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Column A and column B

Foster Disbelief is pleased to see the new trend.

After watching certain atheists say hurtful, hateful, idiotic, misogynistic things directed atRebecca Watson, the whole Skepchick crew (especially Surly Amy recently), other women in skepticism who dared to speak out, and the men who understand that there is a problem and want to do something to fix it, it is refreshing to see this quote from President of the American Atheists, Dave Silverman:

[you know the quote]

The minute I saw this quote at Butterflies and Wheels I decided to join American Atheists.  I’ll be proud to be a member of an organization that gets it, and that stands by its members even in the face of the inevitable backlash they are sure to receive.

Martin Pribble is also paying attention.

There are many people who stand to lose some of their perceived power when women, more than 50% of the human population, are seen as equals in all facets of life. Males fear the emasculating effects of equality, when they can no longer hold dominion over women. Men have had a privileged place in society, and this privilege is something that, I’m afraid, many can’t imagine a world without. Many men, and women, fear this change, for it forces a reevaluation of “traditional” gender roles in society. This fear becomes apparent in the language people use (a woman who chooses to go against the accepted “norm” is called a bitch, a dyke or a whore), and can cause people to use the language of violence as a defense, making threats of rape or even death against these women. What the Skepchicks endure daily is just one of many examples; the anonymity of the internet seems to make this stuff all the more attractive to the would-be abuser.

The topic of rape jokes is all over the web right now. It’s not because it’s more contentious than usual, just that the there seems to be a spate of resentment against the atheist/skeptic communities with relation to the safety of women at conferences.

So out come the rape jokes, and the demeaning epithets.

But the pushback is gathering steam. The epithetists are not going to win this fight.

 

 

Comments

  1. jemand says

    No. No it is not most despicable. Possibly most disappointing, because of those types of people we naturally expect more.

    But as far as I have feelings of disgust when met with a self-described “feminist” who upholds patriarchy… I don’t feel personally threatened like from some men who hold positions of power and yet do so.

    So I would say that is more despicable.

  2. Jennifer says

    Who is the head of the women’s org who made a rape joke? I need to be sure not to support.

  3. Sili says

    But that’s unpossible! Feminism is killing atheism! It’s cannot be that anyone would want to join AA once they’ve declared women to be people, too! Something musta been lost in translation.

  4. iknklast says

    I have American Atheists on my list for donation this month; they will get a nice sum from me, and an appreciative letter. Dave Silverman has restored my faith in the atheist movement (though I did understand that the misogyny is only a minority, sometimes it comes so thick and fast it gets suffocating).

  5. says

    I did not make a rape joke! As a victim of sexual abuse I was happy when Sandusky was convicted and said he deserved whatever happened to him in prison. That IS NOT a rape joke. EllenBeth, I am shocked that you would leave this type of comment with no context. I am an abuse victim who was happy that justice was served for once. I don’t make rape jokes or advocate violence.

    Disgusting.

  6. says

    “I don’t make rape jokes or advocate violence.”

    Bridget, you don’t seem to understand that you did exactly that! Stephanie Zvan posted an easy to read chart. You advocated rape as punishment for Sandusky. Your “joke” then didn’t condemn this rape. To the contrary, you stated you would be glad that he would get this treatment. Therefore, your statement reinforces the idea that society will support and uphold rapists over victims.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2012/07/27/so-you-want-to-tell-a-rape-joke/

    I am shocked that you would defend this. I am not going to get into a back and forth with you. Advocating rape as a punishment upon someone, even the most heinous criminal, is never appropriate. That’s disgusting.

  7. says

    There is a difference between a “joke” and an angry comment. Joking is by definition, “a thing that someone says to cause amusement or laughter, esp. a story with a funny punchline”. My comment was an angry one. Anger for the lives Sandusky ruined and anger for the little girl who still lives inside of me. If he is a child molester, I don’t care what happens to him in prison. That’s no joke, that’s my emotional response to learning that a child rapist was found guilty of his crimes.

  8. says

    EllenBeth, I am sorry, but your accusations are misleading to the readers. When you say joke, you give the impression of a crude joke, with crude punchline. A angry statement as to what happens to someone in jail is not meant as a joke or to be funny. That is if at best irresponsible when it is someones reputation in the movement on the line. What you are accusing here, is nothing but your opinion and here say. Someone in your position, should be more responsible then what you are displaying here.

  9. says

    I am tired of reading accusations against one or the other, but no one shows evidence of what they are accusing. WTH? We are skeptics, and yet taking someones word as proof? Show me what she said, and let me decide.

  10. theoreticalgrrrl says

    I don’t think it’s fair to say Bridgette made a rape joke. Like she said, it was in anger at the lives this man ruined. That’s COMPLETELY different. I think Bridgette deserves an apology.

    @Bridgette
    I think maybe the point EllenBeth is trying to make is that if we say anyone “deserves” rape, including the rapist – as despicable as he is – it could be used as an excuse by some people to say there are others who also deserve rape, (including women who society deems evil for being ‘slutty’.) I understand that wasn’t your point, but we shouldn’t wish that crime on anyone, even in our very righteous anger and disgust at their horrific behavior, because we shouldn’t lower ourselves to their level. But I understand your anger completely and do not think you should be accused making light of or joking about rape. I think there’s a way to discuss this issue without throwing accusations at people for their justified anger at a predator like Sandusky.

  11. EllenBeth Wachs says

    Rape is not a weapon to be wielded as a punishment regardless of who it is being wielded against. Because she said it in what she later declares as “anger” is not a justification. It actually wasn’t said in anger. It was said in self-righteous moralization over another human. She didn’t enjoy being called on the carpet for it as she deleted the post. Fortunately, I was able to screen-cap it.. I have it on my i-pad and will post it later.
    Stephanie Zvan did a really helpful blog on exactly this type of “joke” What Bridget did is precisely covered in the chart -

    her “joke” stating that “rape is an appropriate punishment for some types of behavior” —->>>>Your rape joke reinforces the ideas in our society that support and uphold rapists over rape victims. This means it is not “just a joke”. Do not attempt to use this defense when your joke is condemned as anti-social and uncivilized.

    “So You Want To Tell a Rape Joke”
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2012/07/27/so-you-want-to-tell-a-rape-joke/

    Now run back to the slyme-pit Beth.

  12. theoreticalgrrrl says

    EllenBeth, I completely agree with you when you say that, “Rape is not a weapon to be wielded as a punishment regardless of who it is being wielded against.” I agree 100% But Bridgette is a survivor and she was directing her anger at someone who is a serial rapist of children, a man who even gloated at his sentencing that he still had his memories of his time “helping” children and that no one could take that away from him, even in prison. I understand her anger and desire to see him be hurt in the way he’s hurt so many children, so maybe he’d know what it’s like to be one of his victims. It’s a very human reaction. I don’t condone saying anyone deserves rape, even someone that vile. I think once the anger dies down, people should examine what they’re saying and see that this reaction, usually said in the heat of very justified anger at a predator, just reinforces the idea that some people deserve rape.

    Anger isn’t a justification but it is understandable, especially for child survivors, so I don’t believe it’s fair to say “It was said in self-righteous moralization over another human.” Do you really think she wasn’t angry and disgusted at this child rapist? That she meant it in some cold, calculated way?

    “She didn’t enjoy being called on the carpet for it as she deleted the post.” Maybe she deleted it because she got your point.

  13. says

    Anger isn’t a justification but it is understandable, especially for child survivors, so I don’t believe it’s fair to say “It was said in self-righteous moralization over another human.” Do you really think she wasn’t angry and disgusted at this child rapist? That she meant it in some cold, calculated way?

    “She didn’t enjoy being called on the carpet for it as she deleted the post.” Maybe she deleted it because she got your point.

    Of course anger is understandable. I was angry with him as well. Who wasn’t? I also am a rape survivor. I actually brought that point up to her initially in our conversation. And I failed to see then as I fail to see now why anyone would take that experience and demean it that way and advocate its use as torture.

    She did say it in a cold-calculating manner. She later made another post reaffirming her point. Look, she and I disagree on whether it’s okay to wish rape upon somebody. Whether said in anger or not, it’s just not acceptable to me to wish somebody get raped

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