About angietheantitheist

I'm passionate about disability rights, autism acceptance, reproductive justice, and dismantling the cisheteropatriarchy.


sadness kitten

Source: Deviant Art user aoao2

I am sad. I am so sad. I am trying to accomplish things but sadness interferes. I want to write but sadness means all the topics I can think of are sad and will only make me feel worse. I want to clean my apartment but I’m overwhelmed with hopelessness and self-loathing. I want to feel anything but the gnawing emptiness and despair inside me.  Continue reading

Male Lesbians and Other Bad Jokes

It’s been a little over a year since I came out as gay. In that time, more men than I can count have decided to inflict their bad humor upon me. “I’m a lesbian too!” they chortle, as if they were funny. As if discovering I was a lesbian was not a thirty year journey, as if it cost me nothing to come out, as if it was easy for me like it is for them. Lesbian isn’t a word that means “someone attracted to women”. It’s a word that means “a woman attracted to women.” The part where I’m a woman is not an erasable part of the concept or the experience of being a lesbian. lesman Continue reading

A Very Atheist Christmas


I asked my atheist Facebook friends if and how they celebrate Christmas and what the holiday means to them. Below are some of their responses.

  • “I love Christmas and look forward to it from the start of autumn onwards. For me it means comfort and familiarity and being with my family.” – David
  • “Yes, my husband, daughter, and I celebrate, but under protest. Basically, my siblings are very pro (secular) Christmas, but I hate the holiday. We all live more-or-less local and I cannot say no to celebrating unless I want to piss a hell of a lot of people off” – Alexandra
  • “I celebrate Christmas. I buy gifts for people and cards, enjoy accepting increased invitations to see family, decorate the house and eat more yummy food than usual!” – Dany
  • “Nah, I grew up Jewish.” – Avi
  • “It’s just an excuse to have family together and have a nice dinner and I enjoy picking out gifts for people. For me it’s just about family time.” – Sara
  • “We celebrate Christmas and Chanukah, since my husband and I have different traditions. We have a menorah and a Christmas tree, we open gifts and share food. We view it as important to pass traditions on to our daughter, so mostly it’s a family-centered time of year.” – Arianna
  • “Yes, it’s a time to spend with friends and family and have fun, as well as exchange some gifts and eat nice food and stuff. It’s a holiday like any other to me, like Thanksgiving with presents or a birthday for everyone at once. It’s just an excuse to have fun with people and see people, really.” – Jason
  • “We put up a small tree, give to charity, look at lights, bake cookies and I give the kids a couple gifts. Sometimes we do crafts and all that seasonal jazz, but in general, we’re pretty low key at Christmas. To me its just about continuing cheerful traditions.” – Lea
  • “I don’t care for tradition just for the sake of tradition. I only set up a Christmas tree when someone I live with insists on it.” – Daniel
  • “I’m all for anything that gives people a nudge to not be an asshole a few days of the year.” – Shea
  • “We observe it as much as we do any other holiday. Mostly we plan for a restaurant dinner somewhere.” – Elizabeth
  • “Yes, I celebrate Christmas and other winter holidays (Solstice, Hanukah, “the holidays,” depending on who I’m celebrating with). I mostly celebrate with parties, gifts, cards, and big festive meals.
    To me, it means a lot of things, but mostly:
    (A) It’s cold and dark and damp, and will be for a while, so it’s good to celebrate and bond with people I love, to help get each other through.
    (B) The world is chaotic, so it’s good to create rituals and traditions that give a sense of stability and continuity and self-created meaning.”  – Greta
  • “I try to use the holiday to teach my daughter about giving more than receiving and about accepting what you’re given graciously. I also try to instill that sometimes she may be the needy one who requires help on Christmas – I’ve been – so it’s an exercise in empathy.” – Ava
  • I looooooooooove christmas!, and I am a non believer since, maybe 12?… But it was never about Baby Jesus, hell no!, it was about family, lots of yummy food and presents.” – Merry 
  • “I don’t have any desire to celebrate Christmas. This year I’ll finally won’t even need to go see family and celebrate a secular Christmas that’s still Christmas and an obligation. I’ll finally be able to do the nothing that I want, and just have a day off and rest/have fun.” – Judit
  • “Christmas is my most cherished and important holiday. I see no reason to change anything except for not going to church or having a nativity scene. Christmas to me means love, family, and giving.” – Beth

    Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Yule, Saturnalia, or nothing at all, may your season be filled with love and comfort. Happy holidays to all!

Babies For Sale

In the United States adoption is a for-profit industry. This creates a capitalist demand for “product” – babies. It encourages exploitation of biological parents, the only people forbidden by law from profiting off the adoption of the baby they made. It prioritizes financial motives over the best welfare of the child. And it charges adoptive parents exorbitant fees. AdoptionWebsite

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Motive and Intent

I drew the design for my first tattoo as a 14-year-old doing time in in-school suspension. It’s a stylized rendition of the word “Why?” As a theater geek with ambitions of being on Broadway or starring in Hollywood pictures someday, I knew that motivation was crucial to understanding a character and a scene. There’s a long-standing joke in the performing arts about an actor asking the director, “But what’s my motivation?”, unable to do the scene without that knowledge. I used to say “motive matters” and took it not just as an acting tool, but as a lens for looking at other people.

In the social justice circles I move in today there is another, seemingly contradictory catchphrase: “Intent isn’t magic.” It’s meant to recognize that well-meaning feelings don’t erase the impact of harmful acts. It’s meant to encourage responsibility not just for our actions but for the outcome as well. Even accidental harm is harm and needs to be addressed. I think both these ideas – intent isn’t magic and motive matters – are valuable and I think they work best in concert with one another.

If someone hurts me, my hurt may not care what their motive was, but I do. I want to know their intent so I can decide what solutions I will accept. If someone drops a heavy weight on my foot, my response will vary based on what I think their intention was. If it was an accident, I don’t want to yell at them as if they did it on purpose. If they did it on purpose, I don’t want to forgive them like it was an accident. I will want my foot looked at and attended either way.

Likewise, intent and motive matter with positive interactions as well. Recruiters for cults engage in a tactic called “love bombing” where everyone tells you how wonderful you are and how much you belong. These positive-feeling interactions have a nefarious motive: cutting you off from friends and families and making you dependent upon the group for all feelings of love and acceptance. We all know a man who is only nice to you so he can sleep  with you isn’t actually very nice. Clearly then, just as someone can accidentally cause a harm with pure motives, someone can purposefully do good with impure motives.

I rely on both these ideas as I go about interacting with my fellow humans. I understand that harm is harm no matter what, but I also understand that some people are more likely to cause harm than others. I recognize that motive tells you something about another, and about how they may behave again in the future. Intent isn’t magic, but it’s not nothing. It’s someone’s reason for doing what they do, and that information can help me decide who to give another chance to and who to cut out of my life. Motive matters, and so does outcome.

Ball and Chain

Women want marriage and men want sex, at least that’s how the popular thinking goes. From cake toppers showing brides dragging reluctant grooms to the altar to jokes about the “old ball and chain”, marriage is socially treated as something men are suckered into, a misfortune they tolerate for the sake of their woman partner. These gendered notions of desire usually assume a “straight” or male-female pairing. When they are applied to same-sex couples, it’s usually with the idea that gay men don’t want commitment and lesbians want too much (U-haul jokes anyone?) Today I’m addressing primarily male-female relationships (which may include straight people or bisexual/pansexual people) and the cultural attitudes around them. Continue reading