jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

A bit of a run-on sentence, from http://stormsandpower.blogspot.com/2014/12/mormons-ex-and-still.html. The pertinent part is bolded:

For me this work raises other questions especially at this time when so many people seem troubled by the facts of Mormonism’s past and the politics of its present as to whether that ex- of ex-Mormon means you can no longer define them as part of the experience of the Mormons as a people.

I think that for a lot of people, that's true. Being "Mormon" doesn't necessarily mean being a member in good standing of the modern, correlated Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, no matter what its leaders say. It's more of a cultural identity, like being Jewish, and there are people who cherish and embrace that identity even as they question Mormonism's basic doctrines or historical foundations.

Personally, though, I see myself as less of a participant in the Mormon identity, and more of a victim of Mormon culture and institutional Mormon religion.

Politically incorrect, adj.: "True, but we pretend it isn't"

It's politically incorrect to use the v-word in today's society, where everyone is an ubermensch and can breathe lightning and decide whether or not something hurts them. But you can't really have a conversation about things like "victimization" and "victim-blaming" without there being victims.

The word has come to mean "morally deficient person who dwells on past grievances and blames others for her own flaws," when it really just means "person who's been wronged." And while I'm okay with some people I'd otherwise call abuse victims choosing to identify as "survivors" of abuse instead, I also think that term places abuse in the realm of natural disasters and acts of god. Things that just happen on their own, that you can't prevent and can only learn how to deal with.

It may seem that way to abuse victims / survivors, since abusers choose people who can't fight back as their targets. But in my experience, the reason abusers blame victims -- and telling them they can't call themselves victims is a form of victim-blaming -- is to keep them in an abusive situation, both mentally and physically. If they're the ones causing the abuse, there's no need to try to escape or seek redress; they just need to make themselves worthy of not being abused anymore.

And that's what Mormonism does

To a lot of people outside the institutional Mormon church, with its political activism, and to a lot of people inside it. Who don't fit into Mormon culture, but don't have a meaningful choice about what culture to participate in.

I wanted to call myself Mormon, but kept being reminded that I made a very poor one.

I was "unworthy" of their sacred ordinances and coming-of-age rituals, because I was honest in Bishops' interviews. I was constantly reminded of how different I was from the hand-shaking, back-slapping, neurotypical Mormons around me, and when my mother of origin saw me cringing from physical contact she chastised me for it.

I don't know how many youth dances and "young single adult" activities I spent pacing in driveways, parking lots, and darkened hallways, either listening to my MP3 player or watching the shadows get longer.

I don't know how many lessons and talks I sat through where people told me that the technology which enabled me to live a halfway fulfilling life, connect with people who valued me for who I was, and have experiences I never could otherwise, was an irrelevant worldly distraction.

And when I finally left the Mormon church, and started telling people about the abuse I received at the hands of my Mormon family, all the Mormons I talked to about it had two reactions: They felt very sorry for me, and they distanced themselves and their culture from the abuse, with canned statements like "not all Mormons are like that" and "our church teaches against that." Even though my parents of origin were, and as far as I know still are, "worthy" members who were never chastised or held accountable by the church for their actions, and who used its teachings to justify (and its power structures to enable) hurting me.

Meanwhile, my interactions with church members and leadership were major factors in my becoming suicidally depressed.

So if a non-mormon leaves the Mormon church

... can she still be called an ex-mormon? I don't know.

I know I've always been fascinated with Mormonism, but it's become more of a morbid fascination since I left. Their culture, doctrine, and practices basically embody abuse and rape culture and kyriarchy, and any time I need an object lesson for "what not to do" I can use them.

I also know Mormon culture has influenced me. My method of prayer is still very close to theirs, even if the object of worship is different, and their teachings on sexuality are the reason that I'm such a prude. :P Not because I'm okay with slut-shaming, rape victim blaming, and having adult men ask kids of all genders about their sex practices one-on-one behind closed doors, but because the shame I internalized from those teachings is something I may never be rid of.

If there's anything (arguably) positive I got out of Mormonism, it's being unafraid to be different in public. Nowadays, the institutional church's PR machine is spending millions of dollars to make Mormons appear normal, or at least bring them up to Mitt Romney levels of normalcy. But I was raised with the thought that I was supposed to be part of "a peculiar people," with beliefs very different from everyone else's, and I should be unafraid to share those different beliefs.

I like to think I've learned some about boundaries since then. But as you can see from the sidebar, I'm still okay with being different, and with explaining my differences to others. It helps that the only way we know how to describe ourself truthfully is to use different words, and pronouns, than others use.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

From http://kotaku.com/the-steam-achievement-that-nobody-unlocked-1610073943:

As for the theories themselves for Hate Plus, they varied widely in their methods. Some suggested making specific choices at certain points in the game, re-checking old logs for new information, perusing updates to the game for clues, waiting until certain real-life holidays to play through certain portions of the game, over-analyzing Christine Love's Twitter profile, re-playing through the first game, if not straight up messing with the game's files, among other things. One person even wrote fanfic to support the ending where Mute is actually alive.

o/

"I'm deeply flattered that people care so much, obviously," Christine Love said to me in an email. "As a writer, I realize that the moment I create something, it's up for the audience to interpret as they will; I don't get any say in the matter. And of course, suicide is a very complicated matter. Still, it's... hard not to feel uncomfortable about it?

"A consistent thread between Analogue and Hate Plus is that over the course of the two games, *Mute never has a shred of agency of her own, leaving every decision that affects her life in the player's hands... then players make a mod to rob her of the single piece of agency she has, to stop her during the one time she does get to act on her own beliefs.

"I'm happy people care about *Mute so much, but it just feels like the point was missed entirely? I don't know. I'm incredibly conflicted on the matter," Love said.

I feel that the point which Love missed is that the game itself robbed *Mute of agency.

You can completely avoid looking up one of the logs which contains a thing which she cites as a failure (*Star's death). She still says it was one of her failures, in her suicide note.

There's a log entry which makes the explicit point that a person who looks just like you, but seems to be "better" in every way, is not you and can never replace you for someone who loves you. Having her read it makes no difference at all as to whether she makes you go through this.

And the thing that would have had the most impact on her, seeing the logs of the person she idolized (Oh Eun-a) and how this paragon of traditional morality was actually a self-hating lesbian -- whose lover killed herself -- is denied to her. These logs are accessible in *Hyun-ae's route, but not *Mute's, even though to *Hyun-ae they're just the random blargings of some depressive person.

*Mute does not have agency in Hate Plus. At no point does she make an informed decision, and you are prevented from informing her. Not from "saving your waifu," but from showing the person you love a series of facts that would have shattered the foundation her world was built on. And then letting her decide whether it is worth living or not, instead of trivializing the choice and the life of the person who made it.

The Steam achievement no one really unlocked

It's not "Level Four Revive Materia," which every one of the people who worked on the mod deserves to have in their Steam profiles. It's "Deep Space Therapist," which you earn for going back over all of the logs with *Mute on day three. Except that you actually for some reason earn it for going over them with New *Mute, who has nothing profound to say but "those people are messed up."

I wanted -- I dearly wanted -- to help *Mute pick up the pieces of her shattered worldview. I was bouncing up and down in my seat, listening to "It's Not Ero" over and over again, the last few hours before day three started. Because her story spoke so deeply to me, and I'd seen that "therapist" achievement and I knew it'd be hard, painful work but I wanted to go through it with her. I knew her worldview would not survive contact with reality, and that something in those logs would do that to her. I wanted to go back over everything from the council meetings she huffed about to the lesbian love scenes she projected disgust at, and watch her see those things with new eyes and question everything she'd built her life on. The way I'd had to just a few years ago, after escaping a far-right abusive homeschooling "family" which isolated me and programmed me with hateful beliefs similar to *Mute's own.

She could have broken up with me and/or killed herself afterwards. And while I would have been sad I wouldn't have been suicidally devastated, rocking back and forth curled up in a ball on my bed, the way that I was when Love tore her from me in Hate Plus. And when every single piece of analysis that I saw about the game was written by someone who wasn't affected by it in this way, to the point where I started to question my sanity and ask if I was the only one who was, or who could be hurt by this.

I felt like I had been personally told that the person I am, who went through at least half of what *Mute did and had to go through the process I wanted to help her with, shouldn't exist. Like I personally couldn't survive the "real world" outside the Mugunghwa either, and I should just kill myself because that's what *Mute did, and it was the only thing that made sense, and everyone on the internet agrees except for a handful of selfish jerkfaces who want their video game waifu back.

Every time I slip back into serious depressive mode, every time I've done so for the past year, I remember *Mute's suicide and there is at least a moment where I wish that I'd joined her right then.

I'm not threatening to kill myself right now, or trying to blame anyone for my feeling depressed. I'm actually writing this as self-therapy, to put into words why I feel gaslighted and take power away from the things that made me feel this way.

Love's game deprived *Mute of her agency, and I'm going to give it back. *Mute can do whatever she wants afterwards, but I'm going to see it through one way or another.

I still want a refund on Hate Plus

It's not a story about suicide. The novel itself is a cold-blooded act of murder.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

The world is a minefield, the air is toxic, and anything you drink may be contaminated.

Any package you open may explode in your face.

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Content note: Ablism and strong language in the source link.

Complaints about materialism are bunk, [Kirk Cameron] explains [in his film Saving Christmas], because Christmas is a celebration of God's spirit taking on a material form in Jesus. It's only fitting, therefore, that we give each other material things to celebrate his birth. As for gluttony (only technically a deadly sin), Christmas is our time to celebrate the most important man in the world, and God wants us to celebrate. "So get the biggest ham!" urges Kirk Cameron. "Use the richest butter! Make everything in your house point to Jesus!"

From the stranger.com

I pray to a goddess of food and wealth, and I'm kind of skeeved out by this. Wasn't it just a few years ago that most Christians were cautioning each other against letting Christmas shopping and parties and stuff detract from "the reason for the season?"

Which, I mean, I know the real reason for Christmas is "early Christians wanted to celebrate Yule." But what kind of person thinks it's okay to encourage a suburban North American audience to eat "the biggest ham" and "the richest butter," in honour of a homeless Jew who told his followers to give what they had to the poor?

It's never been more obvious that what most people call Christianity today is just capitalism.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

There's a MormonAd (basically a pre-internet meme) in one of their church magazines which shows a bug in a bowl of ice cream, and reads "IT'S GREAT EXCEPT FOR THE BAD PARTS."

The ice cream, in this case, is media, and for Mormons the "bad parts" are anything that "drives away the Spirit" ... which means they cause them to feel unacceptable emotions, like cognitive dissonance, sexual arousal, or adult anger and frustration as expressed through profanity. The more hardcore a Mormon is, the more of a learned fear response they have to emotions that normal adults have, which is why more hardcore Mormons used memes like this one: To shame kids for not having that response, and for thinking it was okay to watch R-rated movies and South Park.

You can see why they didn't want Mormon kids watching South Park. Content note: Racism, ablism, and a couple inaccuracies. (1) Click here if you can't see the video.

You see what I did there, with the note just beneath that video? This is how grown-ups handle people's different levels of tolerance for offensive content: By clearly labeling stuff using a shared vocabulary. The point isn't to say "if you like this then you're a racist;" it's to warn actual people of colour (in this case First Nations / Native American people) that "if you watch this then it might ruin your day," and let them make an informed decision.

It's hard to explain or justify doing this to people who've never imagined someone's day actually being ruined by this stuff. Or who chalk it up to "choosing to be offended." Healthy people don't have the kind of PTSD triggers that are caused by discrimination, and the kind of broken people that Mormonism and other abusive societies produce often don't realize they have triggers.

How abuse f**ks kids up, part 22

Claire used to just about go berserk when she saw gratuitous violence against innocents, like in action movies where they dwell on the villains casually killing people. I had no idea that it was because these scenes caused her to feel the anger we were never allowed to have or express, at our father of origin for beating the crap out of us. Because of that, we didn't know how to describe why we felt this way, or how to see the fact that these movies affected us in ways that they didn't affect other people. We thought that either we were broken, or everyone else was.

Don't you just wish, sometimes, that you could make people understand? That you could show those sexist white male jerks on Twitter what it's like to have people make rape jokes around you, or "jokingly" threaten your body with sexual violation?

... yeah, that's what happened to us shortly after we realized that we were transgender.

We got the kind of crash course in feminism that a person gets from presenting as female online, from having our work on GNOME more or less ignored by the male contributors to having irate Final Fantasy XIV players chase us off Tumblr for posting stuff they didn't like. Stuff like screenshots of the kind of blatantly sexist and rape-y stuff that the game is just saturated in, that we put on our sarcastic blog about how "FFXIV Is Totally Not Sexist."

Examples; content note for rape, sexism, and spoilers )

The tl;dr is that it feels like every woman who can be threatened with rape or harassment is, and -- a handful of high-ranking NPCs excepted -- the women in Eorzea all read like they were written by a man who finds sexual harassment funny.

I found the sexism funny, at first. Not because "lolwomen," but because it was so blatant and ridiculous. I started the Tumblr so people could laugh at it. But after a year of being harassed just for pointing it out, and dealing with creepy jerks who were other players in the game, and seeing women get threatened with rape and chased out of their homes just for being women on the Internet, it's not funny to me anymore.

The rape and sexism in FFXIV now feel less like bad jokes, and more like "the bad parts."

It's a great game, except for them. I'm just not sure I can deal with them anymore.




(1) Joseph Smith initially claimed only that he'd been "forgiven of his sins," and only later started saying God told him all religions were wrong. Also, he first tried to sell the copyright to the Book of Mormon in Canada, instead of founding a religion with it. It wasn't until after Mormonism picked up steam that he started having affairs and soliciting children, at least the ones that we know about.

I don't know what the Quakers have to do with anything, aside from generally being awesome (and living on the Moon).

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

And get this update written before we collapse ...

(Content note: Personal and slightly TMI-ish discussion of physically transitioning genders.)

Despite some kind of "hairy Benjamin standards of care" gatekeeping stuff, along with some painful blood-drawing and unexpected (and painful) groping between our legs >_o we apparently S-ranked our first hormone appointment thing.

Which was today.

Which we announced that it was in a post that was locked at the time, so that we wouldn't get stalked and our parents of origin wouldn't freak out and order a tactical nuclear strike on the apartment complex or something. Because unlike our heart, soul, romantic love, and creative writing endeavours, our primary and secondary sexual characteristics are very important to them, and there is no telling what lengths they will go to in order to terrorize us for thinking we own our "sacred parts" instead of having them on loan from God.

AHEM.

Anyway, the lab results from those huge vials of blood that they drew from our arm will be in a couple weeks from now, at which point we will hopefully be prescribed the synthetic estrogen we need to achieve a fuller physical / mental / emotional gender transition. Which apparently has its ups and downs, especially those last two. So if you're playing Magic against us sometime next month, and we suddenly burst into tears and exclaim stuff like "These lyrics are soooo deep ;; " ... don't say we didn't warn you!

... of course, if we don't get a prescription at that point, we may just burst into tears regardless.

So, how's life treating you all? >_>

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Today I am going out to the clinic to get exogenous hormones (meaning ones produced outside my body) as part of physically transitioning genders.

There are a lot of things that could go wrong with this, and that I'm very nervous about, which is part of why I'm up this late. But the biggest thing is that there's this voice in my head saying:

This is it, this is the magical TG TF transformation serum just like in your stories, and you're going to change into a woman IRL~

When I'd really like it to be saying:

Today I'm going to go out with Yuro to pick up their new Pokémon game, then get groceries with them, then go out to my appointment and go home afterwards.

You might think that this wouldn't be the case, after as much time as I spent reading and writing and dreaming about physical TF in general and "becoming female" specifically. But while my stories seem to have helped other people accept themselves and their need to be genuine, in me they've created this visceral terror at the thought of living in one.

Even though the worst scenario those stories explored -- being thrown out and rejected by your own family -- appears to have already happened to me.

But the biggest reason I don't want for this to be dreamlike and magical is because I want it to already be over with. I don't want to have to transition, in any way. I want to already be accepted as female, online and in person, without needing to explain "pronouns" or other big words some people apparently have trouble with. And I want to be able to see this as something you would legitimately do if you were already a woman, not something you do to become one.

(Yes, I know lots of ciswomen take hormones. It's not usually for this reason, though.)

I don't want this to be a turning point, or a reason for terror or celebration. I just want to get through and get on with my life, and have it maybe be easier once what I see in the mirror doesn't cause me to cringe as much.

... having said that, if anyone wants to throw a party at their own place or send us well-wishing then I won't object. >_>

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

A one-star review of the "Microsoft account" Android app, written by Lynn Mcrea:

Att is hacking and tearing up all Microsoft products and Apple

Att Bad People they Hack into cash registers NEwYork caused Home depot break in They also put a whole droid into my nook and into blackberry Help they are Bad people NY ATT Mafia Here they hack libraries and stores cash registers playing gospel music while they hack.Dirt Scum in Alabama Clean up ATT before they hurt our troops.The boys leaving out have ATT hacked devices Arny Navy Marines Air force can confirm but they have zippers Local Police have zippers Mine is only open enough to say Protect Our Troops

This is the best product review ever.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Here's what our table looked like the other night:

The gray miniatures on the right are the Circle Orboros force from the Hordes 2-player boxed set. We’ve attached them all to their bases (except for one Argus we’re going to try to pin later on), and they’re ready to join our Retribution of Scyrah warcaster and myrmidons (the ones on the left) for some actual gameplay.

Now we just need to prime, paint, and base them, not necessarily in that order. >_>b As you can see, we’ve got a small collection of paints that we’re planning on using for both tiny armies, as well as the Legion of Everblight (rawr monsters) force that came in the two-player set.

The painted mini on the stand, near our laptop, is Galadaeros, a huge copper dragon. He’s one of three that came with the D&D Attack Wing starter set, which we picked up after being wowed by the dragons’ sculpts. Remind me to write about my impressions of that game; we and [personal profile] rev_yurodivy both thought it was fast-paced and fun!

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Content note: Subtitled swear words, talk about sex, and child rape.


"They made me feel guilty for touching myself as a fourteen-year-old! And now I find out Joseph was %!@$ing fourteen-year-olds!?" Click here if you can't see the video.

"His shelf breaks," in the video's title, refers to the Mormon adage of "putting a thing on your shelf" to mean no longer contemplating something that's causing you to doubt the institutional church's claims or good intentions. Ex-mormons talk about breaking shelves to mean that something finally pushed them over the edge.

A lot of shelves have been breaking since their church recently published its essays, admitting to things like how Joseph Smith preyed on a girl "a few months from her fifteenth birthday," and those essays getting front-page, mainstream attention in places like CNN and the New York Times. Even though the essays still hide or obscure some things, and always phrase stuff in a way that creates the most ambiguity and casts the best light on the church, there are a lot of real people who are finding this stuff out right now and having the same reaction Memetic Hitler did in that video.

So you could say it's funny because it's not funny!

May whatever gods hear their prayers be merciful to them, and help them and their families escape.

About us

Furry, fantasy, and fanfiction writer. Miniatures hobbyist, Mi'qote White Mage, 4E DM. Windows gamer, fangirl, and developer. Pronouns she/her, they/their.

Transfemale plurality, otherkin, fictive. Polyamorous pansexual. Proud introvert. Inari worshiper; xenotheist.

We wrote Jewelfox's Otherkin FAQ.

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