One more response to Ron Lindsay’s post on divisiveness from yesterday. Ron suggested that the issue of abuse was largely solved “within the secular movement”. What happened in the comments–on the CFI site–suggested otherwise.
It isn’t just Ron who feels this way, either. There are plenty of people who want this to be just “some trolls on the internet”. So I started thinking about what “within the movement” really means.
- Starting at yesterday’s thread: If you can’t have a public conversation with activists with whom you work and whose work you promote, without being hit with a bunch of misleading and debunked arguments ad hominem trying to stand between you and the person you’re conversing with, that’s happening within the movement.
- If someone takes an out-of-context tweet from your clearly marked personal Twitter account that was never about them (see comment 59), prints it next to your professional activist title, then coordinates a letter-writing campaign with friends to attempt to
get you fired from that positionhave your organization take some vague but serious action, that happens within the movement. [Note: Sara has commented to dispute this. Text updated here, and documentation provided below.]
- If announcing a conference about the role of women in secularism on your organization’s site is met with charges of misandry or comments on a report of the conference have to be shut down, with the problems coming from registered users, that happens within the movement.
- If every time it is announced that you are giving a speech somewhere or every time you are mentioned in a newspaper article, people have to comment to say that you should be shunned and ignored, that happens within the movement.
- If a speaker and writer hosts a discussion for about a year that is devoted to tearing down those who call harassment an issue, posting personal information and lies, tracking everything said or tweeted in obsessive detail, that happens within the movement.
- If someone known to attend a convention threatens to do…something to you when you speak at that convention because you’ve stood up for harassed women, that happens within the movement.
- If an atheist organization’s leader declares publicly that what you received couldn’t have been a real threat and uses that organization’s podcast to grossly misrepresent what you did receive, that happens within the movement.
- If a speaker and writer declares that your work is invalid and you should be starved of income, that happens within the movement.
- If a speaker and writer declares unilaterally that anyone who makes a particular judgment of another speaker and writer is a “slavering dog” and that this classification is not open for objection, that happens within the movement.
- If a speaker and writer, within the context of another speaker and writer being harassed out of her work, has a discussion about condemning “all” bullying that ends up going like this, that happens within the movement.
If you have to continually fight to get your colleagues to listen when you tell them what is happening or to open their eyes to see it for themselves or even to treat the strain of this as an occupational injury, that happens within the movement too. And none of this, including the need to fight the denial, is even close to stopping.
Pushing people to the letter-writing campaign, which her friend drew her attention to:
Conversing about the letter-writing campaign:
Sara and friend expected people to be awaiting the response:
Repeating the lie that Melody said she used male attention to get speaking gigs: