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Political misogyny

It recently occurred to me that patriarchy does not actually define people as “men” and “women.” it defines people as “men” and “not-men.” Of course, the most obvious and prevalent not-men in patriarchy have always been women, and in many ways patriarchy can be seen as an attempt to control the reproductive capacity. So it’s easy to think of patriarchy as mostly an attempt to limit the rights of women, which also makes it easy to think of feminism as primarily about advancing the rights of women, and misogyny as mostly about denigrating women. But I don’t think that gives…

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Dear evangelicals, I have a burden on my heart for you

Ran into this article, titled “Why most evangelicals don’t condemn Trump,” and started getting steamed. So, it’s Sunday, time to engage in the modern version of that time-honored evangelical tradition known as “complaining about the sermon in the car on the way home from church.” First, it’s written by somebody called Gary Abernathy, publisher and editor of the (Hillsboro, Ohio) Times-Gazette. So, standard disclaimer — I am an ex evangelical of the Pacific coast, and this might give me a different perspective than an ex evangelical of the midwest. With that out of the way, let’s get to it! Evangelical…

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Nothing to prove to a bully

Note: I originally started writing this post in October 2014, shortly after attending my first GeekGirlCon. But I didn’t post it then. Why not? I’m not sure. I think I might have not had a conclusion until a couple of months later, and by then it no longer seemed relevant. But after reading this article about the Russian propaganda machine, I realize that it’s more relevant than maybe I knew — things like Gamergate really were an early skirmish in this war. There’s a point where I speculate “But why video games? Why now?” and I have to admit that…

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But have you considered, really considered, the science of phrenology?

When I climbed on a plane to Scandinavia a few weeks ago, everybody was rolling their eyes about something I’m going to call the Googlebro Manifesto, written and sent around to his co-workers by a male software engineer who work(ed) at Google and was feeling all peevish about the existence of “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” by which he appears to mean “Google’s moderate steps to increase diversity and fairness in the workplace.” Specifically, diversity and fairness as they apply to women. What if, Googlebro wants to know, women are underrepresented in tech, not because of any pervasive cultural bias, but…

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A plague of toddlers

Peggy Noonan, a Reagan-era conservative, recently wrote an essay criticizing Donald Trump for being “Woody Allen Without the Humor.” It delivers some truth about Trump’s own character flaws. He is indeed “whiny, weepy and self-pitying” and possessed of a “mad, blubbery petulance.” But it also hits heavy with eye-rolling traditional masculinity framing about “the way American men used to like seeing themselves [..] the strong silent type celebrated in classic mid-20th century films—Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Henry Fonda.” vs. male characters who “couldn’t stop talking about their emotions, their resentments and needs [..] self-justifying as they acted out their cowardice…

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Clarion West Write-a-thon 2017: Week 5 progress report

The 2017 Clarion West Write-a-thon is happening now! You can sponsor me, or sponsor another writer. A shout-out to all the summer birthday kids, who marked their passage through life on family road trips and dried-out summer days, in suburban isolation or Vacation Bible School. Or, you know, during writing workshops. My birthday, coming as it does in the late middle part of July, is always during Clarion West, probably always during the fifth week. And so it was in 2006 when I attended the workshop. In fact, my birthday was on a Thursday that year too, and I spent…

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So about that “cowboy test” National Review article…

The 2017 Clarion West Write-a-thon is happening now! You can sponsor me, or sponsor another writer. By special request! I declare a snark battle with that dumb National Review essay comparing women to cowboys. But first, I do want to acknowledge something. It must be hard styling yourself as a “serious” or “intellectual” conservative these days. With Trump as standard-bearer of the Republican party, it has to be getting more difficult — exponentially, with each passing day — to continue convincing yourself that Republicans are the Very Serious Party, the party of thoughtfulness and prudence and sensible decision-making, with policies forged in the purest…

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In order to form a more purple union

A few years back — I think it was right after the, shall we say, disappointing results of the 2004 presidential election — I wrote an essay called “In order to form a more purple union” and posted it online, although now I can’t find it, so I’m not sure what platform I used. The point was to riff on the preamble to the Constitution, and also point out that the red state/blue state map is an illusion, and the country as a whole is really varying shades of purple. The electoral college is a funny thing, because you could…

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Clarion West Write-a-thon: Week 3 progress report

The 2017 Clarion West Write-a-thon is happening now! You can sponsor me, or sponsor another writer. Hello everyone! Here we are at the beginning of Week 3, which also means the beginning of July. So if you’re in the workshop, it’s either time for “OMG the workshop is already 1/3 over!” or, alternately, “OMG, we have the ENTIRE MONTH OF JULY to go!” One of my goals this year was to assidulously track my time and get some realistic picture of how to optimize my life around the needs of day job, writing, and life in general. After doing that…

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Jerks-for-Jesus and argument as combat

A week ago last Sunday, I arrived at 4th and Olive in Downtown Seattle for the big Pride Parade, and had just texted a friend to look for me at that intersection. But I shortly realized that a couple of Jerks-for-Jesus dudes with a megaphone were holding that corner. My first thought was to leave. Jerks-for-Jesus make me angry, and loud, distorted, unpleasant sounds make me angry, and I don’t like me when I’m angry. But then the thought of leaving made me even more angry. Why should I be the one to leave? They were the ones bothering everybody…

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Clarion West Write-a-thon 2017 Post 1: Father’s Day, science fiction, skepticism

Hello everyone and welcome to the first day of the 2017 Clarion West Write-a-thon, where you can sponsor me, or sponsor another writer, or sponsor all the writers. Sponsor somebody who isn’t me just to spite me! It’s okay! I realize it’s become one of my traditions to write weekly essays during the Write-a-thon, so if you’re just dying for me to write about something other than politics for a change, you’re in luck! (Fair warning: there might still be politics.) My three topics for this essay: Father’s Day, science fiction, and skepticism. My dad introduced me to science fiction,…

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The Christian case for pride

I’ve talked about how my first major break with the white evangelical mainstream was over gay rights when, as a teenager, in the 1980s, I decided I supported them. I was mostly pretty quiet about this decision. I didn’t have faith in my power to change anyone else’s mind, and wasn’t ready to deal with all the pushback I knew I would get from other people trying to change mine. But the thing I want to talk about right now is this: as a teenager, I concluded not only that I did support gay rights, I concluded that as a…

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Terrible people

Hey, I don’t want to get too out of line or anything here, but doesn’t it seem like maybe today’s conservative movement has become dominated by terrible people? I mean, on the same day that my friend publishes an article about her assault by a bunch of Trump followers in Seattle — Literally shaking after publishing this. But it was time. I Was Mobbed and Assaulted at a Conservative Rally https://t.co/dEDaiCqJV5 pic.twitter.com/G9OF9rRrh7 — Deep State Rosie (@MMASammich) May 24, 2017 A Republican candidate for office assaults a reporter for asking him about “Trumpcare” — @MMASammich I assume you’ve been following…

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