Jaclyn Glenn – Atheism + Drama + Strawman

Here is the thing. I actually dealt with the Animal Liberation brigade before I came to FTB. I went back and found a few things I wrote about Animal Liberation prior to joining FTB. Bear in mind? These are older and I have grown since then in the language that I use to write in. I COULD censor these but the lack of censoring makes a point about something we should all be willing to do.

Okay the video starts by comparing atheism to the Animal Lib/Rights movement and creates an antagonist to the more normal stance of Jaclyn Glenn. A strawman to be knocked down. Let us get this clear.

There are extremists within the movement of Animal Liberation, and while we may consider PETA to be quite harmless and a bit bonkers to be fair, they provide a handy front for the extremists. As many are aware, one of my first repeated posts was about Camille Marino’s Negotiation is Over.

I wrote this about Alena, a victim of NIO’s  harassment campaign who was forced to give up an education to avoid the hate mail, harassment and death threats.

It is estimated that the pigs that died in researching seatbelts save roughly a 1000 lives per pig per year in the USA alone. At one point deaths on the roads in cars was so ubiquious that seatbelts (a relatively simple addition) was seen as an insult to the driving skills of the driver. The research coupled with the introduction of the Volvo which sold itself on safety brought about the idea that we should wear seatbelts in cars.

The best example I give as a method by which we reduce animal testing is the Clear Blue pregnancy test. Simple, effective and cheap when compared to the rabbit test of yore. The animal liberation movement (I keep them different from animal rights per se since a lot of animal rights associations like the RSPCA do phenomenal work which I thorouughly appreciate.) manage to pull of their nonsense because there is no concerted equal movement that is willing to campaign on their turf (Yes… We must sink to their level atleast in terms of campaign rather than harassment) against them and correct their ideas in a public arena.

Pro-Test UK was spectacularly effective because it did precisely what this article wants us to do. Go out and educate people. Another good example was the zebra fish adverts from Heart Research UK (I am british so am more familiar with those sides of the argument). It stood in shopping centres, handed out leaflets and basically stood diametrically opposite to PETA and indeed the ALF and other horrid groups of people who firebombed, stole, harassed and mailed razorblades to scientists including an incident where nailbombs were sent through the mail to various scientitsts (The Royal Mail has bomb detection dogs courtesy of the fears over the IRA so these were thwarted).

And I think the same thing has to happen in the USA.

Imagine if you will a man called Mohammed. He wishes to find out the names of staff in a university regarding a certain project regarding comparative religions in a philosophy department. He also runs a website which outright states that he hates people who run the philosophy department due to their comparative religion course and naturally their stance that most religions are man made constructs and Isalm is no different from that. This hatred is not just the dislike we bandy about regarding topics such as “I dislike Manchester United and think they smell” but the website and it’s readers threatens a future where the philosophy department and it’s students live in terror as they are tortured, sexually violated, assaulted and killed.

Now do you think that this man would be able to get a list of staff and students and workers from the university? Do you think a court of law would rule in his favour?

Not a chance in hell… Hell in your country they would probably lock him up for sprouting the hatred that we see. Yet we see that Florida has forced the University of Florida to submit documents containing precisely these details to Camille Marino and her NIO. Why? Hell! Yet we see that Dr. (hah!) Stephen Best still lectures at a university despite writing horrid hate speech. If the man was called Mustafa he would be in serious trouble for incitement of terrorism but frankly even the worst islamic terror threat (in my experience) has been beheading. Dr. Stephen’s letters show the kind of inventive psychopathic torture we are more accustomed to in horror movies.

Because animal lib hasn’t physically hurt someone in the USA yet (In the UK they injured a politician with a firebomb). So they are seen as a comical threat, a bunch of stupid hippy vegans who are all bark and no bite. And nothing will be done until it’s too late and some poor sod (probably some student because they are the easiest target) gets injured or killed by someone who believes in the kind of nonsense that we find in the movement. Because a large amount of people buy into the idea that we are the modern day Dr. Moreaus of the world and that is because we aren’t willing to draw a line and tell poeole what goes into the simplest of medications.

Otherwise PETA will keep going around telling people that we have magic computers out there that can simulate an entire working human body (we don’t. My friend is working on a PhD to simulate a human heart and that’s slow going as it is let alone something more complex like your nervous system). Otherwise Camille will keep harassing people (People have been calling up and harassing people in Florida and one of the Professors names has been linked to his children and indeed the school they attend with threats ranging from “leaflet school” to “do horrible things to their kids”.

In short, I fear that at some point someone will be injured or killed by the animal liberation movement. Why wait till that point? We should educate those who use our drugs and the public about how research works from a young age so as to realise the necessity of usage.

I wrote this about Animal Libbers such as Stephen Best and Camille Marino. The fact is Jaclyn fails to recognise the schism in her own animal rights movement between people who  harass and send death threats. Instead she opts for a strawman animal libber. Cats vs Dogs. Lets not forget, her portrayal of “fundie animal libbers” isn’t a strawman so much as a watered down version of the terrorists who torment biologists.

And yes, they are terrorists. As I wrote above, had the Animal Libbers been swarthy Middle Easterners, Asians and Africans rather than a mainly white upper middle class people we would have jailed a lot more of them and taken their attacks way more seriously. If I were to run a series of articles teaching people how to infilitrate and set bombs on facilities, I would be the Atheist version of Ken Ham. Thankfully, the only bombs I am interested in are edible. Lets not forget that her faux animal rights activist is a neutered down version of really terrible people.

Okay let’s look at the flaws in this argument.

For starters? She’s portraying the feminists and indeed “us” as the irrational blonde animal rights lady. We are potrayed as the straw man and indeed there are some gross misrepresentations here. Her straw man is meant to represent FTB.

For starters? FTB is not a monolith. For fuck’s sake, me and Ally Fogg both have pointed out that the usage of words in different cultures means different things and that British Colloquial and American have moved apart so much and have different cultural contexts to word usage. So people in the USA getting mad about our usage of the word “cunt” (and bear in mind, me and Ally both lived in Manchester’s inner city, he lives in Longsight, I lived in Crumpsall and Longsight. Our usage of the word is different and in our cultural context its been more of a class than a gender issue with everyone using the word and it being used equally and with context can be affectionate or even with admiration. Sure there were people who thought we were mansplaining but frankly?

It’s our culture, do you think it’s advisable for a bunch of Americans to dictate what we all speak like? Must we point out that ask a child to move their fanny in the UK would get you smacked by an angry mother? Yes, we get it. Internet is effectively American. It’s why I post my posts at such odd hours for India. if I want to get read, I post at midnight, because that is when America wakes up and reads their daily Internet Stuff.

FTB is not a monolith, we have disagreements. The difference is we are more polite about it than you think. I have disagreed with PZ Myers, Ophelia Benson, Taslima Nasrin and I often write on topics diametrically opposed to Ally Fogg. Yet….

Yet me and Ally were perfectly content to share a pint the last time I was back. I fully intend to drink with PZ Myers this August. You can disagree with people without calling them names. Hell. I disagreed with JT Eberhard and I still want to hang out and play videogames with the guy. I mean people make mistakes.

We change and grow and improve as we do so. Person Today is not the same as the Person Tomorrow.

Right to begin with…

1. Compare Atheist Community to Animal Rights

Our structure isn’t the same. In fact? I will point out that Animal Rights and Animal Lib tend to be more egalitarian than Atheists. Can’t see animals as equals and then see women as inferior I suppose. Atheists still have an old guard who don’t get the new and who keep encouraging the same silly ideas.

2. They aren’t all furry, Lets not discriminate

Okay, here is the thing. Animal Rights DO discriminate against animals with no fur. I have yet to see PETA march on the UN or the Red Cross demanding they protect the Anopheles Mosquito or the Ascaria worm. What? You think your life is more valuable than the lives of thousands of parasites? We all disccriminate, Animal Lib just picked cute animals as the line.

But I get what it’s doing. She is trying to portray Vlogger 2 as a reactionary pedant. The sort of person who feels necessary to correct signs that say “10 items or less” at the Supermarket. Saying Furry Friends discriminates against non-furry animals that can be kept as pets. EXCEPT for one important thing.

You are comparing pets to human beings.

Like this, only with more tan and more baldness

Yesterday? My  dog got hold of one my shoes. He tore the damn thing to pieces and was super proud of his achievement. It was like “look! I killed the smelly foot beast that eats your foot every morning! Aren’t I awesome!”. I did get a bit mad but then I realised. Tigger’s a dog. Dogs are trained to do stuff by things like operant conditioning. They behave well they get treats, they don’t behave well they get scolded and ignored encouraging them to stick to behaving well.

If one of you came to my house and grabbed my shoe and tore it to bits with your teeth and rolled around in the pieces I would consider you no longer welcome to say the least. I may have harsh language and should you not leave I would be forced to throw you out. Because you are a human being and can understand the difference between the two things. This entire cat is a woman analogy is frankly idiotic because it is acceptable for a cat to shit in a box and eat off the floor while it is not for an adult of any gender, race or sexuality.

3. We need to talk about all kinds of pets, not just your particular pet of choice.

Granted. Except as we all know everyone wants to talk about all kinds of pets but mainly the pets they own. Imagine if you will a normal pet discussion. When someone says “hey, I would like to discuss dogs and cats and fish” people go “okay”. When people wish to discuss their pet gecko? Everyone says “why do you have to make it about lizards!”.

But we arent’ discussing cats over dogs. We are discussing Male dogs versus Female dogs. I am not aware of much in the dog world but in general? Among Humans? White Straight Men have had it easier than those who aren’t that. I am lucky to be 2 out of 3. Racism still exists. And we do have a racist streak within our own Atheism. Let us look at Pat Condell and his followers who are quite happy to bash Muslims and use the “Hindus and Sikhs don’t think we are racist” argument. Well? I think Pat Condell is a racist and I have little love for Islam and I am from a Hindu background. I have specifically pointed out that he supports an organisation that claims not to be racist but keeps doing racist things. I have pointed out that he once claimed the EDL weren’t racist. I have pointed out his open racism against the Roma.

Racism still exists in this day and age and while it may not be the glory days of Apartheid and Jim Crow South, it’s spectre can be still be seen. We fear the goose stepping nazi less than the casual racism of people and their biases. It’s simple. We are both equal. Until we run for a train, then I have to worry about becoming another Charles De Menezes. We are all equal until we stand in line at the airport. We are all equal until the cop pulls us over.

A simple example of inequality that exists? Gaming. If you are White, Male and Straight? Then the insults levelled at you are are the usual “Nigger”, “Jew”, “Fag” and “Cunt”/”Bitch” and your denial consists of you saying that you aren’t one of them. If you are a person of colour you have to endure the racism that affects you to play. You ARE a Nigger/Jew/Fag/Cunt/Bitch because you know that those terms DEFINITELY apply to you.

If you called me a Nigger, I would be upset that you used racist language. I would be a LOT more upset if I was black though. If you called me Paki? I would be upset that you were racist and that you decided to level racism dedicated to my skin colour and ethnicity.

BUT who wants to discuss racism on a blog of atheists?

4. Wouldn’t equality be about people adopting all kinds of pets.

Sure. But see? Having a pet is a personal choice. From the animal to the breed to the gender? All a choice.

Let us take a look at TAM 14… 22 Keynote speakers, 9 women. That’s not bad. Women have gotten a big push in the Skeptical Movement thanks to people making a big fuss. I have a peculiar association with TAM. See? I want to go. I can’t afford it, but it looks like good fun. Maybe one year I will have the cash for it. In fact? In fact? Outside of the Chennai Freethinkers meets (2 of them!), Hebden Bridge (more on that later) will be my second meeting with atheists and skeptics.

I would like to attend some day when I am more free.

I started writing because I saw no ex-Hindus willing to stand up and write and write about Hindu issues. If it wasn’t for someone saying “We need to create a more diverse writer pool” and drop me a fair few major signal boosts, I would be languishing in blogspot hell. It was the same for Jen on her Blag Hag blog. I remember PZ Myers giving her that boost. AND it was the same with Pat Condell whose boost came from Richard Dawkins. We can offer people stepping stones to writing. That’s what a lot of people want. Greater diversity, more ideas and yes, that means some of the people who normally get to speak are going to have to stop in order to give some new people a space to make angry noises.

We have a long way to progress in this regard, but don’t mock it Jaclyn we all had to start small. I hope one day to see more people of colour speaking at events like this, but I know for a fact that day is not today or even tomorrow. And for that, some people will have to not speak and we will have to let new people take the stage. Perhaps we will learn something about other faiths rather than just being experts on Christianity and fools about everything else.

5. We are on the same team, why are you getting offended!

Because sometimes you say offensive things to us. Oh it’s just an Internet troll. Well I have heard the same thing with regards to racism and told ot ignore it because it’s “people trolling to get a response”.

We are offended because we ask politely for certain considerations and have to deal with abuse.

Imagine if you wll, someone saying something blatantly wrong. And you correct them with your knowledge and experience. The correct response would be to go “huh, I didn’t know that. Thanks”. Like these 2 kids who I played a game with a few days ago who learnt that “gay” is insulting when used as a pejorative. When I wrote about Islam, no one read the damn piece but accused me of being a secret Muslim because I was providing a view that was different from the usual one. Never mind the fact that my piece was actually more damning.

When I wrote about Sati in response to someone claiming that the British Raj improved Hindus by banning Sati as a practice and Indeed pointed out that the west fetishise the Japanese honour suicide of Seppuku, I was accussed of being Hindutva (Hindu Fundie). In short? I am offended because atheists often seem to want their ideas and pre-conceptions about any religion or culture outside the USA and Judeo-Christian religion validated rather than corrected.

If the people who accused me of Taqqiyah listened for ONE second they would have realised the same piece contained a review of how Islamic Jurisprudence in Shariah works and would be a great talking point among atheists who argue with Muslim apologists. The same who accused me of Hindutva would have realised I mentioned atheist ideas from 1500 BC and how Hinduism had schools of atheist philosophy too.

Why wouldn’t you get offended, you wrote a piece of work and you get called a liar for that. A white person can be an atheist, he doesn’t have to demonstrate proof. But apparently I am a fake if I say things that correct long held beliefs. Wouldn’t that offend you a little? I have to prove my credentials more than most other atheists because I don’t come from a Judeo-Christian background.

6. Strawman about Cats Being Weak

Women are still discriminated in the USA, half of our fucking movement runs on outrage against religious oppression of women and the usage of state legislative to deny women access to proper healthcare. So it’s a tad idiotic to claim that there is no misogyny when one of the things atheists are infamous for is standing up against religious misogyny. One of the MAJOR points about the atheists out in India is women’s rights too.

And this is without the fact we repeatedly show harmful ideas in our society towards women. Some of them are seriously harmful ideas. You are comparing cats to dogs because you know cats are popular online. Women however are only popular if they give men (and it is some men) the sort of attention they expect. Too demanding and you are fair game for threats of rape, assault and death. No one is sitting around encouraging you to kick cats. There is no A Voice fo Dogs out there which suggests cats are all witch familiars and should be burned at the stake.

I mean this portrays the very real problems women face. That even with al the progress and feminism that slut shaming of rape victims and a minor at that still exists. The analogy breaks down here for two reasons. Firstly? Cats are the most popular animal as pets out there (at least in the UK where 1 in 5 houses apparently has a pet cat) and are treated rather well by most owners. Comparing them to dogs is a bit silly as they are a different species while GLBT, Women and PoC are the same species. The analogy is poor because cats don’t discriminate between each other while humans do.

And the second problem is that we all have things we like to do for fun outside atheism. Why is it such a big deal if women write about feminism or speak about it when I can speak about playing games or making quiche. I just write stuff that I find interesting. Some of it is atheism, some of it is science, some of it is skepticism, some of it is medical, some of it is culture…. And if two atheists disagree with something about culture then its mostly fine. But what if the disagreement is fundamental.

Let us take Pat Condell. The man has claimed that the EDL have a healthy regard for Human Rights, Decency and The Rule of Law.

Pictured… Not Racists!  Just likes holding arm at 45 degree angle with palm to floor. He is imitating the Usain Bolt Celebration as made popular by Hitler when he made a time machine to come watch Usain Bolt run.

Yeah so these guys. The same guys who demonstrated their bravery by the assault of pensioners and who made the streets safer by fighting in it.

Now you tell me Jaclyn why the fuck should I have to deal with someone who excuses the actions of people who have persecuted people who look like me? Why should I have to be silent over a man who supports people who have harassed me on the streets before. The man is more popular than my arguably small blog out here. He has a bigger viewership. Richard Dawkins helped create that readership. So I want to know how and why must I get along with this racist? Okay. Let us give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he genuinely had never met anyone who had run afoul of the idiots who wear the flag as a cape while giving Nazi Salutes. That’s okay. Here he was pushing a frankly old piece of racism “Gypsies are Thieves”.

And you tell me that I am not productive by opposing his racism and instead should put aside my fanatic cry for equality and share the same platform?

Why? Why can’t he put away his bigotry? I mean this was a man who ran with the “Ground Zero Mosque” about creeping islamicisation because Muslims wanted to build (quite legally) on a piece of real estate they legally purchased resulting in a bizarre scenario where Muslims cannot build stuff a certain distance away from the Twin Tower sites. Or his shocking lie on Syrian Refugees. What sort of skeptics are we if we let such blatant untruth be bandied around? Surely we hold ourselves to higher values?

See, you have portrayed my anti-racism stance as an irrational take that creates schisms within atheism because I opposed a man who has said these clearly hurtful, incorrect and frankly bigotted things and that the most prominent atheist in atheistdom gave him a serious leg up. And I am told that I shouldn’t correct this because it rocks the boat of atheism.

Why the fuck not? Surely his bullshit is of less value? Oh I know you made a dig at “feminists” but lest we forget, some of us have issues with other atheists because of racism. You want call out culture to stop? But then how are we to correct blatantly harmful ideas within atheism?

7. Sexual Advances and Offence To Cats

The problem with writing  this piece is that it is so strawmanny that I don’t know what the fuck the cat is supposed to be. Let us assume in this case it is women. Women are subject to large amounts of sexual advances due to our society making the onus of sexual contact on the man and many of us not realising that women are outnumbered by men.

Nice “black” accent there. Oh I noticed. You sly dog you.

Look I get your argument. Men and women have the same level of oppression yadda yadda yadda. That’s a great fantasy to have. I wish we truly lived in such a world. But the fact is most of us think we are equal until we suddenly hit a glass ceiling. No one else notices it. It’s kind of a personal force field. Okay! Let us say that’s the best we can do as individuals. That this is our level.

Then we take a statistical correlation of levels we achieve and we notice that there are different level medians in different groups. Often for no adequately explained reason. If you haven’t hit the ceiling then you won’t know it exists and simply think that “Here be Monsters”. It is then and only then you realise that women don’t quite get to the same level as men. Want to see a simple example of how differently we treat men and women? When the Cabinet Reshuffle occurred in the UK, the Daily Mail ran with a piece about how female MPs were dressed for their first day of work and didn’t say a word about their achievement, roles and history. I loathe to give the Daily Mail traffic, so here is a better version of what they did done by the Independent.

See, I have never had to work in a place that worried about my shoes matched my shirt. These women could show up in curlers, pyjamas and slippers for all I care, their job is to make decisions and a fairly large paper in the UK decided to go with “MP Dress Up” rather than what counted.

I do have a positive interaction with an MRA on this one. They mentioned  the GWW piece on Afghanistan and I responded with my take on it. They said it was too long to read, so I pointed out that they had the time to read the GWW piece but not mine? So they read it.. End result? They don’t think so highly about GWW and indeed the notion that men and women have equal levels of oppression based on gender roles that are rigidly enforced. And he learned why it’s called a Patriarchy. It isn’t women who enforce the roles there, it is men. Maybe he will change. Who knows.

8. You want to be offended by everything so you can be professional victims.

I have been accused of that. Funny thing is? It doesn’t pay so well. Quite honestly. And people have said this when I pointed out racism. I am only outraged because I wish to be a victim… never mind the fact that racism has real casualties.

9. We are on the same team! We want the same things!

Doesn’t mean you get to say harmful, hurtful or downright stupid stuff and get away scott free. Minorities shouldn’t have to adjust with the bigotry of the majority. They can voice their dissatisfaction.

And as I said, me and Pat Condell are on the “same team” of atheism and his racism bleeds into his anti-theist stances. Must I shut up because he is on the same team? Must I let a harmful viewpoint slide? What sort of skeptics are we if we speak about Ground Zero Mosques and 2 million Syrian Refugees invading Sweden when there are just 8000? How are we any different from any of the religions we hold to account for similar hypocrisy?

10. Fight for both!

Sure. Let us take AVfM and me as opposites. I run an addiction clinic for men. I have written articles about why Indian men need to change our “ideals”. FTB hosts Ally Fogg whose writings on modern masculinity are quite nice and much better than my ham fisted amateur attempts. We DO fight for both. It’s just that some of us work in places where women need a bit more fighting than men do and/or you ignore all that other stuff.

11. I used to respect you *tears*

Yeah I did use to respect Dawkins. I have his books. My dad got me the Selfish Gene when I was a kid. I saw his work and thought he was pretty damn awesome. But you know what? He is human. He can err. I liked Hitchens too until that turd of a war in Iraq and his support for it. I can dislike things that these people do. How can I respect someone who has pushed a racist atheist to prominence? How can I respect someone who has used “Dear Muslimah”. And indeed, how can I respect someone who has pushed this very video.

Respect is earned Jaclyn. Dawkins had my respect but he made decisions that have made me question why he deserves to be respected by me. Now if you want to keep taking everything he says sans pinch of salt then it’s your choice. I however have seen that he can err and fail miserably in his choices.

You do realise he isn’t a sacred cow to never be questioned? He is capable of errors. The point of mistakes is how you grow from them. Richard Dawkins lost a fair bit of respect because rather than learn from errors and listen, he furiously doubles down on errors. We all tend to be like that. No one likes being in the wrong.

12. T-Shirts

Wokey Cokey.

That’s the end of it. Look, I get your parody. Hurr Hurr! The division between A+ and the rest is like Cats vs. Dogs. It is all fanboyism over stuff that doesn’t really matter. Except that it does matter. There are real bigots out there even within atheism and it alienates people. The choices you make alienate.

An example of a choice I made that alienates? Quite simply? My comments policy. I run a fairly wild west comment policy and you have to be pretty terrible to get banned from commenting. I have had people telling me that they do not post comments for fear of harassment as I don’t ban known harassers on other blogs outright. My rule is that everyone gets a chance. If a long term commentator (let us take an example… Marcus Ranum) breaks the rules I hope I can be as unbiased and give him the same warnings as I gave other rule breakers before their bans. A few people have stated that they don’t participate here because of this open comment policy.

Look it’s kind of simple. I get that you want to mock us. It’s fine. But here is the thing.

Have you actually considered reading what some of us write rather than simply assuming we all write the same thing? This isn’t Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V territory. That some of our requests and commentaries can be listened to? I understand twitter is no medium for commentary and Youtube Comments rank alongside Yahoo Answers for sensible, rational commentary (Sarcasm).

No one is saying we shouldn’t help men or dogs. What we are saying is that women and cats have different issues. I mean, dogs are less likely to get hairballs or stuck up trees while cats are less likely to get parvo.

But this is where the analogy explodes. The bum deal women get is far worse than the bum deal men get. I am expected to be the sort of man Bonnie Tyler sings about. I am expected to hold down a job, be handy around the house, repair cars and fight tigers. I am expected to be gentle enough to hold a baby and also drink from the skulls of my enemies while never shedding a tear unless my pet dog/wolfasaurus rex dies saving me in a Frank Frazetta tableaux. But these expectations and the inability to fulfil them is what weighs men down. If we aren’t all these things society deems us to not be a real man and that causes us harm.

It is easier to fit into these roles and society is more forgiving to us than it is to women who do not fit into theirs. Oh that Avicenna? “He’s an effete fop who won’t do manual labour” is less damaging than Amy being a girl who does manual labour. What I have is the stress of performance. I am judged for my value to society.

Women are judged if they pick trousers over a skirt.

Jaclyn doesn’t get it, her video is itself divisive and indeed creating outrage blogging such as this very piece by portraying her opponents as straw men.

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  1. says

    Ban that agent provocateur Ranum. Pretty sure I saw him mouth “kiss my chuddies”, when you weren’t looking :P

    Vive la Division!

  2. drken says

    While I agree with you that women have it far worse than men in our society, men who behave in a more feminine way are treated much more harshly than women who act masculine. For example, a congresswoman who wears trousers instead of a skirt doesn’t even raise an eyebrow, but a congressman in a dress invites ridicule. Ironically, this is due to the low level of esteem society holds femininity. How many movies/tv shows have you seen where a young girl is seen as being “cool” because she doesn’t want to play with dolls in a pretty dress but would rather play with toy guns in the mud? But, if the character is a boy who plays with dolls, it’s usually shown as a reason to ridicule him.

  3. resident_alien says

    @ drken : The the abuse heaped upon gender-nonconforming/feminine/efeminate men is part and parcel of misogyny: The idea that the feminine is “less than”. That the worst thing a man can be is “like a woman”.
    Women who act masculine receive praise and admiration for being less like a lowly female (Ferengi voice),
    but on the other hand receive abuse for “not being real women” , “reaching above their station” etc.
    Also,there is the sexual harrassment and so-called “corrective rape” inflicted on lesbians. Heavily enforced gender norms are a shitty deal for men and women alike.

  4. m0fa says

    Jaclyn’s video is parody…therefore to to make a ‘strawmanning’ argument is absurd. She has presented astute, ‘close to the bone’ parody and it is beautiful!

  5. says

    Okay. I must ask the most pertinent point. My general issue with atheism as a whole has not been one of gender issues but of race. My major issue is with people like Pat Condell given signal boosts despite his support for a political party known for it’s racist views and his right wing Islamic Conspiracy views not to mention his outright racism as seen on the “gypsies” piece.

    My question is that we are so bothered about presenting a united front that we are more willing to leave non-traditional non-judeo-christian atheists by the wayside while encouraging people like Pat Condell rather than the truth.

    It may be beautiful parody but tell me? Why should I work with people who say “Have you seen this Pat Condell? That man’s so brave” when he really is just another Fox News Anchor or Alex Jones? When I say that I get told to not rock the boat. Am I the only one who wishes all religions get treated like Christianity does so that we hold ourselves to a higher standard than gutter journalism and racist ideas?

    Hell? A few weeks ago a racist attack on Asians was covered up by Atheists as a harmless prank despite asians across atheism coming forward and saying “forcing us to break our food taboos is a long practice among white nationalists and has been used from the Raj to Guantanamo bay. Please don’t defend racists”. We got ignored for a white guy insisting that racism isn’t racist and that my childhood of being forced to eat bacon is nothing bad.

    Tell me why should we keep letting such nonsense slide?

    Parody it may be, but it forgets why some of us are irritated and why there is a schism.

    To you it’s just A+ers getting mad about the fact someone used stupid as an insult despite the fact stupid hasn’t been used with a connection to Mental Illness since the 1920s. Because that’s more convenient than listening to someone speak about the fact that there are genuine problems within atheism towards any religion outside of Christianity and Judaism and that we often say dumbass and ignorant things because we come to conclusions about different cultures from what we hear of them.

    Do you know what the penalty for theft is in Saudi Arabia? Shoplifting?

    It’s a warning. Maybe a fine. You were thinking it was amputation. It’s only amputation if you keep doing it…. But in our dialogue all theft is punished by amputation.

    Our atheism goes hand in hand with skepticism and that requires us to actually be smarter and be more knowledgable about other faiths so that we can argue the same way with Islam or Hinduism that we do with Christianity.

    And this means listening to voices outside of what we consider the norm. I know TAM has made changes to the lineups to be more inclusive but it is a very homogenised line up. Probably because there are so few people of colour in large blogs or seen as experts in their fields to go on and speak about their experiences at such events. Maybe TAM is “the big show”, maybe we have to start on a smaller scale and get new ideas and new people through the ranks for that.

    That’s not so ridiculous a stance as to claim that’s a shrill voiced lunatic strawman demanding moar cats.

  6. johngreg says

    Avi, you are becoming incoherent.

    Seriously, your original post, and particularily this comment above mine, are so poorly written that they do not make sense.

    Perhaps you would benefit from actually proofreading and editing your posts a couple of times, and then let them sit for a day or two before you post them.

    Really, this post and your added comment are overflowing with contradictions, non sequitors, logic loops, etc., and make almost no sense at all.

    I am also a little surprised to see you jumping on the latest FTB witch hunt bandwagon with such mindless fervour. I mean OK, yes, this evil, evil woman says some very truthful things that you and your fellow FTBers don’t like. Well, big woof, man, big woof.

  7. johngreg says

    Oh, ya, before I forget, as someone pointed out over at the Pit, shouldn’t you and the rest of FTB just “shut up and listen“? I mean, it is a woman speaking, and she has lived experience, and aren’t all women perfect goddesses who can do no wrong?

    Or has she been officialy declared a gender traitor, wrong-minded, a chill girl, wrong, irrelevant, wrong, treasonous, wrong, pandering to men, wrong, and just generally and all around wrong?

  8. says

    Nah, because sometimes you get this. Sometimes you get good stuff. It’s my way of writing. If you don’t like it?

    Why the fuck would you read it then? Fuck off? You lot didn’t seem to mind when I wrote about photography and A+ and that was written like this was. You literally endure terrible writing to tell me it’s terrible.

    Sure, I wrote this over a few days and I don’t think it’s good but you know what? I don’t hide my mistakes.

    It’s quite simple. Let me explain it to you clearly.

    Pat Condell = Racist
    Why should I be silent about that for the sake of the unity of Atheism because Jaclyn thinks the unified front is more important than problems we ourselves face.

  9. says

    I don’t think you understand how this works. If you paid attention to TODAY’s blog post… you would see I wrote about Afghanistan shelters. One of the quotes is from a woman about why her daughter is better off dead.

    Not all women are helpful. Not all men are helpful. You do realise misogyny is fully capable from coming from women AND men?

    I never said any of those things about Jaclyn, I just wished to point out her little parody was failing to portray the real Animal Libbers who would be the extremists of her movement just as you consider Radical Feminists to be extremists and how much more harmful they are.

    I also pointed out a dislike a lot of atheists of colour from the UK have with a famous atheist who has (Like Jaclyn) a seal of approval from Dawkins and how this has to do with a clear case of racism. Must we shut up and let Pat keep making posts about gypsies fighting on the street just like white people? Or about Islamofacist Conspiracy theories? Or about how he thinks a clear Neo-Nazi organisation isn’t racist?

    If the KKK had an atheist chapter, would you expect black atheists to put aside their dislike of the KKK and work together with them?

    It really is that simple. Parody? Sure. Whatever.

    But it stops being a parody when Jaclyn has clearly stated she sides with the majority and that calling out atheists for “mistakes” is a bad thing.

  10. johngreg says

    Avi, my point is not that I dislike your writing, it is that far too often your writing is only vaguely coherent. That’s not an issue of like/dislike, it is an issue of making sense. And your two comments responding to mine kind of make my point for me, simply because they respond to quite literaly nothing that I said.

    To answer to some of your latest points in your latest comments:

    Not all women are helpful. Not all men are helpful. You do realise misogyny is fully capable from coming from women AND men?

    Yes, sure, and so does misandry, and all the other nasty things that humans are prone to. Big woof. As far as I am concerned you are more than free to write about whatever you want to write about, but it would benefit you greatly if you tried a little harder to make sense; to be coherent.

    Must we shut up and let Pat keep making posts about gypsies fighting on the street just like white people? Or about Islamofacist Conspiracy theories? Or about how he thinks a clear Neo-Nazi organisation isn’t racist?

    No, of course you shouldn’t shut up, but you might try harder to be, as I point out endlessly boringly, more coherent. Why are you so unwilling to accept the fact that sloppy, often incoherent writing does not benefit you in any way?

    That is not an attack on you (though, you might perceive it as such), it is a critical reponse, from a professional writer, to your writing.

    It benefits everyone who writes for public consumption, and especially when they write about difficult, often emotion-laden topics, to be open to critical commentary about that writing, and to strive for the best writing they can do. Defending incoherence by saying that’s my style, is no defense at all.

  11. says

    Oh, ya, before I forget, as someone pointed out over at the Pit, shouldn’t you and the rest of FTB just “shut up and listen“? I mean, it is a woman speaking, and she has lived experience, and aren’t all women perfect goddesses who can do no wrong?

    If evolution is true, why are there still monkeys!!! Well done John, I guess this was meant to be “parody” as well …. Not that you don’t understand even the basic ideas talked about at FTB (Sorry FfTB) after hanging about whining for years. Literally years. Sad.

    That you then go on to question Avi’s writing and intelligence is priceless.

  12. A Hermit says

    ” of course you shouldn’t shut up, but you might try harder to be, as I point out endlessly boringly, more coherent.”

    You know if you’re going to whine on about someone else’s alleged incoherence you might want to work on your own first. That sentence is very poorly constructed

    Avi’s post, on the other hand, may take some effort to read, but it’s well worth the effort. You need to stop being such a lazy reader. Or just go somewhere else.

  13. leni says

    …shouldn’t you and the rest of FTB just “shut up and listen“? I mean, it is a woman speaking, and she has lived experience, and aren’t all women perfect goddesses who can do no wrong?

    Oolon said it already, but this is some serious “why are there still monkeys” bullshit.

    Or has she been officialy declared a gender traitor, wrong-minded, a chill girl, wrong, irrelevant, wrong, treasonous, wrong, pandering to men, wrong, and just generally and all around wrong?

    Why do you have wrong in there 6 times? It’s almost as if you think saying someone is wrong is the same thing as calling them “treasonous”. Bizarre.

  14. karmacat says

    You are hilarious, johnglenn. When you ran out of arguments, you doubled down on the criticism of Avi’s writing. It is especially funny because you string all these code words like misandry, chill girl, etc. as if all those words make a coherent argument.

  15. johngreg says

    You need to stop being such a lazy reader. Or just go somewhere else.

    HAHAHAHAHA. That’s fucking precious, that is. From that, I presume that you support the illiterate notion that it is the reader’s role and responsibility to understand the writer’s writing, and not the writer’s role and responsibility to write clear, concise, logical prose? Is that about right? Or do you land somewhere in the grey nether-zone, and if so, where?

    Why do you have wrong in there 6 times? It’s almost as if you think saying someone is wrong is the same thing as calling them “treasonous”. Bizarre.

    That’s fucking precious too. If the intent behind the repetition is not clear to you, then perhaps you wouldn’t understand it even if I explained it.

    It is especially funny because you string all these code words like misandry, chill girl, etc. as if all those words make a coherent argument.

    Even more laughs abound. Code words strung together to make a coherent argument? What the fuck does that even mean.

    Avi, listen, yes, yes, I know I get on your case from time to time, and I am a pedantic hardcase for clear, concise, and logical prose, but seriously, don’t you think it would do nothing but benefit you to take a little extra effort in your writing so that you don’t keep contradicting yourself and veering wildly off into non sequitorial land?

    In a very real sense, you cannot trust your more sycophantic fans to provide you with a meaningful or even honest critique; they will pander to your ego just to bolster their own sense of community and worth.

    You have stated from time to time that although it does not make you much money, what money you get from your writing is very important to you because you face constant financial challenges. So, why not post less, but work harder at making those posts really count: build your credibility; build your list of followers. If you really have the educational background you claim to have, surely it would not be all that hard to tighten things up a smidge? There is a world of easy-access texts that would help you in improving your writing a lot … if you were at all interested in improving your writing, that is.

  16. leni says

    That’s fucking precious too. If the intent behind the repetition is not clear to you, then perhaps you wouldn’t understand it even if I explained it.

    Well, that’s fucking precious. Some dipshit on the internet thinks his misdirected, passive-aggressive shit slinging is perfectly clear and brilliant.

    I’ll tell you what, if you want to know what Avi “officially declared” Jaclyn Glenn to be, then why don’t you just fucking read Avi’s post? Surely what he “officially declared” about her is somewhere in there. If none of the words from your stupid list appear here, then fucking move it along. Perhaps the ghost of Andrea Dworkin wrote something mean about Glenn somewhere and you can uncover it with quiet, diligent googling.

  17. leni says

    What the fuck does that even mean.

    It means dog-whistle politics.

    I was able to find this textbook example of it with considerable effort:

    Or has she been officialy declared a gender traitor, wrong-minded, a chill girl, wrong, irrelevant, wrong, treasonous, wrong, pandering to men, wrong, and just generally and all around wrong?

    … and I am a pedantic hardcase for clear, concise, and logical prose…

    Yes, that’s quite evident from the artful way you strung words together that no one here said while implying they had, but sort of in a way that made it seem like you thought “wrong” was as bad as “treasonous”. You sir are clearly a master.

  18. tiko says

    @15 johngreg

    I presume that you support the illiterate notion that it is the reader’s role and responsibility to understand the writer’s writing, and not the writer’s role and responsibility to write clear, concise, logical prose? Is that about right?

    None of us are having a problem with understanding posts here.I’m afraid it’s not Avi or us John,it’s just you.

  19. says

    Hahahaha, johngreg. Whenever I point out someone’s being illogical, or writing incoherently, or any of the other multitude of denigrations you haphazardly threw out during your spiel, I give examples from the writing and explain -why- it’s wrong. I thought that was what sceptics did? They don’t just throw out vague generalisations. Bad sceptic, bad!

    For what it’s worth Avi, I don’t think that this piece is badly written at all. Sometimes the onus is on the writer to present clear and concise ideas and sometimes the onus is on the reader to have the mental ability to read past their own biases when judging a clear and concise viewpoint. I think this falls squarely into the latter (not that this’ll convince johngreg, with his predetermined view on what ideas are coherent and what ones aren’t and all).

    Now, to return to lurking…

  20. says

    For years now we’ve been asking what the genuine criticisms of feminism/social justice are and for years we’ve been getting responses like Jaclyn Glenn’s and mofa and johngreg: vague, incoherent rants with no specific references to anything anyone has said in the real world.

    Years’ worth of evidence that to launch convincing criticism of the things they oppose, they have to invent and misrepresent their opponents’ positions.

    Sucks to be them, I guess.

  21. says

    Vague and incoherent is all they are good at, rather pleasing that webarchive has kept the one time they were not allowed to be vague http://web.archive.org/web/20140517005251/http://atheistskepticdialogue.com/

    Didn’t work out so well for them and they chickened out and ran away! How they can show their faces when for literally years they were asserting FTB won’t “debate” them and all they wanted was “dialogue”. Ha, they got it all right, but real debate and dialogue doesn’t fit with John Greg and the pitters style of slymy Gish Gallop filled with baseless assertions and strawmen.

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