June 11, 2013 at 5:43 pm
I expect that if you declared the sky was blue, Vacula would turn up to deny it. He’s probably just working his way down the sexist bingo card, excited for all the times he’s already gotten to shout bingo.
June 11, 2013 at 5:50 pm
all right. I am bordering on off-topic here, but I can no longer see his name in print without reading ‘jackmonkey’ instead.
you’ve been at this a long time. your credentials are solid. heh. I even saw your name in wikipedia as associate president of MN Atheists – just wikiesearched you today.
even if blogging WASNT real activism, are there atheist bloggers who Aren’t real activists for skepticism? I am only familiar with the FT bloggers, and they all seem pretty activist-busy…..
Hankstar [Mandrellian] - I am famous at home in the dark says
June 11, 2013 at 6:04 pm
Well, that’s rich. A man whose last bit of “activism” was to attend WIS2 – a conference whose mission and perhaps mere existence he more or less completely disagreed with – and (like a Brave Hero) do nothing but snicker from the back of the room then publicly ridicule its attendees (via someone else’s infantile photoshopping) is lecturing someone else on what activism is (using his usual weapon – a snide, passive-aggressive goddamned tweet).
What a laughable and embarrassing lack of awareness. What a stalwart Voice for Men.
F [nucular nyandrothol] says
June 11, 2013 at 6:06 pm
Lolwut? I am amazed that you have the patience to respond to such statements. Then again, I find you to be rather amazing in general. Vacula, on the other hand, wouldn’t know a “front line” if it sneaked up and bit him on the ass.
Stephanie Zvan says
June 11, 2013 at 6:12 pm
Hankstar, he did a thing with an atheist banner in a town that doesn’t like them sometime around WiS. It might have been more recent than the conference.
June 11, 2013 at 6:28 pm
The more we pay attention to him the more he feels justified. This a boy with no head for nuance, or the back and forth of a real conversation. There has to be a point where he is just ignored.
Besides, he’s ugly, and therefore I can’t take any of his writing seriously. /snark
June 11, 2013 at 6:44 pm
I wonder whether setting up a Documenting the Harassment tumblr for this stuff might be an effective way to keep track of all their bullshit in one place while not giving them undue attention on individual blogs? Multiple users for the tumblr, open to reader submissions and maybe just a regular brief blog update of how many entries have been added to the Tumblr each week?
June 11, 2013 at 6:48 pm
Thanks Stephanie. But hey – since I personally didn’t hear about it or discern an effect, it probably doesn’t count. I’m assuming that’s the standard he’s applying to “online activists” – why wouldn’t it apply to “real” activists?
June 11, 2013 at 7:03 pm
tigtog, I wouldn’t object to anyone who felt moved to do that. The problem, as ever, of course, is getting people to look.
lcforevah, Vacula is more of an indicator than anything at this point. He doesn’t really come up with anything original. He just adds his voice and the little bit of credibility he’s earned through actual activism to the chorus. That means that when he’s saying something (at least the first time or two) there are a bunch of other people somewhere else saying the same thing. So, when he manages something new, it’s sometimes worth commenting on.
June 11, 2013 at 7:49 pm
I became an atheist because of what I read from atheists on the internet.
But I guess that wasn’t activism on anyone’s part, eh? Just, um… exposure to the radiation from my computer monitor?
Miri, Professional Fun-Ruiner says
June 11, 2013 at 8:09 pm
Goddammit I was literally going to write this exact post last week but never got around to it. Usually it’s Kate who steals my ideas.
Oh well, I was going to use a slightly different angle, so maybe I’ll write it anyway.
A. Noyd says
June 11, 2013 at 8:43 pm
Of course, if blogging isn’t activism, if it’s so ineffective, why are the pit stains so eager to “protect” the movement by getting bloggers to shut up?
June 11, 2013 at 9:57 pm
Hah! Kate tweeted that she was going to write it tonight but that I’d gotten there first.
June 12, 2013 at 12:14 am
Stephanie, Miri and Kate all with the same thought! Aaaargh. Clearly a Feminist Hive Mind. Still, I can’t argue with what you’ve said.
Setár, genderqueer Elf-Sheriff of Atheism+ says
June 12, 2013 at 1:47 am
Devaluing the contributions of bloggers because they’re bloggers? Now where have I seen that before…
You see, my province (British Columbia) is on the West Coast, and tends to have the leftist reputation the left coast gets. Only thing is, we keep electing right-wingers (okay, it’s a “centre-right” coalition formed in the 1940s to keep the evil socialist CCF out of power, that has turned hiding the fundie right into an art form). Why is this? Well, since the 1950s the two largest papers (the Province and Vancouver Sun) have been jointly owned, and most of the media has been corporate owned. Furthermore — and especially in recent years — there has historically been a revolving door between the Legislature’s press gallery and advisory positions for either the (usually right-wing) government or the rightists’ campaigns. There is one mainstream reporter who is well-respected by most people yet unable to find a reporting job now because he didn’t give the rightists enough deference when in the mainstream media — so now he blogs.
The impression I get, in short, is that the right and their rich backers want to turn the coast into a retirement community/vacation spot for themselves, and use the rest of the province as a resource farm.
Now, of course, recently blogs (like the aforementioned blog run by a former mainstream media reporter) have been popping up, both taking the current (far-right) government to task for wrecking the province (at least for anyone who isn’t rich already), and taking the media to task for doing such a wonderful job of papering over the government’s misdeeds that they’ve gotten re-elected three times even though their misdeeds go well (like, humongously and staggeringly) beyond the misdeeds that got our last leftish government turfed out in a rare election where the winning party scored a majority of the popular vote (and because of our fucked up first-past-the-post system this left the leftish party with only two seats in the Legislature). They’ve done such a good job that in this last election, they basically tone-policed the leftish party into alienating their base and losing an election the polls said was in the bag.
And what do the right-wing politicians, and the media pundits say? “Oh, they’re just bloggers”. Because blogging doesn’t count. Personal experience doesn’t count. We need to be Objective, which means listening to Real Sources who are either Big Names or Trusted Media Outlets, because they would Never Ever Ever Have An Ulterior Motive. That is Simply Not Possible and only a Radical Leftist, or perhaps an Anarchist -scary hand waving- would suggest that.
Deanna Joy Lyons - Mentioner of Patriarchy says
June 12, 2013 at 2:24 am
I believe blogging sure as hell *is* real activism. In the last couple of years the blogging about inclusion of women and minorities in the movement has served to influence my husband and I greatly. We have a podcast where we interview people about their leaving religion stories. At first, we just talked to atheists we knew personally in our area, which turned out to be mostly white men. Due to what I’d been reading on Skepchick, here on FTB, and other places, I said really early on that we have to make sure and include more voices. All we had to do was to pay a bit of attention. Now, I am proud to say that we have a 50/50 balance of women to men and have interviewed minorities of many kinds. We never talked about this much, we just *do it* thanks to the activism of others.
I’m certain we are not the only ones influenced by these pieces.
June 12, 2013 at 7:21 am
It’s no good, I want to be objective and assess his words on their merits, but I simply cannot take anything seriously when it comes from someone who gives himself the title of “Brave Hero” entirely without irony.
June 12, 2013 at 9:46 am
…but you’re only going to end up looking like an ignorant, arrogant, mansplaining ass.
Well, at this point I think it might be appropriate to point out that he doesn’t “look like” an ignorant, arrogant, mansplaining ass. He is an ignorant, arrogant, mansplaining ass.
He’d have to work hard for the next 30 years at being the opposite of an ignorant, arrogant, mansplaining ass in order to just reach the surface of the hole he’s dug for himself.
Tony! The Virtual Queer Shoop says
June 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm
I know what you mean. I was thinking about that ridiculous self applied label and wondering what he’d done that was so brave (specific to the rifts in the community).
Strangely enough, perhaps that title could be applied to him (not by him) by virtue of being a public atheist. I think it takes a certain bravery in many places of the world to be an out atheist.
But heroic? Whether before the rifts or after, I fail to see how that label applies at all.
June 12, 2013 at 6:45 pm
Eureka! I have reversed-engineered the logic of his argument.
To wit: The internet is for porn and frivolity. Writing that doesn’t kill trees doesn’t actually make a sound.
June 12, 2013 at 11:00 pm
longtime lurker and occasional commenter at FTB (not sure if I’ve commented here or not–it’s been a touch couple of years–but your blog is one of the first ones I check!–in part because of sf overlap).
The feminist atheist bloggers are a lifeline–I wish I could do more to support you all.
I am a queer woman. I live in rural Texas and teach at a Very Small University. I adore many of my students who are first-generation in college, struggling with debt, and family care, and fulltime jobs, trying to get an education.
But….some of my students (and colleagues) often say and do sexist, homophobic, and racist things (on a spectrum–the most extreme over the past 20 years were the three students who did not see any problem with telling me they or a close family member was a the KKK member!).
I advise the LGBT (and the SF!) student groups–and am working to create a Safe Spaces program on my campus (it’s taken years to get it going). Hell, it took a colleague and me 18 years to get an interdisciplinary genre studies minor started.
I’ve had graffitti written about me in the bathrooms of my department building, ongoing attempts to deny me tenure, promotion, graduate faculty status, whatever, that had to be challenged and fought (I’m lucky and privileged enough–white and middle-class background–to have won those–with help from people in my department), one incident of attempted tire slashing, and one use of some sort of pepper spray/gas sprayed into my office, plus several documented online harassment incidents.
During the past few years, I’ve been morphing from a sort of vaguely animistic pagan stance to realizing that I’m an atheist because of reading the feminist blogs here–you all are incredibly important to me (just as my online slash fandom community is incredibly important)–there aren’t many people around here I can talk to about these things.
My activism in the community here has focused on women, and LGBT, issues primarily–and I don’t have the energy to even think of trying to do anything regarding atheism (the town of about 8000 has 45 churches listed in the phone book). I hope someday to attend one of the conferences–but until then, the blogs are a daily view into this activist world.
And as far as Justin Vacula–he’s in a category that I created some years ago that helps me deal with people like him–it’s more or less “if he approves of anything I do, I know I’m doing it wrong.”
THank you for all that you do.
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