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)

They'd be about as appalled by ads for technology that lets parents lock down children's internet use as we would be by overtly sexist ads from the 50's, that take it for granted a hetero husband needs to control his wife's spending, not let her anywhere near the car, and administer corporal punishment to her.

They'd be as nonplussed by the use of "human" to mean "person" and "human beings" or "humankind" to mean "people" as many of us are by "man" and "mankind" being used to mean those things.

They wouldn't even bother to engage pretty much any of today's conservative or neoliberal talking points, since it'd be obvious to them that these are just excuses for why large groups of people don't deserve life or dignity. Because of this, they'd be accused of derailing or "playing the race card" or "making everything about your gender" if they actually tried to talk about this stuff.

They'd find modern cities about as frightening and unpleasant as we would a medieval town, with its rivers of sewage and excrement thrown from windows.

Their minds would be blown by the almost-complete lack of atheist churches and firebrand atheist preachers, and how Christianity seems to be serving that role instead.

They'd think our computers are hilarious and adorable.

Finally, they'd be very chilly, and need to find clothes to wear that aren't suited for swimming.

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)

I think this happens when a given ideal becomes an end in itself, and not a means to an end. Suddenly people's lives are based around this ideal, instead of the other way around, and anything that threatens this ideal seems to threaten their lives by extension.

I think this applies to evangelicals going after gays, movement atheists going after theists, and free software zealots going after anything and everything in the world that might make computing and coding more accessible to women. The way things are, or were, or should be, is perfect. If you don't exist in that ideal world, then you shouldn't exist at all.

I think this sort of inhumane idealism is worse than simple inhumaneness of convenience, because it actively seeks out people to destroy them, whether by conversion or by making life as something different impossible. And I think that part of the reason it gets so vicious about it is because it's sublimating the energy that should have gone into questioning its own assumptions, and hearing other people's stories.

I know in my case I spent most of my life not just willing to throw myself away for an ideal, but actively trying to do so. I spent years hating myself for not being the perfect Mormon, and struggling with Linux to try to get it to do what I needed it to. And when I found out that my theritype was a carnivore, I felt sick and wanted to cease to exist, because I felt like every day that I lived was a tragedy.

It's taken a lot of work to try to reconstruct my morality based on what's right for people, including myself, because of how much I saw the very idea mocked. It's supposedly weak, selfish, and dishonest to not sacrifice yourself. But the more I see how dishonest and selfish people who want others to cease to exist are, and how hard it is to convince myself that I shouldn't just curl up and die when I'm asked to, I start to question that. I guess.

I think this is why we're so quick to back down, to infosuicide even, and why it takes forever for us to get to the point where we voice our concerns about something that's hurting us. Deep down, we agree with everyone who's said we don't deserve to exist, for every reason. We consider every request made of us to be reasonable, by default, and every request we make to be an unreasonable imposition.

So when someone tells us to get the hell off their Internet, we already agree with them that we shouldn't be there.

It takes a lot of work to construct the illusion that we deserve to exist, and it's easy for that illusion to vanish.

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)

When it stops asking questions, making hypotheses, and pointing out the existing evidence, and starts telling you what you should do and believe based on the evidence. Regardless of what's healthy for you, or what works for you, or what kind of person you are.

It's not offensive to not worship a deity, and to self-identify as an atheist ("without-gods-ist"). Choosing to worship or not worship is a personal choice.

It's extremely offensive to tell someone how they should make that personal choice, and to insist that only you have the right answers to theological questions like "what is god?" and "how should I relate to her?"

Whether your answers to those questions come from a religious or atheistic background, simply having different answers to questions of pure theology is not in and of itself offensive. For instance,

It's not offensive to look at the available evidence, both in neurology and in people's self-reported experiences of divinity, and conclude that gods are probably names people give to feelings and experiences they have and concepts that they revere. But,

It's extremely offensive to tell me that, because this is what you've decided my deity is, you don't believe she exists. Because for me and many others, she does.

My relationship with Inari Okami is one of the most important ones in my life. She literally saved my life at one point, just by talking to me and being there when I needed her. She may not be that important to most of the people in the world, who barely acknowledge the kami of foxes and rice (even if they like both of those things). But to me, she is in some ways closer than family, and has been in my life longer than any of my partners or adopted family members.

I have chosen to be agnostic with regards to the question of how Inari exists. Because whatever the "true" answer to that question is -- assuming there is one -- it doesn't affect my relationship with her.

This isn't a case of "blinding myself to the evidence." I am fascinated by the evidence, and the neuroscience behind theological experiences. I regularly discuss the divine on a purely material level, and even have at least one materialist explanation for how and why I am otherkin.

It's simply a case where the theory doesn't affect the practice, sort of like how the mechanics of why I'm transgender don't affect the fact that I need to transition. For whatever reason, praying to Inari works for me. Focusing on her presence and listening for her (spiritual) voice is an effective meditation, which helps calm me and clear my thoughts of distractions. I am often reminded of things I needed to do, or helped to realize a new way of seeing something, while praying to her. The fact that I subjectively experience this as Inari telling me these things doesn't change that, and if anything means that my current approach to prayer works.

Conflating my experiences with those of movie and TV show characters who "hear voices in their heads," or implying that I am in any way dangerous because I both pray and listen for answers to prayer, is blindingly ignorant and offensive. It negates my personal experiences, replacing them with a Hollywood stereotype that bears no resemblance to my life. And it causes me material harm by diminishing my credibility, my ability to say what I go through and have others believe me, which I already have problems with on account of being female, trans*, and disabled (not to mention a plural system and otherkin).

Atheists know better than most what it's like to be seen as a scary and dangerous person, just because of what goes on in their heads. They don't need to make the world worse for other people who are marginalized because of religion.

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)

Inspired by the Mormon-to-English dictionary I wrote earlier, and the fact that movement atheists attach a lot of emotional meaning to some seemingly straightforward phrases!

Please note that this isn't meant as criticism of anyone's choice not to worship a deity, or to identify as atheist for that reason. I completely respect that, and I think there are a lot more people who would choose that if they felt it was an option than there currently are. This is meant as criticism of what I call "movement atheists" or "internet atheists," who are basically the bad kind of Christian except they believe in one fewer god. And are more snobby and less shouty.

Content Note: Racism, sexism, classism, speciesism, theophobia, heteronormativity, and snark. Lots of snark.

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)

... who believe in one fewer god.

That's how [personal profile] aliaspseudonym summed up the discussion I had last night with someone from FFXIV, which prompted a friends-locked ragepost right afterwards. Please note that the "Christians" being compared to here are the non-pluralistic ones, who believe there's only one real god and only one right way to relate to him.

Content note: Homophobia, theophobia, being angry, and swears, all behind the cut. Click here to skip if you are reading the entry by itself.

Read more... )

I think that getting angry, then thinking more calmly about it, and continuing to maintain my boundaries and not see myself as the problem, is the healthiest response I've had to being comprehensively invalidated in awhile.

At the same time, though, this whole thing was an unpleasant reminder that I don't get to pretend to be normal. I thought I could, I really hoped that I could, but I'm one of the "monsters" that [personal profile] avia talks about. Who can't be understood or accepted, if anyone sees what she is. Not by society at large; not even by supposedly progressive sectors of society like the LGBT-friendly Free Company I was in, in FFXIV.

(Please note that during the conversation, this person also said stuff that was blindingly offensive and ignorant, about neurodiverse people and plural systems.)

I'm not tying myself to a Free Company, or another club or guild organization, unless it's a small group of friends like the people that I know on Dreamwidth. I'm tired of being triggered every day, and not knowing how to escape except by logging out. I don't think I get to have that experience, of feeling camaraderie and acceptance with large groups of people, and I think I'm okay with that. Because I would rather hold out for people who accept me, than erase "unacceptable" parts of myself to have friends (as opposed to purely professional relationships).

I am going to ****ing platinum that game, and I am going to do it my way.

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)

We, as 'kin, are often accused of "not knowing the difference between fantasy and reality." But the reality is, we know the difference better than probably anyone else. We have to navigate inner worlds very different from most people's, and then reconcile those with outer worlds (each society is a different one) which are usually hostile to them.

In a nutshell, therians know we can't fly. But many "normals" are afraid that we'll jump off their balconies, and treat us as though we are standing on the railing and flapping our arms, just for talking about being therian. I personally feel that this is an improvement over being tried for witchcraft and burned at the stake, but it shows that we still have a long way to go.

Where are we headed towards, though?

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)

Being therian, fictive, or otherkin does not mean that you act a certain way, hold a certain belief, or have the "soul" of a particular entity -- or even that you believe in souls.

There are three things which they seem to have in common.

(Content note for discussion of ablism, xenophobia, and religious supremacism, and for brief use of strong language.)

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: Discusses religion and religious intolerance.

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: Describes religious bigotry and homophobia.

So I was playing an RPG called Cthulhu Saves the World, where the titular squamous horror awakens only to be deprived of his powers. And now he has to go on a quest and become a "true hero," so he can get his powers back and destroy the world.

And it's funny. Not laugh-out-loud hilarious but cute. It helped distract me from the crisis I'm going through right now. Until I ran into this part in the "Hall of Heroes" where one of the characters is rattling off a list of "true heroes," and one of them is Alma the Younger.

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)

After I wrote that takedown of the phrase "religion sucks," in which I pointed out that "religion" and "cults of personality" are separate categories which don't completely overlap, I started seeing cultlike characteristics in a lot of the things around me. And realizing what those characteristics were.

As part of this, I had the unfortunate realization that a lot of the Ubuntu community is a cult. I'm not sure I'd say all of it is, or that you have to be a cultist to use Ubuntu. But they say that people leaving one cult often join another, and for several years around the time I became disaffected with Mormonism I was really high on Ubuntu. I try to see it more pragmatically now, but the cultlike atmosphere on Planet Ubuntu and the way they diss people who don't fit in really disgusts me. Especially with the way people are treating those who left after the recent debacle. I'm switching back to GNOME and Fedora as soon as I can muster the energy.

Anyway, I'm going to try to list some of the cult characteristics that I've noticed here, using both religious and nonreligious cults as examples.

Read more... )

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~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

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