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Feb 04 2012

Baturday and Weekly Recap!

 

Today is Baturday! That means I get to post some pictures and videos of adorable and/or totally awesome bats! Plus my usual round-up of this week’s posts, to help out with anyone who missed anything!

 

Jonathan Ross Is An Asshole

I try to draw people’s attention to a horribly offensive, transphobic joke about Thailand’s transgender flight crews made by ITV chat-show host Jonathan Ross.

Blogroll, Floyd and Li’l Drac The Fruit Bat

I point out my brand new, shiny blogroll, ask for any suggestions anyone might have, let everyone know that TN state legislator Robert Floyd stands behind his vicious threats to transgender women, and post a video of an adorable baby fruit bat.

Phytoestrogens and Natural Transition

I try my hand at debunking some of the alt-med “natural transition” products being marketed towards the trans community and offer some tips on learning how to spot quackery when you see it.

Passability and the Toupee Fallacy

I explain a logical fallacy that tends to distort the perceptions that cis people (and even many trans people, especially those in the process of questioning) have about the way trans people tend to look, and also offer a few thoughts on the implications, consequences and politics of passability and stealth.

How I Became An Atheist

I tell an autobiographical story of the process through which I became an atheist, including a very close friend of mine’s development of schizophrenia and concurrent conversion to born again Christianity, the metaphysical implications of being transsexual, and my adoration of Don Quixote.

Updated Canadian Auronautics Act Permits Discrimination Against Transgender Passengers

I call attention to a Canadian law that insists that airline employees not permit a person to fly if their appearance does not, in the opinion of that employee, match the gender indicated on their identification.

Is Religion Inherently Dangerous?

I investigate the question of whether the existence of kind, compassionate, decent and reasonable religious believers means that religion is not an inherently dangerous or problematic thing. I say it just means we occasionally get lucky, that it’s only natural that a dangerous thing doesn’t always result in harm, just like how sometimes a bullet doesn’t hit anyone.

“But I’m An Ally! I’m On Your Side!”

I take a look at the tendency for people to proclaim themselves allies as an excuse for discriminatory behaviour and a defense against criticism, and wonder if this is perhaps an act of screwing up at the most important part of being an ally: being willing to accept your mistakes, and learn.

Honduran White Bat, from lolyland.net

FAQ

I answer a whole bunch of questions sent in from readers, about transsexuality, gender, my blog and me. Lots of important stuff is covered, like who’s the coolest My Little Pony, who’d make the best female Doctor, and the fact that De Profundis, Tender Buttons and chocolate-covered marzipan are wonderful, wonderful things.

Comment Policy

I explain the basic policy and principles by which I’ll be moderating comments here.

How To Ask A Trans Person Questions Without Being Insensitive About It

A guideline to exactly what the title suggests… how to respect the line between inquiry and invasiveness and treat trans people with respect while asking (and learning) whatever you wish to better understand.

Linky Links To Click!

A handful of interesting links from around the webs these past few days that I thought could help kick off your weekends on the right note.

I hope you all have a nice weekend!

 

 

 

12 comments

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  1. 1
    Pteryxx

    I bet I’m not the only one watching the new MLP ep riiiight noooooow….

  2. 2
    beardofpants

    Too many bats! ::squee::

    One of your pictures needs resizing, btw (it’s extended out past your container into the blogroll).

  3. 3
    Anders

    I’ve been thinking about this Ally thing. Is this somewhat correct?

    I’m an Ally, because I choose to live with certain guidelines. These guidelines are established by trans people and have to be established by them because they’re the ones who know whats hurtful, and they are the ones being hurt.

    Should I violate these guidelines then the person I insulted may decide not to make an issue of it. That is hir prerogative. However, if they choose to make an issue of it, I can’t go off screaming about me being Ally. I still broke the rules, and the only person who can decide to ignore it is the person I insulted. I can make no demands of zem(?).

    My only recourse as an Ally is to stop being one. That may not (in fact, probably is not) the right thing to do, but I can do it.

    1. 3.1
      Natalie Reed

      But that’s framing it entirely in the context of “ally” being a status you want to possess and have recognized. Instead think of “ally” as a commitment you’ve made to do the right thing by others. Then it doesn’t really matter whether a particular person forgives you or not, that’s their thing, which doesn’t reflect on your choice to be an ally. You just try to learn from it and use that as a basis for being a better person in the future. And the “being a better person” should be the primary goal anyway.

      1. Anders

        Ok, I see what you’re saying. You’ll have to pardon me; I haven’t really thought about this before so I’m a little new. :)

        Meditate upon this I shall.

      2. Anders

        Ok, I’m ready to dash my theories against the hard rock of reality once more. This time taking a more theoretical view on things. I’m a virtue ethicist, which means that being an ethical person is dependent on following certain virtues. Among these virtues are Politeness, Justice and Honesty. Being an Ally flows naturally from these virtues, like so:

        Politeness is the virtue of treating people like they deserve to be treated, and having a positive initial attitude – giving people the benefit of the doubt. Avoid speech and behavior that is likely to cause negative emotions in people unless they really asked for it – I’m not obliged to be polite to Fred Phelps, for instance. It is clear that learning what terms and questions are uncomfortable for trans people is part of this, since I count some as my friends.

        Justice is similar to politeness, but with regards to political power. The state should treat everyone as they deserve in the circumscribed sphere of political power. No one should be treated poorly for belonging to a certain group – justice pertains to individuals, not to groups. Fight laws that subvert these principles (and other perversions of law like ex post facto laws. Again, laws that discriminate against trans people should be fought whenever they appear – Allydom flows naturally from my ethical principles.

        Honesty is similar to politeness, but with regards to assertions. Assertions can be assessed regarding criteria like evidence and plausibility. Lies hurt everyone, not just the person lied to. Fighting lies and untruthful stereotypes becomes a natural outgrowth of the virtue of Honesty. Again, Allydom is part and parcel of my ethical principles.

        So, in summa, being an Ally is part of treating my ethical principles seriously. It is not something for which I should expect a reward, beyond the rewards that come from being virtuous.

  4. 4
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Baaaaaaaaats! That second video is so, so cute especially.

  5. 5
    starskeptic

    I’m wondering how the room “looks” to bats with so much background noise…

    1. 5.1
      Natalie Reed

      Probably like how an excessively bright room looks to us! Or a dance club with lots of lasers and flashing lights.

      1. starskeptic

        lol…or a stunt pilot on a cloudy day; low ceiling-staying on the ground, thank you!

  6. 6
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Natalie, please check your gmail for this blog sooner rather than later. I sent you notice about something that may be time-sensitive. Sorry for the off-topic, cryptic note, but it might be important.

  7. 7
    Nadeen

    I like how the cutest bat in the world is casually hanging from one foot. It is too cute.

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