Feb 02 2011

It's shit like this, r/atheism

I know this is just going to dig my hole even deeper, but I’m a blogger, so speaking my mind is what I do.

A couple of months ago I made a passing comment that I don’t like the atheism subreddit that much because it comes off as very sexist. Sexist comments can pop up on reddit as a whole (sometimes heavily upvoted, to my dismay), but sexist comments on r/atheism affect me more. For one, I tend to hold atheists to a higher standard, so it saddens me when they act irrationally about gender.

But two, the comments are personal. Whenever I see that I got an uptick in traffic from reddit, I’m always afraid to go check the link. Because inevitably when someone links to my blog, many of the comments will be disparaging remarks about my gender or looks. Hell, even some of the positive comments are about my gender or looks, which are still annoying – can we please comment about the content, and not my boobs, please?

So I lurk around r/atheism, but I rarely comment and never post my own stuff because I don’t want to deal with the flack. It’s not worth the frustration usually. But today I did submit my post about atheism in high schools, because it’s so important that I wanted to make sure a wide audience saw it. Young people are the future, blah blah.

But it also set up an accidental experiment. What happens when a female submitter links to her own post, and a male submitter links to his post featuring the same story? That happened when JT Eberhard linked to his post on Atheism Resource a couple hours after I linked to mine.

Let’s compare! (at the time of writing this blog)

JT’s Post:


1 comment with contact information (by JT) (5.5%)
4 jokes about the content of atheist clubs (22.2%)
5 jokes about high schoolers (27.7%)
8 relevant remarks about high school atheist groups (44.4%)

Jen’s Post:


2 comments about the appearance of women/banging them (3.3%)
19 comments basically saying how much I suck (32.2%)
22 comments (a lot of them mine) defending me against said comments (37.2%)
16 relevant remarks about high school atheist groups (27.1%)

So JT gets mostly relative posts or light-hearted humor, while I get disparaging comments and thread derailing thanks to people trying to reply. At least there are people replying (and the bad comments are getting downvoted), but it’s still frustrating. What woman would be encouraged to join this community or share posts when she has to deal with this shit all the time? And it is all the time – if you look at other Blag Hag posts people have submitted, there will always be at least some comments about my boobs, or how I have a deformed chipmunk face (I still don’t quite understand that one).

It gets old, but I don’t have a solution other than escaping to 2Xchromosomes (…which reddit mocks repeatedly). I just want to point out why r/atheism doesn’t make me feel exactly comfortable, instead of people thinking I’m just another “crazy feminist” who’s “hypersensitive” and “making up sexism that isn’t there.” I know the majority of people at r/atheism are fine, but the few rotten fruit are certainly ruining it for some of us.


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  1. 1
    Iggy Crash

    It’s disgusting that people still hang onto out-dated ideas about gender when they are open minded enough to put aside religion. Unfortunately I have no idea how to stop them expect for making it clear that their comments are unwelcome and not amusing.

  2. 2

    Since you (probably) aren’t capable of instantly transforming the human (or at least male) psyche into something rational and reasonable, you have two options:1) Use its inherent puerility to your advantage (e.g., think “spokesmodel”), or2) Ignore it, just as you would a 4-year-old saying he thinks your shirt is stupid.#1 likely goes against your better judgment (or at least personal pride), and #2 takes some practice, but I’m confident you can do either if you really want to.

  3. 3

    Unfortunately, it’s stuff like this that attracts trolls.I do get what you’re saying, though, about holding atheists to a higher standard. But fuck, people can be assholes.

  4. 4

    i read an earlier tweet of yours about the issue. and saw the link to the section you spoke of. the only thing i can really tell you is that guys often see the internet as an excuse to be juvenile. after 25+ years of there being a solid net community, one would hope we could grow out of it. but obviously such is not the case.

  5. 5
    Amanda Gulledge

    I hate you have to deal with the internet immaturity. Thank you for what you do.

  6. 6
    Andrew Hall

    There’s a lot of young guys on reddit and many times they act like it, unfortunately.

  7. 7

    You said there were two comments about your looks, and 19 that (in your words) said you suck. Were any or all of those 19 related to your looks or gender, or about you/writing/opinion?

  8. 8
    Brian Engler

    Just holding folks–atheist or not–to simple civility should be sufficient, but apparently not. I was aware of the issue, Jen, but your evidence–anecdotal as it is–really brought it home to me. I admire you and the other women who continue to participate in the dialog despite this crap. We guys need to clean up our acts and call out the ones who don’t.

  9. 9

    Here to offer moral support. I got my first r/atheism hits today – and until now have totally ignored all parts of reddit… so I can’t offer any evidence based on experience – beyond today’s hits. However, I am here to say – it’s okay to get upset about this trend as you describe it – that it’s not all in your head – and that – no – we women don’t have to “just ignore it” – in hopes that it will go away. The ‘boys will be boys’ line just doesn’t work anymore. You are right to point out this discrepancy. You are right to question any excuses given to sweep this under the rug. I just hope, if nothing else, that the controversy gives more people – men and women – the opportunity to vocalize their support for you and/or their lack of respect for sexism in all forms – and forums. Keep on keeping on!

  10. 10

    One comment thread was about how I had called out r/atheism for sexism in the past, and therefore they won’t support any posts I make in the future, including comments about me being a hypersensitive feminist. Another called me an attention whore. Another was bashing me for being a feminist/liberal.So yeah, nothing had to do with the content of my post.

  11. 11

    The only redditors I know irl are men, so it is, in an odd way, reassuring to read this. I’ve abandoned reddit a few times in the past (though I keep getting sucked in for want of a better waste of time) because I find a lot of the misogyny difficult to deal with (r/pics is the worst). As a dude who tries to practice a feminist life style, it can be hard to toe the line between combating misogyny and patronizing women, especially wading through a mostly male milieu like reddit. So thank you for saying something.

  12. 12

    Having 2Xchromosomes is awesome. Fuck any males that don’t understand it.

  13. 13

    hey, nice boobs

  14. 14

    Wow Nicole, its not like gender sensitivity doesn’t work both ways. I’m not sure that attitude will be to the best service of building bridges of gender understanding. I actually subscribe to 2XC and 1Y both.

  15. 15
    Frank Bellamy

    Jen, on a more positive note, what do you make of the fact that you got twice as many relevant remarks about high school atheist groups as JT did?

  16. 16

    My post was the first one up and was around for hours before his appeared.

  17. 17

    Meh, your sample size isn’t large enough to say anything definitive. Looking back in my memory of reading reddit, I’m pretty sure every post has comments denigrating the author, their content, and/or random xyz. Every community has bad apples, and on the Internet your main personal recourse is to ignore it. You dont have the option of trying to get them help because you don’t know who they are, and trying to help them remotely is complicated to the point of useless unless they want help. Vote them down, report them if they’ve violated the TOS, and move on. There are lots of ways to help that demographic in general, but not much you can do for specific users.

  18. 18

    Thanks for warning me about what a waste of time reddit is! Sounds like one step above /b/FYI, one of my first blog posts was in support of a woman who started up an atheist group at a college: http://ladyatheist.blogspot.com/2009/09/ball-state-atheism-drama.html She experienced even worse crap for having the courage to be openly atheist and a woman. I hope it says more about (young) men who hang out on the computer rather than meeting actual females and spending time outside of their parents’ basement than it does about the state of our society. At least they’re taking a break from WoW.(heh, yeah I know it’s a sexist stereotype – if you are male and take offense, then I suggest you get up off of your computer chair, go find a female tosay “hi” to, and ask her if she likes having her looks commented on or her sex life subject to unfair judgment, then come back and re-read this post and the comments before you tell her to her face what you think of that)

  19. 19

    I agree with Jesse. Also, having read the post, I didn’t see nearly as many comments described the way you said they were (and way to be objective in your view of comments.) And it’s ridiculous to advertise yourself by link to your blog as a way to link to another site.

  20. 20

    This is why I don’t even bother with reddit. I know there’s a nerd requirement of checking Slashdot, Reddit, and Digg, but the only one I check is Slashdot. The others I just don’t care about because of this kind of shit.This isn’t to say that Slashdot isn’t immune to this stuff, but this kind of shit doesn’t usually get modded up.

  21. 21

    At times like this I try to remember that atheism is solely a (non)religious stance and does not imply any broader agenda.It’s been said before, but the only necessary difference between an atheist and a believer is that the atheist holds onto one less superstition.

  22. 22

    OTOH, /. doesn’t often talk about atheism or skeptics, but they are a pretty significant portion of commenters and moderators there.

  23. 23

    There’s a reason I stopped frequenting message boards/forums and similar places. That’s just one of them.

  24. 24

    You look like a chipmunk because of the way you smile for cameras. You raise your cheeks and upper lip, which draws attention to your upper teeth, because it puts them at the center of your mouth. It’s the cheeks and teeth. If someone were to make this observation with less analysis and more mockery, they would appear witty, which would make them and their circle of friends all feel mutually better about each other. In extreme cases, they would take their circular relationship to the level of jerking. So that’s why someone would want to say you look like a chipmunk and imply it’s a bad thing.

  25. 25
    Rev. Ouabache

    What? You are a female? I never would have guessed that.

  26. 26

    Meh. I’ve read your posts. That’s the important thing, isn’t it? Never commented on your reddit stuff, but I have been a dick to other people. It’s a way of releasing frustration. Some people are just being dicks, and some of us are just blowing off steam. I’d apologize, but I think instead you’re going to have to go to sleep tonight worried about real issues. Like the fact that God is going to send you to Hell for what you do here. Also the invisible dragon in the garage just ate your car.Seriously, it’s not that big of a deal. *hug*

  27. 27

    How about option 3) speak out? I think that’s a good one. After all, the social mores of the human, erm, “psyche” have undergone vast alterations in the past when good people have stood up for what’s right. Most of us used to think it was okay to enslave human beings; now most of us don’t. If everyone just ignored social problems like you suggest, how would things improve? On the other hand, if people spoke out, and thus were able to discuss and plan and unite and actually work together (because last I checked, speaking about problems in a community is rather important to the process of solving them), who knows how much we could accomplish?Sure, there would still be a few jerks around, but hey, there’s still a few KKK members around. Their power has waned since their heyday, though, and that is a very good thing. I highly doubt anyone expects that speaking will make the trolls suddenly reasonable, but it may well wake up well-meaning members of the community who don’t realize there’s a problem, and THAT will put far greater a pressure on the puerile sorts. So yes, I think you need an option 3.

  28. 28

    but she does have some quality knockers.

  29. 29

    See also: why I decided to stop reading the comments for any Slashdot story that mentions gender in the summary, even obliquely. I just get tired of feeling like I want to punch the Internet in the face all the time.

  30. 30

    Jen, you have a nice big, round, juicy, wrinkly pair of frontal lobes. :3

  31. 31
    Addison Ryan

    It’s the internet. You have to account for the anonymous effect. Everyone is an asshole, and behind an anonymous screen name, they are even bigger assholes. Just because people are atheists, doesn’t make them not assholes.

  32. 32

    Apologies from a female /r/atheism redditor who knows exactly what you mean. Le sigh

  33. 33
    Daniel Schealler

    I can confirm this, actually.Occasionally I’ll send around an atheist/skeptic article to my mates. If that article happens to be written by a woman the first (frequently only) comments I get back usually relate to whether or not said mate would want to bang her.It made me blink the first few times. I didn’t realize how pronounced the effects are – my group of mates aren’t really all that bad… At least, I don’t think we’re that bad. Hmm…I’m gonna start checking myself to see how I respond to anything I read from outside my sphere of interest that happens to be written/produced/presented by a woman. I don’t think I do the same thing… But then again, I wouldn’t, would I?

  34. 34

    You have a picture of yourself on the side. The title of your blog is “Blag Hag”. You have an icon of a girl beside your header. It’s not a fair comparison.

  35. 35

    I’m going to disagree.I think it is a big deal. It’s not the biggest deal, but dealing with problems doesn’t have to be done one at a time.This is misogynistic bullshit. It’s thinking less of women because they’re women. I’m not going to brush it off and go sleep and “worry about real issues”. This is a real issue, and it needs to change, and brushing it off isn’t going to bring that about.I’m glad you realise that sometimes when you’re blowing off steam you’re also “being a dick”. Now that you’re aware you do this, perhaps you could work on stopping and perhaps apologising to those people (who actually exist and have feelings) that you were a dick to because you thought them worthy outlets of your frustration.Oh, and here, you can have a condescending affectionate gesture, too. *hug*

  36. 36

    I’ve been on r/atheism for over a year, I’m a lady, and I’ve never felt unwelcome. Have I gotten some dick comments occasionally? Yes. But it’s the internet–there are going to be assholes out there. Luckily, reddit has the Downvote system, which you can use for comments that don’t contribute to the general discussion. And I’ve seen r/atheism Downvote all over some things that aren’t well-researched, well-tought-out, or discussed in a mature manner. I’ve downvoted and debated with some people who were dicks initially, and come to a better understanding–I’ve even gotten apologies in some cases. It’s not all bad. I wanted to add, though, that I feel your initial reaction contains a rather serious logical fallacy. You say you expected the members of r/atheism to be better and smarter, more mature than the rest of the internet, simply becaus they’re atheists. Being atheists only means that they have in common a lack of belief in a god or gods; it doesn’t mean anything at all beyond that. In fact, it fits right in with the “smug atheist” or “asshole atheist” smear that some theists attempt to paint us all with on a regular basis. That we think that, just because we don’t believe in a god, we’re better, smarter, superior. Not all atheists are rationalist skeptical humanists–some atheists even have unexamined beliefs in completely unscientific principles and practices like homeopathy, but that has nothing to do with deities. We’re human, too, and susceptible to hypocrisy and assholery, just like every other human. Expecting an atheist to be morally superior, just because s/he is an atheist is no better than a theist expecting one to be a total depraved degenerate because s/he is an atheist.

  37. 37

    Filthy sexist pig.

  38. 38
    Daniel Schealler

    *Will Save Successful: 20 + 6 + 10(circumstance bonus) = 36 vs DC 35*Were you intentionally baiting for the obvious sexist retort? If so, it’s damn effective – every ounce of self-control not to give the typical reply. If this wasn’t already a blog post about guys saying sexist crap on the internet I’ve gone through with it too.>.<

  39. 39
    Paul Fidalgo

    You indeed might get a bigger audience from Reddit, but it’s not the audience you want. I’ve always found the atmosphere to be nothing but hostile, and all for hostility’s sake. You’re better than that, you know?

  40. 40

    Actually I get virtually no audience from Reddit. From various stats I’ve done, a lot of people find me for the first time through it, but they never really stick around.

  41. 41
    Paul Prescod

    Why are you being such an asshole?

  42. 42
    Paul Fidalgo

    That doesn’t surprise me. Other than one’s own social networks, I’ve had trouble finding a similar service that gives quality content a chance to find its audience. Or maybe my stuff just isn’t that, you know, quality!

  43. 43

    Asshole? Have you SEEN those knockers?

  44. 44

    You know it’s a sexist stereotype? Reddit is a place that caters to many functions; Intelligent discussion, ‘fun’, sexist ranting (such as your post), and boring pun based comments.You seem to have this air of self entitlement; ‘atheist AND a woman’. No one of merit gives a shit whether you have a vagina, or believe in a religion.Your post is both vile and thoroughly sexist; You are an embarrassment to both genders. Yes, young children are young children. They always will be as they always have been, mischievous, hurtful little shits. Be mature, grow up; I’m sure some rather hurtful things were said to whoever it was you linked, but if you can not take some anonymous hate, then being a sexist isn’t what you should be doing. You should be growing up.

  45. 45

    My hug was not condescending. I hug pretty much everybody. All the time. And yeah, it is wrong. So is making comments about eating babies, though. My effort right now is mostly in not saying “that’s gay”. I have a lot of gay friends. I realize it’s hurtful to them. I also, realize, however, that if they’re not sniveling bags of insecurity, they realize that while it’s a terrible habit, it’s still just that. Also, 90% of the time I could give a shit about peoples’ feelings. I will, however, promise you, and I sincerely mean this – PROMISE you – to give more of a shit about peoples’ feelings, when they promise me to care less about how what someone said makes them feel. For a majority of people, that hurt doesn’t come from what the person said, but from the way they view themselves. Jen doesn’t seem quite so insecure, though. Going to bed now. I hope after you’re done, you care as little about this as I do. and with no condescension; *HUUUG*

  46. 46

    This issue isn’t this one post, or even this one poster (Jen). The issue is that this is pretty much the norm for when women post, as opposed to when men post. It’s been this way for decades, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better.

  47. 47

    Only two of the comments were gender related? You’re just assuming that all the other posts criticizing you were because you’re female? Perhaps you just aren’t as good a writer as the person who wrote the other submission.

  48. 48

    Do you honestly think that if JT Eberhard changed his blog to “Atheism Guy” and had a picture of himself on the side, the replies to his reddit posts would skew more towards talking about his attractiveness? Or about how much he sucks?

  49. 49

    quick question… to people whom this offends.. is it more offensive, less so, or about the same for the overall tolerance of this (i.e., my apathy) issue? I mean, you see a lot of it. Turn on Fox News, or any TV channel. They make comments that are sexist all the time, even in kids’ shows. So is it worse for the people who do it, or the people who blindly tolerate it and/or make excuses?

  50. 50

    It probably gets him laid. Welcome to the world.

  51. 51

    Yes, it would be a lot harder to take him seriously if his website suddenly turned into the male counterpart of this one. There would undoubtedly be comments about a small minority of comments (2/19 as in OP’s case) about his persona, instead of his content.

  52. 52
    Daniel Diaboli

    Wow, this is incredibly pathetic. You could be out conducting studies on shit that matters, but instead you’re writing poorly conducted theses on the posting habits of reddit users in order to document inconsequential things which you will never be able to change anyway? Horseshit. (BTW, if you’re going to cry sexism and make your gender some sort of issue out of nowhere, then I may as well tell you to show us your tits.)

  53. 53
  54. 54

    No, she does not look like a chipmunk. She looks like a perfectly normal human being. Why the fuck would you want to give her a complex about whether she smiles correctly?

  55. 55

    Try setting up your own feeds on Google Reader. You won’t get the comments or community you see in Reddit, but both have been declining in quality.

  56. 56

    Well that didn’t work, disqus needs a preview button *sigh* let me try this again..Hang in there Jen, appreciate the effort. Being anonymous seems to bring the worst in some, sort of like drinking. Ignore the trolls, and try focus on the other 50%<img id=”attachment123828″ rel=”Lightbox_1758511″><img alt=”Click image for larger versionName: god-kills-kitten-troll.jpgViews: 8Size: 42.7 KBID: 123828″ border=”0″ class=”thumbnail” src=”http://blenderartists.org/forum/attachment.php?s=93adb7c363cf3b1048f006b12ebca999&amp;attachmentid=123828&amp;d=1292879060&amp;thumb=1″ style=”float:CONFIG”>

  57. 57
    Glendon Mellow

    So by your logic Daniel, if someone accused you of murder, you might as well kill someone anyway? It’s surprising you learned how to type.

  58. 58

    You have to be kidding. I am female and go to that subreddit often. I have never felt uncomfortable there. Perhaps it is because I am older? Who knows.

  59. 59

    Actually, I am female and I find your comment to be hilarious. Are you for real?

  60. 60

    Ok so heres your problem. Reddit for the most part still has a large view that women dont exist on the internet. The second problem is that reddit also has the strange notion that when women present something or an image or information they some how try to tie in a picture of themselves…. I came here looking for a good article and right off the bat… Theres your photo… I didn’t have to click on an about you page or images. ITS RIGHT THERE trying to show something off. What is that, that your a woman? That you have a nice smile? What do you want me to think of how this is setup? Do I stop from the visual que to continue reading or do I get drawn to the pretty colors of the photo?Im human I like colors that are visual text isn’t so much appealing.

  61. 61
    Jeremy Yoder

    Telling assholes to cut it out is never wasted effort, even if it’s wasted on them. Keep fighting the good fight, Jen.

  62. 62

    Putting up a picture of yourself is not invitation for remarks about your tits or how bangable you are or are not. And, sorry to burst your bubble, but PZ, Chris Mooney, or any other of the other guys who have their photo up on the side bar don’t get that kind of response to their posts.

  63. 63
    Mike Haubrich

    Show us your balls. Are they quality?No, on second thought, don’t.

  64. 64

    Jerks? God, take a joke. People on the internet are trying to have fun, not establish a new utopia. It’s just life. Don’t take it so seriously.

  65. 65

    Jen’s submission title: “Are you an atheist in high school?”There was something after “Are you in high school?”, but I didn’t get that far in my scan, because I’m 20 years out of high school.JT’S submission title: “Atheist high school groups on the rise!””ATHEIST GROUPS ON THE RISE!” is going to catch the eye of virtually any atheist.In the list of things that affect a link’s popularity — TITLE, picture, submission time, etc. (did I mention title?) — the gender of the poster has to be way down at the bottom. JT’s post had a more engaging title and photo. On reddit, that’s win. Yet when your submission doesn’t do well, you immediately blame your gender.But what’s really bizarre is that your blog is deliberately gender branded (titled “Hag” and featuring a picture of a cutesy girl at the keyboard), yet you complain when people notice your gender. But hey, it gives you something to blame other that yourself when you fail at something right?

  66. 66
    Mike Haubrich

    Sexism is inconsequential when you’re privileged.

  67. 67

    Thanks for making this post. There are plenty of men on reddit who are appalled by the amount of sexism and misogyny in the comments section.

  68. 68

    It’s interesting, because your experience has been very different from what I’ve observed. Its been my experience that the most sexist content I see is from the front page when I’m not logged in, followed by r/iama (where the most sexist thread I’ve ever seen was, responses to a woman who was planning to propose to her husband) and that r/atheism is markedly better. But that’s just my 2 cents of anecdotes.I’d also note that even r/feminism gets sexist posts from time to time. And just as happens on r/feminism, sexist comments on r/atheism are generally down voted past my comment threshold quite quickly. r/atheism may not be as good at this as r/feminism, but I don’t think it’s bad by any stretch of the imagination.In any case, I hope I don’t come off as two defensive… Though, honestly, I am a bit: there’s been a recent trend of criticising r/atheism on reddit, and, well, it was an incredibly comforting thing when I was a closeted atheist.

  69. 69
    Richard McCargar

    There are over 100,000 redditors subscribed to r/atheism. I can post the same post myself, pull it and post it hours later, and catch an entirely different crowd. I do this most every day.Like any feed that scrolls, you will catch different people at different times, and your activity on the site, being social, can and does affect the voting. That said, I’m popular with some, not popular with some, and unknown to most. I never know when I post who will be seeing it. But I do know that very few people can change the outcome of a post.I’m a guy, so sex isn’t causing it. The change in time of day, who is on, how social I am with the people who happen to catch it, all play a part.Please take this into consideration. As in all things, perception is affected by our anecdotal experience.I happen to have a lot of anecdotal posting experience on reddit.just a thought.

  70. 70

    Uh. You were berated for being a liberal in /r/atheism? What’s next, they going to flame you for not saying grace before dinner?

  71. 71
    Richard McCargar

    This won’t be popular, but you may want to reconsider complaining about sexist comments when immediately below your photo, you describe yourself (among others) as a pervert, and anyone who Googles you instantly finds “boobquake” attributed to you. You have every right to say what you want, but cannot be shocked when the idiots respond to a woman who brags about being a pervert. Probably confusing for the youngsters, making it more difficult to take you seriously.edit: I posted your blog ten days ago:http://www.reddit.com/r/atheis

  72. 72

    I can guarantee you that most people who make any remarks related to your sex think they’re being clever because they think you’re sensitive about it. A few people are dicks who actually think that your opinions are worth less because you’re a woman or something, but they’re dicks anyway so who cares?I may not be a woman but if I were, and someone complimented my looks, I think I would be flattered. I understand that there can be a tradeoff between how interested a guy is in your looks and how interested he is in your intellect (even a guy on reddit who you have no personal relationship with), so I completely understand your response. I haven’t experienced all that you have, so I might be wrong, but I feel as though this is the sort of thing you might be able to write off as people being dicks and just ignore it or even take it as a compliment. I know it’s not doing much to change society’s perceptions of women or anything and you have every right to be upset about it, just something to think about.

  73. 73

    Egh, Reddit is profoundly sexist outside of any space that is not explicitly feminist. I mean, /r/mensrights is one of the default reddits for new visitors fer crying out loud.Even in /r/anarchism is the place I hang out more, we’ve fought long and hard to try to make it inclusive to women, PoC, LGBT, the disabled and so on and we’re still nowhere near success. But at least sexism, racism, ableism and the like are very rare by now. Unfortunately since /r/atheism does not have an explicit policy against sexism, the “Tits of GTFO” crowd will always have enough lurkers who find it funny to upvote such content.Still, if you limit your exposure to the good reddits, you can still have a contructive use of reddit. /r/feminisms is a good place to hang out in and imho much better than /r/2x since the latter is overrrun by the entryists from /r/mensrights. I would also invite you to contribute to /r/privilegedenial and then we can all bitterly laugh at the sorry state of general reddit

  74. 74
    Matt S

    Wah – women suck because some of them will sleep with this asshole instead of me. Not sure if thats what you were thinking but thats how that complaint always sounds.There are plenty of stupid men and women with poor taste in each other. Its a common complaint of men that women go for assholes and its a tired gender stereotype, its not as lame as the guy you’re commenting on but it isn’t helping.

  75. 75
    Matt S

    You know guys are WAY more likely to play the whole “can’t you take a joke” card on women when the same guys are just as bad about getting offended at things. Its like the crazy political people that tell you if you don’t like the country you can leave.No, we’re trying to state our opinion and change things for the better, just like you were trying to express your opinion. Of being a douche or something I guess.

  76. 76
    Matt S

    The barrier to entry keeps getting lower.

  77. 77

    I was originally sympathetic to the OP’s argument that r/atheism has a sexist slant that should be remedied. However, after reading your comment, I realized that the OP had missed a crucial piece of data: the level of sexism against menwithin her readership.It is hypocritical to accuse a community of gender bias while simultaneously making statements generalizing all male members of that community into a highly pejorative and derogatory stereotype.

  78. 78
    Paul Mulyani

    It’s sad to see so many bitter, angry, and apparently insular people posting here, clamoring to post your indignation despite the fact that the exercise was essentially meaningless and futile. So quick to draw conclusions, and swords.

  79. 79

    I’m a redditor, I like atheism, and I am not too concerned with you. I haven’t read either thread and know only of your blog post and this issue from a reddit link.I just noticed your figures. JT’s thread had 18 comments in total. He made 1 of them.Your thread had 59 comments, you made 19 of them.I’m curious to what extent did your input influence thread direction. If you wanted to see the gender impact of your experiment, you should have created a throw away reddit account with a girly name, posted the link to your blog, and then let the tread evolve on it’s own.Thats the only way your figures, and in turn your blog post, would have unbiased merit.

  80. 80

    It’s not just the picture, it’s the blog in general. I agree that the two sexist remarks were uncalled for obviously. I’m referring to the 19 comments which OP claims are about how she sucks. This is a good analysis of why the two blogs give a much different impression:http://www.reddit.com/r/atheis

  81. 81
    John Donson

    You sound fat

  82. 82

    I didn’t say it was incorrect.

  83. 83

    I’d like to point out your upvote and downvote ratio that you see ON the actual post on the Reddit website is not the actual amount of upvotes and downvotes you received. Reddit never shows the actual amount to make it more difficult for bots and human spammers to rig the Reddit system . It also make it more difficult for groups entering Reddit with a certain point of view from downvoting only popular articles pertaining to information they disagree with. Now while Reddit does show us the improper upvote and downvote count their algorithm always maintains an accurate count and as such places the articles in their proper sequence depending on how you’re sorting your links. So although your count of comments may be correct you cannot trust the upvote and downvote data you are shown. For all you know you may have very few downvotes with many more upvotes or vice versa. I would like to say that in every subreddit there will be discrimination and assholes and trolls and you cannot hold that subreddit accountable to it’s asshats. They are responsible for their own words and their own actions and if they want to act that way I would suggest calling them out but don’t hold the subreddit accountable. Also atheists are just normal humans the same humans who are members of subreddits like /r/gaming or /r/jailbait or /r/politics you cannot hold normal human beings to a higher standard of actions than you expect from any other person just because they are a member of a group you respect. Finally I would like to know the estimated upvote and downvotes on the negative and positive comments made to you. Just because an asshat made a stupid comment does not mean the community encourages it . I would suspect that behaviour would have been promptly downvotes thus reducing the credibility of that person as well as the perceived association that person holds within the /r/atheism community.Anyway to sum it up I personally hope people begin to be a little more respectful of you and of all other human beings and I’m sorry for the way those people acted towards you.Reddit User and /r/Atheism subscriber.

  84. 84

    I find you using Blag Hag demeaning to the homosexual community. Also, you describe yourself as perverted. This is not funny, but I bet you think it is.Oh wait, it is funny! They’re jokes! Just like a large majority of the “sexist” content you see on reddit. Jokes, get over it. You should listen to something you exclaimed about r/atheism.”Jesus, are all r/atheism posters that sensitive?”No, apparently only ones like you are.

  85. 85

    Wow, they really crawl out of the woodwork when you criticise them even a little bit don’t they? I know it’s just a few isolated arseholes, but I felt a little like disowning my own gender this morning. Privilege and irony blindness are an unhealthy combination.

  86. 86

    Jen, where did you get your up/downvote stats from? Please be aware that the Word of ModGods is that the displayed up/down scores are not accurate; only the net vote count (the positive or negative score) is accurately displayed. This is an anti-spam measure.Read more here:http://preview.tinyurl.com/2bp

  87. 87

    Wow, Jen, I think many of the commenters have proved your point better than your post did. Keep on keepin’ on.

  88. 88
    Tony Morris

    Reddit is a cesspit. I implore your enthusiasm for holding some to high standards, but it is misdirected. I advise, recognise the idiot pool for what it is and move on. Good luck.

  89. 89

    You think you have it bad? Try being a Furry on the internet. =3 Don’t you worry too much about it though. I’m sure it has nothing to do about the community, and all about the fact that people are horny males. It’s not r/atheism’s fault, it’s their penis’s fault. Let me get into my Fursuit and I can give you a nice, non-sexual, non-threatening hug, and you won’t have to worry about me thinking lewd thoughts, or what else I do in my suit, because I don’t, get your mind out of the gutter. =3

  90. 90

    You’re right, it isn’t popular.I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you think other people, not you, see her proclaim herself to be a pervert and then think it’s okay to be misogynist douchebags, which I must say, only raises you one rung up the ladder to apologist for misogynist douchebags.And people taking her declaration of pervertedness as an invitation to act this way, well, it makes me think of victim blaming of women who had the audacity to want to dress sexy on the same night they had the audacity to get raped.

  91. 91

    This is giving me a sense of deja vu. Anyone else who’s currently following it may see a similar parallel between this and the latest round of Penny Arcade douches coming out to mansplain to rape victims why they’re wrong, and to tell them that the rape joke really was hilarious, and it wasn’t really a rape joke, but it was still hilarious because my best friend has been raped and she thought it was an absolute corker.

  92. 92

    r/Atheism exists to make fun of people who are different. The fact that you get upset when the male majority makes fun of your female gender but you don’t seem to care when they make fun of everyone else is kind of telling.”It’s ok to be dicks to people as long as I’m not personally effected by it”.

  93. 93
    Vincent Jonathan Toups

    Here is a pro tip I use to make browsing the reddit comments tolerable. Go to your settings and adjust your minimum comment threshold to like 4-5. This prevents you from seeing anything that at least one or two other people haven’t upvoted. It really increases the signal to noise ratio. Sorry about redditors being jerks, by the way!

  94. 94

    Also, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that the ratio of women choosing assholes over “nice guys” is significantly smaller than the ratio of guys choosing dumb but pretty girls over smart girls.

  95. 95
    Sam Barnett-Cormack

    I don’t use reddit, and this kinda makes me glad. If I did, and encountered an atmosphere like that, I doubt I would much longer. I like to think I’d try and fight against it, but realistically I don’t think that would last long, as I am no more keen on wall-headbutting than most people.

  96. 96

    To be fair, it’s not your XX chromosome that’s the problem it’s your lack of Y. XXY is male too :). As a biology person, I’m sure you agree.If you want, you could try posting as a gender-neutral person, perhaps under a pseudonym. I wonder if you would get better results as such?

  97. 97

    There is a simple solution to be not treated this way. Dont put up your photo in your blog. Dont tell your gender. Is it really necessary? Or on a second thought the comments like “nice boobs” are the better option?And you know this fact too, thus this post makes you an attention whore. (Or simply stupid for pointing out the obvious)

  98. 98

    You can’t really compare the two posts. Yours had a different title that was asking if people were in High School. Chances are then, that you only attracted High School age redditors. You also comment on your post more that the other guy commented on his.And in all honesty, I’ve been using Reddit for 3 years and haven’t read anything sexist that hasn’t been meant in a joking manner. People make jokes and yes, women get quite a lot made about them. Man up and stop bitching about it. Just because people are Atheists, doesn’t mean that they are some form of super human devoid of a sense of humour.Your blog names you as a “blaghag” this, I’m sure, was meant to be a little joke but have you considered that it is offensive to some people? Political Correctness has gone mad and its nice that at least on Reddit, you can make a joke about women not being able to park without someone going bat shit crazy about it.The internet isn’t the real world.

  99. 99
    Lyz Liddell

    Ok, I hate comments and I will just up-front admit that I am posting this without reading any of the other comments. That said…THANK YOU for pointing out things like this when they happen, and making a big noise, and not just letting it go/looking the other way. This is stuff that needs to be said because it’s so much bigger a problem than most people realize, admit or want to admit. Thank you!! Keep on doing it, and to hell with all the asshats who are continuing the problems. We need you!

  100. 100

    I should think you *wouldn’t* want to fuck those particular males… or am I misreading your comment?Regardless, fighting sexism with sexism is probably not the right way to go.

  101. 101

    The word fuck can mean 1. sexual intercourse or 2. a statement of anger/disgust (strange that those two go together). Number 2 was the one being used here.

  102. 102

    She said “Fuck any male who doesn’t understand”. She didn’t say “Fuck you, men” if that is what you are implying. I don’t think that her statement is sexist and I say this as someone who will point out sexism against men just as much as I will point out sexism against women

  103. 103
    Saul Camarate

    Actually TwoXChromossomes is the most liked and lieable female oriented subreddit on rdddit, so I really don’t understand why you said it is repeatedly mocked.

  104. 104
    Michelle M

    You did not do this right. You’ve said something to r/atheism in the past and anything you post will not have much credibility. I am a woman, and I’ve posted one thing in r/atheism, and have had not a single problem with it. I do not post much, but I occasionally comment, and I do not get called out like that at all. This has nothing to do with being a woman, it’s something you’ve said or done in the past. Get a new username, and start over. You’ll get better results.

  105. 105

    I’m sorry to challenge you here (wait a minute, no I’m not!) but while you did post the statistics of the comments you were criticizing, I couldn’t help but notice that you didn’t post the content of any of the comments.”2 comments about the appearance of women/banging them (3.3%)”2 out of 59 comments were blatantly sexist. Well, I hate to break this to you but you’re on this thing called the internet. Morons and idiots abound. Are you really condemning a subreddit made up of over 100,000 users based on 2 idiotic comments?”19 comments basically saying how much I suck (32.2%)”What exactly does “basically saying how much I suck” entail? I’m sorry but that’s a REALLY vague description of the content of the posts, and again, without specific quotes it’s really hard to figure out what your criteria for invalid criticism is. Were they offensive or are you just upset because not all atheists agree with you on everything? Without specific examples, I have no idea.”22 comments (a lot of them mine) defending me against said comments (37.2%)”Again, was this a flame war or a reasoned debate? Without specific examples we can’t know.Honestly, this whole thing reminds me of people like Phil Plait admonishing atheists not to be “dicks,” but failing to provide any examples of behavior that would fall into their definition.I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, you’re just a woman with a small brain…(I kid! I kid!)

  106. 106

    Okay, let’s go from the premise of having fun. If what you write makes things less fun for other people, such as by making a public remark that takes a shot that only seems to confirm the blogger’s complaints, you are making the internet a less fun place for other people, including your host. If your reponse to having that pointed out to you is, “It’s just in fun,” rather than an apology for having given offense, intended or otherwise, you are still making the internet less fun for other people.No, you can’t make everyone happy. You can at least avoid actions you should know, based on the original comment, are likely to make people around you unhappy. We don’t know you, so we only have the contrast between your post and the original entry to judge the character of what you say. In that context, it doesn’t meet the “fun” criteria.Now if how other people view your statements doesn’t matter as much as whether you thought they were fun, you need to understand why most people find narcissism irritating.

  107. 107

    “Were they offensive or are you just upset because not all atheists agree with you on everything?”Please, stop being stupid.If you want examples, click in the link she provided and read. It’s easy to figure out which comments belong to each category.

  108. 108

    Black bloggers shouldn’t say they’re black, because OBVIOUSLY their blogs are going to be filled with racist comments and it will be THEIR fault because by stating what they are, they are ASKING FOR IT.Yeah.

  109. 109

    The post was mostly a quote from the SSA website. It should be something that everyone on the atheist reddit should theoretically support. There was nothing that needed criticizing. So I think there is a good chance that gender had something to do with it.

  110. 110

    Let’s not put all the blame on the young guys. The ones in their forties and fifties can be just as bad or worse at times.

  111. 111

    Friendlyatheist.com has a picture of the (male) blogger, but I bet you’d never think anything of that. If a person wants to put a picture of themselves on their own blog, their’s nothing wrong with that. Why criticize women more harshly for it?

  112. 112
    Jack Rawlinson

    You’re right, of course. The overall culture of reddit seems to be heavily weighted towards young-ish white males, and there’s certainly a fair proportion with fairly “laddish” (i.e. ignorant and sexist) attitudes. Yet I hang at r/atheism quite a lot because once you get used to sorting that chaff from the wheat, some of the wheat is actually pretty good. I also see a lot of posts from young, confused, wondering-whether-to-come-out atheists looking for support and I think it’s nice to be able to offer that. And as subreddits go, r/atheism seems to be less sexist than many of the similarly-popular ones. Not that that excuses the sexism that is there, of course.I guess I’ve been on the net a long time (since 1993) and I’m used to tuning out (or flaming) the wankers.

  113. 113

    A title that doesn’t get attention should get fewer comments. The fact that Jen got many more negative comments suggests that her article IS attracting attention. The fact that most of the post was a quote from the SSA website on a reddit section where everyone should theoretically be in favor of high school athiest groups makes it seem like it wasn’t the post that caused the negative comments.

  114. 114
    Bruce Coppola

    FWIW, I found you thru Pharyngula. Fell in love with your Creation “Museum” visit account.Also, as I said back when you posted the relevant pic, you make a very fetching piratess. But that isn’t what keeps me reading of course.

  115. 115

    “I know this is just going to dig my hole even deeper”Yup.Relax, it’s the internet, everyone knows that: normal person + audience + anonymity = total fuckwad. What you need to do is either ignore it or call them out on it (directly.)This passive aggressive, writing about it on your blog rather than talking to the problem people directly will make things worse, I grantee it.

  116. 116
    Bruce Coppola

    News flash to Daniel D: Blag Hag is a blog, not a peer-reviewed journal. And what is a poorly “conducted” thesis? I’ve heard of poorly conducted concerts, but Ms. McCreight is not a PhD candidate in music performance.

  117. 117

    Women need to consider the fact that they might get pregnant and thus need to be more selective of who they have sex with (the invention of condoms doesn’t change a person’s instincts overnight). It is much easier for a man to impregnate a female and then disappear from the picture. Men are more interested than women in sex because of this. So complementing a woman on her looks can distress her because she (often rightly) believes that you are doing it in the off chance that she might have sex with you one day. Since this is more costly for women, they are made uncomfortable by it.

  118. 118

    I’m glad reddit doesn’t add policies against speech. I’d rather have free speech, even if it means more trolls. As someone interested in anarchism, perhaps you will understand this.Also mens rights shouldn’t mean the same thing as sexism. Men have rights too, ya know.

  119. 119

    I’m sure she looks loud as well.

  120. 120

    I’ve noticed the rampant sexism as well. Its one of the reasons I slowly moved away from reddit.

  121. 121

    I wouldn’t send a rape joke to someone who’s been raped, but I don’t believe in putting limits on what topics you can make jokes about. I mean, I find the death of children to be horrible, but I can still enjoy a dead baby joke. It’s all about context.

  122. 122

    I would hope that r/Atheism exists to help Atheists form a community and work to educate others, not “make fun of people who are different.”

  123. 123
    Uncle Roger

    Sounds a lot like what bullies say. Bet it builds character too.

  124. 124

    The point is that it shouldn’t matter what her gender is or whether she has a picture up. She should be able to post what she wants the same as everyone else without getting excess flak just for being a woman.

  125. 125
    Uncle Roger

    *raises hand* Um, I don’t understand it.(Sorry! Kidding! I just couldn’t pass that up!)(And remember that we wouldn’t have these nifty computer thingies in the first place, were it not for a woman. Admiral Grace Hopper, to be exact.)

  126. 126
    Uncle Roger

    LadyA wrote “She experienced even worse crap for having the courage to be openly atheist and a woman” and you think that translates to self-entitlement?Perhaps you’re just stupid, in which case I will point out that she was saying that in addition to the usual crap one gets for being an atheist, the woman she wrote about had to deal with extra crap for being a woman as well. No self-entitlement there, except, perhaps, for the expectation of being treated fairly.You are right in that no one of merit cares whether someone has a vagina or not, but the problem is, as Jen points out in her original post above, is that most people on reddit — who are not “of merit” — do care and act differently based on that. Sexism, (along with many other types of discrimination) are, sadly, still alive and well. Which is, of course, the whole point here.

  127. 127
    Darren Meyer

    And now *you’re* being just a little sexist. While there are both women who choose attractive assholes over less-attractive “nice guys”, and men who choose attractive fools over less-attractive “smart girls”, neither represents their gender.

  128. 128
    Darren Meyer

    Two things. First, Reddit is a microcosm of the world — one where anonymity allows people to say what they really think. There’s still a lot of sexism in the world. Hopefully, we can keep working on it. Don’t give up!Second, in your profile picture — is that a Surlyramic?

  129. 129
    Uncle Roger

    You know, if those black people didn’t go around being, you know, so black, we wouldn’t discriminate as much. And if gays didn’t, you know, fall in love with people of the same gender, we wouldn’t have to beat them up so much. I mean, why can’t these people just keep their non-white-, non-straight-, non-male-ness to themselves?

  130. 130

    If I’m going to call you a based on what you’ve written, then I may as well examine why I feel that way. It’s because you stated that you may as well give a woman sexist directions while you are objecting to her complaint. If you’d stuck to the criticizing the complaint, and perhaps avoiding the condescending advice to not document things we cannot change (you can’t make others change, but without awareness, it’s less likely they’ll realize a need to change), I might not have taken this view.Now you know.

  131. 131

    Odd, I could have sworn I wrote “jerk” after “call you a” in that entry. Sorry about the omission.

  132. 132

    you do realise that after this little emo rant of yours you can most likely expect this bebhavior to continue if not worse.

  133. 133

    It’s one thing to notice, another to comment. You don’t get to use your eyes as an excuse for what you say or write.

  134. 134
    Bruce Coppola

    And that’s why we love her!BTW and way OT: Can someone explain why, even after I’ve changed my FB profile pic, the thumbnail for the previous one still shows up here? Grumble…Edit: Oh, now it’s updated. Nevermind.

  135. 135
    Gus Snarp

    Sometimes people can’t take a joke. On the other hand, jerks always write it off as “just joking around”. Sometimes jokes hurt, and a jerk is often just someone with a bad sense of humor trying to be funny. And of course, on the internet everything is without context, which makes a lot things that seem like jokes to the joker seem like just being an asshole to everyone who’s not an asshole.

  136. 136

    http://www.reddit.com/user/jennifuetThey should add a sage button that just downvotes everything a user has posted, would have just made my job easier.

  137. 137

    Free Speech does not mean Speech without consequences. If a reddit decides that it will not tolerate a particular type of hate speech, those exercising said hate speech can still go practice it somewhere else. You have no problem with any kind of speech because your privilege allows you to let it slide off you, but marginalized classes who see in such hate speech their oppression reinforced are driven away.”Men’s Rights” might by definition not mean sexism, but practically it serves as a gathering place for misogynists, sexists and anti-feminists. In that sense, White Rights, has as much to do with Rights as White Pride has to do with Pride.

  138. 138

    And this is just one of many, many reasons I never go to reddit. Seriously, people, why waste your time over there?

  139. 139

    Put another way, admitting to being a masochist is not the same as giving you permission to take a swing at me.

  140. 140

    Yeah, lets just blame an entire subreddit, or the entire internet for that matter… on the comments of a few circlejerks. Your thread is doing fine, and you’ve replied to plenty of people with fine discussion in the thread (a day after)In every life some rain must fall, the trick is to not mind being wet.

  141. 141

    Hatters gonna hate, but I’ve gone to the jennifurret account and upvoted the heck out of it. Because I’m sure there are jerks who does the same but in reverse, like the retard above called MenstrateHardOrGoHome. The guy is so coward that he didn’t cited his reddit name.

  142. 142

    I’ve read the thread. It has since doubled in the number of comments, so I still have no idea which comments in particular she had a problem with and why. I honestly didn’t see much misogyny. I saw some, but the vast majority of it was a reaction to her bringing it up.I’m not even saying I disagree with her. I’m criticizing her lack of specifics because not pointing out what exactly people are saying and how those things are misogynistic isn’t constructive and only serves to goad people into a flame war. Plus, the phrase “pretty much” pisses the hell out of me in any context because it’s a rhetorically lazy way to brand a group of something a certain way without having to justify that claim. Her other post about the ridiculousness of suggesting she needs to hide the fact she’s a woman IS rife with specific examples and on most of them I see her point. And that’s all I’m asking for. If I’m personally being misogynistic, or not saying anything when others are, I want to be aware of it so I can avoid it in the future. Jen, in this post, is just pointing the finger and making accusations. That doesn’t help me or anyone else.

  143. 143

    such a coward*cite*

  144. 144

    When I put in a lot of effort to look good for people and they comment favourably on that, I will take that as a compliment.When I put more effort into drawing people’s attention to an event or problem and they respond with favourable comments about my appearance, I’m less likely to take that as a compliment.This still happens to women all the time. It’s much less common for a man to be introduced as something equivalent to “the lovely” or “the beautiful”. We still see it happen to women, regardless of why they’re on that stage. If you’re about to make a presentation that will revolutionize a field, a comment about your appearance has no place in your introduction. It’s not flattering, as it risks overshadowing what you are about to do. Even the most intelligent audience can be shallow in that regard.

  145. 145

    She never said everyone on the entire subreddit is like that, only that enough people are that reading it becomes an unpleasant experience for her. If the other people on r/atheism don’t like that, maybe they should do a better job of calling out the sexist shit.

  146. 146

    Are you by chance from the east coast of Canada… very common last name out here!

  147. 147

    “Ok so heres your problem.”The things you’re listing aren’t her problem, they are other people’s problems. For example:Are you kidding me? Lots of bloggers have their pictures on their blogs. Why should she have to hide that she’s a woman in order to not be a target? Because that’s what you’re asking her to do.

  148. 148

    Why do you feel that this is an appropriate response to a post about sexism in the atheist community?

  149. 149

    I don’t think Jen’s joking at all when she claims to have turned away from what is generally done or accepted–a valid definition of a pervert. She may even find it an apt description of herself as one who challenges what other people perceive to be good, true, or morally correct, which would also make her a pervert.Note also that she was describing herself as perverted. That’s an important distinction here.

  150. 150

    You’re honestly arguing that a woman should hide her face before she goes out in public? Here?

  151. 151

    This is what I’m seeing:Thread 1 – Positive – “Awesome! Too bad I live in Mexico…”Thread 2 – Positive – “This is a pretty interesting organization…”Thread 3 – Positive – “Been a long time since I was in high school, but I wish you luck.”Thread 4 – Positive/joke – “haha I dont think they would appreciate this at my Christian private high school :P”Thread 5 – Positive – “Wow, thanks for posting this.”Thread 6 – Positive – “ha! blaghag goes to my school! upvote for you!”Thread 7 – Positive – “I’d love to, and I’ve actually thought about it…”Thread 8 – Positive – “I was considering starting an Atheist group at my university…”Thread 9 – Positive – “I wish I would’ve thought to start..”Thread 10 – Positive – “Thanks a lot for posting!”Thread 11 – Complaint about this blog post – “Are you really going to blame some mostly non-existent sexism…”Thread 12 – Defense of this blog post – “She also hates your sexist comments.”Thread 13 – Tongue-in-cheek, misspelled joke about this blog post – “Boobs and other sexist comments because your a girl.”Thread 14 – Criticism of this blog post – “Blahhag thinks that /r/atheism is crappy…” Jen responds calmly and collectively about her stance on the subject.Look, I’ve gone through the whole thread, and there is a single post (joeanon – “No but I wouldn’t mind banging some hot athiest high school girls, if age of consent allows of course.”) that is blatantly sexist. None of the other ones are. Most of the ones attacking you are attacking you because you bash /r/atheism for sexism without providing specific examples. Is your definition of sexist “everybody that doesn’t like me”? You think we’re all sexists because the man’s post got 11 more upvotes than yours?From what I can see, there are three fatal flaws in your approach:First you’re committing a pretty blatant sampling error. You focus on the one or two comments that are obviously inappropriate (which by the way were downvoted heavily. I had to expand them manually because they were below my karma threshold) and ignore the countless statements by other /r/atheism users showing support for you, your blog, and your subject. The second problem is that you tampered with the results by engaging in the conversation. You did the equivalent of Stanley Miller surreptitiously adding a test tube full of amino acids into his famous abiogenesis experiment. Granted, you didn’t really start the argument and tried to be civil, but you continued to engage after it had clearly become an argument.The third flaw is also a sampling error. You performed the experiment once. One comparison like this doesn’t rule out chance or any other factor. If you are trying to make the case that your thread getting fewer votes = sexism, you need to establish a pattern where both you and JT are unengaged in the comments.I’m a part of a /r/atheism community, and I don’t appreciate you applying that disgusting label to me and over 100,000 other users based on two (did I mention heavily-downvoted?) posts. I don’t appreciate you claiming we’re all sexist and misogynist because some of us don’t like the way you promote yourself or the content of your posts. That’s incredibly immature.

  152. 152

    Hey, fundamentalist Christians do it to us. Why not show them by behaving exactly like they do?

  153. 153

    I looked through the thread and found one blatantly sexist post. It was heavily-downvoted, and was called out for sexism. What more do you want?

  154. 154

    That sounds a little condescending.The difference between ignoring a 4-year-old’s insult about your shirt and ignoring a collective of adult males’ insults about your appearance are that the 4-year-old is a single 4-year-old who has no societal power, who will grow up and abandon such trivial judgments, whereas a collective of adult males are many, are thought of as the “default” or the norm in society, and whose opinions are supported by a cohort of other similar-minded adult males.Back to the 4-year-old analogy, if a 4-year-old was throwing spitballs at people on the street, I would tell them that that’s not a nice thing to do and they should stop. I hope their parents would, too. Ignoring means some people will never learn what hurts people.

  155. 155

    “It has since doubled in the number of comments, so I still have no idea which comments in particular she had a problem with”I’m sorry, I should have explained to you how to sort comments in reddit so you can read the oldest ones first. You will need to click the little [+] signs so you can read comments which were voted down, like this one:“No but I wouldn’t mind banging some hot athiest high school girls, if age of consent allows of course.”(It would be fairly reasonable to put it under the first category according to Jen’s classification, no?)Or this one:“Why don’t you just call it Crap Fap, Jen.”(I don’t think I’m risking too much by saying it would belong to the second category)Follow these examples and soon you’ll be able to notice the meaning of the comments, too. I know you can do it because I can and I’m not smarter than you.You didn’t see misogyny because you were oblivious to it. It doesn’t go away if you don’t look at it. Well, you are aware of it now. Stop arguing, stop saying “yes, but” and go read.

  156. 156

    Reacting to taunts is the quickest way to embolden the taunter. Besides, most guys grow up and become reasonable adults who won’t then engage in the kind of behavior Jen is upset about. As a guy, as a social scientist, and as a father, my (relatively) informed opinion is to focus your efforts where it will do the most good, and combating youthful idiocy isn’t an example of that.

  157. 157
    Old Earth Accretionist

    I have never understood this line of reasoning… I “was” sympathetic to you but now I’ve seen something I take as evidence of sexism coming at MY gender.Which implies that because there are people who can generalise about males and not just females means that all claims of sexism are now null and void?It isn’t an either or problem… It’s just that the generalised statements and sexism are more societally accepted when they are targetted against women (as a trite example you will get many hurr, hurrs and agreements when you suggest that women can’t drive or do math, neither of which is actually demonstrably true, and would be given, at the least, strange looks if you suggested the same about men)

  158. 158
    Old Earth Accretionist

    True, but she never said it did make them assholes, as she said she always expects them to be less assholish than the rest of the public which is why it always dissapoints her more to be proven wrong in her assumptions.And people can be just as sexist and assholish in person or without anonymity…

  159. 159
    John Horst

    FWIW, I bagged Reddit some time ago. Too much noise drowning out the signal. Some (nasty) people have way too much time on their hands. My case in point: the asshole above.Yeah, I don’t go there anymore.

  160. 160

    ^This needs more attention^

  161. 161
    Richard McCargar

    People, likely young, and very few of the over 100K. The sample size is quite small, fouled by the fact that Ms. McCreight lists herself as a pervert for a reason, and whether it is shock value, or just for the hell of it, one cannot be surprised when some react to it.Forget the backhand insult that you give me the benefit of the doubt, then following it with an obvious explanation that publicly saying you are a pervert does not ask people to treat her like one.I did not justify their actions, but attempt to explain that it is a likely possibility when you consider that there are people from 10 to over 60 on that sub-reddit. There will be cranks, kids and everything in-between. It is naive to be surprised that some don’t take her seriously when she posts that she is a pervert.

  162. 162
    Richard McCargar

    Not at all. It is naive to think in a pool of over 100,000, that you won’t find some kids and cranks who respond to her describing herself as a pervert.The “pervert” is there for some reason. Shock value, titillation, just for fun, but it is going to pull some weirdos out of the woodwork, to then act surprised when a limited few do, is either naive or disingenuous. In either regard, the complaint is certainly one way to drive traffic to the blog.

  163. 163

    “”No but I wouldn’t mind banging some hot athiest high school girls, if age of consent allows of course.”(It would be fairly reasonable to put it under the first category according to Jen’s classification, no?)”That one did stick out for me, and yes, that one is blatantly sexist. I’m in total agreement. It’s also a heavily-downvoted comment. That doesn’t excuse it, but only disproves the notion that the community universally supports such a thing, which is I believe a claim Jen was making.””Why don’t you just call it Crap Fap, Jen.”(I don’t think I’m risking too much by saying it would belong to the second category)”I missed that one. I agree.”You didn’t see misogyny because you were oblivious to it. It doesn’t go away if you don’t look at it. Well, you are aware of it now. Stop arguing, stop saying “yes, but” and go read. “I did see it. I mentioned it in another comment on this blog. The first comment at least anyway. I’m going to concede that those were sexist comments and there is no excuse for them. BUT, the accusation Jen seems to be making is that the community I belong to supports that kind of thing, and in this case it didn’t. Someone made a sexist comment, Jen said something, and we downvoted it into oblivion. Honestly, what more do you want? Rude sexists to disappear from the internet forever? We can’t help who stumbles into /r/atheism. You don’t need to be a subscriber to post there. Whenever you have a group where membership is completely open to the public, you’re going to have assholes. It’s a fact of life. It sucks, but all you can do is deal with it when it happens. Life sucks. Life isn’t fair. Crying about it doesn’t fix anything. Saying that /r/atheism is “full of sexism” without citing specific examples and then acting surprised when we dare disagree with that mass judgment. I know she doesn’t think we’re all sexists, but that was right after she used the words “full of sexism,” so honestly I don’t know what to think.

  164. 164
    Anna Jobsis

    I see too many comments on this thread saying that because she is the founder of boobquake, because she has pervert in her about me section, because she has a cutesy cartoon in her banner, because she has a profile picture up, because she has ‘hag’ in her blog title, because she has NSFW comment on her blog… that this apparently discounts her from decrying sexism. It FUCKING does not.

  165. 165

    Your data is completely skewed because you fed the trolls. If you do that, then they work harder to troll you. Try it again without feeding the trolls and see what happens. Your argument is invalid due to a poorly scientific study. It’s unbelievable that people still work hard to try to deflate arguments when people are only saying things to get a rise out of you. You need some wisdom, not emotion. Also, the holocaust didn’t happen.

  166. 166
    Voodoo Idol

    You also received twice the number of relevant, on topic comments that he did, yet you seem to gloss that over. Quit playing the victim.

  167. 167

    She made the original comment about being uncomfortable with /r/atheism a couple of months ago. She made it on the basis of long experience with posting there. It’s not just one comment, or one post. Of course people were downvoting (some) sexist shit on a thread that had become a thread about sexism, because it had just been called to their attention (plus a lot of people who agree with Jen probably went over to that thread specifically to defend her).Are you trying to tell her that she hasn’t experienced what she says she’s experienced? If so, why do you think that’s OK? Why do you think you know more about what she’s experienced than she does?

  168. 168

    It’s not a game where attention is a plus and sexist, demeaning comments are a minus, and you add up all the plusses and minuses and whoever has the biggest number wins. Getting a lot of comments doesn’t make sexism OK.

  169. 169

    It’s not about you.I don’t appreciate you claiming we’re all sexist and misogynist She didn’t. Don’t make up things so that you can make yourself look better by tearing them down.because some of us don’t like the way you promote yourself or the content of your posts. If that’s what you think this is about, you haven’t adequately comprehended this post or Jen’s other posts about sexism on Reddit and in the atheist community in general.

  170. 170

    I really fucking hope you’re trolling.

  171. 171
    Daniel Schealler

    Watch out. He’ll mansplain it to you again if you’re not careful.

  172. 172
    Three Ninjas

    As far as I can remember, the very first thing she posted (or actually, I believe someone else posted a link to her blog) incited a storm of prickish comments about her looks before she’d even joined the discussion.

  173. 173

    It has nothing to do with what they do. It has everything to do with whether or not that’s okay. It is not okay.Pervert is there because it’s an accurate word. Jen McCreight does not accept the norm. It’s not her fault that less literate people misunderstand the meaning of the word.People are going to be jerks, and they’re going to whine about being called on being jerks. Neither changes the fact that they should get called on it, repeatedly. If it only encourages the jerks to keep coming back, shouting accusations of attention whoring, well, at least the hypocrisy is pretty amusing.

  174. 174

    that wasn’t the point.. the point was that she had to specifically put up with sexist and disparaging remarks *just* because she’s female. getting the info out and getting relevant comments are great! but when it’s combined with abuse then who on earth wants to post in an environment like that?

  175. 175

    In my experience, when someone calls you an extremist feminist or says you’re making up sexism.. it’s usually because they’re sexist (did i say usually? i meant always..). What’s sad about that is that it happens a lot. And when I mean a lot I mean times a day that angry birds is played -a lot.

  176. 176
    Three Ninjas

    And it’s not just about mean things that people say on the internet. These “jokes” give away something about how people – seemingly a lot of people, certainly too many people – actually think. These comments are symptoms of a larger disease, and there needs to be someone calling them out.

  177. 177

    I find that comment sexist.

  178. 178
    Three Ninjas

    So they feel safe being who they REALLY are on the internet. And who they REALLY are is sexist. And that’s supposed to make feminists feel better why?

  179. 179

    Nope. But if she makes posts that sound like “Im a woman and im an atheist” she should expect reaction for both statements she made.Atheism is a gender neutral topic. You can have intelligent discussion without telling your race/nationality/sexual orientation etc. But if you tell these expect reactions to these statements too.

  180. 180
    Three Ninjas

    I can think of several useful things you could have done in the time it took you to compose this comment. I’m just kidding, I actually can’t think of any useful thing you might be capable of. Lol!

  181. 181
    Daniel Schealler

    Well done.Would you like a cookie?

  182. 182
    Daniel Schealler

    I loves me the smell of privilege denial in the morning!

  183. 183
    Daniel Schealler

    Hmm…I’ve been thinking this over, and I keep mulling on the parallels between racism and sexism.Paradoxically, the stigma associated with the term ‘sexist’ is itself a problem here, insofar as it fuels denial.I started to have a much easier time perceiving racism, particularly in my own attitudes and behaviors, once I became comfortable with the notion that implicit racism is bound up in how society is structured. Of course I’m going to fuck up and do/say something racist every once in a while. The trick is to realize what I’m doing, then stop.But when racism is a colossal and despicable stigma? Well – that’s different.What? You’re saying I’m a racist! Nonsense, I’m saying that it’s all about working hard to get yourself educated at a $50,000 a-year school that your parents paid for- Well yes, maybe Maori families can’t afford that level of education, but it’s obviously their own fault for not working hard enough. It’s hardly my fault they’re all so lazy. Look – I haven’t lynched any brown people all year, not even ever, okay? I can’t be a racist. The only reason you could possibly think I’m racist is because I’m white, which means you’re the racist and I’m the one being victimized here. Q.E.D.Blegh.Similarly with sexism. When sexism is just something to be expected (and corrected) it’s easy. When I make use of my stronger speaking voice to talk over a woman and notice, I can pause, mentally kick myself, then apologize for interrupting and ask her to continue. Because it’s okay. Of course I’m going to be a bit sexist, it’s part of the culture I’m immersed in.But when sexism is utterly and powerfully despicable? Well, let me think again:You think I’m being sexist when I keep talking about and looking at your rack? What the fuck is wrong with you? I’d *love* it if a woman kept on talking about my cock or my ass the same way, you’re just being oversensitive. In fact, the only reason you could possibly think I’m being sexist is because I’m a man! Therefore, you’re the one being sexist and I’m the one being discriminated against. Q.E.D.The best solution I can think of for this problem is to get white people to talk about racism more, and get men to talk about sexism more.

  184. 184

    You’re making a lot of claims here on this thread, care to back any of them up with facts?

  185. 185

    I think you’re confusing “male default” with “gender neutral”.

  186. 186
    Daniel Schealler

    We should start a chain of bumper stickers.”Sexism is inconsequential when you’re privileged.””Racism is inconsequential when you’re privileged.”And do on.

  187. 187

    Yeah, she really needs to “man up”.*vomit*That’s a pretty insulting thing to say to the operator of a feminist blog, especially in a post specifically about misogyny.

  188. 188
    Addison Ryan

    No, I wouldn’t say that. I would say that MOST people have some feelings that they KNOW are wrong, so they don’t act on them or discuss them in public. They might have acquired them through a bad experience or been taught it from a young age, but somehow, they became bigoted towards one group or another. some of people are going to be sexist. On the internet, they can let those feelings out without any or many repercussions. Actually, it might be a good thing that they keep it to the internet, all things considered. that or, you know, it could just be teenage trolls.My point is you’re never going to get rid of Assholes, especially anonymous ones.

  189. 189

    I would like to point out that 4chan has ‘adopted’ reddit as their secret front for their shenanigans. Reddit is sort of the unwilling Shin Fain to 4chan’s IRA if you will. What this means is that you will find a handful of horrible comments in any reddit thread as a result of bored 4channers not knowing what to do. This is not typical of the non-4chan reddit community in general or /atheism in particular. Just thought I’d point that out. They make fun of you and are sexist 4 the LULZ because those are two big red buttons that you have and whenever they see a big red shiny button that says, “DON’T PUSH!” they push it.

  190. 190

    For crying out loud, can’t 4chan go bother the Egyptian government or something?

  191. 191

    On the internet, they can let those feelings out without any or many repercussions.… repercussions to THEM, anyway.

  192. 192
    Bruce Coppola

    One more data point here FWIW: Craig’s right about youthful idiocy. Being on the far side of 50 and having been long and happily married to an “average looking” but fabulous woman (“there are a lot of pretty packages with nothing inside” she’d say when we were dating and observing the “scene”) my experience confirms his observation. Hell. in my callow 20s I said and thought some pretty jerkish things about women, as did others I know . Some of course never grew up and out of it. But most did.

  193. 193
    Sam Barnett-Cormack

    “Out of nowhere”??…I guess this is speechless…

  194. 194
    Sam Barnett-Cormack

    Jokes about oneself (assuming arguendo that’s what she was doing) are one’s own prerogative, and malice or dickishness aren’t part of the question. Jokes at someone else’s expense – yeah, dickishness is part of the question.

  195. 195

    I think I have much-needed and desired insight on how and why people like to appeal to ridicule on the internet, an issue at the heart of this topic. At least, I thought whoever first called Jen a deformed chipmunk was appealing to ridicule. Was it something else? Is there something bad about chipmunks that I don’t know? I thought they were cute.Also, I thought it would be funny to answer a trivial question from the OP.

  196. 196
    Sam Barnett-Cormack

    Really, I think they’re pretty equal. I’m sure one could make a marvellously reasoned case about assholishness being stereotypically masculine and therefore attracts women, while intelligence isn’t seen as stereotypically not feminine, so men will be attracted by dumber girls. I don’t think it’s necessary to analyse in that way; I think it’s simpler.People are idiots, even the smart ones; as soon as romance or sex is involved, we become even more idiotic.

  197. 197

    quit yapping feminazi and show us them tatas

  198. 198

    Cause it’s an awesome site.Get over it, I know for a fact all women are not this sensitive. Know what happens when I say something sexist to my wife? She punches me and laughs. She doesn’t sit there brooding about how misogynistic men are, she knows it’s a joke.

  199. 199
    Addison Ryan

    yep. out of sight, out of mind.

  200. 200
    Eric Broze

    Hi Jen, We met at TAM8 in Vegas and I have been a follower/reader since.I consider r/atheism to be one of the best online atheist communities, however, possession of testicles may be clouding my judgement.With that said, as a skeptic, I would like to see more than anecdotal evidence of your claim. Perhaps a study of r/atheism posts spanning the 3o days prior to your post. Statistical proof will go a long way in that community and may even change some minds for the better.If we toss out the areas where you were personally involved, the relevant statistic provided is 2 comments about the appearance of women/banging them (3.3%). Not the level of “it’s shit like this..” in my opinion, but I could be wrong.

  201. 201

    Interesting that this particular entry is the one that struck the nerve.

  202. 202
    Leonard Andrew Spencer

    Similarly, nobody takes Schneier seriously ever since he put that picture on his blog, shamelessly flaunting his beard and flirtatious smile. And then he goes ahead and reveals that his first name is Bruce! How can you think about security and terrorism when he keeps going on about being a man?

  203. 203

    Don’t be a fag dude.

  204. 204

    “Are you trying to tell her that she hasn’t experienced what she says she’s experienced? If so, why do you think that’s OK? “I’m not trying to say that at all. If anything, I wanted her to provide specific examples of what she was talking about. If it’s so prevalent on /r/atheism, it should take her 5 minutes or less to come up with a specific pattern. This post didn’t do that, and I haven’t seen her previous comments about it until this one calling us out on it. If she’s having that experience I would like to be more aware of it, and perhaps if I had said some things in the past I could re-evaluate my behavior. But without knowing specifically what she has a problem with (aside from the blatantly obvious), I can’t do that.

  205. 205

    IOW, “wahhh, what about the menz?”

  206. 206
    Calvinist Chauvinist

    Oh, boo hoo hooNobody cares about your butthurt over some message board.Find something meaningful in life to care about.

  207. 207


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