[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

Nerd (in her entirety): People aren't overtly misogynist anymore, just like they're not overtly racist anymore (unless they're Pat Robertson). But subtle sexism still does exist, even among atheists. It's just that those of us who abide by the strictest critical thinking are the ones who are willing to stop their knees from jerking and actually consider the claims being made.

And what are the claims being made? Even if a person isn't actively harassing women, that doesn't mean he isn't still perpetuating the system of inequality and oppression. It takes guts to admit that there is a problem and to actually change one's ways. Nobody enjoys the taste of humble pie.

You haven't actually read anything I said have you? Let alone tried to comprehend it. You just flip the record back to track one and start all over again like nothing has happened.

This isn't good enough. This mess was initiated by you close to a year ago, and a|n has never been the same since (and not in a good way either). Just because you say something exists is not in itself evidence that it does. This is why we deride theists remember? To state unequivocably that a problem exists and permeates our community in its entirety you must play by the rules -

* You must delineate what it is. No one has.

* You must identify where it is. No one has.

* You must quantify it. No one has.

Similarly, if you want a problem remedied -

* You must provide constructive ideas to do so. No one has.

* You must set expectations of what exactly it is you expect from others. No one has.

Instead its just endless repetition - "There are atheist misogynists everywhere. It sucks. Somebody do something. Goto step 1."

This is divisive social nihilism - and lttle more. It is whining out of sheer inertia. Why are you doing this? How exactly is this supposed to benefit anyone or improve anything? There has not been a single constructive thought aired. Nothing. All you are achieving is fostering divisiness and resentment from people, again male *and* female, by having a long, slow and endless tantrum.

Consider a thought experiment -

A small number of people take it upon themselves to raise the serious issue of alleged antisemitism within the atheist community because they keep seeing it everywhere - and how disappointed they are because atheists and "freethinkers" (in whatever flipped out interpretation of that you adhere to) are meant to be above this kind of behaviour.

They keep churning out complaints about this rampant antisemitism that is supposed to be everywhere, yet won't provide examples, won't tell you what it is they expect from you and won't provide any constructive input as to how to address it. Antisemitism just exists and it's everywhere - and the atheist community is indifferent to it and tolerates it. Many even enable it and provide a protective environment for those that actually are actively antisemitic.

They then barricade themselves inside controlled, moderated blogs - the reasoning being that those that deny the apparently obvious and very real problem are not contributing anything useful to the debate and are probably antisemites themselves to boot - so they need to be filtered out. Lather, rinse, repeat ad nauseam.

Now what would you think about folks that did that? By being vague and non-specific, they are applying the brush of accusation to the community as a whole. We are all guilty - evidence is not necessary. Chances are you'd probably think it was unfair and unwarranted. You may even experience a twinge of anger.

There is one problem with the above - unlike accusations of misogyny you can, if you look, find actual examples of bonehead antisemitic stupidity here -

Zionists are the scum of scum, they make Radical Islam look good and that takes talent.

The Roman empire kick the crap out of them and scattered them to the four winds, they have been grieving nation after nation ever since with their "Undying loyalty to the tribe" bullshit.

The Nazis were not the first, nor will be the last group of people to attempt to purge self-serving tribalistic Jewish idiots from their lands, they have made lots of enemies over the centuries.

There is more that I have seen around, it's not a one off, but I won't dirty the place by including it all here. The above example will suffice.

Now I must be blind, but try as I might, I can't find anything equivalent that targets women as a gender in this kind of manner, nor can I recall ever seeing anything. Perhaps there is something you can learn from our Jewish chums here - they know there is enough genuine hatred against them in this world to bother wasting time fabricating stuff out of ether and miscontextualised comments on top. More likely, they have too much dignity to spout nonsense about isolated stupidities that cannot be correlated into a genuine case, and they have enough respect for the greater community than to publicly slander it as a whole. Perhaps you should start a tourism business with packages to Sudan or Congo or Afghanistan so people can see our rampant atheist misogyny in all it's true and horrible magnitude.

So let me help you with at least part of your problem. Let's look at what the word "misogynist" actually means. Wiktionary is as good as anything else (even if it is asscociated with that cesspit of lies Wikipedia) -

Noun: misogynist (plural misogynists)

1. One who professes misogyny; a hater of women.
2. One who displays prejudice against or looks down upon women.

Seems clear enough. So who exactly here "hates" women? Who displays "prejudice" that prevents you from participating here as anything less than an equal? If anything it's quite the reverse - everyone bends over backwards to accomodate your sensitivities. "Misogeny" is pretty serious stuff and if people here are guilty of doing it, then all of us need to know because none of us want any part of it (any more than we do racism). This is where the problem lies - in all of the voluminous flatus, there has never been any substance furnished. Ever. Sure there have been occassional assholes that have not lasted long before being ejected, but in those instances labeling them exclusively as "misogynists" when they were jack-of-all-trades assholes was erroneous (and opportunistic).

You might also care to note that the definition of "misogynist" DOES NOT mention anywhere that it can also equate to "he made me feel stupid".
Contrast this with -

misandrist (plural misandrists)

1. one who professes misandry; a hater of men

Now cast your mind back to some of the colourful characters we've had here like Jacq Homan and Larry Carter Center. Both were misandrist machines churning out reams of raw hatred at males, singling out male members here by name and branding them rape apologists and that they think most women that get raped and murdered deserved it anyway. They were beyond simple hatred - they were oozing sores of vitriol and bile. And they were tolerated. Not so much as a peep of complaint from any of the people that keep grinding the "misogyny" axe. Can you spell "hypocrites"? But enough about them, they've moved on. (Interestingly enough one did earn a ban, but not for misandry. He didn't have tits. The other continued business-as-usual with not so much as a caution and is still spewing her poison at another atheist site unhindered. What preferential treatment?)

When you relentlessly hurl around the accusation of "atheist misogyny" without providing any evidence and without any constructive thought, you are making a non-specific accusation - that means you are slandering everyone here equally. It is a pointless and baseless accusation that is just like a white bigot criticising coloured folks for having poor hygeine. Just because there are no doubt some coloured people who do have poor hygeine does not make his or her statement any less offensive. All you are doing is badmouthing our whole community, creating nothing positive, helping no one and just plain pissing people off and making them feel sick at witnessing it. It is mindless nihilism.
"Zionists are the scum of scum, they make Radical Islam look good and that takes talent.

The Roman empire kick the crap out of them and scattered them to the four winds, they have been grieving nation after nation ever since with their "Undying loyalty to the tribe" bullshit.

The Nazis were not the first, nor will be the last group of people to attempt to purge self-serving tribalistic Jewish idiots from their lands, they have made lots of enemies over the centuries."--Alex Catgirl.

Again, a reason to not moderate: if this had been moderated, this person would not have been able to display what an asshole she is on record, permanently, for the entire world to see. Moderation keeps jerks from embarrassing themselves. It also doesn't really spare anyone's feelings, being that the person doing the moderating still has to read the comments and then censor them.
Precisely. This is not grounds for moderation. Moderation, especially of these charged and emotive types of issues, only exists in order to be able to control the opinion that is expressed - keep it within the parameters that are desirable for the moderator's agenda. It selectively manipulates reality to influence opinion - and I cannot in anyway differentiate it from censorship and an exercise in applied propaganda.
John, you wrote that entire post just so you could slip in the pun "broad generalization", didn't you? I'm onto you, buddy.
I'm compiling a list of consequences that happen by claiming misogyny at every turn. Michelle has brought up a good one to begin with:

"...things like, and including, misogyny - when you claim it is everywhere and in everything it dilutes the actual existence so that it all seems the same and becomes irrelevant when it does happen..."

this also ties into the "crying wolf" consequence...

When any perceived slight, or anything a man says or does that makes one feel a bit uncomfortable is automatically labeled misogyny, it causes a number of things to happen.

One is that it seems that misogyny is more pervasive in the western world than it actually is
(I am going to use the US as the area in which I refer to when I discuss this topic at this time, as I live in the US right now, and I can speak about what I see here. Other places in the western world may be the same or different, but for discussion purposes, I'm choosing the US as the area in which I speak.)
My experience as a woman has been that misogyny is extremely rare in this time (at least the past twenty years). I think a lot of things are labeled misogyny that really are nothing of the sort.

Life isn't easy and most people are self absorbed and selfish and inconsiderate. Therefore if you have not locked yourself away from society, most likely you will experience quite a bit of animosity and rudeness throughout the week...
Hooray for me, quoted in a good way.
Bones: John, I have nothing to prove to irrelevant "things" on the internet who are of no significance in my life or anyone elses except for in their own heads and amongst their minions. You guys should start a cult. Your exaggerated sense of importance is hilarious.

This thread belongs in the Comedy section.

Let's see, so far you have not contributed anything relevant to the subject being discussed, or even of any diversionary interest or wit. Instead, you choose to leak gibberish (because I guess you have a "right" to) -

Members have as much of a right to moderate their blog as they do a group or discussion they started.

It's pretty clear you did not read or comprehend anything that I wrote. Instead, you just parrot a statement about blogging "rights" - which is specifically one of the issues I am addressing.

I do not know where your hostility is coming from. It sounds like there may have been some past issues that I missed. I think there are better ways of getting your point across because I have no idea what point you are trying to make.

Mistaking hostility for frustration is perhaps forgiveable. But if you don't understand, or are missing something, then it's because you make no effort to comprehend, or even read, and you can't follow the explanatory links that are provided. So, if you choose to be deliberately dumb, it's neither my fault nor concern.

sacha and Фелч Гроган, here's some constructive criticism. YELLING, insulting, belittling, and berating people with rude, aggressive, abrasive rants will turn many people off and they will not listen to you.

Who was yelling? This is common as muck derailment, schoolyard stuff. In lieu of any ability to respond with relevance, you resort to ad hominem questioning our anger management and rationality instead of our points; one can only assume you are doing this in an effort to provoke genuine anger.

I found a similiar thread started by Фелч Гроган with the same modus operandi.

So? If the accusation doesn't work the first time, get a broader brush? Address the faults in any arguments I present, not my style. At least I have a modus operandi beyond an indignant snivel. I get your kind of accusations all the time. And always from people that have no other line of response to work with.

sacha, you repeatly resort to personal insults, personal attacks, and baiting people because you are not capable of having an intelligent conversation. I will not waste my time with your delusional, rabbling, NONsense about how right you are even though you are incapable of proving or making a coherent point. You will not win anybody over with your tactics.

On an ad hominem roll. With the added argument by dismissal - wasting your precious time because Sacha is beneath your dignity? Cheap, and again, zero substance to the subject at hand.

You guys should start a cult. Your exaggerated sense of importance is hilarious.

This thread belongs in the Comedy section.

And more argument by dismissal.

Bones, you have not uttered a single coherent or relevant sentence other than to make pesonal slurs. And you want to refer us to NVC? Too much. Why are you even here? You are a flatulent, schoolyard twerp. Have a Schopie for services to thread poisoning gibberish.


If you would like to contribute to the actual discussion, you are welcome to do so. If you want to be an idiot, attack members, and act like you are three, you are not. It's your choice.
You have not attacked anyone while all sacha has done is attack you? What posts are you reading by chance? As for calling you an idiot, if you act like one expect people to call you on it.
thanks, Susan

Not to worry, he won't last long, they never do.

If no one responds to him, he will not get the negative attention he craves, and he will go away.
It's also not ad hominem unless we had been discussing the topic at hand (misogyny, or moderation) and he made a point and I called him an idiot instead of debating the point. Not the case here.
"Angst" is a funny word that you can blame Søren Kierkegaard for. Non-directional emotional dread and comfort is usually found in blaming something. Anything will usually do, it's as though focus brings relief. Sometimes pictures convey meaning far better than words -

I read these arguments, they seem to be happening more and more. I find them useful for whenever I start feeling too self-confident, at ease with myself or just start getting too uppity in general. They remind me that I am actually just a frail, fragile creature in need of protection. It helps put me back in my place.


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