What Activist Burnout Looks Like — My latest for Splice Today

It looks like having a moment of panic every time you hear your phone ding because you’re afraid either trolls are threatening to beat you up on Twitter, or an argument in the comment section of your Facebook page has turned into an ugly shouting match.

It looks like staring at a thought-provoking article you found on either The Establishment or Everyday Feminism for five hours and debating whether or not to share it online because you’re afraid someone will accuse you of being a stupid SJW who hates white people (even though you are white).

It looks like wanting to hide in shame because when you tried to explain the complexities of modern feminism—including valid criticisms of it—all you get in return is a bunch of guys replying, “Feminism is cancer, you cuck!”

It looks like having to take a bunch of deep breaths about half an hour before correcting someone who says, “Black Lives Matter is a hate group.”

It looks like not getting anything done because you’ve spent the entire day explaining to a Facebook friend you don’t think all white straight cis men are inherently bad.

It looks like wanting to punch a baby in the face whenever someone demands you validate your gender identity with a peer-reviewed science journal article.

It looks like wanting to punch a baby in the face whenever, after explaining to someone the science behind gender identity, they respond, “Transgenderism is a mental disorder!”

It looks like gaslighting yourself and wondering if maybe they’re right and you’re just a special snowflake and not a transgender person.

Click here to read the rest.

Do Fidget Toys Work? — My latest for Paste Magazine

I got my first fidget toy a couple of weeks ago at my friend T’s birthday party. We were at their kitchen table playing Munchkin when I suddenly started experiencing sensory overload. I never played Munchkin before, so between trying to learn all the rules plus everyone talking, I felt anxious and fidgety. (I’m not autistic, but I do have ADHD, and some people with ADHD experience sensory processing problems.) I started playing with T’s fidget toy, and I started feeling calmer. T noticed this, so they gave me a simple green-and-white wooden spinner with four rings that spin in different directions. I became so immersed in the fidget toy that I forgot I was supposed to be learning how to play Munchkin.

Three weeks later, I still have my fidget toy (in fact, I’m playing with it right now as I think of what to write next). It helps center me when I’ve got too much sensory stimuli around me, like when I’m listening to a podcast while trying to do other projects (not something I recommend). However, being a good skeptic, I know very well that personal anecdotes don’t prove anything, so I decided to do some research. What I found was that with most things in science, it’s complicated.

Click here to read the rest.

Okay, Fine, I’ll Weigh In On The Nazi Punching Debate!

First, let’s define what I mean by “Nazi.” I’m not talking about just your typical run-of-the-mill conservative, or even anyone who disagrees with me. I’m talking specifically about the Alt-Right. Just go to any of their Twitter accounts, and you’ll see things like “Protect white purity,” “White genocide is coming,” and “1488.” If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a Nazi.

Now when it comes to punching Nazis, it’s complicated. As a humanist, I prefer nonviolent resistance. I’d much rather show up to protest, vote the bastards out of office, and write articles that debunk all the Alt-Right stands for. I’m not a dude-bro classical liberal a la Dave Rubin, but I do think one of the best ways to combat hateful speech is with more speech. By that I mean I don’t believe in just letting the magical Free Market of Ideas naturally take care of things; I believe in standing up and screaming, “That’s the biggest crock of shit I’ve ever heard in my life!” That’s why I write and do my podcasts.

Having said that, though, I know that if a group of Nazi punks come after me and try to beat the shit out of me, a well-thought out argument isn’t gonna save my happy ass. If they start swinging, I’ll swing back. That’s not vigilantism; that’s just self-defense.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, can we actually work on resisting the Trump regime?

The Spin Off #1: In the Court of the Crimson King

Well, friends, it’s finally here: my new side-project podcast, The Spin Off! It’s a monthly podcast where Jeremiah Traeger from The SJW Circle Jerk, Chris Watson from The Podunk Polymath, and I review our favorite prog rock albums. In our first official episode, we review King Crimson’s 1969 debut “In the Court of the Crimson King,” arguably the first prog rock album.

Enjoy!

Listen to “The Spin Off #1: In the Court of the Crimson King” on Spreaker.

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The Biskeptical Podcast #26: From Russia with Love

On today’s episode, we talk about Trump’s alleged ties with Russia, and whether or not it’s enough to get his ass impeached. We also discuss the Manchester bombing, a Mississippi representative who wants to lynch people, and why that shitty social construct penis hoax article doesn’t prove the entire gender studies field is bullshit. To top it all off, the Social Justice Galaxy Warriors take a trip to Wootopia and discover it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

Listen to “The Biskeptical Podcast #26: From Russia with Love” on Spreaker.

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Bi Any Means Podcast #101: Habeas Humor with Charone Frankel

My guest for today Charone Frankel, host of the new podcast Habeas Humor. Habeas Humor combines comedy and law to both entertain and enlighten listeners, along with interviews. Today we’re going to talk about her work, her podcast, and if the law can be funny.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast #101: Habeas Humor with Charone Frankel” on Spreaker.

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Meet the Science Moms — My newest article for Paste Magazine

In 2015, a group of bloggers wrote an open letter to celebrity moms Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ginnifer Goodwin—criticizing their stance on the anti-GMO Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. The letter explained what GMOs actually are, how they are safe to eat, and how they require fewer pesticides. “When GMOs are stigmatized,” they wrote, “farmers and consumers aren’t able to benefit from much-needed advancements like plants with increased nutrients, or plants that can adapt to changing environmental stresses.”

The letter caught the attention of several people, including Natalie Newell, who discovered it while feeding her then-infant son Zeke late at night. “I was so impressed to see this group of intelligent, relatable and reasonable moms standing up for science and against the fear-based culture that seems to have infected the world of parenting,” she said. Shortly after that, she contacted one of the letter’s writers, Jenny Splitter, about possibly making a short documentary about science-based parenting. Splitter then contacted a few other science-based mothers she knew, and thus Science Moms was born.

Science Moms is an upcoming documentary that profiles five mothers—Splitter, Kavin Senapathy, Alison Bernstein, Anastasia Bodnar and Layla Katiraee—who advocate for science-based decision making when it comes to children’s nutrition and health. “Through interviews with ‘science moms’ who are on the front lines of this struggle,” the film’s website states, “we’ll dissect the bogus claims of these celebrities one by one and explain in simple language what the science really shows about GMOs, vaccines, homeopathy and any of these topics that are often in the headlines, yet even more often are misunderstood.”

Click here to read the rest.

Bi Any Means Podcast #100: Reflections on Podcasting with Callie Wright

 

This is the 100th episode of the Bi Any Means podcast, and to celebrate I’ve invited Callie Wright from the Gaytheist Manifesto to join me today to talk about our adventures in podcasting since we both started our shows around the same time. We’re going to talk about all the ups and downs of podcast, and how it’s changed both of our lives.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast #100: Reflections on Podcasting with Callie Wright” on Spreaker.

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Why I’m No Longer a Social Justice Warrior

On my first post here on FtB, I wondered out loud if I was a Social Justice Warrior. Many things have happened since then–conversations, fuck-ups, emotional breakdowns, the election, etc.–and I’ve changed a lot since then. One of the major changes is that I am no longer a Social Justice Warrior.

I’m a Social Justice Mage!

Like many people, once I discovered the Dark Lord cursed our land into making everyone believe we live in a free society while the marginalized still get trampled on–which was around the same time I realized I’m queer and trans–I grabbed my sword and decided to fight back. I fought against every troll I could find, but the trolls ended up being stronger than me. I even attacked a few peaceful citizens who weren’t trolls. I had more battle scars than victories.

That’s when the Mages found me.

They took me in and taught me all their secret spells and ancient wisdom. They taught me that trolls often disguise themselves as genuine seekers, and there’s a spell that can help me identify who is a troll and who is just a confused human. They also taught me that not everyone can be a warrior; only those who  have the strength and proper training can do battle. But that doesn’t mean I can’t help. In fact, Mages help battle the Dark Lord’s trolls in special ways, whether it’s teaching secret magic to warriors (who have to go through a vetting process first), or hitting the trolls with surprise magic attacks.

The Mages also taught me not to get involved with every battle. Some trolls are immune to certain magic, like Rational Argument Magic, so it’s best for either a warrior or a rogue to do the fighting. Also, magic takes time to master, so I need a lot of practice before I can do battle. In fact, sometimes the Mages have to stop me and say, “You’re not ready for this battle. Let us handle it.” It’s a bit disappointing at first, but after watching the Elders fight, I quickly realize they were right.

So yeah, if you don’t see me on the battlefields of Twitter and Facebook, it’s because I’m with the Mages learning magic. Don’t think I’m giving up the fight; I’m just fighting in my own unique way.

The Biskeptical Podcast #25: There’s No Crying in Fascism!

Today’s episode is a rundown of some of the top news stories of the past couple of weeks. We talk about Comey getting fired from the FBI, the France election, blasphemy laws, and Trumpcare. Also returning to the show today are the Social Justice Galaxy Warriors as they explore a strange alien race called the Nihilistos.

Listen to “The Biskeptical Podcast #25: There’s No Crying in Fascism!” on Spreaker.

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