Content Note: This post includes a lot of examples of reasons one might use content notes, but none of them are highly detailed.
One of my favorite podcasts, Stuff You Missed in History Class, is good about giving content notes (aka trigger warnings). They don’t always call it that, but they consistently let their audience know if something potentially upsetting is in that episode. Unfortunately, they don’t stop there. Instead, they often then add an unnecessary bit, telling people who might be upset by that subject to skip the episode.
This is not the only media does this, just one example of a problem I see coming up with the increased use of content notes. Often, instead of just letting people know what is ahead, they tell readers or listeners what to do about it. This comes from a misunderstanding of the point of content notes, and it’s condescending in a way that I don’t think anyone intends.
Continue reading “Just Give Me The Content Notice”
Next week I will begin the last year of my undergraduate degree. Not my fourth year, but my tenth. Not at age 21 or 22, but at 34 years old. I will be 35 when I graduate. When I graduate it will have been exactly a decade, down to the week, since I first entered a college classroom as a student. It’s been a long path, but I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I did not go to school to get a better paying job, though I hope that will be a nice side-effect. I had a reliable job (which I hated) that I left to go to school full time. I also didn’t go in order to get some specific job that I wanted. In fact, I wasn’t even sure what my major would be for quite awhile.
Continue reading “Why I Went To College”
Climate change may have a whole lot of consequences that aren’t yet foreseen by anyone, and also some that are known possible risks within scientific communities, but not yet known among the general public. One of these surprising risks has come to people’s attention lately – the risk of anthrax outbreaks as tundra permafrost thaws.
The Guardian recently reported on the death of a boy in Siberia related to an anthrax outbreak there. This outbreak is the first since 1941, and has sickened dozens of people and killed thousands of reindeer, which the nomadic groups there depend on for their livelihood. Continue reading “Climate Change and Anthrax Outbreaks”
Throwback Thursday posts are posts I have previously written on other sites. They are reposted here sometimes on Thursdays. This post was originally posted on Queereka on 8/20/2013.
Recently someone on Fetlife in the Minnesota kink scene posted a proposed draft of advice for how newbies should attend a munch. In the kink world a munch is a casual public gathering of kinky people for conversation and socialization. It usually takes place in a restaurant, coffee shop, or bar. Generally they are open to anyone and are often the first thing new people do when entering the kinky scene because they are fairly non-threatening and have a very low bar of entry.
When discussing the most conservative level of expected attire the proposed advice was the following (emphasis mine):
“Conservative dress that won’t attract unwanted attention from the vanillas. This means no stereotypical fetish or dungeonesque clothing or handcuffs. Any visible collar should pass as jewelry. You can cover a collar with a scarf or perhaps a turtleneck. No Fetishwear. No latex clothing. Some leather clothing may be okay as long as you aren’t covered from head to toe. We don’t also want it to look like a biker convention. No corsets worn on the outside. No littles wear. No ageplay clothing. No visible diapers. No pony play costumes. No puppy play costumes. No furry costumes, etc. No t-shirts with offensive or suggestive slogans. No Ballet Boots. In the case of crossdressers, if you don’t pass, don’t crossdress. Don’t showup in a sequined dress looking like a flamboyant glammed up drag queen. In the case of genderfluid, genderqueer, and transgender people, do your best to pass. The point is for everyone to blend in as best they can. This is NOT the place for social protest.“
Continue reading “TBT: When Kinksters Don’t Want To Risk ANYTHING”
CN: Generally terrible and abusive behavior towards people across the queer community.
Usage note: “Cishet” is short for “Cisgender and heterosexual.”
On August 11th The Daily Beast published an article that was basically a straight man ogling the cruising culture of gay and bisexual men at the Olympics. There was no particular point to the article other than heterosexual fascination with the sexuality of queer athletes. In the process he outed several of these men, giving enough information to easily identify some of them, without caring if their careers, families, or lives may be threatened by being outed. Many writers have responded to this article with outrage, including Greta Christina here on The Orbit, leading to Daily Beast eventually taking it down, but of course nothing ever really goes away on the internet.
Last weekend a transgender performer called Valentine Steaphon was kicked out of a New York gay bar after a cis woman complained about her using the women’s bathroom. Steaphon says the security at the bar told her “Well we cater to straight women here,” which is not likely to be a big shock to anyone who has attended a drag show in a gay bar recently. Cishet women are a huge part of the audience for these shows, and bars have increasingly geared their businesses towards that audience.
In fact, many people in the queer world have discussed the increasing prominence of cishet people in gay bars, at Pride events, and on hook-up apps. Those articles are only a tiny taste of the huge number of pieces out there about all of the ways cishet people are invading queer spaces.
Continue reading “Invasion of the Cisgender Heterosexuals”
I’m very excited to announce that I am speaking at Skepticon 9 this November! I loved Skepticon last year, and am so thrilled that they asked me to speak this year.
Skepticon is a free skeptical conference in Springfield Missouri. Other awesome speakers this year include Greta Christina and Laura Thomas. I’m excited to hear what they and other speakers have to say, especially since in the past the quality of talks at Skepticon has been very high.
Skepticon is a free event, and depends on donations to keep running. I highly encourage you to donate if you can, to help keep this awesome event going.