Thursday, December 9, 2010

Yeah for the end of the semester!

Today is my last day of classes, well those that I'm teaching. I have to meet on Monday to give a presentation, but other than that I'm almost done. I just need to wrap up some final papers, grade final papers, and then I can bundle up by the.... well no fireplace anymore, so no fire, but I can still watch Christmas movies and catch on my reading until we leave for Virginia.
A few things that I worked on this semester include:
-Did some fieldwork on female atheists
-Theorized about atheism
-Researched (and loved it by the way) Buffy the Vampire Slayer
-Collected some data for my project I got some money for
-Got teacher-student study up and running
-Worked on networking/collaborating with those outside my dept.

Some goals for break:
-Try to read four books a week
-Work on teacher-student study
-Submit an abstract for a conference
-Revise syllabi for next semester

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ms. Mag, Blag Hag, and my response

A few days ago, Ms. Magazine blog published an article that raised a number of red flags amongst female atheists. Here is my response to one of the young women who was also a little distraught about the Ms. Mag blog.

I really appreciate your rebuttal of Shores' article. I've been a female atheist for a few years now, but yet I still feel quite underrepresented in atheist circles. I also know that the American Religious Identification Survey (2008) noted that women only make up 40% of "Nones" which includes atheists, agnostics as well as those who just don't affiliate with any religion (on the other hand women make up almost 60% of Christian denominations). I'm a graduate student in sociology and gender and women's studies and I'm very interested in researching female atheists primarily because I do think there is some validity to the lack of women in atheist circles. I think a lot of the barrier is due to the role of gender in education. Now, are the number of women in atheist circles growing, yes, but I could also see how atheism is still relatively elitist in terms of race, education, and class. More research needs to be done on this in order to really understand what's going on.

I also think media plays a huge role in how atheism is perceived by the general public and to those who visit book stores and want to know more, they often do find books written primarily by white men. On the surface, this isn't very comforting. I also think there are a lot of proactive female atheists out there (I fall in this category myself), but I honestly see so few of others that it's really hard to form adequate support groups (my local atheist group is primarily made up of old white men). I think more women need to come out of the closet and participate, but I also see how many women may be "kept" from doing so because of ridicule and perhaps even childcare limitations.

Friday, September 10, 2010

God is now on Facebook

I've been noticing that a lot of my religious family members and friends keep posting God related comments and quotes from the Bible and it's really starting to piss me off. One of my beloved aunt's just posted "If we forget God, Satan will rule. If we forget God, our Nation is through" and I finally got the nerve to respond and wrote this:
"personally, I'm for the separation of church and state and find the infiltration of religion into law/school and our public system very problematic. This is coming from someone who is an atheist and also lives a moral lifestyle, and gets frustrated when history gets revised because of religion (Texas school board wanted to emphasize that our founding fathers were Christian (and they were not)--due to this, the writers who create school textbooks have to cater to these ideas (which then get moved nationwide). Just a thought."

I'm so sick of people writing "oh god" this and "oh god" that. I think every time I see a facebook status that refers to god I'm going to write in mine "There is no god, embrace the light."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Where I stand as a feminist

A few days ago I talked about the different types of feminists and found myself thinking about where I stand as a feminist.

I believe....
that white privilege exists (and should not)
that male privilege exists (and should not)
that education (and not religion) is the way to a greater understanding of life
that people need to communicate and discuss issues that bother them
that it doesn't matter what your sexuality is, you should be able to marry whomever you love
that the institution of marriage may cripple many women (it's not for me)
that the government doesn't always know what's best for me and my family
that I have the right to do whatever I want, to my body because it is mine
that more men need to become feminists
that life is what you make it, overcoming adversity makes one stronger, but adversity should not be condoned by institutions or systems.
that the US military should be about defense and that both men and women kick ass as soldiers
that men and women should be paid the same for the same work
that men and women should be active parents (and should constantly work at it)
that married individuals should implement a more egalitarian (if this is what each individual wants) lifestyle--household chores, bills, duties, etc.
that more than it is important for you to believe in yourself and surround yourself with people who believe in you.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's been awhile

I'm sorry it's been awhile since I posted something new, but school has been crazy busy. I've been working on a project that examines gender performance in the classroom and I've been doing a lot of teaching. I have some good news. I got a teaching assisstantship through the gender and women's studies department and my husband and I are buying a house. I also presented a paper in San Antonio, TX. My students' essays have been very informative and for the most part very good. I'm ready for the semester to end though.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Programs that help or applying to have kids?

Last week, one of my colleagues asked me to read a few articles on racial discrimination, child rearing and the U.S. institutions that are suppose to help mothers and their children. After reading a few articles, I became fairly upset. I became upset because I wanted a just system. In a few of the articles, I read about women of color who lost their children, who were discriminated against when it came time to be reunited with their children, who were afraid of asking for help and feared losing their children, and who did not have access to the resources to help their children and themselves lift themselves out of poverty. I was dumbfounded to have learned that so much pain was inflicted upon so many women and children. I guess what really hurt me was how blind I have been to my white privilege. Yes, there are white women and men out there who have their children taken away, but white people tend to have social capital (i.e. white privilege) that men and women of color lack.

The more I read, the more infuriated I became. In the end, I basically decided that governments either need to revise how they distribute funds and implement certain programs, or we need to have a formal application process when we want to get pregnant and have kids. Please be aware that I am not trying to discriminate here. Everyone, white, blacks, hispanics, asians, heterosexuals, homosexuals would be subject to review. Yes, yes, I know white heterosexuals would unfortunately have an advantage because we can't just go back and reset the clock. Historically, white heterosexual people have had certain privileges, and this is not my point. My point is that everyone should be treated fairly and in order to do so, we need to fix our institutions that are designed to help men, women, and children out of difficult situations and not make the situation worse. Taking children from a parent because she left a 13 yr old kid with a 3 yr old, is not right while she was gone for only half an hour (especially if the 13 yr old has neighbors he/she could go to for help). And then to see these children go into foster care, be abused, and then go back into the system via the justice system. This is also extremely problematic since young black men are more likely to be charged and even convicted as adults.

I know my opinion here might be a little uncouth, but hey things need to change.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Another Reason Why Religion (especially Christianity) is a bad thing

If you haven't heard about this, then you are probably the only one. I cannot believe the nerve. This group makes Americans out to look like complete idiots. "We didn't know we couldn't cross the border with 33 children without the proper documentation." Oh come on! Are these people completely blind to our own illegal immigration issues? How could they not know what they were doing was sketchy? I have no sympathy for these idiots. Personally, I think they should sit in jail for awhile. Helping the children is one thing, but not realizing that you need proper documentation to take 33 Haitian children out of Haiti??