I do not want to be in unity with atheists who say that I’m an ugly dyke and therefore nobody should take me seriously. I do not want to be in unity with atheists who post their opponents’ home addresses on the Internet; who hack into their opponents’ private email lists and make content from those emails public. I do not want to be in unity with atheists who alert the Westboro Baptist Church to atheist events, and ask if they plan to attend. I do not want to be in unity with atheists who bombard other people with a constant barrage of hate and threats of rape, violence, and death. I do not want to be in unity with atheists who call me a cunt, who call other women cunts, again and again and again and again and again. And I do not want to be in unity with atheists who consistently rationalize this behavior, who trivialize it, who make excuses for it.
That is how I feel about the matter too, likewise, also.
There is literally no way that the atheist movement can be inclusive of everybody. We can’t be inclusive of atheist women… and also be inclusive of atheists who publicly call women ugly, fat, sluts, whores, cunts, and worse. We can’t be inclusive of atheists of color… and also be inclusive of atheists who think people of color stay in religion because they’re just not good at critical thinking, or who tell people of color, “You’re pretty smart for a…” We can’t be inclusive of trans atheists… and also be inclusive of atheists who think trans people are mentally ill or freaks of nature. We can’t be inclusive of atheists who are mentally ill… and also be inclusive of atheists who think mental illness is just a failure of willpower. Etc.
And when people, however well-meaning, make generic calls for unity — when they tell all of us to stop fighting and just get along — they’re basically telling those of us on the short ends of those sticks to shut up.
Which many of them probably don’t realize precisely because they’ve never been on the short ends of those sticks – or at least not on the very shortest ends of the short ends. There’s nothing quite like being a target of a hate campaign to sharpen one’s awareness of what it’s like to be a target of a hate campaign. In that sense I kind of see why so many people get it wrong, and think it’s far better to say “let’s all just get along” than it is to say “knock off the hate campaign.” I kind of see it, but that doesn’t make me like it.