Tag Archives: Diversity

Family


Family is one of the most complicated things in life. In many ways, they can do no wrong. So long as you know they love you, you can ignore the little problems. But some times family…well, sometimes it’s tough to have them around.

I love my parents very much, and my step-dad too. I love my brother and I care about my step-brothers (though I don’t know them very well). I grew up very close with most of my extended family (there are a lot of them), and many many of my cousins are more like siblings. I have two aunts who were teenagers when I was born, so in many ways they are like siblings too. I’m glad to be so close to so many people, but I wish I were close to all of them. Unfortunately, some of my family members have isolated themselves for various reasons.

I love my family, they are relatively good people. They try to do the right thing, and they usually succeed. But I’m starting to feel myself pulling away from them. I try not to isolate myself from my family, but there is too much that I can’t tell them.

I have a very Catholic grandmother on my mom’s side. She is a wonderful woman. She is very loving and kind. She is one of those people that will welcome anybody. And, while I know she feels homosexuality is a sin, she has never once said anything bad about a member of the LGBT community. However, to my grandmother’s mind, a person has to believe in God to be good. She doesn’t care if they are Catholic, but they must be Christian. She believes that atheists are trying to ruin the country. Nothing would upset my grandmother more than finding out that I’m an atheist, so I don’t tell her. In fact, I don’t tell that side of my family. None of them are that religious, but they love to gossip. The last thing I want is for somebody other than myself to let slip that I’m an atheist. My grandma’s in her 80’s, so I figure I can tell my family after she’s gone. But it is painful to keep that part of myself from somebody I love.

My dad’s side knows I’m an atheist. They were never very religious, so they don’t care. However, they are very conservative. I can’t tell them I’m genderqueer. They wouldn’t understand. If they did, they would try to change me. They believe that gender and sex are the same thing, and they believe that the traditional gender roles should be upheld. Since my fiance is male, they wouldn’t care about the demisexuality part. As far as they’re concerned, I’m straight. They are also quite anti-feminist. I don’t keep that one to myself, but it seems that any conversations I have with them along those lines just turn into fights. In fact, I recently took my dad and brother off facebook for that very reason. They’re happy to push their views on me, but they aren’t willing to listen to my views. The same goes for my political views.

I do have one uncle on my dad’s side who is a conservative Christian. Like, Evangelical, homeschool your children, avoid all things secular, Jesus Camp Christian. He and his wife separated themselves from my family when I was about 6 when my aunt was pregnant with their first child. Apparently my uncle wanted my grandpa to make the family Christmas gathering about Jesus, but my grandpa wanted to keep Christmas about the family. They stopped visiting after that. As a result, I’ve never met my four cousins. My uncle and I tried to have a facebook relationship for a while, but it didn’t work out very well. He has terminal cancer, so I doubt there will be a chance to fix things. I’d love to meet my cousins, but, given how sheltered they are, and given their family’s views, I doubt they’d be so keen to meet me.

I have never told any of my family members about my abortion. My mom’s side would be against it and my dad’s side, while they would allow me to make the decision, would have wanted me to keep it. I wish I could have called my mom as soon as I found out I was pregnant, but that wasn’t an option for me. I had to make the decision without her.

All of the things I can’t talk about make it difficult to be close to my family. I try to visit everybody once a year, since I live quite far from everyone, but between not having money and feeling tense about saying the wrong thing and causing a fight, it’s hard to motivate myself to keep in contact with anyone. Like I said, families are complicated.


A Survey Update


I haven’t done an update on my surveys in a while. Here is how I’m doing so far:

Religion Surveys:
This survey deals with various situations that may be considered discrimination towards Atheists:
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=vvaqodd0equ2y21474850 – 2%
This survey deals with various situations that may be considered discrimination towards Christians:
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=pi387nzvmo8dklc474867 – 2%
This survey looks at whether or not the respondent feels they have been discriminated against for their religion:
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=3zolzpi3k1lwc7s470898 – 8%
This survey looks at whether or not people feel that Atheists are discriminated against:
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=t2k9uo23mlnmklk470896 – 7%
This survey looks at whether or not people feel that Christians are discriminated against:
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=85koff95iqwpme3470893 – 6%

Feminism Surveys:
Situations that may or may not be considered Feminist issues:
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=xxiz033c05yo72v472614 – 2%
Are various Feminist causes helpful or hurtful for the Feminist movement?
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=i8d3kq6z73ems49471695 – 7%
How do you perceive Feminism?
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=4p48z0rwjwooxpf471689 – 6%
Does Feminist have a bad reputation?
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=r4t8nurh0tyxvqt470762 – 11%

Please help me out by doing my surveys, if you haven’t already, so that I can write my posts on the responses. And please share my surveys as well.


An Update on My Surveys


Here is a quick update on my surveys. The list below gives the link to each survey and how close it is to being done. As you can see, I still have a long way to go. If you haven’t done any of the surveys yet, please help e out by doing so. And please share them if you can. I’m trying to get the largest possible sample size, and I want them to be diverse.
Feminist Surveys:
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=i8d3kq6z73ems49471695 – 4%
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=4p48z0rwjwooxpf471689 – 4%
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=r4t8nurh0tyxvqt470762 – 9%
Religion Surveys:
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=3zolzpi3k1lwc7s470898 – 5%
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=t2k9uo23mlnmklk470896 – 4%
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=85koff95iqwpme3470893 – 4%


The Words We Use


Words are used as though they are the most simple thing ever. We assume that the things that we say mean the same things for everybody. But words are far more complex than that. Two people can grow up in the same city, go to the same school, take the same courses in University, and belong to the same religion but they will interpret the same words differently. This week has been filled with examples of this for me. Today I was discussing “faith” with a group of people in an interfaith environment. We are all apart of the same group, we were discussing the same book, but we didn’t all agree on what “faith” means or its value as a word. As an atheist, “faith” has a vastly different meaning for me then it did for those that I was with. This has lead me to question what the phrase “I have faith” actually means to the person who says it. What are they trying to convey? What message do they want to send me? How does that differ from the message that I receive?

Earlier this week I was dealing with even more problematic words. On Tuesday I was discussing “sex” and “gender”. What do we mean when we say “I am a woman” as opposed to “I am female,” or “I am male” as opposed to “I am a man”? What message are we trying to convey? How do those phrases have different meanings. For me, they are vastly different. When I am discussing my sex, I simply mean the label that I was given by the doctor when I was born. There is no deeper meaning and it holds no significance. When I am discussing my gender I am discussing how I feel about myself. How I label myself, and how I want others to label me. But many people use sex and gender interchangeably.

So what problems are caused as a result of different people interpreting the same word differently? What does this say about how we communicate? What should we do to eliminate miscommunication? All these questions keep rushing through my mind and I am curious to know how others feel about these issues.


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