This post has gone through numerous different incarnations. I’ve been at it for the last three days, and going to bed at night and sleeping on it has not at all mitigated my anger. So it’s cut quite short because of that. I found this very hard to write without degenerating in an expletive-laden rant. I am very livid over this whole issue, but I need to say something about it, so after the fold is the least-angry post I could come up with on this.
Atheism has become a small part of what defines me. It is not so because I want to identify as an atheist. I’d rather identify as a Secular Humanist, Feminist, Secularist, and Skeptic. But atheism being part of who I am is not something I have a choice about, because we atheists are so fucking hated in this country.
So it’s only natural for there to be a movement to make atheism more acceptable, to reach out to those atheists who are hiding it because they’re afraid of what might happen to them if they admitted it publicly, and so on. Not only do I support the existence of such a movement, but I take part in it, too… in small ways, but every little bit helps.
But now I’m seriously considering just saying “fuck it” and packing it in.
And, of course, the endless controversy over the most basic principles of feminism and women’s rights. Elevatorgate, now ongoing for over a year. The treatment of the 15 year old girl on r/reddit. The “controversy” of Staks Rosch’s all-male atheist-of-the-year list, and his ridiculous claims that it would be “tokenism” to have ANY women on a five person list, with insinuations that it would only start “making sense” for just ONE of half the world’s population to show up if it were a list twenty people long. The endless discussions of the merits of using the word “cunt” to harass and intimidate women. DJ Grothe’s insistent apologism for any dudes being “attacked” by the “radical feminist” contingent of Atheism who had some basic level of sense that all this fucked up shit was kind of fucked up. The sexual harassment issue. The blatant misogynistic appraisals of female atheist’s worth by their appearance. Mallorie Nasrallah. Paula Kirby. FTBullies. The Amazing Atheist’s meltdown while trying to deliberately trigger a rape survivor. Justin Trottier. The increasing incursion and overlap between the internet Atheist Movement and the Men’s Rights Movement. I got so sick of all that, having to same the sexist garbage rehashed endlessly, with so much vitriol and fervor.
08/14/2012 – As stated in the intro above, this post comes from a place of seething anger and, perhaps, more than a little hatred. Because of that, the paragraph that was responded to in the first comment below by Dangermouse was an exaggeration. So I apologize for the exaggeration, and I’m fixing it.
As a straight, white, cis-gendered male, I’m sick and tired of it, too. I’m sick and tired of atheist MRAs. I’m sick and tired of people down-playing legitimate sexual harassment at conferences. I’m sick and tired of people actually complaining about a fucking anti-harassment policy (something that, to me, should be fucking common sense). I’m sick and tired of people who would question the very basic idea that women are human beings, too. And I’m sick and tired of socially-embedded misogyny played off with “but it’s not misogyny!”
See… if you’re told by more than one fucking person that what you said (no matter what it was and who it was directed to) was fucking misogynistic, then guess what? It most likely was. So admit it and fucking apologize.
Everything I’ve written past this point has been nothing but expletive-laden ranting. I’ve erased probably six instances of it now. I just cannot believe how incredibly blind and stupid so many fucking people are.
So I’m going to go ahead and end here, with this final note:
It’s time we had a new wave of Atheism, one with more feminist undertones. It’s time we left the shitheads behind to stew in their puddle of filth, and moved on. True Rationalism embraces Feminism just as strongly as it embraces Secular Humanism, Skepticism, and Secularism. And we cannot call ourselves rational until we get rid of the filth and move on.
I’m not the only one calling for a new movement. Not the only one at all. Not even close. So I’m joining their voices, and I hope you’ll join, too. It’s time for something new. Something better. Something more mature.
PZ Myers commented on this today. I’d like to respond to him here.
I will disagree on one point, though. I will not give up on the atheism movement. I will not give up on the skeptic movement. They must change and the barbarians must back down.
I wish I had your optimism, but I don’t. I don’t think the movement as it currently stands can succeed. It either needs to change drastically, or be abandoned for a new wave. Maybe I’m too much of a cynic, but it looks to me as if the slimepit has taken over.
And I really can’t say anymore without going into another expletive-laden rant, so I’m done.