Monday, October 29, 2012
For those interested, the original post is here.
I stumbled upon your post on reddit far too late to respond; it was already flooded with comments and the thread was fourteen hours old. Yet, TwoXChromosomes is one of my favorite internet forums, so I decided to take a gander at the post crowning the front page with nearly 1500 upvotes.
In your post you address the reactions of women to sexual harassment, specifically the women who are upset by it and seek solace on TwoX. You preface your post with the statement "I know not everyone is the same, obviously, and I mean absolutely no offense to anyone on TwoX, but what's the big deal?" Oh boy. I should have known then I was in for a treat. According to you, women who face sexual harassment or violence should just simply cuss out their harasser and move on with their lives. You don't understand why some women are so traumatized by it that they feel the need to take their frustrations out in an online forum that is meant to be a safe space for women. Well, let me fill you in.
First, I notice that you tend to be of the mindset that, since harassment does not bother you, it should not bother anyone else. You acknowledge that "everyone is different", yet your tone suggests that you are right and everyone else who has ever gotten upset over harassment is overreacting. Furthermore, you state that you have been raped and have been to therapy for it, so you know how it feels. I have no doubt that your experience with sexual violence was life changing, probably not in a great way. I commend you for getting therapy and recovering and I am in no way belittling your experience. However, just because you have been raped does not make you the foremost authority on what it feels like for each individual woman who also endures that. You know what rape feels like for you. Everyone experiences sexual violence differently, and it is not up to you to decide the legitimacy of a woman's response to it. Although you may have been able to recover from your experience, many women have not and street harassment can often be traumatizing and triggering for women who may have not healed.
Furthermore, many of us exist in spaces where it could be detrimental, even dangerous, to accuse someone of harassment or sexual violence. Not all of us have the privilege of feeling safe enough to make a snappy retort, let alone fight back. In fact, many of us are not even mentally capable of brushing off street harassment with a one liner. Years ago, when I had anxiety problems, a sexually charged comment from a stranger would be enough to send me into a panic attack. Even now, when I am catcalled on the street my first instinct is to freeze. My body goes into fight or flight response; how do I get out of here as fast as possible? Telling my harasser off is the last thing on my mind, and even if I tried I probably could not form a coherent sentence. My first instinct is to protect myself; only once I am safe can I reflect on the situation properly. See, even though adrenaline is pumping through my veins while I shuffle away, what upsets me is not the risk to my safety. Sure, I dislike being in dangerous situations, but that's not what rattles me the most. What gets me is that approximately 10 seconds prior, I was strutting down the street thinking of everything except my gender. Maybe I was considering my research, or my future grad school plans, or a funny cat video I saw on the internet. Regardless, as soon as that man chose to lean in too close to me on the El and whisper in my ear, every other thought flew from my mind. Now, I am painfully, acutely aware of just how female I am and my status as sexual property. This is what hurts the most.
Maybe you don't feel that way Megantron, and that's okay. Maybe you have a thicker skin than I do and can brush off these remarks with ease. However, you should realize that many women feel the same way I do, and there is nothing wrong with that either. The only thing wrong here is that men continue to harass and our society, you included, rather than asking ourselves what we can do to stop the attackers, keep interrogating the victims, finding any flaw in their reaction that might suddenly make this whole ordeal their fault. Why do we have to follow some unwritten rule book when we get harassed? Why must we follow some code of conduct to the tee when we are confronted inappropriately, so that when someone inevitably asks "How did you react?!" our answers can be flawless and polished, leaving everyone free of any doubt that we brought any of this on ourselves. I feel like this is the core reason why so many women are afraid to respond to their harassers; we are too scared to do it wrong. We are terrified that, should someone else see this exchange, our response might give the bystander some insight as to exactly why we apparently deserved this. Thus, we deem it better to remain silent, to never respond at all, rather than incriminate ourselves with a reaction.
I have no qualms with telling off a street harasser Megantron, more power to you if you can do it. What does upset me is the victim blaming in your post. You tried to delegitimize women's reactions to sexual harassment, and as a result found yet another way to blame the women who endure sexual harassment on a daily basis. Next time you feel the need to complain about sexual harassment, perhaps you should address the fact that we allow sexual harassment to exist as a hegemonic part of our society rather than tearing down the women seeking support on an internet forum. .
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
September 26- room 380
And some other notable Dates:
Secular Social: October 6
Hemant Mehta: October 16
Light the Night: October 20
Sagan Day: November 1st.
Events for these will be made on facebook and orgsync well in advance with all the information you'll need.
Monday, August 20, 2012
*please note, the contents of this post are the thoughts of the author, and do not reflect the position of everyone affiliated with DAFT*
So I was browsing around the internet looking for some new music to listen to. I very rarely get involved in the comment-section on youtube because it's mostly filled with the ramblings of 12 year olds trying to figure out how to deal with all the new hormones they're experiencing. But I came across a musician who writes some really excellent music so I thought I'd browse through the comments to see what other people think. And little to my surprise, there was an argument ablaze over god. Luckily enough the arguments weren't over some dogmatic issue, and the arguments for god were more like for some transcendental-abstract-hindu-buddhist-simplified-type-thing. I never really figured out how arguments over god's existence ever show up on completely unrelated videos on youtube, but alas, they do, and I'm sort of tired of it.
Now, as many of you may know I'm an anti-theist, and I'm damn very well active in my secular drive, but there comes a time when you have to just let an opportunity for argument go. Let me lend everyone in on a little-known fact in neuroscience: Your experiences, thoughts, emotions, are results of highly complex neuro-chemical reactions firing off in your brain. Some of the chemical's amounts are genetically controlled, others may be environmentally-dependent, either way- that's beyond the point.
Religious people's perceptions of god are a result of these reactions. Prayer, like a rather secular act of meditation, work similarly and evoke much of the same activity in the brain. They "feel" a holy presence, or a feeling of calmness because it's actually really there for them. They honestly feel something. Of course, the more scientifically minded will attribute those feelings to what they are: neurotransmitters going off, neurons blasting at eachother. Yet again, there are those that may not be as versed in these biological concepts; for them, the experience is attributed to whatever god or gods they were raised into believing. I would never deny someone's "religious" experience, as they really did have an experience. They really did feel something, in some more euphoric cases they may have even heard or seen something.
If someone interprets those experiences badly, which happens... a lot, we have every right to retaliate. When people use these experiences as rational for their bigotry, we have every right to fight back. When they want to force these experiences on the unwilling, we have every right in telling them to fuck off. When people want to use these experiences to drive pseudo-science and bullshit into minds of children, we have every right to argue.
On the other hand, when people use these experiences to do good. When people use these experiences to do non-discriminatory charity work, when people use these experiences to help others, to create things, to build things, to make art, to make music, to love- we have no fucking right to be assholes to them simply because they gain inspiration from somewhere else than us. Service, community, love are secular things, even if they're religiously inspired, as it benefits humanity.
So next time we come across a person of faith, let's examine if what they're doing is beneficial to the world. If it is, I'd recommend chipping in and helping a bit. If what they're doing is backwards, bigoted, crap that perturbs progress, continue to be the bad-ass juggernauts you are and inform them of their mistakes and work towards progress.
May you all be touched by his noodly appendage,
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
President: Andrew Tripp
Vice President: Arthur Wawrzyczek
Treasurer: Emily Mackmiller
Co-Media Liaisons : Erica Binelli and Sean Austin
Community Liaison: Heather Stebbins
Congratulations to the new board members and returning officers!
Sunday, May 20, 2012
- Lead/delegate meetings
- Schedule meetings (dates, times, places)
- Plan major events during the quarter (speakers, panels, fundraisers etc.)
- Represent DAFT at events (info fairs, our own events, events we’re invited to etc.)
- Arrange promotional tables as needed
- Manage SAF-B paperwork
- Communicate with president about meetings (including topics, dates, times, etc.)
- Assist president in meetings and events
- Run around and do things, really
- Manage money matters, etc.
- Manage SAF-B paperwork as well
- Record meetings/ideas from meetings for potential events and activities
- Follow up on event planning
- Post minutes to blog
Public Relations Liaison
- Update blog/twitter/youtube accounts
- Assemble contributors/topics to said accounts
- Communicate between DAFT and interfaith community/other on-campus groups
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Dominion: the power or right of governing and controlling; sovereignauthority.
To give a very quick lesson into some theology, in the Abrahamic faiths you have god making covenants (promises). The one I’d like to mention that is of relevance is the Noahic Covenant. I’m sure we’ve all heard the story of Noah, god tells some freakishly old dude to build a boat and fit a bunch of animals in it as his maniacal, genocidal, ass destroys the planet. God (I hate having to capitalize god because it’s the first word in a sentence…Atheist World Problems) then put up a rainbow and was all like (to paraphrase): “sorry dude, I won’t destroy the earth anymore.”
So why is it that the right-wingers are against environmental reform to combat climate change? Well, god told them they have dominion over the Earth to do with as they please and then promised he wouldn’t let the earth get all destroyed and stuff. I don’t want to speak about the dangers of this since it’s rather obvious and climate-change-denying congress-people are in the news all the time rolling their mouths to no end. Not to mention, of course, there’s hundreds of millions of dollars in the energy lobby to protect the interests of oil companies over the wellbeing of the planet and its people.
The environment should be very high on the list of important things for secularists. Our planet is a finely balanced machine of life; throw off the balance a little bit, you’ll get unprecedented mass extinction rates and increasingly destructive natural disasters. This is not some “hypothesis” those damn satan-worshiping liberal communist scientists came up with. This is a demonstrable fact and a serious issue that seems to be thrown away by politicians and laymen on a daily basis.
As secularists, we must understand that we are responsible for ourselves and the welfare of the planet and each other. While it is true that we will not live to see the full effects of man-made-climate-change, there are generations that will succeed us and will be forced to cope with a progressively more desperate situation. It is our responsibility to our home planet, its many citizens, and its future, that we begin to consider the ramifications of the crap we’re spewing into the air.
“Our planet is a living organism and we must treat her carefully.” –Tim Minchin. “We are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically.”- Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
On this Earth Day, 2012, I urge all secularists and allies to bring forth this issue and shine some godless light on the consequences of our belligerent exploitation of non-renewable resources. There is no god to fix the planet when we destroy and there is nowhere else to go that can support our species. This is not the time to make excuses and think of outlandish terraforming ideas for the moon. This is the time to recognize our responsibilities as part of a larger system to preserve what we should cherish more than anything: life.