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Why I Don’t Care If You Wouldn’t Have Existed

Content Notice for not-very-detailed mentions of abortion, sexual assault, genocide, Nazis, and sexual harassment.

One of the most odious yet versatile arguments is one where the person in question offers their own existence as a justification for the objective value of something or other.

Forced birthers use it — “My mom was poor / raped / abused / young / unhappy with being pregnant, are you saying that I should’ve been aborted and not exist today?”

Status-quo warriors use it in their passionate defense of sexual harassment — “My dad once wolf-whistled at and complimented a woman’s tits on the street. That woman later became my mother. Without what you sensitive SJW snowflakes call ‘harassment’, I wouldn’t have been born.”

Using this twist of logic, it’s a very easy way to basically frame the other person in the argument for the theoretical murder of the concept of you. Too bad it doesn’t hold much water as an actual argument. Continue reading “Why I Don’t Care If You Wouldn’t Have Existed”

Why I Don’t Care If You Wouldn’t Have Existed

Guest Post: Shit Your Heart Out, Kardashians

This post is by Sam Farooqui, one of my favorite ex-Muslims on the planet (and there are dozens of us! dozens!) Sam posts extra-good Facebook content all the time, but this piece in particular was super-extra good. In it, Sam says what I was hoping someone would say because I didn’t know how to say it myself. Check out Sam’s Twitter for bite-sized humor and wisdom.

Jameela Jamil, of The Good Place on NBC, has been vocal about body positivity for a while, and recently, she’s started getting some backlash for some of her statements. So Vox (that fairly young publication that curiously feels like it’s always existed) put out a “people are saying _____, other people are saying _____, here’s some context” article on the subject. I’d been seeing a lot of this fuss about Jamil over the past few days(? weeks?), mostly in the form of people on Twitter posting some vague-ass asides. If you’ve been in some of the pockets of Twitter that I have, you know what I mean.

Seeing that someone (an official publication, no less) finally compiled the actual complaints against her was almost a relief, because it means that those complaints can be properly discussed out from under the tandem shadows of ambiguity and brevity. But because this article simply recounts the basic facts and context of the situation, this article continues to perpetuate views I feel are unfair to Jamil (although it avoids perpetuating the heavy rhetorical tilt that’s been prevalent elsewhere, thank fuck). Continue reading “Guest Post: Shit Your Heart Out, Kardashians”

Guest Post: Shit Your Heart Out, Kardashians

Advice for the Newly-Apostized (or My Past Self)

A version of this post originally appeared as a comment in a certain secret apostate group on Facebook.

I left Islam publicly and officially in late summer of 2006. While I don’t regret the move, I wish I had known at least some of what I know now. I currently benefit from hindsight enough to comfort, maybe even actually advise, my younger self or others in a similar position.

Here is a very specific list of Things I Did, divided into Helped and Didn’t Help.

Warning: If you’re anything like me, the first thing that did help is going to annoy you. Continue reading “Advice for the Newly-Apostized (or My Past Self)”

Advice for the Newly-Apostized (or My Past Self)

Visibility Isn’t Cost, or Why I Look Cheaper in Pricier Clothes

Y’all know this happened by now, right?

Some aptly-named guy named Eddie Scarry (who also tweets about women’s bunions for some reason?) tweeted a creepshot taken from the back of US Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. His amateur visual assumption led to him claiming that she couldn’t be financially struggling because of her clothes.

The New York Rep replied, classy as always, pointing out that she, like most women, was damned-if-she-did and damned-if-she-didn’t when it came to her clothing for her Capitol Hill debut. Not to mention the obvious fact that having money for clothes is hardly having enough money for moving costs, deposit, and first month’s rent as well as utility deposits.

I doubt Eddie Scarry would read my blog, but I know firsthand that it doesn’t cost a million dollar to look like a million dollars. My recent style change from fully femme to rather masculine has hammered home the sometimes inverse relationship between how fancy something looks versus how much it costs.

Continue reading “Visibility Isn’t Cost, or Why I Look Cheaper in Pricier Clothes”

Visibility Isn’t Cost, or Why I Look Cheaper in Pricier Clothes

Unsolicited Dick Pics, The Golden Rule, & Pithy Moral Sayings

The version of The Golden Rule most commonly discussed in English is the one from the Bible: Do to others as you would have them do to you. There are assorted versions of it across many religions and cultures which lend credence to the assumption that it is a good and universal rule.

To that, I present the problem of dick pics (but not the dick pics themselves, since I have a better understanding of consent than the men who sent me theirs unsolicited).

Continue reading “Unsolicited Dick Pics, The Golden Rule, & Pithy Moral Sayings”

Unsolicited Dick Pics, The Golden Rule, & Pithy Moral Sayings

Frivolous Friday: What’s the Most Romantic Song from Disney’s Golden Age?

I was thinking about a certain Disney song, and immediately my mind told me it was the most romantic one. It surprised me because I had never actively thought about which Disney song is the most romantic, yet there it was.

I am not one to easily pick a favorite for anything. Just ask my ex who once, on the verge of tears, asked me why I couldn’t simply answer a simple question like “What’s your favorite ice cream?” and instead insisted on asking for context with follow-up questions.

So let’s pick apart the choices, shall we? Continue reading “Frivolous Friday: What’s the Most Romantic Song from Disney’s Golden Age?”

Frivolous Friday: What’s the Most Romantic Song from Disney’s Golden Age?

Why Some Muslims Think Voting Is Haraam

There are some Muslims living in Europe or the United States who think that voting is a temptation to be avoided, like drinking alcohol or dating.

And I really do mean some Muslims. Mostly, I heard it from older people or the British branch of my family.

That said, more than once, as a proudly pro-voting American who was also a staunch Muslim, I was told to turn away from the siren call of the polling places and to Allah.

red t-shirt with 70's-style bubble text reading "voting is sexy"

Make Voting Sexy Again is one way to get out the vote, I guess?

While there are plenty of Islam Q&As and other internet sources for the answer to this weirdly-specific question, I’ve both seen and participated in the debate over the permissibility of voting in Islam first-hand. Continue reading “Why Some Muslims Think Voting Is Haraam”

Why Some Muslims Think Voting Is Haraam

SLAPP: The Spookiest Story

I was happy that the spirit of creativity inspired me to write yesterday. I used to be able to blog so often. A lot of what took the wind of out my sails can’t be helped — increased job duties, the loss of a friend and colleague, the sexual assault of a friend by someone who I used to consider a friend and colleague, the death by a million papercuts that is openly existing on the Internet as I am.

There is one aspect of my demoralization that can be helped. Being sued by (yet another) someone I used to consider to be a friend and colleague sucks. Please share our network’s fundraiser to continue to fight against an alleged feminist free speech advocate’s attempt to silence anyone who says something he doesn’t like. If you are able to, contribute.

For all the anti-SJW blathering about how  analysis, criticism, and discussion of social justice in society is censorship, a true threat to free speech is lawsuits designed to exhaust people into giving in and silencing themselves.

Defense against Carrier SLAPP Suit (GoFundMe)

SLAPP: The Spookiest Story

The Good Place, Gotcha-Style Philosophy, & Me

No spoilers for the TV show alluded to in the title of this post lie below. Content warning for references to the Holocaust, infanticide, abuser tactics, and bullying.

This post was written under the influence of suddenly-necessary sobriety from alcohol and caffeine, ContraPoint’s concept of digital self-harm, the solid credentials of a certain TV show, a whole lot of therapeutic re-framing in favor of the resilience narrative, and sleep deprivation.

I am very good at spinning the shit of my life into comedy gold. Self-absorption, the men who dumped me and the ask.fm trolls who talked to me more than my colleagues at the time call it.

Meanwhile, the rest of you laughed, and I could laugh too, because it was a comfortable laugh I granted you rather than some nervous chuckle I inadvertently elicited from you.

This time is going to be different. I hope you’re still here.

Continue reading “The Good Place, Gotcha-Style Philosophy, & Me”

The Good Place, Gotcha-Style Philosophy, & Me

2016’s Non-White Authors Reading Challenge

2015 was my year of avoiding male authors. This year, I focused on non-white authors*. I’m not about to defend the experiment again, since I have done so already.

My top ten picks of what I read in 2016, in no particular order aside from #1 which is short and amazing and you must read or listen to it.

  1. The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family by Usman T. Malik (the short story is available for free at the link; there is also an incredible audio version)
  2. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  3. Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
  4. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
  5. Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
  6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  7. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
  8. The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
  9. The Hakawati by Rabih Alameddine
  10. White Nights, Black Paradise by Sikivu Hutchinson

After the jump: A full list of the books of 2016 by categories that I made up, along with my reflections on them. Continue reading “2016’s Non-White Authors Reading Challenge”

2016’s Non-White Authors Reading Challenge