On Scars and Cognitive Diversity

This post is a personal reflection. joker-overconfident-depressed-comic Something happened that I haven’t been able to quite settle out. I have always compared myself to men and sought to understand where the differences lay. It has never been black and white, estrogen and testosterone. I’ve had a long-standing interest in hobbies and work environments that are predominately male, or traditionally male-dominated. I can go into this in more detail later, but this tendency led me to a gym-rat lifestyle and gave appeal to physical labor jobs.

When I took a landscaping job I was much more hesitant in driving truck and trailer than my male counter-parts, almost universally. And looking back, if I had received an insult or a slight from an impatient co-worker as I choked up some courage to try, I’d probably break. This is despite understanding the need for criticism and that these jabs were intended to toughen weak spots, not kill the entire ego. Continue reading

Censorship

At times I thought maybe the men’s rights people were hyperbolic and that by considering them seriously I was making a slippery slope fallacy; my supposition was just because society is predisposed to be more protective of women and prioritize the feminist narrative, this tendency does not mean they will censor countervailing ideas.

My supposition was proven false.

As I said in my previous post, I was looking forward to meeting the Honey Badger Brigade at the Calgary Expo. I’ve been going to the con since I was a teenager. I am a gamer, an artist and a writer, who has been interested in producing my own comic book. When I found the badgers online I was instantly attracted to their courage to push the boundaries on current narratives.

I share a willingness to explore new frontiers and crave the unconventional.

Alison Teiman, one of the founding Honey Badgers, has an online comic called Xenospora. She is an amazing artist and you should check it out.

Alison is also very much an advocate of women, along with being a men’s rights activist (MRA). There is palatable irony that she was thrown out of the Calgary Expo with the Badgers in their stand against censorship. Though she believes women can be agents in their own life stories without a victim-hood narrative, people at the con and others tweeting about the con, excluded her from the in-group from which they claim to speak for all women.

I am a woman. I wanted to see the Honey Badger Brigade and if I was at the females in comic books panel, I’d love to hear a wide variety of perspectives.

The Badger’s basic human rights have been violated, and with it, my ability to show public support of them at the Calgary Expo. Bullies using the feminist narrative are more than willing to take away the rights of others, including “dissenting” women.

This is what intolerance looks like. In-group preference wins out and the group undermines another’s humanity.

Alison is not a “token woman” of the MRA. Nor is she a demon. She is her own person, and a kind, talented and courageous one at that:

Even if you have no interest in gender politics, on either side, please at least take a stand against censorship.

More information:

Go Home, Gamer girl: Press release on unjust banishment from Calgary Expo

WELCOME TO CALGARY EXPO (ALTERNATE OPINIONS UNWELCOME) : THE HONEY BADGER AFFAIR

The Panel Discussion tweeted in to @calgaryexpo as harassment

The Examiner – Calgary Expo censors The Honey Badger Brigade’s anti-censorship message

Mundane Matt’s Part 1 on the Badger’s removal

Women creator group banned by “inclusive” Calgary Comic Expo

Biases and Finding Solace in Science

Bias in a scientist is analogous to disease. Yet, it is the underlying beliefs that make us humans not computers; it is the most vulnerable feelings that lead to our hypotheses and willingness to experiment and explore. Ultimately scientific pursuits should provide us with a better understanding of our bodies, our planet and our place in the universe. We are, at very least, biased in anthropocentric interests.

When faced with a new theory that goes against current beliefs, the facts can bruise ego. When scientific theories are used to create right or wrong or “should” and “should not”-s ideas elevate to a potentially damaging state. Although we are motivated to find more security, to treat discoveries as laws is a road to ignorance.

In this entry I’d like to confess some biases…

Continue reading