By Brian Anders - 17 Apr 2014

Feminist Princesses? FUCK YEAH!

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Being between jobs, I spend a lot of time trying to keep myself busy during the day.  I tend to do a lot of chores and small projects that have gone neglected.  Over the last 2 months, the small projects have led several afternoon shopping runs.  During my shopping runs, I tend to swing through the toy section and see about something small for the kids.

When I was a kid, Barbie dominated the toy section.  In a normal department store, Barbie controlled about an aisle and half.  And in a toy store, whether it was Toys R Us, Circus World, Child’s World, or Kay-Bee, Barbie owned the girls’ section.

Don’t look now, but in Target, Barbie controls about a 1/3rd of a full aisle, and in some cases it’s less.  Why?  The domination of the Disney Princesses.  The Disney Princesses are now the dominant force, and they are being positioned only to increase their strength. (more…)

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By Sasha - 17 Mar 2014

A statement on women’s bodily autonomy and the morally bankrupt cowards who consider it up for debate.

An historical photograph of men  standing outside a doorway under a sign that read" Headquarters National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage"

The “atheist movement” in 5 years.

** UPDATED 03/18/2014 8:18AM PDT **

I thought that I had written all that needed to be said about the decietful, misogynist, forced-birth advocating, so called “secular pro life” movement two years ago. I didn’t realize then that the current mostly-male “leadership” of the secular movement was composed almost entirely of misogynists, abusers, liars, and morally-bankrupt cowards. Those who are not anti-woman seem to be so obsessed with courting “allies” that they have no problems throwing women under the bus to advance their petty agendas.

You can see the recent Secular Woman statement for a summary of the recent behavior of two alleged “allies” and apparently actual morally-bankrupt cowards, David Silverman and Hemant Mehta, regarding this sickening branch of misogynist atheism. I agree with Secular Woman completely, and I will go further and say that any one who considers such sexists as “allies” or who considers their views worthy of attention is not an ally of mine. I would rather break bread and ally myself with a theist who supports women and a secular government than I would shake hands with a reactionary bigot (or anyone who would ally themselves with them for any cause) who happens to be and atheist.

Anyone who believes that the (very real) problems faced by atheists in this country is the foremost issue of the day is either a fool, an asshole, or so completely ignorant of the world and its ways that they’re useless as an ally. Racism, economic inequality, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, and ableism ruin lives and kill people in our own country. We don’t need to cast our colonialist gaze to distant lands full of brown people and their “scary” religions in order to find people suffering more than we are. Those problems are vastly more important than a cross or a Star of David on government property.

By all means,  fight like the devil against religious privilege and religious bigotry. But also benefit your fellow humans who are not necessarily atheists – yet. You are not only maximizing the good acts in the world, but you are setting an example that yelling on Fox News will never provide. You know what else? By working to improve all of our society you are making life better and more secure for people who may be questioning or who only hold on to their faith because they depend on the very real support structure it provides them in order to survive.

I can assure you that there are many times more atheists and potential atheists who care about social issues or who will be helped and freed from their faith with improvements in those social problems. If I wanted to grow a movement? That’s where I would recruit. That’s where I would put my energy. Not only is it good for the future of atheism but it’s good for my peace of mind and sense of morality.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the best thing to do for the atheist movement is to ally myself with medieval-thinkers who want to strip women of their bodily autonomy. Maybe they’re right and the future of the atheism really is with the angry white, entitled libertarian-types who resent uppity women and brown people and people who need wheelchair ramps and people whose sexuality and gender identity makes them feel icky. Maybe those guys and their wallets is where you want to put your energy.

Or maybe not. Some of them organized a worldwide march on Saturday. Ten people showed up.

**UPDATE**

Hemant Mehta has contacted Secular Woman saying there was a misunderstanding on his part about what was being requested. You can read his statement here.

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By Sasha - 25 Nov 2013

American Atheists new billboards are callous, arrogant, and not factually accurate.

I have supported and also criticized American Atheists over the years. Today I’m frustrated and am offering some criticism. Criticism that I hope is listened too. I’m an atheist and I want atheist organizations to prosper, but I also want them to reflect my values.

Today AA issues a new press release announcing six new billboards.

American Atheists launched six billboards on Monday in central New Jersey attacking the non-helpful responses by some religions to recent natural disasters. These responses have included praying for the victims and sending bibles and rosaries instead of requested relief supplies that can save lives.

While at least $300 million has been pledged by nations around the world to help survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan, the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines, a billion-dollar non-government organization, has responded to the disaster by sending 1,000 bibles and 12,000 rosaries to survivors, according to CBS News. Additionally, the Pope tweeted for Catholics to pray for the typhoon victims. His message was retweeted 30,000 times.

“Imagine if the Pope had asked for people to send money to victims or to send needed supplies. How much more useful would that have been to the people of the Philippines? This is insulting,” said American Atheists President David Silverman. “Over 5,500 people have died, so Pope Francis leads people in prayer, and they send bibles and rosaries. This is repugnant; natural disasters should not be viewed as opportunities for proselytization.” Silverman continued, “Religion is not charity. It’s business masquerading as charity, and it needs to be recognized as such.”

The CBCP is indeed a catholic organization. It’s also in the Philippines, unlike American Atheists. If they distributed bibles and rosaries to their parishioners, what of it? They also called for and organized fundraising. Filipinos helping other Filipinos. Their news website has fundraising links all over the place.

The pope asked people to pray? How dare he do his job! He also called for “concrete help“, just like American Atheists is doing. He also announced $150,000 from the Vatican itself to support displaced people.

What I haven’t seen either of these organizations do is announce insensitive, self-aggrandizing, factually dubious condemnations of other people’s relief efforts. That seems to be American Atheists and only American Atheists right now.

So, as an ally I ask Dave Silverman and American Atheists to please reconsider these stupid billboards. I want a public face of atheism that is based on doing good deeds and caring about humanity. I do not want an American Atheism that thinks it’s a good idea to look like a smug asshole pointing (easily discredited) fingers over a pile of corpses.

EDIT: Nov 25, 2013 – 4:30pm PST:

This afternoon I was tipped to this RT on David Silverman’s timeline, which suggests that he now knows that the pope did in fact call for “concrete help” – Mr. Silverman seems happy to use that to mock the efficacy of prayer and also happy to still pretend it never happened to score a rhetorical point.

IMG_2898[1]

D. Cameron Webb ‏@dcameronwebb 3h
.@Pontifex asked for prayers and “concrete help” for disaster victims. A stunning admission that prayer is useless mush? @MrAtheistPants
Retweeted by David Silverman

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By Sasha - 14 Oct 2013

The privilege of being surprised.

It's kind of like this.

Your orgy is kind of like this.

There is an event happening in Ohio on November 2nd that might shock and surprise you for many reasons. It’s an event to celebrate  Día de Muertos, the Mexican holiday to commemorate and celebrate reflect upon your dead ancestors and loved ones, with a BDSM play party. We’re grown ups and we know people have sex and even have kinky sex in groups. The part that may be a shock for some is that the organizer of the event is a self-described “diversity” educator. That’s right: this crass event of cultural appropriation, where a holiday for remembering your dead friends and family is being used as exotic set dressing for an orgy is being organized by someone who thinks they are helping fight racism. But if you’re surprised, it probably because you’re white. Why do I feel comfortable making an assumption like that? Because of how privilege works. (more…)

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By Carl - 11 Oct 2013

Facebook doesn’t care if you die

Fuck_facebook

Dear Mr Zuckerberg,

It must be pretty awesome to be a white dude with billions of dollars. It must be nice to be able to afford peace of mind. You do realize that not everyone is a billionaire right? Because when Facebook makes decisions to allow any timeline to be found by name alone that’s seriously messed up. Your suggestions to make things more secure are laughable:

1. Share each post with the people you want to be able to see it. You control this every time you post.

2. Use Activity Log to review individual things you’ve already shared. Here you can delete things you may not want to appear on Facebook anymore, untag photos and change the privacy of past posts.

3. Ask friends and others to remove anything they may have shared about you that you don’t want on the site. You can do this by reaching out to the person directly, or using the reporting feature, also available in Activity Log.

Seriously? That’s your suggestion for someone who’s being stalked or threatened? Literally go through everything you’ve ever shared on Facebook and change the settings? Ask nicely for other people to remove things they’ve tagged you in? Seriously? You’re literally putting the lives of thousands if not millions of people on the line because… it makes you more money? it makes life easier for your engineers? because it’s cool?  I can’t help but notice that you didn’t include the best possible option:

#4. Delete my account on from a service that I’m increasingly disappointed with who not only gives the impression of not caring about people being harassed, but is actually taking measure to make it easier for them to be harassed.

I’m not sure I can continue to support a company that places anything over the lives and safety of assault victims, battered spouses, queer folks or a whole host of other people who have legitimate reason to fear for their lives. I wouldn’t associate with a person who had assisted in the harassment/assault/murder of someone else so I’m not sure why I should stick around on Facebook.

I’m going to spend the weekend doing some soul searching. This article will likely be one of the last things I ever post on my own wall.

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By Sasha - 23 Sep 2013

An Open Letter to Hugo Schwyzer

@hugoschwyzer: @DaniParadis @redlighvoicesback off. If you can't distinguish critique from a hightech lynching for uppity mentally men...

@hugoschwyzer: @DaniParadis @redlighvoicesback off. If you can’t distinguish critique from a hightech lynching for uppity mentally men…

From one cis hetero white man to another: Shut the fuck up.

I realize none of this is likely to make much of a difference to you, because you’re not about accountability or criticism. No, not you Hugo. But you’re hurting people. You are being an abuser. You are verbally abusing women of color, and then you apologize and cry about your mental illness and “go away”…but you come back. I think you will always come back so long as you feel like you can get away with it. Because I think you like to feel important. It seems that negative attention is almost as good as positive for you, and maybe there’s that inner abuser that’s really the core of who you are Hugo. Maybe the “real’” Hugo isn’t the man who writes about consent, but is instead the man who tried to kill his girlfriend. I think maybe that is the real you. I think maybe you used your mainstream white handsomeness and your abuser’s facility at bullshit to talk your way into spaces where you could victimize on a grand scale.

None of what I’m saying is new. It’s been said thousands of times. You just have to hope that the people who say it are the ones that you and the people who choose to support you can and will marginalize. You are half-smart, and you know just enough about feminism and social justice to get that slimy little wedge into feminist spaces. Then you wallow around crushing anyone who doesn’t serve your purposes.

This is far from my best writing, Hugo. But I don’t know if you deserve my best. I’m writing this because you make me angry. Because I became a feminist because of people like you — no, stop patting yourself on the back. I became a feminist because of slimy creeps who hurt people. I became a feminist because of callow pieces of human garbage who victimize and destroy and get away with it because they are smiling “nice guys” who say the right things when they get in trouble.

Hugo Schwyzer, I became a feminist to stop people like you. You are the walking, talking incarnation of patriarchy and you just need to shut the fuck up.

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By SpokesGay - 22 Sep 2013

Go rub your face in this inhumanity.

Cassidy Lynn Campbell, the first openly transgender woman to be crowned prom queen, can’t have one day in her life to treasure. If she has to suffer this way, then you do too. Watch it and weep. AND THEN GET THE FUCK UP OFF YOUR ASS AND DO SOMETHING TO MAKE THE WORLD SAFE FOR TRANSGENDER PEOPLE.

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By SpokesGay - 03 Sep 2013

Last Night

“Do you remember what I did to you last night?”

That’s what he asked when I woke, as if asking me to go to breakfast.

I kind of remembered. Then I turned over and felt the pain. He got me drunk, he drugged me, and he fucked me up the ass. I went home with him willingly; I had the hots for him and hoped to play around. But I did-not-would-not-would-never consent to a virtual stranger fucking me. I couldn’t even remember if he wore a condom. (more…)

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By Sasha - 26 Aug 2013

Fellow White People: We’re having the wrong conversation about Miley, Robin, and the VMAs

Everyone is piling on Miley Cyrus for her performance at the Mtv VMAs last night. I’ve seen her called “skank”, “attention whore”, her body being criticized as unwomanly and undesireable, and even someone saying she “covered herself in STDs and crack”. Others have talked about Robin Thicke and criticized the appropriateness of a married 36 year old dancing in a sexually suggestive way with a 20 year old women. All of those are stupid things to talk about. They are sex negative, misogynist, slut shaming, body policing nonsense. In the “STDs and crack” line you get bonus racist dog whistles, and as for the whole age-difference and suggestions of infidelity in the Cyrus/Thicke pairing, it’s really not any of our place to speculate on what two adults and their partners see, do, or tolerate. Shut all the way up about any of that for now.
(more…)

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By SpokesGay - 23 Aug 2013

NPR: The bucks stop here

[Updates below]

If you didn’t already know, National Public Radio told the New York Times:

National Public Radio will continue for now to refer to Private Manning as “he,” according to a spokeswoman, Anna Bross. “Until Bradley Manning’s desire to have his gender changed actually physically happens, we will be using male-related pronouns to identify him,” she said.

So I told them this: (more…)

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