More Sexism and Anti-Feminism in the Atheist Community

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I was on JT Eberhard‘s page today. He posted a nice shout out to Seth Andrews and Matt Dillahunty, and got a few pleasant and fun responses from there. Then entered Drakulian Rathburn, who has a lot of mutual friends as myself in the atheist community, with a strangely combative comment for the thread.

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So, I asked the obvious question. How, exactly, was A+ designed to cause division? That led to quote a bit foot stomping and refusing to support his claims, while of course making more and more claims without basis.

It didn’t take long, however, for him to bring feminism into the mix.

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He bounced away from the topic for a minute, but after being pushed further for evidence, he went straight into feminism with a fury. The level of ignorance was amazing to watch.

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Then he must have finally gotten really upset with being asked to actually prove his assertions, so he just went for it, damn the consequences.

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It was at this point that he blocked me. But it didn’t end there! He has a friend!

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So, where should I start? The problems here are too many to count.

First, if you claim to be a rational, thinking person, and you refuse to uphold the burden of proof, and make more claims instead of providing evidence for claims you’ve made, then you’re lying; you are NOT a rational, thinking person. You’re an ideologue.

Second, Feminism does not promote the superiority of anyone. It promotes equality. If you don’t know at least that about Feminism, then you haven’t studied enough to even talk about the subject.

Third, something like a “safe space” created for women to not feel subjugated or harassed isn’t created for the benefit of men. It shouldn’t be created for the benefit of men. If you’re biggest argument against a safe space for women is that it doesn’t benefit men…you are the problem.

Fourth, if you’re arguing about Feminism and you start calling women “twats” or other derogatory terms, you lose any credibility in the discussion. You’re a misogynist who has nothing to add to any meaningful discourse.

Finally, if you want to debate someone, and you open the conversation by insulting them, you’re a spiteful toddler who shouldn’t be allowed in public unsupervised.

Contributor: Robert Sacerich

Robert is a Philosophy of Science and Bioethics student, as well as blogger and science advocate/activist. He has worked extensively within the secular community for various secular nonprofit organizations and public communication causes.

See his full bio!

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15 thoughts on “More Sexism and Anti-Feminism in the Atheist Community

  1. It’s easy to argue against Creationism. Even a child can do that. But everything is revealed when once they start arguing against the Human Rights movements. Even Creationists at this point are more sensible and logical.

  2. Personally, I’m not sure how I feel about A+. I don’t really know a lot about them.

    However, Rathburn didn’t sound very rational in that exchange.

    I do have a question that you might be able to help me with – if A+ is basically humanism relabelled as you said in the exchange, why do we need it or why should we want it? It would seem it already exists as humanism.

    Thanks for the read.

    • Honestly, I see A+ as humanism that appeals to a younger crowd. I’ve been active int he Humanist world for a number of years, and the median age is typically…retired. Really, my take on A+ was an answer to that, without having to restructure the Humanist societies, while getting the same result.

      Mostly, I just saw it as redundant, but having a niche. People are often really offended by it because many if it’s leaders are vocal feminists, not for any other coherent reason.

      • Thank you for the reply. Very helpful.

        I think some are against A+ because they say they block people on social media sites for arbitrary reasons. If true, I wouldn’t be a fan either.

      • Pretty much every page does that. Occupy blocks anyone who disagrees, no matter how civil. In the end, people have control over their space. Odds are, if they block someone, it’s for a reason, and it’s their space, so by all means, do so.

        If people hate a movement because they blocked someone on a social network, that’s sorta a trivial reason. I’d like to see evidence of anyone being blocked for “arbitrary reasons.” I would imagine any who was blocked was for a good reason, and even then, it’s a strange reason to hate a movement as a whole.

      • Wasn’t there something called the block bot for A+ where anyone who disagrees was put on a list, and anyone who signed up for the bot blocked everyone on that list automatically, without even knowing why people were put on that list? I think even Dillahunty was put on the list for a while or maybe Silverman…I can’t remember. I’ll have to look it up.

        While it’s true about your space, I wouldn’t support an organization that supports blocking for little or no reason. I think discussion is too important for that. I can see it if someone is being threatened, trolled, stalked etc. I also don’t understand how or why someone who claims to be a skeptic and values thinking for themselves would sign up for a service that essentially does the thinking for them. Hundreds or thousands of people blocked that they’ve never met, for reasons they probably don’t even know.

        I agree that the person seemed to have a grudge against feminism. But I think his dislike of A+ was prominently displayed as well. I’ve talked with other atheists who aren’t fans of A+ for the reasons I’ve mentioned but I don’t know hiw factual those claims are. I’m just trying to understand it and your post seems like a good opportunity to do that. :)

      • To be honest, I’ve never heard anything about that. Either way, the guy brought out his core reason for being against Atheism+ as being that they promoted feminism.

        No other reason was mentioned other than “I don’t wanna be told what to do!”

        That’s exactly why I consistently asked for him to back his claims.

  3. There are problems such as this everywhere. One of the things that I had to learn is that it isn’t so cool to say to a woman casually, “nice legs” as you walk by. I love a beautiful woman just like any other straight man, ( or lesbian ), and exercise my biological right to notice without making catcalls or comments. I totally disagree with the bandying about of the word ‘Misogynist’ that is prevalent today when a woman just doesn’t like something a man has said. It’s a way to shame someone that you don’t agree with by misusing a term that causes alarm among the PC community and focuses undue negative attention where it doesn’t belong. My own mother-in-law is a professional victim and a perfect example of a woman who enjoys abusive relationships and cries ‘Misogynist’ when things don’t go her way. Many of these people who refuse to stand up and set an example for young girls and who teach their daughters to play the victim only ride the coattails of feminism when it is convenient for them to do so. PC spoils everything just as religion does. Common sense is where it’s at.

    • PC spoils everything? Asking people honestly not to be offensive spoils everything? I’m not sure I follow.

      Misogyny has a definition. It’s used when words or actions fit the definition.

      People who complain about PC tend to be ones who have trouble not being offensive. If you need to use loaded, offensive terms in order to speak your mind, you need to improve your vocabulary.

      • PC has been taken to extreme and language has been filtered thru euphemism to absurdity. Both of my daughters are in Tae Kwon Do because I believe in strong women and don’t want them to have traumatic experiences that reduce them to throwing around the word ‘Misogynist.’ Most people who do this are actually misandrist and have a huge psychological chip on their shoulder regarding all men. Why don’t you better use that energy to attack media and fashion industries headed by women who still use sex to sell their wares. In this day and age they are now just as culpable.
        Also, part of being a critically thinking skeptic is to not follow fads such as the neo-Nazi suppression called PC. If you need to make wild accusations, please reserve them for some other forum in which you can bully others, and please realize that misogyny is NOT defined as ‘Anyone who disagrees with a female.’ The word has an actual meaning you know.

      • I always laugh when people complain about PC. It’s like saying “I’m tired of people telling me not to be demeaning. I can be demeaning if I want.”

        Calling PC neo-Nazi is sensationalist absurdity. It’s a silly fallacy in and of itself, and has no place in any rational discourse.

        This post, at it’s core, was about someone who was against one thing for the sole reason that it included open Feminist values. That is misogynist by definition.

        The whole idea of misandry comes from insecure men who have forgotten that they’ve been in charge pretty much worldwide and kept women “in their place” for generations, and suddenly feel offended that women are tired of it.

        Your words here tell me that you don’t have the slightest idea what Feminism is, what it’s history is, and what it’s purpose is. It just tells me that you’re insecure because you likely see a bit of yourself in the person shown here, and feel the need to be defensive regardless of the fact that it has nothing to do with you. It’s the “not all men!” syndrome that is so ignorant and absurd, that it has no place in any real discourse.

  4. Pingback: More Sexism and Anti-Feminism in the Atheist Community | Christians Anonymous

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