress that has been made in the past century of the American struggle for equality firmly planted in mind, the notion that equality has already arrived is an understandably tempting one to espouse. In a society that often declares and considers itself to be post-feminist, post-racial, and generally post-discrimination, it is all too easy to be lulled into a sense of satisfaction — and even complacency — regarding social issues.

Comparisons to the past, along with our intuitive sense of what is and is not fair, often impede actual progress toward equality. [Read more…]

The Islamic Center of Irvine FBI Plant Story Keeps Getting Worse

As teenagers, my sister, mosque friends, and I would giggle about a particular mosque attendee who didn’t seem to know how to dress or act in order to blend in. She wore hats and caps instead of a headscarf or shawl and was very aggressive in attitude. At first, we called her “Hat Lady”, but later, someone decided that she was obviously a bad government plant and called her “CIA”; the jest stuck. I remember remarking that if the government did indeed have plants, I’d think that they would be a little better at blending in than CIA was. After I left Islam, I used to joke that I ought to go work for the FBI as a plant, since I could very easily pass as Muslim and was in definite need of the dough.

Both jokes turned out to be oddly prophetic. As it turns out, there was indeed a well-paid sore-thumb plant at our local mosque.

The tale of failed FBI Informant Craig Monteilh gets more and more revolting the more is known about it. The latest information makes it sound like the FBI wanted Monteilh to act like some kind of heterosexist capitalist pig, with how much they paid him and what they wanted him to do with female congregants.

[Read more…]