I’m just going to try to give a really accommodating interpretation of the events:
James Randi, Sam Harris, Michael Shermer, Richard Dawkins: all agree women are human beings and should be treated as such. But in their specific, biased, tribal, personal, ordinary, everyday, exploitative, non-sexist!, clearheaded, logical, rational, fun-loving, emotional situations a crack has appeared. This is the crack through which feminist thought, language, experience, evaluations seeps through.
And they don’t know what the fuck to do. They’re not equipped for it. Because in the past three years they decided to ignore the rising tide of feminist voices. That wasn’t important, that couldn’t happen, they didn’t do it. And now they’re stuck.
When my favourite atheist YouTuber said “guys, don’t do that”, I thought I’d learned something new. But I was wholy ignorant of reality: atheist emancipation, feminist thought, equality, secularism and skepticism, can’t take place on a backburner of slow, incremental progress. I had to take into account the gender of each participant, I had to take into accout the legion of bigots who at every turn need to express a reluctance to change.
“If only people could get together, sit down and sort things out.” doesn’t work when most (90%?!) are operating on prejudice alone, expounding confirmation bias and have no problem shouting their ignorance to the world.
People: you’ve always helped me in my ignorance, by taking me to task. Why don’t the big names understand this? Because equal rights are not just a word, but a whole field of inquiry that takes years of research and listening to grasp.
Shutting up now.