An Email Exchange With Robert McCain

A bit ago, I sent an email to the author of this post.

“Hiya. I wrote a response to your post. I would appreciate you reading it and offering further thoughts. I don’t want to seem like a total asshole or for discussion to just fizzle out–this is my honest attempt at a discussion.

I tried to be civil. I was unprepared for the response I receivied.

You are most precocious. Never mind the Google search I was doing when I found your blog. It intrigued me — “Really? A high-school kid this far into feminist theory?” — and when I saw the post that mentioned the Ouija board, it was like, “There’s the hook.”

Precocious. Huh. I thought it humorously said precious (like he was sarcastically calling me a precious child when the joke is that I’m actually a demon from hell) and I had to reread it a few times before realizing what it actually said. I take it as a compliment—I’m not really sure it was meant as an insult, to be honest. And I never asked about the Google search; honestly, I think it’s cool that I get enough traffic to show up in searches at all. And I, too, understand that “ah-ha” moment when there’s a hook or idea for a post. See, we’re relating to each other already!

Obviously, you don’t want to consider the possibility that involvement in the occult is dangerous. Nor, evidently, do you think that your family problems and your issues with anxiety and depression make you an “at risk” teenager, as they say.

As someone with anxiety issues (or, as I like to say, someone who is terrified of literally fucking everything) I have definitely had my fair share of fears about the Ouija board. Please don’t think that I haven’t. But I will repeat this again, it is a children’s toy made out of cardboard that I bought at Toys R Us for eleven dollars. Now, if we’re talking an actual wooden board made by some witch in the sixteenth century, then I wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole. With a fifty-foot pole, honestly. But cardboard can’t hurt me.

And you know what? I fully acknowledge I’m an at-risk teenager. LGBT youth (or those who think they’re LGBT, since you insist bisexuality isn’t a thing) are four times more likely to commit suicide, and those questioning are three times more likely. There’s a whole host of statistics about kids who come from broken homes. Anxiety and depression fucking sucks. But you know what? I have a whole lot to live for and I’m not going anywhere.

Highly intelligent people, such as yourself, are better able to rationalize their problems. But when you begin describing symptoms of depression, and your blog refers to various sources of stress — e.g., your parents’ divorce, unhappiness with your ex-boyfriend, “bisexuality” — it signals to me that your rationalization skills, advanced as they may be, are being overwhelmed.

Highly intelligent? Sweet!

To be honest? I’m completely overwhelmed. It’s part of being a teenager. But I’m going to get through it without the help of your religion and without the help of a Ouija board. I’m going to say this again, I’m not an occultist. I don’t even really believe in the occult. I’m much more inclined to believe in the ideomotor effect than anything spiritual.

Please, don’t put my identity into quotation marks. I’m trying my hardest to see your ideas and identity as valid but if you can’t do the same for me then we’re going to have an issue.

Hope you weren’t too traumatized by my critical stance. You might want to explore some of my extensive writings about feminism:
 Honestly, you’re way too young to be slinging around words like “heteronormativity.”

I wasn’t traumatized—the exact opposite, really. All I want is to promote discussion. But why am I too young? You just said I’m highly intelligent (and precocious, which I’m still taking as a compliment whether or not it’s meant to be) so why can’t I use big words like the grown ups do? Trust me, I’m not just “slinging around” this word—I know what it means, I know its implications, and I know its connotations.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will let you all know that the subject line of my email was “I’m Possessed by Demons” because I really just couldn’t resist being an asshole.

Eagerly awaiting a response. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m very engaged in this.



  1. “But I’m going to get through it without the help of your religion …”

    But you see, Stacy’s religion is immaterial. Religion is simply a belief in something beyond our human senses. It’s usually expressed as “… I don’t believe in YOUR God …” as if God is a possession (“I’m not driving YOUR kind of car.”). Or an attitude (“I’m not YOUR kind of person.”). Or a belief in an economic system (“I don’t believe in YOUR Capitalism.”). Even religion isn’t the issue. Because God exists or does not, and neither belief nor lack of belief matters to that fact. It’s either/or, black/white, 0/1 (in digital terms).

    There are lots of things you can believe in, or deny, and they won’t affect you very much or at all: black holes, global warming (or cooling), string theory, Big Foot, turtles all the way down. But a being that has the power to create the universe and can do pretty much anything he wants could have an effect on your life. Your dismissal does not affect his existence at all. It simply means that you are not going to take advantage of the possibility that he exists and can help you.

    Right now it seems you’re living the life described by the old saying “Life’s a bitch and then you die.” Stacy called you precocious, and you take pride in that. You may also want to consider that people older, wiser and more experienced than you have reached for the lifeline that is God. If your friends think that it’s stupid, try it for yourself, in secret. You may find it works miracles.

    1. Actually, the full quote is “Life’s a bitch, then you die, that’s why we get high.” I do not get high. I do not think life has nothing to offer. I don’t think life isn’t worth living. I do, however, know that my generation has the highest rates of anxiety and depression in the living memory of the Western world. Life is a struggle for a lot of people, but I wouldn’t call it a bitch exactly.

      I still don’t know if I’m being called precocious as an insult!!!!!! Since I don’t know, I’m just choosing to take it as a compliment. I don’t know if it’s actually meant as such though.

      “But you see, Stacy’s religion is immaterial. […] Because God exists or does not, and neither belief nor lack of belief matters to that fact.” Oh my goodness, are you actually arguing semantics with me? I’m such a good writer that people are debating over whether or not I’m real and you’re arguing *semantics* with me???

      I did not mean that God or Christianity is literally belonging to Stacy, more that I meant Christianity is the institution to which *he* belongs. For example, I say “My school is [place school name here]” and it doesn’t mean the school actually literally belongs to me. The reason that I have such an issue with the Christian faith and those who belong to it is the fact that as an institution, the church is hateful and elitist, refusing to love all of God’s creatures and instead saying they’re possessed by demons. THAT’S what I mean when I say “your religion.”

      Ever heard the saying “Only god can prove or disprove the existence of god”? And I’m sick of everyone assuming that because I say I’m,an atheist that I don’t believe in a god at all (yes, I am well aware of the fact that that’s what atheist means). I actually consider myself an AGNOSTIC atheist or a secular agnostic. My qualms are not with some nebulous creator, but with the hateful, toxic institution of the Christian church itself.

      Also, I forgot that “turtles all the way down” is an expression and I thought you meant I don’t believe in turtles.

      P.S. If this seems unnecessarily mean then I want to extend an honest sincere apology. I’m still reeling from the person who called me a “vagina” and I’m really at the end of my rope here with people saying they’re wiser than me just because they’re older. But when I went back and read your comment I realized I’m probably misinterpreting it as much more rude than it actually is. So… sorry.

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