Drugs, War, and Nazi Germany

Last night I finished reading Norman Ohler’s fascinating and best-selling Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich (2017, translated by Shaun Whiteside). Ohler describes the relationships between Adolf Hitler and drugs, Nazi soldiers and drugs, and German society and drugs. In addition, Ohler explains how drugs changed the nature of wars.  Society, War, and Drugs Before continuing,Continue reading “Drugs, War, and Nazi Germany”

Mark Zuckerberg, Rhetoric, and the “Huge Healthy Glacier”

Rhetoric always matters. Just days after scientists (science is real!) announced that a trillion ton glacier broke off of Antarctica, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg made this calculated post:   From a perspective of intertextuality, it’s only real purpose can be to falsely reassure people that there is nothing to be alarmed about and to falsely perpetuate notionsContinue reading “Mark Zuckerberg, Rhetoric, and the “Huge Healthy Glacier””

Biological Determinism and the Trans Debates: Gender, Sex, Race, and Ability

People increasingly attempt to use biological determinism (or essentialism) to lock people into identities, identities that are actually assigned and determined by cultural mores. While people who are transgender or transexual (often abbreviated as just trans) are increasingly accepted by academia and by society–although we absolutely have a long, long way to go–such cannot beContinue reading “Biological Determinism and the Trans Debates: Gender, Sex, Race, and Ability”

Confirmation Bias, Privilege, and Prayer (or, How Prayer and Discrimination Can Be Connected)

Recently, I read a powerful essay where the author, a Person of Color, describes their childhood and explains that “God always answered the prayers of White children but never answered our prayers.”  This statement has been on my mind off and on since I read it. As I prepare to teach my Theology and Civil Rights class inContinue reading “Confirmation Bias, Privilege, and Prayer (or, How Prayer and Discrimination Can Be Connected)”

In Defense of Bill Nye The Science Guy

Last week one of my students at the University of Houston emailed me to recommend an episode of Bill Nye’s new show Bill Nye Saves the World. This student said he watched an episode on the gender and sex spectrum similar to what we discussed in class. I watched this thirty-minute episode a few days ago andContinue reading “In Defense of Bill Nye The Science Guy”

Key Facts About Trans People

Cis (i.e., cisgender) refers to people who identify with their assigned sex and gender at birth. If you’re not trans, you are usually cis and have cis privilege. A trans man, for example, is usually best seen as someone who was always a man, but we must be cautious of strategic essentialism and remember sex/genderContinue reading “Key Facts About Trans People”

Blue and Pink Affect Our Perception of Others

As part of a guest lecture/workshop I gave today on the power of words, I did an experiment. (If I remember correctly, I read about this experiment in Delusions of Gender that I have often talked about on this blog.)  There were 18 students. I sent nine students out in the hall where they could not seeContinue reading “Blue and Pink Affect Our Perception of Others”

Learning That I Don’t Have to Tolerate Pain

One of the words that could summarize my life is pain: lots and lots of really bad pain. There have been many periods–years long–during my life where I hurt essentially all of the time. Given my body’s reaction to Neurofibromatosis, I can pretty much hurt anywhere. I have dealt with all kinds of nerve painContinue reading “Learning That I Don’t Have to Tolerate Pain”