Just a thread to see if there are any other LGBTQ free thinking women on here! My soon to be former partner's theism has ripped us apart. There is nothing I'd love more than connect with other lady lovin' ladies who are non theists.

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I wanted to step in earlier (as a normal member) to defend Belle as being a caring person who's just been misunderstood in this case, but I felt (as a moderator) I had to wait for Belle's reply. But I still want to speak as a normal user, right now.

My first reaction was to accept that Shannon's anger--although misplaced in this thread--was from past negative experiences of other people who hurt her. I'm still learning that some marginalized cultures take offense to people who misunderstand them, often rightfully so, but not always.

When at the mall with my kids one day, I pointed out to them a couple who were communicating to each other in sign language. As a subculture, they consider it very rude to be watched by hearing people when they're signing (at least here in the USA), and dammit, one of them caught me!

I didn't chance going over there and dealing with the anger, so I just stopped watching. I wish everyone in USA would be taught sign language so that there would be less separation between deaf and hearing cultures. I was not intentionally rude, but love sign language. I was just careless.

I thank Shannon and Belle (and Davis and Strega) for helping me learn something new about cultural differences.

You're welcome, Pope Beanie. But my anger at Belle isn't to do with others who have hurt me. It's about her being yet another woman who wants to use the LGBTQ woman community to further her own ends. This is a really big problem in our community, and women like Belle perpetuate it. Women like Belle are the reason there's a big gulf of contention between lesbian and bi women. What she is doing is highly problematic, and goes way beyond her own selfish need to use people to further her own end. I don't think playing with people's emotions like some kind of science experiment is caring at all. Also, she clearly knows nothing about the nuances of the LGBTQ community, so she really should have just started her own thread for that purpose instead of derailing mine, IMO. I'm sorry if I broke any rules, but there's really no other way to communicate how wrong what Belle is doing is without being harsh. Davis was right - her comments were careless and her actions stupid. There's no other way around it.

And yes, never, ever look at signing people! Yes, we really should all learn to sign. Then again, that would make it hella easy to eavesdrop on those who cannot say, drop their voices for a private moment, so...IDK.

Anyway, unfortunately, a thread that was supposed to be social has turned into a total shit show. Ugh.

I just called it like I see it. And I started this as a social thread. You're not an ally if you do what you said you did. And it's my thread. It was supposed to be a nice, social thread for queer people, and you turned it into a complete shit show by perpetuating on of the most problematic occurences in the queer woman community. Educate yourself, please. Go ahead, report me. I just told the truth about the sugar coating/excuses you have been making since the first comment you made.

Please can we refrain from personal attacks? Heated debate is fine, but there are rules here to maintain civility. Anyone needing a refresh, the forum rules can be found here:- http://www.thinkatheist.com/page/guidelines

Sure. I just want the thread to remain what it was supposed to be anyway. I'll leave this subject alone, because we aren't getting anywhere anyway. Please tell me what you found problematic about my replies, though, so that I can refrain in future.

I am utterly dismayed that you cannot see I was sticking up for you here and quite saddened you think my post was hate filled towards you. No good deed goes unpunished. Zheesh.

Maybe so but you also said I was being stupid and careless - that's just not at all what happened or what I was explaining. I had hoped to learn something from this discussion but it has become too toxic to continue. I have lots of unanswered questions but it doesn't matter. I'm done.

If you read what Davis said, Belle, he WAS sticking up for you. I admit, I can be extraordinarily frank and blunt on these subjects, and my opinion has not changed that what you described that you did, and what you (seemingly? IDK) don't see/want to see is that it is a phenomenon that is extremely problematic in the LGBTQ woman community. 

These subjects ARE uncomfortable. If you can't take the discomfort of them, perhaps you needn't have them.

At any rate, I am sorry it ended on this note, but one thing you should take away is this: To be an ally is to accept that you do not understand everything there is to know about a community you don't belong to, even if you want to help said community. If members of that community say that your behavior in one way or another is problematic, part of being an ally is deferring to that, and realizing that you cannot understand a life experience you've never had. Accept that you cannot understand it, and refrain from said behaviors. That is all. 

Your comment about "maybe I should try..." was stupid...even if you meant it as a joke or half-heartedly. I'm not going to pretend it's not or that it is not offensive to some people. With that one disclaimer...I didn't think there was anything outwardly wrong about your post. You'll find there are no "safespaces" when it comes to problems in identity-politics and the horridly messy world of queer studies and LGTB issues. You are bound to say something stupid at some point when discussing any topic about LGTB just as I'm bound to say something stupid and non-intentionally offensive when I talk about feminist issues with feminists well versed in the field. If you want questions to be answered in the safest and least challenging way possible...I'll recommend a couple books you can read.

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