Bullied or cajoled

More anti-feminist rage, more pro-feminist pushback. No doubt you’re aware of Thunderfoot’s video, which (for my sins) I watched. That’s the rage. The pushback is…

Michael Nugent for instance.

Thunderf00t has published a video in which he includes me on a list of people who he claims have been “bullied or cajoled” into what he calls “a bullshit PC appeasement position” regarding feminism.

In my case he is referring to an article I wrote last August for Skepchick, without being either bullied or cajoled, as part of a series on speaking out against hate directed at women.

I’m republishing that article here, because it is still important to speak out against hate directed at women, regardless of your opinions about the internal politics of the atheist movement.

The article follows. Notice the sweetly indirect way Nugent points out that Thunderfoot lied about him and all the other men who wrote articles for Amy’s series at Skepchick. Thunderfoot said they were all bullied or cajoled, and that’s a falsehood.

Notice what the lie implies – that all men hate feminism, that all men naturally agree with Thunderfoot about feminism, that no men would have written articles for that series without being bullied or cajoled – and that feminists are manipulative bullies.

As Adam Lee put it in a comment on Nugent’s post -

The really bizarre part is how Thunderfoot and others are settling on the position that we can’t be saying this because we actually believe it, that someone must have somehow coerced or blackmailed so many prominent atheist men into speaking out against misogyny. This is black-helicopter territory, folks. I’d love to hear what leverage they think the evil feminists have over so many of us, that they can force us to make statements we don’t truly believe.

PZ for another instance.

It’s a new year, and Thunderf00t hasn’t changed a bit — he has a new video where he’s apparently ranting about how feminism is poisoning atheism, which I haven’t watched, so I can’t judge. But there are hints that it’s more of the same. It’s been picked up and praised by A Voice For Men.

Here are a few of the amusing reactions that the video elicited from that gang. Well, they would be amusing if they didn’t testify to a deep hatred of women.

Well, now I look upon these women as nothing but Clowns who have deliberately allowed themselves to brainwashed into believing stupid things like the Earth is flat or some other stupid crap. The vomit that spews from their mouths is not just stupid, it is absolutely laughable. I now sit here laughing my head off at what I read. In my own social movements in life, I laugh at the idiotic dialog of the females I come into contact with. It is unbelievable the level of childish trash that issues forth from the mouths of women whose ages range from 20 all the up to nearly 70.

Women, WILL NEVER BE EQUAL TO MEN!

I don’t care how they put it, because the simple overwhelming fact throughout the history of Mankind, is that women have NEVER been equal to men and they never will be.

Will at Skepchick for another instance.

Thunderfoot has published a video (it’s getting rave reviews from the MRA blog A Voice For Men) in which he accuses Skepchick Surly Amy of “bullying or cajoling” men into contributing to her awesome series of posts “Speaking out against hate directed at women.” Michael Nugent has a blog post up about it, noting that he was never bullied (or cajoled, which is kind of the opposite of bullying) into writing the article and then reposts the article in question. I’m not going to link to Thunderfoot’s video here, but the link is on Nugent’s post for those with the intestinal fortitude.

I have two major issues with this sort of discourse. First, using “bullying” to poison the well against people because you disagree with them is the exact opposite of rational. And for people in a community that prides itself on rationality and skeptical/critical thinking, there sure is a whole hell of a lot of this kind of nonsense going on.

The second (and more important) concern that I have about this sort of thing is that it has the effect of diminishing the experiences of people who are actually bullied. It lessens the impact of accusing actual bullies. It’s the same sort of shit that these same people complain about with the use of the word “misogynist.” They’re right about one thing—labeling every instance of sexism directed at women as misogyny does lessen the impact that that word has. So stop fucking doing it with “bully.”

Of course poisoning the well is the whole point, so they’re not going to stop.