In response to my post Monday on Adam Lee’s petition against the harassment of prominent women in the atheist movement (see The Name for What’s Happening), someone posted a comment that demonstrates the very existence and nature of the problem. Indeed, almost so perfectly I’d think a feminist invented it as an ideal hypothetical example; but no, this is an actual post by an actual antifeminist atheist who actually believes (or wants you to believe) everything he wrote. I responded there, but it’s all so worth reading I’m reproducing it here, in it’s own blog post. Because I want everyone to be aware that this shit is going on.
The commenter (posting as “submariner“) wrote:
“In other words, the Lee petition exists because women in this movement are being digitally harassed beyond the pale (and not, say, blacks or homeopathy opponents); and feminism is being openly mocked…”
PZ Meyers forbid Feminism be MOCKED, oh noes!, and OPENLY as well!!.(better if they mock in secret).
You have feminists like Feminist Frequency claiming that words to Christmas songs are sexist, that depictions of video game NPC’s are sexist.( talk about 1st world problems) Feminists have elevated internet trolling to the level of harassment ( although not legally declared such) , swooned about people wearing a t-shirt that made it clear the wearer did not want to be identified with one of their groups, and another who gave a creationist style science denialism “lecture” with no citations, quote mines, and strawman arguments.
Richard, the feminists and A+ ers are doing fine mocking themselves. Most rational people can see this for what it is: a political movement. One that refuses to look skeptically at itself.
In case you were wondering, I won’t be signing the petition.
To which I replied:
Ladies and gentlemen, Exhibit A: an antifeminist has unabashedly shown up here. Take note! Study this specimen.
Those songs are sexist–or rather “creepy and/or sexist,” as submariner left out the disjunctive; because antifeminists tend to be logic challenged, and often do things like this: distort what was actually said to make it sound worse. Submariner is attempting an argument form called reductio ad absurdum, yet could only do it by missing or misrepresenting what was actually said (thus, he had to lie to make the facts absurd, in order to argue from their thus-fabricated absurdity–clever, eh?–or does he delusionally think he has accurately represented the facts in this matter? Neither is encouraging). That’s SOP for antifeminists in the atheist movement.
The issue of video games is another antifeminist distortion: the study of NPC’s (“nonplayer characters”) in video games that submariner refers to hasn’t even been completed yet (nor is it solely about NPC’s), and yet the mere suggestion that there might be some disturbing issues of sexism worth studying in video games produced a vast and ruthless campaign of sexist and misogynistic harassment of the researcher (documented here and here and here and here). This is precisely the kind of thing I’m talking about (although in this case it’s the gaming community, not the atheism movement specifically; but our women are receiving nearly the same treatment from atheists).
Here, our antifeminist specimen exhibits the delusional belief that there aren’t any issues of sexism worth studying in video games. Because delusionally not believing there is any sexism is practically a defining attribute of modern sexists. Which makes this a nearly ideal red flag: anyone who denies there is any sexism in America to study is probably a sexist; or else someone who just bought a computer and has only just recently discovered the internet.
Our specimen also conveniently “leaves out” the fact that the way this researcher (Anita Sarkeesian) was treated merely for wanting to research the question exhaustively and conclusively proves there is a disgusting and shocking degree of sexism in the gaming community. Thus, he cites this as an example of something outrageous feminists do, while leaving out the fact that the story he is referring to entails conclusive evidence that what this feminist wanted to investigate was not outrageous but evidently fully justified. Deleting facts that refute them, in the very examples they try to cite in their favor, is another example of antifeminist SOP.
The other two examples this specimen of antifeminism then cites are similarly erroneous: in both cases he has deleted all the key facts that eliminate their use as reductio arguments, he misrepresents what actually happened, and then fallaciously infers from these thus-fabricated non-examples that feminism deserves to be opposed, and therefore (we’re to infer) feminist women deserve to be ruthlessly digitally harassed. [if you don't already know the true story behind the two other examples he mentions, see here and here]
Of course, do note that this antifeminist doesn’t explicitly say that–that’s what he wants you to conclude. But he knows he would look like a complete and total asshat if he actually said that out loud. But that that is indeed what he is arguing is unmistakable from the context and his conclusion: he is commenting on a post asking people to sign a petition protesting the digital harassment of women in the atheist movement; he states some arguments, then concludes that he won’t sign the petition. The fabrications that precede that declaration are even explicitly represented as his reasons. Thus, he does not think there is anything wrong with digitally harassing women, and he wants you to agree with him.
I know, I know. You are thinking no one could possibly be that fucking bonkers, or that heartless, or that much of an ass. Or even if someone could be, surely they wouldn’t come out and publicly prove it by actually saying these things here (here of all places–as if he thought I didn’t know the truth of these facts and wouldn’t point you to the links–links he was careful not to include, because he knows if you actually looked into these things he would be exposed). But alas, here he is. Proof positive of sexism and antifeminism in the atheist movement–and of how heartless and irrational they are–and either how delusional or dishonest they are, depending on how you explain all his factual omissions and distortions; either way, as is typically the case, these people are wholly untrustworthy sources if you want to have any account of reality.
Submariner of course blasted the post with a bunch of other comments. But I saw no need to examine his nonsense further. I let it all through moderation so everyone could see what I mean.
Submariner is a perfect example of why you need to sign Adam Lee’s petition. Women don’t need apologists for harassment like submariner. They need a show of support, they need to hear that you won’t defend harassment, that you find it as disgusting and unacceptable as I do and would rather it stop. Please stand up for what’s right here. Go sign his petition!