Search Term Round-Up #4: Dating & Sex + Religion & Race, Oh My~

Content notice for racism and sex and racist sex and sexual violence.

Inspired in no small part by the grand tradition of Captain Awkward.

racial preference is racism / dating preferences racist / are preferences racist / race preference dating / is having a preference racist

TL;DR answer to all of these: Sometimes.
Slightly longer answer: Saying “I’m attracted to [members of a particular racial/ethnic group]” is a faux-complimentary way of saying “All [members of a particular racial/ethnic group] look alike to me.”
Much longer answer: What Is Racist About Race-Based Dating Preferences

i’ve been fantasizing a bout girls in hijabs


Between weirdos on campus and at atheist meetups, I have a lot of personal not-good feelings about men who profess veil fetishes. Continue reading “Search Term Round-Up #4: Dating & Sex + Religion & Race, Oh My~”

Search Term Round-Up #4: Dating & Sex + Religion & Race, Oh My~

France’s Misogyny Coin Flips From Modesty to Bigotry

I will never, ever be here for men policing what women wear or don’t wear. Whether that means a ban on a garment or a ban on breastfeeding, it is all the same: turning women’s bodies in battlegrounds for patriarchal and cultural insecurities, ideologies, and politics.

As The Guardian reports,

A 15-year-old Muslim girl […] was stopped from going to class earlier this month by the headteacher who reportedly felt the long skirt “conspicuously” showed religious affiliation, which is banned in schools by France’s strict secularity laws.

A long black skirt, y’all. Dear old freedom-loving France, where a long black skirt is considered potentially incendiary when it has the gall to swathe a pair of brown legs rather than paler ones. Continue reading “France’s Misogyny Coin Flips From Modesty to Bigotry”

France’s Misogyny Coin Flips From Modesty to Bigotry

Why Progress Towards Equality Feels Unfair

With a view of the progress that has been made in the past century of the American struggle for equality firmly planted in mind, the notion that equality has already arrived is an understandably tempting one to espouse. In a society that often declares and considers itself to be post-feminist, post-racial, and generally post-discrimination, it is all too easy to be lulled into a sense of satisfaction — and even complacency — regarding social issues.

Comparisons to the past, along with our intuitive sense of what is and is not fair, often impede actual progress toward equality. Continue reading “Why Progress Towards Equality Feels Unfair”

Why Progress Towards Equality Feels Unfair

FtB Con Postmortem: Racism in the Kink Scene

This past weekend was FtB Con. On Saturday, I was on a panel about kink for those who were beginning to explore it. I brought up issues of racism that I have faced online and off in the scene and specifically described a situation where I was nonconsensually fetishized for my skin tone at a kink event. Another panelist compared the situation to being followed and harassed at a mall and advised that people ought to firmly say “Stop!” to anyone who was doing such a thing.

As the panel wasn’t about exclusively my experiences and I felt a little flustered, I didn’t cover all the reasons why the situation hadn’t been that simple for me. The idea that it would have been easy for me to halt what had been happening is based on the assumption that the only power dynamics at play in kink spaces are pre-negotiated ones between consenting adults. Continue reading “FtB Con Postmortem: Racism in the Kink Scene”

FtB Con Postmortem: Racism in the Kink Scene

What We Can Do About Ferguson

Aiding the People of Ferguson’s Defense of Themselves
Officer Darren Wilson may have claimed that he had to defend his armed self from an unarmed man with lethal force, and he may have had the very prosecutor for the grand jury defending the killing instead of actually prosecuting (i.e. doing his job), but the people of Ferguson and their supporters have ways of defending ourselves, too.

On the ground, protesters are defending Ferguson businesses from looters. Those of us too far away from them to bodily interfere can help with the legal defense. Even if you are too broke to contribute yourself, social media shares go a long way. So again: here is the link to donate to the legal support fund for those arrested in Ferguson protests standing for Justice for Mike Brown. For those concerned, this comes via and is vouched for by James Croft, who is demonstrating humanism in action by being on the ground at Ferguson.

Disinfecting with Sunlight
Unrealistically sunshine-y views of the world lead people to irrationally believe that only those who deserve it are victims of blatant injustice. While their views cannot be completely eradicated from the face of the earth, the unflinching optimism of those who firmly adhere to the just world fallacy should not be dictating public policy. I’m hardly the first person to say that a system cannot fail those it is not designed to protect in the first place, but I hope that I am not the last. Those who are not throttled by its hands often cannot fathom the systemic nature of injustice, but they can certainly try to learn.

Remember: It is a rare grand jury indeed that does not indict. Of course, the law is applied quite differently to the police than it is to civilians, with members of the former group able to abuse their power while the latter is at their mercy. Civilians disenfranchised by the system itself are particularly and painfully vulnerable.

Not Giving In, Not Giving Up
As unfashionable as it is to say so in certain circles, I am quite irrationally enamored of my country, to the point where I will never stop believing that it can be changed for the better. As much work as there is to be done, that so many of us are willing to talk about what needs to be done is heartening. No matter how many removed-from-reality naysayers oppose progress, as long as there are people willing to stand up to them, all is not lost.

What We Can Do About Ferguson

Racism: It’s What’s for Dinner on First Dates

[Content Notice for Eating Disorders]

When I say that racism is everywhere, I can almost feel the response welling up in naysayers. Racism enablers and denialists seem to think that those of us who point out racism are Oprah, handing out a racism to everyone and everything. “You get a racism! And you get a racism! And you get a racism! Everybody gets a racism!”

Oprah smiling and pointing outward, caption reads "This is racist. That is racist. That is racist. Everything is racist."

Calling out racism is more along the lines of the image. We’re not hunting for racism any more than we are hunting for sexism. Instead, we’re seeing it where you might not realize it exists.

Like, for example, in articles about what not to order on a first date.

Continue reading “Racism: It’s What’s for Dinner on First Dates”

Racism: It’s What’s for Dinner on First Dates

Leslie Knope Is Not a Better Feminist Than Beyonce

This weekend, I came across an article on the Huffington Post in which a feminist unfavorably compared a real-life feminist woman of color to a fictional white feminist character. I took to Twitter, and my fears were confirmed — it isn’t snark. This is a piece that seriously posits Beyoncé as the the Big Bad Too-Sexy-Not-Feminist-Enough, with the alternative being Leslie Knope.

Donna Meagle, as depicted by Retta, making an unamused/unbelieving face.

Continue reading “Leslie Knope Is Not a Better Feminist Than Beyonce”

Leslie Knope Is Not a Better Feminist Than Beyonce

Ferguson Link Round-Up, or Intersectionality, You’re Doing It Right

Let’s get this out of the way. Racial bias in the prison-industrial complex we call the criminal justice system is real; the story is written in the statistics. Legislation is not and never has been enough to achieve true and lasting equality. Martin Luther King Jr. was not some hippie who sat quietly and never raised his voice; neither did he magically end racism nor ignore classism and structural issues.

What’s going on Ferguson is awful. I can’t view coverage of it without my throat tightening in sympathetic fear and grief while my fists ball in rage. It’s the same feeling I got when I attended a vigil for Trayvon Martin, the same feeling I got when I wept with every other member of the audience as I watched Fruitvale Station. I’m not sure what I can directly to help other than to continue to raise awareness and fight misconceptions.

In that light, it has really been heartening to see sites that aren’t primarily focused on racial issues — or, in once case, even news — covering what’s been going on. Feminism hardly has a history of inclusivity on matters affecting people who aren’t white middle class cis women. Intersectionality sounds like a buzzword, and people use it as an identity, but it’s really an approach to thinking and acting that helps to improve feminist thought. The following four feminist-ish sites, in the past few days, have been demonstrating what intersectionality in action means. I’m ordering them from most to least generally problematic.

Continue reading “Ferguson Link Round-Up, or Intersectionality, You’re Doing It Right”

Ferguson Link Round-Up, or Intersectionality, You’re Doing It Right