Calling Out Misogyny or Bullying is Not An Attack; It is a Social Duty!

There is this unfortunate trend in social media where calling out someone for their sexist, misogynist, and/or inhumane remarks is seen more as an invitation for a fight rather than an opportunity to engage in rational discussion. Many, especially women, are discouraged from calling out sexist, misogynist, or stereotype remarks made by friends on social media like Facebook or Twitter, for fear of being tagged as the “type of feminist that gives feminism a bad name”.

There seems to be a renewed effort to tag outspoken,social justice conscious women as aggressive, judgemental, over-sensitive ‘bitches’ who just want to ruin everyone’s fun. It is particularly sad that this type of silencing technique is becoming even more prevalent in the Humanist/Atheist space.

November 17th-24th is  anti-bullying week and I pledged sometime ago not to be a bystander when I witness bullying. Of course, this has somehow earned me a reputation as the “fun ruiner”, especially amongst some of my fb friends.  Whenever i post or comment on such issues, it is at the risk of being referred to as the “type of feminist” they don’t like. Therefore, such discussions tend to irritate some ‘friends’ and many do get aggressively defensive when called out. However, i am sure that those who resort to aggressive behaviour when called out on how they treat others do not deserve the space they occupy on my virtual/real friendship list, simples.

I was shocked when I came across the status update below from a somehow close FB friend who identify as humanist and feminist: [Read more…]

Creeps, creeps, creeps everywhere; Atheist movement sure has more than its fair share of creeps!

An enlightening piece titled Will Misogyny Bring Down The Atheist Movement? was recently published on buzzfeed by Mark Oppenheimer. It is a long read that exposes the sexist, misogynistic behaviour of some well-known male Atheists leaders. I guess they are referred to as Atheist leaders because they are well paid to speak at atheists events, coveted by the media and well, some of them have written popular books, but as an atheist and feminist, I wouldn’t think of many of these creeps as ‘leaders’ in any way.

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The article particularly focused on the many allegations of sexual harassment surrounding Michael Shermer. It also exposes the indefensible thought process of those in power who have protected and shielded him from the consequences of his questionable actions towards women at Atheist conventions.
James Randy was quoted in the article as saying- [Read more…]

Physically attacked at an atheist event by a fellow ‘feminist’ atheist!

I always thought if I were ever to be attacked by someone I only knew from social media especially Facebook, it would be by a homophobe, biphobe, 385838_210204545725456_192116174200960_481213_799145023_ntransphobe or a religious fanatic who didn’t like my LGBT rights advocacy or anti-religion posts. Never in my dreams would I have thought I would experience a physical attack and verbal abuse at an atheist event from a female Facebook friend who identifies as a feminist and an atheist!

Until now, my casual encounters with people who only knew me from Facebook have been positive. From the ones I ran into in London tubes to the ones who excitedly introduced themselves as my fb friends at social events or gave me heartfelt hugs at London pride, it has been positive experience until now. Get ready to hear the full gist, don’t forget to get your popcorn! [Read more…]

Of Rape graders and Hero worship.

Richard Dawkins ill-informed attempt to grade rape triggered discussions and heated debates on the issue of rape. Sure enough, rape apologists and victim blamers used the opportunity to proudly show off their self-inflicted ignorance and bigotry on the issue of Rape. It was also another avenue for hero worship. I did get some very worrisome responses on my Facebook wall to my blogpost RichardDawkins@Confused.Com: No one said you endorsed rape, what you did was grade rape and that is appalling. It also exposes the fact that many are actually happy to blame victims but won’t admit that they are rape apologists.

I plan on making some of these discussions into a blogpost but first I need to get this very misguided, unconscionable comment made by a proudly ignorant person out of the way.

Trigger alert- Contains Trivialisation of Rape. [Read more…]

RichardDawkins@Confused.Com: No one said you endorsed rape, what you did was grade rape and that is appalling!

Watching the downward spiral of Richard Dawkins from a respected scientist and atheist to a cringeworthy tweeter commentator is indeed Richard-Dawkinssaddening.

The latest embarrassing and thoughtless tweets of the Professor has generated yet another media storm and a lot of criticism and not forgetting the usual dose of worship from the “Richard Dawkins can do no wrong” worshippers. What I find amusing and of course saddening is how he refuses to acknowledge the constructive criticisms levelled at his tweets but chose instead to spew bigotry and disdain from his high pedestal at his critiques. To boot, he tries to make himself out as a victim of witch hunts!

The Professor and his apologists are going to ridiculous length to ‘clarify’ the intentions behind his tweets. Richard Dawkins wanted us to know he was not endorsing rape, but who the heck said he was endorsing rape? It is like the man wants to direct our attention away from the major blunder he committed by using an obvious defence, only that no one attacked him with that tool, so using that particular defence is basically pointless. We are no children that can be tempted away from the main issues just because he flashed a candy at us.

Below are the Richard Dawkins’ tweets in question, one can see how the tweets spiralled out of the control of Richard Dawkins.  RD even went on a tantrum when he couldn’t believe that people were even more stupid than he thought. Sighs. [Read more…]

Nigerian Atheists Group: A story of Bigotry, Sexism and Patriarchy!

It has indeed been enlightening as well as fun anchoring, participating and watching on the Nigerian Atheists group page, the 383946_203577736388137_192116174200960_463961_1674859760_nreality drama triggered by the controversial minutes of the first and only meeting of this group ‘Nigerian Atheists’.

It has provided me with a good story line. This juicy story is not a book full of lies, deceits and a bloodthirsty God character like the Bible or Quran but it has surely been inspired by a minutes of a meeting, with as much credibility as the Bible or Quran, ironically, the group’s name is, wait for it,  Nigerian Atheists!

THE MINUTES OF THIS GROUP MEETING WAS WRITTEN BY PROPHET KUNLE OGUNYEMI AND WITNESSED BY HIS APOSTLES namely, the plagiarizing Apostle GAMBO aka Gambagate, the Lily livered Apostle ANDREW and on the fence sitter, Apostle LEKE!

People wondered why I didn’t just leave the Nigerian Atheists group since they were obviously up to no good. Many of the group members still do not understand that they have been gathered together as evidence for the Nigerian Atheist prophet of scammers, Prophet Kunle, who wanted to show the group to the world as evidence of a congregation he needs to feed. Since he cannot do so through miracles as supposedly done by dear lord Jesus, who allegedly fed a multitude with 5 loaves and 2 fish, Prophet Kunle thought it would be great to appeal to international atheists organisations to help fund  ‘his” organization. [Read more…]

ANALYSIS OF COMMENTS MADE BY TWO FOUNDING MEMBERS OF THE GROUP ‘NIGERIAN ATHEISTS’.

This was first posted in June, 2012 on the Nigerian atheist group Facebook page, my Facebook notes and old blog and now published here for easy reference.

My short stint with the Nigerian Atheists group exposed me and many others to bigotry, sexism, homophobia and a blatant 304914_209227842473067_100001575579815_591821_3991924_ndisregard for facts in the group.  It really was an eye opening experience that brought to fore the characters of its founders and the real intention behind floating the group. It is indeed a pity because they give Atheists a bad name and has unfortunately contributed to the stereotype of Nigerians as yahoo scammers. I believe such experience should be documented for present and future purposes and HERE is a link to my write up on the experience

Below are my analyses of the comments made  by two of the Nigerian Atheists group main founders, Hotem Dajenid and Gamba Joel Sl, on the Nigerian Atheists group Facebook page , following my objection to the minutes of the first ever Nigerian Atheists group meeting, where I was blatantly misquoted and misrepresented.

The analyses of their comments was posted as a document and comments on the group page , not surprisingly and very unethically, the document along with my OBJECTION TO THE MINUTES document and my comments were deleted by Hotem Dajenid and Kunle Ogunyemi, who are both founders and Admin members of  the Nigerian Atheists Facebook group page. The group has also been made a closed group, hmm .. now closeted atheists or just hiding their bigoted, sexist , homophobic group from the prying eyes of the public?  They form a backdrop of interesting characters for a good storyline worth reading about HERE! [Read more…]

Nigerian Atheists Group: Genesis and Revelation of its Patriarchal Tendencies!

How does one begin to address strong issues of great importance delicately?

How does one point out to a fledgling organization that it does not practice what it seeks to preach to others without being termed 430560_3251659296871_1428686839_33367390_235620484_na killer of dreams?

How does one get redress for a wrong done by a minority organization without being termed as malicious and vindictive?

How do we get people to understand that being a minority organization or a member of a minority group does not excuse you from objective criticism?

Bigotry, sexism, censorship, lack of regards for facts, misrepresentation, bullying should not rear its ugly head in a progressive organization, certainly not in an ATHEISTS organization, and if it reared its ugly head, this should not be welcomed or swept under the carpet.

No organization should claim a free pass from objective criticism because it is a minority, fledgling organization. If you want to preach reason and logic to the world as a group, be ready to practice what you preach starting from within your group. [Read more…]

PUBLIC DISCLAIMER AND OBJECTION TO THE UNAPPROVED MINUTES OF NIGERIAN ATHEISTS GROUP MEETING HELD ON FEBRUARY 12, 2012

THIS IS A PUBLIC DISCLAIMER BY YEMISI ILESANMI ON THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF NIGERIAN ATHEISTS GROUP HELD IN ABUJA, NIGERIA ON FEBRUARY 12 2012. THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING CONTAINS INACCURACIES AND YEMISI ILESANMI DOES NOT WISH TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH THE GROUP ‘NIGERIAN ATHEISTS’. THANK YOU. (This was first posted on 24 June, 2012  on the Nigerian atheist group Facebook page, my Facebook notes, my old blog and now posted here for easy reference.)

OBJECTION TO THE WAY I WAS MISREPRESENTED AND MISQUOTED IN THE UNAPPROVED MINUTES OF THE NIGERIAN ATHEISTS MEETING OF FEBRUARY 12, 2012.

Dear Nigerian Atheists members,

I am obliged to make some clarifications pertaining to the minutes of the 1st ever meeting of Nigerian Atheists group posted by the secretary of the group, Kunle Ogunyemi.

The minutes of the meeting should have been sent round to all members present at the meeting and at least to all officials for amendments and approval before being made public, this to the best of my knowledge was not done, if done, it was certainly not sent to me,  I actually just read the minutes of the meeting for the first time on this blog SkepticMoney.  (http://www.skepticmoney.com/the-nigerian-atheists-organization-has-formed-we-are-everywhere/)

The minutes of the meeting was NEVER posted on the Nigerian Atheists group page, but FIRST ended up in a FOREIGN BLOG! BTW, why should the minutes of the meeting be posted in a foreign blog as promotional stuff? [Read more…]

Avoiding Ableist or Sexist Language Won’t Make Us Less Fun!

I found this amazing campaign on a website and decided to share on my facebook wall.  As stated on the website , “The following are images from the “You Don’t Say?” Campaign out of Duke University. The premise of the campaign is to encourage people to think before speaking as the words one delivers can have negative implications that were never intended in the first place, especially to those around us.

These phrases are often said with harmless intent. But how do we really make those around us feel? Perhaps it’s time for us to actually think before we speak?”

 The images show different persons holding different signs  -

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When I posted this wonderful piece as my FB status update, I added-

 And I don’t say “Don’t be a retard” because it is Ableist . [Read more…]

Because you are a decent person does not mean your religion is not harmful: My 24 hour ordeal with religion.

I shared my post about the Twenty Reasons I am distressed by Religion and its Believers on my Facebook wall and as usual, some religious believers felt the need to defend religion with the usual “Religion is not harmful; it is some few bad believers that  make it appear so“. I am really tired of explaining to self righteous religious believers that their religion is in and of itself harmful and yes, it causes us non believers, distress. Here is an example of such comment from a decent person who just happens to be a religious believer.

 My dearest, religion if practiced in truth and in spirit is a way to cope with life’s difficulties.
Do not be distressed. If you can teach people how to cope with difficulties, you have a religion.
Religion is a discipline, a way of life to deal with life issues. Some have become predators using religion to take advantage of others—those I abhor.

I gave you my definition of religion. My definition does not include preying on children and calling them witches. No. Those who prey on others in the name of religion must be brought to line seriously.
Religion is about grace, mercy and faith and hope….We live by the principles of those who have been passionate and died for a cause. It is a choice and a way of life. Everyone has a religion.

While I appreciate and understand the way this commenter tried to paint religion, I must point out that Religion in its ordinary and accepted meaning is not “a discipline” or “a way of life to deal with life issues.” Religion is based on the belief and practice that [Read more…]

Nigerian/African Anglican Bishops threaten to secede from Church of England over samesex marriage: A case of an apprentice arguing with the inventor about the contents of their invention

It was widely reported that:

“Anglican Bishops in Nigeria and the entire Bishops of Anglican communion in the entire Global South has threatened once again to pull out from the Church of England, if the Archbishop of Canterbury continues to recognize gay marriages, homosexuality, lesbianism and all other forms of social vices that permits same sex marriage.

The Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Church of Nigeria, Anglican communion, Rt. Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Olisa Chukkwuma said the entire Bishops of Anglican communion under GAFCON, which covers the nations of the ‘Global South’ spoke with one voice, stating that the sanctity of the Marriage institution as prescribed in the Holy Bible, which says it must be between a man and woman, must be maintained without compromise.

ANGLICANIt is pathetic that the people whose ancestors were forced to practice a foreign religion at gun point now defend same religion with such vigor that they even claim to know more about the religion than those who forced it on their ancestors.

As the Yoruba adage says- “Eni to ri nko e, to fe ku pelu e o, owo eni to ti sonu nko”. (Roughly translated as – When a person who finds a lost item belonging to another  holds tenaciously onto it, in a ‘do or die’ manner, what about the person who originally lost the item?)

Laughing and at the same time shaking my head at the utmost stupidity of those Nigerian/African Anglican leaders.Just secede and stop making ignorant noises! I’d say good riddance to bad rubbish.

Obviously these Bishops are not very familiar with their Bible because if they were, they would know that there are many types of Marriages approved by their Precious Holy Book including but not limited to- [Read more…]

The Politics of Colour: Being an invisible minority within an invisible minority

Bisexuals are not a very visible part of the LGBT community. Unfortunately biphobia is very much alive within the Lgbt community. This unfortunate issue has been cause for Bisexuals to come together to organize and gain more visibility in the LGBT communityDSC_0951 new.

When I moved to UK in 2009, I was eager to join the LGBT community and also be part of the bisexual community. I soon realized that although it is easy to have a social life beyond virtual interactions with Lesbians and gays activists, it is very difficult to actually meet bisexual activists.

Almost all the LGBT events I attended were dominated by homosexual concerns, nothing much about bisexuality. I have had to raise the question of more bi visibility at these events.

I also noticed that it is one thing to find Bisexual events, it is quite another to find people of colour represented at these events. Unlike most lgbt events (which are actually gay dominated events), there are at least a noticeable number of people of colour, the few bisexual events I have attended failed in this area.

Sometime last year, after making enquires about bi groups and events in UK, a Bi friend who lives outside UK sent me a link to a bi weekend event organized by bisexual activists in UK.  I was glad to attend and was also happy that one of the main themes for the weekend was Race. The event was held outside London and I had to travel a bit to get to the destination, optimistic that it was going to be a great weekend with fellow bi activists. [Read more…]

Not begging for my LGBT/Human Rights does not make me Aggressive, just Assertive. Deal with it! Part 2

249138_10151008479421873_936068164_nI am quite active on Facebook, it is one social media I use effectively for advocacy and my personal idiosyncrasies. On my facebook page and groups, I am sometimes accused of making ‘long’ responses to comments. The truth is, I am a stickler for facts. I just can’t ignore a sentence that needs debunking, certainly not if it is right there on my wall. Therefore I tend to dissect every word that needs clarification. I guess I am one of those who can’t go to bed when someone is wrong on facebook! One good thing about this idiosyncrasy of mine is that it gives me inspiration and materials for my blog, some of those long responses are often ideas I need to share with others, especially when they address issues that crop up often. A single post would save me from having to make the same point over and over again on my facebook wall.  Now, here is another of these long responses that have now been turned into a blogpost.

It is important to shed more light on this “Stop shouting”, “stop being so aggressive”, “Listen respectfully to your abusers” admonitions I often receive from well meaning and not so well meaning self appointed advisers.  Below is a response to someone who obviously is not homophobic but was still religious enough to find my attacks on religion uncomfortable. He could not directly come out to say this so he cloaks his discomfort in words of advice and admonitions. While laying no claim to been a mind reader, unfortunately, this is one attitude I am very familiar with. [Read more…]