Pakistan’s education attaché »« Thunderfoot’s inflammatory video

To leaders of secular groups

And another joy to read part -

Thunderf00t concludes with a call to conference organisers and leaders of secular groups:

“Seriously, those who organise conferences, get a grip. You do not have to appease the request of every PC whiner. The secular community can achieve great things, but it will never achieve anything while it has poison like this being dripped into its heart. Please forward this video to leaders of secular groups who you think need to hear this message.”

Thunderf00t, I’ll give you a straight answer. As an organiser of conferences and as chairperson of Atheist Ireland, I will oppose any attempts to ostracize the people you name, and I will also oppose any attempts to ostracize people like you who disagree with them.

I have a feeling that Thunderfoot’s plea to “forward this video to leaders of secular groups who you think need to hear this message” isn’t working out as he hoped.

Comments

  1. hjhornbeck says

    Indeed, I suspect it’s exposing them to a problem they didn’t know existed. For that much, at least, I can be thankful to Thunderf00t.

  2. says

    To appeal directly to conference organisers was a bit dim, what does he expect the response to be? I’m unsure on this but I cannot believe he really is so deluded that he thinks they were just waiting for the uprising against the evil feminist hordes and they would all stand with him in his principled attack on PC feminazis or something. Bit of a shock if that was his aim!

    He basically forced MIchael Nugent to respond, forced the people writing the “Hate directed at women” series to respond and shot himself in the f00t. Maybe that’s what the zeroes represent…

  3. says

    Ah, no, I think he’s every bit that deluded. Lots of people are. It’s a trope* with the haters – that if they just keep posting the frothing hatred, eventually they will prevail and we will all be blacklisted and silenced. They say as much.

    *apologies for using that big fancy word again

  4. Didaktylos says

    Interesting thing about haters – different groups spew their hate on different things but they all seem to use the same playbook for their methodology.

  5. Paul Irvine says

    What’s most disconcerting to me is the fact that many of my atheist friends on
    FB have swallowed TFs bullshit wholesale without bothering to check out his background and form on this particular issue, I’ve been arguing with them about this; thankfully, I just had to link to Micheal Nugent’s rebuttal to save me the painful and tedious work….it’s all gone a bit silent now:)

  6. A Hermit says

    I have a feeling that Thunderfoot’s plea to “forward this video to leaders of secular groups who you think need to hear this message” isn’t working out as he hoped.

    The whole incident has gone from infuriating to amusing to just kind of sad and pathetic…

  7. Sili says

    Huh. I didn’t realise Thunderfoot had been at the Cologne Conference. Guess I must have seen him then, but I didn’t get to hang out with the cool kids in the beergarden.

  8. MJA says

    Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh

    I spent a year as vice-president of an SSA-affiliated secular student group.

    My university accurately reflected the demogaphic makeup of the community in which it was located; that is to say, 55% female, 50% POC. Despite this, the club’s meetings were only attracting white dudes. We would occasionally attract a woman or POC for a single meeting, but they almost inevitably left at the break. The leadership did not see a problem.

    We met in the windowless basement of a classroom building. No security. Late at night. On a campus with a serious rape problem. Far away from the bus stops. The leadership did not see a problem.

    At best, our meetings consisted of white dudes arguing with other white dudes about white-dude issues. At worst, they descended into screaming matches along similar lines. The leadership did not see a problem.

    Our topics included feminism (without a woman in the room), rape (without a woman in the room), racism (without a POC in the room), colonialism (without a POC in the room), aboriginality (without an aboriginal in the room), queerness (*with* a gay man in the room, who was then pressured to respond to every single comment and remark, and–despite being a regular up until this point–did not attend any subsequent meetings), prostitution (without a woman in the room)… you get the picture. The leadership did not see a problem.

    And the club was in dire straits. We were getting maybe 4-5 people a week. The club had nearly 100 on-paper members, but hardly anyone would turn up.

    At the end of the year, a bunch of us decided this was pretty fucked up. So we fixed it.

    We ran for the leadership slots and won by default. Nobody else wanted the job. Wonderful. And we rebuilt it from the ground up.

    We moved meetings to a more central and earlier timeslot. This alone brought in 4-5 new people, all of them women.

    We stopped the practice of “rant meetings”. Rather than sitting and passively listening to one person shout at another person, we had 2-3 facilitated discussions at any given time, with full freedom to jump from table to table. This made people more comfortable at meetings, more likely to attend meetings (2-3 topics to choose from, rather than hearing what the White Dudes think about a singular specific topic), and made it substantially easier for people to form social bonds: the quieter people usually gathered at one table, the louder people at another, so you were more likely to encounter people you enjoyed speaking with, which makes it easier to find friends, etc.

    We started holding outside events for the first time in years. Speeches, film screenings, protests, food drives, charity collections, involvement with the campus rape hotline, anything we could get involved with. Now, instead of being a club who met by moonlight in the basement of a scary-looking building, you could chat with us on the way to class, join us for a pub crawl, or just hang out after a public speech. Big difference.

    We started actively encouraging individual members to take small (or big!) leadership roles. We introduced new positions on the board (one Member for Equity and two Members-at-Large, the latter intended to create opportunities for new members to quickly involve themselves in the organization), we planted seeds and encouraged members to lead discussions (rather than depending on the club leadership to pick and run all the topics), and we actively sought out ways to integrate the work of other clubs (the Black Students Association, the Feminist Action Caucus, etc.) into our meetings and activities, which made people more comfortable and created opportunities to collaborate on even bigger projects.

    By December, we had completely turned the club around. Our meetings were attracting 30-40 people (some of our public events drew several hundred). It’s true that we had scared off some of the neckbeardy MRA types, but we had attracted more than enough women and POC (and–yes–white dudes) to make up for it.

    And I cannot overstate how trivially, ridiculously easy it was to run things properly: to run the organization in such a way that women and POC (and queerfolk, and people with disabilities, etc.) were included, felt welcome, had worthwhile representation, felt like valued members of the community, and all that other yummy stuff. While this may have required marginally more effort than plowing through with a room full of GRR GRR ANGRY WHITE MEN GRR, that effort paid off with dozens of new volunteers and helpers and discussion-leaders and cookie-bakers and other friendlies.

    Listening to regressive MRAs would have probably killed the club. Opening it up, running in the opposite direction, and calling jerks like Proudfoot out for their jerky opinions is what saved it and made it into one of the biggest, most powerful organizations on campus.

    Yes, we ostracized people with who we disagreed. Which is a fancy way of saying “we refused the sexist, racist, homophobic and dumbfuck things the club’s previous ‘owners’ were saying” And it’s a damn good thing we did.

    Yes, we appeased the PC Whiners. And they paid us back by joining us in droves and letting us accomplish things we never could have with a fedora-wearing coterie of angry white dudes.

    Yes, we sold out to feminism, anti-racism, and even had real live women/POC/aboriginals/people with disabilities/sex workers at discussions on these topics. And the conversations were infinitely better and more productive for it.

    The lesson, then?

    Anyone who tells you the solution is to listen more to the tiny, self-important white men and ignore the rest of the world doesn’t actually want to help you.

    They want to protect their fiefdom. They want to be the biggest fish in the pond, even if it’s more of a muck-stained puddle. They aren’t actually thinking about the movement, or its projects, or its goals, except insofar as these goals are obvious and apparent to themselves.

    And above all else, those empowered white men are *not* the people your group needs to be serving, assisting, supporting or coddling. These people are *not* the victims, they are *not* being left behind, and they should *not* be allowed to dominate the group.

  9. kosk11348 says

    Great comment, MJA. Thank you for stepping up and being a leader. We need more like you.

  10. kaboobie says

    As an organiser of conferences and as chairperson of Atheist Ireland, I will oppose any attempts to ostracize the people you name, and I will also oppose any attempts to ostracize people like you who disagree with them.

    Michael Nugent is more charitable that I am. I will gladly continue to attend events at which any of the individuals Thunderf00t wants to ostracize are scheduled to speak, time and money permitting. I will not, however, attend any event at which Thunderf00t will be present, let alone is scheduled to speak. Some may call it shunning; I call it speaking with my wallet.

  11. hypatiasdaughter says

    MJA.- Great Job!
    It is doubly frustrating to be accused of being a member of a group (women and PoC) that is more “irrational” and “superstitious” than those smart, skeptic white dudes; then to be marginalized by them when you personally have worked to escape that trap. Hey, white dudes, I must be at least as smart and rational as you if I have come to the same conclusions about bigfoot and religion as you have, doncha think?
    Actually reading the bible and taking its pronouncements about women seriously (all the evil, pain, suffering and death in the world is due to Woman) was the big “click” moment that told me that religion is B.S and the permission this gave men to control ans persecute women was B.S. Now, why would I want to support groups that reject religion but not its B.S. about women, even if it is repackaged in a fancy new pseudo scientific wrapper?
    One of the most infuriating things in TF’s video was his comment about how unfair it is for men spend all the time and money to attend events only to be faced with fun-spoiling anti harassment policies (which he strawmans). So women don’t spend time and money to attend? And, apparently after paying to be there, they are supposed to be part of the entertainment like the ladies hired for a stag party. (Not saying they are actually hookers who are required to sleep with the attendees but, if you’re lucky, it might happen.)

  12. A Hermit says

    It’s true that we had scared off some of the neckbeardy MRA types, but we had attracted more than enough women and POC (and–yes–white dudes) to make up for it.

    And that, in microcosm, is exactly what will happen globally…all those frightened little boys howling about the divisiveness destroying the atheo-skeptic movement may well stop participating, but they will not be missed as the movement becomes more and more diverse and therefore more and more effective.

    Thanks MJA for helping illustrate the problem and, more importantly, the solution so clearly.

  13. eric says

    MJA – awesome.

    Kaboobie @12 – consider which of these sends a stronger message to the f00t (and those like him): a Convention with Thunderf00t and others that attracts 200 people, 50 of which go to his talk. Or: a Convention with Thunderf00t and others that attracts 2,000 people, 50 of which go to his talk. I’d argue that the latter can represent a much stronger message of rejection of his ideas than the former. Going to the amusement park and not getting on a ride you don’t like can be just as effective a message as not going at all.

  14. MJA says

    It is doubly frustrating to be accused of being a member of a group (women and PoC) that is more “irrational” and “superstitious” than those smart, skeptic white dudes; then to be marginalized by them when you personally have worked to escape that trap.

    And that was one of the really big facepalmy moments for me.

    During that first year of involvement with the skeptic club, we were attending the annual recruitment fair.

    Black woman comes up to us. Eventually she asks an excellent question:

    “Why do you think so few racial minorities join atheism?”

    And, hand-on-a-bible, cross-my-heart, scout’s-honour, the club president responded “It’s been my experience that women and minorities are just less rational than the rest of us.”

    He then proceeded to attempt talk her into attending a meeting. lolnope.

    But isn’t that revolting? “The rest of us”? Okay, so we’re going to exclude women (half the population) and POC (half the population) and, presumably, all those irrational and stupid white men who are tainted by religion, and having drilled the entire population down to, what, 3-4% of us, proclaim that we’re now the default setting? We’re the “unbroken” ones? We’re the only sane men in the room?

    The arrogance in that statement has boggled my mind to this day.

  15. plutoanimus says

    “I will oppose any attempts to ostracize the people you name, and I will also oppose any attempts to ostracize people like you who disagree with them.”

    Taking the high road certainly does humiliate those anti-feminist pieces of shit.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>