A Matter Of Survival

The other day I was archive-binging at the fantastic (and alternately hilarious and deeply depressing) tumblr Yo, Is This Racist? and came across this interesting exchange:

Anonymous asked: Is it racist that my science teacher sucks balls?

Yo, science education in the US is a fucking political mess of a tragedy, but it’s worth sticking around and at least trying to learn how to apply evidence and logic, because bastardizations of science are basically the favorite tool of the modern racist.

I loved it.

But… for some reason my mind immediately snapped back to the awful Be Scofield scuffle of a couple weeks ago. And the years I’ve spent hearing repeated accusations that science, maths, reason, education or any kind of intellectual pursuit (take your pick) is somehow inherently an imperialist or patriarchal or racist or heteronormative force of oppression. I’ve heard it so many times, it’s hard for me even to be all that angry about it anymore. But every once in awhile I encounter something inspiring like the beautifully concise response above, or the sheer audacity of Scofield’s accusations of the “purest form of evil”. In short, I want to address this. [Read more…]

MRA Gets Around

So I managed to get two posts done before crashing last night. That’s not bad, right? It’s not the full three, sure, but now I’m freed up to talk about the absolutely batshit rant I woke up to find circulating around the blogowebz. I’m a little behind on this compared to my FTB colleagues, on account of time zones and the human physiological need for sleep and other inconveniences, but I’ll take a go anyway.

Last night TJ Kinkaid, known more popularly as The Amazing Atheist, went on some kind of incredibly vicious tirade on reddit, deliberately trying to provoke a trigger response in a redditor who’d expressed once having been a victim of rape. This was apparently all motivated by his disagreement with the use of trigger warnings on the internet (almost as stupid and useless as NSFW, amirite!?) and how incredibly angry he was that the dogmatic, intolerant feminazis were trying to “control sexuality” and ruining atheism and blah blah blah we’ve heard this all before. Though usually without the same horrifically violent, degrading, hateful exploitation of rape and trauma to “make a point”. Various wonderful rebuttals to his arguments are currently scattered all over the FTB today, so I’d mostly just like to direct you there. I don’t much feel like retreading ground that has already thoroughly been covered. And landscaped. And set up with a little garden.

Instead I’m going to tell you about something kind of spooky. [Read more…]

“But I’m An Ally! I’m On Your Side!”

Lately I’ve been doing this thing where I make a point of trying to call people out on their cissexism and transphobia. Typically it’s not the big, nasty, evil, “you’re perverted and delusional and ought to be shot on sight” stuff, since it’s unlikely I ever end up interacting with such people anyway. Instead it’s usually the little things, the tiny little micro-aggressions that piece by piece help normalize a culture of intolerance.

One of the most common defenses I’ve been finding myself having to deal with, on a pretty frighteningly consistent basis, is people saying “But I’m an ally! I’m on your side!”. This can end up being expressed even by people trying to defend some horrendously cissexist views. Apparently, for them, all it takes to earn your “ally” card, be “on my side” and therefore magically above criticism is that you not think I’m a horrific sub-human who doesn’t deserve any human rights at all and, as mentioned, ought to be shot on site. That’s all it takes, apparently, to qualify as being “on the side” of trans rights, and immune to having one’s assumptions or preconceptions about gender and transsexuality, however vile, open to being questioned. [Read more…]