This makes me happy »« Off my ASS for …myself – Week 12

I’m Richard Dawkin’s #1 female fan

Because I’m his only female fan, at least according to our favorite Jen-hater, Jill at I Blame the Patriarchy:

Liberal dudes (and that boobquake chick) just love celebrity biologist Richard Dawkins. Even some Internet feminists may be said not to vomit blood at the mention of his name.

This premise is based on the fact that Dawkins happened to leave a single positive comment about a video promoting some potentially anti-feminists ideas.

Meanwhile, upon reading the Sommers speech, Dawkins was moved to comment: “Thank you for this. I have now read the lecture you recommend, and it is indeed excellent.”

The anointed one has spoken.

One passing comment is enough to damn The Anointed One – er, I mean, Dawkins – even though she spends the rest of her post addressing the video in question. And by addressing, I mean calling “funfeminists” who don’t necessarily agree with her particular view of feminists brainwashed.

Lovely.

I certainly don’t agree with many of the things in the speech in question – and I even think Jill makes some halfway decent counter arguments. But calling Dawkins a “intellectual Western motherfucker who is enamored of the glorious myth that he and his ilk, in their educated and progressive magnanimity, have liberated their women” for that single comment? Or worse, thinking people who enjoy and respect Dawkins must slavishly agree with him lest they be kicked out of the atheist hivemind?

You know, enjoying Dawkins doesn’t mean I have to agree with everything he says. Despite claims of my brainwashing, I can think for myself and have my own opinions – Jill is the one who seems to think the opposite. While I highly respect Dawkins in regards to atheism and biology, I wouldn’t be shocked to disagree with a 70 year old white British academic on the details of feminist theory.

But you know what’s really demeaning to women? Starting off a post reducing me to my boobs, and disregarding other women of the atheist movement. Abbie Smith at ERV has already torn this to pieces:

Um, ‘that boobquake chick’ is Jen McCreight. Shes a graduate student in biology. ‘Boobquake‘ was a really cool counter-attack to Muslims attack on womens personal rights and freedoms.

Jen, who brought attention to that very serious topic in a lighthearted, non-intimidating way, is just ‘that boobquake chick’.

A ‘feminist’ thinks its appropriate to dismiss (thus discourage) the positive actions of a young, intelligent activist female, with decades of activism ahead of her.

Of course, at least Jen gets to exist, even if she is unworthy of a name (or a link, very bad blog manners, ‘feminist’).

This ‘feminist’ is also a supporter of the sexist notion that religion is gender appropriate for females, while atheism is gender appropriate for males. Dawkins millions of female fans don’t exist– his fans are a bunch of ‘liberal dudes (and that boobquake chick)’. This ‘feminist’ might have marginalized Jens actions, but they marginalized the very existence of other women (or if they do exist, they must be indistinguishable from ‘dudes’, degrading their ‘femaleness’ by taking it away. When they’re religious like good girls they can have their gender back?).

The irony doesn’t escape me that I just spent the last week speaking to student groups about the convergence of atheism and feminism, why women should leave religion, and diversity within the atheist movement. Or that these talks went overwhelmingly well. Or that I was invited to speak about women in atheism at many national conferences over the next couple months. Or that the Executive Director, Trustee, and Store manager of the Richard Dawkins Foundation are strong, outspoken women. None of that matters, because Overlord Dawkins hath spoken (though not really), and thus the atheist movement is sexist.

Yep. Sound logic.

Comments

  1. cgranade says

    It really does amaze me how often I see the “you’re a fan of X? Then you must agree with thing X that he said!” gambit played. Can we not applaud what people get right without getting hung up on every ill-thought-out off-hand comment?

  2. says

    This is like hearing your parents fighting.I take IBTP with a grain of salt (ok, maybe a whole spoonful) because of stuff like this. Meanwhile, she’s one of the few radical feminists who DOESN’T view trans women as everything wrong with society at best; or living, breathing insults who should be denied dignity until they kill themselves and thus leave the feminist movement clean of their presence at worst. So I have a hard time writing off one of our few allies completely. Then there’s Dawkins who has done some of the most effective deconstructing of theist arguments in recent history, and who has yet to say anything I can say I truly disagree with. I haven’t heard everything he’s said or read everything he’s written, so I’m sure someone could find SOMETHING horrible he’s said. I think he’s probably taking the wrong tack on this pope situation, but I can’t say it’s unfounded either.So to see Jill picking this fight is. . . disappointing. And I’d rather it just stop.

  3. says

    Hmmmm… “feminist theory”. Some of us engineering types can’t grok anything that philosophical. :)On the other hand, it becomes immediately apparent that two people can be perfectly decent and intellectually honest and hold different views on the particulars of a specific theory. It is also pretty obvious that some very small number of “feminists” are eager to attack men because they are men, and then twist everything and everyone associated with them to fit into that attack. Also, if you know anything about Richard Dawkins you know that his wife is a hell of an accomplished woman in her own right. I doubt he could get away with having a superior attitude about giving women a damned thing without his wife inserting a foot in his… rump. Yeah, we’re going to go with ‘rump’ for now. :D

  4. says

    I just read the post in question. It could have been an argument against Sommers without bringing Dawkins into it. It seems like name-dropping. Maybe a birthday present? I used to read IBTP and can’t remember why I stopped. It probably was too much for me. I kind of miss reading feminist blogs (this is the only one I read currently), but I haven’t found many I like longterm.

  5. says

    I don’t understand why people seem to have such difficulty separating people’s viewpoints on various topics. Look, I love Dan Savage’s work on relationships but position on Bread Specific Legislation is completely off base. I love Hitch’s work on atheism and totally disagree with his opinion on the Iraq War. Dawkins being a rabid misogynist wouldn’t preclude from reading his books on atheism anymore than Margaret Sanger’s opinions about eugenics would keep me away from a Planned Parenthood.Hell, the skeptic community is supposed to be all rational and shit and Jen is afraid of Daddy Long Legs.

  6. says

    Ah, I love it when someone calls herself a feminist and then claims that women who disagree with her on [whatever] are brainwashed and don’t think for themselves. Oldie, but always a source of amusement.

  7. The "Eh"theist says

    *Sigh* Yet another “oops” moment requiring nuancing of the “feminist” label and a distancing from a “feminist” writer while making the argument that feminism is good…I sat out the last round of feminist fighting, but this time I’ll make one comment and leave it at that.Let’s look at this critically:-Jen has been criticized by a number of feminists (as documented in this blog, just search the feminism tag)) for breaking one tenet or another of feminist dogma. What always follows is an explanation of how that particular feminist “misunderstands” the dogma or has made something dogma that actually isn’t. -Look at the vocabulary used by femininsts to stifle opponents (boobquake chick, anointed one, funfeminists) demean opposing viewpoints (privilege, ‘mansplaining’) and compare it with similar tactics in religion (heretic, infidel, sacrilege, abonination, blasphemy)-Look at how all the small camps form that attack each other and question whether others are “true believers” while still claiming to hold the feminist banner high (insert your own comparison of denominations at each others’ throats and christianity).The question often gets asked of religious women how they can justify contiinuing to particpate in religion when it demeans and disenfranchises women. I think a similar question needs to be asked here:How can women (and Jen in particular) continue to support and promote feminism while apologizing for its stifling/censoring honest differences of opinion through ridicule and dismissive language; its demeaning of others through charicature and stereotype and its refusal to self-examine and change using reason and critical thinking? By all means support the rights of women, encourage their participation and leadership and help everyone’s understanding of the role of women to grow and mature. The “F” word is not necessary to undertake any of those objectives. In fact it may now serve to hinder others from supporting them.Perhaps a lecture on separating from feminism is needed as much as one on separating from god.

  8. says

    “How can women (and Jen in particular) continue to support and promote feminism while apologizing for its stifling/censoring honest differences of opinion through ridicule and dismissive language; its demeaning of others through charicature and stereotype and its refusal to self-examine and change using reason and critical thinking? “Because “feminism” isn’t doing this. Individual feminists are. Your blanket condemnation of feminism (and weird dismissal of the concept of privilege) is no better than these individual feminists’ narrow definitions of feminism.

  9. says

    I have found that whenever I agree with a person about a particular topic, it is inevitable I will find something else I disagree with that person about. It’s something I’ve come to accept about life. So, as much as I very much enjoy Professor Dawkins’ books, I don’t expect to agree with him about everything.I’m sorry about the way that she basically dismisses you as “that boobquake chick”. People commenting on my appearance when I was talking about something else entirely always made me feel badly, and I had to work hard to ignore it. I hope it doesn’t get you too down.

  10. says

    Gotta love the one commenter who asserts that all men think themselves better than women. How else am I supposed to learn how much of an ass I am unless women like that commenter insult me all the time?Jenn, you’re clearly not doing it right by making me think about feminist issues in ways that I wouldn’t have thought about yet not making me feel stupid and inferior at the same time. :-)

  11. cgranade says

    Not surprising, really. One of my big problems with Feministing, for instance, is how unwilling they are to lay the blame for how women are treated by fundamentalists at religion’s feet. The whole “religion isn’t bad, they’re doing it wrong” excuse rings hollow when applied to so many different examples of inequality and injustice.Part of what attracted me to this blog in particular is that atheism and feminism go so well together. It’s refreshing to see that the fine human beings at Skepchick aren’t the only ones that get that.

  12. says

    Um, because I still agree with the vast majority of feminists and feminist ideas, and these are just a few loud individuals? I still call myself an atheist even though there are atheists who are assholes that I disagree with.

  13. says

    I’d like to jump in and recommend Pandagon, if you’re not reading it already. Amanda Marcotte is one of my favorite feminist bloggers. Her Twitter feed has lots of good stuff in it too.

  14. cgranade says

    I second this recommendation. At least I will after I finish slapping myself upside the head for forgetting to mention Amanda right off.

  15. says

    I cannot figure out why Jen was mentioned (well, not ‘mentioned’… ‘alluded to’?) at all in the first place.It was a gratuitous swipe at her, that ended up marginalizing female atheists and female biologists/scientists as a whole, and other ‘feminist’ ‘scientists’ thought it was ‘hysterical’.’Feminists’ my ass.Good old fashioned bitches.

  16. says

    Feminism is just fine. Most people can tell the difference between promoting equality and exploiting feminism to bash people who have dissenting opinions. The ones who can’t tell the difference are maybe not the target audience at all. Jen in particular and women in general aren’t required to explain away the behavior of other women who act poorly in public. As I understand it, one of the big goals of any equality movement is to prevent people from pointing at bad behavior from one member of a group and using it to smear everyone else in that group. The people who blog at iblamethepatriarchy.com aren’t representative of all feminists, and shouldn’t be used as an excuse to dismiss feminism as a whole.

  17. says

    Ahh isn’t it nice to have nemesis? At least you know where to find them, and at least you have awesome responses like that if Abbie’s

  18. the_Siliconopolitan says

    “I take IBTP with a grain of salt (ok, maybe a whole spoonful)”So IBTP is bad for your health?

  19. the_Siliconopolitan says

    You left me quite confused there for a bit, until I recalled Savage’s hatred of all things pitbull.I wondered why I’d never noticed him being woo-woo on carbohydrates.

  20. says

    what bizarre logic. i like the song ‘imagine’, therefore i (and all of my friends and twitter followers) approve of heroin addiction. yup. makes perfect sense.

  21. says

    Jesus fucking Christ. There are people dying in horrible places all over the world, there are women getting raped all over over the world and people are getting their blood in a flood because of what exactly?I skimmed the Jill woman’s piece and she should just jill off and STFU.Big picture, people, please keep your attention on the big picture.

  22. dasunt says

    The comments on that blog entry would be comedy gold if they weren’t written to be serious.Just from skimming them (I can’t stand to read them all), there seems to be one poor poster that has made the radical suggestion that, hypothetically, a guy could have things worse off than the average woman. The responses have not been kind to that poster. Right now, a response is questioning if this poster is really a woman as she claims, or really a guy.Then Jill chimes in:” I’ve been thinking about the irrelevancy of real-life gender to the embrace of the ideals of Savage Death Island, and have concluded that the expression of dudely points of view, whether presented or espoused by “actual” dudes or not, is a more useful criterion than speculation about Y chromosomes for revocation of membership in the Blametariat.”Typical IBTP stuff: You can’t assign blame until you figure out who has a penis, or thinks like those who have a penis.

  23. says

    There’s a certain style of discourse in feminism. Its not the only style, nor is it ubiquitous. Nor is it only present in feminism. But its there enough to notice. The way it works is you take something someone wrote, read it as indicating the presence of certain larger societal attitudes of which you disapprove, and then read all of the details of those larger societal attitudes into the person who wrote the thing you’re quoting. It then lets you write about what you want to write about (the larger societal attitude that you oppose) while making your writing seem pertinent and timely and related to immediate identifiable writings or events.Its a style of discourse lifted from literary criticism, though at this point its widely enough spread (you can find it all over legal writing) that you don’t have to be familiar with literary criticism to have encountered it.This is what Jill is doing. The way you can tell is by how barely any of her post is actually about Dawkins, even though its the title and the draw. And then even though the meat of her post is about Sommers, even that is quickly drawn off into a general critique of Sommers instead of a critique of the lecture in question. What Jill wants to talk about is a general societal attitude that bothers her. So she makes Sommers embody it in its worst form, without worrying about whether that’s completely fair. Then because Dawkins commented positively about one thing Sommers did, she portrays Dawkins as endorsing the construction she’s made of Sommers. Dawkins becomes the draw for the audience, and the springboard, but the real post is about a somewhat-but-not-entirely related social issue.

  24. says

    There are a few examples of monolithic movements that go out of their way to show a united front to the outside world. The Republicans in the US, whose misogyny, anti-poor, anti-science, pro-fundamentalist, pro-war stance springs to mind immediately. See how badly a society is run when you demand a united movement and outlaw dissension.I like that the progressive movement, with it’s feminism, anti-fundamentalism, pro-minority rights of all shades is so argumentative within itself and with the world in general. It means that people who have genuinely bad ideas can be criticised for them, leading to better ideas.As a lot of people have said so far, most people hold a very varied mix of ideas, some are good, some are bad. We can embrace the good ones, and criticise the bad ones. Unless we want to go monolithic and simply accept the worldview of the powerful, the majority or the popular as gospel, no matter how good the ideas actually are, we need to accept that sometimes we are going to disagree and have huge arguments about what is right.I didn’t agree with Jill’s blogpost, it did appear to be a not so subtle attack on a brand of feminist that Jill didn’t like, and an attack on a man who has never (apart from a really good argument with a ex-Jewish fundamentalist Muslim man in one of his documentaries about that simple fact that the person who is in charge of Mrs. Richard Dawkins is actually Mrs. Richard Dawkins and not her husband, father or any other man) entered the field of feminist theory and so shouldn’t be necessarily be listened to if he does comment on Sommer’s material. That said, I haven’t read anything else by her, and from some of the comments, she appears to largely be on our side. Criticise her bad blogpost, gleefully, and celebrate that we can.

  25. Jeanette says

    I assume you’ve already encountered Pharyngula, and I always forget about it when I’m trying to think of “feminist” blogs, but to be honest, PZ being awesome and everything, there’s more feminist writing on his blog as there is on almost any other atheist blog. Of course Skepchick, Greta Christina’s Blog, and Pandagon are all what I immediately jumped to as well :)

  26. Jeanette says

    Also typical IBTP stuff because you have to read it like 4 times to even begin to understand the insane writing style.

  27. says

    You elide a crucial difference between feminism and religion: the former is an abstraction while the latter is an institution (really, a whole range of institutions). There’s no feminist pope or rabbis or imams or gurus or what-have-you. There’s no feminist Vatican with vast wealth and political influence. There’s no feminist church that you tithe to and otherwise support in material ways.There’s just the idea of feminism and (to borrow a religious trope) if you have two feminists you probably have three opinions about it.

  28. says

    That sounds about right…My problem with certain feminist blogs is that I disagree too often. I need, apparently, a certain percentage…maybe 75? I don’t have the will to argue politely (or im-), so I just give up. No skin off my nose to not read something. :)

  29. Svlad Cjelli says

    So, ha ha, Jen has tits, she can’t has think? Good feminism, Jill. Golf clap.

  30. says

    Dismissing you as “that boobquake chick” is particularly ironic, as it’s exactly the kind of description one might expect from idiotic chauvinists, and other brands of idiot.The rest of it I shan’t go far into, because it’s been pretty well covered. It’s really the whole “no true scotsman” thing, and I hate it, even if I’m guilty of it sometimes in other areas. No-one has the right to define the characteristics of allegiance to a particular abstract philosophy, because no-one gets to define the abstract philosophy.

  31. Rfeldman says

    If I’m given to understand IBTP correctly, science is patriarchal thus Jen (as a budding scientist herself) really can’t expect to get a fair shake from that particular blog (only blame, as per the title).

  32. says

    *I* have my lapses. Everyone does. It’s called being human – we all make mistakes. You can’t label someone an enemy of women because they occasionally goof up.

  33. Lymie says

    Yeah, stupid, gratuitous and unnecessary put down of Jen, but in total, really, IBTP is great, and Jill is just deeper into describing how the tendrils of the patriarchy are everywhere. She has irreverent and humorous turns of phrase, too. Seriously, does anyone think that most white dudes have really thought through the extent of their privileges? Louis CK kinda has, but still…

  34. says

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. Does she really think Jen is the only woman — indeed, the only feminist — who likes and admires Dawkins? Does she honestly think that The God Delusion made it onto the bestseller lists by being bought solely by men? Did she even fucking bother to contact, say, five feminist atheist bloggers and ask, “Hey, what do you think about Dawkins”?Hell, Dawkins is the reason I’m an atheist — and the reason I’m an atheist activist. I started The God Delusion as an agnostic and occasional writer about skepticism. I finished it as an atheist, and a writer committed to making atheism a lynchpin of my work. I am a HUGE fan of the man and his work.And yes, he sometimes gets stuff wrong. Alert the media. I sometimes get stuff wrong, too. By all means, we should call him on it when he does… but it’s a big stretch between “calling him on it for occasionally screwing up” and “dismissing anyone who admires significant portions of his work.”But I guess all of that makes me not a feminist. I forgot — which women are and are not feminist is to be determined solely and entirely by IBTP.

  35. says

    Thought I was done ranting, and immediately started going, “And another thing…”And another thing… I hate, hate, HATE the way that this particular form of feminism has managed to position itself as the de facto feminist position. On *everything.* If they want to express their views on feminism and assorted issues related to it, by all means they should. But when they present their narrow, rigid, gatekeeping form of feminism as What All Feminism Is, I think it puts a lot of women off from identifying as feminist who otherwise might.Especially since they fucking well know better. They know perfectly well that many of their positions are not accepted by all or even most feminists, that in fact many of them are hotly debated within the feminist movement. They choose to ignore it: to stick their fingers in their ears and chant, “You’re not really a feminist, you’re not really a feminist, you’re not really a feminist.” And they’ve done a good enough job of positioning themselves as the self-appointed arbiters of Who Is And Is Not A Feminist that many women who are, in fact, feminist accept their judgment, and distance themselves from feminism when they might otherwise be embracing it.Rrrrrrrrrr.

  36. Jek says

    And herein lies the difficulty I have had learning about feminism. I am relatively new to discovering all these ideas, I’ve been reading various feminist blogs for about a year now, and I have to say, I stumbled across IBTP one time, after reading a bit, I felt so stupid and ashamed, I am probably what they would call a ‘funfeminist’, and I felt like I was somehow personally responsible for everything wrong in the world (ridiculous, I know, but the tone and radical ideas really caught me off guard). For a branch of feminism that claims to be the sole group that TRULY cares about women, they are pretty bloody good at marginalising the majority of us.I can’t cope with the whole “Men hate women men want to control women men invented heels and makeup so women who wear heels and such are knowingly consenting to being controlled by men and thats why rape keeps happening.”One more step and we’d be back at ‘Did you see what she was wearing she totally asked for it.” I realise that I’m oversimplifying what they’re saying, but seriously, to someone who is new to all these different versions of feminism, IBTP sounds extremely close to misogyny. Its like anything I think I like, really its just what the patriarchy has told me to like and if I’d just listen to Jill instead of the patriarchy I’d realise how my boyfriend and my father and my male boss are all in leagues to keep me quiet and pretty and stupid. “Poor brainwashed little woman, I know whats best for listen to me.” It could be IBTP or a misogynistic man saying that.Alternatively, how about I decide what I like and want for myself, and misogynists and IBTP alike, you stgay out of it and accept the radical idea that maybe I don’t think the same way as you?I don’t know. Tell me if I’ve gotten this wrong. I just find every post at IBTP incredibly patronising. BTW, the quote about foreskins she used, I took that as Dawkins highlighting the absurdity of religious practices rather than him trying to appear superior to women. I don’t even know how you twist your brain to make the latter make sense, to be honest.

  37. Lymie says

    Yeah, but Jen, you thinking Jill is jealous (your comment on EVa blog) was pretty lame. Do you think it might be a generational problem, here? Jill is significantly longer lived in the patriarchy, is gay, has been through the breast cancer-double-mastectomy mill, lots of tough life experiences that she has thought about and been very honest about. She may just have a tougher view of the world than you and Greta.

  38. says

    It’s not “lame,” it’s something I’ve gotten from multiple older women. And it’s not just me – a lot of young activists have gotten it. They assume young women are only successful because of their looks, which is fucking belittling and frankly pathetic. Jill’s title says it all – she sees herself the victim of everything. It’s so convenient being able to blame someone else for all of your problems.Jill often has good points about feminism, but she seems more interested in putting down others than intellectual discussions. But you know nothing about my experiences or Greta’s. Regardless, this isn’t a contest in who suffered through the most shit in their life.

  39. says

    I caught the ‘yeah, shes obviously jealous” vibe from the post at IBTP too. But Im willing to grant the premise that the author wasnt jealous, because Im jealous of Jen. Id give my left nut for the kind of exposure shes gotten. Yet I wouldnt dismiss her, her intelligence, or her accomplishments while betraying a fundamental aspect of my worldview.Im willing to concede that it was petty, sexist, hypocritical bitchiness, where jealousy may or may not be present.Also, Jen, the phrase youre looking for is “locus of control”. Lets say you get a B in a class you really thought you should have gotten an A in. Your response could be “Ugh. I shouldnt have partied so much during the week. I should have aced this class. Gonna straighten up next semester.” or “You know what? I wanted an A, but this class is really hard, and I worked my ass off and got a B. I can still be proud of that.” Or, your response could be “If my roommate didnt always make me party during the week, I could have gotten an A. She knew I had an early class and asked me to go out with her anyway.” or “I heard this professor is an Evangelical. I bet he hates atheists and he screwed me over grading the last test just so I wouldnt get an A.”

  40. moonkitty says

    Pretty sure that people being allowed to disagree with one another–and, yes, even be rude about it–is a good, healthy thing. It’s the OPPOSITE of “stifling/censoring honest differences of opinion”.Are you an accomodationist when it comes to atheism, too? After all, those mean gnus use a lot of “ridicule and dismissive language” (and we all know that “ridicule and dismissive language” is just like teh Inquisitions. Oh, the horror.)

  41. ckitching says

    It’s a very human response, though. Guilt-by-association. Reducing someone to their appearance. Excluding and marginalizing everyone who you disagree with. All very human indeed.I can’t read that blog. It’s not that they’re wrong, they’re often very right. I guess I just see a heavy undertone of paranoia there, and everything gets boiled down to black-and-white good-vs-evil. I guess I’m not their target audience anyway — I have the genetic defect of being a dude.

  42. lode1 says

    I would pay money to listen to Jen or Richard speak. I’d pay even more money to NOT listen to Jill. Richard has significant contributions in two fields, evolutionary biology and atheism. Richard is the antithesis of the “anointed one”. Boobquake was inspired and wonderful, hope it becomes an annual event. But that’s just my “human penis-based arguments”. Umm, what non-“human penis based arguments” do you think Jill has been listening to?

  43. Azkyroth says

    Jill is significantly longer lived in the patriarchy, is gay, has been through the breast cancer-double-mastectomy mill, lots of tough life experiences that she has thought about and been very honest about. She may just have a tougher view of the world than you and Greta.

    You seem to be suggesting that there’s some “threshold” level of suffering beyond which the obligations of intellectual (and regular) honesty and common fucking human decency just go straight out the window. Would you care to *explicitly* defend this belief, or can we expect backpedaling?Plus I would imagine that Greta’s been dealing with the patriarchy longer than Jill, and I know from her writing that Greta has the experience of being a non-straight, bi, kinky, atheist woman, which is like 5 levels of Marginalized…if you really want to go that route.[EDIT]Blockquote for clarity given the weird way comments nest. And stuff.

  44. ckitching says

    Frustrating, isn’t it? Whenever someone needs an expert on feminism, one of these people shows up, and paints it in the worst light possible.Is it just me, or is it hard to distinguish these people from the traditionalist patriarchal structures they say they’re fighting against. To the latter group, you’re not a real woman unless you’re married, a stay-at-home mom, and have a large progeny. To the former, it seems like you’re not a real woman unless you’re unmarried, highly career focused and either childless or a single mother. I guess I’ve never really seen how either path makes or disqualifies someone from being a “real woman”.

  45. Azkyroth says

    Its like anything I think I like, really its just what the patriarchy has told me to like and if I’d just listen to Jill instead of the patriarchy I’d realise how my boyfriend and my father and my male boss are all in leagues to keep me quiet and pretty and stupid. “Poor brainwashed little woman, I know whats best for listen to me.” It could be IBTP or a misogynistic man saying that.

    Makes it sound like she views Patriarchy as a competitor rather than a common enemy….

  46. Azkyroth says

    There’s no feminist pope or rabbis or imams or gurus or what-have-you. There’s no feminist Vatican with vast wealth and political influence. There’s no feminist church that you tithe to and otherwise support in material ways.

    Despite the almost explicit insistence of some “feminists” otherwise (see the topic of this post).

  47. Azkyroth says

    You know, of all the things I’ve noticed my penis doing, I’ve yet to observe it produce an argument. Is that something you catch if you’re not careful? O.o

  48. says

    *sigh* I really used to admire and enjoy IBtP, but shit like this is why I no longer read her blog. Not that she’d be sad about the loss, an’ all, me bein’ a dude an’ all.

  49. says

    I dont think the author really thinks Jen is the only woman who likes and admires Dawkins.I think the author readily discards basic principles of ‘feminism’ whenever it suits her fancy.

  50. says

    Tried to ‘sleep on this’, but Im still pissed.Jill is significantly longer lived in the patriarchy…Thats ageist.is gay…I dont think Jen, Greta, or myself label ourselves as ‘straight’. Assuming we are straight is offensive.has been through the breast cancer-double-mastectomy mill…Did you know I had a breast cancer ‘scare’ when I was 22? Pro-tip– when you get breast cancer that young, its not a ‘double mastectomy mill’. You are just going to die. Happily it wasnt cancer, and I didnt have to do any surgery (though I met with a surgeon). Not that this has anything to do with the topic at hand, Im just pissed you think you know me (any of us) and our life histories.lots of tough life experiences…Cry me a river. This is life. Life is ‘tough experiences’. Either you deal with it or you shoot yourself in the head, but dont expect any special treatment from me cause you think youve had it worse off than anyone else. Know what I do for a living? Study dead babies. They rotted in their own skins before they died from AIDS related complications. Come bawwwing to me about ‘tough life experiences’ once, you wont try it again.

  51. Svlad Cjelli says

    Cargo-cult feminism, maybe? “[U]nmarried, highly career focused” et.c. because that’s what The Ancient God-Heroes wanted to make possible?Going through the motions and mouthing the chants in the hopes that the gods of feminism will descend from the heavens to dole out fame and recognition?

  52. says

    I think that’s an oversimplification of the dichotomy. Sure, there are a few atheist assholes out there, but do they have massively popular blogs with hundreds of comments filled with atheist after atheist cheering them on?I haven’t found them yet, but I sure as hell have found a disturbingly large number of feminist blogs that do: IBlameThePatriarchy for one and factcheckme come to mind.I haven’t come across any “asshole atheist” blogs that compare to their popularity.

  53. says

    This. Not only are these things horrible excuses, they’re not even accurate. Greta is (I believe) in her late 40s. She’s bisexual and married to a woman. I’m hardly straight, and I’m an activist for gay rights. I haven’t personally had breast cancer, but my mother did, and assuming watching her go through chemo for a year and wondering if she was going to make it didn’t affect me at all… that’s just bullshit.

  54. says

    First, I’m not at all happy with how IBTP referred to you. Though if it’s any comfort on the ‘there is no bad publicity’ level, that and a friend’s reminder will probably result in me reading your blog more often.Second, if Dawkin’s fans are alerting him to Hoff Sommers and he’s endorsing her, he’s not a very good feminist. And that’s ok. He’s a good biologist and a good atheist. If he wanted to be a very good feminist, we could surely use him, given the evolutionary biology field’s history with gender. But really, there’s no reason to expect him to be (which is where the mocking ‘anointed one’ line came from, I suspect… I really wonder what kind of thinking [or lack thereof] produced that first fan request for Dawkins to look into Hoff Sommers… who the heck cares what Dawkins thinks of Hoff Sommers??).But here’s the other thing… Atheism and feminism have a lot in common. They both have branches that want to define the movement narrowly, because they see anything else as accommodationist and doomed to failure given the larger opposing societal pressures. Ultimately, each person gets to choose where they want to stand on that continuum within those movements (or if they want to be a part of them at all). But to admire an atheist hardliner (Dawkins), and not be able to fathom why something like boobquake would have given you an accomodationist reputation among hardliner feminists… I just don’t see how someone so intelligent could miss it.

  55. Lymie says

    They were not excuses, I don’t think Jill sees herself as a victim, I don’t read that into what she says. The word “blame” seems to be a problem, I thought it meant, “to hold responsible”, does it imply victimhood to you?I was not saying anything about any of you, I was simply trying to give some ideas about where Jill might be coming from. Really, I tried to keep it very narrow, and only try to think why her world view might be what it is. She was so up front and honest about her cancer, I was astonished (pictures!) and my mother was going through it at the same time and died soon after. Jill has a courage and clarity I admire.. I had never read much of Greta or ERV before, that is why I said “may have” about the world view, listing some things about Jill doesn’t mean they can’t be true about you, too.I did not mean to suggest that you all haven’t suffered, had a hard life, or start a pain olympics, I said nothing of the kind. It is so frustrating to be attacked for stuff that I never said. I like Jen’s blog, I like Jill’s blog, not a problem.

  56. Lymie says

    Absolutely not trying to piss you off. Sorry. I won’t say anything more because you don’t want to believe that my intentions were 180 degrees from your interpretation.

  57. Jek says

    I don’t know, maybe I’ve interpreted what she’s saying wrong. There’s the whole ‘this is not a feminist primer’ disclaimer on her site, but it makes me baulk at how far I read into things. like, how far in do I want to embrace feminism if thats where it leads? I don’t want to feel like a victim my whole life, I don’t want to be miserable and feel hopeless. The whole tone of the website seems to me to be ‘raped if you do, raped if you dont, best give up and whinge on the internet.’Again, correct me if I’m wrong. I’m sure the intentions of that kind of feminism are good, but ‘don’t wear this coz its a tool of oppression’ coming from them, and ‘don’t wear this coz you look like a whore’ coming from society, in both cases amounts to ‘little woman, you don’t know what you’re doing, I’ll decide for you’, and someone else picking my clothes for me. And the whole “Feminity is bad, buying into it enables the oppression of every woman, which leads to rape and murder’, so because I wore makeup, someone else is being raped? What? How is that different in practice to ‘You got your boobs out, thats why we are all getting killed in this earthquake’.I don’t know. Majorly confused.

  58. Azkyroth says

    No, I think you had it right, and there isn’t a difference. Just realize she doesn’t represent most feminists or much of why feminism matters.

  59. Jek says

    Do you know, its from reading blogs like this one that I am learning why feminism is so important, and I’m not going to let this stop me from pursuing learning about it.

  60. Azkyroth says

    What’s “hardliner” about mindlessly demonizing any expression of female sexuality by a third party?[EDIT]Or rather, what about this do you see as comparable to Dawkins’ assertiveness about atheism?

  61. says

    For the record, since it’s come up: I’m 49. I’m a queer-identified bisexual, married to a woman. Yes, I’m an out sadomasochist as well. And my mother died of colon cancer when I was 17 and she was 45.Not that it’s really relevant. “I’m marginalized” is not an excuse to treat other people shabbily. Neither is “I’ve had a hard life.”

  62. says

    First, I don’t think anyone is mindlessly demonizing any expression of female sexuality. You are exaggerating to the point I wonder if you are *trying* to make discourse impossibly dull, where you get to harpoon strawmen and pretend you are a knight. Second, if ‘boobquake’ is viewed entirely as an atheist event, I think most people can see it was, at least overall, a huge win. However, since I think it’s pretty clear Jen is trying to do the difficult work of fighting the good fights as *both* an atheist *and* a feminist, it is unreasonable to view her as a third party. It’s sidelining her. (Jen, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong here)As a feminist statement, I think Jill felt boobquake left something to be desired. I would tend to agree, although I don’t think it’s a good basis to go get all judgmental or ‘you’re not feminist enough’ at Jen, who is trying to do something that isn’t at all easy. Dawkins isn’t just an atheist, he feels like groups of people being religious is fundamentally a destructive force. Jill isn’t just a feminist, she feels like groups of people being gender normative is a fundamentally destructive force. If Dawkins spends his energy telling liberal pro-GLBT Unitarian Universalists and Neopagans that they are superstitious and crazy, he’s going to be viewed as a hardliner. If Jill spends her energy telling Jen that she is ‘capitulating to DudeNation’s fondest desire’ she’s going to be viewed as a hardliner.

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