Misandry Angie – Blog Move

In the new year, I’ll be moving to a new blog Misandry Angie!

moving duct tape

Being Angie the Anti-Theist for the past five and a half years has been incredible. I’ve gotten to know so many amazing people – atheist and feminist and disability activists and more. I’ve had opportunities to help people, and I’ve been shown kindness and generosity I couldn’t have gone without. I’ve moved from Twitter to YouTube to Facebook, from Blogspot to WordPress, and now it’s time to move from Angie the Anti-Theist to Misandry Angie.

I wrote so much about religion in my early days of blogging, when I was fresh out of my grandmother’s cult and needed to nurse my wounds and air my grievances. I wanted to warn the world about my grandmother specifically and cults in general. I needed to say that religion can harm and have it be heard. I have and it was, and now I have different things I need to say.

I always said that having Anti-Theist in my name didn’t mean I was against all religious people, and in the same way, Misandry doesn’t mean I’m against all men. It’s a slightly blasphemous little joke, same as before but with a new target. I’ve taken on god, next up man.

Misandry is feminist humor or a ridiculous whine from men, take your pick. But for me, it is more. Misandry is daring to love myself in a world that says I’m less than human because I’m not a man. Misandry is not wasting time on the same tired bad arguments, like “not all men” when no one was talking about all men. Misandry is the radically choice to prioritize the words, feelings, and voices of women and non-binary people over the words, feelings, and voices of men which have audience enough in the wider, misogynist world.

For me, misandry is both a lifestyle and a sense of humor. Embracing this jocular, irreverent approach to men in a man’s world has shaped me as much as embracing atheism and rejecting religion has. It wasn’t until I chose misandry, until I decided my feelings got to matter more to me than the feelings of men in my life, that I realized I was gay. It wasn’t until I purposefully made myself more important that I was able to see how much of myself I had squashed and hidden away.

Misandry is a way of knowing myself, a way of relating to the world without losing myself in it. Misandry is a form of intentional “selfishness” as direct defiance to the years of social obedience training I am trying to undo. I have been taught my whole life to see things from a male perspective, to sympathize with male pain, and to cheer male triumph. Misandry is a choice to see things from a female perspective, to sympathize with female pain, and to cheer female triumph. I am filling in the missing parts of my worldview, filling in the half of the story most often left out.

I hope to see you on the new blog in the new year. I will continue writing about my cult upbringing, feminist issues, reproductive justice, disability rights, and autism acceptance. I will also be writing about femme feminism, doing makeup tutorials and beauty posts looking at the history of makeup and feminine styles of dress, with a decidedly queer lens. I’ll hopefully be blogging about new adventures in lesbian dating and better things in the misandrous years to come. See you there!

The Man Who Saved Her

My grandma Giggy was bright. She finished high school early and started nursing school at sixteen. She went to the University of Tampa, and her parents lived across the state in Vero Beach.  State Road 60 is pretty much a straight shot between the two, crossing open fields of saw palmetto and freshwater canals. Giggy’s boyfriend loaned her his car joking, “If you get in an accident,  make sure it’s a big one.”

As she drove home to see her parents one night, Giggy came upon a road work crew blocking the lane ahead. She tried to go around on the right, but discovered there was no shoulder. Her boyfriend’s car went over the edge and plunged into the canal down below.

Inside the car, she panicked.  Giggy couldn’t get the seat belt to release.  She couldn’t get the door to open. The car was filling with water. She fainted.

Back up on land, the road crew stared into the water but made no move to save her. A black trucker with his young son stopped his ride. He yelled for the white road crew to save her as he got down from his cab. No, they said. There are gators in that water.

The black man dove into the water. He managed to wrench the car door open, but the water pressure slammed it shut on three of his fingers.  Leaving them behind, he rose to the surface for air and to call out for a tire iron. His son gave it to him, and he dove under the water again. He smashed open the window and lifted my Giggy out. When she came to, she blearily mumbled “my cigarettes” and he dove in one last time to retrieve her purse. 

This amazing man whose name I did not know saved a woman who would not save him. He risked literal life and limb and lost three fingers saving her. The debt can never be repaid, though Giggy was able to do a little. The two were asked on a 1950s game show a few years later, and Giggy was able to answer trivia questions to win him household appliances (a very 50s thing indeed).

I’m not a big fan of It’s a Wonderful Life, but when I think of one person’s impact on the world, I think of that black trucker being selfless and brave. Giggy would go on to have four surviving children, eight grandchildren,  and five great-grandchildren so far. In saving one life, he allowed for a future where seventeen more lives could happen. 

In my darkest days newly out of her cult, I sometimes wished he hadn’t saved her. In those same years that she’s had seventeen descendents,  she’s also contributed to at least a dozen deaths. She left a sponge in a surgical patient. She drove recklessly and took out a pedestrian as I watched in horror. She gave deadly medical advice as a faith healer. She killed and maimed babies as an unlicensed midwife. 

Now I can say ths t he did the right thing in that moment.  Her actions don’t diminish his heroism and I can be grateful for him even as I wish she hadn’t been her. One man’s bravery allowed every good and bad deed for four generations of my family. And that’s what anyone who saves a human life does – allows futures full of humanity, the good and the bad. His actions made the world a better place even though she didn’t.

Bathroom Privacy

I have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It causes me pain and discomfort,  and leads me to take twenty or more daily trips to the bathroom.  It’s embarrassing to have a toileting disability in a world that giggles over bathroom humor.  That’s why it’s important to me that I get to decide how and how much to disclose about my condition and symptoms.

Too many parents of disabled children seem not to realize this. They will talk publicly about their older child’s diarrhea or constipation,  their night wetting, their accidents. What’s worse, often these parents will blog or post using their legal name and their child’s.

If a prospective romantic partner or employer Googled your name,  would you want a post from your mother about your explosive poop to be the first result? Unless you work in fetish porn, probably not.  So why would you manufacture that fat for your child?

Most disabled children survive to become disabled adults, which is good. Your child may grow up to go to university or get married or become a foster parent.  It’s dangerous to make negative life predictions about our children’s future capabilities.

You may be thinking “Angie your child is less disabled than mine” and you may be right. Still I have known too many people who were presumed incompetent only to prove their parents wrong later to shut doors to futures when their bodies and brains are still immature. 

You should blog as if someday your child will read it. Blog as if they will apply for work someday.  Blog as if someday and today they deserve dignity, respect, and privacy. Don’t post anything about them you wouldn’t want someone else posting about you. 

This world is not very accepting of toilet troubles.  Many adults with IBS, Chron’s disease,  urinary incontinence and other toileting related disabilities are bringing awareness to these issues and working on building tolerance.  This work should be done by people willing to disclose their own medical issues.  It should not be done without patient consent,  even if the patient is your child. 

Bristol Palin’s Scarlet Letter

I read Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter in high school. It was probably the first book on slut-shaming I’d ever read. The protagonist Hester Prynne has sex outside the confines of marriage with the local preacher. Pregnancy while her husband is away reveals her secret to the village, and they shun her. She’s forced to wear a scarlet letter A for adultery on her chest for all the town to see and she is mistreated terribly. I’ve been thinking back on this story this week as I’ve seen the press and comments regarding the recent birth of Bristol Palin’s second child.


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Holiday Reflections

Holiday nostalgia as the granddaughter of a cult leader is bittersweet at best. My family is made of strong women, some of them abusive. My grandmother in particular was a confusing presence in my life, and a destructive force in the world. One moment I can be happily remembering the food served at family Thanksgiving (marinated pork, black beans and yellow rice, and all the yams with marshmallow I could eat). The next moment I remember that my grandmother – my funny, charming, great-at-parties grandma – has a body count. And then it’s not so fun.

sad holiday wine

Not actually crying in my wine.

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Cute Boys and Hair

Fifth grade was when it started. The other girls started talking about their crushes,  which boys in class were cute. Only two years before my girl peers were saying all the boys had cooties. Now they blushed and giggled about which cootie infestation was cuter.

I didn’t understand their criteria.  Our class of 24 had only six girls but 18 boys, so we had plenty of candidates to choose from. But I didn’t know why they picked the boys they did. I’d found only a few men nice to look at before, like Sulu (young George Takei) who had a friendly smile and Michael J. Fox who I liked to pretend was my dad.

Finally one of the girls mentioned that Andrew in class had good hair. At last, a clue! I learned that ash blonde bowl cuts are good, and boys who have them are cute.  More, I learned that hairstyles were a criteria for cute boy selection.  As a biologically appointed yet underprepared judge,  I needed all the criteria I could get.

cute not cute

The distinction was often subtle. On the left, we have Cute Hair. On the right, Not Cute.

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