By Sasha - 07 Aug 2013

DJ and Me

I have wanted to talk about something for years and I think maybe now is the right time to talk about it. I want to show my support for both Karen Stollznow* and Carrie Poppy by sharing my own rather unpleasant experiences with DJ Grothe. I want to show that their experiences are not isolated incidents. They are part of a larger picture and are important.

It’s sort of known among certain people in the skepticoatheirationalist sphere that DJ Grothe is not terribly fond of me. Back in 2011 I contacted the speakers at that year’s TAM and asked them to consider including a mention of the importance of diversity and equality within our communities. Mr. Grothe (and some of the speakers) were not pleased by this. I think that is possibly when he started to dislike me and believe (erroneously) that I wanted to destroy the JREF.


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By SpokesGay - 01 Aug 2013

Mild-Mannered Milquetoasts

There’s a special place in my imaginary hell for tepid bystanders who turn a blind eye to the suffering and targeting of someone more vulnerable. I hate them, and I hate them more than I hate the tormentors. Because they fly a false flag. They present themselves as friends but turn out to be collaborators at the most dire moments. Because they know better and they choose to do nothing. To do nothing in a way that magnifies the stage, and scope, and power of bullies.

I came out publicly at 12 years old. This was very unusual in the mid-80s. There were no such things as Gay/Straight Alliances. We queer kids gathered in a sympathetic guidance counselor’s office (bless you, Mrs. H. I still remember giving you makeup tips and how delighted you were when you saw the results.) on a time-rotating basis so no one would figure out we were all in the same place at the same time. We knew we’d be harassed and beaten even worse if our ad hoc meetings were found out. We knew the administration would turn a blind eye, that it might make life professionally difficult for Mrs. H.

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By SpokesGay - 29 Jul 2013

Your Peaches Are Free, not Freeze

So I just discovered there was a backlog of comments on the site (and pertaining to my post). I’m still learning the administration side, so I didn’t even see them before today. No censorship involved (although I totally will), so you’ll have to find something else to fap about.

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By SpokesGay - 19 Jul 2013

Gays, Don’t Do That

It’s hard work bruising egos, even if you’re as professionally competent as Sasha and Carl. Sometimes you need a SpokesGay. That sometimes is now.

Welcome, me!

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By Sasha - 15 Jul 2013

You might think you don’t have an accent, but you’re wrong.

As an ally, my words are likely to be given more “weight” in a discussion by many people. There are a lot of reasons for this. The main reason is that I have a lot of social privilege as a straight, white, able-bodied, cis man. I’m someone who is at the top of a lot of oppression hierarchies. Another reason is that people have this idea of “objectivity” that is just plain wrong, because no one is objective.

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By Sasha - 17 Jun 2013

Cowardice and leadership.

I was at the Center for Inquiry’s second Women in Secularism conference last month. It was one of the best secular conferences I have ever attended and I hope there is another one next year. The staff, especially Melody Hensley did a remarkable job and I applaud them.

There were two dark clouds at the conference that dampened many people’s enjoyment. One was a notorious part time “activist” and full time attention seeker who attended the conference in order to taunt feminists and report back to his vile, hateful, and dangerous friends at A Voice for Men. The other was Ronald Lindsay, the CEO of the Center for Inquiry, delivering opening remarks that offended many, if nor most, of the attendees and speakers. (more…)

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By Carl - 28 May 2013

What I have learned from the women in my life

So first off let’s address the elephant in the room. I simply cannot add anything to discussion of Ron Lindsay’s opening remarks that holds a candle to what’s been said by Secular WomenDan Fincke, Adam Lee and a whole host of other people. I’m not even going to try because the more I think about it the more irritated I become about Dr. Lindsay’s careless remarks and reaction to criticism. I’m simply not able to able to make a reasonable criticism will not turn into a giant “fuck you.” The experiences of the last week have given me many reasons to reflect on the arc of my life over the past few decades and how exactly I got here. I’ve decided to write about the things that I’ve learned about life and myself over the past 20 or so years.

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By Sasha - 12 Mar 2013

Of COURSE most atheists are decent people.


But why don’t they turn on the barbarians and stop them?

Yesterday Richard Dawkins continued his recent campaign of xenophobia on Twitter with the following:

It seems like such a simple question, doesn’t it? I assume Richard Dawkins thinks of himself as a decent person, as most atheists (OF COURSE) are, but why then does he not turn on the racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and ableist “barbarians” in our midst? Why is Dr. Dawkins not allying himself with his fellow atheists who want to fix within our own community the very same problems he sees as evidence of the evils of Islam.

Dr. Dawkins, I say clean your own house or shut the hell up.

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By Carl - 06 Feb 2013

Stay-at-home dude

Man cooking

A friend posted a link to this article on Slate about a married man with no kids who is a homemaker. I loved the article. Due, in no small part, to the fact that this very well could have been how my life ended up. At one point in my life I was a physics major dating a chemical engineer – pretty clear who was going to be earning the big bucks there. While I only remember pieces of specific conversation, I do remember talking about multiple times. I married a woman who has a passion for what she does, but unlike the engineering major ex I’m definitely the primary breadwinner.

I’ve never really had much use for gender roles: I’m the primary cook of the house (one of my favorite pastimes is baking), I do a moderate amount of cleaning (although admittedly my standard of clean is much lower than my wife’s) and I’ve been known to paint my nails. Not some goth shade of black mind you – we’re talking bright red, deep blue or purple. Sometimes glitter is involved. It’s no wonder that I was drawn to Skepticism – I’ve never much cared for how I’m “supposed” to do things. I’d rather bake cookies, do an art project, play with my kitten or help take care of the horses than watch football. One of the most fascinating things to me about this movement is how vehement skeptics can be in their criticism of other’s beliefs and yet be completely blind to areas of their life where they’ve swallowed societal norms hook, line and sinker.

So it should be no surprise that I in envy the author. Not because his wife makes tons of money, but rather I envy the choice that her income gives them. My wife and I have incredibly busy lives and it’s hard sometimes just to find time together when one or both of us aren’t totally exhausted. I admire the author’s courage to be a “stay at home dude” regardless of the bullshit opinions others might hold about his domestic situation. I admire his commitment to the relationship and his willingness maximize his happiness, both as an individual an a couple, via non-conventional means. Mr. Boulding understands something beautiful – only you can determine what’s best for you. Bravo sir.

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By Sasha - 17 Jan 2013

From Sasha: A change in leadership.

I’ve been running More Than Men for a year now (even longer if you count the pre-launch preparation we did) and I’m more proud than you can know of what I’ve done and the response we’ve generated — even the backlash from anti-feminists makes me proud. Unfortunately I need to step away for a few month to take care of some personal affairs. It breaks my heart to do so but I can’t keep doing this and also keep doing the things I need to do in my private life and be successful at either.

I will return to the helm, hopefully around the time of Women in Secularism 2, but in the mean time I’m leaving you in the capable hands of Carl Tracy. Many of you already know Carl as the person who ran last year’s Skepticamp Ohio and blogged for us about his experiences implementing harassment policies there. If you don’t know Carl, let me assure you he is a great guy and I’m looking forward to seeing what he does around here while I am away. Please let me be the first to welcome him aboard and I hope you will all do the same.

Thanks for a great year, and I promise you’ll be hearing from me again soon.

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