MK and Alex’s Wedding Ceremony

My friends MK and Alex asked me to officiate their October 27, 2023 Halloween-themed wedding in Houston, TX, and I was honored to oblige. Below is the ceremony I wrote for them.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Welcome to MK and Alex’s wedding! Please silence your phones and devices and put them away. There’s a professional photographer here, you don’t need to take photos.

INTRODUCTION
My name is Nina Paley. I met MK and Alex just before a screening of my film Seder-Masochism in New York. The festival director had just whispered to me they’d gotten complaints about me being a “TERF”. As I wandered around in a familiar despair, a young woman introduced herself to me. “We love your work,” she said enthusiastically. And then, conspiratorially, “and also your ideas.” That perked me right up. Shortly after the screening we visited a vegan restaurant together. MK and Alex were still shell-shocked from the social implosion of the anarchist vegan co-op house they’d helped create. They were so smart, creative, and optimistic, I was utterly charmed by their tales of getting bashed up by idealism’s inevitable horrors. A year or two later they emailed me about their new women-centered feminist social media site, Spinster. I became a moderator, joined them on a visit to California, saw MK at the Michigan Framily Reunion, interviewed Alex and MK separately on the Heterodorx podcast, and otherwise follow them online. MK and Alex are a couple of brave and brilliant pioneers who have been through a lot together. Their relationship has already outlasted any of mine by a factor of at least two, so I am pleased to officiate their union.

INVOCATION
Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today in the sight of God and these witnesses and the spectre of disappointed Radical Feminism to join together MK and Alex in holy matrimony; which is either an honorable estate instituted of God, or the maintaining of women as chattel property in Patriarchy. Into this holy estate, or disgrace to women’s liberation, these two persons present come now to be joined. Therefore, if anyone can show just cause why they may not be lawfully joined together, let them speak now or forever hold their peace – Radical Feminists excepted, they’ve already heard our arguments, Alex and MK really really REALLY want to get married anyway for some reason. Maybe they want to make babies? We know what causes that, talk to me after the ceremony and I can explain. 

READING
At this point in the ceremony it is traditional to read from the Apostle Paul, The first letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 13: Love is patient, love is kind, blah blah etc.

Now I shall read from by Toerien and Williams, “In Knots: Dilemmas of a Feminist Couple Contemplating Marriage” page 434:“…marriage remains thoroughly tainted by being a long-standing buttress for the patriarchal domination of women.” 

DECLARATION OF INTENT
MK and Alex, you have come together this day so that God may seal and strengthen your love in the presence of this gathering, and the Patriarchy may further enforce oppressive gender norms. I ask you to state your intentions: Have you both come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage? As if anyone has free choice uninfluenced by society? If so, answer by saying ‘I have.’ (I have.)

MK and Alex will now exchange vows. (Vows recited)

RING EXCHANGE
MK and Alex will now take off the rings they’ve been wearing for 6 months and pretend to exchange them, just as they will pretend the relationship they’ve been in for the last seven-and-a-half years will be consummated after this ceremony.

Alex, as you place the ring on MK’s finger, repeat after me: With this ring, I thee wed.

MK, as you place the ring on Alex’s finger, repeat after me: With this ring, I thee wed.

PRONOUNCEMENT
In so much as MK and Alex have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, having given and pledged their faith, each to the other; by the vestiges of disappointed Radical Feminism, I pronounce you Adult Human Female and Husband. 

You may kiss the groom. Or not; your body your choice!

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“We at Northeastern University stand for inclusion and diversity.”

Today I was supposed to speak to an animation class via video. College I’d never heard of, teacher I’d never heard of, small thing, figured they knew who I was. Made plans, blocked space in my calendar. Barely an hour before I’m supposed to log onto their zoom link, I get this:

Full email thread pasted below, because it’s so typical. I will never accept another speaking invitation unless they promise not to do this.

Every time I think, “good, they don’t care, it’s blown over,” and EVERY TIME this happens. I’m like Charlie Brown trying to kick Lucy’s football.
This was such a small thing I was doing AS A FAVOR TO THEM.
No more.

Parul Wadhwa <parwad@gmail.com>

To:

Wadhwa, Parul

Cc:

Nina Paley

Tue, Nov 14 at 10:32 AM

Hello Nina

We at Northeastern University stand for inclusion and diversity. We stand against your stance with TERF as expressed on your website and will therefore have to cancel our lecture today and withdraw this invitation.

Apologies for the inconvenience.

Thanks for your understanding and interest.

Parul Wadhwa

On Wed, Nov 8, 2023 at 9:24?PM Wadhwa, Parul <p.wadhwa@northeastern.edu> wrote:

Perfect, thanks Nina. See you Tuesday!

Parul Wadhwa

Lecturer, Mills College 

College of Arts, Media and Design (CAMD)

Northeastern University 

Oakland, CA

From: Nina Paley <nina_paley@yahoo.com>

Sent: Wednesday, November 8, 2023 2:05 PM

To: Parul Wadhwa <parwad@gmail.com>

Cc: Wadhwa, Parul <p.wadhwa@northeastern.edu>

Subject: Re: Guest Lecture request at Northeastern University virtually

 

Hi Parul,

Got it! 

You can use the bio at https://sedermasochism.com/director/

See you Tuesday,

–Nina

http://www.ninapaley.com/

On Tuesday, November 7, 2023 at 02:36:18 PM CST, Parul Wadhwa <parwad@gmail.com> wrote:

Dear Nina

I am looking forward to having you come to our class next week Tuesday at November 14th, 10am PST. 

Can you please share your bio that you’d like me to use to introduce you to our students at Northeastern University.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Looking forward to meeting you next Tuesday.

Thank you for your time,

Parul Wadhwa

PS- Here is the zoom link for joining the class: Parul Wadhwa is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: ARTD2370 20327 Animation Basics SEC 30 Fall 2023 [OAK-1-TR]

Time: Nov 14, 2023 08:30 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

        

Join Zoom Meeting

https://northeastern.zoom.us/j/91462978281?pwd=S1RXYmdQQ1NUTmUxWk44T0RDV1Z2QT09

Meeting ID: 914 6297 8281

Passcode: 881802

One tap mobile

+12532158782,,91462978281# US (Tacoma)

+12532050468,,91462978281# US

Find your local number: https://northeastern.zoom.us/u/abQwIVKUea

On Mon, Oct 30, 2023 at 3:34?PM Nina Paley <nina_paley@yahoo.com> wrote:

Thank you!!

—Nina

Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 30, 2023, at 5:27 PM, Parul Wadhwa <parwad@gmail.com> wrote:

Yes, that works too.10-11am PST, Nov 14th it is then. I will send you a calendar invite this week. Thanks!

On Mon, Oct 30, 2023 at 3:25?PM Nina Paley <nina_paley@yahoo.com> wrote:

Hi Parul,

Can we do it an hour earlier?

—Nina

Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 30, 2023, at 5:19 PM, Parul Wadhwa <parwad@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Nina

That’s great. Tuesday the 14th of Nov works for me. Let’s keep it at 11am PST?

Would you have about 15 minutes any day before that so we can discuss the lecture briefly? I can meet on zoom/phone any Friday for 15-20 mins. 

Thanks so much for your time. Looking forward to having you in class.

parul

On Fri, Oct 27, 2023 at 8:26?PM Nina Paley <nina_paley@yahoo.com> wrote:

Hi Parul,

Great! Any of those Tuesdays would work. How about the 14th?

—Nina

Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 27, 2023, at 9:27 PM, Parul Wadhwa <parwad@gmail.com> wrote:

Thanks for your interest, Nina. Yes, my class meets virtually every Tue 9-12pm PST. 

Would a meeting over zoom work for you?

Would any Tues between the 14th Nov-5th Dec work for you?

thanks,

p

On Fri, Oct 27, 2023 at 6:44?PM Nina Paley <nina_paley@yahoo.com> wrote:

Hi Parul,

I’d love to, but I live in Illinois. Would this be a remote video visit?

Thanks,

—Nina

Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 27, 2023, at 4:23 PM, Parul Wadhwa <parwad@gmail.com> wrote:

Dear Nina

My name is Parul and I am an artist and educator currently teaching at Northeastern University, Oakland as a Lecturer. My current offering is an Animation Basics course (syllabus attached) that introduces undergraduates to the 12 basic principles of animation and their applications in 2D and 3D using animation tools.

I am writing to you to invite you as a Guest Speaker to my class. 

I teach Tuesdays 9am-12pm PST  virtually so any coming Tuesday would work for me. Would you be available for about 40-45 mins + 10 mins Q&A to speak to my class? 

I was hoping you could share about Sita sings the Blues (which is my favourite piece of yours) in the context of the class. I was wondering if you could introduce your journey into animation and working on this film, the animation techniques you used and the storytelling process. Also, anything else from your work that you might want to include.

There is a stipend of $150 from the university for your valuable time.

Please let me know if you are available and interested. 

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Have a good weekend.

Sincerely,

Parul Wadhwa

MFA, Digital Arts and New Media

https://www.parulwadhwa.com

<ARTD 2370 + ARTD 2371 .pdf>

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Maya’s Request

As you know, requests for my  Hundred Hundred-and-Fifty Dollar Drawings are limited to two words or less.

But on March 11 I found this in my Twitter DMs:

Could you draw this as a picture for me

“it is a prime opportunity to get inside the tent with a goal-line defence, unless a clear upstream threat, accompanied by actionable intelligence, pops its head up”

Normally I’d say no, as that is batshit and impossible. However the request came from Maya Forstater, who explained:

It is a present for Helen Joyce – she has been training military types on how to write as a side-gig and this is the kind of thing they say.

Given the commissioner and the recipient, it was a challenge I couldn’t refuse, although I charged more for the extra words plus hazard pay (risk of head explosion). But first I gave it to AI art generator Dall-E:

Clearly this was a job for a human being. I felt so needed.

Although it was impossible to convey everything in the request, I did my best:

“it is a prime opportunity to get inside the tent with a goal-line defence, unless a clear upstream threat, accompanied by actionable intelligence, pops its head up”

Looks like I won’t be replaced by AI anytime soon.

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GENDER WARS playing cards in progress

When a friend recently suggested a deck of playing cards featuring major players in the “gender wars,” I knew I wanted a set. I tried to find other ways to make it happen – photographs? Filters? AI art generator? – but decided the most expedient option was to just do it myself. Which isn’t particularly expedient, as a deck requires 54 designs (if you include 2 Jokers).

I generally suck at caricatures, but decided my limited skills would have to be adequate. I Can Do Hard Things, just not perfectly.

This is probably my most successful caricature so far. Do not expect this level of resemblance throughout the deck.

Working furiously, this week I made the first suit, Hearts. Red suits (hearts and diamonds) will be more-or-less gender critical, and black suits (clubs and spades) will be more-or-less transactivist. If this sounds like inside baseball, it is; that’s why my friend suggested a deck in the first place. I’ve turned into a gender nerd, and “civilians” have no idea whom I’m referring to when I gossip. Edutainment!

I want to crowdfund for this project, but as I don’t trust any major crowdfunding platforms, I just set up some PayPal pre-order buttons. Yes I know PayPal sucks too, all online payment platforms suck, and cryptocurrency is still too volatile.

Pre order here!

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IndieGoGo cancels Agents of H.A.G.

IndieGoGo just canceled  Agents of H.A.G, my first comic book in 30 years, AFTER the campaign successfully ended with 150% of goal. I already ordered books from the printer. Now all the money, all the orders, gone. No appeal, just gone.

I discussed this on the Heterodorx Podcast yesterday, please listen.
I’m traveling this weekend but I hope to have another plan for Agents of H.A.G. next week. Please stay tuned.
This is just another chapter in the story of my cancelation that began in 2017:
Please share.

Order Books

I’m going punk-rock DIY and filling orders by hand.

Media (list to be updated):

The Post Millennial: https://thepostmillennial.com/indiegogo-cancels-cancel-culture-comic-book-artist-after-successful-fundraiser-offers-no-appeal

FIRE discusses crowdfunders canceling comic books, including mine: https://www.thefire.org/news/indie-no-go-popular-crowdfunding-sites-cancel-fundraisers-comic-books-about-gender-identity

more to come…

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