Holding clay feet to witch-burning fires

One of the more ridiculous memes that’s gained a disproportionate amount of traction in the freethought community is that of “witch hunts”. It’s the idea that there’s some roving band of bloggers and commenters hunting for the least appearance of deviation from the One True Path and punishing with extreme prejudice without evidence or empathy. It’s that if you dare speak up, you’ll be unfairly tarred and silenced and black-bagged and murdered and possibly eaten.

This band is invariably called “FTB”, “FTBullies”, “FTB and Skepchick”, or some mutation of the network’s name that includes the word “from” or “feminist”. Lately the smear also applies to atheism plus — mostly because that label, in being inclusive of outgroups, makes an outgroup of bigots and misogynists. Doesn’t matter if the people involved are actually from either network — it’s enough to use our site name as a shibboleth, to associate it with this opposition-to-the-haters as though that’s somehow a bad thing.

What’s actually going on here, though, is significantly different.
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A little perspective on the troll cry of “witch-hunts”

Jacqueline S. Homan, who blogs at godlessfeminist.wordpress.com, posted a comment on my post about why I’m not being nice to DJ Grothe, that really deserves to be its own top-level post. That’s just exactly how violently I agree with every word.

It never ceases to amaze me how all the MRA’s/PUA’s whose voices seem to dominate and drive the agendas and discussions in the atheist movement are screeching hysterically about “feminazis”, “false accusations”, blaming women for being the problem because of our “special interest” issues and instigating a “witch hunt”, when they’ve been the ones that relentlessly threatened and harassed Rebecca Watson for nearly a year for the “crime” of saying “guys, please don’t do that” (i.e. speaking up for her rights when Living While Female) and leveled some pretty ugly threats and insults at Greta Christina as well. Jason’s edit: and Ophelia Benson, and now to a staggering degree Stephanie Zvan.

And they claim that THEY are the targets of a “witch hunt?” Perspective, please.

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