Time for a New Movement?


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.

Natalie Reed explains why (the links were added by omniz over at Atheist Logic; I’ll be linking to that post below):

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 appearanceMallorie NasrallahPaula KirbyFTBullies. The Amazing Atheist’s meltdown while trying to deliberately trigger a rape survivorJustin 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.

About Nathan Hevenstone

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5 Responses to Time for a New Movement?

  1. Dangermouse says:

    This is the kind of irrational appeal to emotion that is antithetical to rationality. I don’t oppose you or what I assume is the intent of anything you’re saying, but I assume that even what I’m about to say will be taken to indicate that I agree with the ideas you’re attacking. I do not.

    However the description of our society as “a VERY OBVIOUSLY misogynistic culture that VERY OBVIOUSLY portrays women as nothing more than fucking SEX DOLLS who exist for no other reason than to fuck men. And if you HONESTLY can’t see this, then you are blind. Absolutely, completely and utterly blind.” is inaccurate enough that it is wrong. Even if we did live in an explicitly misogynist society we would not expect it to portray women as nothing more than fucking sex dolls – after all what about their talents as servants, and helpmeets and all other misogynist desires?

    – Your emotional volume is causing you to use inaccurate rhetoric – “nothing more than…” “no other reason than…” “you are blind”. All of which are totally incorrect. If you do see that they are portrayed as “no more than…” and for “no other reason than…” then you’re seeing incorrectly.

    • I will grant you that it’s an angry post full of emotion. I’ve always had trouble with my emotions. It’s one small part of the reason I’m look for a psychiatrist.

      That said…

      Ever seen a beer commercial? How about Go Daddy commercials? What role do women play in those commercials?

      Ever watched a music video? The vast majority of music videos (especially Rap, Hip Hop, and R&B videos) use women strictly as sex symbols and that’s it.

      There’s this internet ad for Belvedere vodka. Luckily, it got pulled. However, it took a huge noise to get it pulled. What’s wrong with the ad?

      Here…

      Take a look.

      Oh… and the woman shown in the ad? She sued Belvedere for it.

      Consider, also, how we treat female rape victims:
      “What was she wearing?”
      “How was she acting?
      “What we she doing in that area at that time?”
      Because, for whatever reason, the rape is ALWAYS her fault, even if she’s fucking 11 years old and being gang-raped on fucking video.

      Of course, in the other direction, men can never be raped, be it by a woman or another man, and boys who are raped by older women or gang-raped by girls are “lucky” and “have it good”.

      I’ll give you something else… in my emotional state, I exaggerated. And you know what? I will edit my post and admit it with an apology.

      But I’m not wrong. I exaggerated, yes, but I didn’t outright lie. And I honestly don’t believe I exaggerated that much, either.

      • Dangermouse says:

        You make a good point, and your emotion is legitimate. However I cannot agree that “we” treat female rape victims in any way at all. Sure misogynists treat them one way. Other people treat them differently. People who have been raped themselves treat them differently still. Your comment is inaccurate and wrong, and you are using it to support things that *should* be supported, but should be supported with truth, so I cannot support you. You may now consider me the enemy, but I support everything you support except using inaccuracies to emphasize how bad shit it.

      • You do understand what I mean by “we”, right? I’m not talking about you and me. I’m talking about society. Sexism is a hell of a lot more entrenched in society than you seem to be aware of.

        Have you ever found an article, realized it was written by a woman, and gone to see what she looks like?

        If you have, congratulations; you’ve contributed to the entrenched sexism in society.

        If you haven’t, then congratulations, this time seriously; you subverted the entrenched sexism in society.

        I gave you some great examples of what I’m talking about. Did you look at them? Did you research them? Did you consider them at all?

        I want you to look up a documentary called Dreamworlds 3. Then watch it. TRIGGER WARNING: it is about the effects music videos have on society, and it shows some very disturbing video and images of very large groups of men sexually harassing women by acting out what is shown in (mainly rap) videos, including a picture of a naked and comatose woman being held up by a group of men raping her… literally. This group of men was not small, BTW… it was a seriously huge crowd.

        How many more examples is it going to take before you recognize it?

        I’m not talking out of my ass. I’ve seen it.

      • Here. I’ve got even more evidence for you.

        Did you know that in 31 states in the US, if a rapist gets a victim pregnant, and she chooses to raise the child, the rapist can demand visitation rights?

        Again.

        Rape culture.

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