Friday, July 29, 2011

SSA Conference!

Just a short post, as I'm leaving soonish and still need to pack (curse you, procrastination!), but I'm heading off to the Secular Student Alliance's annual conference in Columbus, Ohio today, and I am excited!

As far as what I hope to get out of this, I'd really like to learn more about how to make a group female-friendly... but not in a way that's just targeting females. I'd also like to hear any opinions on making to whole "ladies' issues" engaging to guys without resorting to "it might get you laid." Quite frankly, I'm of the opinion that most problems are "human issues," rather than men's or women's specifically, but there I don't run into a whole lot of agreement on this.

To put it frankly, how the hell do I get a (mostly male) group to talk about something like the proposed requirement for health insurance providers to provide birth control free of charge without having them think that the only reason it's important is because they're less likely to knock someone up if it's put into effect?

Also, how to run better events. How to strike the right balance between what some people want and what others disagree with. How to forge good relations with faith-based groups. How to figure out whether something's a rumor or not, and how to keep it from spreading while we find out (more on this later). And whether anyone knows if Rock Beyond Belief is actually going to happen (seriously, I want to go)!

All that said, I'm mostly excited to meet everyone else there. I mean, c'mon, it's a conference which, if I extrapolate based on previous experiences with the Freethinkers, will be full of awesome people. Also, the awesome speaker list.

And I can't lie; I really just want to hug PZ Myers.... he just looks so huggable!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lipstick Feminism, or Why Dressing Like a Prostitute Still Promotes Sexism

I'm sure by now everyone and their mother has heard about the whole "Elevatorgate" thing, and the ensuing blogoshpere explosion over... well, everything involved (if you didn't – and I'll admit, I was in the dark for a while myself on this one – you can learn more about the whole controversy via Jen McCreight's blogpost on the matter or Greta Christina's great piece on why it's important, or really, just about any blog with any kind of opinions on atheism/feminism). Maybe you also saw Matt Dillahunty's awesome first (and probably only) go at drag this week on Atheist Experience.

With all that as a lead-in (and also because I feel like it), I figured now would be a great time to talk about how pissed it makes me when people either claim that feminists are manhating ugly women who need to get laid, or make the seemingly opposite claim that women embracing the culturally-prescribed social norm of looking hot will magically make misogyny a thing of the past.

Actually, now that I think about it, I really don't have to talk much about that first thing other than to say, "That's wrong, as well as stupid." Feminism opposes misogyny, but this is not the same as hating men; wanting to take privilege out of the equation doesn't mean feminists think males are inferior, but rather that we'd all like to be equal, thank you very much. Feminists aren't uglier than non-feminists any more than atheists are uglier than theists (though Conservapedia would have you think we're all fatties). Feminism is not restricted to females, just as advocating for gay rights isn't restricted to people who identify as LGBTetc. As regards to getting laid, well,  I doubt we need it any more desperately than anyone else, and certainly less than some!

Monday, July 18, 2011

I'm Still Alive, I Swear

Well, I am apparently ill-suited to regular updates in the summer. I suspect it's the lack of structure in my schedule; I feel like I have more time than I really do, so I keep putting things off. This is clearly something I need to work on.

Basically, this is post is just an update on my personal life combined with a promise of actual posts to come. I promise! I'll write something! Maybe even this week!

All in all, this summer has been completely awesome. It's also been busier than any summer except, perhaps, for the one prior to my senior year of high school. This summer, I have done the following: