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We should feel a sense of shame

For years I’ve been an enthusiastic cheerleader for the atheist movement, and I still am. I think it’s important for humanity to move beyond this childish and destructive crutch of superstition.

But at the same time I find myself constantly dismayed at the difficulty of moving atheism beyond the same old cliques, of making it a human movement rather than a well-off white guys’ movement. And why we can’t find room for good atheists like Melissa McEwan, who left her patriarchal church.

More than a decade later, I found movement atheism online. I was never one to evangelize my lack of god-belief, nor broadcast hatred of religion or its adherents, so that part of the movement was not a draw. But I did fancy the possibility of community around something that has been an axis of marginalization for me in some parts of my life.

I found the same inequality, manifesting in different ways.

There were precious few visible atheist leaders: The most prominent male atheists were very enamored with one another, and not particularly inclined to offer the same support to women, via recommended links and highlighted quotes and inclusion in digital salons about Important Ideas. They wondered aloud where all the female atheists are, and women would pipe up—"Here! Here we are! We’re right here!"—only to then go back to the status quo, with explicit or implicit messaging that women just weren’t working as hard as they are, just aren’t as smart as they are, or else they’d be leaders, too.

There was the exclusion from conferences, the sexist posts, the sexual harassment, the appropriation of religious and irreligious women’s lived experiences to Score Points and the obdurate not listening to those women when they protested.

In fact, female atheists’ protests were greeted much the same way with which my protests had been met in my patriarchal church. Silencing. Demeaning. Threats.

Read the whole thing. But I have to say that the closing paragraph is a real punch in the gut.

I would say I felt exactly as welcome in movement atheism as I did at my Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, but that would be a lie. No one at St. Peter’s ever called me a stupid cunt because I disagreed with them.

We will fail if we can’t change this.

What can I do better?

Comments

  1. says

    Wondering:

    This is the most hilarious unintentionally funny thing I’ve read all year. Pharyngulites on Freethought Blogs accused of being religious.

    It certainly came out of nowhere. If that was supposed to be some sort of tactic, I’ll give it points for novelty.

  2. The Mellow Monkey says

    I don’t know about y’all, but I’m going to be really upset if it turns out all this time I’ve been hanging out on a “religious nut job” blog.

    Someone had better let PZ know he needs to change his banners.

  3. Eristae says

    Also, triple points for freaking out on us for “stereotyping” us and then stereotyping us into being religious, and not just religious, but “religious nutbags.”

    It’s like the irony meter broke the sound barrier or something.

  4. Lee1 says

    Hello, Pharyngula! Long-time lurker, first-time poster. I guess I was just so inspired by Wendy Kroy’s terribly insightful and well-informed takedown of “you religious nut jobs” that I felt the need to de-lurk and create an account. Happy Friday, praise Jeebus, etc.

  5. Eristae says

    @The Mellow Monkey.

    Also, his opening post. “For years I’ve been an enthusiastic cheerleader for the atheist movement, and I still am.”?

    Religious nutbags aren’t allowed to be cheerleaders for the atheist movement! Revoke his credentials, toss him off the field, and make him clear out his locker!

  6. says

    MM:

    I don’t know about y’all, but I’m going to be really upset if it turns out all this time I’ve been hanging out on a “religious nut job” blog.

    Well, if we’re all a buncha religious “nut jobs”*, we’ve done a damn good job of hiding it.
     
    *In case you come back, Wendy, we don’t approve of the use of ableist slurs here.

  7. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with a perchant for pachyderm punditry) says

    … to reaffirm your unfounded that religion, fairy tales and superstition are the answer…

    Unfounded, er, what exactly? Oh, okay, I’ll be charitable and mentally add the “belief” to that sentence and so ask: Please demonstrate anywhere in this comment stream where people have expressed a belief in religion, fairy tales or superstitions? Pretty please.

  8. Eristae says

    @Caine

    Well, if we’re all a buncha religious “nut jobs”*, we’ve done a damn good job of hiding it.

    No, see, I figured it out! Because we’re nut bags, we clearly don’t realize we’re religious.

    We just weren’t able to see how deeply profound Wendy’s words were because, well, we’ve been hiding our religiousness from ourselves.

    Right? Right? . . . right?

    Side note of absolutely no relevance at all: I like nuts.

  9. says

    Eristae:

    Right? Right? . . . right?

    In Wendy’s World of Wrong, I expect that’s about right.

    Side note of absolutely no relevance at all: I like nuts.

    I’m partial to cashews and pistachios m’self. And Macadamias. And Walnuts. Oh no, I am a nut!

  10. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with a perchant for pachyderm punditry) says

    Dammit Lee1! You’ve blown our cover!

    [Welcome!]

  11. The Mellow Monkey says

    I will say that this is the first time that a thread discussing misogyny has made me laugh quite this much, so there’s that.

    I think we’ve been slacking on our “agenda of massive religious bullshit”, though. I’ll go tell my liberal Christian friends to repent for their evil liberal ways and see if that helps.

  12. says

    I haven’t read the Wendy subthread (religious? really? or is that religious like the pitters accuse FtBers of being?), but I wanted to comment on the idea of being more restricted about comment threads on feminism posts so they don’t all get derailed into debating whether women are persons (i.e. abortion) or whether women should just get used to the fact that penis havers will accost them everywhere no matter what because Nature.

    I was thinking about the example of posts about FGM and how PZ has been quite clear on those threads: no derailing about male circumcision allowed. For the most part, that’s worked out okay (as far as I can recall). Perhaps, when posts are made about feminism but not abortion for example, it could be made clear by the poster that any talk about abortion should remain in the Thunderdome? It won’t stop every derail, but I think it would help considerably.

  13. Eristae says

    PS: I really am truly, legitimately mentally ill, so I’m going to out and out say that using mental illness as an insult or an excuse to dismiss can be a wee bit touchy for me. I didn’t decide to be mentally ill and I would decide not to be if I knew how. I take all kinds of meds in an attempt to make it stop, for all that it doesn’t. So, for all that the “nut bag” didn’t set me off (and it didn’t), here be treacherous ground. Just so people know or something.

    I always feel a little compelled to toss that out there when discussion of ableist slurs come up; a lot of people are (with justification) too afraid of being mocked, insulted, or dismissed to admit mental illness, and I think it’s important for people to be aware that they actually interact with people who are mentally ill. We aren’t just some kind of disembodied form that only exists as two dimensional objects in mental institutions, prisons, or television shows. We’re real people and, whether we’re in prisons, mental institutions, schools, restaurants, or wherever, we have many facets to our beings.

    So take that for what it’s worth. *waves her hands vaguely*

    @Lee1
    Hi hi, and welcome to the fold of the non-lurking Horde!

  14. The Mellow Monkey says

    Well said, Eristae. Ableist slurs aren’t okay here. Several posters here suffer from mental illnesses (including me) and we shouldn’t be dismissed because of our illnesses, nor should our legitimate medical conditions be used as insults. Whether those slurs are targeting specific people with mental illnesses or being used to insultingly liken people to those with mental illnesses, it’s not cool.

  15. says

    Ibis3:

    I was thinking about the example of posts about FGM and how PZ has been quite clear on those threads: no derailing about male circumcision allowed.

    That didn’t happen until there had been a number of threads on FGM, and then, PZ made a special and specific post/thread to discuss MGM, so there was a place to discuss that as well at the same time. Given the amount of threads dealing with feminism and sexism, and abortion being part of those discussions, it would be a bit more difficult to tease all that out.

    I also don’t think it would really help to have a separate thread for abortion discussion, or insist it be taken to thunderdome*, because I don’t think people bring up the subject in feminism threads for no reason – it’s a deliberate tactic. I don’t think there’s a sincere desire to actually discuss abortion. Freodin is not an unknown person here, and has frequently derailed discussions in many a thread dealing with feminism or sexism, using various herrings.

    *Although there’s no harm at all in a bunch of us yelling for a subject to be taken to Teadome.

  16. Jessa says

    Caine:

    Did anyone check Wendy’s facebook page? I’m facebook resistance, so I can’t do it.

    There’s no publicly-visible information other than name.

  17. unclefrogy says

    if everyone seems to be disagreeing with you and you call it group think if you want but that is just a way to try to justify what you are saying is correct. It might be that what you are saying is recognized by everyone else as simply wrong.

    uncle frogy

  18. Esteleth, stupid fucking starchild Tolkien worshiping douche says

    Jesus tapdancing Christ on a cracker.

    Does “atheist” mean “is educated on, and on board with, feminism”?

    Does “atheist” mean “cannot be a misogynist”?

    Are “atheism” and “sexism” contradictory?

    No.

    They should be, though.

    Why do I give more of a crap about atheist sexists than religious sexists?

    Well, (to borrow a phrase from, and link to, Melissa McEwan) I expect more from atheists and atheism.

  19. Jessa says

    Nothing interesting visible on the Wendy’s Facebook page. Just some links from last year. I like it better when trolls can’t properly adjust their privacy settings.

  20. says

    Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-h— *pant, wheeze”

    We’re religious? Lady, if this place was even slightly religious, I (and the regulars and visitors) would be trying to burn it down.

  21. Doug Hudson says

    I would like to believe that Wendy Kroy is being facetious (either as a joke or a troll), because in that case, her posts are hilarious.

    I’ve been on the Internet too long to be certain of that, though, and if the posts are serious…well, they are still pretty damn funny, but wow.

    Is there a term for the logical fallacy in which one argues against the exact opposite of the position taken by the person one is arguing against? Or is that an illogical fallacy?

  22. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with a perchant for pachyderm punditry) says

    And to get back on-topic: Yes, a thousand times yes, we will fail if we cannot make atheism as a movement inclusive of all.

    The tides of history are turning. No longer will we tolerate relegating vast swaths of our population to second class citizenship because of their anatomy, or their ethnic origin, or their sexual preference or any of the myriad ways we’ve chosen to other segments of humanity. Step by tiny step, one voice at a time, one moment at a time where the choice to remain silent is discarded and casual bigotry is confronted we slowly shift the culture. And by ‘we’ I mean everyone, not just atheists.

    And therein lies the danger, if atheism as a movement doesn’t embrace this striving for true equality it will be left behind. It will be discarded like all the other hateful, unenlightened belief systems.

    There’s a long way to go of course, I won’t see and end to this in my lifetime, but it is moving in the right direction, despite the pushback, despite the fear inspired hate laws being pushed through by the religious right. The dinosaurs are afraid, they’re thrashing and moaning as extinction creeps nearer and nearer.

    Time and effort and and unflagging diligence in this long last twilight of the patriarchy will see us through as a species, it only remains to be seen if atheism goes down with bigots or rises above by embracing true equality before it’s too late.

  23. says

    FossilFishy:

    The tides of history are turning. No longer will we tolerate relegating vast swaths of our population to second class citizenship because of their anatomy, or their ethnic origin, or their sexual preference or any of the myriad ways we’ve chosen to other segments of humanity. Step by tiny step, one voice at a time, one moment at a time where the choice to remain silent is discarded and casual bigotry is confronted we slowly shift the culture. And by ‘we’ I mean everyone, not just atheists.

    Absolutely. Y’know, the 11th of this month marked our 34th anniversary. One thing we both remarked on is that there is much less joy in that because so many people are denied the basic right to marry, including many of our friends. It’s difficult to celebrate such a thing, even quietly, when you look to your good friends who have been together for 17 years, yet do not have the right to marry.

  24. glodson says

    And to get back on-topic: Yes, a thousand times yes, we will fail if we cannot make atheism as a movement inclusive of all.

    I still don’t get why some people are so afraid of inclusion.

    But this attitude is something I see often in different subcultures. There’s this idea that being exclusive, the in-group is better. Gamers can be like this. Anime fans can be like this. Comic book fans are like this.

    Usually, they set the bar high in that a new person might be intimidated by a lack of knowledge, or the wrong kind of fan. In comic book and gaming communities, this can be expressed with a bit of sexism as well.

    I always felt it was childish and stupid, even before I embraced the fact that I’m a horrible, horrible feminist.

    It has been jarring to me to see people who hold themselves up as exemplars of rational thinking do the same thing the worst in those communities can do, just to keep the status quo.

  25. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @glodson

    Anime and comics specifically have a bit of mystery cult aspect. Part of the joy is finding a gem that’s not too popular.

  26. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    especially anime back in the 80s and 90s where people did dig through shit releases looking for decent quality

  27. John Morales says

    glodson:

    I still don’t get why some people are so afraid of inclusion.

    Hm.

    Criteria still apply for inclusiveness, so I see it not so much as inclusion, but rather as a lack of a priori exclusion.

    (How can atheism be inclusive of goddists, or atheism+ be inclusive of misogynists?)

  28. glodson says

    John,

    Yea, I was a bit lazy in my writing. Because I’m not for inclusion of bigots and the like as well. We shouldn’t seek to make people feel excluded by virtue of race, gender, sex, sexuality, and other qualities like that. But one should be uncomfortable if one is given to horribly racist attitudes, or a theist.

    And that discomfort can have a use. I know it helped me get over the theistic thinking I was guilty of, and made me pay a bit more attention to what words I used, and my own thoughts. Discomfort is good in that. However, discomfort for being a woman, for example, is really shitty.

    ing

    They do. There’s that mystery element, but also there’s a vocal group that will jump down the throat of a new fan for being the “wrong” kind of fan. Which I hated. Comics and game fans can be the worst when it comes to non-male, non-hetero, non-white people. At least, in my experience.

  29. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @globson

    Most common source I see if femaphobia. Nerd hobbies are already seen as shallow end of testosterone pool so assholes over compensate so their practice of play acting elves isn’t totes gay.

  30. glodson says

    Nerd hobbies are already seen as shallow end of testosterone pool so assholes over compensate so their practice of play acting elves isn’t totes gay.

    I guess this is where people like me tend to be disgusted with the culture.

    But that aside, I see it on a practical level. The more people in the group, the better it is for the group. So, even if I’m just being selfish, I still don’t have a reason to oppose this.

    Oh, I know that this isn’t how a lot of people think. Which is why I’ll never completely understand this. I might be explaining this well. Probably shouldn’t post drunk.

  31. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @globson

    The nerd consolation prize is that they may be unpopular but that’s because they’re unique or special, against the grain, diamond in the rough. If their hobbies go mainstream that challengers that comfortable narrative. Well call this Enders syndrom

  32. glodson says

    Ing….

    There’s no “d” in my nym. I mean, I can be annoyingly self-confident at times, but I am not able to be called glob-son. ;)

    That’s part of it. And I think that’s where some of this lashing out comes from in the atheist movement. It is a secret party.

    I know there’s not one single cause, but rather multiple forces working together. And shit, I’m out of my depth when we start talking about the social sciences. I do my best… but I know where I’m weak.

  33. says

    Ing:

    The nerd consolation prize is that they may be unpopular but that’s because they’re unique or special, against the grain, diamond in the rough. If their hobbies go mainstream that challengers that comfortable narrative.

    A lot of people want to see themselves as special snowflakes, that’s why there are groups for *everything*. It’s also why people get very set in specific ways and bristle at anything which might so much as hint at challenging the status quo.

  34. says

    Perhaps, when posts are made about feminism but not abortion for example, it could be made clear by the poster that any talk about abortion should remain in the Thunderdome? It won’t stop every derail, but I think it would help considerably.

    I would be glad (most of the time) to talk about reproductive rights as a political/feminist issue – how the fact that women in many places live in systems in which their life trajectories and participation in society can be derailed because governments deny them basic autonomy, in which they’re never safe from the forced occupation of their bodies and have their courageous resistance – their determination to continue to realize all of their political and social rights* by controlling what happens to their bodies – criminalized and treated as tragic and immoral. This has significant and toxic implications for women’s participation over time in any activities, including any communities or social movements.**

    Of course, that’s not what these derails tend to be about. The fetushization on display is just more propaganda for political oppression.

    *To the extent possible in current political and economic conditions and including the choice to oppose those systems.

    **I’ve heard so much from the so-called equity feminists about how all that’s necessary and important is legal equality. If that’s the case, they should be huge supporters of reproductive rights, because systems in which women are denied these rights deny them equal political freedom. Instead, as Dawkins’ recent example illustrates, they tend to promote reactionary ideas while proclaiming themselves “pro-choice.” (Incidentally, Singer also has some dumb sexist things to say about reproductive rights and ethics; but Dawkins’ use of an animal rights argument as an anti-abortion argument approached joey levels of twistedness.)

  35. says

    @ Caine

    I started to write a post disagreeing with you, but then I recalled how the subject of abortion got introduced into this thread in the first place. It was Richard Dawkins being a sexist asshole again, which was on topic. Still, it’s too bad that instead of talking about that, the conversation went off track.

  36. says

    It was Richard Dawkins being a sexist asshole again, which was on topic. Still, it’s too bad that instead of talking about that, the conversation went off track.

    Try his Twitter feed. Great for lunch too.

  37. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Wow, Wendy, wow.

    @Doug

    or is that an illogical fallacy?

    Thread won.

    Back to arguing that natural law shouldn’t rule in interstate relations and positive law *doesn’t* rule, therefore…I’m not sure, but damn the state of transnational law is every bit as messed up as I thought it was from the outside, then squared. Yeesh.

  38. says

    Ibis3:

    Still, it’s too bad that instead of talking about that, the conversation went off track.

    Yes. Still, even though derails consisting of the same old argument for many of us, are always new to others, so they still have value. Especially when a new law comes into being right in the middle of such a discussion, like the new ND heartbeat law.

    Personally, I’m always amused by people so annoyed or upset by a derail they start a derail themselves, rather than posting on the topic.

  39. Lyn M: Necrodunker of death, nothing but net says

    It seems to me rthat you religious nut jobs are just using the shakesville article on atheism and misogyny to shoot cheap shots at and criticise atheism to reaffirm your unfounded that religion, fairy tales and superstition are the answer while atheists are these sexist subhumans even one of their own (McEwan) cant stand. Very good. But next time I suggest arguing an issue based on merits rather than piggy backing on someone else’s criticism because it is opportune for your agenda of massive religious bullshit.

    Oh, please, please, please let this be genuine! It would be so damned funny!

  40. Lyn M: Necrodunker of death, nothing but net says

    @Eristae

    I posted before I read the last 45 or so comments. I see the ableist remark now, and I agree that it makes the comment not funny. Thanks for commenting so frankly. I apologize for completely missing that earlier.

  41. Annah Green says

    @Caine Oh, I don’t think that’s the case. We can read your original post, you know.

    It is the case, or did you miss the comparison I made between McEwan and the ranting blogs on the Right? Let me refresh your memory –

    “There exist a large group of histrionic, self-absorbed bloggers on the net identifiable as a group. These are (mostly) NOT women – they are the right-wing nutcases, the likes of Erick Erickson or Theodore Beale. McEwan is not as bad as them, but shares many of the same traits.”

    Now, let’s check your list which you so desperately attempt to portray as sexist dogwhistles:

    “Let’s see: tainted, therefor not valid, eternal victimhood, sycophantic, cult of personality, ever-so-easily offended feelings, shrill, emotionally-damaged whiners.”

    Check, check, check. ALL of these are characteristics of Right wing blogs such as Politico, and illustrate my comment that McEwan shares their traits. And these right-wingers are, for the vast majority, MALE.

    So take your weak attempt to avoid actual criticism of your idol, and stuff it.

    Now, I understand why those on Shakesville want to shoehorn any criticism of McEwan into a little box labelled “sexism” and dismiss it. It’s entirely predictable.

    It’s part of the larger script for the passion play that is regularly enacted on Shakesville – someone dissents with McEwan’s opinion, McEwan retreats expressing oversized dismay and outrage at such criticism, her toadies rush to pile on the dissenter, frantically labelling any critique as “sexism” or at a pinch “fauxgressive” and then banning them, and McEwan bravely returns and bravely steps up on her brave little plinth as America’s Bravest Feminist while the rest gather round to coo to her how special and brave she is.

    The story of the Martyrdom of Saint McEwan would be more entertaining if she wasn’t the one driving her own nails into her cross.

    This is a major reason why McEwan is such an embarrassment to so many on the left and such an easy target to those on the right. I cringe when I see her name quoted on one of their blogs, because I know the rest of us are going to be slimed by association – it’s the same feeling I had when the international press started quoting President Bush. She’s an embarrassment and since her views are never allowed to be tested by honest criticism, she’s potentially dangerous to the causes she claims to be supporting.

    And that’s why I reject in any way McEwan as a spokesperson for me as a woman, and why I do not accept in any way McEwan as a spokesperson for women in general. And it’s why I reject in any way McEwan as a spokesperson for me as a feminist, and why I do not accept in any way McEwan as a spokesperson for feminism in general. And it’s why I would reject in any way McEwan as a spokesperson for me as an atheist, and why I find it dubious for PZ to cite McEwan in such a way that she might be seen in any way as a spokesperson for atheism in general.

  42. says

    So take your weak attempt to avoid actual criticism of your idol, and stuff it.

    Hahahahahahaha, oh my. I’ve nothing to do with Shakesville or Melissa McEwan. I’ve read about a dozen posts from there over the years and never been part of the commentariat. Your attempt to paint me as emotionally upset over your bullshit misses the mark by miles.

    You’re still spouting bullshit, you know. Your personal dislike of someone cannot be extrapolated to everyone else and your justifications are absurd.

  43. Annah Green says

    Isn’t McEwan the one who banned some rape/assault victims from her blog for calling her on her love of Bill Clinton, who apparently had a history of sexually harassing women pre-Monica Lewinsky, or am I confusing her with someone else?

    No, you’re not.

    http://stfushakesville.tumblr.com/

  44. Annah Green says

    You’re still spouting bullshit, you know. Your personal dislike of someone cannot be extrapolated to everyone else and your justifications are absurd.

    How many people wind up with tumblr groups documenting how their ego hurts others?

  45. says

    Annah, that’s really *not* a good argument to try justifying around here: Rebecca Watson has several (rather horrible) forums and blogs which are obsessively devoted to pointing out and detailing every imagined infraction she has ever committed, but they aren’t a good example of criticism; they’re just haters busy doing their hating. So the existence of this or that tumblr group says nothing about Ms McEwan.

  46. says

    McEwan wrote a good essay. I don’t particularly care for Shakesville, but I can see that this is a good essay and appreciate that.

    Is this really so hard?

  47. says

    I find it dubious for PZ to cite McEwan in such a way that she might be seen in any way as a spokesperson for atheism in general.

    That would actually be a useful shibboleth, if anyone actually did seriously believe that Melissa McEwan was a spokesperson for atheism in general, you’d know they’re too fucking dumb to be worth bothering with. I mean, the idea that there’d be such a spokesperson is brain-numbingly stupid in the first place, but then to pick McEwan for the position?… Just pat them on their head and be on your way. Sheesh.

  48. PatrickG says

    She’s an embarrassment and since her views are never allowed to be tested by honest criticism, she’s potentially dangerous to the causes she claims to be supporting

    Yeah, because her banning commenters has the result of silencing every critic on the internet. What next, going to accuse Shakesville of being a cult? A hivemind? A crowd of sycophants unwilling to tolerate criticism of Dear Leader? You’re almost there with your use of the word “toadies”, but take the plunge!

    it’s the same feeling I had when the international press started quoting President Bush.

    BWAHAHAHAHA. Laughably stupid. I’m sure you’ll argue it’s a difference of degree, not kind, but for fuck’s sake. If McEwan’s community were invading other blogs in violation of internet law, you might have a point (wait, no you wouldn’t — that didn’t even make sense to me!).

    Your incendiary loathing of McEwan is no excuse for such a flagrant abuse of common sense and the English language. She and some Shakesville regulars wanted to construct a certain type of online community and they did. They seem happy with it. Those who aren’t don’t venture there much.

    Are we done now?

    [Note I said "they". I was an occasional reader back in the day, but I really didn't like the new community and commenting policies they put in a few years back. My memory is hazy, but I recall it did result in an (at least purported) exodus of long-time commenters and enabled some of the more competent tone trolls. Makes me warm inside every time I see a tone troll get the full octave treatment around these parts. Don't ever change, Pharyngula!]

    I’ll take SallyStrange’s advice:

    /me pats you on the head
    /me tells you to be on your way

  49. says

    sallystrange @ #558:

    McEwan wrote a good essay. I don’t particularly care for Shakesville, but I can see that this is a good essay and appreciate that.

    Is this really so hard?

    Agreed; in much the same way that Richard Dawkins can still write and say stuff that’s right.

    I’ve had it confirmed that I wasn’t confusing Shakesville and Melissa McEwan with anyone else, but that doesn’t change the fact that Melissa got this one right. The point she brings up is one we here have been talking about for a bit over two years, now, at least.