TRANSCRIPT AT: http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/blogpost/36
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This is Lara Croft. To most, she is the perfect fantasy for young men of the digital generation. She’s presented as a tough and aggressive woman who still manages to look sexy despite the predicaments she finds herself in. Ideally, she reflects a typical heterosexual man’s perspective on what feminism should look like (Henslin 2011).
Lara Croft isn’t the only example of this feminist mold, and it’s great that women are finally being perceived as physically capable of being as strong as a man, but why is the perspective one-sided?
Things to consider:
1: Tough and Sexy? Why does she have to be tough and sexy? Does our society value a woman based on her abilities, or her looks. Yes, our society cares more about what a woman looks like than we do her talent. A good example lies within our recent Olympic Games. People were more concerned with Gabby Douglas’ hair style than they were with her performance. Another columnist was more concerned with how the women in the Olympics were “too muscly” and “too flat-chested”, saying that “womanhood was dying in the Olympics.” Obviously we are too concerned with how sexual a woman is and don’t stop to appreciate how strong they can be.
2: Why is the gender role adoption one-sided? We see women adopting masculine traits, but why aren’t more men adopting feminine traits? Being feminine is associated with being meek and delicate, while being masculine is associated with being tough and powerful. Stop yourself for a second and separate feminine from female, because being a female doesn’t mean you inherit the feminine gender roles; Also separate male from masculine, because you don’t inherit masculine roles just because you’re a male. Gender roles are CHOSEN. You choose to be masculine, just like you choose to be feminine, and you chose certain areas where you’re more of one than the other. Now, go back to that question:
We see women adopting masculine traits, but why aren’t more men adopting feminine traits? Delicate, soft, tender, gentle…these are all words associated with femininity. Why is being feminine such a bad thing? Because it is associated with being a woman, and people in general would rather intimate what they think is powerful rather than weakness. What society doesn’t realize is that femininity is just as powerful as masculinity. In reality, we default to masculinity because we associate it with maleness; and the more you pass as male, the more privilege you can grasp. And before you go denying your privilege, click this.
3: How do we collectively institutionalize the association that women are the weaker and lesser sex? Well, lets examine how we insult people. What’s the worst word you can think of to call a woman? How about slut, whore, bitch, or cunt? What’s the worst thing you can call a man? You’ll probably call him a girly man, bitch, or a pussy. Notice anything? The most insulting thing to be is a woman (Jessica Valenti). Can someone explain to me what is so bad about being a woman or choosing to be feminine? Don’t be blind; this is far from a joke among friends.
Personally, I find power in being feminine. I choose to be feminine, and I can just as easily choose to be masculine. Here’s another thing associated with femininity: being vocal. I was told that I was weak because it’s impossible for me to lift 200 pounds. Well, for one it’s not impossible, because if I weight-trained I could eventually do such a thing. In all seriousness though, I think being able to brag about how much weight you can lift is pretty useless. Being vocal, however, is pretty powerful. Those who exercise that “feminine” trait happen to talk on average 7000 more words than those who don’t. Think about how powerful being a “chatter-box” can be. I want to revolutionize sex education. I want people to open their eyes and see the inequality that exist in our society. I’m very vocal about it, and the people who listen to me and agree seem to fuel themselves with passion. I also piss ignorant people off with my words, which is quite fun, to be honest. Being vocal is a feminine gender role, and it seems to be far more powerful than lifting weights.
So people, don’t be afraid to be feminine. It’s an equally competent gender role.
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Circumcision is a practice of surgically removing the foreskin of the penis. Circumcision was, and still is, a normalized practice among many religion groups; and this is in fact the origin of where cutting the foreskin off was started. Circumcision is a widely accepted procedure, however this procedure is based off religious beliefs and cosmetics, NOT hygiene or health.
So why is it such a big deal, or why should it be? Well, because circumcision actually does more harm than good, yet it’s so normalized that people don’t actually look past the myths fed to them to see how problematic it really is. I’m here to debunk these myths and feed you some truth about male genitalia mutilation. I ask you to please click on the links, as they’ll help you understand where this is all coming from.
1: Why did you call circumcision mutilation? They’re two completely different things.
Actually, circumcision is a form of mutilation AND amputation. “Mutilation: An injury that causes disfigurement or that deprives you of a limb or other important body part (x).” “Amputation: A condition of disability resulting from the loss of one or more limbs. A surgical removal of all or part of a limb (x).” Circumcision alters the appearance of the penis and it’s function.
2: How does it alter the function of the penis? I thought it served no purpose.
WRONG! Every part of the body has a purpose (some more necessary than others), and that “flap of skin” covering the head of the penis is no different.
The foreskin is packed with nerve endings, over 20,000. The foreskin also serves an important role of protecting the head of the penis from kernelization. Without the foreskin, the glands callus, giving the penis a hard solid texture, which desensitizes the nerves. Males lose on average about 80% of feeling from being circumcised at birth. Take a look at the picture if you already haven’t. The cut penis has a very rough, dry exterior and discolored head. The intact penis, on the other hand, is soft, spongy and moisturized. The color of the intact penis is from the bloods ability to reach the surface of the glands. Foreskin also produces its own lubrication and has a lot of slack, both of which are an important part of making penetration comfortable and pleasurable for not only the owner of the penis, but their partner as well.
3: Isn’t it harder to keep clean if you’re not cut?
Actually, no. The foreskin doesn’t have the ability to retract during infancy, so as parents you should only attempt to clean what you see. Attempting to retract the foreskin before it is capable of doing so on its own could cause tearing, and the foreskin is self-cleaning like the inside of the vagina. If you think about it, that’s actually easier to clean than a cut penis. Once the foreskin has been cut off, the parent would have to take extra precautions to make sure it heals properly, because you’ve wounded the penis. If kept intact, once the foreskin is capable of retracting (around the age of 5-6) all the child would need to do is pull the foreskin back to clean it. (aboutcirc.com)
4: But circumcision helps prevent UTIs/ STDs.
Urinary tract infections are more common in women than they are in men. We tell women to fight off UTIs with cranberry juice and water. Why do we attempt to fight it off through mutilation in men? This myth has been debunked. A study has found that there is no relationship between circumcision and lower rates of urinary tract infection in men. Another study also debunked the myth that cutting off the foreskin lowers the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Circumcision is practiced more often in American than in any other country, yet America has one of the highest rates of STDs in the world. If circumcision and STD prevention were connected, America should have the lowest rate in the world.
5: Circumcision prevents penile cancer.
And removing a woman’s breasts would prevent breast cancer, but we don’t do that, do we? Amputation is not a logical method of prevention.
6: It’s better to have it done as a baby because babies don’t feel the pain. They stop crying after the first cut. Circumcision at birth is more ethical and less dangerous.
Yes, they do feel the pain. Don’t believe me, click here. Many babies go into shock during the cutting, which is why they stop crying. The doctor in that video used general anesthesia, but most don’t because anesthesia on someone so small puts them at an even higher risk of dying. The foreskin isn’t meant to be separated at infancy. Infant circumcision forces the foreskin to rip from the glands of the penis in order to be cut off. I don’t know about you, but the thought of ripping and cutting a penis makes me cringe.
Cutting at infancy puts your baby at a greater risk of death or botching. It only
takes about 2.3 fluid ounces of blood loss to kill a newborn baby. That’s not even enough to fill a shot glass. Doctors have to use clamps in order to keep the blood loss at a minimum (more ouch). Circumcision is less painful if the person is allowed the right to decide during adulthood. If an adult chooses to circumcise his penis, the foreskin can retract on its own and anesthesia can be used; making the procedure more comfortable and precise.
Lets talk about botched circumcision. Because the penis is not fully formed at infancy, botch circumcision happens often. Precision is increased when a person has their circumcision occur at adulthood. Look over at the picture on the right. I’m sure you’ve looked at latex balloons with messages or logos on them. When a company puts a logo or message on a latex balloon, they blow it up first because the design would look distorted if they placed the design on the balloon while it was deflated. The same goes for the penis; circumcision precision is better when the penis is fully formed.
7: Circumcision is done for religious purposes. You can’t deny someone their religious expression!
Everyone has their right to religious expression, however your child is his own person now that he lives outside your womb. You may be their parent, and you may have to make choices for them; but mutilating them for a divine being, that they haven’t had the chance to decide if they worship, is unethical and immoral. Religious freedom does not include the right to violate someone else’s body and rights.
Most religious circumcision rituals are practiced by rabbis or priests; not doctors. In some traditions, it’s normal for said priest or rabbi to suck off the foreskin after it’s been cut from the penis. Some unlucky infant males contract STDs from this mouth-to-wounded-penis contact; and, as a result, die at an early age.
Now, I don’t want to upset any circumcised men out there. If you honestly don’t care about the loss of your foreskin, that’s great! Some men, however, don’t feel the same way after reading information like this. Well, I have good new for you. You can restore your foreskin. Foreskin restoration is a non-surgical procedure, where all you need to do is provide a constant tension on the remaining shaft-skin. You can also tug on the remaining skin manually, but devices like these have more promising effects of restoration. This process takes on average 3-5 years, sometimes even 7, depending on how much skin was cut off in the first place. Many men are seeking foreskin restoration as a method to restore sensitivity to the penis, reverse the keratinization of the glands, and bring back the natural lubrication that an intact penis has.
I hope the information provided here will convince you to tell that doctor “no” when they ask you if you’d like your sons penis to be circumcised. If your curiosity and questions still aren’t satisfied, please visit stopinfantcircumcision.org.
Trigger Warning: Blood, Medical Procedures
This woman was brave enough to take pictures of the aftermath of her abortion using her phone. Her pregnancy was at 6 weeks. Usually, anti-choice (pro-life) people will tell a woman that in as early as six weeks, tissues and organs are forming. Is that really the case?
See for yourself by clicking the link. You’ll find that her abortion wasn’t full of arms and limbs. There wasn’t a crushed fetus head. None of that. At most what you will see when you click the link is the lining of the uterus and stem-cells mixed in with blood; but in all honesty vagina-owners, aside from the small amount of abstract stem-cells, you see what’s in those jars once a month.
Regardless your thoughts on abortion, it was made legal in 1973 thanks to the Roe vs Wade trial. Why are we still protesting this shit? Seems like we are repressing ourselves back to the dark ages. Understand that women WILL continue to seek ways to control their reproduction with or without the consent of the people and the law. Understand that if abortion is made illegal again, women will seek out abortions through coat hangers and sketchy doctors who don’t know what the hell they’re doing. What the anti-choice movement doesn’t understand, is that statistically, more lives will be lost if abortion is made illegal.
I encourage everyone to educate themselves on abortion with as much diverse information as is accessible. Through education, you can make an informed decision about what is best for your body.
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Yes, I’m in the mood for cheesy R.E.M. songs. I figured I should take some time to map out my on-going battle with religion.
I started out “lost” as most Christians would tell me in high school. I studied Wicca, Muslim, Buddhism, Satanism, Christianity, and eventually I stumbled upon Atheism and stuck with it. Then, everything changed when my Christian friends attacked (Avatar reference there). Now, I guess they feared for my soul, which is noble of them, but now that I look back it may have not been the best thing for my psyche.
I’m bisexual (maybe even pansexual). I was back then and I still am now. I was also goth, and a very outspoken Atheist. I wasn’t very outspoken about the sexual orientation though. I learned in the girls middle school locker room that being a little queer wasn’t a good thing to be. I was taught that being queer was wrong by my peers. I saw bisexual or lesbian girls be taunted and gay men be bullied and beat down by the basketball team. I didn’t want that to be my fate, so I never dated anyone but men during high school and never spoke of my curiosity towards being with another gender.
Back to my peers and the Christianity thing. So, they wanted to save me. Being a person with a crippling anxiety disorder, I began to fear for my eternal soul and beg for forgiveness to a higher power. I attended summer retreats in the hopes of washing away my impurities. I was baptized twice and I bought seven different copies of the Bible and three studying books in order to understand my faith. I discovered quickly that everything in the Bible isn’t daisies and roses. Most of it is full of contradictions, pain, and absolute shit honestly. But the thought of having a heaven to go to and the thought of being at peace from my anxiety-triggering existence was comforting and emotionally satisfying, especially since Christians attempt to embed the fears of hell into your head.
That changed during college. The more knowledgeable I became, the more I hated the things written in the Bible. I started drifting. I figured that I had a shot at testing the waters of who I truly was and decided to go for it. The more I learned about sex and gender, the less I became concerned with what gender my partner could be. Of course, this was learned through observing my attraction to people, not sexual encounters because I was, and still am in a relationship with a cis-man. He did on many occasions ask me to take a break and explore this side of me; which upon a major fight in our relationship, I did, but I loved him too much to stay out of the relationship for long.
So that happened. Along with that I decided on my major and career path. I want a dual major in Psychology and Sociology, and my focus study is human sexuality. Now, the more enveloped I become in social change, the less I rely on a higher being as an aid for my comfort. It never really brought me real comfort. Lets face it, fear brings out the strangest sensations, and I was and still am afraid of many things. However, I didn’t like feeling ashamed of being human and having desires. Why would I want to mentally traumatize myself for something that’s supposedly emotionally satisfying if it may not exist? Why would I shame myself for living, when it may be the only life I live?
I couldn’t answer those questions with a logical answer, so I expelled faith out of my mind. Now, I’m a Humanist and I’ve never been happier.
“Were you actually ever saved?” I’ve been asked this question often. Do you mean did I go through the process? Are you asking if I felt that lurch in my chest when I realized that I needed to change in order to go to heaven? If so, then yes, I was saved. I was brainwashed into believing it all. I shamed myself and harmed my mental state in order to have this emotional satisfaction. I even went as far as speaking in front of my congregation (of 200 people) about my salvation. I read from my paper, so it was easier than my most recent experience with public speaking. And now I’m unlearning all of that because all this time, I was lying to myself. For these reasons, I honestly feel like religion is toxic. It teaches you to feel bad because you’re are doing things that are natural and human. You’re taught that God loves you, but he will send you to hell in a heartbeat. You’re taught that prayer fixes things, yet we’ve seen that the only time a problem is solved is through human intervention. We’re told that we are being punished for something that our “ancestors” started. What is emotionally satisfying about any of this?
On average, Atheist are more Bible literate than Christians. Read the Bible, and really pay attention. The world needs more Atheists.
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I caught the bouquet at my friend’s wedding, which I find incredibly ironic considering that I don’t want to get married, and if I do get married I want to be as far away from traditional as possible.
I don’t want an all white gown. I want a gown in hues of bright colours. White was first worn by the Queen to save money for her country when she decided to marry. It has now become a symbol of virginity and happiness, which is funny because white use to mean sorrow and was worn at funerals until the day of the Queens marriage. As far as symbol of virginity, well lets be honest, I’m far from virgin and not at all ashamed.
I don’t want a veil. The veil was supposedly used to represent honor to the object or face, meaning that the wearer was pure and holy. In my opinion, that sounds like some incognito slut shame. It was also worn at funerals to represent mourning, so why was it adopted into wedding ceremonies? Maybe the bride had something to mourn. It grew as a tradition for women to wear them to the wedding. The purpose was because the groom did not know his bride.
Men from ALL religions use to buy daughters from their fathers to make them into wives; that is the unspoken truth of what marriage really is. This is why I don’t want my father to give me away. A father giving away his daughter at a wedding ceremony represented a contract; that the father approved of his decision to sell his daughter to this man. Women were property and marriage was a way to join families, not love or souls. This is also another reason a veil was used, as the groom usually didn’t see the bride, or brides, he bought until the wedding day. Please recall that I used wives, not wife, because men would buy many, many wives, not just one.
If I were to get married, we would most certainly NOT play Here Comes the Bride. That tune was actually meant to paint the picture of a mass murder! Bet you didn’t know that. The tune comes from the opera Lohengrin, where Bridal Chorus, aka Here Comes the Bride, is sung to Elsa and her new husband, Lohengrin, by the bridesmaids after the wedding, not before. And after that song, Lohengrin murders five wedding guests before abandoning Elsa.
I don’t want a preacher to wed us. I don’t want vows recited by religion. In the past, religion was the secret upholder of all the truths of traditional marriage. In the present, religion is the main reason our marriage laws still ask for a husband and a wife. What if Michael and I aren’t meant to be? I don’t like to think this way, but I must for a moment. What if I fall in love with a someone of the same gender, or third-gender or a gender identity that isn’t strictly male? Traditional marriage says I’m not allowed to marry them. I don’t want to be a part of a union that denies people of their rights, even if I were to marry a man. With that last statement, I vow to not get legally married until everyone has the same right to marry the person they love.
I absolutely refuse to have children, so any person who actually is crazy enough to put a ring on my finger will have to feel the same about children; no adoption, no birth. I have tocophobia, and I also have panic attacks when I’m around children who pay attention to me, and touch me, and ask a million questions; and my heart-rate is escalating just thinking about it so we will stop here. There are a lot more beautiful things that two human beings can accomplish than procreation.
I would rather elope, and/or change everything and make my own type of wedding. Maybe I’ll have a pirate wed us. Maybe I’ll wear red or blue. Maybe I’ll wear pants instead of a dress, or a prom dress since it’s cheaper. And I would definitely write the script and vows, with help from the other party of course.
Yea, I think I’ll definitely ask a pirate to wed us, on a ship, where the laws of the land won’t apply. And I will do this as soon as marriage laws are lgbt*q friendly.
I went to visit my old high school a couple of months ago for a retirement party for an old teacher of mine. I decided to walk around and look at the ghost of my past because that was the last time the school would be open. They built a new one in the center of the town, and now this thirty year old building is abandoned.
This is the entrance of the alternative school room from my old high school. I didn’t know what to think and I didn’t know what to write when I saw this, but I do now.
I was furious. When I was in here, it wasn’t labeled “second chances”. I think my testimony proves that you don’t receive a second chance from places like this. I served 98 days in that place. The room was white. I wasn’t suppose to talk. I sat in one place for eight hours. I was escorted everywhere. My friends abandoned me. Why? Because I was a cutter. I was depressed. I was suicidal. And I was treated like a criminal. Everyone in this room was treated like that, and we weren’t bad people.
We did the routine “why are you here” story time, and the “worst” of us all was a pot head who got caught dealing, and he wasn’t even dealing at the school. Not all pot smokers are bad, but my point being: I had a mental disorder, and I was thrown in a room with people who broke laws. They even placed a pregnant teenager in there because she was in 8th grade and that “sent a bad image to other students”, but she was almost 16. She was only in 8th grade because she was held back by her parents. All the while, we had a slew of pregnant high-school girls the same age as her who roamed the halls freely. Is that really how you give someone a second chance?
I didn’t even receive help. We had to do all our work online and I wasn’t even given a tutor when I started failing math. My friends were told by their parents to not speak to me because I was dangerous. Stevo, the guy I met in Alt. school, was the only one who understood, but even he was taken away from me. This is why I don’t trust anyone. My days spent here didn’t give me a second chance. My days spent here cemented my anxiety, depression, anger, and trust issues. I haven’t been the same since.
Fuck you MCHS. Just fuck you…