Fat Girl, ,

I belong to me: learning agency & consent outside Christianity.

November 15, 2014

<p>By and large, Christianity as a system in the Western world teaches people to run rip-​shod over the boundaries of those within and without their camps under the guise of love.<sup><a href=“http://www.patheos.com/blogs/godlessindixie/2014/10/15/your-love-is-toxic/” target=“_blank” rel=“noopener noreferrer”>25</a></sup> The consent of its members and non-​members alike isn&rsquo;t required, as clearly demonstrated by the past almost 28 years of my existence. And that&rsquo;s a <i>massive</i> problem, enabling (and at times <i>commanding</i>) the manipulation, mistreatment, and abuse of countless people.</p> <p><b>In fact, I&rsquo;d say one of the defining characteristics of Christianity today is that it has a consent problem.</b></p>

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Lessons Learned at the Fortress of Faith: Part 3

August 25, 2014

As I’ve stated before, Bob Jones University habitually created spiritual mountains out of circumstantial molehills. We were to strive for perfection in every aspect of life, and anything less than that was an offense to God and the administration.

There’s a saying from the founder of the school…well, I mean, there’s honestly a bajillion sayings from the founder of the school. They’re so revered that they are literally engraved in plaques in every classroom across campus, and you can even buy a book filled with his quips of wisdom. But one saying in particular was quoted quite a bit when I was there: “It is never right to do wrong in order to get a chance to do right.” On the surface, and especially when I very first arrived on campus, I agreed with this 100%.

Again, I’m faced with the difficulty of explaining a subculture when some of my audience has never experienced it, and some of it may think there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s difficult to know where to begin or how to explain things that I intuitively learned through various circumstances, other than to talk about the various circumstances that taught me that sometimes, it’s good and right to do “wrong.”

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Sherlock Holmes, Vulcans, and how logic isn’t everything.

August 22, 2014

I mention it because one of the defenses of his insensitivity (to put it mildly) was that his argument was logically sound. And that’s a point that gets brought up an awful lot in discussions of social justice and in general when someone is called out for doing something harmful. It’s especially a point brought up from men against women, usually as a way of gas-​lighting us and saying, “You’re too emotional to get this, let me logic at you in a manly fashion.” It’s sexist, it’s dismissive, and it focuses on one aspect of a situation to the exclusion of all else.

As I said on Twitter in my original thoughts about Dawkins’ asshattery:

This is the kind of argument I see quite a lot from those who tend to hold a lot of privilege & experiential ignorance of the topic at hand. Honestly…it makes me think of that scene in the RDJ/​Jude Law Sherlock Holmes. Holmes is holding something in his hand, the end of which is mere inches from Watson’s face. Watson: “Get that thing out of my face.” Holmes replies, “It’s not in your face, it’s in my hand.” That’s what these logical men are like. That’s their argument. TECHNICALLY, they’re right. But the practical application & observation of the situation shows that one can be correct but still wrong. In this situation, the argument can (& has been, repeatedly) made that Dawkins wasn’t minimizing when he was making the comparison. TECHNICALLY, he wasn’t. But functionally, he was. Just like the thing TECHNICALLY was in Holmes’ hand but FUNCTIONALLY was in Watson’s face.

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To make it abundantly clear: why this atheist is invested in Christianity.

August 20, 2014

Part of me says, “You’re not a Christian anymore, so just ignore it. It’s not like it affects you anymore anyway.” But that’s not really true. There are lots of things about Christianity that deeply affected me for over 20 years, and when Christianity also tends to play a role in U.S. politics, it sure as hell affects me.

And the thing is, when I stopped believing in God, I didn’t stop caring about people.

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The stories we tell: using narrative to make sense of our lives and surroundings.

August 19, 2014

Examining and critiquing cultural narratives as they appear in “real life” and entertainment is important work. It’s life-​changing and empowering work.

It’s important for women to know that they aren’t crazy when a man is stalking them and demanding attention and affection.

It’s important for women to know that if a man — even a man they love — attacks them, it’s not okay.

It’s important for black girls to know that they can grow up and go into space.

It’s important for trans people to see themselves accepted in society.

It’s important for people to know that they are more than a caricature, that the stories of their lives matter.

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Lessons learned at the Fortress of Faith: Part 2.

August 13, 2014

The atmosphere and its complete permeation of BJU dorm student life is important because of the necessary isolation it engendered. There was simply no way of knowing who was following the rules because they believed them to be right, and who was just trying to keep their head down long enough to get out as unscathed as possible.

Not without opening yourself up in ways that could have pretty serious consequences.

That made it all the more precious when people would accidentally let slip that they were a normal person trying to get by, just like me. These moments were quite rare, but absolutely sacred — memorable if for nothing else than the brief solidarity they brought.

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Some thoughts on rape culture and unintentional derailing.

June 4, 2014
Image from TV Week.

Rape culture affects everyone, but we don’t have to have all the conversations about all the things any time we want to talk about one of them.

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The Sad, Sad Story of A Really Nice Guy.

March 7, 2014

He was A Really Nice Guy. He couldn’t possibly unknowingly support discrimination or benefit from it.

Could he?

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Acceptable Femininity: some rambling thoughts about gender roles, high heels, and makeup.

January 28, 2014
These are the products I typically use on my face when I do my makeup.

It’s been gradual, over the past year or so. But I’ve started embracing myself, my whole self, feminine aspects and all. I’ve been letting myself explore the things that I’ve suppressed for so long — “girly” things, “childish” things, vain and wasteful things that I only deemed vain and wasteful because I enjoyed them and I mistrusted my tastes as a woman. I’ve been learning to do what I enjoy and to love myself for the first time in my life.

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Halloween as a deconverted former fundamentalist.

October 13, 2013

Michael and I went into a Halloween shop today.

I’d never been in a Halloween shop before, and it was an eye-​opening experience.

I was really surprised to see so many little kids everywhere — and not a single one of them crying or scared. These kids…they clearly could separate fiction from reality in a way that I couldn’t at their age. In a way that I couldn’t as a young adult. I envied this ability they had that I’m still working on developing. I envied their lack of fear, their pure delight, their reasoning skills.

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Just hear me out.

January 23, 2020

Remember the days where I wrote on here somewhat regularly? I mean, they were the early-​​to-​​mid 2010’s, and blogging has certainly gone by the wayside as of the past…like…what is it, 3 – 4 years now? I didn’t stop writing because the trend began dying down, though. I stopped writing because of TRAUMA *throws glitter bomb* While I do still post on…

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Never.

January 15, 2018
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Haikus with Dani: Coercion

March 17, 2017

Content note: rape

St. Patrick’s Day will never be the same for me. This whole week has been nothing but hellish memory almost every waking moment. I’m so grateful for the friends and family who have spent time with me to make sure I’m not alone and that I’m safe.

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As dumpster fires go.

December 31, 2016
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Haikus With Dani: Existential Edition

May 16, 2016

I’ve been rather existential lately. I mean, I usually am anyway. But back to the “it’s hard to explain in anything except shards of thought” kind of existential. So. The contents of these haikus will likely turn into blog posts at some point. But for now, I serve them to you as the fragments they are.

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The Stories We Tell: Purity Culture and Shame.

April 1, 2016

I had a very eye-​opening conversation with my mom recently.

We were talking about my marriage to my ex, and she asked me if her hunch was correct that I’d have married him anyway if my parents hadn’t given us permission. (You see, in our iteration of purity culture, even as a 22-​year-​old adult, I needed my parents’ permission to marry.)

I thought a moment and answered honestly: yes, I would have still married him. Then I clarified, “I honestly thought I had to.”

You didn’t get that from us!” Mom responded in astonished confusion. “You don’t have to marry someone just because you slept with them.

Let me state up front: that’s an entirely true statement. I agree with it 100%.

And yet it was my turn to be shocked.

Because that statement flew in the face the entire narrative of my first 20+ years of life..

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Haikus With Dani: Breakup Edition

March 3, 2016

In so many ways, the dissolving of my marriage has been unspeakably hard. I literally don’t have truly appropriate words for this experience, only deep chasms within my being that alternately flow with rage and sorrow, then ebb with hollow misery. So I decided to put the fragmented shards of grief into haikus.

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The Stories We Tell: Purity Culture Edition

February 18, 2016

Purity culture prepared me for a world that doesn’t exist. The world that does exist is both so much better and so much worse than I was led to believe.

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Of masculinity & abusive breeding grounds.

June 8, 2015

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A tale of male entitlement.

May 29, 2015

This complete stranger, in the span of 90 seconds, demonstrated that he felt entitled to a) my attention, b) my possessions, c) my goodwill, and d) my body. 

My clear reticence for social interaction didn’t matter. My body language regarding my pencil didn’t matter (considering he literally pried it from my hand). My disinterest in stroking his ego was the highest affront, to which he responded by touching me without my consent (and prolonging his touch when I physically pulled away).

People. Don’t do this. It’s super not okay. Respect personal bubbles. Don’t force people to interact with you when they’re giving every indication that they’d really rather not. And don’t take their stuff while they’re using it — that’s kindergarten level stuff. AND DON’T TOUCH ANYONE WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD IN THIS WORLD.

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