[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

Snakenose, you are our Dunning-Kruger poster child. If only you could make the honour posthumous.
Nice try, Felch,

But it is you, by your own admission, who suffers from a neurological syndrome . . . namely, Aspberger's. This explains your nasty attacks on those who violate your unwritten rules. Does this member have an erroneous or dead link? Is that member blogging about abortion, humor or some other subject you feel should be posted elsewhere (if at all)? Well then, that's all the reason you need to sideswipe members with personal insults. Isn't it, Felch?

It's not as if you make an argument for your point of view. No sir, you don't need to be reasonable. All you need is to swoop in, do a little name-calling or belittling, and order the unsuspecting member to correct his "error" according to your unwritten rules. And let's make no mistake about it: THEY ARE YOUR UNWRITTEN RULES. The are NOT our TOS. Don't like this member's blogging about abortion? Or that member's rate of multiple posting? Or some other member moderating his own blog? Well dammit, they're wrong. They've violated your sense of propriety and "etiquette" and are, therefor, worthy of your wrath.

I say you're the LAST person here who should pontificate on propriety or etiquette. Your frequent attacks are unwarranted and unfriendly. You're a bully and control freak. Plain and simple (Asperger's or not).

And I plan to point out that fact until you cut it out? Why? Because I don't believe most people, if they knew, would support such behavior. Nobody likes a bully . . . whether or not that bully is Asperger's-inspired. Most members may not have any clue of these things. Some might know but not care. As far as I'm concerned, anybody who knows about your bullying but defends you instead of your many victims . . . has their priorities screwed up.

People, generally, just want a friendly atmosphere. I am here to speak up for those you insult. Most people don't want to wallow in the mud with you. They're not willing to be as nasty as you. I am. I don't give a shit. I hate bullies and won't tolerate them.

If ANYBODY cares to spend a LOT of time on Google, you can sift through all of Felch's posts and see what I'm talking about. It seems to me that he hates members moderating their own pages because it allow them to prevent his snide and personal attacks. And that just sucks all the fun out of being Felch.
I get it FreeThinker, you are right, Felch is wrong, it would be ridiculous to examine his arguments, especially since they contradict your opinion. Obviously, Felch is wrong for being wrong and you are right for being right.

Cry me a river and I'll build you a bridge to live under.
Granting, for the sake of argument, that these "unwritten rules" are not "our ToS", there is still the matter of what is quaintly called 'polite conduct'. This is what is being argued for by Felch and others.

Reproachment is one means of correcting impolite behaviour. Objurgation is another means. Flech, and others, use both methods, as the situation presents.

From reading your various diatribes regarding Felch it seems, sadly, that you have fallen victim to the fallacy of style over message. Rather than address points of argument you choose instead to address mode of argument.

Your current rantings in this thread quite clearly demonstrate this. Rather than address the OP you choose instead to spew forth invective against the Poster. Your behaviour is no different to that of various theists crying foul over those nasty, mean atheists.

If you have anything of value to add in rebuttal to an argument, please do present it. However, if all you can offer is "He's a meanie mean meanie who hurt my feeeeeeelings!", then please do STFU.
Stephen, I don't know how I could possibly have failed to run across the excellent word "objurgation" before. Thanks for teaching me my new word for the day.

And yes, etiquette is at least as important as the ToS if we want to maintain a nonchaotic community.
Thank you Stephen. I had not come across the word objurgation either. It is nice to learn a new word.
Snakenose,
What in the world does Aspergers. have to do with it? Do you even know anything about Aspergers? Well, obviously you do not. You are just spouting off as usual. You are more of an idiot than I had even realised.

No one wants to hear you whine. Have a look at the responses to you personally, here in this discussion. It seems you are not even bothering to read them, you are so obsessed with felch, to you, there is no one else.

If you feel that you need to come to the aid of the "oppressed", then send them a private message, you could start a little whining and stamping your foot gang.

I for one, completely agree with felch as to what is appropriate, and polite and where. It seems I am far from alone in that. I feel that correcting the poor behaviour is the only way to respond. You, however have no one agreeing with you. Give it up, or take it elsewhere. You have nothing to gain but ridicule and laughter at your expense.

As Stephen said "Your behaviour is no different to that of various theists crying foul over those nasty, mean atheists."
sacha: What in the world does Aspergers. have to do with it?

It's just a slur word that still isn't on the verboten list. He's heard other people use it and assumes it's insulting. Pea-brains cling to words like that desperately for when they have no real points to make. I think it's supposed to be some kind of lever they can use to advantage, assuming it makes a difference to the target.

Snakenose uses it a lot - it means he can whack me as he pleases, yet remain safe himself in the knowledge that I can't call him a "dumb nigger" in return because there's an army of peecee thought police that would tear me a new one. This is the world we live in.
Of course Felch can have his opinion. In fact, he's often posted his unsolicited (and aggressively insulting) opinions in my blogs. He does the same to others.

And I have mine opinion.

My opinion says that anybody who repeatedly posts aggressive, personal insults to people's own blogs telling them to post humor, complaints, abortion discussions, or whatever to groups or forums created for these topics is crossing a line. Unless you're a moderator you don't have a right to boss me around or tell me how to run my blog. Our blogs are ours to use as we wish (within the TOS). Any such bullying control freak should be reined in.

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.

Felch's opinion? You shouldn't post content to your blog that "belongs" elsewhere. You shouldn't moderate your blog.

My opinion? You shouldn't have to deal with Felch sullying your blog with nasty comments about things that are none of his business. Let moderators do the moderating. If you want to moderate your blog, why not? It's your blog, the feature is a part of the NiNG platform and there's a good chance you're moderating your blog because of ugly, asinine, posts from none other than Felch himself.

I know of nobody else who behaves like a self-anointed moderator or censor. If he merely posted opinions about how A|N should be run, that's one thing . . . but broadsiding members in their own blogs with aggressive, insulting messages is another.

If you endorse his methods, then I would challenge your priorities. I endorse the right of members to be spared from personal attacks that come from out of the blue by some self-anointed censor.

If I see such attacks (not that I look for them), I'll wade in to support the victim. If I see him spouting his control-freak opinions about what is the "right" way to run our own blogs, then I'll point out the ridiculousness with my own opinion that basically says, "leave us and our blogs alone, it's not your concern."
I don't understand this whole concept of "my blog" and moderating comments. I thought this was a place for people to engage in dialogue. I never imagined that some people here would think that the only people they can engage in dialogue are people who agree with them. Isn't it enough that we all share atheism. I would expect the view that you can say something but that no one can respond from Sarah Palin or Sharron Angle, not from anyone here.

I'm also confused by what you mean by "my blog." As I understand it, A|N is a website that gives people an opportunity to post content. On the other hand, in return those people posting should return the favor and give the other people to whom they are directing the content a chance to respond. As for claiming ownership, I would beg to differ. I am quite sure you are not paying for the domain name or the bandwidth here. Those are being given to you out of the goodness of other people's hearts. Those people should at least have the right to respond.
well said Al-KADIM
AL-KADIM: I'm also confused by what you mean by "my blog."

What Snakenose is on about is the squeal of the entitled. "It's my blog, I'll do what I please blah, blah" accompanied by stamping of feet and threats to hold one's breath until they die. It is the squeal of those with the least to contribute and those who have never thought, even once, to click the "donate" button and help out with paying the bills. It is the indignation of the feeble and the stupid and it will outlast all of us.

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