[Call this the straw that broke the camel's back for multiple reasons.]

Re: Sexism & Misogyny in the Atheist World

Sacha: Why are you moderating comments?

Godless Grrl: To filter out spam, abuse, harassment, or comments that veer wildly off-topic.

If you've got a comment or question that's on-topic, I'd be up for hearing it.


Somehow, I don't think that's very likely if it falls outside of the "what I want to hear" parameters. I refuse on principle to respond to blogs that are posted publicly and moderated. It's at the point where I do a test post to see if it is in order to not waste time writing a response that could simply not see the light of day (hence taking it up in the forum where it's beyond ideological control). I'd suggest others do the same and boycott these items. There's no better way to shut down a free conversation or destroy the perception that it is open to all opinion (other than that which is in explicit agreement) than to make it moderated. There is never, despite all the self-justification, a good reason for moderating a blog here. Never. Open abuse and harrassment has pretty much zero tolerance and is dealt with. Spammers are nuked on sight. Off topic diversions are often entertaining and enlightening in manners that may not be apparent to all - that is the joy of spontaneous collaboration. So you are not really talking about moderation of the altruistic kind, but rather that which is selfish and personally subjective. Censorship is closer to the truth than moderation. Especially on this subject that will not die. Exactly why are you bashing this tub again? The rubble has only just settled from the last time. So at the risk of wasting time...

Godless Grrl continues: In recent months I've had the unfortunate experience of being on the receiving end of misogyny from a number of atheist men. When it comes from a theist it's not so surprising: not every theist is a misogynist, but enough religions are anti-woman that when I do experience it from theists, it isn't entirely unexpected. But I must admit that getting it from atheists rather blindsided me.

Well it's not all bad then. The sooner you rid yourself of the idea that all atheists are somehow guaranteed to be decent, honest, rational and intelligent human beings the better. The gravest cardinal sin that all atheists fall prey to if they are not eternally vigilant is that of "confirmation bias" after reading one too many studies telling them what superior geniuses they are. Atheists are just as capable of mirroring the entire gamut of human stupidity and they do so daily right here. In fact, you are even doing your bit now.

Call me naive, but I expect better than that from men who don't believe that god commands them to hate the fair sex. I also expect better from men who consider themselves enlightened freethinkers.

One has to assume you consider yourself a "freethinker" then. "Freethinker" is a term that like "liberal", "conservative" and "humanist" has lost all relevance to its original meaning to the vast majority of people here. Most folks use it as follows -

"I am entitled to my own free thoughts. You are also entitled to my free thoughts. You are not, however, entitled to your own free thoughts."

It is this kind of nonsense that then allows people to assume that things like comment moderation in public blogs is OK because, after all, they are freethinkers and exceptional enough to be able to judge what can be seen and what can be dismissed as inappropriate hostility from one kind of "-ism" or another. At no point will it occur that "freethinker" has now mutated into "doublethinker". That's the kind of realisation that's best avoided at any cost due to the risk of dissonance induced implosion.

I'm curious to know how common misogyny is in the atheist demographic, and whether or not it might be prevalent enough that women are discouraged from speaking up or joining in. Ladies, have any of you encountered misogyny from other atheists? If so, what was your experience, and what impact do you feel it had on you? Why do you suppose some atheists are sexist? Do you think it could discourage women from considering atheism, or discourage atheist women from becoming more active in the atheist community (discussions, groups, etc.)?

This was discussed ad nauseam here and here and has been one endless moan of varying volume ever since. It can be summarised as "There is a serious problem. We don't know precisely what it is, but it sucks and it's your fault. Why won't anybody fix it????" over and over and over. Not a single constructive thought anywhere, especially not on the external blog that started it all. The only thing that was achieved was a wholesale slander of the entire white male demographic of a|n and the permanent poisoning of an otherwise healthy and happy community by robo-feminist sausage machine rhetoric. Many of us, both male and female, were left scratching our heads and feeling decidedly nauseous. What was an open community now had a chill where speaking freely was suddenly not so free anymore. And now you want to scrape the scab off the wound that had almost, but not quite, healed.

Your whine is markedly similar by its sweeping amorphousness. Some unidentified "other", it would make just as much sense if you were leveling your accusations at Sagittarians. Vague unspecified atrocities committed by unknown people for unknown reasons at undisclosed locations and unexplained circumstances. It's just *they*. *They* hurt your feelings. Without explicitly saying so, again the male population of this site is being slurred as a whole.

Well, mull on this. Probability being what it is, it is highly likely that you've had your fair share of unpleasant encounters with blacks, asians or hispanics. Would you write a similar race specific piece in these cases? No you wouldn't would you. Because you would be too ideologically correct to venture there. But males are fair game. You're making my head spin. Could you explain *precisely* why one is OK but the others are off limits entirely?

And while you're at it, I would also like it explained why misogyny is a crime against humanity, yet misandry (yes that is a word, go fetch your dictionary) is perfectly OK and a trivial matter no one should have an issue with? And why it's OK that All Men are Bastards books and stationary, despite being so very yesterday, are still freely available on Amazon?, yet if someone were to release an All Women are Lying Two-faced Sluts product range, the world would stop spinning on its axis and lava would pour from the heavens?

I used to be perplexed as to why the many strong and independent women I've met over the years, who have built lives and careers all on their own without any outside assistance, all seem to cringe so much at the very mention of the word "feminist" - and often, without prompting, find the need to express the fact that they are not feminists. I am not perplexed any more. The despair was expressed quite succinctly in a personal chat with a member discussing this very blog (she pointed it out to me) -

I've not really ever experienced misogyny... idiots, sure
but I've never ever felt as though I could not speak up because I am a woman
Truly I can't think of one instance where I experienced misogyny
Not in the western world
not anymore
whine whine whine
plus it is such a ridiculous thing to say how strong and capable women are, and how emotional responses are not a problem, and then turn around and whine about misogyny
I have no sympathy at all for women in the western world... none... we have it better than we deserve


What the fuck, as a man, am I supposed to do when I hear this, and variations of the same, over and over? Women that have achieved so much and they sit there aghast watching this loudmouth, whining minority just ignore it all and reduce it all back to petty, mindless victim politics.

GG, it is not acceptable to just mouth off that you have received "some" misogyny from "some" members of the atheist community and then ask if others have experienced the same. You are not talking about anything tangible or quantifiable. As a statement it is about as meaningful as some race baiter saying "some" blacks rape "some" white women - there is no substance, nor is that the intent. The intent is to provoke a reaction. So it's not acceptable. If you have specific, citable instances of this kind of behaviour, then point it out [*]. No one here condones asshole behaviour of any kind. Making these vague accusations without backing them is is more or less implying that as a community we do. You are badmouthing all of us as a whole. So either put up and tell us explicitly where the problem is so we can fix it, or shut the fuck up. Stop picking this pointless scab.

[*] - To avoid confusion, much of the perceived misogyny is probably simply a case of you being spoken to as an equal - and not liking it. This does not count.

Tags: bitching, double standards, doublethink, misandry, misogyny, moaning, pointless crap, slander, whining

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Replies to This Discussion

If you are that hypersensitive that you cannot bear the thought of contrary opinion, then don't post in the public space in the first place. This disgusting and chickenshit habit of hit-and-run blogging by posting ideologically deranged nonsense and then locking out the right to reply is no different to grafitti tagging a wall in the dead of night. It's like walking into a pub, calling everyone assholes and then running away. It is cheap and it is cowardly and it never has any kind of justifiable excuse on a site that has explicit and enforcible guidelines to prevent exactly the kind of things listed as reasons for locking commentary. If you can't stand by your words, DON'T POST. Create your own group, be the god of it and babble away to your hearts content. Just keep the deliberately inflammatory idiocy out of the shared public space unless you are prepared to defend it against any and all.
There have been multiple examples here of moderated blogs in which comments were not posted or delayed (often hours or days.) And a couple in which the proprietor decided what was appropriate and wiped out all the comments, deleted the discussion, and started a new one that incorporated some of the criticisms (in the best sense of the word) but then ended up doing the same thing and pissing people off again.

Most of us are here for the conversation -- the whole conversation, not just "the important parts." Most of us realize that occasionally a "lame" comment sheds new light on the topic and off it goes again.

With the almost continuous presence of good moderators and many savvy posters, things very rarely careen out of control.

If we have to always be "productive," we'll go back to work. Otherwise, we'll be silly, witty, boring, stumbling, articulate, angry, and occasionally even coherent long enough to enjoy each other's company.
Bones: Members have as much of a right to moderate their blog as they do a group or discussion they started.

And I overlooked the now familiar squeal of the "entitled". What do you think this place is? Facebook? Just another site you can walk in and bespatter how you see fit? Well it's not. This is a privately run and privately funded community space. That's right, we have to pay our own way. It only appears "free" (as in beer) to you because the folks that run it are gracious enough to provide you with services gratis. You are not "entitled" to anything pal - especially not the "right" to sanctimonious whining about your "rights".

No one here demands money from you, though contributions are always welcome and in fact are a decent thing to do if you want to be an active member. But money is not demanded from anyone - all that is asked is that people contribute to this site in a meaningful and egalitarian manner. That means not using it as an ideological soapbox to spew distorted invective from while safely barricaded from the community's right to reply.
If Felch (Фелч Гроган) says you're wrong, then you're wrong, by God. He knows what should and should not transpire, here on A|N, and he spends a lot of his valuable time making sure everybody knows it. Why would you disagree with such a vigilant watchdog of blogging etiquette and general Internet courtesy? Do you dare challenge the undisputed dude of A|N propriety?

How foolish you are.

We all know that the terms of service (TOS) need refinement and that Felch (Фелч Гроган) is the man for the job. We should all pay closer attention to the valuable contributions he has to make and heed his advice. After all, how would we know how to conduct ourselves without him pointing the way for us?

In case you're unaware of Felch's (Фелч Гроган's) prolonged efforts to correct our poor etiquette and habits, I'll have you know that his one-man-campaign is legendary here. Many members support him wholeheartedly and are thankful for his singular insights.

You may think your blog is yours to do with as you see fit but Felch (Фелч Гроган) knows better. If he says moderation is bad, then, dammit, moderation is bad. Get over it.

Felch (Фелч Гроган) knows best.
Ah, so, Felch and the those who agree with him are not allowed to have an opinion?
@Phil,

Read the thread. I didn't start the thread down that tangent. I replied to Bones AFTER Felch did. So, NOT out of the blue.

If the post seems vindictive to you, all I can say is that Felch has shown me the way. I call it sarcasm and spot on. You call it vindictive. Whatever.
I didn't change the subject. I followed Felch; who followed Bones. The subject was already changed.

Nice try though, John D.
I stuck with the subject of the sub-thread and was preceded by Bones and Felch.
Hey Free Thinker,

Go bitch about how the world is out to get you in another discussion.

Your inadequacy, especially when compared to felch seems to turn you on. We have no need to watch you get aroused. Have fun with that somewhere else.
@sacha

My sarcasm was obviously not written for the Felch fan club. It was written for those who agree that our blogs are our own AND for those who have suffered his insulting broadsides presuming to "correct" our use of our own blogs.

He opened the door with his reply to Bones. I walked in. Isn't that how it works? If Felch can use sarcasm, so can I.
Free Thinker,

First of all, you need to look up the word sarcasm, because you do not understand what it means.

Your endless drone about felch in every post you write is boring, and extremely transparent. You are clearly obsessed with, and intimidated by him.

Four comments in this discussion alone. No one wants to read it. I have never seen you comment about anything but how felch has insulted you. Go write a letter to Richard and the moderators about how felch hurt your feelings, even start a blog post about felch the big-bad meenie in the playground, pout about how he has "bossed you around", go cry on bones' shoulder, I don't give a fuck, as long as I don't have to see your ridiculous whining over and over again.

As I said previously, your inadequacy, especially when compared to felch seems to turn you on. We have no need to watch you get aroused. Have fun with that somewhere else.
Look again, sacha, they're all replies.

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