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
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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

Answers to Your Skepticon Polyamory Panel Questions

Last month, I did a panel on polyamory at Skepticon 9, moderated by fellow Orbiter Stephanie. My co-panelists are all people I like: fellow Orbiter Benny (who also did an amazing talk on the science of medical transition that weekend), Joshua Hyde, and Nola Olsen. It was fun to back on the main stage there.

There was a Q&A, but some questions weren’t addressed and some I feel I can answer better in writing. So here they are, in all their glory! Continue reading “Answers to Your Skepticon Polyamory Panel Questions”

Answers to Your Skepticon Polyamory Panel Questions

Holiday Gifting Guide Don’ts: Quran & Hijab

Let’s say a woman wrote into Ask A Manager asking about what to do about a coworker. This man seemingly exorcised his publicly-stated resentments towards management about being forced to participate in a gift exchange by giving her a bad gift. That gift consisted of a garment designed to cover a part of her body that she and most of her other female coworkers don’t normally cover, along with a book which states, among many other questionable things, that women should cover that part of their body lest they tempt men into sexually assaulting them.

Most would consider the gift inappropriate and would think his act misdirected and possibly discriminatory, not find the story hilarious. Yet somehow, when it’s a tweet written by a Muslim man rather than an advice letter written by a woman, people find it funny. To wit: A screencap of this tweet was uncritically splashed onto my Facebook Timeline courtesy of several never-Muslims I thought should know better.

There is a bit of humor here, but mostly, it’s just cringe-inducing misogyny — and specifically, for those who have lived experience with Muslim men pressuring us to cover our heads, chill-inducing slut-shaming. Continue reading “Holiday Gifting Guide Don’ts: Quran & Hijab”

Holiday Gifting Guide Don’ts: Quran & Hijab

Stop Blaming Consent Violations on Social Awkwardness

Content Notice for Consent Violations (including sexual assault and rape)

Consider those who share unsolicited images of their genitalia. Who sexually touch themselves and/or others in public. Who yell inappropriately-explicit comments at passersby. Who make obscene gestures. Who refuse to take “no” — whether stated a tone soft or hard, polite or angry — for an answer. Who violate consent.

They know exactly what they are doing, and they are relying on how people insist that socially-unacceptable behavior only originates with socially-awkward individuals to continue to get away with it. Continue reading “Stop Blaming Consent Violations on Social Awkwardness”

Stop Blaming Consent Violations on Social Awkwardness

Bad Arguments vs. Facts Regarding Omar Mateen

Yes, I’m still thinking about Orlando. As long as the unceasing parade of bad arguments posited about Omar Mateen continue, so will I continue to seethe about them.

That he was mentally ill. That he was an American, therefore Islam had nothing to do with it. That his reasons had entirely to do with his allegedly being closeted. That he couldn’t have been Muslim because he drank alcohol. That Islam is absolved because that one is theologically against LGBTQ people doesn’t mean one condones violence done against them.

Thankfully, others are speaking out as well: about the realities of mental illness, about the homophobic environment in which Omar Mateen was raised, about the homophobia revealed among Muslims by the attack, and about the responsibility of Muslims for combating that homophobia. Continue reading “Bad Arguments vs. Facts Regarding Omar Mateen”

Bad Arguments vs. Facts Regarding Omar Mateen