Every so often, I see blog posts crop up asking where all the atheist women are at, or why our presence is so lacking. Aside from the factors of who the media paints as 
"the face of new atheism", there are things that prominent atheists say and do, that at least to me, make it seem like the atheist activist movement may not as progressive as it's made out to be.

*TRIGGER WARNING*

*SCREENSHOTS ARE INCLUDED*

 

On his Facebook/Twitter, rapper Greydon Square posted that he had "raped four tacos". Out of the 31 comments that ensued, only 3 people found this problematic (myself, a woman and a man-yay). Everyone in opposition to us was male. Everyone else was basically offended that we were offended, which Greydon went on to quote from an Eminem song. He also went on to say that,

You havent been truly offended until someone starts shooting at you. Then you've been offended

He basically decided to not engage at all and try to shut down dialogue by offering his own conclusion about being offensive, and not addressing anything else.

In instances like this, is it really any wonder why more women aren't crawling out of the woodwork? I'm fine publicly identifying myself as an atheist. But why would I want to stand with anyone who makes lights of rape jokes and who people will just run to their defense when I have a problem with it? Also, why wouldn't I question whether all atheists are critical thinkers when so many publicly have such knee-jerk reactions that they'll defend examples of rape culture in action, (or whatever prejudice may pop up from an atheist) just because it's an atheist being questioned?

I just wanted to get this out there and provide an example of why women like myself may/do not feel inclusion in this community/movement. 

 

 

Tags: culture, greydon

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YOU are very particular about the words YOU use. But you are trying to make this an indictment as to why the secular movement doesn't have enough females. Citing it as evidence to your claim. If you look at what I said in the context of how i said it, it really has nothing to do with the female population in the secular community. Why bring that up? If you believed I participated in rape culture thats all good but what you are saying goes beyond that.  

You state: "In instances like this, is it really any wonder why more women aren't crawling out of the woodwork? I'm fine publicly identifying myself as an atheist. But why would I want to stand with anyone who makes lights of rape jokes and who people will just run to their defense when I have a problem with it?"

How does what I said have anything to do with women identifying themselves as non believers in any deities?

I'm still trying to understand this "makes light of rape jokes" comment. When i was talking about something that isnt capable of forced sexual behavior. On the surface the literal meaning of my comment makes no sense what so ever, so are you basically telling me you were offending by something that I said which made no sense in the most literal context?

You are REALLY talking about rape, I WASNT REALLY talking about RAPE, when i was describing the tacos. A lot like you dont REALLY butcher a name. Another thing doesn't make sense. You are attaching real world implications to something that isn't even comprehendible in reality. You cant actually RAPE tacos. You just cant. I didnt mean it to be serious, and I had NO IDEA anyone would take what I said seriously. Once again, im sorry for offending those who were offended. This is so much of a bigger deal than I imagined it could be. What should I have said?
How does what I said have anything to do with women identifying themselves as non believers in any deities?
I will spell it out, because I obviously haven't. When prominent atheist men (who make up the visible majority) can make light of things that affect so many women and people just rush to their defense blindly, many women will be reluctant to want to be counted among that group. I don't know another way to explain that, and if you and the rest of the repliers to this disagree, then you disagree. If you don't consider that you'll just make a Taco Rape song comment a joke, then you don't. "I devoured four tacos" makes a lot of sense. Without sitting here forever, I can't think of more ways to get that across to you and the rest of these folks right now, and I don't really think anyone cares to understand, so I'll just leave it at that.
I'll rap for tacos too Lauren! If you would've seen the tacos that this whole thing is about....
@cet, do you want a sexist statement?

it not men's job to make you feel "included" in this community/movement; that's your responsibility.

^jasonhoblin

I don't understand why so many people are "offended" by all kinds of things, since most statements where people get "offended" are general statements which are not directed to a particular person. So how can anyone think that a simple word is offensive? It's almost like religious people, who get offended by pictures or names.

And I thought Greydon's statement was really funny (and I don't even eat tacos).
Thats because you eat the butt!   hahaha.  Come on bro, you left yourself wide open for that. #grandunified

Ok, this is crap ( oops any one offended by that?)

 

check this out.. I am almost 40 years old this month.. I have been an "open atheist" <--hate  that title crap since i was 13 years old... and now all of a sudden there is an atheist "movement"?... ok..ill buy the movement thing.. but what i will not buy is we are a bunch of heathen, baby eaters... we have been looked down on, spit at, talked about, going to hell bla bla bla bla.. we have been discriminated from the moment  a "god" has been formed in the minds of the weak...

 

and now after all of this crap we have went through, all of the struggle we have faced, the  hate we get from 97% of the american population... now we are fighting among ourselves?...really?..over a word...because a very tiny few people were offended by it?

 

as i said i am almost 40 years old... you think this " i just rapped a taco" is new? man we have been using that word to describe "killing a burger" or "smashing this  pizza" for 20 years.. it isnt a new thing.. the only reason it is even coming to light now is because the country is soft, and Greydon is in the lime light.... i seriously wonder how many people would have  made a fuss about it if say I said it on m  facebook 2 years ago?... let me look... NO ONE!..

 

i guess what i am trying to say is... stop being so dam soft..seriously.. it is a word...juta simple word.. lie GOD is just a word... but it is used against the people to control them... you dont see many people falling down with fear because someone raped 4 tacos...just stop the BS and  make this " Movement" a real Movement and stick together with each other...you people have NO idea what it was like 27 years ago with out the internet to meet like minded people...try feeling like the kid on the play ground that always gets picked last for every game because he is a "nerd" or "geek"... just suck it up and focus on real shit not bull like  a phrase that everyone  but 3 people got as a joke... regardless if they were all male or not.

 

one more thing.. Im not sure why you think women atheists are "rare".. i now as many women atheist as i know guy's...look around you.. they are every wear, and sick of the BS as well....i know i went on about this but this is the dumbest  "offensive" argument i have ever heard... and Greydon... I  respect you that you apologized... personally i would not have...we are atheists... haha we offend people everyday, not  a new developement there

 

stick together people... you want to make a real movement...then do it...

Congratulations on making it to 40. I don't care whether something is new or not, doesn't make it right. Before now, recommend Greydon to friends and listened to him, so of course I'm going after him, because he's in the limelight.

I never said female atheists were rare.

For the record-I honestly think more people, including women are atheists than they realize. Women aren't as visible as men, even with contributors like Hirsi and Hecht though and it'll be hard to attract different types of people to the movement when all they see is one representation.

Also for the record, I don't understand why airing differences amongst each other has to count as not sticking together. If anything, people should be able to dialogue through it to become a stronger movement, but that's just me.

Well... Greydon Square's not Larry Flynt right? LOL.. oh my...
this is fire. freethinkers are a firey bunch indeed! much needed for the u s of a!
well... in for a penny, in for a pound.

i'd like to squelch this issue with a relevant story. In 2008, i attended the Atheist Alliance International convention, in Long Beach, on the Queen Mary. One of the activities was a blood donation drive. i completed the questionnaire and donated blood. afterwords, i took a few items from the treat table for my blood sugar.

i set out on touring the ship and after walking around a while, i found i had gone in a circle. i decided to wander up. i waited for the elevator at the main entrance of the ship, near the primary conference tables. when the elevator arrived, i stepped inside. i was followed by a woman who skirted into the elevator quickly before doors closed. when i looked, it was Margret Downey, or at least i thought it was at the time because i was new to the atheist community/movement.

it was Margret because she asked about the bandage on my arm! she was spearheading the atheist blood drive project. when i said it was from the atheist blood drive, she glowed. Margret tilted her head, stretched out her arms and gave me a hug. i smiled and hugged her back. she pulled away and we just smiled for the moment.

i don't remember whose floor came up first or if we went to the same floor and i exited first. it doesn't matter. we went our ways. i think of the contrast between my "elevator incident" with Margret and the Rebecca Watson "elevator incident". there are similar sentiments in this post.

* if the atheist community/movement wants to talk about equal rights and equal opportunity of women, there is a place for that, although i think little need be said.
* if the atheist community/movement wants to talk about art and metaphors and conceptual depth, there’s a place for that, religion itself notwithstanding.
* if the atheist community/movement wants to talk about social etiquette or psychosocial behavior, there’s a place for that, and maybe more reading than talking.
* if the atheist community/movement wants to talk about food and eating, there’s a place for that, however off topic, if not keeping the context.
* if the atheist community/movement wants to talk about rape, its causes, consequences and recovery, there’s a place for that, albeit resources have been scarce.
* if the atheist community/movement wants to talk about roles and responsibilities of its members, there’s a place for that, or perhaps there should be.

The point - if you are thinking about raping someone or if you have been raped, then you need to seek professional help as soon as possible. if you're uncomfortable with yourself or you have your own ambiguity about rape, then you should talk to someone with whom can relate. why not start a support group right here on AN?

@cet are not wrong for posting your concerns and neither was Rebecca. in fact, your experience may have lead to some actual community with the atheist movement. but remember understanding is your friend because the ends do not justify the means. (otherwise i can justify rape on grounds of propagating my dna.) read: buttons aren't toys. what we are not going to do is fall victim to the same meme patterns as religion, i.e. projecting personal responsibility onto some other group, especially one individual. what we are not going to do is hide behind vague emotional buzzwords like sexism (you too Bobbie).

as for the tacos... if you get/got lost in the analogy, then you need to communicate. do not antagonize and flirting is only slightly better. relating clearly is hot sauce.

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