Occasional Link Roundup

One of these again!

1. Cassy has written this amazing guide for partners of sexual assault survivors. Even if you’re not one (that you know of), you should read it. Unfortunately, as prevalent as sexual assault is among all genders, you never really know when this advice will come in useful.

2. My friend Sarah on how to talk to people with chronic illnesses (including, but not limited to, mental illnesses). Apparently I’m in an advice-y mood today.

3. Think atheists “shove” atheism “down people’s throats”? Read this.

4. On depressive thoughts, and how they’re a “mind trick.” “Something to remember: when your brain invents stories of things to feel bad about and tells you they’re the cause of the bad feelings, the truth is often that the bad feelings are the cause of the stories.”

5. Another one of those really touching posts about depression.

6. A sex-positive defense of porn.

7. Cliff Pervocracy wrote this great advice column on how to deal with people who act like you owe it to them to make yourself look pretty.

8. Natalie Reed on how cisgender feminists can help include trans* people and perspectives in feminism. But, as usual with her pieces, it’s about so much more than that.

9. Andrew had some very relevant criticism of Skepticon, and there’s a great response from one of the organizers in the comments.

10. Dr. Nerdlove debunks some tired myths about women and casual sex. “In other words: in a culture of slut-shaming, blaming rape victims for their own assault, increasing restrictions on contraception and abortion, a man has to be pretty impressive to make it worth a woman’s time for a fling.”

11. On emotions and their supposed “irrationality.” “What many people who dismiss emotions fail to recognize is that emotions are an extremely important source of information, and are often a way to analyze information very quickly in order to motivate necessary action. In this way, emotions are actually very rational much of the time. Sometimes they come to the wrong conclusion, and sometimes their logic fails, but at root they operate in a logical way: they take an input, analyze how it affects us, and react to protect us.”

Feel free to link to your own writing in the comments section!

Occasional Link Roundup

1. Free speech is not freedom from responsibility.

2. Kate writes about dancing and eating disorders (TW).

3. Sexual assault prevention tips that actually work! Oldie but goodie.

4. On Reddit admins’ choice to condone racism: “Free speech is about not being prosecuted by your government for expressing your views. A private company is not obliged to give platforms to racists in the name of free speech. If a private company willingly gives a platform to racists, then they should be prepared to have their reputation suffer accordingly.”

5. On being a survivor of sexual assault in the skeptical/atheist movement, and dealing with the constant demands to “prove” that you were “really” assaulted.

6. A blogger writes a letter to zir teenage self called, “Dear Teenage Self: You Have Depression.” It resonated with me a lot.

7. On the ludicrous notion that being trans* is “selfish” or “vain.

8. An explanation of Schrodinger’s Rapist, for those who still don’t get it.

9. The meaning of suffering is to fix it. “The fact of the matter is, debating why evil exists in the world of an all good, all powerful creator being makes for interesting philosophy, but does nothing to actually help those people that are the victims of evil.”

10. This one’s mine! My post on making fun of male rape victims was republished on the Good Men Project.

Feel free to promote your own stuff in the comments!

Occasional Link Roundup

I’ve finally been reading again! So here you go.

1. My friend Michael on why evangelical Christianity fails to appeal to him: “I do not feel broken. I do not feel particularly sinful. I do not feel lost. Your savior is of no use to me, because I do not need to be saved. Your meditative “self-actualization” is of no use to me, because I know who I am.”

2. Clarissa explains why trying to psychoanalyze politicians is a waste of time. (Also, for all you armchair psychologists–it’s impossible to diagnose someone you haven’t met and spoken to.)

3. On the terminology of pro-life and pro-choice movements, and why both words are actually inaccurate.

4. People who clearly don’t understand disability are concerned that people fake needing a wheelchair to get through airport security faster. Best comment: “I’d seriously much rather have someone cut in line than have someone who’s in pain be denied a wheelchair, charged extra for it, or assumed to be cheating.”

5. Why you should vote no on Minnesota’s Same-Sex Marriage Amendment (if you live in Minnesota, that is). I’m proud to know the person who wrote this: “Vote no, because there’s no such thing as gay marriage. There is only a legal covenant of care between consenting adults, who may or may not be together forever, who may or may not have children (which may or may not be related to them), who may or may not be of the same gender, and who may or may not be of the same sex.”

6. Two fascinating recent pieces on Role/Reboot drew some very interesting analogies. One was between the narrative of men as “weak” and that of Muslims as “weak.” The other was between letting boys ignore girls’ boundaries when they’re little and letting men ignore women’s boundaries when they’re older. Of course, Analogies Are Imperfect™, but the articles are fascinating.

7. Lisa Wade on what’s wrong with hookup culture. Hint: it’s not the fact that women are having casual sex; it’s the fact that sexism permeates it (as it does everything else in our society, of course).

8. On boundaries in relationships, and how they can be emotional, not just physical.

9. Bridget Gaudette on how having sex and enjoying it led her to abandon religion. Fascinating.

10. Atheism that concerns itself with social justice is great. End of story.

11. And, finally, a beautiful piece on overcoming social anxiety.

Occasional Link Roundup

Oh look, one of these!

1. Reasons why victim-blaming via “safety patrol” is silly and wrong. My favorite is the first one: “Real life is not a horror movie where it’s permissible yell at the screen ‘DON’T GO DOWN INTO THE BASEMENT, YOU STUPID BITCH! THE BAD GUY IS DOWN THERE! FUCK! FUUUUUUCK!’”

2. On the three purposes universities are expected to serve, and how one of those is starting to take over–to the detriment of the university system as a whole.

3. My friend Kate wrote this post (and this follow-up) about how to be a good friend to someone with a mental illness. I might be biased because I contributed, but still, lots of great advice here.

4. Rush Limbaugh discusses a study showing that men’s penises have decreased slightly in size over the past fifty years, and, naturally, blames Evil Feminism. Because, you know, the factors cited by the researchers themselves–weight gain, smoking, pollution, etc.–couldn’t possibly have contributed.

5. A hilarious analysis of a conservative columnist’s pathetic attempts to shame people who have sex before marriage and who–get this–choose to consume alcohol at their weddings. Oh heavens no.

6. On cats and MRAs. This is worth it, believe me.

7. Is having an “atheists-only” policy for dating discriminatory? Nope! Personally, I’m open to dating progressive religious folks, but I find that I have so much more in common with atheists.

8. Captain Awkward’s sad and brilliant post about harassment on public transportation.

9. Why women don’t always say “no.” Some of us are used to that “no” being ignored, anyway.

10. Slate has been promoting the crap out of its own editor Hanna Rosin’s (supposedly crappy) new book, The End of Men, publishing seven non-critical pieces about it in six days. Goodbye, journalistic ethics.

11. On the charge that atheists are actually just as “extreme” as fundamentalist religious folks. Nah.

That’s it for now. Feel free to promote your own stuff!

Occasional Link Roundup

This is my occasional link roundup, in which I occasionally post links to things I like. Feel free to link to something you’ve written recently in the comments!

1. Ever wondered what the manic phase of bipolar disorder feels like? Read this.

2. Attachment parenting might be harmful to mothers’ mental health. It always gave me a weird feeling. “What is especially sad is that self-evident things like ‘mothers are human beings,’ ‘having a life outside of child-rearing is necessary for maternal well-being,’ ‘there is nothing that makes a mother a more capable parent than a father’ still need to be proven by research.”

3. So, a bunch of crap went down in the atheist blogosphere this past week–or at least, in my corner of it. A lot of people seem to disagree that a concern for social justice has any place within atheism. My friend Andrew has this take on it, and another atheist blogger, Zach, wrote this: “I want a new atheist movement that actually cares about people. An atheist movement that will look at the way religion poisons our views on gender, race, or sexuality and actively tries to combat that. I want an atheist movement that will reach out help other people, regardless of their race, gender, sexuality, ability, education, wealth, visibility, or even religion.”

4. And speaking of the atheist movement, here’s an example of racism within it.

5. A great post about misconceptions about demisexuality. I’ve wanted to write about this for a while, but it seems like few things bring out nasty comments quite like this subject does.

6. An analysis of the media’s portrayal of Jennifer Aniston as perpetually pitiful. Never really thought about this before, but it’s fascinating.

7. A takedown of one man’s sexist blog post, in which he obsesses about an Australian Olympic athlete because she’s so “sweet” and “feminine”–you know, unlike the rest of us bitches. I’m not linking to the original piece because I don’t want to give him pageviews, but this post quotes heavily.

8. What anti-feminists don’t understand. “Then one day, women stopped telling men what they wanted to hear. They asked what they were without us – or, at least, without our definitions. Men never stopped to ask the same thing, and when they sort-of did, they returned too readily to rhetoric of supremacy and strength. Anti-feminists are so caught up in being the victim that they never consider positive identity formation to be a goal, or even a possibility.”

9. And, on a similar note, what people who call themselves “equalists” don’t understand. “As for the “equalists”, if they truly wanted to take a neutral stance on the gender roles, they could start by not always attacking feminists – while, at the same time, rushing towards the defence of the men’s rights movement.”

10. Kids who sleep later do better in school, but schools don’t seem to be interested in addressing this.

11. Mara Glatzel, a blogger I admire, on why she writes.

12. Why it matters that we now have our first out pansexual politician.

13. A really touching post about sexual assault, friendship, and recovery. TW.

14. And on a similar note, post of the week goes to my friend Cassy, who wrote this heartbreaking four-part narrative about her experiences with sexual assault, abuse, mental illness, and recovery. Huge trigger warning on this, so please watch out. But if you can, read it.

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