Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dear Biblethumpers: You're doing it wrong. And making the rest of us look bad.

Dear Biblethumpers:
Stop. Please STOP.
You don't get it. You're doing it wrong, and you're making the rest of us look bad.
You're making those of us who were already on (what you claim to be) your side want to jump ship.
So quit it. Stop the hate, stop the intolerance, stop the stupidity.

So, apparently, today on Twitter someone started a #nogod hashtag. I saw it this morning; didn't like some of the stuff I saw tweeted, because, since I do believe in God, those insults included me as well.

But then this afternoon I saw this. And, really, how can you argue with that?

When I see stuff like the #nogod hashtag/trending topic, or people defending atheism by condemning Christianity, part of me has to agree with them. I mean, look at what those people were saying? Really?

I know when people attack God and religion and Christianity they are not attacking me, they are not really saying I'm stupid because I believe in a higher power and go to church. They are attacking those who blindly follow a leader who tells them pretty things. And they are attacking those leaders who twist the words they read in the Bible for their own twisted, hateful, small-minded bigotry; those who use the Bible and religion to control.

And so many of the people on Twitter who claim to be "Christians" spew so much hate against anyone who might perhaps think just a little differently than they, and they do it "in God's name." It's hard not to hate them back. I can't blame the people who were using the #nogod hashtag.

I know I'm not the nicest person in the world. I know I have a huge issue with forgiveness -- I don't give it. I spew hate on my blog. But I don't do it "in God's name." I don't condemn you to Hell because God says so. I don't tell you God's going to send you to Hell.

I also have enough faith in my faith, and I believe what I believe strongly enough that some stupid hashtag isn't going to threaten my faith or my beliefs. Do you think God cares about that stupid #nogod hashtag? Puh-leeez! There are several hashtags that probably hurt God, but #nogod wasn't one of them. #lame, #retarded, #gay... I bet God feels a stab or two when he reads those. (And I'd give you more, but frankly I don't look at the trending topics and don't follow hashtags other than #prochoice, #NaNoWriMo... and that's about it.)

Yesterday, one of the students in my tutoring group asked me if it was true that the Bible says piercings are bad.

Dude, I really don't think they had body piercing parlours in Nazareth. Or am I missing something? Did Judas have an eyebrow ring? Was the reason Sara had such a hard time conceiving because she had a belly-button ring? Didn't take it out until she was, like, eighty, and that's when she finally got pregnant?

No, the kid was talking about the Bible saying your body is a temple. So you shouldn't get a piercing or a tattoo.

I tried to explain to the kid that he should be much more worried about what kind of food he eats -- puts in his temple -- than about an earring. But he wasn't paying attention.

An authority figure, his parents, or a priest/preacher, told him the Bible says this and this is what it means. Period, end of story.

"You can't get a piercing or a tattoo, because the Bible says that's bad. God will hate you. And you will go to Hell."

"Oh. Okay."

What about respecting your body? Taking care of yourself? Eating right? Exercising? Loving your body as it is, instead of telling yourself you are too fat? Too tall? Too short? Your body is a gift from God, God made you just the way He/She wanted you to be. Love your body, it was custom-made for you.

No? That part's not important?

Nope, just the "no-piercings" part.

Eat all the high-fructose corn syrup you want, and stay on the couch all day playing your stupid XBox. That's what the Bible says.

What most people tell you the Bible says is rarely ever what it does say. Too many people take one line, one verse, and tell you the Bible says THIS. They ignore the pages upon pages of Jesus telling them to "love one another, as I have loved you."

That's what the Bible says. That's what religion faith is. That's what I believe in.

And I wish others would stop ruining it for me, dammit.

Monday, October 19, 2009

How To Tell People They SOUND Racist (or Sexist, or Homophobic, or Ableist, or

@HappyFeminist tweeted this video just now. I'm saving it, though, and post-dating this post. Because I'm RTing her tomorrow morning, and I'll schedule this post for sometime maybe even next week, to kind of spread the video's visibility.

I stole the video from here, but it's Jay Smooth's video.

Although it might seem pretty obvious, I had never thought about this before. Very important distinction when having the racist/sexist/ableist/etcist conversation...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Meet Violet, and Second Story Press

Apparently, it's Book Week at Criss's blog.

Looknig through my apparently long-forgotten Google Reader subscriptions, I came across this book trailer on Literanista's blog, and I wanted to share it with you because I thought it was cute (and very clever):

The book is published by Second Story Press, which has this to say about itself:
Second Story Press was co-founded in 1988 by Margie Wolfe and three other women dedicated to publishing feminist-inspired books for adults and young readers. We are proud to be marking our 20th year of publishing award-winning books that entertain, educate, and empower.
(The only bad part is they're in Canada, and focus primarily on Canadian authors. Which I totally dig, but leaves me out. *pout* Unless I move there. Which is not necessarily out of the question...)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Queen Bees & Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman

I had another post planned for tonight. But then I found out Rosalind Wiseman is giving away copies of the revised edition of Queen Bees & Wannabes (yes, the book Mean Girls was based on), and I had to write this post to let you know, and to give myself another chance to win a signed copy of the book.

I loved the movie, and wanted to get the book, but my to-be-read pile is a monster that grows faster than Gremlins caught in a Texas thunderstorm, while my finances, on the other hand... do the opposite. So I never got the book, even though I know it would be an awesome read.

Then I heard about this giveaway, and went on Rosalind's webpage, and saw some of her videos, answering girls' questions. Videos like this one, where she answers a letter from a girl whose twin sister is hooking up with guys, which not only bugs the sister but is also starting to affect her own life:

I love it all: the advice on how to deal with those guys coming on to her; the way sisterly relationships go, and how easily and quickly they can go south because of the familiarity, and how to avoid this; and how to address the issue with her sister, in a way that will not lead to an angry argument where neither listens to the other.

Then there's this video, where a girl asks about her angry feelings toward her father, who is, in my opinion, a worthless piece of sh!te abusive parent:

I should stop watching these videos, or I'm going to want to post them all... but allow me ONE more. Is it demeaning to ask a girl, "Are you PMSing?" anytime she doesn't immediately fall to her knees and do your bidding?

So, yeah. Who DOESN'T want to read a book written by this woman???


Oops! Forgot to add (from Rosalind's website):
Also, don’t forget to catch Rosalind talking about the brand new version ofQueen Bees & Wannabes on the Today Show on Wednesday, October 14 in the 8 o’clock hour!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

My Cis Priviledge & the #ProChoice Movement

One of the pro-choice movement's favorite phrases, which we repeat often on Twitter in the "I am #prochoice because" meme*, is "Men can't get pregnant."

Sometimes we qualify the statement a little, prefacing it with "100% of the men who are anti-choice will never be pregnant." In those cases, we're saying we're referring specifically to men who identify with the anti-choice movement, and it is likely (in my uninformed opinion) that those men are cis men, who will, indeed, never be pregnant.

For those of you who don't know what "cis" means, just like I didn't until a few weeks ago, here's a definition of it courtesy of Arwyn at Raising My Boychick's glossary:

Cis is a Latin prefix meaning “on this side” or “on the same side”; it was purportedly first used in the form “cisgender” by Carl Buijs in 1995 (or 1994). Writer and professor of biology Julia Serano uses all three terms in her book Whipping Girl; she credits first learning of them from Emi at Cisgender and cissexual are adjectives for those who are not transgender or transsexual. Much like we refer to trans persons, we might also refer to cis persons.

These terms mean, simply, that one’s intrinsic or subconscious sex (or gender) is in accord/agreement with one’s external, physical sex/gender, and always has been. Much like the term “heterosexual” (or “straight”) when it was first introduced, some cis individuals are offended by the term; this is a nonsensical, privileged position, however: as Monica Roberts puts it so well, Cisgender is not an insult.

So, cis men will never be pregnant. We need to qualify our statement, because trans men can get pregnant. When we say, "Men can never get pregnant," we are lying, and we are excluding and oppressing trans men.

First, we cannot exclude trans men and their reality from our language and our activism, but we also need to realize that, hello, they deserve the same reproductive rights and protections that we cis women are asking for. We need to include trans men in our language and in the fight itself.

I didn't follow the story when it was breaking and I still don't know much about it now, but remember the pregnant man on Oprah? The headline on this ABC News story pretty much says it all: "It's My Right To Have A Kid, Pregnant Man Tells Oprah." D@mn straight it's your right! That's what the pro-choice movement is about: nobody has a right to tell you what you can and cannot do with your uterus. No matter what your gender is -- if you have the equipment and want to use it, go for it.

Although I have done no research on this, I would wager the majority of trans men is on the other side of the issue. Not looking forward to a wanted pregnancy, but being the victims of rape and staring at an unwanted one, needing to terminate it.

I don't want to say much on this issue because I am so wholly ignorant on it, and I don't want to talk out of my @$$ about stuff I don't know. But this realization has made me ask myself several questions... when we (cis women in the pro-choice movement) raise a ruckus about access to birth control, including emergency contraception, to teens and availability of EC for rape victims at hospitals, are we asking for that same access and availability for trans men? How are trans men treated at the ER after a sexual assault? Do they even seek medical assistance, or do they know how they will be treated by doctors, hospitals, domestic violence shelters, and therefore never get the help they desperately need?

How are we fighting for their rights?

What about trans women? Now, they can't get pregnant, but that doesn't mean they don't have reproductive health needs. The pro-choice movement is about granting women access to basic health care, about giving women control of their bodies. But so far the only issues we have addressed are cis women's reproductive needs and health care. What do trans women need? How can we include them in the fight?

When we talk about domestic violence, and helping women who are victims of DV, are we helping trans women? Or are we, again, looking only at cis women's needs, and only providing help and care to cis women?

How do we fix this?

All this was much simpler when I only looked up. I looked above me, at those that are oppressing me, and boy was I good at pointing fingers at others and pointing out their privilege. The other day, I royally shoved my cissexist foot into my privileged mouth. And for the first time I looked down, at those below me, those I was oppressing.

No, I didn't mean to oppress them. I didn't mean to exclude them. But that doesn't mean I wasn't doing it, and that doesn't mean its effects were not just as damaging as if I had been doing it on purpose.

I'm going to stop doing it. Because it was not a pretty feeling when I realized I was doing to others what others were doing to me. It was not a pretty feeling when I realized I, too, was part of the kyriarchy. And I don't want to be part of a movement that supports it, either.

*please tell me I'm using "meme" correctly. I don't really know what it means and I'm too lazy to look it up, so I'm hoping I've seen it enough times that I've correctly guessed the meaning from context. If I didn't, please don't make fun of me.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

George Carlin on Abortion

I think I love this man.

EDIT: As much as I love almost everything you say here, Geroge, I do have to point one thing out. I know you're doing it for funnies and that clarifying your statement would kind of kill the joke, but lesbians can also be in need of an abortion. Sadly, they can get raped too, and probably do as a result of homophobic hate crimes.

Also, abortion is not always an elective procedure. A lesbian couple, or a homosexual couple, using a surrogate, can suffer complications during a pregnancy and need to terminate it. Let's not exclude homosexuals or deny their realities.

That said, I have to applaud your genius:
"When ... some of these other cardinals and bishops have experiences their
first pregnancies, and their first labor pains, and they've raised a couple of
children on minimum wage, then I'll be glad to hear what they have to say about