Lighten Up, Everyone

My friend wrote this article about Daniel Tosh/Rape Jokes/Feminists who can’t laugh. I feel I should link it here because a) I’m quoted it in it (yay!) and b) I got a bit critical of feminism over the past few weeks and found that people were assholes about it.

Here’s my official statement about the whole issue:

There’s been a LOT of communication breakdown between myself and the feminists who reside as my ‘friends’ on Facebook and many of them have become very reactionary and angry when I started
questioning parts of the feminist movement/ideology. Please understand some things: If feminism, like any other theory or ideology, can’t be critiqued by feminists or non-feminists or the logic or illogic of our weaker arguments can’t be sliced and diced and torn apart so they can become stronger, then I will continue my critiques. Being critical of parts of feminism doesn’t make one a “neo-con”, or unsupportive. To reject women like me and others is to tragically bring truth to the argument that we are exclusionary or irrational or angry.

I do remain “feminist” but some of you have questioned that, which oddly, feels like the fundamentalist Christians response to people who call themselves Christian. “You are only Christian if you do X, or believe in X.” Please recognize that theories and movements have a long line of historical criticism behind them-critics who have bashed arguments and theories and sometimes new theories emerge. I’m a humanities major and we spent years studying theories are arguing them. This is how you learn, but it’s also how you become a critical thinker. For those of you who don’t KNOW my background, I was in a fundamentalist Christian cult for seven years. To say that critical thinking (or the ability to think for myself) and rejecting lumped ideology is important to me would be a gross understatement. Part of my habit is to dissect that which I find weak or unsupportable or flawed. It’s important to me-because no one can take away your ability to think for yourself. YOU give it up. You relinquish it.

Also “random” commented on the Street Carnage article above and I liked what they had to say:

“Good article. This is really all a result of people taking certain academic theories about language too seriously. No one but the bloggers actually believe this shit.”

Except…unfortunately people do take this shit way too seriously–not just bloggers. Let’s lighten up.

Atheist Labels can be Confining

I’ve been a blogger for almost two years. When I first “came out” as an atheist, I started with a broad statement “I’m not a Christian anymore.” I realize that was a little ambiguous but it’s okay to sort out your faith or loss of faith as you go, piece by piece, day by day. There’s no right way to become an atheist.

I immediately ran to all the atheist communities online, hoping to find…I’m not sure what I wanted to find-answers, new bff’s, deep discussions? I visited just about every atheist online community, including the assholes on reddit.com/r/atheist (and they are truly assholes), and landed in Think Atheist. I liked it the best, but my interest faded with time. All of the communities serve a purpose, but few people had stories like mine (former reverends join a coercive religious group; minister for seven years; can’t date, etc.) so it was difficult to find people to relate to. I started blogging more about being atheist and as it turns out there were a lot of agnostic or atheist or skeptic friends on my Facebook, so that ended nicely for me.

Blogging is something that requires you to categorize yourself and label yourself, mostly so people can find your expertise or opinions in the vast sea of blogs. Of course when I came out, I wanted to rush to label myself as atheist…because I was.

How did everyone else do it? Oh, big red A’s?¬†

Ew.To be honest, those red A’s that everyone puts on their blogs are just tacky. And then there’s the rumors of Richard Dawkins being sexist. I’m feminist before I’m anything because I left the church for being so damn confining and oppressive to WOMEN, so when I heard that, I definitely wasn’t a fan and won’t be wearing the Dick Dawkins red A or anything related to him.

Plus, my writing is much more comprehensive than just atheism and I think that’s what I don’t get about the atheist community. Aren’t we people with a wide range of talents and interests? Why just stick to one single subject daily? It’s almost as boring as Christianity and the same old recycled sermons. Yawn. I would bore myself to tears if that’s all I wrote about everyday. To be honest, I started this blog to get my story out and I’ve attracted quite a large amount of Christians. We don’t necessarily get along all the time, because they don’t like my profanity or my attitude, but I still try to find a way to offer them resources because I realize they are hurting because the person they trusted most (a clergy person) abused them or misused them.

I get it, the word atheism is a label and sometimes that’s important. But there’s something important to me about the ability to change and be flexible, especially after being so tightly wound as a fundamentalist. When people ask me if I’m an atheist I like to say that I can be agnostic, atheist and anti-theist all in a weeks time. If I ever become comfortable with medication¬†meditation or something spiritual in nature, then I’d like to explore that without another label being in the way (living life as a “I love Jesus. Do you?” Christian will do that to you).