Eric has a post about The mad anti-feminist stance of the male atheist fringe. Guess what: he doesn’t find the stance entirely impressive.
I have been following — at a distance — the dispiriting farrago of abuse and obscenity aimed at feminist atheists and their supporters. All the completely contemptuous remarks and stultifyingly offensive use of scatological and twatological language to try to get women freethinkers and sceptics to shut the fuck up. It’s simply bizarre, and, from what I can tell, quickly becoming an obsession of a small marginal group of rather crude examples of the genus Homo who seem to think they have a right to use whatever insulting language they choose.
And not just a legal right, but a moral right, a political right, a social right. They seem to think they have every possible kind of right, and indeed duty.
Why do people think, just because you can throw insults at people from a distance, that it is an appropriate thing to do? And why do people think that addressing their often obscene remarks both at women freethinkers and at the men who support them is something that is within the pale of any movement, let alone one that is intended to shine the light of reason onto the human scene?
I don’t know. I used to wonder, but I got tired of the futility, so I stopped.
One thing that does concern me about all this is that Michael Shermer seems to have lost the plot. He said something stupid. Ophelia Benson called him on it. But instead of simply saying, “Sorry,” and left it at that, he just had to go into a long rigmarole – he couldn’t help it, I guess — a male tic, apparently – that has a tendency to defend what he said, suggest that it was simply said as a matter of routine, because that’s the way it was when, and then pillory Ophelia for calling him on it in the first place. It makes no sense to me.
It does to me. He’s vain, for one thing, and a shallow thinker, for another. That’s all really. His vanity was outraged because I, some upstart, dared to criticize something he said, and he didn’t see my point because he didn’t bother to try. Put the two together and you get the mess he made.
Let’s get this quite straight, shall we? Women play as important a role in the freethought movement as men.