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November 13 2017

The rules about responding to call outs aren’t working





Privileged people rarely take the voices of marginalized people seriously. Social justices spaces attempt to fix this with rules about how to respond to when marginalized people tell you that you’ve done something wrong. Like most formal descriptions of social skills, the rules don’t quite match reality. This is causing some problems that I think we could fix with a more honest conversation about how to respond to criticism.

The formal social justice rules say something like this:

  • You should listen to marginalized people.
  • When a marginalized person calls you out, don’t argue.
  • Believe them, apologize, and don’t do it again.
  • When you see others doing what you were called out for doing, call them out.

Those rules are a good approximation of some things, but they don’t actually work. It is impossible to follow them literally, in part because:

  • Marginalized people are not a monolith. 
  • Marginalized people have the same range of opinions as privileged people.
  • When two marginalized people tell you logically incompatible things, it is impossible to act on both sets of instructions.
  • For instance, some women believe that abortion is a human right foundational human right for women. Some women believe that abortion is murder and an attack on women and girls.
  • “Listen to women” doesn’t tell you who to believe, what policy to support, or how to talk about abortion. 
  • For instance, some women believe that religious rules about clothing liberate women from sexual objectification, other women believe that religious rules about clothing sexually objectify women. 
  • “Listen to women” doesn’t tell you what to believe about modesty rules. 
  • Narrowing it to “listen to women of minority faiths” doesn’t help, because women disagree about this within every faith.
  • When “listen to marginalized people” means “adopt a particular position”, marginalized people are treated as rhetorical props rather than real people.
  • Objectifying marginalized people does not create justice.

Since the rule is literally impossible to follow, no one is actually succeeding at following it. What usually ends up happening when people try is that:

  • One opinion gets lifted up as “the position of marginalized people” 
  • Agreeing with that opinion is called “listen to marginalized people”
  • Disagreeing with that opinion is called “talking over marginalized people”
  • Marginalized people who disagree with that opinion are called out by privileged people for “talking over marginalized people”.
  • This results in a lot of fights over who is the true voice of the marginalized people.
  • We need an approach that is more conducive to real listening and learning.

This version of the rule also leaves us open to sabotage:

  • There are a lot of people who don’t want us to be able to talk to each other and build effective coalitions.
  • Some of them are using the language of call-outs to undermine everyone who emerges as an effective progressive leader. 
  • They say that they are marginalized people, and make up lies about leaders.
  • Or they say things that are technically true, but taken out of context in deliberately misleading ways.
  • The rules about shutting up and listening to marginalized people make it very difficult to contradict these lies and distortions. 
  • (Sometimes they really are members of the marginalized groups they claim to speak for. Sometimes they’re outright lying about who they are).
  • (For instance, Russian intelligence agents have used social media to pretend to be marginalized Americans and spread lies about Hillary Clinton.)

The formal rule is also easily exploited by abusive people, along these lines:

  • An abusive person convinces their victim that they are the voice of marginalized people.
  • The abuser uses the rules about “when people tell you that you’re being oppressive, don’t argue” to control the victim.
  • Whenever the victim tries to stand up for themself, the abuser tells the victim that they’re being oppressive.
  • That can be a powerfully effective way to make victims in our communities feel that they have no right to resist abuse. 
  • This can also prevent victims from getting support in basic ways.
  • Abusers can send victims into depression spirals by convincing them that everything that brings them pleasure is oppressive and immoral. 
  • The abuser may also isolate the victim by telling them that it would be oppressive for them to spend time with their friends and family, try to access victim services, or call the police. 
  • The abuser may also separate the victim from their community and natural allies by spreading baseless rumors about their supposed oppressive behavior. (Or threatening to do so).
  • When there are rules against questioning call outs, there are also implicit rules against taking the side of a victim when the abuser uses the language of calling out.
  • Rules that say some people should unconditionally defer to others are always dangerous.

The rule also lacks intersectionality:

  • No one experiences every form of oppression or every form of privilege.
  • Call-outs often involve people who are marginalized in different ways. 
  • Often, both sides in the conflict have a point.
  • For instance, black men have male privilege and white women have white privilege.
  • If a white woman calls a black man out for sexism and he responds by calling her out for racism (or vice versa), “listened to marginalized people” isn’t a very helpful rule because they’re both marginalized.
  • These conversations tend to degenerate into an argument about which form of marginalization is most significant.
  • This prevents people involved from actually listening to each other.
  • In conflicts like this, it’s often the case that both sides have a legitimate point. (In ways that are often not immediately obvious.)
  • We need to be able to work through these conflicts without expecting simplistic rules to resolve them in advance.

This rule also tends to prevent groups centered around one form of marginalized from coming to engage with other forms of marginalization:

  • For instance, in some spaces, racism and sexism are known to be issues, but ableism is not.
  • (This can occur in any combination. Eg: There are also spaces that get ableism and sexism but not racism, and spaces that get economic justice and racism but not antisemitism, or any number of other things.)
  • When disabled people raise the issue of ableism in any context (social justice or otherwise), they’re likely to be shouted down and told that it’s not important.
  • In social justice spaces, this shouting down is often done in the name of “listening to marginalized people”.
  • For instance, disabled people may be told ‘you need to listen to marginalized people and de-center your issues’, carrying the implication that ableism is less important than other forms of oppression.
  • (This happens to *every* marginalized group in some context or other.)
  • If we want real intersectional solidarity, we need to have space for ongoing conflicts that are not simple to resolve.

Tl;dr “Shut up and listen to marginalized people” isn’t quite the right rule, because it objectifies marginalized people, leaves us open to sabotage, enables abuse, and prevents us from working through conflicts in a substantive way. We need to do better by each other, and start listening for real.

@officialprydonchapter A Good Post

tags via @shinelikethunder#an excellent summary #tumblr ‘social justice’#although this has been going on since before tumblr was so much as a twinkle in satan’s eye#it has been endemic FROM THE START in the places that spawned SJ-as-we-know-it in the mid/late aughts#and the ability to use this mechanism to shut down criticism#is why it’s been spiraling deeper and deeper into cruelty and absurdity ever since#if you’ve never heard the woeful saga of Winterfox/RequiresHate please google the Mixon Report right now#this has been going on FROM. THE. START.#these norms were in many cases shaped/put in place/institutionalized by bullies and abusers for maximum exploitability#they are not some gloves-off more-effective replacement for social liberalism#they are so far beyond ineffective as to be more like active sabotage#don’t participate in the eating of your own just to uphold a value system *designed* to give some people unquestioned social power#even if the brute-force reallocation of power and control is allegedly for the benefit of the powerless#*that’s how they get you* that’s how they short-circuit the anti-authoritarian parts of your value system#and if the claim is that this is the only way to empower the powerless it’s long past time to start judging it on results

OP’s post was just long enough that it took me two tries to finish (add hell …) but it’s right on the nose about how ‘listen to marginalized people without question’ has been exploited in socially conscientious circles to cause infighting, decimate attempts to be intersectional/contributes to building a ‘reverse social strata’ rather than an intersectional one, and allows the meanest bullies and the most Machiavellian people to consolidate power and perpetuate control.

(and here’s a link to the mixon report. the wf/rh/bs story is highly illustrative. trigger warnings for graphic descriptions of mutilation.)

Honestly it’s stuff like this that led me to come up with the Piano-Tuning Metaphor  for Social Justice.

I wouldn’t call it the be-all and end-all solution, but I’ve found it a useful way to deal with “who do we center” and “how do we have specific conversations” and “When is it speaking up and when is it derailing?”

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This is my first coding assignment for my software engineering class that started today. It’s going to be a really good semester.

UPDATE: I got my grade back and


Since this post has gotten some attention, I feel like it’s worth mentioning that this was just the first half of the assignment.

The second half, which we weren’t made aware of until the day we were meant to turn this one in, was to trade USB drives with the person sitting next to us and MODIFY their “unreadable” code without getting any help from them.

This was to teach us two things:

1) In this field, you’ll spend more time working with code written by other people than you will writing original code from a blank slate. The people who wrote the original code will probably not be around to help you. Learning to read code is IMPORTANT, even if it seems unreadable.

2) There is a strong brotherhood/sisterhood among programmers and software engineers. Respect that bond when you’re writing code and documentation. In my professor’s words: “When you write code, pretend that the person who will have to maintain it after you’re gone is a homicidal maniac who knows where you live.”

This class and professor are incredible.


the reason this is all bullshit is because betty could just like hey babes, i gotta pretend to cut you out in public or else the black hood is gonna kill people and veronica and juggie would be like COOL GIRL. LUV YOU, MEAN IT. KEEP HIM DISTRACTED AND WE’LL CIRCLE AROUND AND SURPRISE HIM FROM BEHIND.

right cus like.
fucking friendship etc.

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Archie Andrews: A true Cheryl Blossom stan

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i’m 101% sure that this entire line was improv and tom couldn’t help it

“Yeah, that was basically, we did about six different versions of that story, and that was just us standing around while the cameras were rolling and I would just feed them lines and feed Chris ideas for stories. I’d say, “Do another one, in this one say: ‘I was walking through a field, and I saw a lovey Turkish rug in the middle of the grass, and I love Turkish rugs, so I went to stand on it, and it was Loki, and he turned back into Loki and there was a hole and I fell through the hole was was impaled on a whole lot of spikes.’” So we did versions of that, and the one with the snake just ended up being the one we used.”
—Taika Waititi, Empire Magazine Podcast, 6/11/17, 00:23:25 (x)


I choose to beliee every version of this story is true

and is just a different tale of when Loki turned into something ridiculous

and tried to murder his brother

I don’t know what makes this funnier, the idea that Loki kept trying the same prank, or that Thor kept falling for it.




Rise of the ‘bromance’ threatens heterosexual relationships, warn social scientists




this is so fucking funny

scientists, seeing dudes learn how to make actual friends: ah fuck how are they gonna use women for emotional labor now

Why you should always side eye shit that comes up in newspapers: this sample size though.

“To be part of the research, participants needed to identify as heterosexual and be in the second year of their university studies. The limitation to second-year students was to enable the examination of men who had sufficient time to develop friendships with their university peers—having had 18 months to befriend and develop intimate bonds with other men and live in the same house as close male friends. We recruited all thirty students from various across the university sports department through advertising in lectures and word of mouth, with all of the participants presenting themselves to the researchers. We recruited eighteen of the students from one particular class for this study because of the ease of access, with the remaining twelve in the same degree program volunteering to be interviewed through snowball sampling. We stopped interviewing at thirty because we had reached data saturation. “

  I took this from the actual journal article. 30 guys from the same university. 

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Trying to remember what scene this is from. Why does he look so uncertain? Lincoln is a stone cold killer behind his smiling face. Fascinating.

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With full knowledge that I was emotionally abused throughout an entire shoot


by a male FX artists and his assistant—I was not asked back on the next production because, “I don’t get along with him.”




I want someone to explain to me this…

How are there more than just two genders?
How is it that gender is different from sex?
Why would you consider gender to be a social construct?
How is gender a spectrum?
Why do you feel the need to disassociate gender and sex when biologist have already proved that gender and sex are the same thing?

Personally speaking, I don’t understand why anyone would want to try and push gender identity shit down other people’s throats in the most radical way possible, but it’s fucking annoying as hell. To think that you know better than what biologist have studied for years makes me question your intelligence.

Here’s some food for thought people:

XX chromosomes = Female
XY chromosomes = Male

Penis = Male
Vagina = Female

Testosterone = Male
Estrogen + Progesterone = Female

Gender = Sex

Until you can come up with a reason as to why gender isn’t biological and why I’m a piece of shit for not believing your bullshit, then please stop trying to change around shit just because you hate to hear the opposing voice and accept the facts as they are.

This is an open response to those who believe in the multiple genders/gender spectrum bullshit.

oh boy, you’re in for a hell of a ride. and don’t worry, there will a TL;DR at the bottom of this post just in case you’re too lazy to read or are simply unwilling to have your ignorant worldview dismantled by actual concrete facts.

but first, let’s look into the social construction of the gender binary and gender itself. 

the narrow-minded idea that there are only two genders has been continuously debunked by biologists, psychologists, anthropologists, and doctors alike, first of all. second, gender and sex aren’t necessarily the same thing, but they are both the same in the sense that they are both social constructs made to describe natural phenomenon, not actually based in any scientific reality. much like the concept of species; it’s a model, and no model is an actuality—then it would not be a model, it would be a fact. 

simply put, gender is only your sense of, and internal mental relationship to masculinity, femininity, and androgyny, which can be expressed through words, behavior, or clothes. in other words, it is simply an intimate and personal sense of self in relation to gender, gender roles, and one’s physical body. it does not actually have anything to do with biology—even less so than sex. reproductive organs are not related whatsoever with gender. sure, it’s typical for the majority of people to identify with a gender that’s associated with their genitals, but that doesn’t mean it’s normal. the majority doesn’t outweigh the minority, and isn’t any more significant than them. the majority of people are straight, but that doesn’t mean gay people are abnormal, it means they’re less common. much is the same with people whose gender does not match the gender they were assigned at birth. suggesting your gender relies solely on your genitals is also very harmful for people who are intersex. ultimately, your gender is in your head and it is mutually exclusive from your genitals or any other attribute of the physical body. there is truly no scientific, biological, or medical basis for any sort of binary system of gender, and in fact the gender binary completely contradicts the laws of natural variation.

The Yogyakarta Principles on The Application of International Human Rights Law in Relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity further elaborates on the definition of gender to be “each person’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned at birth, including the personal sense of the body (which may involve, if freely chosen, modification of bodily appearance or function by medical, surgical or other means) and other expressions of gender, including dress, speech and mannerisms.” the principle 3 of this document reads as follows: “A person of diverse sexual orientation and gender identities shall enjoy legal capacity in all aspects of life. Each person’s self-defined sexual orientation and gender identity is integral to their personality and is one of the most basic aspects of self-determination, dignity and freedom”.

citations from other works of literature:

• Wendy Wood, “Gender: An Interdisciplinary Perspective” (2010)  

- “Sociological explanations, in turn, often fail to recognize that gender beliefs are influenced by individual-level factors. For example, people differ in the extent to which they hold gender identities, or personally identify with a sex category. Although identities often reflect categories of male or female, they also may include alternatives (e.g., intersex, transgender). The specific content of gender identities can include communal or agentic personality attributes, gender-typed interests and occupations, or gendered ways of relating to others. Men and women act in gendered ways as they regulate their behavior in line with a valued gender identity. Thus, people may do gender because it enhances their self-esteem and positive feelings.” (p.g. 337) 

Judith Butler, Gender Trouble (1990)

- “If gender is the cultural meanings that the sexed body assumes, then a gender cannot be said to follow from a sex in any one way. Taken to its logical limit, the sex/gender distinction suggests a radical discontinuity between sexed bodies and culturally constructed genders. Assuming for the moment the stability of binary sex, it does not follow that the construction of ‘men’ will accrue exclusively to the bodies of males or that ‘women’ will interpret only female bodies. Further, even if the sexes appear to be unproblematically binary in their morphology and constitution (which will become a question), there is no reason to assume that genders ought also to remain as two. The presumption of a binary gender system implicitly retains the belief in a mimetic relation of gender to sex whereby gender mirrors sex or is otherwise restricted by it. When the constructed status of gender is theorized as radically independent of sex, gender itself becomes a free-floating artifice, with the consequence that man and masculine might just as easily signify a female body as a male one, and woman and feminine a male body as easily as a female one.” (p.g. 10) 

Gerald N. Callahan, Between XX and XY: Intersexuality and the Myth of Two Sexes (2009)

- “We understand that gender—the ways that society molds us into proper girls or boys, men or women—is complicated. Gender depends on lots of things—upbringing, culture,the stories fed to us by television and movies, hormones, and power struggles.” (p.g. x-xi)

- “…there is a naivete about the way we ignore the fact that some people don’t fit neatly into the either-or of gender. I believe that gender is rather a continuum than an either-or proposition.” (p.g. 108)

Anne Fausto-Sterling, Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality (2000)  

- “All of which brings me back to the five sexes. I imagine a future in which our knowledge of the body has led to resistance against medical surveillance, in which medical science has been placed at the service of gender variability, and genders have multiplied beyond currently fathomable limits. Suzanne Kessler suggests that ‘gender variability can… be seen… in a new way—as an expansion of what is meant by male and female.’ Ultimately, perhaps, concepts of masculinity and femininity might overlap so completely as to render the very notion of gender difference irrelevant.” (p.g. 101)

- “Given the discrimination and violence faced by those whose cultural and physical genitals don’t match, legal protections are needed during the transition to a gender-diverse utopia. It would help to eliminate the ‘gender’ category from licenses, passports, and the like. The transgender activist Leslie Feinberg writes: ‘Sex categories should be removed from all basic identification papers—from driver’s licenses to passports—and since the right of each person to define their own sex is so basic, it should be eliminated from birth certificates as well.’ Indeed, why are physical genitals necessary for identification? Surely attributes both more visible (such as height, build, and eye color) and less visible (fingerprints and DNA profiles) would be of greater use. Transgender activists have written ‘An International Bill of Gender Rights’ that includes (among ten gender rights) ‘the right to define gender identity, the right to control and change one’s own body, the right to sexual expression and the right to form committed, loving relationships and enter into marital contracts.’” (p.g. 111)

there are no limitations on who you are, how you feel, or what identity you construct for yourself, therefore people can and do construct more gender than the two traditional ones, and all of them are valid. plus, the simple fact that some people don’t identify as one of the two binary genders is proof that there are other genders. if someone identifies are nonbinary, then nonbinary people exist. it’s that simple. even if that’s just one person, it exists in society, ergo it is.

now this is a fun one; let’s move on to the social construction of “biological” sex. 

even if gender was the exact same thing as sex, it still would be neither binary nor a scientific absolute. in her novel Sexing the Body, Anne Fausto-Sterling explains that there are 5 specific measures of “biological sex” according to modern medical science:

1. chromosomes (male:  XY, female: XX)

2. genitalia (male: penis, female vulva and vagina)

3. gonads (male: testes, female: ovaries)

4. hormones (male: high testosterone, low estrogen, low progesterone; female: high estrogen, high progesterone, low testosterone)

5. secondary sex characteristics (male: large amounts of dark, thick, coarse body hair, noticeable facial hair, low waist to hip ratio, no noticeable breast development; female: fine, light colored body hair, no noticeable facial hair, high waist to hip ratio, noticeable breast development)

in real life, very few people actually match up with all five categories. estimates by the intersex society of north america notes the frequency and prevalence of intersex conditions, and puts the total rate of human bodies that “differ from standard male or female” at around one in 100, while anne fausto-sterling estimates that 1.7% of the population do not fall within the usual sex classifications. however, both of these estimations are somewhat outdated, so it could easily be a much higher percentage. 

there are people out there with XY chromosomes, testes, a vulva, a vagina, “female” secondary sex characteristics, and “male” hormone patterns; people with XX chromosomes, testes, a penis, “male” secondary characteristics and “female” hormone patterns, and there are even people with both “male” and “female” secondary sex characteristics or hormone patterns at the same time, regardless of their genes, gonads, or genitalia. now, these people are technically intersex assuming that the two sex system is absolutely true. however, in order for the binary to even be considered real, every single person on earth must completely match up on all 5 markers of sex all the time. that’s not what happens in real life. in real life, literally tens, if not hundreds of MILLIONS of people have bodies that are contrary to the biological concept of the two sex system. 

let’s look further into Fausto-Sterling’s book and consider the case of the athlete maria patiño. patiño has “female” genetalia, and she has always considered herself to be female and was considered so by others. however, she was discovered to have XY chromosomes and was barred from competing in women’s sports. patiño’s genitalia were at odds with her chromosomes and the latter were taken to determine her sex, and she successfully fought to be recognized as a female athlete, arguing that her chromosomes alone were not sufficient enough to not make her female. intersex people like patiño illustrate that our understandings of sex differ and suggest that there is no immediately obvious way to settle what sex amounts to purely biologically or scientifically. deciding what sex is involves evaluative judgements that are influenced by social factors.

the only thing in your body that has a “biological sex” in any sense is your gametes, which some people don’t even produce, which your body can easily stop producing, and which are a very minuscule part of the rest of your body. the rest of your body, including your genitals, has no “biological sex”.

citations from other works of literature:

Anne Fausto-Sterling, Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality (2000)

- “Consider Angela Moreno’s more recent tale. In 1985, when she was twelve years old, her clitoris grew to a length of 1.5 inches. Having nothing to compare this to, she thought she was normal. But her mother noticed and with alarm hauled her off to a doctor who told her she had ovarian cancer and needed a hysterectomy. Her parents told her that no matter what, she would still be their little girl. When she awoke from surgery, however, her clitoris was gone. Not until she was twenty-three did she find out she was XY and had had testes, not ovaries. She never had cancer. Today Moreno has become an ISNA activist and credits ISNA with helping her heal psychologically from the damage done by lies and surgery.” (p.g. 84)

- “We stand now at a fork in the road. To the right we can walk toward reaffirmation of the naturalness of the number 2 and continue to develop new medical technology, including gene ‘therapy’ and new prenatal interventions to ensure the birth of only two sexes. To the left, we can hike up the hill of natural and cultural variability. Traditionally, in European and American culture we have defined two genders, each with a range of permissible behaviors; but things have begun to change. There are househusbands and women fighter pilots. There are feminine lesbians and gay men both buff and butch. [Transgender people] render the sex/gender divide virtually unintelligible.” (p.g. 101)

-  “Because of their loyalty to a two-gender system, some scientists resisted the implications of new experiments that produced increasingly contradictory evidence about the uniqueness of male and female hormones. Frank, for example, puzzling at his ability to isolate female hormone from ‘the bodies of males whose masculine characteristics and ability to impregnate females is unquestioned,’ finally decided that the answer lay in contrary hormones found in the bile. Others suggested that the finding of adrenal sex hormones could ‘save’ the hypothesis of separate sex-hormonal spheres.” (p.g. 191)

- “But scientists are a diverse lot, and not everyone responded to the new results by trying to fit them into the dominant gender system. Parkes, for example, acknowledged the finding of androgen and estrogen production by the adrenal glands as ‘a final blow to any clear-cut idea of sexuality.’ Others wondered about the very concept of sex. In a review of the 1932 edition of Sex and Internal Secretions, the British endocrinologist F. A. E. Crew went even further, asking ‘Is sex imaginary?… It is the case,’ he wrote, ‘that the philosophical basis of modern sex research has always been extraordinarily poor, and it can be said that the American workers have done more than the rest of us in destroying the faith in the existence of the very thing that we attempt to analyze.’” (p.g. 191-192) {

 Anne Fausto-Sterling,  “The Sex/Gender Perplex” (2000)  

- “Deciding whether to call a child a boy or a girl, then, employs social definitions of the essential components of gender. Such definitions, as Suzanne Kessler observes, are primarily cultural, rather than biological. Consider, as another example of this claim, problems caused by introducing European and American medical approaches into cultures with different systems of gender. For example, a group of physicians from Saudi Arabia recently reported on several cases of XX intersex children with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), a genetically inherited malfunction of enzymes which aid in making steroid hormones. Despite having two X chromosomes, some CAH children are born with highly masculinized genitalia and are initially identified as males.” (p.g. 643)

Judith Lorber, Believing is Seeing: Biology as Ideology; Gender and Society, Vol. 7, No. 4 (1993) 

- “…bodies differ in many ways physiologically, but they are completely transformed by social practices to fit into the salient categories of a society, the most pervasive of which are ‘female’ and ‘male’ and ‘women’ and ‘men.’” (p.g. 569)

• Lisa Adkins, Sex in Question: French Materialist Feminism (1996) 

-“One of the most important developments in early 1990s’ anglophone feminist theory is seen to be the destabilisation of the apparent orthodoxy regarding the relationship between sex and gender. It is no longer assumed that sex is a ‘natural’ or ‘biological’ category, with gender a social or cultural construction somehow imposed on top of it. ‘Sex’ is increasingly recognised as a sociohistorical product, rather than a fixed, transhistorical, or taken-for-granted category.” (p.g. 15)

- “… that the division of society into two sexes is the product, and not the cause, of oppression; that ‘sex’ is a political category and there would be no ‘sex’ without oppression; and that heterosexuality is of central importance in defining the sexes as natural, different and complementary.” (p.g. 16) 

 Maria Lugones, “The Coloniality of Gender” (2008) 

- “Despite [countless] anthropological and medical studies to the contrary, society presumes an unambiguous binary sex paradigm in which all individuals can be classified neatly as male or female.” (p.g. 6) 

 Sarah Richardson, “Sexing the X: How the X Became the ‘Female Chromosome’” (2012)

- “…the human X chromosome carries a large collection of male sperm genes.” (p.g. 909)

- “Currently, there is a broad popular, scientific, and medical conception of the X chromosome as the mediator of the differences between males and females, as the carrier of female-specific traits, or otherwise as a substrate of femaleness… associations between the X and femaleness are the accumulated product of contingent historical and material processes and events, and they are inflected by beliefs rooted in gender ideology.” (p.g. 927) 

Gerald N. Callahan, Between XX and XY: Intersexuality and the Myth of Two Sexes (2009)

- “In truth, humans come in an amazing number of forms, because human development, including human sexual development, is not an either/or proposition. Instead, between “either” and “or” there is an entire spectrum of possibilities. Some people come into this world with a vagina and testes. Others begin their lives as girls but at puberty become boys. Though we’ve been told that Y chromosomes make boys, there are women in this world with Y chromosomes, and there are men without Y chromosomes. Beyond that, there are people who have only a single unpaired X chromosome. There are also people who are XXY, XXXY, or XXXXY…There are babies born with XYY, XXX, or any of a dozen or more other known variations involving X or Y chromosomes. We humans are a diverse lot.” (p.g. xi-xii)

- “Nondisjunction can happen with any chromosome, including the sex chromosomes X and Y. A single sperm or egg may end up with two, three, or more X chromosomes, and a single sperm may hold more than one Y chromosome. In truth, sperm and eggs come in variety packs. If that alone isn’t enough to derail the simple XX/XY, female/male idea, a mystery known as anaphase lag can also cause developing sperm or ova to lose an X or a Y chromosome along the way. And even after fertilization, sex chromosomes can be lost or gained. And even among men with the normal 46,XY karyotype, the size of the Y chromosome can vary. That means that my Y chromosome might be three times the size of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Y chromosome. Here certainly, quantity matters; perhaps size does as well. The end product is a panoply of possible sexes by any definition, an array of human beings as grand and as varietal as the fragrances of flowers: 45,X; 47,XXX; 48,XXXX; 49,XXXXX; 47,XYY; 47,XXY; 48,XXXY; 49,XXXXY; and 49,XXXYY.” (p.g. 62)

- “Intersex people are not a few freakish, unfortunate outliers. They are instead the most complete demonstration of our humanity… We, as a society, are very hard on people who don’t fit out preconceptions, especially our preconceptions about sex. What intersex people have shown us is the truth about all of us. There are infinite chemical and cellular pathways to becoming human. […] Sex isn’t a switch we can easily flip between two poles. Between those two imaginary poles lies an infinite number of possibilities.” (p.g. 163)

 Anonymous Author, “The Problematic Ideology of Natural Sex” (2016)

- “Around the world, over the past four or five hundred years, people have been cajoled, threatened, forcibly re-educated, beaten, imprisoned, locked in mental hospitals, put in the stocks, publicly humiliated, mutilated, and burnt at the stake for violating one or more of the precepts of ‘Natural [Biological] Sex.’ That’s the sure sign of enforced ideology, not a true natural law…” 

- “If we truly believe in science, in a rational world where we look objectively at what is, rather than impose our beliefs onto reality, then we need to reject the Ideology of Natural Sex. We need to see the reality of the sex spectrum and stop framing intersexuality as a rare disorder that somehow violates natural law. We need to understand that different societies have divided the sex spectrum up into different numbers of social sexes, and that binary sex is no more or less arbitrary than trinary or quartic sex systems…” 

 Courtney Adison, “Human Sex is Not Simply Male or Female. So What?” (2016) 

- “It is no surprise, then, that the sex binary is so firmly rooted in Euro-American thought, along with many others (think body and mind, nature and culture). It underpins and naturalises gendered divisions of labour through, for example, the notion of women as the weaker sex. Language mirrors the distinction between male and female, as in the way we talk about the sexes as ‘opposite’, and throughout life we are encouraged to think in binary terms about this central aspect of our existence.”

- “While these gendered binaries play out in social life in reasonably clear ways, they also seep into places conventionally seen as immune to bias. For example, they permeate sex science. In her paper ‘The Egg and the Sperm’ (1991), the anthropologist Emily Martin reported on the ‘scientific fairy tale’ of reproductive biology… scientific knowledge is produced in culturally patterned ways and, for Euro-American scientists, gendered assumptions make up a large part of this patterning.”

- “In Gender Trouble (1990), the feminist theorist Judith Butler argues that the insistence on sex as a natural category is itself evidence of its very unnaturalness. While the notion of gender as constructed (through interaction, socialisation and so on) was gaining some acceptance at this time, Butler’s point was that sex as well as gender was being culturally produced all along. It comes as no surprise to those familiar with Butler, Martin and the likes, that recent scientific findings suggest that sex is in fact non-binary. Attempts to cling to the binary view of sex now look like stubborn resistance to a changing paradigm. In her survey paper ‘Sex Redefined’ (2015) in Nature, Claire Ainsworth identified numerous cases supporting the biological claim that sex is far from binary, and is best seen as a spectrum. The most remarkable example was that of a 70-year-old father of four who went into the operating room for routine surgery only for his surgeon to discover that he had a womb.”

- “Looking to other times and to other cultures, we are reminded that sex is to some degree produced through the assumptions we make about each other and our bodies. Modern science is moving towards consensus on sex as a spectrum rather than a simple male/female binary, and it is time to start casting around for new ways of thinking about this fundamental aspect of what we are. Historical and anthropological studies provide a rich resource for re-imagining sex, reminding us that the sex spectrum itself is rooted in Euro-Western views of the person and body, and inviting critical engagement with our most basic biological assumptions.”

 Thomas Laqueur, Making Sex (1992) 

- “For quite different reasons, Catharine MacKinnon argues explicitly that gender is the division of men and women caused ‘by the social requirements of heterosexuality, which institutionalizes male sexual dominance and female sexual submission’; sex-which comes to the same thing-is social relations ‘organized so that men may dominate and women must submit.’ ‘Science’, Ruth Bleier argues, mistakenly views ‘gender attributions as natural categories for which biological explanations are appropriate and even necessary.’ Thus some of the so called sex differences in biological and sociological research turn out to be gender differences after all, and the distinction between nature and culture collapses as the former folds into the latter.” (p.g. 13) 

-  “There are two explanations for how the two modem sexes as we imagine them were, and continue to be, invented: one is epistemological and the other is, broadly speaking, political.” (p.g. 151)

 Asia Friedman, Blind to Sameness: Sexpectations and the Social Construction of Male and Female Bodies (2013)

- “Thomas Laqueur argues that in the past, specifically prior to the 19th Century, male and female bodies were seen very differently than they are today. They were perceived as more similar than different, and instead of two sexes, there were just two variations of one sex. Laqueur further demonstrates that the shift in perception to seeing the sexes as two categorically different things was not the result of gaining more scientific knowledge, since many of the relevant discoveries were actually made after the fact… So the question for Laqueur is, if it was not due to advances in specific scientific knowledge of sex differences, what was responsible for that shift from seeing one to seeing two sexes? And his answer is essentially cultural change. He argues that sex or the body is the epiphenomenon, while gender, what we would normally take to be the cultural category, is what is primary. Marian Lowe makes a similar point when she argues that ‘if race, sex, and class were not politically and economically significant categories it is likely that no one would care very much about biological differences between members of these groups. To pay attention to the study of sex differences would be rather peculiar in a society where their political importance was small.’” (p.g. 45-46) 

- “Further, regarding chromosomes, keep in mind that XX and XY are 50% the same, and the egg and the sperm actually have the same sex chromosomes every time both contribute an “X” to make a female. Sarah Richardson offers a much more scientifically precise version of the same fundamental argument in her critique of recent accounts claiming significant genetic variation between males and females. “Sex differences in the genome are very, very small: of 20,000 to 30,000 genes, marked sex differences are evident in perhaps half a dozen genes on the X and Y chromosome, and, it is hypothesized, a smattering of differently expressed genes across the autosomes… In DNA sequence and structure, sex differences are localized to the X and Y chromosomes. Males and females share 99.9 percent sequence identity on the 22 autosome pairs and the X, and the handful of genes on the Y are highly specific to male testes development. Thinking of males and females as having different genomes exaggerates the amount of difference between them, giving the impression that there are systematic and even law-like differences distributed across the genomes of males and females, and playing into a traditional gender-ideological view of sex differences.” (Richardson, Forthcoming: 8-9) The essential point is this: Males and females are much more genetically similar than different.” (p.g. 206)

“biological sex” is just as biased, unscientific, and subjective as the concept of gender is, and to base sex or gender on chromosomes or genitals or some other arbitrary feature is to ignore and marginalize the truth. there are millions of people who have different genitalia, lack them all together, or are intersex, people with differing karyotypes (i.e. XXY, XXX, XYY, X, etc) or chimerism (a body where some cells are of one karyotype and others are of another), and there are people with all kinds of genetic/epigenetic/biological conditions. these are all normal, natural variations of the human body that aren’t inherently connected to each other. to say sex or gender is defined by any of these features is erasive, intersexist, transphobic, and entirely contrary to what actual biologists and geneticists have been saying for decades.

just because you cannot handle your societally constructed worldview surrounding sex, gender, and genetics being smashed by sociology & biology itself doesn’t mean, additionally, that you have the right to make other people feel unsafe and uncomfortable just because you don’t like having your viewpoint being dismantled. don’t act as if you somehow know everything about sex and gender just because you took 10th grade biology and ate up some oversimplified explanations. the complexities of human behavior & the diversity of sex and reproduction in life can’t be completely covered in a simple high school biology class. shocker!

not to mention, the idea of a gender binary is a very, very recent concept solely rooted in colonialism and racism, not science.

in fact, the idea of third and nonbinary genders is as old as human civilization. (the list below is a very VERY brief history of nonbinarism):

§ 2000 BCE: in mesopotamian mythology, among the earliest written records, there are references to types of people who are neither men nor women. in a sumerian creation myth found on a stone tablet from the 2000 bce, the goddess ninmah fashions a being “with no male organ and no female organ”, for whom enki finds a position in society: “to stand before the king".

§ 1800 BCE: inscribed pottery shards from the middle kingdom of egypt, found near ancient thebes, list three human genders: tai (male), sḫt (“sekhet”) and hmt (female).

§ 385-380 BCE: aristophanes, a comic playwright, tells a story of creation in which “original human nature” includes a third sex. this sex “was a distinct kind, with a bodily shape and a name of its own, constituted by the union of the male and the female: but now only the word ‘androgynous’ is preserved.”

§ 77 BCE: genucius, a roman slave is denied inheritance on the grounds, according to art historian lynn roller, of being “neither a man nor a woman.” he is “not even allowed to plead his own case, lest the court be polluted by his obscene presence and corrupt voice.”

§ 1871: british administrators pass the criminal tribes act in india, effectively outlawing the country’s hijras—a community that includes intersex people, trans people, and even cross-dressers. celebrated in sacred indian texts, hijras had long been part of south asian cultures, but colonial authorities viewed them as violating the social order.

§ 1970: mexians in oaxaca state establish vela de las intrepidas (vigil of the intrepids), a festival celebrating ambiguous gender identities. the zapotec culture embraces a third-gender population called muxes. muxes trace back to pre-columbian times, when there were “cross-dressing aztec priests and mayan gods who were male and female at the same time”.

§ 2014: india’s supreme court recognizes the right of people, including hijras, to identify as third-gender. the court states, “it is the right of every human being to choose their gender.”

this binary gender system of ours is comparatively very new, and has been forced upon the rest of the world by white europeans in destructive and violent invasion, genocide, and complete appropriation and destruction of the original cultures of each land. really, it is the binary system that is unnatural. multiple genders have always existed in this world. and despite the best attempt of european colonialists, they continue to exist today, indicating that it is part of human nature to not fit in a neat binary and instead have multiple genders.  even within the united states, multiple native american tribes have a system that includes up to six distinct gender categories.

multiple countries and cultures around the world have either three or more genders officially recognized, or no genders recognized at all (here’s a more interactive and informational map). plus, there are also many completely gender-neutral languages, where gendered pronouns and/or gendered categories don’t exist whatsoever.

citations from other works of literature:

Maria Lugones, “Heterosexualism and the Colonial /Modern Gender System” (2007)

- “Lugones introduces a systemic understanding of gender constituted by colonial/modernity in terms of multiple relations of power… gender itself is a colonial introduction, a violent introduction consistently and contemporarily used to destroy peopks, cosmologies, and communities as the building ground of the ‘civilized’ West.” (p.g. 186)

- “As global, Eurocentered capitalism was constituted through colonization, gender differentials were introduced where there were none. Oyeronkk Oyewhmi has shown us that the oppressive gender system that was imposed on Yoruba society did a lot more than transform the organization of reproduction… many Native American tribes were matriarchal, recognized more than two genders, recognized ‘third’ gendering and homosexuality positively, and understood gender in egalitarian terms rather than in the terms of subordination that Eurocentered capitalism imposed on them. Gunn’s work has enabled us to see that the scope of the gender differentials was much more encompassing and it did not rest on biology.” (p.g. 196)

Gerald N. Callahan, Between XX and XY: Intersexuality and the Myth of Two Sexes (2009)

- “Our history suggests that we haven’t always imagined that humans come in only two sexes, and that things far removed from what we might call facts have played major roles in determining our thoughts about sex. Even today, several human societies believe in more than two sexes.” (p.g. xi)

 Anne Fausto-Sterling, Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality (2000) 

-  “Were we in Europe and America to move to a multiple sex and gender role system (as it seems we might be doing), we would not be cultural pioneers. Several Native American cultures, for example, define a third gender, which may include people whom we would label as homosexual, transsexual, or intersexual but also people we would label as male or female. Anthropologists have described other groups, such as the Hijras of India, that contain individuals whom we in the West would label intersexes, transsexuals, effeminate men, and eunuchs. As with the varied Native American categories, the Hijras vary in their origins and gender characteristics. Anthropologists debate about how to interpret Native American gender systems. What is important, however, is that the existence of other systems suggests that ours is not inevitable.” (p.g. 108-109) 

• Phoenix Singer, “Colonialism, Two-Spirit Identity, and the Logics of White Supremacy” 

- “Colonialism as practiced by Western culture is used to erase traditional non-binary roles of gender orientation and systems of sexuality, i.e. the Two-Spirit. Identifying as Two-Spirit becomes not just a traditional way of expressing Indigenous beliefs of gender orientation and sexuality but a political identity in resistance of colonialism. Through the use of inherently violent, assimilative measures, these traditions of the Two-Spirit in Indigenous societies are lost in many of our communities and are replaced by the Western gender binary and spectrum of sexual orientation. As this paper will show, this plays into the colonialist logic of white supremacy and how it relates to the Indigenous body, colonizing Two-Spirit identity.” (p.g. 1)

- “When Europeans came to Turtle Island, much of their culture, their ideals, their beliefs and institutions came with them through the continued centuries of settler-colonialism. Building their own nation upon this land, they were able to more permanently construct and impose their culture upon others. The Western colonization of the Americas brought forth many institutions which sought to erase and displace Indigenous cultural traditions and beliefs. Through the use of violence, forced assimilation, demonization of Indigenous beliefs and then appropriation of Indigenous culture, the subjugation of Native sexuality and gender roles have continued unquestioned in the minds of the settler and of our own people. It can be said and will be shown, that the Western binary is a system of oppression and repression and is actively a form of institutional violence against the Two-Spirit. This is all connected to the idea of white supremacy and domination over Indigenous bodies and beliefs, of colonization of our very selves. Thus an analysis of colonization and white supremacy is not complete without an approach towards Two-Spirit identity in our own communities.” (p.g. 1-2)

- “Before the colonization of this land, there were as many as six traditional gender orientation roles among numerous tribes. However, due to boarding schools erasing these traditions […] the Christianized related the existence of the Two-Spirit as sin… The Western Gender Binary is thus superimposed upon all cultures and their histories seen through the gaze of not only male dominance but a male/female paradigm that does not account for the existence of third, fourth, fifth and even more varieties of non-male/female expressions and identities. […] The Western Gender Binary does not see the Two-Spirit, the Western Gender Binary only sees a Man acting in ‘Unmanly’ ways or a Woman acting in ‘Unwomanly’ ways… The influence of Western culture on the erasure of Indigenous “queer” and Two-Spirit peoples has created a system of sexual assault, homophobia and transphobia used against our peoples, entangled with the history of colonialism. As part of the settler mentality, we can see these actions as colonial violence against the Two-Spirit and are also the results of genocide. To reiterate previous statements, the Western gender binary is a form of superimposed and universalized colonialism upon Indigenous bodies and minds.” (p.g. 5-6)

Anonymous Author, “The Problematic Ideology of Natural Sex” (2016)

- “…we have ignorance of the long and violent history of the imposition of the Ideology of Natural Sex under European colonialism. The genius behind framing an ideology as ‘natural’ is that its history erases itself. Why would anyone study the history of something natural and eternal? We don’t study the history of covalent bonds in chemistry or cumulus clouds in meteorology.  And so we don’t study the spread of European binary sex ideology under colonialism. If you do, you’ll find that all over the world before European colonialism there were societies recognizing three, four, or more sexes and allowing people to move between them—but that’s a subject for another post. Suffice it to say that societies were violently restructured under European colonialism in many ways, and one of those was the stamping out of nonbinary gender categories and stigmatization of those occupying them as perverts.” 

to say that nonbinary genders don’t exist would not only be scientifically incorrect and historically inaccurate, but it would be to say that the cultural traditions of these people are invalid, and only the white european standard of gender, which was forced onto indigenous people via genocide and forced assimilation, is “correct”. trying to enforce western concepts of gender on other cultures is an act of blatant racism and imperialism, and presumes that one group somehow knows more about the human condition, which is, on all levels, factually as well as historically and ethnically wrong. 


neither gender nor biological sex is innate, binary, or a scientific reality in any way, shape, or form, and the vast majority of biologists, scientists, doctors, psychologists, historians and anthropologists have been debunking these ignorant claims for decades and proving that both of these concepts are socially constructed. since gender as completely subjective, nonbinary genders have existed since the dawn of human civilization, even dating back to mesopotamia, the VERY FIRST human society, at that. there are many countries today where there are officially more than two genders recognized, and there are multiple languages that are entirely gender-neutral. the gender binary itself is an entirely european theory based on a complete lack of understanding of science, and was only recently forced on the world via colonialism, violence, and genocide. saying that nonbinary genders aren’t real is an act of transphobia, racism, and imperialism, and is the same as saying that thousands of cultures around the world, millions of personal experiences, and entire societal structures throughout history are not real, which makes no sense. it is part of human nature and basic natural variation to not fit into oversimplified binary categories.

but you know, curse those special snowflakes, or whatever.

this is an updated version of my original response. please reblog this edited version of my post instead if you’ve already reblogged the previous/original version.

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Are Minnesotans being killed by their own neighborhoods? | Asian American Press


[T]he issue of environmental racism and classism still fails to get anywhere close to the attention it requires. The need for (and access to) cheap land, cost-saving strategies, and a plethora of other excuses have long been used to explain the environmental disparities between rich and poor. Regardless, communities of color and the poor almost exclusively bear the brunt of environmental injustice, whether it is pre-existing or the result of new infrastructure and land use policies.

And while not a lot of progress has been made some of the agencies charged with addressing this injustice, including the Environmental Protection Agency, are in danger of having their regulatory policies reversed and their funding cut (or eliminated altogether).

Want to help authors?


Hey, here’s a thing I learned while off at the writer’s conference last week.

Did you know that buying a writer’s preorder counts like 2 books on Kobo and Amazon?

Because it does. So every time you buy one preorder you’re helping that author move up the ranks on that site by 2 sales.

This was confirmed by Kobo in person and also confirmed for Amazon, as well.

So if you see a preorder for someone’s book? It looks interesting? Buy that sucker and know that you’re effectively doing them twice the benefit in visibility and ranking.

This has been a PSA for those who love books and writers.



Danica Roem refusing to shit talk Bob Marshall, the self-proclaimed Chief Homophobe bathroom bill author incumbent she defeated, by saying “I don’t do that to constituents” is simultaneously impressively gracious and the sickest fucking burn I’ve seen in a while.

“I don’t attack my constituents. Bob is my constituent now.”

I hope her remark is prominently displayed in history books for the next hundred years.

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I’m willing to risk it

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I hate asking for help but I really need it. My financial situation has taken a bad turn for the worse. I sold my car last month to meet ends meet and I thought it would keep me afloat for longer than it has. I recently found out that 3 of my favorite family members have cancer. I promised that I would be there for thanksgiving because I thought I’d have a new junk car by now but I don’t. I’m barely scraping by. You can donate here or you can help me by buying a tarot reading. Anything helps. Please.

New YouTube Channel Is A Canadian TV Fan's Dream Come True




For years, Canadians have been able to watch episodes of iconic American classics such as “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Batman” or “I Love Lucy.” But where was Canada’s TV heritage? Why was our homegrown fare always, after its initial run, locked away in a vault?

Well, “The Littlest Hobo” has finally been let out of his kennel. After years of development, the Canada Media Fund and Google Canada have teamed to launch encore+, a new YouTube channel giving viewers here and around the world access to decades of Canadian film and TV gold.

Continue Reading.

OMG OKAY SO. If you’ve been following me since the LJ days, this is your golden opportunity to experience some of the things I used to go on and on and on about.

–They have the whole first season of DaVinci’s Inquest. This is not the best season of DVI, but it’s still good and worth watching. Features Ian Tracey, who you know if you’ve watched anything filmed in Vancouver ever, Gwyneth Walsh aka The Less-Intellectual Duras Sister, Donnelly Rhodes, another anything-filmed-in-Vancouver-ever actor, and a young Jewel Staite, who needs no fannish introduction.

–They have some of This Is Wonderland. In the absence of Power Play (if this channel uploads PP, it will get its own post), this is your best introduction to the force of acting nature that is Michael Riley. If you watched Being Erica, you may think you know him already, but trust me, you do not.

–They have Due South, but if you’re in fandom you very likely already know dS.

–They have s1 of Slings & Arrows, which is JUST THE BEST THING. (Also: HILARIOUSLY PRESCIENT. Although that doesn’t happen until s2.) It has Paul Gross and Rachel McAdams and Mark McKinney and DARREN NICHOLS. DEAL WITH THAT.

–They have The Littlest Hobo, which all non-Canadians should watch at least one episode of just for the ~experience~.

–Other notables: Little Mosque on the Prairie, Degrassi Jr High, Ready or Not, Mr Dressup, Are You Afraid Of The Dark?, Incredible Story Studio, various movies and TV movies.

Whenever people in that part of the world asked Patterson about the wonders of America, the possibilities and the hope of America, Patterson would say that it was a good and fine place but all the Americans were running it into the ground and that it would be a far better place if it had no Americans.
— Edward P. Jones, The Known World (one of our current giveaway books)

Millionaire Author John Grisham Says Not All Men Who Watch Child Porn Are Pedophiles



Huge trigger warning for cp.

Crime writer John Grisham has said America is unjustly jailing too many citizens for viewing child pornography. In an interview with The Telegraph, Grisham, who earned $17 million last year and tied for 6th place in Forbes’ ranking of top-earning authors, attacked the widespread incarceration of those who watch child porn.

“We have prisons now filled with guys my age. Sixty-year-old white men in prison who’ve never harmed anybody, would never touch a child,” he told The Telegraph’s Peter Foster in an interview to promote his latest novel, Gray Mountain.

“But they got online one night and started surfing around, probably had too much to drink or whatever, and pushed the wrong buttons, went too far and got into child porn.”

Grisham, who is well known for legal thrillers such as A Time to Kill and The Firm, has sold more than 275 million copies since his 1989 debut. Grisham first joined Forbes’ top-earning author ranking in 2000, with a $36 million annual paycheck. He has made an estimated $200 million before taxes and fees in the last 14 years.

No one who isn’t a pedophilia “accidentally” “stumbles” across cp, and if somehow they did, they wouldn’t stay there and. Finish.

I want to die.

I’m really confused as to why so much credence was given to how much money he has and whatnot? Like what does that have to do with him being a pedophile apologist?

There’s so much evidence showing that consuming CP, even if it’s fictional characters or animations and not real children, plays a role in offending and re-offending, and there isn’t really enough to say “well it’s generally an alternative/replacement for actually hurting children”. The UK had to change their laws because their equiv of homeland security correlated CP consumption with sexual offenses against children.

Why is this the hill people want to die on? Why is it *soooo* important that we “protect” predators “rights” to fantasize about sexually abusing children?

Clearly he’s supportive of pedophilia, and maybe someone should be checking his computers





Therapists aren’t people who you “pay to pretend to care about you”, therapists are people you pay to teach you how to care for yourself

Me: I am violently depressed.

Therapist: Oh! Sounds like you need to do YOGA! That will help!

Me: *signs up for yoga*

Me: *is violently depressed in Downward Dog*

Me: I hate myself and only see my flaws

Therapist: ok lets refocus on things you like about yourself. This week i want you to try and journal about good things you’ve for yourself and others.

Me: *does the homework* yeah but i still hate myself but feel bad cause i shouldn’t

Therapist: feeling like you shouldn’t hate yourself is a step in the right direction. Mental health is complex and isn’t something that will ~magically~ improve. We have a lot of hard work head of us but I’ll be here to help you.

TL;DR stop perpetuating the idea that therapy is unhelpful because the results are not instantaneous.

Also literally the first thing we learned in my psychology program is that depression is caused/affected by chemical imbalances in the brain which is why a healthy diet, exercise, and regular sleep patterns can significantly alleviate symptoms

This is why a responsible therapist will often try to gauge how much your depression responds to gradual lifestyle changes before they start prescribing medication, unless your depression is already dangerously severe

And no, this approach in no way implies that depression isn’t serious or that a single yoga class will magically cure it. Can we please have a little less of this “uggggh, these licensed medical professionals just don’t get my depression” nonsense, Tumblr?


A person with a history of severe melancholic depression

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