[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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With all the different groups that you can be a part of, i never understood the point of having a blog.
Looking at how Ning handles threading in discussions (rather poorly) and blogs (even more so), to me the main point of personal blogs here is to index discussions of interest. I believe that's more or less what felch tried to do some time ago, with his parallel blog/discussion posts and 'reply to the discussion, not to the blog' policy, but apparently people couldn't discipline themselves enough to make it worth the hassle.

Maybe it would be a good idea to have parallel discussion OPs and blog entries link to each other and close comments in the blog. Freedom of speech would still be 100% safe, as long as you reply to the discussion (as you're supposed to anyway - that's the whole point.)
Snakenose: If I see an opportunity to counter Felch's ridiculous tirades, I'll gladly take it. I don't give a flying fork what his fan club has to say about it.

Given the massive opportunities then, you are strangely silent. I invite people, in fact implore them, to point out any errors or distortions of facts I may commit. Because that's all I am interested in - reality and fact. Your continual insinuations that I am not, and that I only abuse for the sake of abuse, lie in exactly the same category of unsubstantiated nonsense as the "atheist misogyny" meme. If you have a real issue, then state it and corroborate it. If you can't, then you are merely reinforcing the fact that you are just another substance free noise-monger.

Ramping up your pompous attacks on me do not in anyway constitute evidence of your crap. If you are sore at the fact that I have caught you with your trousers down posting gibberish in the past - it's not my fault, it's yours. If you didn't post crap, I wouldn't even have noticed you.

Beyond this I have nothing to justify about my behaviour to you of all people. What I say stands for itself, and if you are too dull witted to understand it, again, it's not my problem.
Misogyny. With a y. As in, "y duz this shit happen and y don't you care?" Like it or not, crazy shit DOES happen to us ladies. It happens to males too, and you would be damn right to fight it. And the double standard, which I will condense to "men are horrible"/"women are bitches", may be closer than you think. That's why the phrases "ball and chain" and "women are poison" and the stereotypes of gold-diggers and socialites are still very alive and well.

Basically, what I'm saying is: This is inappropriate, you sound muy bitter, and I think that if someone is making a discussion on how common misogyny is, chances are, THEY EXPERIENCED MISOGYNY.

Newsflash- you're not a woman. You get shit for being a man all the time, or so I would assume because I hear stuff that makes me cringe. Think "there are good ones out there" as if it's such a shocker, and as my mother would say "short shorts are a good way to get raped". This world is horrible to men-- how can you doubt that it happens to others? -And that, le ghasp!- It's a valid topic of discussion, and if someone has a skewed or unhealthy view towards a subject, maybe they need guidance rather than bitch fits. Maybe they need a little hug and an "I don't hate women" because frankly I'm needing some of that lately.

I have seen a general difference between atheist men and the local Mormon men in regards to women. I don't think either are overtly misogynist (although in the Mormons, the doctrine and church in general is quite patriarchal).
Jezzy, I am all for discussion that is founded on substance. This is not my gripe. My gripe is these vague allegations of appalling misogyny that is apparently rife everywhere. Because all we have are continuous allegations and zero substance. It has the status of nothing more than common rumour mongering that is tarnishing this community as a whole. It has the same foundation in reality as witchdoctors explaining noises in the night outside the light of the campfire as demons.

My request is simple - provide just one instance where open misogyny has occurred here that hasn't resulted in a ban. Just one. Where a male has derided and attacked a female purely on the basis that she is female. Not disagreed with a female because she has said something that can be challenged, but demeaned her purely on the basis of her gender. Because until this behaviour can be substantiated, this is all just vile, malicious gossip that serves no purpose and only actively and negatively impacts everyone here. There have been countless 1000's of comments in threads about this perceived misogyny and I have yet to see one that substantiates anything. This continuous, slanderous generalisation is to me indistinguishable to the style of nonsense that gets peddled by all manner of racists, yet here, amongst alleged enlightened freethinkers, is treated as totally acceptable.

So again, to the folks that keep peddling this crap - either put up, or shut up. Because you are achieving nothing other than poisoning the place and leaving very sour tastes in peoples mouths.
"My request is simple - provide just one instance where open misogyny has occurred here that hasn't resulted in a ban. Just one."

your post? tiny squealing violins wow HOW DO YOU NOT SEE the misogyny lol.

"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."

We aren't equals that's kind of the point of misogyny- I DON'T HAVE FULL LEGAL RIGHTS like males enjoy. The ERA never passed... How many books on the theory of feminism have you read? Do you even know the different types of feminism in the world? WE are not equals because I have read thousands upon thousands of books on every various form of patriarchy and misogyny and had to to graduate high school and college and make a living. Reading feminist philosophy is not forced on you so that you can ever get a job in life or even finish school. How can you say you're on equal footing with a woman when you don't even understand what misogyny is? Not to mention there's not one matriarchy on earth it's not like i can take my feminist thoughts and go hide there- but every country on earth is a haven for patriarchy and most are misogynist as well. Very strange.
"Misogyny" does not mean "not equal".

[BTW, I am fully aware that the making of this comment will result in my being called a misogynist so breath and electrons don't need to be wasted on that. I happen to think that "most men are assholes" is more true than not. Does that make me a misandrist? Is it possible for a male to be a misandrist?]
no misogyny means the hatred of women...which always seems to lead to the lack of equality just like saturated fat isn't heart disease but does a good job of usually causing the latter.

and let's not go with the men are assholes routine it's a cop out basically you're saying 'I'm a man! I don't need to try and be a good person!" lol let's just say men are like rich people they can be great when they aren't being narcissistic. I'm know waaaaaaay too many great men to buy the asshole argument and have been in a committed relationship with one for 15 years.
... let's not go with the men are assholes routine it's a cop out basically you're saying 'I'm a man! I don't need to try and be a good person!"

I'll call "Bullshit!" on that one. Basically, what I was saying was what I said. You're welcome to read whatever fantasies you want into that (which, of course, you did.) I don't remember how long ago I gave up trying to be "a man." It wasn't worth the crap. And didn't accomplish much except to get in the way of being a good person.

I'm glad you've been lucky to meet "too many great men." I haven't had that privilege. A few here and there but not enough to write home about.
well i wouldn't say i've met more than 4 'good' (an arbitrary word of course) people in my life and half of them have had innies and the rest had outties. i've chosen in this conversation to refer to those people as 'men'. bleh people are miserable and only want to squabble over dominance i'm interested in content and information grubbing! so good luck with your semantic struggle.
Reminds me of a joke about language gangs.

"What's the word on the street?"

"Semantics"
I dunno. I would be just as opposed to a matriarchy as a patriarchy. It's not about power. It's about equality.

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