Examples of Male Privilege from a Trans Guy’s Perspective

What happens when a trans man compares how he’s treated now as a man to how he was treated when he was viewed as female? The patriarchy that we live in and often don’t even notice becomes clear. Here are his observations, please read them! He wrote two articles, there was so much that he observed in how differently he was treated once people started seeing him as a white man (that they likely also presumed was straight and cisgender since that’s supposedly the “default”).

http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/05/male-privilege-trans-men/

http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/06/more-male-privilege-trans-man/

Of course this is one person’s experience and it doesn’t happen this way for everyone, and he mentions that. But it shows a problem that many people would like to pretend doesn’t exist.

Have you observed or experienced any of these privileges?

Charleston Shootings: It Indicates a Huge Problem that We’re Not Addressing.

WittyFacebookStatusMindPictures-12125The attack in Charleston was racist fueled terrorism. It was a terrorist attack, carried out by a white person who believed that black people were ruining his country. We can’t make excuses for this. Our nation is not post-racial, it’s still divided by hate and unfounded fear of people who are different, and tragically innocent people like these churchgoers are paying the price for the hatred and stigma of others. 
And it’s not just people of color who suffer from this national divide and ingrained hatred of those who are different… other groups face similar violence daily in the U.S. by people with the same kind of attitude.
 
You know what really stopped me in my tracks when reading about this incident? The shooter blamed black people for the problems in this nation. He basically said black people were destroying America. In his words: “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country — and you have to go.”
 
After I became an atheist, I had strikingly similar sentiments directed towards me. “Atheists are ruining our country! Atheists should leave America! Atheists are evil and immoral and will ruin everything!” Over and over and over and over again, like a broken record that I can’t shut off. Even from people I care about, this stigma of “atheists ruining our nation” was and is continually perpetuated and thrown in my face. This hateful and erroneous belief is even taught in churches. Atheists are the enemy, “we must convert them or fight their evil influence and take back our nation!” and so on. And an even worse attitude is levied against the LGBTQA community, which I am a part of too, so now I get a double serving of the “you’re ruining our nation!” stigma.
So what happens when they teach these ideas to someone who’s prone to violence?  
 
WHEN YOU TEACH AND PROMOTE LIES ABOUT ENTIRE GROUPS OF PEOPLE, WHEN YOU ENCOURAGE HATE AND FEAR, VIOLENCE AGAINST THE STIGMATIZED GROUP IS USUALLY THE RESULT.
 
Yeah, I’m text-yelling. I’m yelling because your words have power, and when you say untrue and horrible things about black people or LGBTQA people or atheists or any other stigmatized groups, then YOU are contributing to a culture that is divided against itself, that fosters domestic terrorism against its own citizens on a regular basis. Yeah, you have freedom of speech, you can say what you want. But your freedom may be literally costing people their lives because not everyone has the restraint against violence that you do. They hear your rants about certain people ruining your country, and they jump to the next logical conclusion: The people ruining their country have to be destroyed to restore order and balance.
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So stop it. Stop perpetuating racism and hatred and misunderstanding of LGBTQA people, atheists, Muslim Americans, and anyone else who dares to not be a white heterosexual cisgender Christian. STOP. If you don’t, then start blaming yourself for these acts of violence committed against them because you’re partly responsible for it.
NO ONE deserves to be attacked or marginalized for who they are or what they believe. No one deserves to live in a nation where other citizens regularly put them down and enact violence against them just because they’re different. I am opposed to terrorism in all its forms- at home and abroad. It just makes me mad to see so many Americans talk about ISIS and then ignore or explain away terrorist acts right in their own backyard. Terrorism isn’t terrorism because someone with a turban does it… terrorism takes many forms, and it happens here among us, by us.

GMO Labeling Will Hurt Farmers and Consumers

Biotech_GMO_InfographicA_Sept171Trying to convince you that GMO labeling is unnecessary is not the reason for this post. The need to write is to express my opinion about something I read prior to the elections regarding GMO labeling. A statement I recently read on a Facebook debate made me realize people don’t really understand what it will take to put that label on their box of Corn Flakes.

http://nebraskawheatie.com/gmo-labeling-harvest/

This farmer explains the process of getting grain ready to sell, and described what would have to change to add GMO labeling to food. It’s an excellent article, and it’s great to hear from an experienced farmer, so I highly recommend that you read the full article above before continuing.

Labeling GMO’s isn’t just as simple as slapping a label on it. It would require drastic changes to how farmers process crops and send them to market, resulting in more man hours and higher costs, which hurts the farmers and the consumers. It’s not just a label being put on food; it requires a completely different system that drastically increases the time and money that would be required to grow and sell these crops. I actually didn’t realize how much was involved in labeling until now.

Of course, maybe that’s what the organic industry wants. If they can bog non-organic farmers down with unnecessary costs and time delays, then more people will buy their organic food because they won’t be the “expensive option” anymore. See what’s happening here? They’re saying “label GMO’s!” because it’s a smart way to make their competitor’s have to charge more.

By the way, I’m mentioning the motives of the organics industry to make a point. Anti-GMO activists blame the Pro-GMO ccompanies for lying and manipulating things to boost their profits, but that’s exactly what the organic industry is doing here. They’ve found a very successful way to demonize GMO companies- they ask for labels, GMO companies know that requiring labels will hurt farmers and raise prices for consumers so they oppose it, Organic industry claims they have something to hide and are ashamed of their products. Well played, organic industry. Well played. Now no matter what pro GMO people do, they’re demonized. If they support labeling, then the eventual outrage of farmers and consumers about rising costs will make people hate them. If they oppose labeling, then people say they’re corrupt and hiding something. Either way, the organic industry wins: GMO’s will be less desirable to grow and buy because of unnecessary regulations and costs.

It reminds me a lot of anti-abortion extremists: If they can’t make abortion illegal, they’ll bog clinics and women down with unnecessary costs and hoops to jump through so it becomes difficult and stressful to even consider having an abortion. It’s a bullying tactic and a very effective marketing ploy by the organics industry. And believe me, they’re raking in the profits. Literally, as in they’re a billion dollar industry that thrives on scaring people away from anything non-organic.

GMO’s have been proven over and over again to be safe. Labels are there to warn us of potential dangers, and there are none. The overwhelming consensus of the scientific community is that the GMO’s currently approved are safe and nutritionally the same as their non-modified counterparts. It’s also true that approved, safe GMO’s are being opposed based on misinformation and efforts by the organic industry, resulting in preventable deaths and malnutrition in countries that could greatly benefit from these improved crops. People are literally dying because of anti-GMO activism. It’s not helping people, it’s hurting them! That’s why I blog on this issue, because NO ONE should have to starve or be denied better food just because some people have been misinformed.

If you accept the consensus of the scientific community on climate change, pollution statistics, evolution, and other scientific issues, why do you mistrust them on this issue? Why are you Pro Science on everything else but not this one issue? Either we can trust the consensus of the scientific community, or we can’t. And PLEASE stop calling anyone who supports Monsanto or is Pro GMO paid shills. That argument is offensive, tiring, and untrue, and it makes it look like you have no other argument except to attack our character or mental capacity to think for ourselves. I respect facts and science, not logical fallacies and offensive character assassination.

*disclaimer* I am not paid by Monsanto or any other company or industry. Never have been, never will be. As of this article’s posting date I don’t even make ad revenue on this blog, although I might use Google Ad-sense in the future to help financially (still no connection to Monsanto). I’m also not a scientist or a farmer. I’m just a blogger who actually listens to what the scientists are telling us, as they hit their heads against the walls in frustration as misinformation and pseudoscience runs rampant and real people around the world suffer as a result.

Miley Cyrus: I’m Pretty Impressed.

11221595_447853495396531_8654135578809989718_nI may not personally relate to all of her creative expressions (such is the nature of art: not everyone relates to or enjoys it in the same way anMd that’s ok) but as a human being she’s a pretty amazing person. She’s discovering who she is (including her own non-conforming gender identity), and she’s working to help LGBTQ teens, especially the homeless. She’s using her celebrity status to spread positive messages about accepting ourselves and encouraging us to help others. Are we going to put her down or write her off because she shows some skin and is an imperfect young person growing into adulthood? Many female pop artists show just as much skin and sing about sex too, that’s nothing new or unusual. I even liked the Wrecking Ball video, I thought it conveyed vulnerability in an interesting and artistic way and I loved the song itself.

Personally I think people need to stop judging her and start commending her for being such a positive voice for those who are oppressed and denied equality. You go, Miley!!

“All human beings have valid feelings and rights. I want to use my voice as a megaphone to young people everywhere and encourage human evolution. No one should have to hide who they really are, no matter what his or her name, gender or status.” -Miley Cyrus

Pro Life in Name Only.

Bj_w1xNIIAAyV2KAre you Pro Life, or do you just claim the title? Most Pro Life people aren’t really Pro Life, they’re just Pro Birth. They don’t care about the child after it’s born or when we send it off to war, they only want to ensure that the mother is forced to give birth to him or her.

Side note: This article is not relevant to all Pro Life people, since many of them already do the things listed below. I’m addressing this to Pro Life people who are really more Pro Birth than Pro Life. These groups are not fringe activists, they are actively working to ban and limit abortion, birth control, and women’s rights in general- and at the moment it’s working. They stalk abortion clinic workers, harass women entering clinics even if they’re just getting cancer screenings, and their efforts have literally put women in jail for having miscarriages. They have power and influence, and they’re using it to the detriment of women via social stigma, lack of rights, etc. I’m pleading with real Pro Life people to speak out against these fanatics, because they are NOT Pro Life. They are Pro Birth and Anti-Woman.

If you’re really Pro Life:

Stop pushing women to use adoption when the foster care system is overwhelmed with unwanted kids and you’re certainly not adopting them.

Pro Life groups talk an awful lot about adoption, and yet our foster care system still overflows. If they truly care so much about the unborn, why don’t they start adopting all these kids who need families? After all, they are the ones pressing for adoption to be considered. But few of them ever step up to actually ADOPT these kids that they helped force into the world.

Personally, I think that any Pro Life person who is able to adopt and doesn’t is a hypocrite. Of course there are some Pro Life people who still support a woman’s right to choose even if they personally disagree, who focus on bettering the lives of women so that abortions aren’t needed as much; those people are different and I have a lot of respect for them. But for the Pro Life people standing outside clinics, badgering mothers and railing on them to “just consider adoption!” and demeaning them for daring to choose abortion, they need to stop being so hypocritical. Until foster care isn’t saturated with unwanted kids and the process of adoption becomes easier, you don’t get to pressure women to choose adoption.

Stop opposing contraception, which helps to prevent countless abortions.

It boggles my mind to hear people oppose abortion and then also oppose birth control. Women are not baby factories. We are allowed to have sex without wanting to become a mother. You can personally choose to have lots of unplanned kids if you want, but you have no right to demand that other women forgo family planning just because you do. Also, why oppose free or affordable birth control? Even if birth control was a blatant free government handout, wouldn’t that be better than women having abortions because they couldn’t afford birth control? Wouldn’t it be cheaper than having to pay for Welfare for these kids because their parents can’t afford another child but also couldn’t afford birth control? Aren’t of the unborn worth a few dollars in government spending? We certainly spend enough on war, which ends life, so why not spend a few dollars to save it? Don’t expect impoverished women to support their families and somehow afford birth control in addition to all their other bills, and then deny them abortion when they get pregnant.

Stop opposing LGBTQ adoption.

A loving home is better than an orphanage or foster care. If you actually care about kids’ welfare, then start actively supporting the rights of ALL loving potential parents to adopt. If all those LGBTQ couples were allowed to adopt, we’d see a significant drop in the numbers of kids in foster care and orphanages. Think about it- there’s an entire group of people who can’t always have kids of their own without great effort and financial stress, and many of them desperately want to adopt kids nobody else wants. It’s perfect! It’s nature’s way of making sure all kids get parents! Put aside your prejudice and start supporting this, because it’ll solve so many problems.

Start working to better the lives of mothers and their children.

The US is a terrible place to be a mother- it’s the worst of all developed nations for maternal care and rights. The US also falls behind in economy, healthcare, minimum wage, etc. Focus on these issues so women don’t have to risk going into poverty if they keep a pregnancy. THIS is how we reduce abortions and improve society, not by shaming women and denying them abortion services.

Stop telling lies about abortion.

Abortion has far fewer health risks than childbirth, so pressuring women to carry a pregnancy to term actually increases their risk of medical complications and even death. But Pro Life groups usually say the opposite, they claim that legal abortion is very dangerous despite the overwhelming scientific evidence that says otherwise. By lying to women, they put them at risk. So what life are they really caring about? Isn’t the life of the mother important enough to stop lying to them? Apparently the unborn fetus’ life is so important that it’s acceptable to lie to women and put them at risk. Unborn always take priority over the born in the minds of many Pro Life people.

Stop promoting the Death Penalty and unnecessary war.

If all life is really so precious and every death is a tragedy that should be avoided no matter what, why are so many of you chomping at the bit to see other people die? I just don’t get it. If every single life is inherently precious, than any death should be opposed, right? Again, it seems that you are actually Pro Birth as opposed to Pro Life. But Pro Birth doesn’t sound as nice, does it?

Being an “Independant Thinker” Means Following Your Parents. Plus Homeschool stuff.

Apparently being an “independent thinker” and “charting your own path” means “thinking just like your parents” and “replicating their path.” Apparently as soon as I actually headed out to build my own life and make my own choices I became a problem. For all that we were told how mature we were, the moment we made our own decisions independent from our parents we were treated as children who didn’t know any better. https://homeschoolersanonymous.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/those-no-good-very-bad-homeschool-graduates/

YES!!!! The article is about homeschooling, and it makes excellent points on that issue too, but the above quote sums up what SO many people experience when they leave the religion of their parents. This also applies to political and social issues too, since becoming Pro Choice when your loved ones are passionately Pro Life is also not looked at kindly much of the time.

You can’t tell your loved ones that it’s good to think independently, then chastise or judge them for doing exactly that. We all have to find our own path through life- and that path may not look the same as our parents or friends or other loved ones.

Open Letter to People who say Hurtful Things About Caitlyn Jenner

n-CAITYN-large570After seeing the horrible way people are talking about transgender people like Caitlyn Jenner this week, and some of it from people on my FB feed, I have to say something.
Your words have consequences. They affect other people. When you talk about transgender people and say they are just “men dressing like women” or that they aren’t brave for publicly being themselves, you show your ignorance of the issues they face as well as a lack of empathy for the incredible hardships and social stigma they have to deal with every single day. You don’t realize that you are part of the reason why coming out of the closet makes them brave. I’m not trying to put anyone down for their beliefs, only pointing out that the way those beliefs are being expressed is causing immense pain to others. You can believe what you want without using those beliefs as a stick to beat others with, without putting people down for not fitting your religion’s standards or ideals.
Yes, I’m mad. I’m mad because I see how frustrating this is for my friends who happen to be transgender, among many other wonderful things, but people only see their gender identity and not the amazing complete person they are. I’m mad because people think that they can discredit and belittle someone’s gender identity because they think their religion is against it. I’m mad because I just read about another transgender teen who committed suicide because of these hurtful attitudes, and yet another transgender person that someone tried to shove in front of a subway train just for being different.
Your words have power. You can build people up or tear them down. You may not mean to be hurting them, you might think you’re being “righteous” by saying they are bad or their identity isn’t valid, but when you talk about transgender people in hurtful ways YOU are contributing to a society that treats them terribly socially, resulting in a 66% risk of violence for them.
Your religion is no excuse to hurt or demean others with your words and attitudes. Saying their gender identity doesn’t exist, or that it’s evil, is beyond hurtful. If you don’t understand it, then be honest about it and start educating yourself. But PLEASE stop perpetuating the stigmas that are literally causing teenagers to kill themselves and causes people to assault and hate transgender people. It needs to stop, and change begins with every one of us.

A few of the tragic results of your “freedom of speech”:

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/transgender-teen-who-fought-bullying-commits-suicide-20150410

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/read-17yearold-trans-girls-heartbreaking-suicide-note-20141230
Hurtful versions of Christianity: Defend sexual abusers as long as they pray a prayer and say they’re sorry, but demean and invalidate people with a gender identity or sexual orientation that they don’t understand or approve of. Even if it drives them to depression and suicide. As long as they don’t appear to condone “sin”, who cares who they hurt with their words and actions.