Sacrificing Privilege

This is a repost of an article originally posted on Skepchick. I felt I needed a bit of a day off. I mentioned yesterday the exhaustion I was feeling from having to do a whole lot of fighting, on a whole lot of fronts, in a very short period of time… and then along came Be Scofield, who decided I’m the latest incarnation of the pure evil that is Gnu Atheism, trying to force all the poor defenseless minorities into our imperialistic atheist dogma and “Western” scientific principles. So yeah, just one thing too many, and I need a moment to relax and recharge. Fortunately, Ophelia, Chris and Jason have all done a great job of responding to Be, so I don’t really need to worry much about providing a rebuttal (To respond to Be or not to respond to Be? That is the question…whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageously slanderous blog posts, or to take arms against a sea of inanity and by posting a rebuttal end them…). It does, however, provide a nice touchstone for a piece I was planning to do this week anyway, which will be going up tomorrow. “Confessions Of A Post-Modernist”. So stay tuned, I’ll be back soon!

Special apologies to all the new readers who’ve come in as a result of Kate Beaton’s kind tweet, and the recent new-life my Lorax post has gotten. Under most circumstances, this blog features new content every weekday (typically one theory-oriented essay at 9am EST and a shorter more topical piece around 1pm EST), a recap on Saturdays (with cute animals!), and on Sundays a music video, collection of links and news items and some kind of puzzle or game (I’ll also be adding comics and drawings in the near future). I’ll be back to form tomorrow.

So anyway, here’s one of my articles from Skepchick, which was particularly well-received the first time around. I hope all my new reeders enjoy it, and older ones enjoy getting to return to it with new eyes. [Read more…]

Caustic Soda

I am exhausted. Very very exhausted. Between the controversies last week, the Axp thread, another shitstorm of atheist/skeptic bigotry and hostility and flaunted privilege over at CFI Okanagan’s Facebook page, and this lovely comment posted about me at r/lgtb:

I am getting very worn out. I’m a tenacious little bitch, but even I have my limits. I’m about one more hostile, petty, transphobic remark away from taking Stephanie up on her suggestion to just spend the rest of the week posting My Little Pony videos and drinking Sonic Screwdrivers (vanilla vodka, blue curacao, and lemon/lime soda). Unfortunately, I’ve kinda already set aside the last week of the month for a break (since I’m finally moving into a new apartment), and I’d be loathe to take it early. So carry on I must.

*wilting flower back-of-hand to forehead pose*

But for this afternoon, I’m nonetheless just going to take it a bit easy, and simply recommend a particularly awesome podcast based here in Vancouver, and featuring some intensely awesome people… Joe Fulgham, Toren Atkinson and Kevin Leeson. It’s called Caustic Soda. [Read more…]

A Beginner’s Guide To Trans-Misogyny

Although I’ve mentioned it before, and have often had to explore it in order to make certain arguments clear, I realized yesterday that I’ve never really taken the time to specifically discuss and outline the phenomenon of trans-misogyny for its own sake. Trans-misogyny, simply put, is the unique confluence of various attitudes about gender that end up being directed as hatred, discrimination, scorn or ridicule towards trans women. Or pretty much just the unique and particular form of misogyny that targets trans women.

Because it’s such a central concept to understanding what trans women deal with, and why, and what motivates the pronounced cultural hostility towards us, I thought it could be helpful to take a post to just quickly go over the basic concepts at play here, and what makes trans-misogyny unique, in comparison to other related bigotries like transphobia and misogyny. [Read more…]

When Trans-Inclusivity Goes Wrong

Well now… this kind of gets weird. Remember all the awesome surrounding Girl Scouts lately? With them accepting MtF scouts? And standing behind their decision, despite the Conservative backlash? And not flinching at Bob Morris’ claims that the Girl Scouts of Indiana are promoting an evil liberal agenda?

It seems those same Girl Scouts, the Indiana ones, have gone a bit past the tipping point in turns of the awesome. Awesomeness has gone awry. They have hired a trans man as a counselor. [Read more…]

On Being A Feminist, A Trans/Queer-Rights Advocate And An Atheist/Skeptic At The Same Time, Or: How To Be Hated By All Your Friends & Allies

On Friday, Russell over at The Atheist Experience, aware of how nervous I was about the potential backlash my God Does Not Love Trans People post could receive (due to the hostile reaction I received on Twitter just for mentioning the possibility of writing it), put up a little post asking his readers to help support me in the event that I did get trolled or attacked by religious believers or apologists.

That’s not quite what happened. [Read more…]

God Does Not Love Trans People

He doesn’t love anyone. He’s not there at all.

I’m sorry.

Lately there have been a number of posts circulating throughout the trans blogosphere making statements to the effect that God loves and accepts His transgender children, and that being trans is not necessarily in conflict with being a religious believer, or even a Christian, Muslim or Jew. While I perfectly understand the motivation behind these posts, and why people feel such a strong need for this message, I nonetheless find it very deeply problematic, and kinda sorta feel a bit of a compelling need to address it. See, I honestly believe that religious faith is inherently dangerous and harmful, that we, the queer community, often are especially victimized by it, and especially ought to understand its potential harms, that the danger is an element of the underlying definition of religious faith itself rather than simply particular sects, beliefs or institutions based upon it, and that we are doing ourselves a pretty big disservice in constructing apologetics (or encouraging them) designed to ease the dissonance between our identities and the belief systems we hold dear.

That dissonance is a gift. [Read more…]

The Abridged “Sincerely, Natalie Reed”

Sorry, I’m a bit busy with some important stuff for tomorrow (that will probably alienate whichever readers I didn’t already alienate by linking “Die Cis Scum”) and don’t quite have time for the post I’d had planned for this afternoon. So instead I’m going to offer a little something for all the “tl:dr” folks who can’t be bothered to slog through my prose.

[Read more…]

“Shut Up, That’s Why” – A Follow-Up

So having a bit more fun with taking things Greta Christina said really, really well and beautifully in regards to atheism, and applying those concepts to things I’ve observed in terms of how other minority groups are treated, like in my Catches Twenty-Two post…

I’ve been thinking for awhile that it would be interesting to talk a bit about how the “Shut Up, That’s Why” non-arguments she once elegantly described being used against atheists also show up in tactics used against other unpopular ideas and movements, like feminism, queer rights, or social justice.

“Shut Up, That’s Why” was right away one of my absolute favourite things Greta had ever written. Given how much I adore her work, and how she has been possibly the single most influential atheist blogger for me, personally, that’s pretty high praise. But in all honesty, the kinds of tactics she was describing I had come across far more frequently in the context of feminism than atheism, and resonated with me on that level more strongly than on the level of being an atheist. Maybe it’s just because I do a generally lousy job of being truly outspoken as an atheist, but still… I always thought it would be interesting to explore that a bit, and talk about how “Shut Up, That’s Why” shows up in other contexts. So this is me doing so. [Read more…]