Godless Perverts Social Club Feb. 7: Sexual and Gender Rights in the Trump Regime

Godless perverts Social Club Feb 7 for website

There’s a Godless Perverts Social Club on Tuesday, February 7, at Wicked Grounds, 289 8th St. in San Francisco (near Civic Center BART), 7-9 pm. Our discussion topic for this evening: Sexual and Gender Rights in the Trump Regime.

Under the Trump regime and with a Republican-controlled Congress, sexual and gender rights will be under attack. Legal protections could be removed, not only for LGBT people, but for anyone in any sexual relationship outside opposite-sex marriage. And the recent rise in hate crimes targets sexual minorities as well as people of color, Muslims, Jewish people, and others. What threats do we have to be concerned about? How is the false panic over religious freedom being used in these attacks? And how can we take action to protect ourselves and each other, and to fight back?

The Social Club is free, and all orientations, genders, and kinks (or lack thereof) are welcome. Wicked Grounds has beverages, light snacks, full meals, and amazing milkshakes: please support the cafe if you can. If you can’t afford cafe prices, Wicked Grounds customers have bought you coffee or tea: just ask for your beverage to paid for “from the wall.”

Community is one of the reasons we started Godless Perverts. There are few enough places to land when you decide that you’re an atheist; far fewer if you’re also LGBT, queer, kinky, poly, trans, or are just interested in sexuality. And the sex-positive/ alt-sex/ whatever- you- want- to- call- it community isn’t always the most welcoming place for non-believers. So please join us! Hang out with other nonbelievers and chat about sex, sexuality, gender, atheism, religion, science, social justice, pop culture, and more.

Godless Perverts presents and promotes a positive view of sexuality without religion, by and for sex-positive atheists, agnostics, humanists, and other non-believers, through performance events, panel discussions, social gatherings, media productions, and other appropriate outlets. Our events and media productions present depictions, explorations, and celebrations of godless sexualities — including positive, traumatic, and complex experiences — focusing on the intersections of sexuality with atheism, materialism, skepticism, and science, as well as critical, questioning, mocking, or blasphemous views of sex and religion.

Godless Perverts is committed to feminism, diversity, inclusivity, and social justice. We seek to create safe and welcoming environments for all non-believers and believing allies who are respectful of the mission, and are committed to taking positive action to achieve this. Please let the moderators or other people in charge of any event know if you encounter harassment, racism, misogyny, transphobia, or other problems at our events.

If you want to be notified about all our Godless Perverts events, sign up for our email mailing list, follow us on Twitter at @GodlessPerverts, or follow us on Facebook. You can also sign up for the Bay Area Atheists/ Agnostics/ Humanists/ Freethinkers/ Skeptics Meetup page, and be notified of all sorts of godless Bay Area events — including many Godless Perverts events. And of course, you can always visit our Website to find out what we’re up to, godlessperverts.com. Hope to see you soon!

Godless Perverts Social Club Feb. 7: Sexual and Gender Rights in the Trump Regime
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Godless Perverts at Women’s March in SF, January 21

women's march bay area banner

March with Godless Perverts at the January 21 post-inauguration-day Women’s March!

On January 21, the day after the presidential inauguration, there’s going to be a massive national Women’s March, opposing the rise of bigoted hatred in the United States. (Here’s more detail about their mission.) The main march is in Washington, DC, with sister marches all over the country, including the Bay Area. The march isn’t just for women: it’s open to anyone, regardless of gender or gender identity, who believes women’s rights are human rights.

In San Francisco, there will be a rally and candlelight march, starting at 4:00 pm at the Civic Center. The rally will be from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, with the march going down Market Street to Justin Herman Plaza starting at 6:00. There will also be marches in Oakland and San Jose.

Godless Perverts will be marching in the San Francisco march. Please join us! Continue reading “Godless Perverts at Women’s March in SF, January 21”

Godless Perverts at Women’s March in SF, January 21

Some Things from my Childhood

Revolver

I’ve committed to blogging every weekday in January, but today I’m struggling to find a topic. I have a zillion things I want to write about, but they all take more time and thought than I have tonight. So I’m compiling some lists of things from my childhood. (I’m defining “childhood” as “age 12 and under.”)

Note: These aren’t the top five anything. They’re just the first five in each category that popped into my head.

Five books I read:
The Annotated Alice
Winnie the Pooh
Striped Ice Cream
The Little Match Girl
Honey Bunch: Her First Little Mystery

Five foods I ate:
American Cheese slices, broken into small squares, each square placed on a single Chex
Braunschweiger sanwiches on white bread with potato chips
Carnation Breakfast Bars
Angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream
Tuna and noodles

Five songs I liked:
Rubber Ducky
Yellow Submarine
Octopus’s Garden
The Swingle Singers version of “Sleepers Wake” by J.S. Bach
Tomorrow Never Knows

Five games I played:
TV Tag
Hang On Harvey
Careers
Sorry
Hopscotch

Five record albums I listened to:
Revolver, The Beatles (note: I didn’t understand that the front cover was the front, I thought it was weird so I assumed it must be the back cover)
Julian Bream Plays Bach
Abbey Road, The Beatles
The Monkees, The Monkees
Think Ethnic, Smothers Brothers

Some Things from my Childhood

Godless Perverts Book Club: “My President Was Black,” Ta-Nehisi Coates

Godless-Perverts-Book-Club-Jan-for-website

Godless Perverts is starting a book club! Want to talk books with other nonbelievers interested in sexuality and social justice? Come to the very first Godless Perverts Book Club, Tuesday January 17 at Borderlands! We’ll be discussing a wide variety of books over the coming months, about sex, gender, atheism, religion, science, activism, resistance, and other topics in the Godless Perverts wheelhouse.

For our first selection, we decided to read a hefty article instead of a book, since part of the first meeting will be devoted to getting things off the ground and choosing the next book. We will be reading the Ta-Nehisi Coates article in The Atlantic, “My President Was Black.” The article addresses issues around identity politics (a.k.a. civil rights), respectability politics, and the role and functions of the President. While this is not specific to godlessness and perversion, it should lead to some good discussions regarding the current political climate, what we expect from politicians (whether friend or foe) and how we should hold politicians accountable. The article is about a 2 hour read (17000 words).

The Godless Perverts Book Club is at Borderlands Cafe, 870 Valencia St. in San Francisco. Continue reading “Godless Perverts Book Club: “My President Was Black,” Ta-Nehisi Coates”

Godless Perverts Book Club: “My President Was Black,” Ta-Nehisi Coates

Greta Speaking at Perverts Put Out, Saturday Jan. 21: Winter in America

perverts put out

I’m speaking at Perverts Put Out, San Francisco’s long-running pansexual performance series, on Saturday January 21. (Yes, that’s the day after inauguration day and the day of the Women’s March: I’ll be coming to PPO from the March.) This incarnation of PPO will be the Winter in America Edition, as we mark the beginning of the New Dark Ages. There’ll be post-inaugural anger, defiance and smut as co-hosts Dr. Carol Queen and Simon Sheppard and the usual gang of geniuses, including Greta Christina, Jen Cross, Daphne Gottlieb, Philip Huang, Zoe Kat, horehound stillpoint and Xan West, look forward to years of queer struggle, community, and hot sex. If you’re in San Francisco, I hope to see you there!

DATE/TIME: Saturday, January 21, 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:00)
LOCATION: Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission St., San Francisco (between 9th and 10th, near Civic Center BART)
COST: $10-20 sliding scale, no one turned away for lack of funds
URL: http://www.simonsheppard.com/pervertsputout.html

Greta Speaking at Perverts Put Out, Saturday Jan. 21: Winter in America

Random Favorite Things

I committed to blogging every weekday in January. Today (Thuraday) has been a travel day, I’ve been offline most of the day and am now tired. So I’m going to post a random selection of favorite things. (I am not going to set them to the tune of the song from The Sound of Music)

My favorite game to play on my phone is Threes. (I just got a new high score the other day, in fact! Broke 90,000 for the first time.)

My favorite tabletop/social game is Slash.

My favorite color is royal blue.

My favorite episode of Steven Universe is “Winter Forecast.”

My favorite episode of Parks and Recreation is “End of the World.”

My favorite character in the Terry Pratchett books is Moist Von Lipwig.

My favorite character in “Leverage” is Parker.

My favorite non-home airport is Portland.

My favorite thing to do in a strange city is to sit in a local, non-chain cafe.

Enough for now. I may return to this theme in the future. Good night.

Random Favorite Things

Politics and Sexual Shame

pointing finger

Content note: sexual shaming, the president-elect, passing mention of rape.

Please find a way to talk about the latest DT/ Russia/ blackmail story in Buzzfeed, without shaming consensual sexual activity.

If the activity being discussed isn’t your thing, please try to imagine what it’s like for people who do engage in it seeing it viciously mocked on social media. Or else, think about one of your own favorite sex acts, one that’s widely considered to be funny or weird or sick — and again, imagine seeing it widely reviled by your friends, neighbors, family members. And please act accordingly.

There are ways to discuss this news story, and to revile DT over it, without shaming or mocking this sex act. You can focus on the racism: how this act (assuming the story is accurate) was done as an act of racist dominance and white supremacy. You can focus on the blackmail aspect. You can talk about the grotesque hypocrisy of FBI director James Comey releasing a bullshit non-story about Hillary Clinton days before the election, but sitting on this story. There are lots of things you can say about this story other than “THAT SEX ACT IS GROSS! RIDICULOUS! DISGUSTING! LAUGHABLE! WEIRD! SICK!” — or making adolescent jokes rooted in the idea that the sex act is gross, ridiculous, disgusting, laughable, weird, or sick.

Remember when Rush Limbaugh made that comment about how liberals think any sexual activity is okay as long as it’s consenting, but any time something was non-consensual we wanted to call the “rape police”? Remember when we all collectively said, “Um… yeah, that’s the idea, what’s wrong with that?” Let’s live up to that now. If we want to be the better people, our sexual ethics need to be based on actual ethics — like consent, honesty, fairness, and harm. They can’t be based on which sex acts personally gross us out.

Politics and Sexual Shame

Depression in a Fascist Regime

depressed woman in window seat

(Content note: serious depression, spoilers for the last episode of “Angel”.)

I don’t know how to do this.

A lot of my strategies don’t work anymore. This round of depression isn’t just worse than my previous episodes: it’s different. My symptoms, the things that help, the things that make it worse — they’re different. I’ve spent the last four years learning how to manage depression, and now, at least to some extent, I need to start all over again.

It’s different because the world is genuinely terrible. That’s not the depression talking: that’s a reasonable, evidence-based assessment of reality. You know the joke, “just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you?” Well, just because you’re depressed doesn’t mean the world’s not terrible. And just because you’re anxious doesn’t mean the world’s not terrifying. I keep thinking about Reviving the Tribe, Eric Rofes’s book about gay men’s lives in the worst years of the AIDS epidemic, and I keep thinking about the question he kept asking: How do you treat PTSD when the trauma is still ongoing? Continue reading “Depression in a Fascist Regime”

Depression in a Fascist Regime

Rogue One, and Collective Action

rogue-one

Content note: spoilers for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”

There are things I liked about Rogue One, and things I didn’t. I mostly didn’t like the ratio of “Pew! Pew! BOOM!” action to dialog and plot. I like “Pew! Pew! BOOM!” as much as the next geek, but there was too much of it here: it got exhausting and overwhelming and boring, and it took time that could have been spent clarifying the sometimes confusing plot. But there were a lot of things I liked (gotta love a sarcastic robot who’s a bad liar), and one thing I liked a hell of a lot:

I liked how Rogue One was about collective action.

I liked that the movie wasn’t another goddamn Hero’s Journey. I liked that it wasn’t about another Destined One Who Will Save Us All. It was about ordinary people stepping up, not because they’re some powerful Jedi’s long-lost son, but because someone has to. It was about the difficulties of collective action, people arguing and splintering and deciding for themselves who to follow — because the alternative is the exact rigid authoritarianism they’re fighting against. It was about a team who all have their crucial part to play, who figure out on the fly how to work together.

In fact, Rogue One completely undercuts the whole Hero’s Journey thing in Star Wars 4-6. Continue reading “Rogue One, and Collective Action”

Rogue One, and Collective Action

It’s Okay to Not Be Friends with Everyone: The Pierce Hawthorne Problem in Community

community-cast-season-4

I’m committing to blogging every weekday in January: sometimes about big important topics, sometimes about small everyday ones. Today I’m blogging about Community.

You don’t have to be friends with everyone. It’s okay to not like people. It’s okay to not want to hang out with people. In particular, it’s okay to not want to hang out with people who treat other people horribly.

I’m a big fan of the TV show Community. It’s a smart, funny show with a fairly diverse cast. It emphasizes friendships much more than sexual or romantic relationships (nothing against sexual or romantic relationships, but they do tend to dominate TV and movies). And it has a huge amount of self-conscious fun with pop culture tropes. Every episode plays with common tropes, structures, and iconic examples of television: messing with them, fusing them, giving them homage, taking them apart. There’s a claymation Christmas special, a bottle episode, a clips show with clips from non-existent shows, a Western episode that morphs into a Star Wars episode, shows in the styles of Ken Burns and Law & Order and M*A*S*H. I once said to Ingrid that I wanted a TV show based on the TV Tropes website, and she said, “You mean Community?” (If you’re going to check out an episodes or two to see if you like it, I recommend the paintball ones: “Modern Warfare,” “A Fistful of Paintballs,” and “For a Few Paintballs More.”)

But I do have some issues with the program. (Yes, you can like a piece of pop culture, even love it, and still critique it and recognize its flaws. Amazing, huh?) And one of the biggest problems with Community is Pierce Hawthorne — and the persistent theme throughout the show that cutting someone out of a group makes you a bad person, and that once a person is in a group, you have to tolerate them forever, no matter how badly they behave. Continue reading “It’s Okay to Not Be Friends with Everyone: The Pierce Hawthorne Problem in Community

It’s Okay to Not Be Friends with Everyone: The Pierce Hawthorne Problem in Community