This is going to be rather epic, because I’ve been busy, and because I caught up with my RSS feed while I was visiting family and so I have many articles which I found interesting. And since I can’t share them on Google Reader anymore, everyone else gets to enjoy them here.
On 17 May 2012, IDAHOBIT (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia) entered general consciousness.
At Technically Impartial, a wonderful job is performed of breaking down two of the commonly used arguments against abortion:
The short version is; I don’t have a uterus, and don’t have the right to tell the people who do have one what they can and cannot do with it. I also get very angry when the people with uteruses are dictated to about the use thereof; not your body, not your business.
Margaret Cho writes about how she wanted to be adopted when she was a child, adopted by white parents:
My imaginary parents were not replacements for my actual parents. I just pretended that my real parents never existed. I couldn’t have ever thought of something happening to my folks that would lead to my eventual adoption. I didn’t want them out of my life. I just wanted them to be white. I think it was that I was scared to want to be white myself, even though I desperately wanted to be then, and still do now to some extent. imagine the privileges! It would be so relaxing to be white! I could work more frequently for better pay and everyone would listen closely to what I had to say and take it to heart instead of rolling their eyes and enduring my minority rants for fear of being called a racist and my hair would curl easily or maybe even be NATURALLY CURLY. Ah yes – the grass is always curlier. But back then, I was deeply ashamed of the thought of wanting to be white, strangely disturbed by my burgeoning perception of racial inequity and being at the business end of it, so I cloaked it in this weird wish for my family to be, possibly to explain my own Americanized existence.
Margaret Cho also wrote a piece on her difficulty with Christianity and the notion that Jesus died for her sins in Jesus H:
That Jesus died for our sins is a weird story always to me, because why did he have to die? Why did anyone have to die? Where was God’s capacity to forgive? Why couldn’t god just bypass the payment of sins, or defer it, or make them free to begin with? That’s harsh to crucify people no matter if they are your son or not. I have always had this argument with Christians and therefore God, but he only talks through signs and symbols and other people which is suspect.
NK Jemisin guest posted at The Book Smugglers, talking about “The Unexotic Exotic“:
Calling something exotic emphasizes its distance from the reader. We don’t refer to things as exotic if we think of them as ordinary. We call something exotic if it’s so different that we see no way to emulate it or understand how it came to be. We call someone exotic if we aren’t especially interested in viewing them as people — just as objects representing their culture.
The Vatican has decided to chastise another US nun, this time “respected Yale University Theologian” Sister Margaret A Farley, because she wrote a book that the Vatican suggests is in contradiction with their official dogma. From here:
Sister Farley’s book finds moral and theological justifications for same-sex marriage, which aside from abortion, has become the major galvanizing political and moral issue for American bishops. The statement took Sister Farley to task for writing that same-sex marriage “can also be important in transforming the hatred, rejection, and stigmatization of gays and lesbians.” She wrote that “same-sex relationships and activities can be justified according to the same sexual ethic as heterosexual relationships and activities.”
“This opinion is not acceptable,” the Vatican statement said. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, it said, says homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” that are “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to the natural law.” It said that Sister Farley’s assertion that sometimes divorce is a reasonable option for couples who have grown apart contradicted church teaching on the “indissolubility of marriage.”
The statement quoted liberally from some of the racier passages in “Just Love,” including ones in which Sister Farley writes that female masturbation “usually does not raise any moral questions at all.” She adds that “many women” have found “great good in self-pleasuring — perhaps especially in the discovery of their own possibilities for pleasure — something many had not experienced or even known about in their ordinary sexual relations with husbands or lovers.”
The Vatican said this assessment contradicted church teaching that “the deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.”
Trevor MacDonald, at Out, writes “Happy M/Other’s Day!“:
I could have tried to stuff down my deep-seated desire to live my life as a man. I could have married and brought a child into this world as a woman. I could have breastfed that child with a full milk supply as a woman (to find out how I do breastfeed my baby, pictured here, read my previous essay). But in doing these things, I would have been a miserable wreck of a parent. A number of my friends have transitioned while raising their young children or even later, and I do not envy them their considerable challenges in doing so—having to come out to a spouse and kids must be confusing and painful for everyone involved.
To some people, it may look like I am terribly mixed up. But, in reality, I simply sorted my life out before starting my family. My child will not have to grow up with a depressed parent, nor will I ever have to explain to him that I am a different gender than what he thought all those previous years. I am, and will always be, Dad.
A 7 part series on rape culture and consent within the BDSM community by Thomas at Yes Means Yes (part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Please note that this post may not be safe for work and *TRIGGER warning for discussion and description of rape, rape culture, failure to abide by agreed boundaries, and violence*.
Greta Christina writes about the Catholic Church paying out priests in order to get them to agree to dismissal, instead of approaching the authorities or supporting the victims in, “Just When You Think They Couldn’t Sink Any Lower…“.
Libby Anne at Love, Joy, Feminism, writes about “Dreams of Miscarriage“:
When I woke up and analyzed the feelings I had had in that dream, I was surprised. I had been taught growing up that the fetus was a person long before being born into the world, and that mothers automatically bonded with their fetuses, mother to child, from extremely early on. I had been taught that if a pro-choice woman became pregnant, she would realize right away that her fetus was as much a person as the baby she would hold in her arms months and months in the future. I had been taught that there was no way that a woman could feel her fetus kick within her and not love it as her child.
While I had long since made my switch from anti-abortion to pro-choice, I had not reevaluated these specific teachings. But that one dream at seven months pregnant made me realize how very wrong they were. I had felt my fetus kick, and for seven months it had been growing within me. And yet…I clearly did not see it as my own special and individual child. I had not bonded with it. For me it remained a potential child.
Libby Anne also writes about “Omniscience, the Trinity, and Free Will: Why I can’t believe“:
This article brought together all the problems I have with believing Christianity. The argument here is that God created the world and mankind knowing that man would sin and knowing that Jesus would have to die on the cross and knowing that millions and billions of people would refuse his “gift” and wind up in hell. This just seems weird and twisted.
According to this line, God put Adam and Eve in a situation where he knew they would fail and then punished them for it. This is something I work hard never to do with my daughter. If she’s tired and hungry and out of sorts, I wouldn’t take her to the grocery store, because I would know she would probably fall apart. And if I did take her to the grocery store in that condition, I wouldn’t punish her when she did fall apart. That would be completely unfair of me, especially because her meltdown would be in some sense my fault for taking her shopping when I knew she couldn’t make it through. But this, supposedly, is just what God does.