Open thread on AETV #787


Russell and Don on “Embellishing God’s True Religion: How revealed religions need embellishment to keep the con going.”  (Show archive link / mp3.)

 

Comments

  1. says

    It reminds me of people saying “I don’t believe in a God, but I’m not an atheist because I’m not into totalitarian dogma that God absolutely doesn’t exist and people should be forced to believe that on pain of imprisonment”

    All I could say to that is that he’s got some misconceptions… even though there were atheists who actually thought that – doesn’t mean that’s what atheism is.

  2. Kazim says

    That guy wrote us an email chock full o’ crazy this morning, writing many words in bold for emphasis He was INSISTING that we acknowledge that Richard Dawkins (who I just saw speaking in front of a cheering crowd of atheists and then signing autographs) is a total pariah among atheists now, and complaining more about Thunderfoot and Richard Carrier.

    I may have misspoken. Maybe there IS a schism among atheists. It’s created and perpetuated by people like him.

  3. tonysnark says

    I couldn’t help but let out a great sigh at another thoroughly irritating denial of privilege from Mark in Australia, second to last caller. It really shouldn’t be that hard to grasp. Anyone who’s ever had occasion to reply to someone with the remark “that’s easy for you to say” should know what it means. I would think most people have been in that position at some time in their lives.

    Just to help clarify matters to help people who “aren’t getting it”, I’ll illustrate it without reference to sex, race or education, because none of those things need to be referenced in an argument from privilege.

    Suppose some guy kicks you really hard in the shin, and it really, really fucking hurts. Then a joker like me comes along and says “Come on mate, it didn’t look that bad to me! Stop being such a baby about it, don’t you know there are plenty of people who are hurting more than you right now. Count yourself lucky, at least you weren’t stabbed!”

    You would now probably feel like saying to me something like “We’ll that’s easy for you to say mate, you haven’t just been kicked in the shin. Why don’t you tell my shin that it ‘wasn’t that bad’, maybe it will switch the pain off!” You would be quite justified in saying this, because I have just used an argument from privilege. In this case, it’s the privilege of not having been kicked in the shin!

    Now I’ll illustrate with a feminist example. Before you start howling, please just pay attention for a few moments and maybe you’ll start to “get it”:

    One of the things Rebecca mentioned in her pre-elevator incident speech in Dublin, is how if you are a woman and you make a YouTube video (especially one about feminism) you are very likely to receive an inordinate amount of comments judging you for your looks. This is considerably more likely to happen if you are a woman than a man. (If you don’t believe me, just go and take a look around YouTube). This puts the men of YouTube in a position of privilege, and they are now set, if they so choose, to make an argument from privilege, for instance to make a dismissive remark about it without reference to how it actually feels to be on the receiving end of an avalanche of sexist comments.

    Note that the privilege is not something nebulous which accrues merely from “being male”, but comes from the specific, particular circumstances which accrue from being male and being on YouTube, relative to the women of YouTube. It is as real and concrete as the fact that in the prior example you had been kicked in the shin and I hadn’t. It helps greatly when one is considering an argument from privilege to identify exactly what the privilege is.

    Fortunately – one may compensate for one’s privilege with a helping of compassion and empathy towards one’s fellow creatures, and by taking a moment to put oneself in the position of the other person in order to gauge how they feel.

    There now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

    I really, really hope this helps to clear things up! What pisses me off more than anything about arguments from privilege is people who deny they exist, because they never grasp the irony that when they deny privilege, they are more often than not making an argument from privilege! I always want to shout “That’s it! Privilege! Right there!”. It’s like standing in your back yard with someone who dogmatically insists that they can’t see your house despite the fact that it’s right there in front of them.

  4. John Kruger says

    Annoying mic problems were annoying.

    I say record the episodes in the excellent new studio and send tapes to the public access channel. You could even record them at the same time the old one airs, so people would call in to the current shows even if they were unwittingly trying to call in to a pre-recorded show.

    The small podcasted episode from the new studio was stunningly better in audio quality. Get in there, please.

    The parts I could hear this week were great, though.

  5. dThought/dT says

    Ha! Watching Russell get all defensive about atheism+ was hilarious.

    And the comments go on the prove the caller correct. Russell claims that caller is using a straw man (I’ve never felt less valued) and then boom second comment from tonysnark.

    “What pisses me off more than anything about arguments from privilege is people who deny they exist, because they never grasp the irony that when they deny privilege, they are more often than not making an argument from privilege! I always want to shout “That’s it! Privilege! Right there!””

    Well what pisses me off more than anything is being told I can’t question something!

  6. says

    Well what pisses me off more than anything is being told I can’t question something!

    How exactly did you derive that from his commentary?

    Of course you can question it. You can also be wrong while doing so. That’s not a question of devaluing a person’s opinion. It’s a question of being factually correct or incorrect.

  7. dThought/dT says

    Well I’m male. So if I say the wage gap is much smaller than everyone thinks (and non-existent for educated young people) and that men or much more likely to be killed on the job. I’m wrong because your dogma says I’m “privileged.”

  8. dThought/dT says

    “Today, women still tend to enter lower-paid fields such as education and social sciences,”

    So comparing apples to oranges makes me wrong. Lets compare equal education and equal hours worked.

  9. says

    No, I say you’re wrong (hypothetically if you are) because you are factually in error.

    At what point did demonstrable reality become “dogma”?

    The fact is, being white or male or rich, or a host of other things, puts a person in a position of simply not having to deal with the crap that others have to.

    That’s what it means to be privileged. Do you live in the U.S. or another 1st world country that has reasonable security and free speech laws? Well, you’re privileged there too.

    The problem tends to be that privilege is symbiotic with obliviousness, and when people (like you or the caller) have their world views challenged, all of a sudden the rest of us are suddenly “dogmatic”.

    It’s an ad hominem if I ever heard one (assuming you’re dismissing what I’m saying via being declared dogmatic).

  10. says

    You missed a part:

    AAUW took a closer look at the difference between men and women who enter the same occupation. The apples-to-apples comparison found that women still earned about 7% less than their male counterparts. Give their similarities, this pay gap is unexplained, and gender discrimination is one potential factor, the study says.

  11. dThought/dT says

    The apples-to-apples comparison found that women still earned about 7% less than their male counterparts.

    Hence why I said:
    “the wage gap is much smaller than everyone thinks”

    If that 7% is true we should work to close it. I support the ledbetter act. And if you can point to companies paying different salaries for equal work they should be shamed.

    But even mentioning that the gap might be smaller than people think gets me called privileged. That is the infuriating thing. If you don’t have male guilt, you’re part of the patriarchy. If I say that we should work to make sure that men and women graduate college in equal numbers, well that is just sexist. (As it might mean helping men for once.)

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2012/04/16/its-time-that-we-end-the-equal-pay-myth/

  12. says

    so what is the whole fear of feminism arguement of the Australian? since he didn’t even state a sound arguement other some discussions on some forum.

    what rights does he think he will lose?

    I don’t get it at all…

  13. dThought/dT says

    How about we not bring a persons gender or race or country of origin into the discussion at all, ever. Lets argue with evidence.

  14. says

    How about we not bring a persons gender or race or country of origin into the discussion at all, ever. Lets argue with evidence.

    That’s how the status quo is maintained. Part of the “privilege =oblivious” thing is that people can also be doing things that are crappy to others without being actively aware of it.

    If we aren’t allowed to address it, it can’t be fixed. Sometimes it’s just a question of consciousness raising.

    This isn’t unprecedented – that’s what atheists have been trying to do in regards to Christian privilege for awhile now.

    I wouldn’t regard the social issues in the atheist community as being because it’s an atheist community, so much as that it’s a problem that arises when enough people get together, and now we’re getting to the size that the population issues ought to be addressed.

  15. says

    I agree, wholly, with your comment. However, what I don’t get is the cry of ‘privilege!’ based on the fact that someone is simply white and male. As if a black female, who’s father happens to be the POTUS, has less privilege than a white male who lives in a trailer park. Or is there some other meaning that I’m just not getting?

  16. dThought/dT says

    “That’s how the status quo is maintained. Part of the “privilege =oblivious” thing is that people can also be doing things that are crappy to others without being actively aware of it.”

    But I think you’ll have a lot more luck convincing people, if you say, “This is crappy lets not do it to each other”.

    Instead of saying, “This crappy and you shouldn’t do it because you’re a man”

  17. dThought/dT says

    I’m ranting now but…

    My problem with privileged is that a man can’t have an opinion on the subject. Someone brings up privileged and the discussion stops. Your evidence doesn’t matter; you’re privileged. What you have to say doesn’t matter.

    It reminds me of the, “magic man dun it”, response from believers. The questioning and rational has to stop right there.

  18. says

    My problem with privileged is that a man can’t have an opinion on the subject.

    Of course he can, but having an opinion does not always equate to having an accurate and informed opinion. If someone states an opinion that is based on misunderstandings and misinformation, then they should not cry for their blanky when other people try to correct the things they’ve misunderstood. This is simply a process called “discussion.”

    Someone brings up privileged and the discussion stops. Your evidence doesn’t matter; you’re privileged. What you have to say doesn’t matter.

    Having said the above, it is sometimes the case that “privilege” can be thrown out in an online discussion as a silencing technique, and that’s wrong. But there’s an easy way to figure out if that’s what you’re experiencing: is the person simply throwing the word at you to get you to shut up, or are they trying to offer careful explanations of privilege as a concept? If the latter, then they’re trying to have a discussion, not just silence you.

  19. John Kruger says

    Help! Help! People are not agreeing with me, so they must be dogmatically censoring me! People are saying I cannot understand oppression as well as those who have experienced it, it’s not fair! Why can’t I be dismissive of something solely on the basis that I have never experienced it personally?

    **End sarcasm.**

  20. says

    But I think you’ll have a lot more luck convincing people, if you say, “This is crappy lets not do it to each other”.

    Instead of saying, “This crappy and you shouldn’t do it because you’re a man”

    I’ve literally never seen anyone say that, and I’ve been following the conversations, and occasionally browse the A+ forums. I wouldn’t doubt that one can find exceptions, but the point is that you seem to be taking those exceptions and assuming that’st he norm.

    I’ve only ever seen people explain what the problem actually is.

    My problem with privileged is that a man can’t have an opinion on the subject. Someone brings up privileged and the discussion stops. Your evidence doesn’t matter; you’re privileged. What you have to say doesn’t matter.

    I’ve already addressed this, and I see Martin did too.

    You don’t appear to be listening to what they’re saying, but rather casting what they’re saying into your own preconceptional molds. You’ve already decided that this “dogma” already exists, overrides everything, and apparently no amount of explanation matters to the contrary.

    The only thing I’ve ever seen come close to this is an attempt at consciousness raising – not a dismissal of one’s opinions based on gender, but rather trying to enlighten the person on what the problem is.

    And then magically, mysteriously, that transforms into a dogmatic dismissal of your opinion because you’re a guy, even though that’s nowhere to be found within the vast majority of these conversations.

    That’s where the “not getting it” frustration comes from – there’s a lot of misrepresentation going on, and I see more of it right here.

  21. says

    I’d point out that I had two big fights with this group of people (the A+ form set of individuals). I managed to step on some landmines, and was erroneously cast as some kind of MRA-compatible person.

    They swore at me, yelled at me, and filed repeated requests that I ingest various toxins and die. But at no point was what I said dismissed because I was male. They only ever tried to explain to me what was wrong with what I was saying, in between swearing at me, and misunderstanding my position.

    I’m seeing a lot of “dogma”, as long as we’re free to throw that word around, from those claiming they are being dogmatic – just projecting their own kind.

    This meta-discussion is annoying in that, instead of listening to what the people on the other side are saying, we’re discussing just how closed minded and dogmatic they’re being – all without any substance. It seems to come down to misperceptions and misrepresentation – you know – something other than addressing argument and evidence.

  22. says

    That’s privilege from another source – upper class or wealth. We can get privilege from multiple sources.

    I’m privileged in that I live in an open and free society with a plethora of rights, protected by a police force and judiciary that will defend those rights. Some people live in 3rd world dictatorship countries where they don’t have those privileges. There’s many things I take for granted that they’d really love to have.

    But that’s not to say that within the U.S. everyone is on the same level.

    If african americans make up 80% of the population and run most of the businesses/government positions, then they would be in a position of privilege – they wouldn’t have to worry about oppression/repression because they’re the ones with the power.

    That’s what the conservatives are wetting their pants over – the realization that the whitefolk are losing power.

    I am privileged to have a car, and a license, and first amendment rights. I’m also privileged to not be the target of systemic racism or sexism.

    Back in March, I went on a business trip to DC – which was the first time I’d really been more than a state or two way from Maine. I was surprised to experience being subjected to a stereotype. I don’t know how many times I was asked why I don’t have a Maine accent.

    Sure, it’s not a bad stereotype or wasn’t meant badly, but it was the first time as a white male that I experienced any kind of stereotype at all, ever, especially as a minority (being a Mainer in DC). It’s not the most comfortable thing to be singled out for something that would otherwise seem superfluous.

    That’s the problem with privilege – most are oblivious to it if they have it.

    /Sorry – vocal today

  23. jacobfromlost says

    The comment above about being kicked in the shin is interesting.

    I read an article a week or two back that explains how humans underestimate the pain we give others by at least 40%. If I remember correctly, they had person A pinch person B, and person B was supposed to pinch person C at exactly the same pressure. Person B overestimated by about 40%, so that when they kept adding people to the chain, they kept pinching harder and harder, lol.

    Thus, the results suggest that when we think of pain, we think our pain is much worse than anyone else’s…especially when we are the one causing the pain in others.

    And apparently if someone complains about the pain we’re giving them, we sometimes get angry that they would even suggest the pain we caused them was even that bad. ;-) (Especially if it’s a pain we could never have because of our station of priviledge.)

  24. tonysnark says

    I think that’s easily explained by the fact that some people, rather tiresomely, don’t hesitate to deploy arguments that they don’t properly understand!

    As I say, I think it’s prudent to get straight in your mind what privilege you are talking about in concrete terms. In your example, it’s true the black president’s daughter does have the privileges of wealth, but I think it would be a mistake to assume that she doesn’t suffer at all from the negative effects of being stereotyped.

    I just wish people in general would make some attempt to understand their intended argument before they use it in front of other people. For instance, I am sure regular TAE viewers are all too familiar with the accusation of ad-hominem when it’s not an ad-hom, merely an insult.

    Regrettably, there are people on both sides who talk about privilege without understanding it. I think certain males react impulsively because they think you are accusing them of being pampered, as if not being subjected to loathsome prejudice and bigotry constitutes being pampered!

    But, there are knee-jerk feminists too. For instance I have seen arguments where people are accused of being rape apologists when the subject of rape was never mentioned, directly or by implication. Rape apologist /= anyone who says anything you don’t like. Likewise, an argument from privilege is not any argument coming from a member of a group that you happen to consider privileged.

    This kind of behavior does not help feminism. It’s annoying and counter-productive, and only serves to further obfuscate arguments which certain people with opposing views seemingly struggle to understand in the first place.

  25. tonysnark says

    As an addendum – That’s not to say there is not much fun to be had by accusing people of being pampered! Almost guaranteed to get an amusing reaction. :)

  26. tonysnark says

    Did I say you can’t question it? No, I did not. Just so we’re clear, I’m inviting you to question anything I say, as if I could stop you anyway. I will point out that it may be in your best interests to make sure your responses make sense and accurately reflect the truth. I don’t mean to be patronizing or anything, but your last one didn’t – just another tiresome accusation that people are trying to silence you.

  27. Kazim says

    I think it might be fair to say that privilege is an additive property, in much the same way that different forces affect your speed. When a plane takes off, it is not “defying gravity” as some people might think; it’s just getting enough upward force from the wings to counteract the force of gravity. If you’re deep underwater, gravity is still pulling you down, but the buoyant force is pushing you up, and that force is strong enough that the net movement is upward.

    Similarly, if I’m white, educated, male, and born rich, all those factors increase the ease of my life. I’m also an atheist, which is a negative force socially, but the other factors overcome that negative force enough that my life is still pretty easy. On the other hand, a poor black lesbian female atheist is often more likely to keep the atheism part quiet, simply because she doesn’t have those other free boosts that counteract the stigma of being an out atheist.

    Sasha Obama probably experiences racism and that’s an anti-privilege factor in her life. But she’s also the freakin’ president’s daughter, which means she’s got fame and respect, some amount of wealth, private schools, etc. Does that mean that racism no longer exists, or doesn’t disproportionately affect somebody with other disadvantages such as poverty? Of course not, that would be stupid.

  28. Jay says

    Personally my favorites are Matt Dillahunty, Tracie, and Jen. You Russell are my least favorite because I think your to nice. The whole “Matt agrees that he should of been banned.” I think is just dumb in the same way with zero tolerance in schools where you have children being expelled for simply drawing a picture of a gun. What the hell ever happened to CONTEXT? I don’t care if I broke a DUMB rule that doesnt take into account CONTEXT “no guns in school means no guns in school”. As an ATHEIST, I would of thought Matt would agree because LYING isnt immoral in certain context such as “Do you have jews in your basement” I would lie like I’ve never lied before and I’d be PROUD that I did a MORAL good because in CONTEXT it is the right thing to do. So if I was Matt I’d simply say “If you don’t understand CONTEXT, then that’s your fault” and I would not see the ban as justifiable at all because it totally ignores context and context matters “thou shalt not murder” Tell that to our superior court system that defines multiple different types of murder, first degree, second degree, and so forth.

    Anyway, this is to Russell…AFTER the caller said he was for women’s rights, said he was concerned with certain issues, and so forth YOU Russell said “it’s dogma to believe women should be treated equally to men uh?” and this was in response to the caller saying “But we are not feminist.” and then says that the response that upsets him and others is they are called “misogynist, sexist.” Then you insinuate that he is a sexist by saying “its dogma to believe women should be treated equally uh?” This is ironic because I am gonna tell you Russell the same thing I told a sexist atheist who was saying all sorts of nasty vile things about Rebecca Watson When she talked about sexism in the atheist community….THANK YOU FOR PROVING THEM RIGHT! Because in the same way that that sexist atheist proved Rebecca Watson’s point that sexism does in fact exist, you Russell just proved the caller’s point.

    By the way I am pro drug legalization and I mean of ALL drugs, and I am also concerned with environmental issues….I am not a hippie.

  29. fwtbc says

    I have been thinking the same for a while. Record the show in the ACA’s studio at the same time the previous week’s show is airing on public access so you can still get callers who are watching TV.

    If someone is willing to do some editing, you then also have the option of having a longer show and then editing out all the Matt from Oslos and other shitheads to squeeze it down to 1 hour for the TV rebroadcast.

  30. Muz says

    You’re probably tired of hearing about the audio troubles. But they took on an amusing dimension this week. For a while now the ads on UStream that get served to Australia (I guess) have just had a deafening blast of noise instead of a soundtrack. So for a while I thought the infection had merely spread to hosted videos as well.
    Sound dropouts are an improvement on leaping for the volume control periodically at least.

  31. Kazim says

    I’m too nice for your taste? Well in that case, you should really enjoy it now when I tell you to go fuck yourself.

    You know, I hear from whiny little bitches such as yourself all the time, complaining about how often people unfairly call them sexists. Rather than assuming you’ve been maligned, I actually find it FAR more likely that you’re too much of an oblivious asshole to recognize ACTUAL sexist tendencies that people are accurately describing.

    Now go troll somewhere else, dipshit.

  32. Muz says

    So Mark from Adelaide thinks there’s things to talk about re: atheist schisms or whatever.
    So, as we pretend we say, Where the bloody hell are ya Mark?
    Now’s your chance.
    (He’s not here already is he?)

  33. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @GB-2.23 1:22:00

            People need to understand that that they have the freedom – and generally if they’re a mentally healthy person, the capacity – to gauge and control their reaction to another person’s opinion.

            I know that many of us are taught that if somebody says something about your mother that you need to get all pissed off about it and threatening and physical and crazy, but the fact is, you don’t. Just because someone taught you that’s the right reaction to somebody dissin’ your mother doesn’t mean that there’s no choice.

    Supplemental links for sociological context…

    Video: Berkeley, Sociology: Self and Society – Southern Culture of Honor
    (an enjoyable lecture, for those with an hour to spare)

    Article: Wikipedia – Southern Culture of Honor
    (extra short version, for anyone else)
     
    Of course, historical background still doesn’t excuse the idiocy of enforcing harmful/absurd cultural norms and taboos.

  34. tonysnark says

    That’s fascinating, I didn’t know that! I know we all have these “mirror-neurons” which help us to empathize with other people, but I think to truly empathize in a meaningful way takes some effort. Ideally it should be habitual, but I guess it depends on our upbringing as well as our genetics. It’s interesting to think that, at least in this specific, limited sense it is actually quantifiable! It reminds me of the following quote:

    “Do unto others 20% better than you would expect them to do unto you, to correct for subjective error.”
    -Linus Pauling

    Smart guy!

  35. tonysnark says

    When someone says that they are “for women’s rights but not a feminist” I have to say I tend to think they are pretty ignorant of what feminism is about – ie: that they think that it is all pro-women at the expense of men. Well, if that was feminism I wouldn’t support it either – being male myself, I would be crazy to – but it isn’t feminism as I understand it, and it’s not representative of feminists in general.

    This is the definition I always go with:

    “Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.”
    – Bell Hooks

    There are radical extremists who are anti-male, but to claim they are representative of feminism in general is about as ignorant as believing that all gay men have handlebar mustaches, talk with a lisp, prance about in assless chaps and like Judy Garland.

    It annoys me intensely when people call people like Rebecca Watson, Surly Amy and Greta Christina “rad-fem extremists”, “feminazis” or “femistazis” because they clearly don’t have a fucking clue what they are talking about. It sounds like you would agree with me on that, so I don’t understand why, when the caller said “I’m for women’s rights but not a feminist”, you cannot see what is wrong with that attitude and why Russell was quite correct to call it into question.

  36. tonysnark says

    Well said!

    I actually don’t think you pushed Mr. Not-A-Feminist hard enough when you said “it’s dogma to believe women should be treated equally to men uh?”, after all it’s easy to claim you are “pro women’s rights”, but how pro women’s rights can you be if you haven’t taken the time to find out what feminism is before you start criticizing it? These things are easily said.

    That said, it’s easy to criticize from the comfort of one’s armchair. Most shows have one or two moments when I think about how I would have handled a call differently, but I think it must be very difficult to host a show like yours and hit all the right notes at the right times. Hmm, weren’t we talking about empathy not so long ago?

    I would hate to pick and choose between the hosts, you all have your distinctive styles, personalities and areas of interest, and it’s good to have that range because all atheists are different, just like everybody else. I do miss Keryn though – now she was nice! I guess niceness must run in the family.

  37. Jed Deemer says

    @dThought

    In comment #3 above, you ended with a prenthetical remark about “…helping men for once.”

    Let me get this straight; I wouldn’t want to be accused of putting words in your mouth (actually, in this case, it probably should be “words on your monitor screen.”) Since you used the modifier phrase “for once”, I can only assume this means that men have never been helped before. Obviously, if that’s the case, then privelege can’t possibly exist. So, male prevelege does not, and has never existed.

    Now, to be fair, I’m sure this phrase was just a slip, and you didn’t mean to imply any such thing as that. Still, the slip is telling. And, while most of Freud’s supposed “theories” have pretty much fallen into desuetude, I think the concept of the “Freudian Slip” still has legs.

    Combine this with the fact that whenever anyone tries to address one of your points, you tend to ignore the response and take the thread a little farther off the rails each time by strafing to the side and avoiding their point while trying to make another of your own.

    This is a familiar argumentative strategy, and appears to be used, for the most part, by people who usually start the argument from an irrationally emotional base.

    Just an observation.

    Of course, I might just be operating from the priveleged position of rationality here. What do you think?

  38. Nathan says

    That was a perfect response to the comment. I’ve gotta say your one of my favorite people on the show. I know some people complain that your not harsh enough, but I’ve always found that you give people a fair amount of time to say what they want to say and then give a well thought out response, or in some cases just a little remark that makes a good point while being funny (like the one in this episode or my favorite when you where debating ‘he shall not be named’ and just starting saying nu uh)

    I might agree with him in some sense, I don’t call myself a feminist but I agree with the feminist movement. The reason I don’t call myself one is because I don’t actively work to promote feminist causes. I agree with most of what that movement supports, but it’s not a cause I spend time on, so it would be unfair of me to call myself a feminist. If that’s what he meant, we can agree, but I have a feeling that isn’t what he means.

  39. JordanT says

    I was surprised that the caller who was speaking against feminism was doing such a piss poor job of explaining why he was against it.

    It’s really not that hard, I can give a great reason in one word: Humanism.

    Humanism is all encompassing. I am not a feminist because I am a humanist. I care about the rights of everyone; women, men, children, youths.

    Here is an analogy that I read online on the topic, that I think works perfectly in this situation:

    “The Royal Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (RSPCA) looks after the welfare of animals. Now, imagine if there was an RSPCFA which just looked after female animals. If you were to make a contribution to an animal-based charity, would you prefer one that looked after all animals, or one that checked between the animal’s legs before deciding whether or not they would help it?

    Arguing that women have fewer rights than men and that, for that reason, feminism is needed until equality is reached (and humanism can replace it) is a nonsense argument. Some animals are treated much worse than others, but an organisation fighting for all animals is a much stronger and well-equipped beast than one that picks and chooses which animals it will help.”

    (Source: http://blog.redcelt.net/)

  40. says

    It’s actually a rubbish analogy, because the life experiences of male/female animals are hardly comparable to those of humans. But in any event, you’re free to adopt the humanist tag rather than the feminist one if you prefer, as long as you don’t harbor any illusions that the discrimination, maltreatment and inequality routinely experienced by women is in any way equally matched by what is experienced by men.

  41. Laura Lou says

    Fine, call yourself a humanist. But adopting feminism *in addition to* humanism is worthwhile, even if you think gender equality is implied in your worldview.

    Why is being more specific a bad thing? For example, why do skeptics also choose to call themselves atheists? Isn’t that pretty much implied in being a skeptic? Because atheism is a specific position that does not always follow from skepticism. Likewise, feminism is a specific position on gender equality.

    You are also wrong that feminism only aims to take care of women. In fact, the champions of many men’s causes (against circumcision and hegemonic masculinity, for example) have been feminists. Feminists’ principal goal is gender equality, but because women are disadvantaged in so many ways, they get the bulk of feminism’s attention. And that’s the way it should be.

    Humanism is not stronger or better-equipped for women’s issues because isn’t as focused as feminism. Humanism and feminism are compatible, so if you believe in gender equality, you should embrace both.

  42. mandrellian says

    *You’re
    *Too
    *Should HAVE
    *And many more …

    Note: CAPS LOCK FURY makes baby Jesus cry.

    Furthermore, what Kazim said. He’s too nice for you? I hope him telling you to go fuck yourself changed your opinion.

  43. mandrellian says

    Analogy corner:

    The statement “I am a fan of motor sport” can plausibly carry the implication that you like all motor sport. However, there are motor sport fans that only watch NASCAR and some that don’t watch NASCAR at all (e.g. me: I like MotoGP).

    To assume a humanist is by default a feminist and thus does not need the descriptor “feminist” is making the same error as assuming that I, self-describing as a motor sport fan, am a NASCAR fan by default.

    “Humanist” is a general description and, as we’ve seen recently, many self-described humanists simply aren’t feminists, are ignorant of what feminism is or are people for whom feminism isn’t even on their radar. The label of “feminist” isn’t redundnant, any more than me telling people which precise motor sports I like is.

    Humanists who don’t think they need to describe themselves as feminists are all well and good; others prefer the descriptor. I don’t see any point advising anyone not to describe themselves in a certain way if that description is important to that person and, most importantly, accurate.

  44. Warp says

    It’s often said that atheist feminazis have simply replaced one religion with another. And I think threads like this one demonstrate it quite well.

    One caller criticizes feminism. One of how many, of an hour-long show? And from the hundreds of comments in this blog posts, how many are dedicated to bashing that one caller and his opinions?

    It is perfectly possible to support equality of women and oppose the kind of dogmatic feminism that’s present in many atheist communities, like this one. Such dogmatic feminists behave really dogmatically, and discussion with them is completely impossible. Whenever someone makes even a hint that they might perhaps not fully agree with every single tiny detail of their feminist ideology or the way they express it, they immediately start a full-sized attack. They do not listen to what that person actually means or what he might be talking about. Instead, all rationality is shoved aside and all kinds of assumptions and jumping to conclusions is prevalent. And of course belittling namecalling is a given. “Sexist” is naturally the most common name used. Apparently “sexist” means “doesn’t fully agree with us and our methods” (rather than, you know, someone who actually has objectionable opinions about women.)

    And then they rather hypocritically dare to call those critics “bullies” and whatnot.

  45. Whisker says

    “as long as you don’t harbor any illusions that the discrimination, maltreatment and inequality routinely experienced by women is in any way equally matched by what is experienced by men.”

    Why is it so important to you to count the number of inequality’s ? What difference does that make? If there is an inequality you should approach it the same way – as a problem, doesn’t matter who it favors. The thing is that you will not solve the inequality problems if you are focussing just on one side’s problems, it’s much much harder that way, especially when you have some bad shit crazy fanatics in your movement that want to kill all men on earth, well… Then i guess it would solve the innequality issue :D, so maybe that’s how u want to do it.

    “To assume a humanist is by default a feminist and thus does not need the descriptor “feminist” is making the same error as assuming that I, self-describing as a motor sport fan, am a NASCAR fan by default.”

    I can agree, but then we need another word, because feminism only incorporates women’s issues.

  46. says

    Why is it so important to you to count the number of inequality’s ? What difference does that make?

    Gee, I dunno, try asking a woman? Or would that get in the way of your mansplaining smugness?

    If there is an inequality you should approach it the same way – as a problem, doesn’t matter who it favors.

    It is a problem…but part of why inequality toward women is a problem is that it disproportionately affects one half of the world’s population more than the other half. In the world of American politics, women get called sluts for wanting access to affordable birth control by male politicians whose insurance pays for their Viagra. They’re told that in order to have access to family planning and abortion services, they must prove they were subject to some ridiculously hair-split, artificial definition of “forcible” (as opposed to “agreeable,” I suppose) rape, and endure a medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound, no doubt while being lectured by a priest on the evil sluttiness of getting raped in the first place and murdering their poor innocent doe-eyed baby who’s so very blameless in the whole thing. Meanwhile, at least 32 states allow rapists to sue their victims for custody and visitation rights, making it still a better deal to be the rapist than the rapee. In the Islamic world, the Religion of Peace blames women for male lusts and forces them to veil their entire bodies, while parents murder their daughters without so much as a speck of feeling because they looked at a boy.

    You make the most common fallacy ever devised by people who wish to devalue the very concept of feminism: the existence of problems experienced by men in no way makes it invalid to have a specific school of thought aimed at addressing inequality toward women. Somewhere in the world there may indeed be (and almost certainly is) someone experiencing worse injustice than some white-skinned Western woman…but that does not men the woman’s injustices merit dismissal.

    And when provable and undeniable cases in which people in a certain group routinely experience problems for no reason other than that they are members of that group (women, gays, blacks), then special focus on those problems is warranted. I assume you’re talking about terrorists with your clumsy comment about “bad shit crazy fanatics in your movement [uh, whose movement?] that want to kill all men on earth.” But men who are killed by terrorists are not killed just for being men, which is one of many meaningful distinctions you haven’t quite grasped.

    So all I can conclude from your opinions on feminism and its utility is that you simply haven’t understood it or tried to understand it, and even if it “only incorporates women’s issues” (which it doesn’t), that alone wouldn’t mean self-styled “humanists” shouldn’t make it part of their “humanistic” repertoire.

  47. says

    Care to list any examples of this “feminazi” “dogma” you’re whining about? Because of course, arguing for gender equality is exactly like gassing Jews to death and throwing their bodies into ovens.

    Because if the sixth word you use when you attempt to enter a discussion about feminism is “feminazi,” only to go on to whine that you just can’t imagine why everyone else in the thread is attacking you, you might be a sexist — or at the very least, not very smart.

  48. Muz says

    Dogmatic feminists really behave dogmatically. It’s their dogma that is chiefly the source of this dogmatism, doggone it.

  49. says

    And fun fact: feminism is not some monolithic group. It’s actually really fractured into a bunch of different groups and waves that share some ideas and disagree on others.

    Maybe if you actually tried to explain your point of disagreement instead of just hammering on about dogmatism and comparing women trying to get equal pay to fascists who tried to commit genocide you’d get a better response.

    If I pop into some atheist forum and say that I don’t believe in god but atheists are a bunch of lock step Stalinist goons. They’re so dogmatic and they never listen to my criticism of their position and always call me names. Well I can hardly blame them for calling me an ass hat and moving on.

  50. Warp says

    One of the major problems is precisely the contempt and extreme prejudice that you yourself show in this very comment I’m replying to. I used strong wording because I’m tired that no matter how how word any of my opinions, I always get the same kind of prejudiced reaction and accusations of sexism (which you yourself demonstrate; what exactly makes you think I’m sexist if I write the word “feminazi”? Where exactly is the connection?)

    You want an example of this exact kind of behavior? I’ll give you one gladly.

    In May of this year you made a blog post named “Boy and girls and dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!” where you said among other things (and something I do agree with, may I add) that many people opposing feminism tend to overreact to criticism and that it should be possible to discuss these things in a rational and calm manner, and not with anger, personal invective, and all-around butthurt stupidity (I’m somewhat paraphrasing here.)

    I made a comment to that post saying that it works both ways, and that people on the feminist camp also oftentimes tend to overreact and act in that manner. I also wrote: “For example, if someone presents the opinion (in a completely civil and calm manner) that he doesn’t agree with all the tenets of feminism, often he’s immediately assumed to be a sexist chauvinist woman-hating redneck bigot, and responded to accordingly.”

    Did the other people writing comments prove me wrong by acting in a completely civil and unprejudiced manner, discussing what I actually wrote rather than immediately jumping to conclusions and making all kinds of accusations? Of course not.

    For example, someone wrote in response: “If you don’t believe that men and women should be treated as equals… then you are sexist. That’s, like, the definition of sexism. How can this possibly be disputed?” When I answered with “Who is disputing this?” that person apologized for jumping to conclusions, but then a third person immediately jumped in with “don’t apologize” and continuing with all kinds of prejudiced reading-between-the-lines.

    But the cake was taken by this reply: “But there’s only one tenet of feminism: That people should be treated with equal respect and given the same opportunities regardless of their sex.
    If you disagree with that, then you ARE sexist.” That’s some insane troll logic if I have ever seen some. This person did not even try to discuss what I meant with “doesn’t agree with all the tenets of feminism”.

    This is but one of the mildest examples I have experienced. It doesn’t matter how civilly, calmly and rationally you try to discuss about feminism in atheist communities, if you present any kind of disagreement or critique (and not even on feminism itself, but the way it’s being handled), the response tends to be extremely hostile, nasty, prejudiced and outright irrational.

  51. Warp says

    I honestly appreciate a civilly worded request for a discussion. Thank you.

    I worded my post quite strongly, but what I meant to critique is not the fundamentals of feminism, but the attitudes that many atheists have when dealing with it, especially when people try to discuss about it. What I tried to say is that it’s perfectly possible to support the *basics* of feminism (in other words, that women should of course have completely equal rights and treatment and respect as men) but oppose the kind of ideology that so many feminists exhibit, which often presents itself in the form of prejudice, jumping to conclusions, namecalling, all kinds of accusations, and outright irrationality, when presented with even the mildest of criticism.

    What I’m trying to say is that if someone says “I support equal rights of women but oppose feminism”, do not immediately twist the words of that person and start arguing how that’s a contradictory statement. Instead, try to ask what that person means by “feminism” and why does he oppose it. Try to come with some kind of mutual understanding of what you agree with and what not. Try to understand what the other is saying rather then putting words in their mouth.

  52. says

    One of the major problems is precisely the contempt and extreme prejudice that you yourself show in this very comment I’m replying to.

    I wish I’d bet myself $100 you were going to reply in this fashion. Every time some clueless dude offers ignorant opinions on feminism, and is criticized for it, he protests that everyone’s being mean to him, and that he’s the true victim of “extreme prejudice,” while in the same breath declaring that it’s the supporters of feminism who can’t handle criticism. Seriously, it’s as predictable as rain in Seattle.

    I would say the real “major problem” here is in the defensiveness of men who have far less interest in listening to what women actually have to say about the issues that affect them than they do in coming into a public forum where those issues are under discussion, parading their ignorance for all to see, and then complaining that all the “prejudiced” people are bullying them when they get called on it.

    what exactly makes you think I’m sexist if I write the word “feminazi”? Where exactly is the connection?

    It’s sexist because it dismisses an entire social movement concerning women’s issues, and the ideas informing that movement, with a blanket one-word insult making the world’s most preposterously ignorant comparison. And it’s stupid, as stated before, for equating a social movement promoting gender equality with a political party that committed terrorism, genocide, and sparked a world war.

    I made a comment to that post saying that it works both ways, and that people on the feminist camp also oftentimes tend to overreact and act in that manner. I also wrote: “For example, if someone presents the opinion (in a completely civil and calm manner) that he doesn’t agree with all the tenets of feminism, often he’s immediately assumed to be a sexist chauvinist woman-hating redneck bigot, and responded to accordingly.”

    No, that’s not quite what you did. You made a comment in which the sixth word of the first sentence was “feminazi,” offered unironically. As has been pointed out several times now, this is one of the dumbest insults you can make regarding feminism, irrespective of whatever specific positions feminism may be promoting that you agree or disagree with. It’s flamebait, pure and simple. And when you engage in it, it’s either complete cluelessness or deliberate trolling (and in your case, I’ll be generous and assume the former) to do so and then attack people for responding to you with anger, emotion, bullying and prejudice. See, here’s the part you miss: if you want to discuss a subject in a “rational and calm manner, and not with anger, personal invective, and all-around butthurt stupidity,” it helps if your own contributions to that discussion don’t begin with invective.

    As a male feminist ally (I find it a bit presumptuous to call myself a feminist; I’ll leave it up to the women in the trenches to call me one if they wish), I myself have criticisms of certain aspects of feminism. I do not, as a general rule, get tagged as a sexist, chauvinist redneck bigot when I express them. I would suggest this is because I don’t express them in sexist, chauvinist redneck ways that include, but are not limited to, tossing out foolish insults and moronic lapses into Godwin’s Law the second I open my mouth. It’s one thing to say, “I disagree with this idea because of X.” It’s another thing entirely to say, “The dogmatic feminazi tyrants really have it in for us poor put-upon mehnz because X.” The latter will net you a significantly different response than the former. Read them both and try to consider why that is.

  53. says

    So you’re grateful for a “civilly worded” reply, then immediately rationalize your own incivility. Yep, I wish I’d made that $100 bet.

    Can we just relegate “civility” to the dustbin of “meaningless dog-whistle words loved by online hypocrites” and move on?

    the kind of ideology that so many feminists exhibit, which often presents itself in the form of prejudice, jumping to conclusions, namecalling, all kinds of accusations, and outright irrationality, when presented with even the mildest of criticism

    Emphasis added to illustrate the utter lack of honesty and self-awareness on the part of the guy whose original comment began with “It’s often said that atheist feminazis have simply replaced one religion with another. And I think threads like this one demonstrate it quite well.”

    If someone responds to “the mildest of criticism” with the overreactions you described, then yes, they’re overreacting. On the other hand, when feminists are compared to Nazis who have swapped one religion for another, that is not exactly “the mildest of criticism.” (And if you think it is, I’d hate to hear how you really feel.) And an angry response is the least such a remark would deserve.

    Physician, heal thyself.

  54. says

    Cause I looked it up after the fact wikipedia lists between 17 and 39 different branches or groups in feminism. There is some overlap but there are also mutually exclusive groups. The only thing that really seems to be consistent is that women should be treated equally with men and a lot of other things seems up in the air.

    To pick an example closer to home your views don’t seem far off from the occasional person i see saying they don’t believe in god but are agnostics cause atheists engage in all this name calling, lawsuits, jumping on people and being all blasphemous.

    “…jumping to conclusions, namecalling, all kinds of accusations, and outright irrationality, when presented with even the mildest of criticism.”

    To me that’s not a problem with feminism(ists) that’s a problem with people. I’ve seen the same thing among political groups, fandoms, the gamer community, commenters on news sites etc. Be it an important issue of human rights or kirk versus picard. When an issue that we care about is attacked we often get quite personal about it and defensive. It’s something we as humans do and I don’t see a point in holding it against one group when it is a more universal problem.

    I guess to sum up I don’t see much is gained by complaining about attitudes of feminism like this when its more of a larger social problem not really linked to feminism as it is people (on the internet in particular). Nor do I personally see a big issue with arguing over labels (feminist vs support equality, or nones and atheists etc). Better to focus in on the actual issues we disagree on then throwing labels and accusations of behaving badly around.

  55. Whisker says

    Well, you barely adressed my point there and though I am not living in USA, I am quite aware of the issues women in your country have. But there are men’s issues as well, like the custody of the child, different prison sentences for the same crimes, draft for army and so on. In those issues women are favourited over men, I can see that, feminists can’t , because it’s against their agenda.

    And when you only focussing on women’s issues, you are also inviting individuals who are just purely anti-male into your organization (Atheism+). I guess you can call them terrorists, I think they are definately a potential danger to society and the fact that they are part of this movement, could possibly make this movement harmful to society, that’s why a lot of atheists are very concerned. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDeM7YN-Ab4

  56. says

    One of the major problems is precisely the contempt and extreme prejudice that you yourself show in this very comment I’m replying to

    Prejudiced against what, exactly? Men?

    What’s actually happening is that people like you start screaming about feminazis and dogma about topics/discussions that you apparently didn’t comprehend.

    We attempt to explain it to you – specifically you – because you’re a person who doesn’t appear to be “getting it”. I.e. you, specifically, are wrong.

    What do we get for conversation in return?

    More high-pitched screams about feminazis, with an added bonus of unspecified “extreme prejudice”.

    Okay fine, I’m prejudiced against a group of people who are having severe cognition issues, and my prejudice is that I think they need to be educated.

    Your replies here are a great example of this massive projection and utter ineptitude at understanding the basics of the topic.

  57. Dorkman says

    I can’t help but notice that, despite being asked directly, Warp still hasn’t explained what he thinks is the “ideology” of “dogmatic feminism,” except for the tautological response that it is “dogmatically following feminist ideology.” I see no evidence that he knows what any of those words mean.

    Warp: please lay out what you believe to be the tenets of “dogmatic” feminism.

  58. says

    And what exactly are you basing this conclusion upon, that feminists are unaware of and/or indifferent to what happens in family courts, and that this unawareness/apathy is expressly due to a sinister anti-male agenda? And I mean, what in the real world, not in the one that exists in your head.

    Also, please name the “just purely anti-male” people currently involved in Atheism+. And by “purely anti-male” (emphasis added), I expect you to mean that they have a hatred of men that is absolute, and that this alone motivates their thinking and actions. (Hint: if you say “Rebecca Watson,” you fail. Rebecca’s a friend of mine, and I’m a male, and I know she has many others. So that’s pretty solid disproof of that canard where she’s concerned.)

    After all, before I start worrying about the harm such man-haters pose to society, I’d like some kind of evidence that they actually exist, anywhere other than the fevered imaginations of gynophobes.

  59. Warp says

    Martin, you really, honestly cannot see why so many people detest the kind of “feminism” that you and so many other like-minded atheists represent, when any kind of discussion immediately evolves into a tirade of arrogant contempt, dismissive namecalling, accusations of sexism, and jumping to conclusions? You honestly still wonder how someone can say “I support women’s equality but oppose feminism”? It’s precisely that kind of text that you are writing right there that’s the reason, and you are only proving my point.

    I do not consider feminists “feminazis”. What I said was that “it is often said that feminazis have simply replaced one religion with another”. Granted, I should have used quotation marks for clarity because I was paraphrasing the typical anti-feminist sentiment. It was not meant to imply that I am saying that, nor use those derogatory terms. (Although I’m quite sure that even if I had used quotation marks, it would have made little difference. You would have still jumped to the same conclusion.)

    My point was that I understand where that sentiment is coming from, and I’m trying to point it out. It’s precisely the kind of arrogant dismissive attitude that atheist feminists so often show when someone makes any kind of critique. And you are just proving my point perfectly.

    See how quickly you jumped to suggesting that I might be sexist (even though you know absolutely nothing about what I think of women) or that I may be stupid.

    It really feels that trying to explain this to a feminist like you is exactly as futile as eg. trying to explain a theist why the alleged existence of miracles does not prove the existence of God. There’s a mental barrier that stops any rational idea from going through. You only see what you want to see when someone disagrees with your feministic views.

  60. Warp says

    You are right. It’s a problem with feminism per se, but with some feminists. However, that’s exactly what many people mean when they say that they oppose “feminism”. They do not actually oppose the basic tenet of feminism, they oppose the kind of cult mentality that has formed around it.

  61. Rob says

    This is Martin’s argument summed up, IMHO:

    “We have the same opinions on things, but you’re using the wrong labels, therefore I’m a better proponent of women’s rights than you are!”

    Geez, dude, lay off it already. You have a really bad case of white knight syndrome.

  62. Whisker says

    “And what exactly are you basing this conclusion upon, that feminists are unaware of and/or indifferent to what happens in family courts, and that this unawareness/apathy is expressly due to a sinister anti-male agenda?”

    Because they all believe that we are living in patriarchal society.

    “(Hint: if you say “Rebecca Watson,” you fail. Rebecca’s a friend of mine, and I’m a male, and I know she has many others. So that’s pretty solid disproof of that canard where she’s concerned.)”

    That doesn’t mean anything. Republican party has members that are black or gay , so therefore they are anti racist and pro gay rights?

    You guys are well known there, you are famous, of course they will not treat you badly there, but just try to change the nickname (like Matt did) and then disagree with them on something… It’s not some kind of honest mistake what happened to Matt, he acts like it’s something that can be fixed, well it can’t, it’s their attitude. So what if the guy who said “You either with us or against us” apologized, he still holds that opinion.

  63. Kes says

    So now you’re saying that you never said that, you’re just saying that someone, somewhere, said something like that, and you agree with them. Therefore: …?

    If you don’t like vitriolic discourse over emotionally charged topics, you are on the wrong internets, my friend.

  64. says

    Granted, I should have used quotation marks for clarity because I was paraphrasing the typical anti-feminist sentiment. It was not meant to imply that I am saying that, nor use those derogatory terms. (Although I’m quite sure that even if I had used quotation marks, it would have made little difference. You would have still jumped to the same conclusion.)

    I see. So now, you’re basing your saving throw on claiming that just because you launched your side of the conversation by tossing out one of the dumbest anti-feminist insults in existence, that it should have been perfectly obvious to all that your use of the term didn’t reflect your own, personal views, and the fault lies with those of us who were insufficiently psychic to glean the true intent of your unclear writing. Unfortunately, you’ve rolled a critical failure here, due to the fact that this claim…

    It was not meant to imply that I am saying that, nor use those derogatory terms.

    …is somewhat refuted by this sentence in your original.

    And I think threads like this one demonstrate it [that “atheist feminazis have simply replaced one religion with another”] quite well.

    …making it fairly clear you’re in full agreement. Of course, it’s the sentiment you’re in agreement with, not the derogatory terms. Got it. But really, we’re just splitting hairs at this point. It’s kind of like saying, “That n-word is completely offensive, but anyway, here’s what I don’t like about the civil rights movement and desegregation.”

    The rest of your projection — you know, the whole “arrogant contempt,” “dismissive namecalling” bit — is noted. Again, when your initial post engages in every one of those things, you’re in no position to attack other people for doing it in the hopes no one will notice that you did.

    My point was that I understand where that sentiment is coming from, and I’m trying to point it out. It’s precisely the kind of arrogant dismissive attitude that atheist feminists so often show when someone makes any kind of critique. And you are just proving my point perfectly.

    No, it’s a dismissive attitude toward a particular kind of critique (the kind you made), voiced a particular way (the way you voiced it): to wit, one that relies on arrogant contempt, dismissive namecalling, accusations of anti-male agendas, and jumping to conclusions (thanks for cataloguing it so well for me), not toward any kind of critique.

    Here’s a shocker: I too understand where incredibly stupid and reactionary attitudes towards feminism come from. I’m just less likely to make excuses for it than others. I’m more likely to see that very often, the problem lies with the person (usually a man, usually one threatened by outspoken women who make no bones about what they think of anything less than gender equality) making the reaction than what they’re reacting to, which, when examined, you’ll find has often been misunderstood or misrepresented.

    Do legitimate criticisms of feminism exist? Absolutely. It’s a human idea, and human ideas are imperfect, every one. Some of the best criticisms of third wave feminism I’ve heard have come from a woman I’ve known 20 years, a novelist with a very strong two-fisted feminist streak who blogs on the subject with great fervor. She’s also spouted some of the most arrant bullshit it’s been my misfortune to read. But at least what’s on offer are meaningful attempts to address ideas and their strengths and weaknesses, and not just a catalog of oversimplified straw-(wo)man fallacies.

    You honestly still wonder how someone can say “I support women’s equality but oppose feminism”?

    I don’t wonder how they can say such a thing. I do note, however, that when men say that, they stop there. I have never heard a thoughtful and lucid explanation from one of these “women’s rights, yes, but feminism bad” guys that offers a sensible rationale for this distinction they feel is so important. If there is one, let’s have it. Otherwise, it’s no less woolly-headed than people who don’t believe in God but just don’t like the word “atheist,” because after all, “I don’t hate Christians.” Often implied is the idea that feminism is this formerly noble goal (equality!) that has since degenerated into a rigid orthodoxy that brooks no dissent and won’t rest until every living organism with a Y chromosome pays, goddammit! Though there are no doubt some thoroughly diseased radfem fringe loons on the internet who are that extreme, to suggest that such extremism is shared by every proponent of feminism, or feminist-friendly ideas like Atheism+, is purest folly.

    There’s a mental barrier that stops any rational idea from going through. You only see what you want to see when someone disagrees with your feministic views.

    Damn! I lost another bet. I could have been playing Predictable Self-Pitying, Well-Poisoning Canned Responses to Being Called on My Bullshit Bingo all morning long!

  65. says

    You have a really bad case of white knight syndrome.

    Noted and catalogued: term used as silencing technique designed to shame men who support women’s issues and equality by calling their motives and masculinity into question.

    What else you got?

  66. says

    I would still say its a problem with people in general and it can be found in every belief. I fail to see it as a significant problem for feminism or a mark against it any more then it is for any other group. If a group of skeptics is rude and dismissive of an antivax proponent (while it may or may not be a good tactic I don’t feel like arguing that point) it doesn’t affect the validity of their point of view.

  67. Warp says

    You see, I don’t even have to explain what the “ideology of feminism” means. You are doing a quite good job at it yourself.

  68. Warp says

    It might not affect the validity of their point of view, but it certainly does affect how their message (be it valid or not) comes across. You are not going to convince many people if you are rude and dismissive towards them.

  69. Warp says

    Please go on. You are just proving my point perfectly, again and again. This is exactly the kind of attitude I have been complaining about, and you are just exhibiting it in full.

    I think that you do understand perfectly well what I’m talking about, and you do understand perfectly well what many people mean when they say that they oppose (this kind of) feminism. You are just way too stubborn to admit it and have an actual rational discussion about it. You only want to feel superior by hurling dismissive statements and insults.

    You are the perfect example of the kind of feminist that people detest so much. You are not helping your cause.

  70. says

    And yet there are people who do claim to be convinced by such behavior from atheists and skeptics etc. Anyway if that’s all you got for me I don’t have anything more to add.

  71. Kes says

    So your entire argument boils down to tone-trolling? C’mon, I want a critique of all the feminist dogma we’ve swallowed! Couldn’t you even throw out a half-way competent critique of the Second Wave? That should be easy for you!

    Porn! Complain about radfem anti-porn crusaders, that’s practically a gimme!

    No? Nothing? You just don’t like the way feminists attack you for noreasonatall cause you’re just saying that bitchez be all irrational n shit. They should just shut up, cause they are all so rude. And wrong. Because.

  72. says

    But the states does have many patriarchal aspects to it where men are favored over women. For example:

    -Important government roles are predominantly run by men.

    -a woman with the same job as a man earns less.

    -jobs that are traditionally held by women earn less and are less valued then the reverse.

    -if given the same resume but with either a male of female gender employers prefer the male resume. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2012/09/19/scientists-your-gender-bias-is-showing/

    -sexual assault of men by women is dwarfed by sexual assaults of women by men.

    -Insurance covers medication for men like Viagra but is unlikely to cover medical needs of women like birth control or abortion.

    -societal norms are more forgiving of things like promiscuous life style when its the man sleeping around then a woman. To the point that the promiscuous male is often seen as more heroic and manly.

    -you can be harassed as a woman for engaging in past times like gaming solely for being a woman. http://fatuglyorslutty.com/

    While these are generally not conscious acts on the part of people they do show a trend towards favoring men in a lot of ways.

  73. Warp says

    By all means go on. This is all good material. Perfect examples of what I’m talking about.

    The irony here is that you don’t even get it.

  74. Warp says

    Ok, Martin, I’ll try another approach to see if I can make it through your thick skull.

    In the TV show (and I’m sure you have probably been in all kinds of debates about religion), when a theist calls you (like all the other hosts) will listen to what the caller has to say, you try to understand it, and you discuss what is being said. You approach the subject in a calm and rational manner, no matter how deeply stupid you think the claims being presented by the theist are. You most certainly don’t immediately start belittling the caller and calling him or her names and spouting childish things like “I should have bet you would say that.”

    However, when someone criticizes feminism, your attitude is completely different. You don’t listen, you don’t even try to understand what the other is trying to say, you are highly dismissive and insulting, and start hurling all kinds of belittling and insulting comments about the other person’s views and intelligence.

    Do you see the difference here?

    The difference is that you don’t hold skeptical and atheistic views dogmatically. You have a rational attitude towards them which allows you to discuss the subject in a calm and civil manner, no matter what kind of outlandish claims the other person is presenting. I’m also assuming that if it turns out you are wrong in some issue, you have no problem in admitting it.

    However, if the subject is feminism, it immediately triggers a berserk button that changes your attitude completely. That’s indicative that you are quite dogmatic about it.

    And you are by no means the only feminist with this kind of dogmatic attitude about it. It’s really common.

    *That* is the kind of “feminism” that many people detest. It’s that kind of dogmatic attitude. You can deny having that attitude all you want, but that’s what people see in feminists that act like you, and is the reason why the detest it so much.

    Do you understand this?

  75. says

    What I understand, Warp, is that you’re deliberately ignoring a couple of very real, yet nontrivial, facts in this Straw Martin you’re rather poorly constructing in order to play Voice of Reason and salvage some semblance of ego from this whole comment debacle. To wit:

    1) My own remarks. Example: “Do legitimate criticisms of feminism exist? Absolutely. It’s a human idea, and human ideas are imperfect, every one. Some of the best criticisms of third wave feminism I’ve heard have come from a woman I’ve known 20 years, a novelist with a very strong two-fisted feminist streak who blogs on the subject with great fervor. She’s also spouted some of the most arrant bullshit it’s been my misfortune to read.” In short, go ahead and offer critiques of feminism all the live long day. Just make sure they’re intelligent and worthy of respect, like any critiques of any subject should be. Sometimes I’ll think you’re right, sometimes I won’t.

    2) Your own fuckups. Example: opening your very first comment with a statement in agreement with those condemning “atheist feminazis” who have “replaced one religion for another”; when called on the idiocy of comparing a gender-equality movement to a fascist political party into genocide and world war, backpedaling to deny agreement with the use of the term; pompously lecturing other commenters that “you are not going to convince many people if you are rude and dismissive towards them,” in the hopes everyone will ignore that this was exactly your attitude towards “atheist feminazis” from the outset.

    So, to conclude: You tried to make a point, made it very badly, and I called you on it. No shame in that. But you’ve been on the warpath ever since. As for feminism, I’m sure it will stand or fall on its merits without any help from me.

  76. Laura Lou says

    For all the feminist backlash I get in other atheist forums, AXP allies make up for it x1000. Thanks guys, sometimes it brings me to tears.

  77. mandrellian says

    You know what’s funny? Warp is funny.

    The opening comment – the first fucking sentence – is an accusation that “atheist feminazis” (seriously, why the hell would you use a Limbaugh-approved epithet and expect anyone to take you seriously?) have replaced one dogma with another. No evidence profferred. This is followed by some tone-trolling and faux-butthurt at people being irrational meanies and calling him out for using an insult with -nazi suffix as his opening act while simultaneously pretending to be the Voice of Reason, at which point he deigns to dumb his mighty wisdom down so it can pass through Martin’s “thick fucking skull” (or an insult to that effect).

    So, Warp begins with an insult, complains that those calling him out on his insult are insulting him, then insults Martin’s intelligence.

    Fuck me, but that’s funny.

    Haw-haw!
    /Nelson

  78. says

    One caller criticizes feminism. One of how many, of an hour-long show? And from the hundreds of comments in this blog posts, how many are dedicated to bashing that one caller and his opinions?

    I don’t know. Given that there hasn’t yet been a hundred posts in this thread, I’m not sure there’s any way to reasonably answer that.
    Maybe you meant something other than what I think, but since this is the only thread relating to the show at hand, I’m not sure what else you could have meant.

    In the thread you mention, I made a few comments, here. Perhaps you’d like to address them now? Allow me to quote a few of the more relevant passages:

    I think part of the problem here is that your statements are so annoyingly vague. Try to be more specific. Not just “disagreeing with some of the tenets of feminism”. Rather, which exact tenets? What precise arguments?

    Can you give an example of a tenet of feminism that it’s possible to disagree with without being a sexist?

  79. JordanT says

    I never said that there was anything wrong with people being feminists, i was explaining (or trying to) why I am not one myself. Feminism is, inherently gender-biased (this much should be clear), and therefore unequal. If you are fighting for equality, As someone operating under the label humanist (really secular humanist but hereafter humanist) it is not surprising when I take an interest/active stance in any issue of human inequality. As someone operating under the label humanist, it should be expected that I care about the inequalities that all people experience. Someone who goes by the label feminist, who then takes an interest in an issue that is not related to women (as Laura Lou said; circumcision), is operating outside of the definition of feminism, and is then acting under a humanist (or masculinist or what-have-you) viewpoint.

    There is nothing wrong with people being feminists, or being predominantly interested in women’s issues. I do not choose to focus on one group, I think it is best to try to look out for all.

    Martin: When you say: “But in any event, you’re free to adopt the humanist tag rather than the feminist one if you prefer, as long as you don’t harbor any illusions that the discrimination, maltreatment and inequality routinely experienced by women is in any way equally matched by what is experienced by men.” Don’t be silly, I could hold that viewpoint if I wanted to. That wouldn’t make me right, but it wouldn’t be your, or my, or anyone’s place to say that someone could not hold that viewpoint. That is thought policing, and is preposterous. :) (No ill will intended.)

    Also, perhaps it’s my blue sky outlook, but once all the old people die off, we’ll suddenly be in a much better place. My generation (late 80’s) are almost all for all of the rights that everyone is currently fighting for (there are pockets who aren’t, but they seem to be the minority). Not that there won’t be problems along the way, but I don’t think we need freak out so much.

    Finally, I tried to be a feminist ally, I really did. I listened to podcasts, I read blogs, I tried to understand things from their viewpoint. This is not a dig at the Godless Bitches hosts, they are all wonderful seeming people, but after 3-4 episodes I felt so berated that I couldn’t listen any longer. I felt vilified, for being a man, I felt like I was being told I was a sexist. I am not a sexist, I strongly support women and their rights, I stand up for them when I hear them being harassed. I am not a bad guy, and a lot of people I know are not either. It seemed like they were lambasting most men, and it turned out not to be my cup of tea. I certainly hope I was getting the wrong impression (but there was a reason I was getting that impression, and I bet that others have felt that as well), and I don’t harbour any ill will towards the ladies from the show.

    We have different approaches towards the same issue, and hopefully when we finally get true equality we can all celebrate together, in the meantime, hopefully we can put our disagreements to rest, and agree to approach this in our own ways.

  80. says

    Can I say something here seeing that I am being vilified.
    This is Mark of Adelaide and I made the call the other day to the show because there was so much chatter on the www on these topics but little on the AE TV show. I suggested that there was perhaps a schism out there in the Atheist community. No..no..no said Russell there is no schism (I had a bad line and did not hear him that well), then Russell went on for 10 minutes putting out controversy ‘fires’ and now all this chatter here in the blog! Looks like there could be something going on? Russell still does not think so, I sent him an email and he told me to ‘go away’ ( that is his shtick).
    On Feminism and its meaning, maybe it is a cultural/semantic thing, but here in Australia Feminism does not = Non Sexism. So if I say I am not a Feminist I am not saying that I am sexist.
    Feminism is a socio political movement and ideology. And as an ideology it can have flawed concepts and be wrong in places. No one has provided me enough evidence for me to believe in all the constructs of Feminism. I am not ready at this point to label myself as a Feminist. But I truly care about social justice issues, which includes women’s and men’s rights and I want fight for a non sexist future society. I want to also spread the Atheist message. I am a current member of Atheism + forum, but ‘they’ may boot me off this forum soon.

  81. says

    I’ve been trying to follow the discussion with Warp, but I’m not clear at all on what he or she considers to be the “dogmatic tenets” or ideology of feminism.

    Above, Martin points out that we live in a patriarchal society, and Warp responds by saying something along the lines of, “I don’t even have to tell you what the dogmatic tenets of feminism are — you guys are doing a great job of it on your own!”

    So does this mean that Warp thinks we don’t live in a patriarchal society? Is it Warp’s belief that it’s merely feminist “dogma” to say that we live in a patriarchal society?

    I’m honestly having trouble figuring out what Warp is trying to say.

  82. Warp says

    My subsequent comment on why so many people detest feminism was unrelated to the patriarchy thing.

    Anyways, I do think “The Patriarchy” is one of the basic tenets of feminism. (Many such feminists deny it and claim that “there’s only one tenet”, but that’s not the practice.) When many of them talk about it, they make it sound like we still live in the just-industrialized world of the late 1800’s, where men had all the leader positions and women were basically considered sub-human from a legal and social point of view. That there’s a still strongly-rooted form of gender discrimination at all social levels, starting from the government, and even explicitly written in law.

    Of course that’s not the case anymore. In the vast majority of civilized countries there are no such distinctions nor such discrimination in any law. In fact, in most countries engaging in such discrimination is outright illegal, unconstitutional, and will lead to sanctions. Women are treated equally at a fundamental level.

    Does that mean there aren’t any sexist attitudes left? Of course not. There’s a lot of that left. But there’s little that can be called “patriarchy” anymore (although, admittedly, it depends a lot on the country and culture.) You may argue that there are still traces of it left at some level, and I wouldn’t disagree with that. However, talking about it in the same way as when it was at its worse some hundreds of years ago is a great exaggeration.

  83. Warp says

    I don’t need to provide much evidence because this thread is full of it. Your comment is a perfect example.

    There’s a lot of tactics used in all these comments, that are so typical. One of them is dismissing what someone says by claiming that he’s “whining” and trying to appeal to some kind of martyr and persecution status. I have done no such thing. Nowhere have I said anything like “why are you attacking me?” However, the kind of feminist I’m talking about see what they want to see, and read between the lines, and all kinds of prejudices, which is precisely one of my points, and it has been demonstrated here over and over.

    Another tactic is that if someone expresses themselves poorly and later clarifying, rather than accept the clarification people start accusing them of “backing up” and retracting claims and whatnot. Basically accusing them of being a liars.

    Just read my first comment again. I already explained it. I was not accusing “feminazis” of anything. I was paraphrasing the typical anti-feminist sentiment, and I commented that I understand where they are coming from. Many feminists do take the subject really dogmatically and, may I say, religiously.

    And you go even further with this twisting and reading-between-the-lines. You quote me as saying “thick fucking skull”. Who exactly is being dishonest here?

    And btw, “tone-trolling” is a made-up fancy term used to dismiss criticism in behavior and attitudes.

  84. Warp says

    You could have said “I understand what you are saying, but I don’t agree with it” and I would have accepted that. Buy you can’t say that. You can’t give any concessions. You can’t admit that maybe there’s a somewhat valid point in there (regardless of how poorly you think it was expressed.) You are too dogmatic about it. Dare I say, you are too religious about it. And that’s precisely the problem.

    And btw, I’m not “backpedaling” anything. I was paraphrasing a typical anti-feminist sentiment in my original comment, and it was not something that I say. (My point was that I understand where they are coming from.) If you accuse me of not using quotation marks where they would have clarified it, I will readily accept my mistake on that.

    You can claim that I’m a liar and that I’m “backpedaling”, but that just goes to show how you just don’t want to discuss, you only want to assert and attack.

  85. Muz says

    Dude, how many times are going to go around this block. You’re asserting dogma exists without evidence, except any disagreement that dogma exists (or rather is a hugely significant problem). That’s your evidence; people disagreeing with your little sociology. That’s all you’ve given so far, really.
    It’s a very very common line in this fracas. You absolutely should get a dismissive tone based on that (and you’re wrong about the show. Any creationist that called up and proudly asserted Atheists have no morality or can’t know anything though bald assertions and arguments debunked a million times would get the crap beat out of them.)

  86. Warp says

    “Being dogmatic” about something and “having a dogma” are not the same thing. (Certain branches of feminism do have what can be called a “dogma”, but that’s a somewhat different topic.)

    What I have been saying is that so many feminists (especially in the atheist community) are being so dogmatic about it, so hostile, dismissive, prejudiced and unwilling to discuss, that it’s the reason why so many people detest the very concept of feminism. This especially in contrast with the typical rational and civil approach that skeptic atheists have towards discussing religion, no matter how much they disagree with what the other person is saying.

  87. Muz says

    There are still plenty of social mores that are left overs from previous more blatant patriarchal systems. In Australia lately there’s been some recent flare-ups that show fairly clearly this stuff might not be publicly acceptable any more, but it’s still just below the surface.
    It’s all about the subtle, social/psychological assumptions now, not so much the legal (although if you look at some of the tax, abortion, contraception and marriage laws around the place…) Which is a difficult area of discussion to navigate. Even giving such nebulous things concrete scary names like The Patriarchy is going to seem somewhat inappropriate if you have no knowledge or interest in how the discourse has evolved over the decades.
    The question is really why this bugs people so much. Really all you want here, it seems, is every feminist you talk to to acknowledge things are better than they were before you’ll give them any room to talk about what they want to discuss now.
    It’s going to be an inflammatory comparison but it’s a lot like people who say black people shouldn’t be concerned about racism with any sort of passion now because slavery is over. They never had it so good! It’s the ‘coulda been worse’ argument. You need to ask yourself why its so distasteful to you that women might be angry about things now, and not give a damn to be overtly grateful to not live in some other era or country. That is a supercilious position you’re taking. One that maybe only a man could, huh?

    The other dimension is that you really don’t have to look far to find people reasserting their rights to free speech or guns or whatever, regardless of it being enshrined in law, often in crass angry ways, to encounter people who think the country is backsliding into tyranny; the price for freedom being eternal vigilance etc.
    A lot of these people are really over doing it, but they aren’t entirely wrong.
    Why would you think feminists are any different? Really, they’ve got a much better case too. Feminism is a dirty word, decried daily in male dominated conservative media and anywhere else. Everything it has won in the last 100yrs or so could very well slip away. There are challenges to it all every week. There is much to maintain.

  88. Muz says

    I don’t know what skeptic atheists you’ve been reading, but maybe you forgotten that even the mildest of atheist debaters are considered angry, ‘militant’ and highly offensive by the religious. And the comments on somewhere like Pharyngula are notoriously brutal. The religious get the tar beaten out of them if they ever show up (and get called dogmatic, surprise surprise).
    The prominent feminist bloggers are not particularly more harsh that any of the atheist ones. Arguably much milder in most cases.
    I’m inclined to venture that it’s merely that what they’re talking about stings you somehow (as mild atheists talk stings the religious) and you want your feelings acknowledged.
    Or you got banned by Greta Christina’s fairly harsh moderation or something.

    Either way I don’t find your impression credible, personally. I have seen people beat up in ways I thought excessive on the subject of feminism (Noelplum for one), but I’ve seen that on lots of subjects.

  89. Muz says

    (in that upper paragraph I mean it’s the atheists that get called dogmatic. Skeptics are always called dogmatic by ‘believers’ in aliens etc too) )

  90. Warp says

    I don’t have a problem with people disagreeing with my (admittedly limited) views on feminism and the situation of women around the world. I just wish that it would be possible to discuss these things in a calm and rational manner (even in cases where someone might seem to be fanatic and assertive at first.)

    Metadiscussion should also be possible (in other words, discussing about the discussion itself, about the communication gap between the different sides) without people immediately jumping to conclusions and starting all kinds of accusations about “whining”, “persecution syndrome” and “tone-trolling”. It is, after all, perfectly possible to fight the right cause using the wrong means, and it should be possible to critique those means.

  91. mofa says

    I called the show the other day because there was so much ‘chatter’ on the www about a schism but very little on the AE TV Show. Russell said no..no..schism yet he spent the next 10 minutes putting out controversy ‘fires’ and now all these posts above! Maybe there is a schism? Russell still doesn’t think so, I sent him an email and he said “Go Away” (that’s his shtick.) May be there is a cultural/semantics issue here, in Australia Feminism does not = Non Sexism. Because you do not label yourself a Feminist does not make you a sexist. Feminism is a socio political movement and an ideology. Ideologies can be flawed, be wrong, be corrupted by bad data. I am not making any judgement about Feminism, I just have not been presented with enough evidence to believe in Feminist Ideology (I am not ready to label myself a Feminist yet). I do support at least one of the objectives of the Feminist Movement: the wish for a non sexist future society. I believe in spreading the Atheist message and I truly believe in supporting and positively addressing all social justice issues (which includes women’s rights and men’s rights) I don’t know if my position was made clear in Episode 787, thank you for the opportunity to explain my position in words. Mark of Adelaide

  92. mofa says

    Kazim attacked my writing style right at the top of the page, said I went crazy with bold type! I did this on purpose. It was my (little) joke. PZ Myers explained in a video to his viewing public why Thunderf00t lost his ‘gig’ and one of his ‘main’ reasons (he started off with this one) was that Thunderf00t used bolt type too often when writing on FtB. Too subtle a joke I suppose. Mark of Adelaide

  93. says

    On patriarchy,

    Its a bit like saying the taliban aren’t a problem in afganistan. We forced them out of government killed members for years ending in the death of their leader a couple years ago. So what are people still complaining about?

    Well despite all that there are still people who hold those views, many of their cultural mores remain etc. Its a more extreme example to make it more obvious but removing the official source of some sort of power doesn’t mean their aren’t remnants that continue on and have major effect on people in society.

  94. says

    From PZMyers video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsiXRYUQ7yA

    – PZ talking about style of writing ~6:10-6:30. Ends with, “We were made rather uncomfortable by it all but wasn’t by its self cause to throw him out it was just one of the factors that added to it.”

    – PZ talking about style of argumentation, provoking responses, online poll, deep contempt for the network etc ~6:30-11:18. Starts with, “What really broke our interest in supporting him was his style of argumentation.”

    Is there another video where PZM says that his writing style was the main reason or are you mistaken on this point?

  95. says

    I think the bigger issue is that we’d like to actually address the factual claims of feminism and the problems with it and you want to discuss how they treat people in argument.

    So while we’re interested in a factual claim Martin was responding however shallowly and snarkily to a factual claim that was brought up. Namely what is the patriarchy and does it exist. Instead of continued discussion on that point you veered the discussion away instead focused on the language used in that discussion.

    While it may or may not have value, our primary concern is first and foremost is are their points and positions true or not. And its frankly a bit annoying to have the subject changed instead of engaged in.

  96. Tax says

    In Bell Hooks book, Feminist Theory, she makes an argument that you are not supposed to say that you are a feminist. In other peoples minds once you’ve been given a label people stop seeing you as a person, and then begin to see you as a set of ideas, and are much less willing to listen to what you have to say.

    Furthermore, investing your identity into a cause makes it difficult to have discussions about it. It becomes more difficult to relate to the casual observer who has never really considered the issue. Saying that you are, is a statement that you have invested in it as part of your identity.

    When you use the words, “I am,” you are labeling yourself, and people will ascribe all sorts of ideas about what people think that label means to you, and that gets in the way of conversation. Instead you should say, “I advocate feminism.” This tells people that you support something without suggestion of reason why, and makes you more open to conversation from the perspective of the other person.

    If you open up a conversation about economics with the statement “I am a bearded Marxist,” your likely to dismiss everything I have to say on the subject, because all your life you’ve been told a lot about what being a Marxist means. Because of a label, you are dehumanized, and you’re opinion is automatically invalid.

    Most of what I’ve heard about feminism in my life, without going out and researching it myself, was highly negative. Once a year I will be exposed to a magazine article about how it’s possible for women to create a society without men, and how it will be so much better, and about how men are quickly becoming useless layabouts. When you talk about feminism, your dealing with a popular stigma that women hate men, and want to do away with them. Much care must be taken in this discussion if any progress is to be mad.

  97. says

    Atheists are widely seen as being immoral, occasionally devil worshipers or demonically possessed and want to do unpatriotic things like change the pledge. Compared to communists, soviets, both Stalin and Hitler. The very act of putting the word atheist on a billboard or advertisement yields complaints and demands for them to be removed. Yet everyone (at least the bloggers many of the commenters) here has chosen the label atheist.

    If they are willing to take on all that baggage you’re going to have a very hard sell telling people here that they should avoid the label feminist if they agree with some branch of it. Frankly if someone dismiss a Marxist because he used that label and don’t listen to or address any of their points they’re a bad skeptic, arguer and a very closed minded individual. Not exactly someone you are likely to convince since they won’t listen to you. At that point you should probably rethink why you’re having an economics discussion with them in the first place.

  98. Tax says

    I see a problem there. The people you really need to communicate to isn’t skeptics, it’s the general public who is coming to the conversation with a lot of biases, and is not particularly versed in skepticism or educated on feminism.

    I’m not even really saying don’t use the label, I’m describing how some people think you should use the label on account of the fact that feminism as a movement has a bad reputation with large segments of the general public due to right wing media organizations.

    Besides that, as Bell Hooks explains, feminism doesn’t mean the same thing to every feminist and this is basically why the feminist movement hasn’t gotten that much traction over the last thirty years. There is too much division over what feminism means and what equality should look like for it to spread as a movement.

    When a women wants to be equal to a man, there is a question of what kind of man she wants to be equal to. If she’s a white woman, I really doubt she wants to be equal to the average black man. As Bell Hooks describes it, feminism is just as much of an economic movement as it is anything else. It’s concerned just as much with race and class as it is with gender or sex. This is one feminists idea about what it means to be a feminist.

    Ideas about what feminism are vary widely, but the most common ideas out there come from right wing media organizations who are pretty good at putting this stuff out. People who want to call themselves feminists need to learn to deal with that better.

  99. says

    In part I guess I’m just not sure how much it helps to avoid the label. If I get into an economic conversation and say I think we should raise taxes a provide more social services and they say respond calling me a socialist. I’m not sure we got very far by not using the label to start with. Granted it may work somewhat better with feminism where many people seem less informed and there is lots of variation.

    Not using the label then trying to advance the same ideas just seems likely to hit the same road block just a little further down the conversation. I guess to my mind you might as well get the labels out of the way discuss them or what you mean by them at the start. Once you’re on the same page you can continue from there. Kind of like arguing about god. God means lots of things so its better to settle that at the start rather then invest a time only for the differing definitions to come up down the line.

    When it comes to uneducated prejudiced non-skeptics in part I think you just have to be prepared that while you might convince some of them many of them probably won’t change. Might just be better to work on critical thinking and educating the next generation then trying to convince some of the more stubborn older generations to change.

    But maybe we’re just talking past each other a bit. Probably worth trying a variety of tactics in your arguments anyway. Actually reminds me of this post by Russel from a while back where he talks about arguing in public. http://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2011/05/11/on-public-arguments/

  100. codemonkey says

    @michaeld
    If we pick a new label to “replace” atheism, then the same problems will come along. The negativity around the word “atheist” is not accidental and unexplainable. It’s not tied to the word. It’s tied to the concept. It’s inherent to the concept of lack of belief of god. Changing the label won’t do anything.

  101. says

    Yes and?

    I never suggested changing the label. I was trying to talk about why i see it as counter productive to run from labels like feminism using atheism as an example of another highly maligned label. Also why I would think that people who use atheist instead of agnostic, non-theist what ever would hopefully not run from another maligned label like feminism if they hold those views.

  102. says

    <Sorry for the double post.

    Or are you suggesting that this is a baggage with the concept of atheism that will be stuck with any label but the underlying beliefs of feminism are free of this problem? That adopting a new label a re-branding of feminist values and beliefs would allow them to break free from their baggage?

    I freely admit I'm not sure exactly what your point was but if that was the case (feel free to ignore if it was not).

    While certainly possible and someone can go try it, I'm unconvinced that a new label would significantly affect feminism's reception. While it is not a re-branding of feminism take the recent label of atheism+ of atheism with humanist, feminist and other values added to it. The mere association with feminism has drawn a lot of flack to that label including people outright calling it a re-branding of feminism. So I don't think that a re branding would help feminism any more then it would help atheism.

    these are the labels we've got and they have the baggage that's been associated with them and we have to make the best of that and deal with that.

  103. mofa says

    I think we are looking at the same video. I was desribing the reasons for my (little) joke in the email sent to Russell and why it had so much bold type in it (not crazily emphasising anything by the way, just bold type for proper nouns). All I was saying was that P Z starts off, in the video, with this criticism about Thunderf00t’s writing style and over use of bold type, one normally starts off with one’s strongest or stronger arguments. When I used the word ‘main’ I put it in between inverted commas, again my little joke (what a jokester I am) I was conveying sarcasm, because you are right, it could not be a ‘main’ reason for his dismissal (maybe we Australians have a different sense of humour to you Americans) PZ then went on with other reasons, one was a claim that Thunderf00t used un-scientific and dishonest methods with his survey. If you look at Thunderf00t’s video response to PZ’ video it does make PZ’s position look a little weak. There must be a lot more too it than what PZ covers on his video. I think the fact that Thunderf00t published a photo on FtB of himself biting the leg of a female friend in a bar at a conference was not appreciated by PZ.

  104. says

    ON humor, I don’t know much about american senses of humor you’ll have to ask one and instead of a Canadian ;p. Emoticons make jokes more obvious where as sarcasm is notoriously hard to pull off in written media. Try puns next time?

    On arguing, while that is one way of structuring your argument best -> worst its not the only way. I was taught in my essay writing class that ending on a strong point is another good or even preferable approach. Ding that people leave your paper/video with a strong argument foremost in their head. So at best I think its a stylistic or tactical decision more then anything else.

    I have not seen thunderf00ts response recently but pz’s video spends 20 seconds on writing style and almost 5 minutes on problems with his argument style. If his (TF) video is not structured similarly I’d say that is a flaw on its part.

    Lastly, I’ve just heard that point a few times and it bugs me. So I wanted to take the time to got to the source and set things straight at least in this instance.

  105. mofa says

    I agree, it is far more important to be discussing these issues with each other, at this point in time, than having our usual discussions with Theists. I also wish that it would be possible to discuss (these issues) in a calm and rational manner. Let’s put a stop to thwarting debate via name calling for a start. How many times do we hear the cry ‘misogynist!’ I am sick of it and it is a ‘lazy’ response used by people who are not able to address a criticism or defend their position, or can’t be bothered addressing a criticism because their position is so sound that it could not possible attract criticism.

  106. Tax says

    I didn’t say, or didn’t mean to say don’t use the word feminist. Is what I am saying now, is that you should say that you advocate it rather than you are one, because using that language is less confrontational.

    When you are something, its part of your identity, and people are less open to discussing it. The way that polite people won’t bother you with tons of questions about your religious beliefs or your sexual preferences when they find out that yours are different than theirs.

    Saying you advocate it also lends to an obvious question, not just of what, but of why?

  107. says

    To me there seems to be a very fine difference between I advocate feminism and I’m a feminist. You could just as easily ask why I’m a feminist as why I advocate feminism. But honestly that’s fine with me and I think at that point we’re just splitting hairs. I was more trying to figure out what code monkey’s point was in relation to what I was saying more then I was responding to anything that you said.

  108. mofa says

    I cannot disagree with anything you have said. I only brought this whole matter up in the first place because Russ…Kazim said that I went crazy with bold print in an email to him. I’m not coming down hard on one side with the FtB vs Thunderf00t ‘scandal’, I have viewed PZ Myers’ video take on it and Thunderf00t’s video take on it and I lean slightly towards Thunderf00t. But I don’t have nearly enough information to make a truly informed decision on who might be right or wrong in this instance. I do not know if Thunderf00t made personal attacks on other bloggers or whether he, instead, only attacked ‘ideas’ in his short stay. He is a bit of a ‘scallywag’ and a ‘contrarian’ (a badge that Hitchens wore with pride?) and maybe FtB is not a good ‘fit’ for Thunderf00t anyhow. If Thunderf00t only attacked ideas then maybe the FtB is really the Limited FtB? But as I said before I do not know what all of his crimes were. Apparently many people wanted him gone…but not Christina Rad.

  109. jdog says

    Russell said no..no..schism yet he spent the next 10 minutes putting out controversy ‘fires’ and now all these posts above!

    It always takes longer to rebutt a stupid argument than it does to propose the argument, which is why so many theists use the “Gish gallop” in structured debates against atheists.

    In the same vein, when the vast majority of biologists, cosmologists, and geologists say that young-earth creationism is a load of hogwash, do you assume that that means there must be controversy about the issue in the scientific community?

    Of course not. The only reason there could be said to be controversy about the issue is because of firebrands like you trying to start some. Knock it off.

    I do support at least one of the objectives of the Feminist Movement: the wish for a non sexist future society

    This is the only universally-supported goal of feminism. If you’re onboard with it, then you’re a feminist.

  110. says

    And I’m feeling cantankerous (a word not used nearly enough) and more then willing to argue a point today. Especially when I feel well read on the subject (having read all the FtB posts on sexual harassment, thunderf00ts posts on ftB, as well as the various responses to him on FTb, and the video exchanges at the time). I’d say the problem was less attacking people then attacking ideas badly. If you avoid the meat of an argument or bring up leg biting when people are talking about stopping groping, or up skirt photography you’re not exactly engaged in a productive discussion. If a biologists starts discussion ring species and his opponent heads straight to crocoduck and never mentions or addresses ring species that’s not a productive discussion. As unhelpful as naming calling is neither is arguing in bad faith acceptable (in my humble opinion its worse).

    Thunderf00t himself has engaged in name calling along with his arguments in some of his better known videos. Poster boy for creationist stupidity is more elaborate then jack ass but I don’t think people would be happier with poster boy for anti-feminist stupidity either. Any way enough arguments for one day I think.

  111. danielimms says

    You’re right that a hunanist is not necessarily a feminist. In fact, I don’t think any decent humanist is a feminist. Humanists are for all humans, regardless of what kind of human they are.
    Feminists are for females. It’s an inherently gender-biased philosophy, which I am against. All the equality feminists fight for, I support and fight for it too, but I do more and also fight for mens’ rights.
    Also, the idea that women suffer more prejudices than men is pure dogma. How can you honestly measure the amount of suffering that comes from gender-biased discrimination occuring between sexes and individuals? There is no way to do so.

  112. danielimms says

    “And fun fact: feminism is not some monolithic group. It’s actually really fractured into a bunch of different groups and waves that share some ideas and disagree on others.”

    I’m interested in exactly what those ideas are. I would like to ask people commenting here what they think.
    Can a feminist only be female, or can men be feminists too?
    Is feminism the fight for equal rights for all on the basis of sex, or is it the promotion of women’s rights? (I have heard both, and I think they are incompatible.)

    On a side note, I read about a study done very recently (sorry, don’t have a link) about the two brain-pathways(?) working against each other. When we think rationally, we use less emotion. When we react emotionally, our rational thought processes are inhibited. I would suggest that people who feel very emotional about feminism are more likely to be wrong.
    So a question to all: How emotional are you?

  113. says

    I think the answer you’re looking for involves a large grant and a team of well trained social psychologists. You could then start looking at a selection of tasks where possible discrimination could exist (hiring practices, loan applications, looking at poverty by gender to name some possible economic situations). The larger the grant and the more people working on it the more information you can acquire.

    It’s probably impossible to acquire all the information just as paleontologists could never acquire all every fossil in the earth or an example of every species leading from single celled life to humans. The fact that you can’t acquire all the information doesn’t mean that you can’t come to meaningful conclusions from the data you can bring it.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if you couldn’t try a meta analysis of studies like the one I linked below about job applications and come up with an answer. The fact that something is hard doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.

  114. danielimms says

    Listing ways in which women (in general) are possibly worse off, does nothing to show society treats women worse than men, or that society is patriarcal. I can’t be bothered (and I have to go to work) to do so, but I could list just as many ways in which men are disadvantaged. I’m sure that wouldn’t convince you that men were worse off than women.
    Also, not every point you mentioned is necessarily sexist. Why exactly are women (in general) paid less? Is it because they work shorter hours?
    Why are there less women in ‘important’ jobs? Is it because less women want those jobs?

  115. says

    The only idea I know the groups share is that women should be treated equally with men. As to your specific questions,

    Can feminists be men: Yes and no.

    Is feminism about equality on all social issues or just women’s issues? yes.

    Much like skepticism and atheism there is no pope of feminism who settles these issues. I’ve heard feminists argue both ways on both issues. This is probably why wikipedia has 2 lists of different feminist branches one listing 17 and the other 39 subsets and there are apparently feminists who don’t see a value in grouping feminists. Again you’re in the realm of herding cats.

    back to Is feminism about equality or just women’s issues?

    I’d say the issue is similar to the one I’ve heard skeptics argue about mission creep. For skeptics its about whether they should promote any conclusions on anything or just promote critical thinking and attack particular arguments. Is god a part of skepticism or is it unscientific and beyond skepticism’s reach. My perception is that the same situation is there for feminists. How much time should be devoted to say ensuring women’s reproductive rights vs say combating global poverty (for example) a goal that they may feel while worthy is beyond feminism perhaps.

    As to how emotional I am no one can answer your question because you haven’t properly defined emotional or what kind of axis or units one is using. I guess I’ll go with 22.895 GigaKims (remember as a canadian that’s a metric GigaKim) make of that what you will. I make no claims to being rational humans are by their nature irrational. Frankly I don’t see that it matters emotionality can be either good or bad in a discussion. If you have two professors teaching a lesson on igneous rock formation both delivering the same factual detail but one talks in a moderate speed monotone and the others does the lesson an allegro and animated emotional fashion. Personally as someone who has sat through such lectures you want the emotional passionate speaker over a less emotional more reserved one. That’s not to say that emotionality can’t be a bad thing but like most things it has positive and negative qualities and one is committing a disservice not to recognize that. Anyway you may judge my emotionality/rationality as you see fit.

  116. says

    You have yet to make a case as to how social psychology would be unable to address this issue. Sure those are called variables and you control for or test them in your experiments. Hourly wage is easy to control for divide their pay by their hours and you can compare that. Naming ways in which an experiment can be done badly doesn’t mean you can’t do a proper job of it.

    I don’t deny that men are discriminated against or treated badly in situations. I simply listed off a few economic variables as examples and there are of course plenty of other areas I didn’t mention. Some portion of all the possible societal factors will have more discrimination of men and some will be worse for women. Whether I currently believe men or women have it worse is irrelevant to my point that you can actually investigate this issue using the tools of social psychology. If the researches are competent you will get data that can actually answer your question despite your belief to the contrary.

  117. mofa says

    Thunderf00t’s photo is very ‘powerful’ in that it expresses so much about both sides of this general debate. To me the photograph is so innocuous. Two adults who are obviously enjoying themselves in a bar at a conference doing what some adults might do in party mode after a couple of drinks. Completely normal and acceptable in regard to social norms. If the photo depicted two men doing the same thing or two women engaged in the same frivilous activity it would be no different. Acceptable behaviour in the context of the setting. END OF STORY…but I will go on…. Why does it make some people so ashen faced? This is an interesting question. Perhaps this is where ‘the debate’ might start?

  118. Muz says

    The point was, I think, that ongoing internet drama, however loud and visible, does not indicate some great schism in the atheist community. There’s plenty of people who go to conventions and even quite ‘netted up who have no idea any of this stuff is going on and even less interest in ‘choosing a side’ or anything. They like or dislike the various personalities as to their wont.

    Russel’s apparent dismissiveness comes from the knowledge that you can’t just wade into this stuff on TV just like that. Hardly anyone is going to have the first clue what is being talked about. You have to explain the year and a half worth of back story, misinformation and he said she said gossip. (and not all of the things in that time are explicitly connected, it’s just that often enough the same people seem to split on the various issues in similar ways). And if you are familiar with this subject, someone wandering in with “Richard Carrier! Rebecca Watson!” can only get a “Oh fuck no. Not again” and much rolling of eyes.

    So anyway, Ideologies can fall victim to bad data…like everything I would say. Does feminism make you more suspicious than classical liberalism, or something, is a better question. If so, why?

    And forget internet drama if possible. Yeah there’s a fair bit of battling going on here and there. The A+ forums are more than a little prickly and defensive at times, as Matt illustrated, and this harms their goals ultimately. This isn’t a great atheist schism. It’s more to do with a certain section of the population hates anything vaguely feminist. Not ‘is skeptical of’ or ‘is uninformed of’ or even ‘was unjustly dealt with by’. Hates it. Separate that factor from the noise and we’ll be better off. It could take some time though.

  119. Muz says

    You don’t know what you are talking about Mark.
    No one was against TFs picture (well, some might have been, but no one was planning on prohibiting this activity between consenting adults).
    He was completely ignoring why harrassment policies are in place, what they do, how they work and what they actually prohibit. His picture is completely irrelevant and when this was explained to him he doubled down on his own ignorance and continued jumping at the shadow of prudish moralising and oppressive rule making that wasn’t even there in the first place.
    That’s what we like to call stupid with a serious dose of self important wanker.

    For the sake of it, I think the TF fracas could have been resolved with a little more mediation. People forget that it wasn’t just between him and PZ. He pissed off Ed really badly with this “My Subscriber-cock is bigger than yours!” and digging through the emails stuff.

  120. mofa says

    Muz you are probably right I know very little about it. If you say that the photo was irrelevant and caused to controversy then I will take your word for it and shut up on the matter. (…loud chears in the background)

  121. says

    >Instead of saying, “This crappy and you shouldn’t do it because you’re a man”

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone ever say that. Recently in a news item comments section, I posted in response to a commentor who was saying some really anti-woman things. My last bit included a statement that sadly, I couldn’t even assume they are male because many women suffer from Stockholm Syndrome and believe that their lot in life is to be barefoot and pregnant and the property/wards of their husbands or the state. I didn’t assume the asshole poster was male simply because they were against women’s rights; and when I address stupidity, I don’t really care if the person spouting the stupid is male or female. One of the worst anti-feminist personalities around is a woman, Phyllis Schlafly, who ironically is well educated and quite empowered (although she seems to not want this for other women).

  122. says

    Oh, and on the flip side of that, without support from men with political clout in the days of early women’s suffrage, women’s rights would have had a much tougher time of things. It took a joint effort of women AND men who believed in equity to bring women out of the status of property/wards in the U.S. While that doesn’t mean true equity has been achieved (anymore than emancipation ended racism), it does mean that men can be empathetic and supportive of sexual equality.

    So, for anyone to say X-person can’t “get it” because he’s male, would be demonstrably inaccurate. Just as anyone who thinks every woman is automatically on board for sexual equity can be demonstrably wrong. I do think men have to be willing to see past ingrained prejudices, however. In my own lifetime, women weren’t allowed to take out bank loans without a husband’s co-signature (even if the woman had independent income sources), and the term “he” was used as the pronoun to represent “mankind.” I recall learning that the pronoun to use when you weren’t specifically referencing a woman was “he.” I think as a female, this was likely more easily recognized as problematic, even as a small child, where I certainly can imagine many of the young boys in my class might have not seen the issue. But that is certainly not to say that all the girls cared about this, nor that none of the boys noticed. I only mean that being a “she” makes the use of “he” as the default, likely more noticeable.

  123. says

    >I read an article a week or two back that explains how humans underestimate the pain we give others by at least 40%.

    This explains a lot. I’ve always wondered why other people seemed to whine endlessly about injuries I could see were just plain piddly, while they never seemed to really appreciate the extreme magnitude of my own personal suffering. ;)

  124. says

    I’m actually surprised to hear someone say they both like me and do not like niceness. I think next to Russell, I’m in the running for the most “nice” labeled host on the program. So, again, super odd I would be liked by someone who wishes the hosts would be less nice?

  125. says

    Thank you Jasper, for saying what I was thinking as I read the above. If your worldview includes that gender inequity is not correct, then it is a worldview that includes feminism. I don’t see how to avoid that. Just as if your worldview includes that racial inequity is not correct, you are anti-racism. It doesn’t matter if the *grounds* upon which you base your anti-racist mindset hail from the idea that *all people* should be treated equally regardless of their identities. That simply explains why you’d be against racism or sexism. It doesn’t mean you’re NOT against racism or sexism. And if you believe that everyone should be equal, that includes that people of different genders should be equally treated. That is, it includes feminism.

  126. says

    What I’m trying to say is that if someone says “I support equal rights of women but oppose feminism”, do not immediately twist the words of that person and start arguing how that’s a contradictory statement.

    As Martin noted earlier, this is flame baiting. Clearly the idea of gender equity is the broadest, main, most well-recognized concept encompassed by the word “feminism.” When you come onto a forum, and start with an statement you already know will appear contradictory, it’s dishonest to say you are at all surprised or disappointed with being avalanched by people pointing out the ignorance or contradictory nature of your statement. If you’re going to post a statement that you support the core of feminism, but oppose feminism, and you truly want honest dialog as a goal, then you should know it’s incumbent upon you to explain yourself before waiting for the self-fulfilling prophecy of criticism you just invited. As Martin noted, it’s either trolling or unfathomable ignorance.

    It would be like coming here to say “I support the idea of not believing a god exists, but I don’t support atheism,” not expounding at all, and then saying “See?! This is what I always get!” When people reply with various versions of “What the fuck kind of confused are you?,” rather than “Oh, and what exactly do you mean by atheism?” You might specifically mean atheism paired with anti-theism, or atheism paired with accommodationism, or any number of various things, but to not recognize that “atheism” will be confused with “not believing a god exists”–and pair them in a way that seems to represent your view that they are not the same thing, is going to invite loads of criticism and not questions about what you actually meant. This is paired with the reality that both feminism and atheism are intentionally misused by people wishing to strawman both positions routinely. The odds you’ll be viewed as someone hoping people will ask you further what you mean (and how passive-aggressive is that? Just say WTF you mean up front if you already know you’re inviting confusion), rather than someone being an ass, are actually in your favor (as you rely on people treating you as an ass to make your case that they always treat you like an ass).

  127. says

    Funny side note. The one and only time I was ever engaged by an MRA, he made the claim that nobody cared about men’s rights or social injustices that involved men. I asked him for an example, and he brought up an issue of paternity in some states that was not being supported by DNA in paternity law suits for child support cases. I asked him for a link, since I was unfamiliar with the issue, and in my view the idea of assigning paternity in this day and age without DNA validation is inexcusable.

    Sure enough, he supplied a link that described precisely what he was saying–that some states have not updated their paternity laws to accommodate our capacity (and really our need) to confirm paternity with DNA. What he seemed to be oblivious to, however, was the fact that his link was a story about how the legislature of the particular state involved in the story was working to rectify the situation by updating their laws and implementing the DNA testing to make sure this problem was resolved. And the initiative had support from everyone–men and women and legislators.

    When I pointed out to him that far from being uninterested and unconcerned about this injustice toward men, the citizens and authorities seemed both aware and working toward a solution to the problem for the future. So, I asked him why he had made the earlier comment that nobody cares about injustices toward men, and that they go unaddressed? His response was that they weren’t working fast enough for him.

    At this point, cry me a river. When I was younger, women were not allowed to borrow money from a bank without their husband’s agreement–even women with independent sources of income, such as jobs. And how long as the U.S. been existent now? It isn’t as though women’s equality has moved at lightning speed.

    I’m against injustice to any person–male or female. And I think most people hate to see injustice against anyone generally (unless they’re the oppressing party–such as theists pushing for gov’t endorsement of their religion upon everyone else). I think people are hard pressed to find legitimate concerns of injustice that are honestly not recognized, being discussed, or being addressed. It’s generally quite easy to get people on board to support remedy to such situations. Even Fred Phelps has free speech supporters, for goodness sake (I am one). If he can garner support for his right to be a public ass, I have trouble believing that an average person on the receiving end of real injustice would go utterly unsympathized with?

  128. says

    >world of the late 1800′s

    Just out of curiosity–how old do you think the women on this forum are? In my lifetime, it was legal to fire a woman for becoming pregnant or getting married, and also illegal to hire them, due to the assumption they’d just get married, pregnant, and quit eventually. It was also legal to deny women loans at banks without a husband’s approval. Again–*in my lifetime*, not back in the 1800s. I’m beginning to wonder how old you are, if you think that rampant injustice against women stopped over 100 years ago?

  129. says

    Correcting my poor grammar:

    This is not what I meant to say, “and also illegal to hire them, due to the assumption they’d just get married, pregnant, and quit eventually.”

    I intended to note it was legal to not hire them, due to…etc.

  130. says

    Also, in the early 1900s, women still were not allowed to vote in the U.S. I really think you think these issues aren’t as recent as they are…?

  131. mofa says

    My comment:
    “I do support at least one of the objectives of the Feminist Movement: the wish for a non sexist future society.”

    Your comment:
    This is the only universally-supported goal of feminism”.
    If you’re onboard with it, then you’re a feminist.”

    Please! We are continually going in circles! To borrow a line from ‘the other side’ : “You are just not getting it”
    Let me say it once again.
    I wish for a non sexist future society (and will support change to bring this about) and I declare that I an NOT a Feminist. Please stop trying to tell me that I am one. Do you, yourself, fully understand Feminist ideology? (this can take years of study) Do you understand all of its tenets? Do you agree with all of its tenets? May be you are sufficiently read in Feminist thought and taken courses and an expert on the subject, I don’t know, I’m just asking the question, but you are sounding a little naive when you declare that if I am supporting non sexism that I am a Feminist! The Men’s Movement ALSO wish to see change to take us to a non sexist future society so are you going to stick another label on me now and call me a Masulinist as well?
    I am guessing that there are alot of men and women out there who, after having the full extent of the tenets and ideology of Feminism explained to them, would go from being a Feminist to being simply a Women’s Rights Advocate.

  132. says

    Do you, yourself, fully understand Feminist ideology? (this can take years of study) Do you understand all of its tenets?

    By asking, you are implying that you do. Please explain it to the rest of us benighted souls.

  133. mofa says

    “Clearly the idea of gender equity is the broadest, main, most well-recognized concept encompassed by the word ‘feminism.'”

    No

  134. says

    I’m going to throw ten bucks into the office pool that says mofa will define “the broadest, main, most well-recognized concept encompassed by the word ‘feminism'” as “They haet mehnz!” Who’s in?

  135. says

    nunuh!
    Was that an effective response to you? Not really.

    Dictionaries tell us the general usage of a word as well as the simplest description.

    from dictionary.com
    Feminism: the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.

    from meriam webster
    Feminism: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

    from oxford dictionary
    Feminism: the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.

    Maybe among some segment of the population you spend time with there is a definition you use more often but in terms of the larger english speaking community feminism being “the idea of gender equity is the broadest, main, most well-recognized concept encompassed by the word ‘feminism'” does in fact seem to be the case.

    Please make a case against this if that is your intent.

  136. mofa says

    I called the show to ask the question if there was a schism, and if so then why the AE TV show was so silent on the subject. In your opinion there is no “great schism”, but perhaps there is a small schism? The AE TV Show is mainly for theist callers so I suppose I have answered my own question as to why it doesn’t come up on the show.
    I grew up with a mother who taught me that men and women are equal, I went to school and was taught that boys and girls, men and women were equal. I noticed that the top one or two students in all of my primary school classes were girls, then in high school I noticed an equal spread of girls and boys getting the top grades. I have always know that men and women must be afforded the same value and respect and afforded equal opportunity. I saw the zeitgeist in the 70’s change in regard to Women’s rights, equality and language used. The Women’s Rights Movement and Feminism obviously had alot to do with this change and they deserve much credit. I also, in the 70’s, would sometimes walk past grafitti that declared “all men are pigs!”, would go to University and saw course I could not take, Women’s Rooms I was not allowed in (not talking of toilets), heard ‘rumours’ that men were redundant and that society would be better off if reduced the male population down to 10%, but these things did not shape my view on whether or not to label myself a Feminist. I just have not been convinced (nothing to do with ‘suspicion’ – the word you use) that all of the basic tenets of Feminism are true. I have not been convinced that the construct of ‘patriarchy’ is true or that ‘men’ are ‘the problem’ and ‘women’ blameless for all of societies gender problems. I am sceptical about the basic tenets. But ALL of Feminist ideology rests on the pillar of ‘the patriarchy’ (just like Chistianity on the New Testament), if ‘patriarchy’ is flawed or wrong Feminism falls in a heap.

  137. says

    “I just have not been convinced (nothing to do with ‘suspicion’ – the word you use) that all of the basic tenets of Feminism are true. ”

    Thank you for finally trying to give us one of these tenets in this case patriarchy.I’m not actually convinced it is a tenet of feminism any more then antitheism or skepticism are tenets of atheism. You can be an atheist and not a skeptic yet many of the better known atheists use both labels.

    “I have not been convinced that the construct of ‘patriarchy’ is true or that ‘men’ are ‘the problem’…”

    The idea of patriarchy would be better expressed as the lingering culture and traditions of a time where men did run things is the problem that affects women.

    ” ….and ‘women’ blameless for all of societies gender problems.”

    Feminists are not saying that women are blameless in this. Women are as effected by the old culture and way of thinking as men are and can continue to contribute to it. If a group of girls starts calling a girl a slut cause she had sex or got pregnant out at the party last weekend they are a part of the continued cultural problem. Tracieh herself listed off Phyllis Schlafly as a woman who is continuing to support these old attitudes.

    “”But ALL of Feminist ideology rests on the pillar of ‘the patriarchy’ (just like Chistianity on the New Testament), if ‘patriarchy’ is flawed or wrong Feminism falls in a heap.”

    Again frankly absurd feminism rests on the pillar of patriarchy as much as atheism rests on the pillar of skepticism. You can be an atheist and an awful skeptic.

    If I can compare the patriarchy to the taliban. There is still fighting and efforts against the taliban despite their political rule ending and their leaders being killed. This is because there is a continued ideological legacy of the taliban and people who still follow it that need to be opposed. In the same way that we still oppose the taliban we still oppose the patriarchy even though their legal/political grasp is weakened.

    Similarly although there is now equality under the law there are many patriarchal cultural ideas left over that also need to be opposed. There are still a growing minority of people who don’t support women’s rights, and organisations like the catholic church that continue to fight against women in very real ways.

  138. jdog says

    The only reason we’re “going in circles” is because you’ve come to this idea that feminism is something more than advocacy for gender equality.

    If you disagree with this definition of feminism, then please provide your own and demonstrate that it is the actual accepted definition. I’ve got three major dictionaries as evidence for my definition; how about you?

  139. Muz says

    Well you can talk about it if you want to, but as long as we know where the core of the disagreement actually was. Otherwise we end up in that area with people tweeting that “Rebecca Watson accused a guy of rape because he asked her for coffee” and other madness.

    Tfoot, like a lot of people, doesn’t like the appearance of any codified rules he doesn’t feel are absolutely necessary (and I venture this is because, not only is he/they archly literal and captious but also something of a moral absolutist with an authoritarian streak. Personality wise anyway. /end hack psychoanalysis).
    Hey, maybe he’s just burned by bad encounters with youtube. He certainly tilted at this issue roughly like a highschool libertarian “screw you and your rules man!”. I think PZ waded in a little too heavy to begin with. But Tfoot comes across as supremely ranty and juvenile. Everybody talked past everybody for a while and it was all down hill from there (If all this from elevatorgate on down has taught me anything, it’s that blog essays are a crappy means of resolving disagreements. Although videos aren’t much better).

    The sad part is, although the harassment policy/Thunderfoot debacle is now part of the whole feminist …thing, it really has very little to do with it. They’re not supposed to stop people having fun. Some time back in the 80s they might have, but we’re mostly better at this now (I forget if this was checked, but the pub where the infamous leg smooch took place probably had one itself, or fell under larger laws governing such venues).
    The rest is bad tempers, big egos and taking agreement for impenetrable groupthink (that’s got to be the easiest get there is really. For the longest time men have assumed women are secretly in cahoots about everything and side with each other. That’s still true, but now it’s ‘feminists’ always backing each other up regardless of “reason” too)

  140. mofa says

    Martin I would expect better from you! (I love your work on AE TV by the way). I am not claiming or implying anything of the sort. Are you implying that I should be an expert on a topic before I can equire if my adversary is well versed on that same topic? Sometimes, without being an expert on a subject you can tell the person you are debating with (or discussing) is full of BS. In this case my adversary ‘appears’ a little naive with the claim they have made. I am not expert on feminism. But I know enough about it not to swallow the whole ideology ‘hook, line and sinker’, without being convinced with evidence. And why have I not devoted time to exploring Feminism in detail to establish whether it is true? For the same reason that I call myself an Atheist without having to investigate whether every religion out there is true. It comes down to education and growing up with good role models. As I have stated elsewhere in this blog, The Women’s Rights Movement and Feminisim can take much credit for changing the zeitgeist over the past 50 years and making real improvements in regard to women’s rights issues. But they were only a part of it, they pointed us in the right direction and it was the men and women on this planet who change, re-thought ideas, policy, and brought their children up in non sexist households and in schools that adopted non sexist education polices. Today is much better than in the 1950’s would not you agree? But have we got more to do? Of course we do! We as a modern society have to keep working at it and also help the third world, support the education of boys and girls and the emancipation of women through out the world. I grew up to be a non sexist atheist skeptic socialist without being a Feminist. I got there by ‘other’ means.

  141. says

    mofa, the reason you got a smartass answer was because you answered Tracie’s definition of feminism — that it is a movement focused primarily on gender equality — with a categorical “no.” This implied pretty strongly that you knew enough about feminism’s real agenda to state that she was wrong. If you’re going to take that approach to a conversation — one in which you claim at least enough expertise to say something like that without claiming expertise on every aspect of the subject — then you need to be prepared to back yourself up. For my part, I also don’t claim to be an expert on feminism. But I’d still be a bit hesitant to suggest a woman is “a little naive” on a subject concerning women’s issues, and one she is probably just a bit more invested in than I have been in life, unless I was ready to spell out the parts I thought she was naive about, and make a good case for why I had any credibility in saying so. That’s all.

  142. mofa says

    jdog, I think you have ‘stumbled’ on the problem (although I have known this all along) there is no one unanimous definition of Feminism. And saying Feminism = Non Sexism is absolute BS.
    Feminism is a socio political movement and an ideology. Stop claiming that I am a Feminist or a misogynist or whatever you are currently claiming about me right at this moment. You do not even know me. I have written some words. I claim that I am a non sexist person and you should either take me on my word or not have an oppinion on the matter. You have no justification for making a claim that I am a Feminist, a sexist or a truck driver!
    and also:

    ‘The only reason there could be said to be controversy about the issue is because of firebrands like you trying to start some. Knock it off’.

    Don’t you tell me to knock it off! All I did was call the AE TV show and ask some questions. If you look back at the show you will see at no time was I trying to defend Dawkins or Thunderf00t and I was not judging Carrier. All I was doing was asking “Is there a schism Russell and Don?” They didn’t think so, so I brought up some controversies. And it looks like I hit a slight nerve? Maybe the viewers have learned something from this episode? Maybe many viewers have since googled ‘Elevatorgate’ and now know what that is all about, Don’t tell me to ‘knock it off’.

  143. Muz says

    MofA
    Well, as others have pointed out, feminism is a pretty broad church, so to speak. Yet for some reason so many people assume a ‘regression to a Rad Fem mean’ at all times. It’s so potent that plenty of opponents describe it with no nuance at all (That Scented Nectar character does this all the time. Watson the the FtB ladies are all ‘radical feminists’ according to her. Anything beyond equal pay probably is, I dare say. She reckons she used to be one though, so I dunno.).

    Now, sure these more extreme theorists are/were real but they’re hardly the definition of the movement. Communists and so on at least actually blew things up from time to time so I can appreciate a knee jerk reaction to the term there. But writing some angry theories about a matriarchal society and so on is about as far as any female revolution got. Yet you would swear they were stockpiling weapons as we speak, the way some people talk. (you see idiots saying The SCUM Manifesto is the feminist Mein Kampf all the time, even though it wasn’t a best seller and the schizophrenic satirist who wrote it didn’t end up running any political parties into high office. Only through their eternal vigilance, no doubt they believe)

    Even the most well meaning, supposedly neutral people, feel this strange need to parentally intervene the moment someone exhibits some feminist sociological or po-mo idea, however mild.
    It is tacitly ascribed these cult-like persuasive powers that will lead anyone inevitably to extreme anti male positions.

    They think this is just being skeptical. It’s not. It’s mostly displaying tremendous baggage most don’t care to interrogate (and here I do venture somewhat into unjustifiable second guessing and theorising). These people need to do some digging and figure out where this fear comes from and why it takes the shape that it does. It is almost certainly not from any honest look at feminism, whether they agree with its ideas or not.

  144. mofa says

    Martin, I do not know who I am actually talking to here on this forum because people don’t always use their own name…you do..you’re Martin Wagner! I don’t want to appear rude to anyone, or insult a person who may be well read on a subject that I know less about, but I have been getting a little frustrated this week on this blog and on the Atheism + site. I declare who I am and what I believe in and other’s on the forum tell me what I am! Either a Feminist or a Misogynist or a Troll are the most popular sujestions – I believe that I am none of these!. I would be interested in seeing a caller phone your TV show soon and ask the question “Can you be both a non sexist and a non Feminist?” I would be very interested in what Tracie, Jen, you, whoever has to say about it.I know it does not directly relate to Atheism and what the AE Show is about but it does relate to the new Atheism + Movement which has adopted ‘our’ name. I have had first hand negative experiences with the Atheism + forum. Russell Glasser says he has not. Maybe there is no true schism within the Atheist Community, but Atheism + is making Atheists align themselves either side of a line drawn in the sand. Maybe there is no need for this line in the sand, maybe it comes down to firstly finding a universal definition of what Feminism is, what Masculism is? and I can tell you now that I am not going to be happy with the following: Feminism = Equal Rights and Masculism = Misogynism (which is clearly the view of the majority of members in the Atheism + forum). Atheist + should be more embracing of Atheists who are in support of social justice issues but are not Feminist. If they are not interested in doing this I call to them to publicly declare that they are a Feminist group that happens to be Atheist. That is not clear to outsiders at the moment.

  145. mofa says

    I really don’t want to go on with a debate about Feminism and whether ‘patriarchy’ is the pillar its ideology is supported on because, as I have state elsewhere, I am not an expert on these matters. But I do know a vblogger who does know her stuff. Take a look at “y’all gotta own this sh*t” by Karen who is girlwriteswhat – you can visit her youtube channel. She will give you a short course on Feminism and will give a typical definition of it in this video. Now some of your Feminist friends who know of her work may encourage you not to watch this (some Feminists would like to rip her throat out and shove it in her mouth – sorry if I am getting too graphic here but I am just trying to impart the vehement opposition she constantly faces) Jen Peeples stated the other week on the show that she likes to read opinions and articles that challenge her core beliefs each day. She believes she improves by doing this. I dare you to watch the video “y’all gotta own this sh*t” from start to finish…it may challenge your core beliefs.

  146. mofa says

    You are starting to sound like a NAFALT: not all feminists are like that – (much like a religious apologist).

    There appears to be many types of Feminists, some ‘old school’, some ‘third wave’ some ‘radical’ some ‘liberal’ some ‘Ecofeminists’ some ‘lipstick feminists’ and the list goes on…but they all read from the same ‘scriptures’ (much like Christians and the Bible), and with all these differnt ‘branches’ of Feminism it looks like the Feminist ‘scriptures’ are open to differing interpretation (again, much like the Bible is).

    Is the Bible true? Are the Feminist ‘scriptures’ true. To find out you need to investigate how each canon was put together, who wrote them and why?

    Ah I’m only kidding around….what I’ve written above is not me being serious. Feminists must roll their eyes with this analogy between Feminism and Religion rubbish. I only wrote all this so I could use my acronym NAFALT.

  147. mofa says

    Muz,
    What is the conspiracy you speak of? Explain what you mean and give evidence for your opinion…..please.

  148. speed0spank says

    Dodging the question by repeating “the comments show exactly what I mean” over and over is not a legitimate way to answer. Unless you are trying to say “People correcting my errors all the time is a real problem”, which is what I gather when I take your advice and look at what the comments are showing.

  149. says

    I’m sorry I’ve seen a video or two of hers and I am completely unimpressed with girlwriteswhat. To be frank, you are the creationist coming in here talking about how evilution is in crisis and has no legs to stand on and why have we never seen a crocoduck, and why are there still monkies if man cam from monkies! Don’t you realize that you and your orgins of species bible that you put so much faith in supported nazism and eugenics.

    As for for not that kind of feminist. Well obviously all atheists are reading from the same gospel of harris and hitchens pushing for nuclear first strike against the middle east and torturing prisoners. There may be some good atheists like that Chis steadmen but everyone is just reading from the same gospel of dawkins and hitchens!

    OK lets watch this video. Frankly see above that’s what she’s doing. I remain unimpressed with her poorly researched cherry picking work. Men have traits that keep the streets safe the lights on and water running. I’m sorry what? What does any of that have to do with male traits?

    “How can you stop a problem without stopping the source of that problem BAM time for a genocide” So atheists are then trying to commit genocide against all religious people cause they oppose them and look at what harris and hitchen’s wrote!

    “you know feminism you made this monster you’ve made others like them you don’t get to disavow any of them.” Yeah and you evolutionists don’t get to disavow hitler!

    See girlwriteswhat is a perfect example of how women say lots of stupid shit that hurts women. So thank you for at giving us a perfect example of of women hurt women too.

    Now that was a half hour of stupidity during DESERT BUS FOR HOPE!.

  150. Muz says

    Other people have debunked her stuff before quite thoroughly and shown her to be something of a paranoid crank, but you really don’t have to look very hard. You don’t need to be widely read in feminist theory to do it either. You need only look at her logic for starters.
    Dude, in that video she is putting forth the argument that the underpinning of all feminist theory leads inevitably to some sort of genocide. Does this seem like a credible way of thinking to you? It shouldn’t. Bear in mind that the existence of extreme gynofacist views is not evidence that this is true. And no the religious comparison doesn’t hold, because there is no book, as mentioned by her, or any concrete definitions of fundamental ideas (and this is because of the strong association between Feminist academic theory and 20th century post structuralist philosophy, which is frequently one of its weak points.) which is something she fails to understand (the post-Foucauldian concept of Discourse would be instructive here).
    It might be a convenient arguing technique to approach a moderate religious person with the worst things in their book and prod them with it. It is quite another to suggest that all religious people must be the worst things their book instructs or permits. You’re not going to get a lot of empiricism and rationality points for that one.

    You doubly cannot apply this to feminism her way because the criticism doesn’t hold, nor the extrapolation.
    Really there’s little need to go past around 10 minutes into this video where she gives her little syllogism.
    We get definition one: society is a patriarchy where men hold the power and mens’ interests are privileged over those of women.
    Okie dokes, that’s a terse definition of patriarchy we can work with, sure.
    From this, she says, we can draw a few conclusions (conclusions already? Wow).
    1) Men must always have wanted it this way, or else they would have changed it.
    2) Because of one it must agree with men’s natural inclinations, which are
    3) to be naturally selfish, violent, oppressive, rapey, objectifying and agressive in the service of their own interests.

    Wrong, wrong and wrong. In fact the first one is so wrong we needn’t bother with the others as they are dependent on it.
    It is fundamental to this brand of socio-psychological theory that people are not necessarily (and generally unlikely to be) aware of or willing participants in the social structures that make up their lives, but are shaped by and subject to them none the less.

    And there goes her whole argument. Byebye.
    Rest assured you can find feminists who have said exactly that kind of stuff. That’s not controversial. You can find ones who didn’t too, and indicated a different way. And really, pulling 60s and 70s ‘blank slate’ derived theory and calling it absolute when there have been many changes in philosophy and advances in neuroscience etc is a bit like a creationist using stuff that was wrong forty years ago to criticise evolution.

    Why is she a conspiracy theorist then? Well it’s mostly the way she argues. It’s across all her stuff, which largely rewrites history to make patriarchal systems natural actually, but in that video you can even see her method. It’s one spurious point tenuously linked to another spurious point, leaping forward like mad. Disparate parts plucked from all over to paint a vague picture of the hidden ‘truth’ behind feminism. It’s Da Vinci Code logic. It seems quite compelling while it’s magic is being woven before your eyes, but step back a bit and it all falls apart.

  151. says

    So does Marc Lepine represent everyone opposed to feminism or anti feminism in general? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_L%C3%A9pine

    You’re starting to sound like NAaFALT (not all anti feminists are like that). There may be many types of anti feminists but they all read from the same play book. Patriarchy says all men are responsible for the suffering of all the victim women. what about female privilege? Feminazi! Scumm manifesto!

    Was that obnoxious for you too?

  152. mofa says

    “Dude, in that video she is putting forth the argument that the underpinning of all feminist theory leads inevitably to some sort of genocide.”

    No. She is saying that Feminist thought CAN lead to some extreme approaches and ‘solutions’ to “the problem” and that Feminism must take responsibility for that. (“own that sh*t”)
    The extreme approaches and ‘solutions’ referred to are fact and out there for people to see and the people involved are calling themselves Feminists. And these extremists are not just some ‘nut cases’ printing pamphlets in their basement, they can be respected academics like Mary Daly.

    Oh and don’t call me Dude!
    (only kidding)

  153. mofa says

    “Other people have debunked her stuff before quite thoroughly and shown her to be something of a paranoid crank”

    These “other people” wouldn’t happen to be Feminists would they?

  154. mofa says

    Muz, As I have stated before on this blog, I am no expert on Feminism, but I do know enough about it to say, at this point in time, that I probably will never declare myself to be one.
    I have seen Girlwriteswhat’s video and now read what you have to say on the matter (above). She wins! My advise to you is that you don’t take on this woman in a Town Hall debate on the subject.

    What I get from her videos is that you should not be calling yourself any sort of ‘ist’ whether it be Marxist, Jungist or Feminist without first investigating and understanding the ideologies and the path that needs to be taken to reach the goals and objectives of the group.

    A Maoist might have come to a sceptic after WW2 and try to convince him to become a Maoist declared that Maoism was the only pathway to addressing the plight of the peasant class. The objectives sound good to the sceptic (helping the poor) but the pathway to that ojective? Many, many innocent dead people and those horrible green uniforms – not so good.

    A feminist might come to me and try to convince me that I should become a Feminist declaring that Feminism was the only pathway to addressing the plight of women and when women’s issues were resolved we would have a nonsexist society. The objective sounds good, but the pathway to that objective? In that pathway mens issues would not be addressed at all or would be addressed last. (some Feminist believe that there ARE NO Men’s Rights Issues? and please don’t try to tell me this is not so because I experienced it first hand on the Atheism+ forum last week)

    Martin Wagner, in a post directed to me in this blog (above), admitted that he, like myself, was not an expert on Feminism. I am a sceptical person and I would not declare myself a Feminist without full understanding the ideology and constructs. I’m not sure on Martin’s stance on the matter, I know that Matt Dillahunty has declared himself a Feminist (he did that in a personal email to me)…can anyone out there tell me if Martin is one..maybe Martin can tell me?
    I can see that Feminism is only one of many pathways to fighting gender inequality, just as Maoisim is only one of many pathways to fighting for the rights of the under class.

  155. Muz says

    Is that another joke?
    Surely the content of the argument is what matters.

    Anyway, no I don’t think she is arguing that it CAN, in generous terms, lead to extremes (though she says she is at the start). I think she’s trying to paint feminism as rooted in a lie and morally repugnant to the very core, and Gendocide Barbie there is the inevitable result. To do so she’s using bad information and reasoning.

    So since she’s wrong, I don’t think all feminists need to own up to the depravity at the heart of their movement and the monsters they will create.

    Care to address that, or you sticking with the luggage you brought along?

    (there is actually an interesting discussion to be had about how mainstream feminists ought to address extremist arguments, if at all, as a matter of PR. To get there we have to clear out a whole lot of rubbish, sadly)

  156. says

    “Lots of other people have thoroughly debunked mr Hovinds arguments showing him to be completely ignorant on the subject. ”

    These “other people” wouldn’t happen to be Evilutionists would they?

    Have fun with this one Maz I think I’ve had my fill arguing with the people who can’t make argue for themselves.

    Remember all the town hall favors the liar.

  157. Muz says

    I am a trifle slow, so further to mr mark:

    Mao? Seriously?
    Tell you what: when, in the midst of civil war some ideological force and its cult of personality, sprouting from firmly established political power, comes along dispensing wisdom and asks you to give yourself over to the movement, and they somehow figure out how to frame the argument that you as a man are suffering under the yolk of corrupt and cruel men so you should join the Feminists and read the writings of the Great Mother and what have you…
    …you can say no. That’ll be fine. I’ll be right there with you on that.

    And skepticism isn’t picking the arguments you like the best, btw.
    I’m sure girlwriteswhat is far more compelling than me. She’s still wrong, however. If you manage to ignore that, I think you’re doing it wrong there somewhere.
    If you find townhall debates a good measure of anything, you should check out Duane Gish. I wager you’ll be a practicing christian in no time flat.

  158. mofa says

    “Mao? Seriously?”

    I only chose Maoism because it has an “ism” on the end just like Feminism. I could have made up a scenario using Jungism or any other kind of ideology with an ‘ism’ on the end. My point was that if you are sceptical you don’t just ‘jump in’ wide eyed and ‘wet behind the ears’ and adopt any sort of ‘ism’ without firstly investigating fully its tenets and the suggested pathway to its stated objectives. I am not a Feminist but I am also not a Girwriteswhatist either! I believe that the Feminist movement would be better off not saying that ‘men’ are “the problem” and instead start to say (more – if some are already saying this) that ‘men’ are a part of “the solution”. But can they? Men and women both need to work together to bring about changes to society in regard to gender inequality (as they have been doing (slowly) for the last 50 years. If one of the ‘core’ tenets of Feminism describes a construct called ‘patriarchy’ which defines ‘men’ as “the problem” (men have created and are in control of a system that soley benefits them and that women are not to blame in any way for the gender inequality issues facing our present society because they have no power) then I, for one, am not ready to believe this and join that ‘ism’. Human society is a far more complex ‘organism’ than what is proposed through this simplistic ‘us’ verses ‘them’ argument. There are so many Women’s Rights issues and Men’s Right’s issues that need to be addressed simultaneously on our pathway to a better society. Feminism is not ‘fully on board’ with that last sentence..in my eyes.

  159. says

    I know that Matt Dillahunty has declared himself a Feminist (he did that in a personal email to me)…can anyone out there tell me if Martin is one..maybe Martin can tell me?

    I consider myself a feminist ally, which is all I think it’s appropriate to call myself. If the women who’ve actually been in the trenches all their lives, fighting the kind of blinkered sexist idiocy that we’ve luckily only seen very mild examples of in our own blog comments, feel like I merit being called a feminist, that’s their choice.

    As for Girlwriteswhat, she’s a self-absorbed, paranoid crank and liar who belongs to that strange class of self-loathing women who have a powerful need to be liked by misogynist men. Anyone who makes a video championing the merits of domestic violence is no one I’ll take seriously, at least not while sober. And Cristina Rad has exposed her dishonesty fairly conclusively, which mofa’s already aware of, I see.

  160. mofa says

    Martin, I did not even know who girlwriteswhst was until about 5 days ago. I have seen maybe 3-4 of her videos. Now if she is taking nonsense and has been debunked with logical argument and/or evidence then I would be most interested in reading this ‘body of evidence’ and drawing my own conclusions about her. Can you point me in the direction of this information or provide me a link?
    As far as Cristina Rad is concerned. I really like her work..STFU is one of my favourites and I generally agree with her 100% of the time in most of her videos. But in her attack on girlwriteswhat I could not agree with many things she had to say. One thing that was immediately obvious to me was that there was the possibility that CR was not privy to all the information that GWW may have had. GWW is most likely copping alot of foul hate mail and I guess CR has had this in the past as well. CR has also had attempts made to close her channel down in the past. I thought CR might have displayed a little more empathy.

  161. mofa says

    “Remember all the town hall favors the liar”.

    I think this statement would be more truthful if you just add one more word (and a comma). Let me do it for you.

    Remember all, the town hall sometimes favours the liar.

  162. mofa says

    jdog said:
    “The only reason we’re “going in circles” is because you’ve come to this idea that feminism is something more than advocacy for gender equality.
    If you disagree with this definition of feminism, then please provide your own and demonstrate that it is the actual accepted definition. I’ve got three major dictionaries as evidence for my definition; how about you?”

    Feminism is far more than simply “advocacy for gender equality”. The 50 years of Feminist writing and the hundreds of thousands of books and articles are a testament to this. Here is a sentence or two I have ‘plucked’ from Wikipedia:

    “Writers such as Camille Paglia, Christina Hoff Sommers, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Daphne Patai oppose some forms of feminism, though they identify as feminists. They argue, for example, that feminism often promotes misandry and the elevation of women’s interests above men’s, and criticize radical feminist positions as harmful to both men and women”.

    There are many forms of Feminism, what form are you? (the hosts on the AE TV show justly ask this questions of Christians every week)

    Again I would like to use the term ‘naive’ when it comes to using dictionary definitions to define a complex ideology and movement. Feminism is certainly more than ‘advocacy for gender equality’.

  163. mofa says

    Above what I meant to say was that the AE TV hosts justly ask Christians “what type of Chtristianity they are” each week (not what type of Feminists they are) – it is a pity you can’t edit your mistakes. (or can you?)

  164. mofa says

    Oh…just one last thing and I think I will go away..on the issue of dictionaries and definitions.
    I got myself in trouble on the Atheism+ forum recently because I made a comment about my experience on RationalWiki. I own a set of Encyclopaedia Britannica which I hardly ever use these days because I use Wikipedia. Do I do this because I am lazy or is it because Wikipedia is generally reliable on most topics I asked myself? I relayed my disappointment to the forum that I had gone to RationalWiki and found the MRM article to be heavily bias and negatively slanted. I went on to explain that through investigation (as you can do) I found that most of the authors were in fact Feminists. I stated that I found this, in principal, to be wrong, analogous to the Republican press sectretary being allowed to write the entry in Wikipedia for Barack Obama. This simple innocuous (or what should be innocuous) opinion started a small ‘storm’. there is no room for dissention in the Atheism+ forum, it is not a breeding ground for diversity of ideas…it is therefore destined for inconsequentiality.
    (it is always satisfying to end with a long word – how many points is that with a double word score?)

  165. says

    Notice mofa only adresses the DMCA drama aspect of the video but makes no comment on the factual errors in her arguements mentioned later in the video.

  166. says

    One thing that was immediately obvious to me was that there was the possibility that CR was not privy to all the information that GWW may have had.

    Then the fault would be GWW’s in not revealing all the information she could have.

  167. mofa says

    David Futrelle (Man Boobz) has no credibility. I would be highly sceptical of anything he had to say and of any ‘so called’ evidence he presents on his blog.

  168. Muz says

    You will stick to this idea that feminism has some agenda to misrepresent reality and be dishonest. A lack of perceived bias is not an unreasonable request I suppose though. But you realise I hope that you being an atheist and, presumably, a methodological naturalist would disqualify you from holding an unbiased opinion on matters of religion, science, history, spirituality etc. What basis do we have to say anything to the religious about these matters since we’re “biased”, they would say?
    Strength of argument is supposed to be what matters. If that’s what you’re looking at, great.

    The Men’s Rights Movement is basically a right wing patriarchal/traditionalist construction of a movement, built to oppose feminism though. It is, sad to say. It might have evolved into something better, but that’s pretty much how it started.
    I read a brilliant account years ago by a guy who just wanted to get involved in getting better treatment for fathers in divorce custody cases, so he became a bit of an activist. He bumped into angry feminists who assumed he was a misogynist jerk. He couldn’t understand why and he got mad at them, as one might, and it confirmed everything he’d heard about feminists. But when he got introduced to the broader MRM crowd he understood. They -were- a bunch of christian traditionalist patriarchists with a long term agenda to restore the old order, which he didn’t care for at all.
    He came full circle to agreeing with the feminists and decried the MRM for trying to hijack the fair custody movememnt for their own creepy agenda. Fascinating stuff. Probably couldn’t find it again, sadly.

  169. Muz says

    “I believe that the Feminist movement would be better off not saying that ‘men’ are “the problem” and instead start to say (more – if some are already saying this) that ‘men’ are a part of “the solution”. But can they? Men and women both need to work together to bring about changes to society in regard to gender inequality (as they have been doing (slowly) for the last 50 years. If one of the ‘core’ tenets of Feminism describes a construct called ‘patriarchy’ which defines ‘men’ as “the problem” (men have created and are in control of a system that soley benefits them and that women are not to blame in any way for the gender inequality issues facing our present society because they have no power) then I, for one, am not ready to believe this and join that ‘ism’.”

    You said further up that you don’t know enough about this to really get into a debate about it. You’re holding a pretty confident position here regardless. One that I’ve already explained is incorrect. I’ll do it again since it wasn’t necessarily all that clear.
    Patriarchal theory doesn’t define men as the problem. It defines patriarchy as the problem. This sort of social theory befuddles some people. Can you find feminists that blame men directly? Sure! They usually blame women who aren’t working for equality too. But that’s actually another debate. There’s a big space between accurate descriptive theory and the best kind of action to derive from it, if it can be said to be true.

    This goes somewhat to quote two:
    “some Feminist believe that there ARE NO Men’s Rights Issues? and please don’t try to tell me this is not so because I experienced it first hand on the Atheism+ forum last week”

    Depending on the conversation, this could be a technical distinction. Patriarchy is the cause of gender based problems and affects both genders to some degree (even GWW accepts this description). So, in the most favourite example, mothers are favoured over fathers in custody cases because of traditional gender roles, not any objective standard. Patriarchy. Men can’t be victims of domestic violence and would be laughed out of the police station because of traditional gender biases. Patriarchy.
    So no, there are no “men’s rights” issues, as such, only patriarchal ones.
    Do some feminists round this into no giving a shit about men’s causes? Yup. But that’s a different thing.

    Look at it like this, we first removed all the racist laws from the books and made blacks technically equal. It is generally accepted that this didn’t remove social structures attitudes that were tacitly racist and so the job wasn’t done. There was still the assumption of “white hegemony” broadly speaking, and it took time to make people aware of thoughts and behaviours along those lines and how they might be negative. Were there black seperatists and supremacists along the way? Hell yes. Were there whites who felt that they had it tough too and things were going too far one way. Oh yeah, and there still are. But generally this doesn’t undermine the racial equality project in most of our our minds any more.

    By and large gender equality is no more or less vague and complicated than that example. Once the law is gone, then comes society.

  170. says

    I would be highly sceptical of anything he had to say and of any ‘so called’ evidence he presents on his blog.

    Even if the evidence in question is a direct link to one of GWW’s posts? This doesn’t rest on his credibility, so your comment is simply a red herring.

  171. says

    I have direct quotation with a link to the direct quotation but you won’t consider it cause I used the manboob link. http://www.reddit.com/r/FeMRA/comments/y0nod/jto_brought_up_the_point_so_here_it_is_ferdinand/c5rjmh3

    There’s the reddit link.

    But you Mofa are a terrible skeptic. Plus you sent me to watch a 30 minute video by a women I thought very poorly of and I watched it and tried to give it a chance (if you find me a written transcript I will go through it line by line). I gave you a link with links to sources (something most of GWW stuff doesn’t seem to have) and you ignored it with a shrug. Give me a fucking break. Can’t trust those evilutionists they all lie keep reading answers in genesis (your arguements work just as well for the creationists).You give back awful evasions like that and you won’t extend to me the same courtesy I extend to you.

    urrrrgh need nyan cat.

  172. tonysnark says

    Well, if you are, as you say, not an expert on these matters, let someone who knows a little bit more than you do inform you that feminism does not define patriarchy as “men=the problem”, so this whole long-winded argument you have built on that notion is based on a false notion.

    This is called “straw-manning”, where you build up a false caricature of your opponents position in order to demolish it. Nil points.

  173. mofa says

    Muz,
    Is it your opinion that ALL MR Groups are “right wing….etc” (I won’t repeat your entire description)? Or are you generalising? Do you reject the assumption that there might be some MR Groups who are legitimate Groups consisting of men and women of all political persuasions, who are united in addressing contemporary issues that relate to the problems that men face in today’s society? Some of these contemporay issues might be: The treatment of fathers in the Family Court system, the high suicide rate of young males, the inadequate funding of research into male specific cancers, men’s health funding, the much higher proportion of male deaths in the work place, etc.
    Because if you are only generalising then this is an unfair tactic. I could present you with a long list of very bigoted Feminist Groups that have come and gone in the last 50 years and some that still exist to the day if you want.
    As Mark Twain said : “All generalizations are false, including this one.”

  174. mofa says

    Yes I am not an expert on Feminism and I really don’t want to get into a heavy discussion about Feminism…but…as an outsider looking into this Feminist world that I find existing, for example, in the Atheist+ forum and within some parts of this AE blog I am sometines take aback by some of the comments and some of the naive understanding in regard to Feminism. It is clear to any person who can spend a few hours reading that Feminism is not one united front but a fragmented collection of all kinds of ideologies and philosophies under the one name, built up and evolved over 50 or more years. So to call yourself a Feminist you need to go on and define what type of Feminist you are. To give an example of an extreme form of Feminism – There is a group of female Feminists who insist on members of their group to be either lesbian or, if straight, not to ever sleep with men, there are many other extreme groups (to find other examples go to RadFem Hub).
    To say that no where in all of Feminist literature has ‘the patricarchy’ theory ever said that “men are the problem” (50 years and hundreds of thousands of books and papers) is to stretch your neck out on the chopping block.

  175. Muz says

    “To say that no where in all of Feminist literature has ‘the patricarchy’ theory ever said that “men are the problem” (50 years and hundreds of thousands of books and papers) is to stretch your neck out on the chopping block.”

    Can you stop doing this crap please. You either don’t read or ignore what people say. You twist their words into absolutes that aren’t there. You say it’s something we should talk about and then say you don’t want to talk about it.
    Why should anyone engage with you at all?

  176. says

    Sure there is a subset that do think that, but are they say representative of any of the feminist bloggers on FtB for example? If you want I can find anti feminists that think its ok to slap your wife around sometimes if it means you don’t kill her later (GWW), that you should fight feminists by shooting them (Marc Lépine), or anti feminists that think women should be submissive to their husbands wishes (quiverfull). But I don’t think its fair to compare you to any of those people without asking about it.

    The majority definition of the patriarchy that most feminists are talking about is a cultural concept that people of both genders engage in and reinforce not necessarily with their knowledge that favors men or women.

    So when you bring up patriarchy and we explain what the most common idea is and you keep going back to the most extreme forms its not very honest, productive or fair. Then after that you say well you don’t want to talk about it. Well you’re just reinforcing your own ignorance of other peoples views and sheltering your own views.

    From Muz “Why should anyone engage with you at all?” . Frankly anyone trying to change mofa’s views shouldn’t he’s not listening, not looking at the arguments presented him, and repeating the same point over and over again. You should argue if you want to practice your own arguments, think he might change your mind, or for people watching.

    Mofa won’t change here cause he won’t give other arguments a look, and keeps trying to avoid anyone arguing with him by repeating that he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about and he doesn’t want to argue it. He’s just here to parrot his current views while telling us he doesn’t want to hear his views challenged in any way.

  177. mofa says

    “Sure there is a subset that do think that, but are they say representative of any of the feminist bloggers on FtB for example?”

    People around here call themselves Feminists but don’t go on to clarify what type, so the answer to your question above (and you probably think it is rhetorical but it is not) is:

    “I don’t know, how can I know without more information…maybe.”

  178. mofa says

    ” ‘To say that no where in all of Feminist literature has ‘the patricarchy’ theory ever said that “men are the problem” (50 years and hundreds of thousands of books and papers) is to stretch your neck out on the chopping block.’
    Can you stop doing this crap please. You either don’t read or ignore what people say. You twist their words into absolutes that aren’t there. You say it’s something we should talk about and then say you don’t want to talk about it”.

    All I was doing was countering a naive statement by my adversary who was in turn trying to counter my argument in a previous post (this is the way debating works would you not agree?). My comment needed to be made and I do not consider it ‘crap’.
    When I said on the AE TV Show “it is something we should talk about” (and I have done alot of talking in this blog by the way) I was talking about the so called ‘schism’ in the atheist movement. I was not talking about Feminism. People have been talking about Feminism for the past 50 years and no concensus has been found (as I have stated a novice with 3 hours of reading the internet can clearly see this) and you expect me to accept the claim “If you are for Non Sexism then you are a Feminist”? and then you expect me to go “where do I sign?” and “I’m on board” No. It is not that simple. The means DOES justify the ends. The pathway to the objective DOES matter. I can agree with the objectives but this does not make me an automatic member of the specific group in question.
    Yes I am not an expert on Feminism (and you criticise me for for being honest about that?) But I know enough to engage in some sort of debate on this blog because it is clear my ‘adversaries’ know very little more about the subject than me.

    On the topic of the so called ‘schism':
    My experiences with Aheism+, just in the past week, has proven to me that this is a Feminist organisation which is not inclusive of ALL socially progressive Atheists.
    If you want to talk about men’s rights issues on the forum you are more or less told to “piss off”. I have no objections to a Feminist Atheist forum at all, but such a forum should not hide behind the Atheist name, they should declare what they truly are (ie. Feminist Atheists Plus). And they should not hide behind the concept that “Atheism+ addesses all social justice issues when in fact ‘men’s issues’ do not form part of its stated objevtives (but just about every other social justice issue is). Atheism+ is only interested in addressing social justive issues through the advancment of Feminist political and social theories. I will continue to defend my right to be a social progressive Atheist who is non Feminist. Bring on the discussion within the Atheist community about Atheism Plus. It (A+) needs to be truthful and change its name because slowly Atheists will find out its deception and it will become an irrelevance to Atheists and Sceptics alike. I call out to Atheism+, give us back the name ‘Atheism’ so that we can use it to form a new truly inclusive organisation that addresses social justice issues. Atheism+ start being honest by declaring yourself a Feminist organisation which does not tolerate non Feminist, members, ideas or discussion. Let the so called ‘3rd Wave’ of Atheism be inclusive of ALL socially progressive Atheists!

  179. says

    Sure each of these blogs have things called archives which contain years worth of posts. They also have tags and search bars that you can narrow down to only posts on feminism. You can go and read up on all the lovely feministy things people have to say.

    Having taken the time to read posts by these people let me cut through this a bit and tell you what I know. None of the feminists on FtB hate men want men to go away so there’s an all women utopia. There have been posts by them on some of the sexist things men have to put up with as well.
    ex http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2010/09/how-sexism-hurts-men-undateable.html

    or http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2010/07/5-stupid-unfair-and-sexist-things-expected-of-men.html

    by greta off the top of my head.

    None of them think that patriarchy is something that all men knowingly participate in to keep when down that women are blame less from. To them patriarchy is a social structure that people (men and women) reinforce without consciously thinking about it that on the whole favors men over women.

    For example at women in secularism 2012 one of the talks was “Bernice Sandler: “The Chilly Climate: How women are often treated differently in subtle unnoticed ways by men and women alike”” That’s the kind of thing they mean when they use patriarchy.

    You can also find people here who make real thought out constructive criticisms of aspects of feminism. Go see Natalie Reeds posts on the ways some feminist groups are hurting trans people. Here you go another link:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed/2012/11/16/five-ways-cis-feminists-can-help-build-trans-inclusivity-and-intersectionality/

    There are actual things that a men group could bring to the table but from what I’ve seen that remains the minority of the men’s rights work I’ve seen which focuses on badly bashing feminism instead of working to help men.

    For example this doesn’t help men and hurts women.
    http://books.google.ca/books?id=YBVGswoPYqMC&pg=PA92&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

    There I have just given you the keys to the card catalog and free access to the library. As someone who keeps mentioning their ignorance this seems like a perfect time to do read up on what people are saying. If you can read one thing a day that you disagree maybe you can come back and can actually argue about what people actually think.

    As there are so many links this might end up in moderation thanks to who ever fishes it out.

  180. Muz says

    “All I was doing was countering a naive statement by my adversary”

    You were doing nothing of the sort. You were reframing what he said into something much broader. This makes you look silly or disingenuous. It could be why others suspect you’re some sort of troll.

    “But I know enough to engage in some sort of debate on this blog because it is clear my ‘adversaries’ know very little more about the subject than me.”
    Given that you seemingly dismiss and sidestep everything they have to say about it, instead preferring your less nuanced version that fits with the bruises you’ve aquired elsewhere I’m sure it could appear that way.

    On that subject, eh they haven’t banned you yet. Stop whinging, geez.
    The A+ mods and so forth are a prickly bunch it seems, and yes this is a worry. It will be bad for that movement in the long term. But they feel under threat from trolls and spies and so on. Between the zeal to create a safe space and probably being veterans of a couple of wars of words (or students thereof) and one of them still going, some uptight-ness doesn’t surprise me in the least.
    Knowing that, you can expect a rough ride for a while. You sound like you’re trying to ask a few honest questions, some context might help understand the agro.
    As I said before, the name Men’s Rights Movement is synonymous with a conservative anti-feminist wedge of astro-turf. Don’t argue. It is. Now, you might point out real concerns and genuine people doing valuable work. It’s all true. But that other element is real too (and even if you accept this I’m sure you won’t feel any differently about the movement. A bit like how extreme feminists don’t put me off the garden variety, hey! We’ll chide our enemies for using the wrong fork, but forgive our friends for eating with their hands, perhaps).
    So, I don’t care what you think of it as a neutral social justice pursuit. You stumble in with a lot of MRM stuff to a bunch of bruised feminists and you will set off alarm bells at least. They will have heard quite a bit about crackpots working under that banner. It’s kind of a ‘hug me, I’m IDF’ shirt in the wrong part of Hebron. You can say, “Hey I’m medical corps!” all you like…

    I think it’ll simmer down in time. It really kinda has to, trolls or no, or the forum at the very least is done.
    You really want to separate any perceived atheist schism (that isn’t really there) from and A+ forums and vague wanderings into extreme and anti- feminism. There’s perhaps some relationship, but it’s not at all direct.

  181. says

    tonysnark said:

    feminism does not define patriarchy as “men=the problem”

    Your reading:

    …no where in all of Feminist literature has ‘the patricarchy’ theory ever said that “men are the problem”…

    You’re the one who added the “no where ever” bit.

  182. mofa says

    “As I said before, the name Men’s Rights Movement is synonymous with a conservative anti-feminist wedge of astro-turf. Don’t argue. It is. ”

    Not where I come from. We may live in different countries.
    (and in your country….depends who you are talking to I bet)

  183. mofa says

    Muz I am leaving the Atheism+ forum, I have had a peak, tried to have a conversation or two, not liked what have encountered and found out so much in so short a time. I have experience some bullies, bigots and many psuedo-skeptics. Atheism is rarely discussed there (it is not that important an issue to most of ‘them’). It is clear to me that ‘they’ are not the so called ‘3rd wave’ of atheism (just because you declare it so does not make it so). The more I read and hear about Richard Carrier and his numerous statements and declarations the more of an embarrassment he appears to be to me and I am sure many in the Sceptic and Atheist Community. The subscribers to the Atheism + forum can have their little ‘safe’ cocoon where they can talk about ‘stuff’ they all agree on and where their cherished beliefs will go unchallenged, free of skeptical enquiry. I am angry that ‘they’ have ‘hijacked’ the name and now may distort it’s meaning over time. Atheism should a word with a simple definition, now it has had a whole heap of ‘baggage’ thrown on it. Goodbye Atheism+…bring on the real third wave of Atheism as soon as possible please!

  184. says

    Given your record of poor reading comprehension and tendency to misrepresent the statements of others, as demonstrated in this very thread, I’m not sure your opinion counts for jack shit.

    I also note, once again, that you hurl accusations left and right, yet you don’t include one single concrete example of what you’re talking about.
    E.g.

    …Richard Carrier and his numerous statements and declarations…

    Such as? In the interest of trying to turn this into a productive conversation, how about you pick one particular statement and explain exactly what you have a problem with.
    Bonus points if you can do it without taking it out of context.

  185. mofa says

    Why I think Richard Carrier is a douchebag by MofA
    (a term of insult not at all common in my country but a favourite of Richards so I throw it back at him)
    I make the argument using Richard’s own words.

    Let me just preface:
    Atheism has a simple definition and embraces, as a group, all kinds of people. Richard is advocating a new atheist movement and he is making it black and white with no grey in between. He has drawn a line in the sand and you must step over that line or stay where you are. Atheism+ is on the other side of that line. Members of this blog have accussed ME of trying to add fuel to a schism ‘fire’ that is not there, now listen to Richard
    (he does sound almost crazy at times and I will attempt to put quotes into context, but for the full reading go to Richard’s blogs about Atheism+):

    “There is a new atheism brewing, and it’s the rift we need, to cut free the dead weight so we can kick the C.H.U.D.’s back into the sewers and finally disown them, once and for all”.

    Richard wants you to join Atheism+ and if you do not then you are ‘the enemy’ (Richard doesn’t understand that there, for some reason, that there might been individuals out there that share all or most of the objectives of Atheism+ plaus but do not want to join the club:

    “Yes, it does. Atheism+ is our movement. We will not consider you a part of it, we will not work with you, we will not befriend you. We will heretofore denounce you as the irrational or immoral scum you are (if such you are). If you reject these values, then you are no longer one of us. And we will now say so, publicly and repeatedly. You are hereby disowned”.

    “So either you endorse the values and aims I have laid out, or you do not. If you do, just join the cause and stop fretting over being part of a culture whose values you embrace. But if you don’t endorse these values, then you are our enemy, in one fashion or another–because you will be endorsing, supporting (even if only through apathy and inaction), values that will ultimately destroy or undermine the human good. You are then in our way, the same way Neonazis and anarchists and UFO cults and churches and right wing think tanks and so on, are in our way, and what we will denounce and disown. You can be among them, or among us. It’s that simple”.

    No it is not that simple Richard, there are millions of shades of grey between black and white. An individual might be on board with 99% of what Atheism+ claims as its objectives but that 1% difference makes that individual fall in the ‘them’ camp:

    “That’s the us vs. them: those with that moral standard vs. those without it”.

    Richard continually implies that if you do not agree FULLY with him you are “them”, “without morals”, a “douchebag”, “Atheism Less”, “the enemy” etc. (no shades of grey allowed):

    “Bogus assertions without evidence or argument. Thank you for exemplifying Atheism Less”.

    “Making enemies of douchebags is necessary”.

    “So shape up or ship out. Either join us, or admit you are our enemy. Stop hiding behind lame rhetoric”.

    Richard can take some of the credit for the so called schism I suggest has been opened up and continually widening. The following is some of Richards emoitional rhetoric, Richrad believes that if you are not happy to give your support to Atheism+ then you are automatically ‘unrational’, ‘sexist’ racist’ ‘uncompassionate’ ‘without integrity’etc.:

    “It is not okay to demonize people who refuse to endorse the values of reasonableness, compassion, and integrity?
    Sorry. That is not only okay, it’s morally obligatory. We must denounce those who reject such basic humanist values as those.
    People who reject those values are douchebags”.

    “If some new atheist is not on board with those values, we want them to fuck off. Plain and simple. Until they come around to basic human decency”.

    “This is actually exactly why the name is so well chosen. We want our enemies to mock it. That’s how we’ll know who our enemies are. So, one spotted. Thanks”.

    “…So forcing them to declare a position is exactly what we want: either they are on board with reasonableness, compassion, and integrity, or they are not. No waffling, no fence sitting, no hiding behind fallacies and excuses. Time to pick sides”.

    Let the war begin Richard. You are a black’n’whiteist. I am different to you in that I realize there are thousands of shades of grey between black and white.

    You are telling the entire world wide Atheist community that YOU have created a new atheism (3rd Wave) and that most of them are not welcome unless they join your ‘little’ club. We want you to return our word ‘Atheism’ and you get no randsom. And you can ‘bugga of’ with your hate speech (to use an Australian term)

  186. bologna says

    Modern day feminism is about a whole wealth of things other than simply equality of women. If this weren’t the case, you would not have any ethical and earnest people disagreeing with feminist theory. There is a whole theory of feminism (patriarchy, privilege, and more) that is woven together into something people write on constantly. Therefore, I believe it is you misstating things.

  187. bologna says

    Bringing up privilege in an argument is analogous to stating “well, you are just too dumb to understand”. It is not a debate point or much of anything. If you are correct about a particular injustice, then you should be able to get that across without resorting to “well, you don’t agree with me because you aren’t experiencing the injustice or anything similar”. You can simply continue to make valid points.

    Empathy is not a clear path to truth, and neither is assuming a lack of empathy in someone else. Declaring privilege is a shortcut, supposed trump card in an argument but it really is nothing special. This is proven over and over by the need for wordy explanations for such a simple concept. It does not give it depth.

    Declaring privilege allows anyone in a disadvantaged position to by default dictate the conversation, by repeatedly declaring you don’t understand (and this can loop “you don’t understand your privilege because of your privilege” etc). It is not wonder someone came up with this concept.

    If it is not a debate point/strategy (and if it is, I think I’ve shown it to be invalid), then what is it? It seems it is at best a meta-term to describe the flow of an argument to an outside audience.

  188. bologna says

    “What pisses me off more than anything about arguments from privilege is people who deny they exist, because they never grasp the irony that when they deny privilege, they are more often than not making an argument from privilege! I always want to shout “That’s it! Privilege! Right there!””

    Agreed. It should be obvious that this is a circular argument. A logical approach is to unpack what they are missing. Similarly, it is not clear to recursively repeat “argument from ignorance” or any other name for a logical fallacy.

  189. bologna says

    “How about we not bring a persons gender or race or country of origin into the discussion at all, ever. Lets argue with evidence.”

    This is an excellent point. Declaring privilege in a debate is about as sound as stating “you are too dumb to understand that I am correct”. It is not a point.

  190. bologna says

    So, men’s rights is a good idea in principle but generally the adherents are unsavory and have extra baggage? Is that accurate? It seems many are saying the same thing about feminism, but that is not legitimate it seems.

  191. bologna says

    If you want to know why people would claim that feminism is about more than equality of the sexes: 1. wonder why when someone mentions the rights of men that many feminists get very squirrelly and 2. spend some time at radicalhub.com and poke around to see what many feminists are saying. Here is a good place to start

    http://radicalhub.com/2012/09/02/radfem-101-a-radical-feminist-primer-part-four/

    It is amazing that the SPLC has a heading for misogynist groups but not one for misandry. Political correctness has rotted our collective minds.

    This will be called tone trolling or whatever, but I am simply pointing to an overall impression that is blatantly obvious to the uninitiated.

  192. says

    Radfems do not represent most feminism, bologna. It’s kind of why they’re called “radical.”

    And much of what is spouted by the “men’s rights” crowd has little to do with “men’s rights” and a lot to do with misogynist rage and, yes, threatened privilege.

  193. says

    Privilege does exist, though. An attribute of privilege is the luxury to not realize you have it.

    In online arguments, shouting “privilege” can be used as a silencing technique. But that doesn’t mean privilege isn’t a real thing.

  194. bologna says

    Agreed. Most people that call themselves feminist only state that after being asked and thinking “well yes, I do support equality”. If you showed them what rad fems, or even many mainstream fems, write they would be shocked and would not want to be associated with those people.

    If you flip through radfem 101 here

    http://radicalhub.com/radfem-101/

    you will notice that it mentions many of the same concepts brought up by more mainstream feminists and the two groups are relatively similar in tone.

    It is fine to recognize that our society was and still is somewhat patriarchial when viewed from a certain angle (one angle because surely that is not the only descriptor for power dynamics we can muster) and that privilege obviously exists (yes, some people are more advantaged) BUT things go off the tracks when these concepts are generally used with incredible flexibility to paint whatever the particular feminist would like to explain to us all (yeah run on sentence, I know).

    As far as many men’s rights advocates being misogynistic, many feminists are misandric. Just read the radicalhub link. Feminists do not seem to call these people out from their ranks or acknowledge them.

  195. bologna says

    Then it should not be used recursively. It should be unpacked and brought to something that can be observed by both parties. As it is, it is often very subjective (can’t be explained, only asserted by those with “special” knowledge) and circular (you can’t understand you are privileged because you are privileged). It should be obvious why it is not very useful then in a disagreement.

    The danger is that victims are often wrong and seeking their own increased privilege. So, group X that has disadvantage Y is seeking action Z. Everyone non-X would seem to have little to say because we just can’t understand, right? Even if we have it all explained to us and we nod our heads and say “we understand, but we think you are either wrong in how you are reacting to this or what mitigation you would like” then it can always just be re-asserted that we are privilege-blind. The privileged will not stop having privilege in the eyes of any unreasonable, non-privileged person until what point in time?

  196. bologna says

    What I wrote…

    “The danger is that victims are often wrong and seeking their own increased privilege.”

    Should have been…

    “The danger is that victims are often wrong and seeking their own increased privilege in a way that is inappropriate.”

    (meaning they are not wanting a wrong to simply be righted, yeah I know it is super controversial to suggest that a perceived victim might lie or be wrong about something)

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