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Jan 11 2013

Reasons and something difficult to explain

I’m reading comments (that is, Reasons) on Adam’s petition. They’re heartwarming. I recognize some of the names, but most I don’t. That’s good.

As a relatively new father of a girl, I wish for the world in which she will grow up to be as inclusive of people of all genders for the betterment of humankind.

I have two young daughters that Are skeptics and i want them to be comfortable and welcomed in skeptical communities.

It is bad enough that churches hold women as inferior to men. If the secular movement wishes to be a group representing people from all walks of life, it cannot tolerate those who dismiss, and worse, threaten potential allies.

I omitted names in case people don’t want to be named here. But Crommunist won’t mind.

The idea that atheism specifically must not make the changes and accommodations of underrepresented groups that EVERY OTHER COMMUNITY IN THE WORLD is making is, frankly, ridiculous. The only people who would be opposed to making improvements are people who believe that this community is perfect (i.e., people who have a ‘just friends’ relationship with reality).

Ed Brayton won’t mind.

I support this petition because the entire atheist/secular community needs to stand up and condemn these vile attacks on those trying to bring attention to a real problem. There is a serious conversation to be had on how to best increase diversity in our communities, but that conversation cannot take place with those who scream “witch hunt” and “atheist cult” and “you all just hate men” and other hyperbolic nonsense at those who are trying to affect change. Still less can it be had with those who deride those women who have rightly spoken out on this issue as “bitches” or “professional victims.” And it certainly can’t be had by those who think the right response is to publish the addresses of those women, or who send rape and death threats to them. It’s time that we all took a strong stand against such behavior in our communities.

EllenBeth won’t mind.

As the President of a Humanist organization and a feminist that has been on the receiving end of a sustained campaign of vicious harassment simply because I had the audacity to speak up, it is imperative that we stand as a community against this behavior.

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, Al Stefanelli thinks it’s all just too too funny.

Seattle, WA – In what is being described as a Googlesque move, seven male and two female well-known atheist leaders formed a consortium and purchased the rights to the “He Man Women Haters Club” from the producers of the Our Gang comedy series. They renamed it and issued free memberships by default to all two-hundred-million plus avowed atheists in the world.

The group consists of Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, Co-presidents, Freedom from Religion Foundation, Ronald Lindsay, President, Center for Inquiry; Rebecca Hale, President, American Humanist Association; David Silverman, President, American Atheists; David Niose, President, Secular Coalition for America; August Brunsman, Executive Director, Secular Student Alliance; D.J. Grothe, President, James Randi Educational Foundation and Elisabeth Cornwell, Executive Director, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.

The consortium, known collectively as the “Bi-hemisphere International Trust for Collective Humanism” or B.I.T.C.H, has renamed the He-Man Women Haters Club. The new name they have chose is ‘Atheists.’

Geddit? Bitch? Funny, right?

WCNN Interviewed David Silverman about this bold move. Silverman responded with,

“We’ve been long considering how we can exert enough pressure on atheists to convince them to embrace misogyny. The boys and I were sitting down for hours already over beers and chips, trying to find a good way to redefine atheism as a club for misogynists only, preferably white ones, but we’re not picky.

“Then the girls came back from making us some sammiches, and joined the discussion. Annie suggested that we look at the way Google sort of gave everyone who has a gmail account a membership in Google+. Brilliant, right?

“Well, then Elizabeth suggested we try and buy the Little Rascals thing, you know, and then just rename it Atheism and then include all the atheists. We looked at each other, and suddenly realized this was a great idea.”

The move was largely successful, mainly because most of the world’s atheists are clueless about what goes on with atheism on the Internet. This didn’t stop a small but persistent group of radical feminists on the Internet, who immediately opposed the idea. A petition was set up on Change.org in the form of a letter written by Adam Lee, an atheist blogger, who stated in the letter that atheism is being dominated by white males. Lee suggested that if this doesn’t stop, it will usher in the zombie apocalypse. Lee, incidentally, is a white guy.

Amanda Marcotte, another white atheist, appealed to her social network to,

“Fight back against pressure to define atheism as a club only for misogynists”

Hahahaha – see? No I don’t either, but I’m sure it’s really really funny if you do see.

30 comments

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  1. 1
    Erin (formerly--formally?-- known as EEB)

    Okay, this is the second time that a post by Al Stefanelli has left me baffled. Much more confused then offended, really. There’s “missing the point” and then there’s whatever Al is doing…really, he’s elevated Not Getting It to an art form.

    Oh, I don’t know, maybe I just don’t get it. I’m sure it’s totally hilarious–he is a man, after all, and Christopher Hitchens told me that humor is their domain. And I’m not just a woman, I’m also a feminist, so I’m doubly humor-deficient.

  2. 2
    Sassafras

    Reading Al trying to be funny is like listening to Fred Flintstone try to rap.

  3. 3
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Wait, that was meant to be funny? O_o.

  4. 4
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Thanks for posting this. Signed.

    Also, thanks for writing an awesome blog and for being a brave, smart, witty woman who dares to post her ideas in public. You (and several others) should receive medals for hits you’ve taken so that those who come after us won’t have to.

    I’m not sure what is wrong with Al. I hope he makes a full recovery from whatever it is that makes him such a clueless ass.

  5. 5
    artymorty

    Maybe it’s funny if you picture him on a big stage, reading it to an empty chair.

  6. 6
    SallyStrange

    Incidentally. Right.

  7. 7
    melissajones

    So according to Al, your suggesting that there are problems with sexism within atheist organizations is pretty much like suggesting that some of the heads of various atheist org. deliberately set their orgs up to be bastions of misogyny. Is that about right?

    I find the comment about the zombie apocalypse to be rather ironic considering some of the hyperbole regarding feminists poisoning the movement.

  8. 8
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Kill all humans.

  9. 9
    mcbender

    What the fuck, Al?

    What I would like to know is, if he is really this stupid and/or clueless, how was he able to hide it for so long?

  10. 10
    Ophelia Benson

    Ya a lot of people would like to know that. All his former colleagues on this network, for instance.

  11. 11
    Robert B.

    Crossposted from Al’s comment thread:

    Gee, now I’m totally convinced that there isn’t any misogyny. Calling a bunch of feminists “BITCH” is a completely unbigoted thing to do, after all – just like calling gay rights activists “HOMO” or anti-racists “DARKIE.” This cutting satire proves that the complaints of your opponents are completely ridiculous and unfounded – cause, I mean, BITCHes be lyin’, amirite?

    Petition signed, btw.

  12. 12
    Argle Bargle

    Al,

    Satire is a complex form of humor which most people don’t do at all well. You fall into this large mass of people. Read some of H. L. Mencken’s, Mark Twain’s and Ambrose Bierce’s satire to see how it’s done. Then listen to George Carlin’s routines or Tim Minchin’s songs for some modern masters. Unfortunately, you appear to have spent your time listening to Howard Stern and Pat Condell for hints on how to do satire. As a result, you fail miserably. Maybe instead of satire, you might try shutting up about thing you don’t know much about.

  13. 13
    rrede

    *seconding what Rodney Nelson says about satire*

    It works when the writer/speaker/persona is hitting up–speaking against those in power.

    When the writer/speaker/persona is hitting down–it just becomes mean spirited, nasty, priviliged sniggering nastiness.

    And, from this sample (speaking as an English teacher), bad writing.

  14. 14
    Argle Bargle

    Thinking more about satire, I realize that it works if it’s directed against people who’re socially at the same level or above the satirist. Mark Twain wrote a brilliant satire of James Fenimore Cooper which worked because both of them were best-selling authors. Stephen Colbert satirizes politicians, a group who firmly believe they’re above everyone else.

    Stefanelli’s satire doesn’t work because he’s satirizing a group arguing against discrimination and hatred. As rrede notes in #13 above, this satire “becomes mean spirited, nasty, priviliged sniggering nastiness.” It’s another case of a sexist saying “bitches ain’t shit.”

  15. 15
    Lou Doench

    Great job punching down Al…
    The point about satire and humor hits home to me as someone who worked really hard to crack that business (at least it felt really hard) I am inclined to give the satirist the benefit of the doubt. I’ll give it a second read and see if mayhaps I’m jumping to conclusions. Especially folks who are trying stand up material, which is the hardest of the performing arts to master in my opinion because you can only really practice it under live fire so to speak. But Al doesn’t have that excuse. He evidently typed that shit down and pressed “publish”. I’m assuming he had plenty of time to reflect, edit, measure his thoughts. That’s not an incensed reaction to a heckler, that’s a jeremiad aimed at the powerless instead of the powerful. Its shameful.

  16. 16
    N. Nescio

    What the hell happened to Al Stefanelli anyway? He seems to have gone off the deep end after leaving FTB. At least he’s in good company with Loftus and that guy who went after low-hanging fruit on youtube.

  17. 17
    Ophelia Benson

    I really don’t know. A lot of people wonder.

  18. 18
    rq

    I guess I forgot to laugh, somewhere along the line. :/

  19. 19
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    Signed. After I posted my Reason, another thing I might have added occurred to me:

    Occasionally, I think about doing some serious/consistent blogging on issues related, among other things, to atheism and feminism, but I’m not sure I want the inevitable harassment and misogyny that will come with it. I’m pretty sure I don’t want my Internet persona and my real name linked, which is more than likely to happen if even one post I make becomes well-known by the ‘pitters and their ilk. This should not be a concern for women who want to engage in the community or the movement, and yet it is.

  20. 20
    Hank_Says

    That’s just not funny Al. Even if I try to access my 12 year-old self and get him to giggle, I get nothing. This shit barely even deserves sympathy chuckles from other sexist lackwits.

    Shit like this makes me very glad I hadn’t read much of Al while he was at FtB. Instead of feeling a pang at the loss of someone I was fond of whenever the latest Al Stefanelli clusterfuck comes to light (or even a moment of shame for having ever liked the guy, as I get with Thunderzeroes), I just think “Good riddance; I think FtB dodged a bullet.”

  21. 21
    maddog1129

    @ Ibis3, # 19

    Agreed 100%. I’m afraid, and I censor myself because of it.

  22. 22
    iknklast

    Truly a low blow to bring in Annie Laurie Gaylor. Annie Laurie and the conventions she hosts are a testament to the fact that you don’t really have to go out and beat the bushes to find some small potato token woman to bring in as an atheist speaker. Their conventions always have women speakers, and they are not pathetic, bedraggled, no-name wonders brought in to appease the women. They bring in Katha Pollitt, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Eleanor Clift, Jenniver Michael Hecht, Michelle Goldberg, Ursula LeGuin, Wafa Sultan…on and on and on. Al should be ashamed (but almost certainly isn’t).

  23. 23
    Ben Zvan

    If white men like Adam Lee and white atheists like Amanda Marcotte aren’t allowed to talk about diversity, then Al should shut his pie hole.

  24. 24
    ArnieTheBoss

    Arnie would destroy Cooper (Coop) in a fight!

    Further, thanks for all the laughs you baboons are providing.

    Further still, ThunderF00t has pwned you Baboons. We are laughing and pointing at you, and will continue to do so until you are no longer part of the atheist/skeptic movement. You will go the same way as Atheism+.

  25. 25
    Ophelia Benson

    Are you fucking kidding me?

    You’re proud of gloating that Abbie Smith’s pit bull would kill the black Lab that I sometimes write about here?

    Are you trying to make Abbie Smith look even worse than she already does? Or what? I don’t believe you are Abbie Smith, so what in hell is your point?

    No, I don’t want to know.

  26. 26
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    The argument from dog superiority. Huh. Well, I guess it’s not like any of the drooling scum from the slymepit can actually win via argument, so they might as well try such inane tactics.

  27. 27
    KellyM

    Abbie Smith recently suggested at the slymepit that Greta lied about her cancer to grift and buy expensive shoes: http://j.mp/WuclqT. It’s sometimes difficult to say, “Abbie would never sink that low.” But I do appreciate everyone who supports the targets of Abbie’s bullying.

  28. 28
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Hmmm. Looks at number of signatures on Lee’s petition. Looks at number of signatures on the whiny paradoy petition.

    LOL yeah, arnie, looks like EVERYONE’s on your side. Totally.

    BWAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAA

  29. 29
    Margaret

    The argument from dog superiority. Huh. Well, I guess it’s not like any of the drooling scum from the slymepit can actually win via argument, so they might as well try such inane tactics.

    It is not the inanity of the argument that is most telling, but rather the definition of superiority. I would rank dog (or cat or other pet) superiority in terms of cuddliness, not killing ability. When applied to people rather than pets, the ability to destroy that they call superiority is what we call misogyny or bigotry.

  30. 30
    Ophelia Benson

    It makes about as much sense as saying “if Abbie has a gun she can kill Cooper.” Or for that matter “if Abbie has a gun she can kill you.” Or “if Abbie has a car and sees you crossing the street while she’s driving her car, she can run over you.” I mean, no shit. If Abbie has an axe and can find Cooper she can chop him up. If I have a howitzer I can kill people with that. And so on. No kidding; there are ways of killing people and dogs; we could all decide to kill some people or dogs. Or not. Let’s not.

    YOU BETTER WATCH OUT OR I WILL THROW MY CAT AT YOUR HEAD.

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