Originally posted on godless in dixie:
[Guest post written by Deanna M. Boudov]
If you are like me and you were indoctrinated as a Christian since birth by your character-impaired parent(s), you may ask yourself: What came first, the religion or the personality problem? Sometimes these two wonderful things just come together in one wacky, messed-up package.
Neil and I are in a group of what I like to think of as a union of sorts, an International Brotherhood of Survivors of Christianity. We mostly just goof around on the internet, and on occasion meet up in Texas at a halfway-house for wayward adults. I am often shocked and heartbroken by Neil’s experiences in Dixie, and feel both guilty and grateful to live in the Northeast. Here Catholics and liberal Christians may think you are a complete weirdo for not sharing their beliefs, but the most likely scenario is that you are not going to lose…
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Originally posted on Feminist Ire:
When I was in first year in secondary school in 1997, a girl in the year above me was pregnant. She was 14. The only people who I ever heard say anything negative about her were a group of older girls who wore their tiny feet “pro-life” pins on their uniforms with pride. They slagged her behind her back, and said she would be a bad mother. They positioned themselves as the morally superior ones who cared for the baby, but not the unmarried mother. They are the remnants of an Ireland, a quasi-clerical fascist state, that we’d like to believe is in the past, but still lingers on.
The news broke last week of a septic tank filled with the remains of 796 children and babies in Galway. The remains were accumulated from the years 1925 to 1961 and a common cause of death was malnutrition and preventable disease…
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Originally posted on we hunted the mammoth:
If you’re one of the new readers who’ve come to this blog in recent days, and you’d like to get up to speed in a hurry on the Men’s Rights movement and all the other sorts of misogynists we discuss on this blog, here are some posts that you may find interesting and useful.
The Mammoth FAQ What I’m trying to do with the blog, as well as an explanation of the name.
White Hot Rage: A piece I did for The American Prospect reviewing Michael Kimmel’s Angry White Men and offering a critical overview of the Men’s Rights Movement.
Paul Elam of A Voice for Men: In His Own Words: Some truly reprehensible quotes from the most influential MRA online
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Originally posted on Feminist Philosophers:
The data on doctorates is telling. According to recent research the number of women receiving doctorates in philosophy is very near the bottom of the academic barrel.
New research is opening up our understanding of another factor, which resides in the beliefs about one’s ability to succeed in a career:
The decision to pursue a career rests in part on how we judge the following inequality:
If we believe this inequality to be true, we might proceed; if we decide it’s false, we might look elsewhere. Importantly, however, neither side of this inequality is easy to evaluate. Abilities are nebulous, context-sensitive things that are notoriously problematic to pin down. As a result, we often look to…
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Originally posted on The Moral Philosopher and His International Affairs:
Unless otherwise stated, phrases in quotations are lifted from our email correspondence.
In order to protect my academic career, I need to keep my identity anonymous. My identity is known to feminist philosophers. Anyone who comes forward to share her own experience with the man I describe will know who I am. The man I write about knows who I am, because the things I wrote in the first blog post, I have repeated to him many times. Let me point out that I can get sued for libel if I’m making false statements. In fact, he should publish his own statement to defend himself if I am fabricating all this. We are the online information generation, and the public deserves to know the truth.
Several weeks ago, I sent “I Had an Affair with my Hero, a Philosopher Who’s Famous for being ‘Moral’” to Thought Catalogue and to the…
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Originally posted on White Ribbon Campaign:
One of the most disturbing moments of the past eighteen months of my life was hearing my wife’s killer form a coherent sentence in court. Jill had been murdered almost six months earlier, and Adrian Bayley’s defence team were presenting a rather feeble case for a four-week adjournment of his committal hearing. Bayley appeared via video-link as I sat flanked by two friends and a detective. The screen was to my right, mounted high up and tilted slightly towards the bench. It was uncomfortably silent apart from the occasional paper shuffle or short flurry of keyboard clicks. I anticipated, and prepared for the most difficult moment of the day when Bayley’s face appeared on the big-screen TV, looming over the seat I then occupied. When that moment arrived, a jolt of nausea came and went, but the worst was to come, made all the more horrifying because it was…
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Originally posted on It's Bridget's Word:
Every day involves a calculation. I walk in a world that sees me as broken, less than. Whether I like it or not, the world is more dangerous for me because I have a developmental disability. When the public discourse is full of words like combat and warrior, and the real results of that discourse are poverty, abuse, discrimination, and institutions, we need to be prepared for battle. It’s not that we’re hostile or unreasonably angry, but the consequence of letting down our guard is too high. So we armor up. We pile on the pieces of objective truth as dictated by an able world. We are quick to mention, repeatedly, our degrees and career accomplishments in a way that is often mistaken for bragging. Rarely is this a prideful act. It’s a Faustian bid rife with internalized ableism. I can show you my credentials, so that you will give…
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by Nick Walker
How many websites are there that have a page called something like “What Is Autism?” or “About Autism”? How often do organizations, professionals, scholars, and others need to include a few paragraphs of basic introductory “What Is Autism?” text in a website, brochure, presentation, or academic paper?
I’ve seen so many versions of that obligatory “What Is Autism” or “About Autism” text. And they’re almost all terrible. For starters, almost all of them – even the versions written by people who claim to be in favor of “autism acceptance” or to support the neurodiversity paradigm – use the language of the pathology paradigm, which intrinsically contributes to the oppression of Autistics.
On top of that, most of these descriptions of autism – even many of the descriptions written by Autistics – propagate inaccurate information and false stereotypes. Some are so bad that they actually quote the DSM.
Of course, there are also a few really good pieces of “What Is Autism” text out there. But for the most part, they’re rather personal pieces, about the authors’ own unique experiences of autism, rather than general introductory definitions.
What is needed is some good basic introductory “What Is Autism” text that is:
1.) consistent with current evidence;
2.) not based in the pathology paradigm;
3.) concise, simple, and accessible;
4.) formal enough for professional and academic use.
Since I couldn’t find such a piece of text elsewhere, I wrote one. And here it is.
I hereby give everyone permission to reprint the text below, in whole or in part, whenever you need a piece of basic “What Is Autism” or “About Autism” text. Please do credit me for writing it (and of course, a proper citation is a must in academic writing). But really, as long as credit is given, anyone can go ahead and use this text for free.
WHAT IS AUTISM?
Autism is a genetically-based human neurological variant. The complex set of interrelated characteristics that distinguish autistic neurology from non-autistic neurology is not yet fully understood, but current evidence indicates that the central distinction is that autistic brains are characterized by particularly high levels of synaptic connectivity and responsiveness. This tends to make the autistic individual’s subjective experience more intense and chaotic than that of non-autistic individuals: on both the sensorimotor and cognitive levels, the autistic mind tends to register more information, and the impact of each bit of information tends to be both stronger and less predictable.
Autism is a developmental phenomenon, meaning that it begins in utero and has a pervasive influence on development, on multiple levels, throughout the lifespan. Autism produces distinctive, atypical ways of thinking, moving, interaction, and sensory and cognitive processing. One analogy that has often been made is that autistic individuals have a different neurological “operating system” than non-autistic individuals.
According to current estimates, somewhere between one percent and two percent of the world’s population is autistic. While the number of individuals diagnosed as autistic has increased continually over the past few decades, evidence suggests that this increase in diagnosis is the result of increased public and professional awareness, rather than an actual increase in the prevalence of autism.
Despite underlying neurological commonalities, autistic individuals are vastly different from one another. Some autistic individuals exhibit exceptional cognitive talents. However, in the context of a society designed around the sensory, cognitive, developmental, and social needs of non-autistic individuals, autistic individuals are almost always disabled to some degree – sometimes quite obviously, and sometimes more subtly.
The realm of social interaction is one context in which autistic individuals tend to consistently be disabled. An autistic child’s sensory experience of the world is more intense and chaotic than that of a non-autistic child, and the ongoing task of navigating and integrating that experience thus occupies more of the autistic child’s attention and energy. This means the autistic child has less attention and energy available to focus on the subtleties of social interaction. Difficulty meeting the social expectations of non-autistics often results in social rejection, which further compounds social difficulties and impedes social development. For this reason, autism has been frequently misconstrued as being essentially a set of “social and communication deficits,” by those who are unaware that the social challenges faced by autistic individuals are just by-products of the intense and chaotic nature of autistic sensory and cognitive experience.
Autism is still widely regarded as a “disorder,” but this view has been challenged in recent years by proponents of the neurodiversity model, which holds that autism and other neurocognitive variants are simply part of the natural spectrum of human biodiversity, like variations in ethnicity or sexual orientation (which have also been pathologized in the past). Ultimately, to describe autism as a disorder represents a value judgment rather than a scientific fact.
Originally posted on The Third Glance:
I’m sitting with a group of people, not a huge group, but maybe 4 or 5 others. We’re chattering, or at least, they are – they’re chatting, talking, conversing. I’m listening, I have no other choice.
I hear a door open and shut. I hear their breathing. I hear the girl across from me shift from side to side. I hear their Words, and each Word means something, makes me think of something else. I put the Words into my brain, and try to organize them. Sometimes I even hear the sentences, but there’s so much going on that I have trouble figuring out what is being said.
I hear their Words, fumbled and confusing, with most things unspoken, nonverbal cues that are not Heard. I miss a Word, and lose the sentence.
Was that a joke? They’re all laughing. I guess I should join in, since they know I’m…
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Originally posted on Disrupting Dinner Parties:
In the beginning, there was “Elevatorgate.” Rebecca Watson, a feminist atheist blogger, politely explained how not to hit on women. Richard Dawkins, the most famous leader of the “New Atheists,” decided he needed to condescendingly explain to Watson that since she is not a Muslim woman, it was self-indulgent of her to speak about her experiences of sexism. Not coincidentally – as far as I am concerned – Dawkins decided this after sitting on a panel with Watson where she extensively explained how being a skeptic and a feminist netted her the delightful catch of dozens of e-mails every day – from other skeptics – offering alternatively to pleasure her like no one else had before (the “fan mail”) or, to rape her violently to set her straight (the hate mail). I think all this talk about sexism in the atheist community…
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