Please don’t punish your partners with public phone-reads of my posts

Today I learned that this blog has fomented marital strife in the lives of strangers.

From today’s Ask Amy column:

Dear Amy: I’m writing about a curious thing my husband does that tends to hurt my feelings. I’m not sure how inconsiderate he may be or how oversensitive I may be.

He tends to look for negative information about people and things I like. He also does this for things he likes.

For the most recent example, I regularly read the web comic xkcd. For no obvious reason, at dinner on Sunday, he handed me his phone with a lengthy blog post from a philosophy major about how dismissive the author of xkcd is toward people outside the STEM fields.

I’m not completely unsympathetic to philosophy majors, but I don’t really care. It’s just a funny comic.

That’s my work he printed out and pushed into his spouse’s face. My recent post.

Oops? Continue reading “Please don’t punish your partners with public phone-reads of my posts”

Please don’t punish your partners with public phone-reads of my posts

When penguins waddle onto thin ice

Content Notice: Discussions of cisheterosexual norms, sexual activity, and consent

There’s often a tension between reality and principles that is difficult to articulate except in context.

My ethical values include upholding consent in every way, shape, and form. That includes engaging in sexual activity without as few assumptions as possible regarding what the other person wants. And yet today, I found myself more concerned with the sexual imbalance and disparity targeted by a statement than that statement’s less-than-consensual implications.

Continue reading “When penguins waddle onto thin ice”

When penguins waddle onto thin ice

A Man Walks into the Cat Adoption Center

Content notice for mentions of childhood sexual abuse as well as abuser behavior, animal mistreatment, and possible animal abuse. Detailed discussion of it is further warned in the body of this piece.

I don’t really have a Big Political Point to make with this. This is not discourse. This is me writing about something bizarre that happened to me on Saturday.

I do have two minor points: What happens proves that jerks like this do exist outside of the internet and go off at people even when they don’t know whether the people they’re going off at are feminists or SJWs, and that it is very important to pay attention to red flags.

Continue reading “A Man Walks into the Cat Adoption Center”

A Man Walks into the Cat Adoption Center

Made, Not Born, This Way: Angsting My Way Through Everything But Gender

[ brief mention of intentional weight loss]

When other people tell me they’re trans and/or non-binary¹, it doesn’t occur to me to question them.

I am so honored you came out to me! Let me know what I can do to help you. Would you like moral support and/or bargain tips for your new aesthetic? Should I correct other people’s misgendering yet? I am so happy for you, friend!

My own path towards accepting that I am not cis has been far less…. accepting.

Continue reading “Made, Not Born, This Way: Angsting My Way Through Everything But Gender”

Made, Not Born, This Way: Angsting My Way Through Everything But Gender

Unpopular Opinion: I’m a Nerd and I Loathe xkcd

Linking to an xkcd that’s maybe somewhat related to a topic is certain nerdy millennials’ version of “Simpsons did it!” Not this particular millennial nerd, though. I am a philosophy major cursed with a long, detailed memory.

For a decade, emblazoned below every single one of the comics that made deconstructed art with stick figures who discussed philosophical concepts, was this warning message:

Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

The first time I saw it, I absolutely loved it. Continue reading “Unpopular Opinion: I’m a Nerd and I Loathe xkcd”

Unpopular Opinion: I’m a Nerd and I Loathe xkcd

Heartbreak: My Accidental 2018 Reading Challenge

I did reading challenges in 2015 and 2016. I spent a ridiculous amount of time writing things in defense of the first challenge (one which I did get paid for, so hey!). Despite the doomsday cries of the peanut gallery, the market for white male authors did not collapse due to my — or anyone else’s — personal reading choices. Just check out the Bad sex award 2018 nominees!

I didn’t read much in 2017 for a lot of reasons, but did manage to get in proportionally more LGBTQ-centric works than I had in previous years.

2018 proved that my 2015 and 2016 challenges were effective. While I didn’t actively focus on any particular sort of author this year, I ended up reading a wider range of authors than I had in the past. I made my way through proportionally fewer books by and about exclusively cis, straight white men, as was the goal of my challenges.

2018 was an important year in one way: I learned what it is to miss my window for enjoying a book, and to mourn that fact. I accidentally challenged my unconscious idea that a good read will wait for me for as long as I need it to. Continue reading “Heartbreak: My Accidental 2018 Reading Challenge”

Heartbreak: My Accidental 2018 Reading Challenge

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