Critics of faith and superstition are often accused of intolerance and radicalism. But should we really be tolerant of everything? Are faith and superstition really harmless as some like to claim? How do we avoid the tolerance of intolerance? Should we leave the faithful and superstitious alone or should we fight for a world where these are things of the past and everybody is shocked they were ever socially accepted?
Faith and superstition are not harmless
On one end of the spectrum, PC leftists say there’s no such thing as reverse racism because minorities can’t be racist. At all. Ever. On the other extreme, alt-righters say racism against oppressed minorities is as bad as racism against privileged majorities and therefore the very categorization of racism into “reverse racism” and “regular racism” is inherently racist because it suggests one may be worse than the other. I’m usually skeptical about such black-and-white statements, so I would like to propose the truth lies somewhere in between.Read More »Can minorities be racist?
In the age of social media, it’s easy to get stuck in an echo chamber and never get out of your comfort zone. This is a big problem because it leads to a tense and polarized society in which isolated groups make political decisions based on stereotyped ideas about each other and get easily radicalised. That’s why when I joined the team organizing the festival Serile Filmului Gay (Gay Film Nights) and we started brainstorming about potential side events, I immediately had the idea of a workshop that encouraged dialogue. In this article I will argue, as I did in the workshop, that you can defend LGBT+ rights regardless of whether you’re religious or not without being a hypocrite.Read More »Is religion compatible with LGBT+ rights?
As far into my childhood as I can remember, I believed in a god. It was a personal god, who answered to prayers, cared for mankind, etc. As I grew older, I started being curious about the world and reflecting about life. When I was very young I would occasionally pray for childish things such as superpowers, and my prayers obviously weren’t heard. If I was anxiously waiting for a family visit, for example, I prayed for the “next car to show up in the road to be them”. Of course, it “worked” sometimes, but mostly it didn’t.Read More »Why I’m not a theist
As everybody knows, last month France started enforcing an extremely controversial ban against the so called “burkini”. The ban was eventually overturned, but the debate is still very much alive. In the age of social media, when we all live in echo chambers ¹, I still haven’t had a chance to talk to a person who is actually in favor of the burkini ban. But the mere mention that “it’s hypocritical to display so much outrage towards this and then turn a blind eye to the culture of forced modesty in Muslim communities around the world” or that “I can understand why this ban appeals to the masses” is already enough to trigger some progressive liberals and turn them into paranoid anti-Islamophobia police (or, as Maajid Nawaz would call them, regressive leftists).Read More »The burkini ban and the dangers of political polarization
Freedom. An apparently simple concept that you’d think people understand pretty well, after all it’s a fundamental human right. But no. It’s probably the concept people abuse and misuse the most when discussing about politics, law and the role of the state. People defend all sorts of nonsense in the name of freedom. This madness must stop. So let’s take some time to think about it.Read More »Six facts free speech fundamentalists love to ignore
As a feminist I am often confronted, especially online, by self-declared antifeminists who passionately denounce the ideology resorting to all manner of creative accusations. But is there any basis for so vehemently attacking feminism? With the occasion of the women’s month, I present the most common fallacies that compromise the antifeminist discourse.
In February and March this year Django Girls will be organizing free Django workshops for women in cities all over the world. As a Python/Django developer and feminist myself, I naturally applied as a coach. What for some may seem like a great initiative, however, is attacked by others as a gross display of hypocrisy and misandrist double-standard. In this article I hope to explain why supporting such events doesn’t imply you hate men or seek to overthrow patriarchy and install a regime of female supremacy.Read More »Why Django Girls?
The subject of gender quotas was trending in Brazil a few months ago and I wrote about it in Portuguese. Now that the same topic has sprung in Romania, it’s time to write an English version. As should be no surprise, there’s a strong backlash against the idea of quotas and affirmative action in general. The anti-quota arguments are typically the same: that this type of approach is “anti-democratic”, “unjust”, “discriminatory”, “unequal”, etc. Although I agree that this is not an ideal solution, these arguments hardly sustain themselves. It may even be that there are legitimate reasons for us to be skeptical about quotas and affirmative action, but the aforementioned ones are certainly not in this category, and I’ll explain why.
This is a question I have been asked a couple of times since I moved to Romania and started writing in English. The answer I give is that now that I’m abroad I’d be excluding too many friends and potential new readers by writing in Portuguese. But it’s a bit more complicated than that.