This is why women don't come to atheist meetings

Guy: *holds up phone like he’s taking a photo of me*
Me: Uhhh… *moves aside* Are you taking a photo?
Guy 2: No, he’s comparing you to your boobquake photo.
Guy: *nods and grins* Nice. *shows another guy*
Guy 3: Lookin’ goooood.
Me: *blank stare*
Guy 3: What? It’s not harassment since we’re not in a workplace.
Me: >:/

This is right after I wondered out loud where all the other female members were, since I was the only one there.


  1. AudiblySilenced says

    Wow. Just… wow.As I often say: By definition, half of all people are of below average intelligence. And the average is too low.

  2. cgranade says

    That’s really disturbing. Did I miss the part where you signed away your dignity to make a few boob jokes in order to ridicule religiously motivated misogyny?

  3. cgranade says

    I think we can, in fact. Part of being human is being able to apply reason rather than just following biological imperatives. Put differently, having a dick doesn’t have to mean being one.

  4. Rillion says

    Yes, you can help yourselves. You can’t help your thoughts, but you can sure as hell help what you do and say about them.

  5. says

    I think what might actually make Jen (and the rest of us ladies) feel better is if dudes reprimanded other dudes for doing/saying stuff like this.

  6. cgranade says

    I don’t think it’s even about intelligence so much as it is about having some basic level of respect for other humans.

  7. Benjamin Elgie says

    I’m going to pile on here with a “why the hell not.” It’s one thing to whisper it to a friend before or after (though it’s still pretty fucking dumb), but it’s creepy and disgusting as well to do it right to someone’s face.And it’s actually really easy not to do it.

  8. ChrisZ says

    I have never seen someone do anything that socially dumb before. Is this actually common, or are you stereotyping us atheist men!?

  9. Livingonsteak says

    Any context to this? My first impression is that they were merely having some fun and perhaps even paying you a complement (albeit not in the best way).Based on the comments it would appear that I’m extremely in the minority in this thinking.Now if he was serious with his “it’s not harassment because we’re not in a workplace” comment, then yeah, he’s a dick. I wasn’t there, so I can’t judge him.

  10. cgranade says

    When having fun means disregarding another person’s human dignity, then, yes, I am opposed to it.

  11. loreleion says

    That would be a pathetic excuse even if Jen hadn’t clearly expressed discomfort. As it is, it’s no better than “It’s not harassment since we’re not in a workplace.”

  12. Charlie Kilian says

    “We can’t help ourselves”? Speak for yourself. Those kind of excuses are exactly why guys continue to think they can be assholes.

  13. says

    Oddly, this makes me want to go to the meetings. It’s been a while since I [was Christian and therefore] felt self-righteous. But I work til 9:00.

  14. loreleion says

    Jen, you should make the Blag Hag meetups a regular thing. I had a lot of fun with that group, and this sort of thing is exactly why I never go to skeptic/atheist meetups.

  15. ChrisZ says

    I agree that interaction failure (a.k.a. dickishness) is the problem here, I’m just wondering if that’s actually a common problem at atheist meetings. I’ve never been to one, much less enough to get an idea about whether it’s a problem.

  16. Tony says

    huh. My first instinct would be to back off and allow the female members of the group first dibs at the feeding frenzy.

  17. Praedico says

    Wait, people like this actually exist?! I thought they were just a myth to make other, slightly less socially awkward people feel better about ourselves!On behalf of my gender, I am so sorry, Jen. We are perfectly capable of controlling ourselves, but apparently certain of our number feel that a reputation for inability to control one’s actions is justification to act like an absolute and total cock.

  18. says

    Having men stand up against this sort of behavior shows that isn’t just something that women find offensive. We don’t need men to rescue us, but we need them to publicly acknowledge that this sort of behavior is a problem for everyone.Besides, did you miss the part where she said that this happened right after she remarked that there were no other women there?

  19. msroxy says

    I’ve been feeling a bit of guilt about missing all the meetings here in Seattle, but now… hmm. Sad.

  20. Thane says

    Jen,As a Seattle native, a (straight, female-attracted) male, and an atheist, I am very sorry you had to experience that kind of bullshit. Were I there, they would have received a chewing out of an epic nature, and been asked to either apologize to your satisfaction or asked to leave and not return.They were WAY out of line.

  21. says

    I’m immune to general chuckling about boobquake, and I’m quite flattered by polite compliments about my appearance. I don’t have a problem with “I can’t help finding a female attractive,” but do have a problem with “I can’t help showing my attraction in a totally dickish rude way.”

  22. msroxy says

    Ah, you’re right :) I’ve been wanting to be more active anyway. Went to the Sam Harris talk last night, but couldn’t hang around afterward. Hopefully soon!

  23. says

    I’m tempted. You guys were all super cool.Or we could just all go to these meetings, thus flooding them with cool non-assholeish people. Eh? Eh?

  24. says

    If you think guys being idiots around women is a reflection of some kind of privileging of men, you don’t understand men. Men will continue to be idiots even if you take away all of their privileges.(No offense. Misunderstanding the opposite sex isn’t a crime. I hope. But the interpretations women come up with for male behavior sometimes baffle me.)

  25. says

    It’s normally reserved for people I actually know, but I think perhaps even a stranger would earn a swift punch and a few choice words for that kind of thing.The target of that punch depends entirely on the stupidity of the statement preceding it.

  26. says

    I suppose Guy 4 could have called out Guy 3, but to be honest I think my approach would have been the same: lead by example. Which both shows him how he should be acting, and shows the girl in question that the group isn’t entirely made up of jackasses, which would hopefully prevent her from fleeing and never returning.That said, I have a problem with calling it feminism too, and I know it’s called that for historical reasons. Gender politics/gender equality is a much better thing to call it, especially since what we’re trying to do now isn’t even really so much about equality as it is about getting rid of rigid roles for both genders (ie there is still some wage inequality and so on, but the primary focus these days seems to be on portrayal in media and things of that sort)

  27. Azkyroth says

    I agree, but of the two women in my statics class, one ignores me when I surreptitiously snark about the teacher’s sexist comments and the other just sort of chuckles and takes it in stride. :/

  28. Rillion says

    Having your behavior around certain types of people dismissed as simple “misunderstanding” that can’t be helped rather than poor behavior about which you should know better is actually a pretty good description of privilege.

  29. Karen Rustad says

    It’s not the being idiots around women; it’s that *other people* treat assy behavior from men as “boys being boys” and acceptable.Guys can make mistakes; I mean, hell, I put my foot in my mouth all the time. The difference is whether it’s *treated* as a faux pas or as perfectly okay behavior.

  30. says

    You actually tried to answer to their questions?! You’ve got to use the same technique as theirs, believe me, it works like a charm. Some people need to see their own face in the mirror…

  31. Azkyroth says

    But sexes already have equality.

    Well, since Lawrence v…What?Oh. Never mind.Oblivious jackass. :/

  32. says

    I’m glad it hasn’t been like this in Portland! I’ve been pleasantly surprised how even the gender ratio is at the PSU Freethinkers meetings and at events where I’ve volunteered.

  33. says

    Splitting hairs over names of things is always annoying pedantry though. Sure, there’s a more accurate name, but calling it that isn’t going to change everything about the whole mess. It’s just going to create more confusion and irritation.As for the whole situation, I generally try to call out people. It happens far too effin’ often, though. I don’t blame women for not wanting to put up with that shit.

  34. says

    Why are you privileging Guy 3’s comfort over Jen’s obvious discomfort. Trying to lead by example in this case is giving Guy 3 a pass. Mr. Oblivious is not getting feedback from other guys that he is being a jerk and that such behaviour is -not- acceptable.

  35. says

    Cool! Unfortunately when I expand the image to find out who created it, it just gets too blurry. Can you post a link to where one might get a copy too?

  36. says

    I do give Guy 4 a pass, because he genuinely got distracted by someone else and didn’t really hear the part of the conversation that went downhill. But not Guy 3.

  37. says

    Young guys generally are not expected to be polite or considerate, at least in the US. Being too polite is seen as a symptom of teh gaye.My jujitsu instructor is British, and when he moved here everyone thought he was gay because he was polite and well-groomed.

  38. says

    *facepalm* Who acts like this? Have these guys (from the first post as well) never been out in public? Is this the first time they’ve interacted with a girl?I don’t know a guy who does this so this baffles me.

  39. Becky says

    The photo thing is a bit creepy/weird, but so are some of the S.A. meetup guys (being a subset of the HUMAN population–remember, humans can be creepy/weird). I feel like if you open yourself up to talking about showing boobs, it’s fair game for others to talk about your boobs. And I’m someone who’s no stranger to talking about my boobs (and bras, and sizes, and breast feeding, and nippling in the cold, and surgery, etc.). The harassment thing is a lame joke from an uncouth social dumb-ass. Also increases his creep-factor.

  40. Mooer92 says

    It sounds like you were just dealing with a plan old stupid person. I don’t know any reasonable human (of either gender) who would say things that blunt and incorrectly to a complete stranger. I do think, however, that the frat-bro type you seem to have encountered are best taken comically. Don’t let someone with an IQ of less than yours ever get the best of you.

  41. says

    Maybe you should make some buttons — every time someone says something offensively stupid, you just give them an idiot button.This reminds me of a guy who has been commenting on my FB page until I was too mean so he unfriended me.

  42. says

    I know what you mean, it does remind me of the joke (which I’m pretty sure is by a well-known stand-up, though I forget who) that goes along the lines of:It’s strange that a movement that’s supposed to be in favour of equality between the sexes is called ‘feminism’.I imagine somebody knocking on my door and saying ‘Hi! I represent this great new philosophy that advocates total equality among all races. Imagine, no more racism! Doesn’t that sound brilliant?”Yeah’, I say, ‘that sounds awesome. What’s it called?”Whitey-ism’…. on the other hand, in the real world, what you call something is not generally that important. And guy #3 … well, everyone has to have their first encounter with the ‘real world’, and its accompanying attitude adjustments, right?

  43. says

    as a man, i can safely say that men often have sexist/priggish thoughts. But we are far from unable to stop ourselves from acting out on themAll sapient beings evade what evolution shaped [them] for. –Larry Niven

  44. Rollingforest says

    I think Jen has the right to respond to actions like this. This isn’t very polite behavior. I don’t advocate the “you’re an idiot” response, but I do think that these guys need to be told what they did wrong.

  45. Rollingforest says

    I have disagreed with certain feminist terminology before, but I’m actually okay with the word ‘feminism’. Everyone knows what you mean so even if the term isn’t *techniqually* explain exactly what you mean, the general meaning that culture attaches to the term does.

  46. Rollingforest says

    Jen never said women don’t act this way. She just said that some men (and to her credit she was very careful to point out that she meant some and not all) act in ways that make women uncomfortable. We should be against this just out of common decency, but also it is a real problem for atheists because it drives down numbers at meetings when we need all the help we can get.

  47. Azkyroth says

    At least she didn’t conflate obliviousness and/or depraved indifference to the discomfort of the objects of one’s statements with “social ineptitude” this time.

  48. Tommyknocker says

    “What? It’s not harassment since we’re not in a workplace.”This makes Baby Jesus(as a so-human baby)Cry. No, seriously, what an idiot!.

  49. Punk says

    God I hope these douchebags aren’t actual S.A. members. As a male, a long-time S.A. member, and a frequent Internet facepalmer, let me assure you I’ve never seen shit like this at official S.A. functions and allow me to apologize on behalf of the decent folks in S.A. /facepalm

  50. says

    I know a handful of guys that can be crude like that, usually not directly at a person though. There doesn’t seem to be any malicious intent behind it, they just think they’re comedic geniuses. It does often make me wonder if I was put on this planet by aliens though because I don’t understand how people can behave like that.

  51. Valhar2000 says

    Yeah, that is some powerful stupid right there, much worse than anything else he said, because it indicates that he knows there might be something wrong with what he is doing, but he really doesn’t give a fuck.

  52. w4rpz0ne says

    What the fuck? Yes you can. Thanks for running with the post and making average guys look even shittier.That said, Jen, what happened sounds incredibly shitty, but I think you’re painting with a hell of a broad brush there. I’ve been members of multiple skeptical/atheist groups due to my constant moving and nearly all have had as many females as males (apologies for being binary for sake of discussion); my previous group now has a female majority and female leader. Not saying it is the norm, but I’ve yet to encounter anything as asinine as what you just have.

  53. says

    Wow. You’ve got a helluva lot more patience than I do. I’d immediately call them out on their dickitude, wonder aloud how any woman (or man) could stand to be in their presence long enough to date them, and then flounce. I can’t say that I’d be going back to that group at all, were I in your shoes; Seattle’s a big place – there has to be some other atheist group that doesn’t have general brodouchery going on.No one should have to put up with that kind of disrespect and sexism. Ever.

  54. says

    That “we already have equality” guy needs to read up on what’s going on in the Middle East, where women are treated like dirt. Feminism may have accomplished a lot in America, but it had to go global now.

  55. Jessy_Here says

    What he really meant was, “I can’t get in trouble for harassment if its not in the workplace.”

  56. Jonathan says

    I don’t think he ever implied that the behaviour wasn’t poor, merely that it wasn’t necessarily a reflection of male privilege. I’ve seen females treat males in a similar way but I’ve never ascribed that to female privilege, just general boorishness.(To clarify, I’m not saying that male privilege doesn’t exist, merely that these idiots’ actions are necessarily a reflection of it)

  57. Jonathan says

    I have trouble imagining anyone at my university behaving like that. Are things different here in Australia to what they are in America?

  58. says

    Wow, super lame! Sorry to hear that, Jen. I’m surprised no one challenged that nonsense for you. Maybe you could start a feminist caucus within your group and get together once in a while for private women-only meetings without any awkward interlopers?

  59. says

    The fact that men think they are entitled to go around oggling women and blatantly doing comparisons like this guy did shows that they think they are above common courtesy. This sort of behaviour is a manifestation of male privilege in society; women exist for their benefit. That is why street harassment is rampant – men view women as in existence for their benefit.

  60. says

    Jen,I have read both posts about this. First off, let me just add my disgust. I too am a straight male, and I was horrified by this behavior. Please don’t generalize this as all atheist men (not that I think you would, you don’t fall for logical fallacies that easily).I do have a suggestion. If this meeting of atheists has any sort of formal presentation format, it may be a great idea to talk about how women need to be included in skepticism/atheism. You could talk about things like barriers to entry and hostile/null environments. I think that a good chunk of the members there would find it very informational and may help take care of crap like that. You may even explain that sex positivism does not mean you are open to obvious harassment. I know that something like this seems like it may be the opposite of what you want to do. Having these guys make the place unwelcoming makes you not want to have anything to do with them. If you didn’t want to do this I would completely understand. It didn’t even sound like anyone came in to show these guys why they were acting like dicks. But I think you have an opportunity for a “teaching moment.” (Damn I hate that phrase, but it fits here so…) If they don’t have a “formal” presentation system set up, maybe you can suggest they start, and offer to do the first one. I’m not trying to say you should do this idea, just that I thought about it and I think it may help.Here’s to hoping you don’t have to deal with this again.~Rubbs

  61. Watchout5 says

    I would argue that this fight between the sexes is irrelevant to the point that it’s absolutely not about being female or male, it’s about who has and who doesn’t. I don’t mean to get all, offensive at feminists, because I know being a strait white male with blue eyes puts me in some kind of special male club I’ve never been invited to, but I feel similar discrimination feminists claim. Now, being a guy, I can’t say that I can relate in every way, and clearly Obama’s legislation (lilly ledbetter) while helping drive equality it’s clearly not the end all be all for equality of the sexes. ‘Feminists’ feels like an old girls club much like an elk lodge for dudes, and maybe I’m just as ignorant and stupid as the guy’s you’re trying to make fun of here but what else am I supposed to think about the group? It doesn’t mean I support groups like that any less (and I’m not so stupid as to think they *hate* men at least), what am I supposed to do, join a feminist club? I’d feel like a city boy in the elk lodge. I’ll go to the rallies, I’ll support the causes and I’ll fight to the death to help in any way to ensure equality for women. I think whatever happens, the whole feminist movement needs a makeover, or a PSA, because the clear problem is that most guys don’t even know what a feminist is anymore. You mentioned in your short hand about 3 waves of feminists, that’s news to me. I’m sure each of those waves had a different take on the future of feminism right? So forgive our ignorance, but we don’t know any better. Ignorance isn’t an excuse, it’s just a fact.

  62. says

    “….what am I supposed to do, join a feminist club?”Yes. “I’d feel like a city boy in the elk lodge. “So… Would it be bad for the feminist group to make you feel unwelcome? Yes, but you don’t know how they will treat you until you go. Feminism does have various “waves,” but how would you know that if you didn’t try to learn? You criticize the feminist movement without knowing anything about it. Maybe do some research on them before you start saying that you think it’s irrelavent. There still a glass ceiling. There’s still a disparity between the sexes in the math and sciences. These are thing that they are fighting for. It’s not a battle between the sexes so much as a battle for equal treatment.”I’ll go to the rallies, I’ll support the causes and I’ll fight to the death to help in any way to ensure equality for women.”So you’re all for public support, but you will attack an idea of feminism which isn’t really accurate. If you really want to fight for equality, research a little.BTW, I’m a straight white male with blue eyes too. That doesn’t mean I’m impervious to offence about stereotypes thrown at me, but that also doesn’t mean I have privileges attached to that.~Rubbs

  63. Graham Freeman says

    “Splitting hairs over names of things is always annoying pedantry though.” No it’s not but thanks for your complete generalisation of the issue. Has it ever occurred to anyone that one of the reasons feminism has stalled is BECAUSE it’s called feminism? The name immediately implies confrontation, us-versus-them, schism. If equality is the goal, call it equalism. You’ll get as many guys as gals joining that movement. What’s the male/female split in the feminism movement, hmm?

  64. Graham Freeman says

    I disagree. The first time you heard feminism you thought is was a bunch of lesbians, admit it. Then you learned more as it became apparent it’s nothing to do with homosexuality, and you start to see that the movement is mainly a bunch of females (because ‘feminism’ is not descriptive enough for literal thinking males) so you assume it’s a movement for females. Then as you get further into it, you see that it’s about equality, even though the name implies otherwise.You’ve gone through a very long, maybe years or decades long, process of deconstructing the bad terminology of the movement’s name. Everyone DOES NOT know what it means, and that fact it has a misleading moniker is costing serious problems among the youngest of the possible supporters.

  65. NotThatGreg says

    One could also point out that such meetings are a great way for single guys to meet like-minded women, provided *ahem* the atmosphere is such that said women want to show up and meet such guys. Unfortunately non-douchebaggery is often something that males don’t learn until well into voting age (let’s leave it vague like that…); I think it has a lot to do with peer issues and so forth. Getting out into the world and different groups of people makes a big difference, as does getting out to meetings (if you manage to not alienate everyone your first day).

  66. says

    I’m sure I’m repeating what someone else said, but we are often guilty of associating behavior with a group when it is better left to an individual (or group of individuals).Atheist guys are no more prone to acting like douchebags than religious guys. It sucks that we don’t mature and some of us are incapable of hiding this fact. Yes, I didn’t equivocate on purpose. Guys don’t mature late. It’s not that only some guys mature. We just don’t. It’s a blessing and a curse, but not an excuse. “But the instinct can be fought. We’re human beings with the blood of a million savage years on our hands! But we can stop it. We can admit that we’re killers … but we’re not going to kill today. That’s all it takes! Knowing that we’re not going to kill – today!” – James T. Kirk

  67. Kelley Freeman says

    I have that, too! I’m an RA at my university and it’s hung outside my door for my residents to see. I’ve gotten many compliments on it. :D

  68. Kelley Freeman says

    That’s very odd. All the guys in my group are very polite and well-mannered. It is primarily males though. I’m trying to convince more girls to come, we have about… five or six girls to twenty guys, but we have a lot of girls who don’t come. I’m also in the south though, and while sometimes manners can come off as chauvinistic pig, these guys have maintained a balance. We used to have a lot more assholes, but they’ve since left. And by assholes, I mean severe confrontational anti-Christian (specifically), not sexist jerks. I dunno. I’m sorry, Jen D:

  69. says

    Yes, when it comes down to it, when confronted with a nice pair of boobs, almost all men become monkeys in shoes.Eek ook eeek!PS – Sorry you are surrounded by Monkeys, Jen – hang in there!

  70. Smacky15 says

    While I have done my part to ensure that the women in my life are treated as equal as I can, I have still always wondered about the one big difference between men and women. I know men take paternity leave and all, but the fact remains that a woman will likely be off work more time due to the physical recovery required after pregnancy and will likely be in a reduced capacity for the last month or so of the pregnancy. If these things are true, wouldn’t that equate to possibly being a little less valuable to an employer? I mean if we add a couple of kids in there and we are looking at up to a half of year less work over a lifetime for women than men. I know that this is not always the case, but I can guess that this at least plays some part in the inequality of the genders. I may be completely off on these stats here, as I am only estimating them, but it’s realistic to think that an employer may worry about the issue of lost time over pregnancies.

  71. says

    My grandma fought for the right to vote, taught me how to do multiplication and division and tried to teach me French. My mom was a single parent who didn’t just “work outside the home” – she worked two jobs outside the home.So yer damn straight I’m a feminist. The progress in women’s rights over the past century has had a dramatically positive effect on my quality of life. If it had progressed further and faster, my life would have been even better.That said, I’ve had my mistakes. The first time I gave blood I was scared out of my mind. I wanted to do it, but needles just are not my thing. I was in high school and working a summer job doing landscaping work at a cemetery with a bunch of military veterans.Obviously I was not very vocal about my fear.I was chatting with the woman who was prepping to draw my blood and at some point I asked about the doctor across the room. She answered but pointed out he wasn’t a doctor. I suddenly realised that I had mentally assigned “nurse” to all the female staff and “doctor” to all the male staff. While there may have been one or two nurses (of any gender) volunteering there that day, by and large everyone there was a phlebotomist.I was so shocked at myself that I didn’t even notice the needle going in. Anyone growing up in this society is going to have moments like this – even feminists. The key is to realise you’ve made a mistake, apologise if you’ve been unfortunate enough to verbalise it, give it some thought and then move on.

  72. Svlad Cjelli says

    “It’s not harassment if it’s not in a workplace” is about intelligence, though.

  73. Svlad Cjelli says

    “Rescue” you? I just want to hurt and/or eat the guys. (I’m not good at cooking meat, though.)

  74. says

    I’ve seen plenty of that kind of behavior from religious men too. I always find it hard to believe anyone can be that stupid, and it’s certainly more disappointing coming from an atheist. But the cell phone bit reminds me of this…I was in line at Starbucks and it was very crowded. The guy in front of me pulled out his cell phone and took a picture of the girl in front of him’s rear end, then texted it to someone. I was able to see his phone, and the text comment was something like: “hot chicks all around”. I still wish I had had the guts to ask in a loud, clear voice, “Did you just text a picture of the girl in front of you’s ass?” But I didn’t. Sometimes I just don’t get the other members of my sex. I suppose they didn’t have fathers who taught them to respect their mothers.

  75. Amanda says

    Shit Jen! I’m sorry to hear that.Over Thanksgiving we’re going to show you how Canadian skeptics rock it! :) ps- I can’t believe there are no women in the Seattle skeptics! yer not doin it right!

  76. says

    I’m so sorry. Where was that meeting-soz I know not to go there…and just so you know, all the cool guys are feminists.

  77. sunnybook3 says

    Technically, your hypothetical racial equality movement would be called “black-ism.” Feminism is named for the oppressed group, not the dominant one.

  78. says

    Let me start off with the axiom “All Men Are Pigs”. I’ve been a pig since my early adolescence. I’m 48 now and still a pig. That said, as much as a contradiction as this may seem, I am a feminist. I have _never_ been anything but respectful towards women in the context of their gender. Any disrespect I’ve ever harbored towards a woman was a result of her actions, not related to a gender issue. Even to the point where I’ve been unabashedly hitting on a woman, I’ve never proceded past the first “no” (though to be truthful it was generally a “fuck off”).That said, Jen, you established your ‘fame’ in the context of Boobquake. You took alot of heat from men and women warning of the ramifications of how boobquake would inevitably lead towards objectification. We all know that was not your intent, and I for one vociferously supported the the event in a socio/political context, not a sexual one. However, the sexual connotation was inevitable, and now you’ve been confronted rather directly with with its result.I’m not saying they were justified – far from it. They were rude, insensitive, and fully deserved to be at the very least scolded for their brazen objectification of you. Remember though, “all men are pigs”, while their behaviour was unacceptable by any current social norm, it was at the very least predicatable.Most of us (pigs) have the ability to subdue the hormonally driven actions that our primitive ancestors freely exhibited with the metaphorical clubbing-over-the-head type of foreplay, but there is a vast minority that still cannot detach the anthropological stereotype of the human female from the modern societal paradigm of equality and respect.I’ll be honest with you Jen, the very first time I visited your blog and saw your picture my eyes went straight to your chest, I may have left a comment to that effect. Hell, I’m a man, and these are the things I notice. A point needs to be made with regards to intent, though. From what I’ve seen you don’t generally make point of displaying yourself in an attention getting manner. This is an important point that a mature man-pig must take into account. If I would have met you in person I certainly would have maintained eye contact, because as a person you deserve that respect. However, if I were introduced to you and you were < a href=”…“> dressed like this , I would think I would be forgiven for allowing my attention to drift downward. In either case, I would still have been impressed by your boobs.

  79. says

    Except that it absolutely IS a reflection of male privilege. Being able to get away with outrageously douchebaggy behaviour because “boys will be boys” is practically the definition of male privilege.

  80. emote_control says

    They forgot: For every boy who has to act like he’s interested in sex with anything that moves at any waking hour of the day, despite just wanting to fall in love, there’s a girl whose interest in sex makes her a slut and a whore and earns her the scorn of both men and women.

  81. says

    And here comes the avalanche of “well you should have seen this coming” or “I’m not a sexist but…” or “feminism is the problem” comments. Of course it’s a complete coincidence that they come almost exclusively from men – male privilege is a myth right?Hang in there, Jen. Or move to Vancouver. We’ve got lots of wimmins here, and people who don’t put up with victim-blaming or “women do it too” bullcrap for a split second.

  82. emote_control says

    Uh, no. The first time I heard about feminism was actually in the context of women’s liberation, with some photos of Gloria Steinem outside the white house with a group of women protesting for equality. I was probably about 8 at the time, and it struck me as a fine thing that women should be treated equally to men, and baffled me that it wasn’t the case already. The name was appropriate because it was about women sticking up for themselves.Where the hell do you even get these ideas from?

  83. says

    *sigh*Every time I start to think things are getting better and that my gender is no longer the cause of the inequality in these groups and that it’s just a matter of women figuring out that the coast is clear, I get proven wrong. It really gets old having fellow members of my gender ruin things for the rest of us.

  84. Brian George says

    After reading your comment and looking over your blog, I would like to formally resign as a member of the Man Club.

  85. Urg says

    Point of order? It’s not *atheist* men. It’s *people* who have had a beer and may be feeling less inhibited (and behaving tackily). To say this is typical of all atheist men is really quite unfair. Having attended almost every atheist event here in Seattle over the past two years, I have never, ever felt ogled, slighted, or harassed by anyone at those events. On the contrary, the atheist guys who belong to the group, and who DO show up on a regular basis bend over backwards to be polite. My thinking is that this was an anomaly, and can best be dealt with by alerting the meeting organizer. I’m *certain* that they would be horrified and do their best to deal with the incident right there. I don’t think it’s fair to publicly condemn the group that organized the event, or male atheists.

  86. Urg says

    These comments are ridiculous. Seattle Atheists has a board that is 80% women. A female president, treasurer, secretary, and members-at-large. Most of the people who REGULARLY show up to meetings are women. You folks are all talking out of your collective asses. This person, whoever he is, should have been referred to the meeting organizer, OR you should have told him to his face he was being offensive. End of story.But calling out the GROUP here as a sexist, all-male nest of bigotry and misogyny is wrong. It should be obvious that this guy was alone in his tacky behavior. One person should not be held up as an example of the very fine organization that Seattle Atheists is. Also, I’ll tell you why the people who showed up at the Ram don’t show up at these Meetups. It’s a logistical issue. We work. We have families. We do atheist things on the weekends. Go to a membership meeting. You’ll see us all there.

  87. says

    And your comment is ridiculous for not being able to read my multiple clarifications that I don’t think all atheists or all Seattle atheists or all men act this way. Now if YOU represent Seattle Atheists, then I definitely don’t want to go.

  88. Flurm says

    Agreeing with Urg here and developing from there. I’d be reasonably confident in stating that it’s likely none of the men being quoted in the post knew they were being dicks to a feminist blogger, and I’m not saying they should be different to feminist bloggers than they should be to women in general, or people in general for that matter. I think it’s wise to make a distinction between what one blogs about and what one takes action about. Jen, I have great respect for your work, and for the risks that are inherent in being a blogger and being a woman who regularly states your opinions in what is still a largely-patriarchal public square. But what you’ve done here is generalize the behavior of several atheists as atheist behavior. As an atheist we regularly have to fend off rhetorical attacks that cite Stalin’s atheism, or Pol Pot’s, or Hitler’s. You’re making a similar claim via generalization here, and it’s a challenging one to defend. More perilously, you’re making this claim in a highly-public forum whose publicity must be credited to a PR campaign driven at least in part by playing on public sensitivities about (and the irony here is palpable) boobs and boob-related cultural ascriptions.As in all things, I’m willing to be wrong here, but I don’t think I am…or at least, I’m making a valiant effort to be nuanced enough to make my case without offense, which is all I can do.Finally: As an atheist and a man, I’m sorry you had to experience that. It’s not cool, and I’d be very clear with those people and would speak up about it right there if it happened in front of me. Hope it doesn’t happen again.

  89. Sunstorm1977 says

    This is an extremely rare, very random occurrence. I know many of the members of Seattle Atheists and atheists not involved in SA or any of the meetup groups and by and large, this kind of behavior among atheists – at least in Seattle – is extremely uncommon. So you come across one dick one night and decide to post a blog with a very general statement of “This is why women don’t go to atheist meetings”? I’m sorry, but I think that’s bullshit and I think you’ve abused your responsibilities as a blogger and a member of a nationally recognized organization. Without thinking, you have smeared the reputation of a fantastic organization and all those who claim membership to it. As a woman who can’t hide her tits to save her life, I’ve spent a good number of years redirecting people’s eyeballs to my face from my chest and you know what? It’s human nature. I see a nice pair and I look too. Am I an ass about it? I try hard not to be, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still checking you out or being checked out. Never in my life would I have seen an incident like this as blog worthy and even if I did, I wouldn’t have connected it to an atheist meeting in Seattle. I don’t think you thought very far into this before you got pissed off and just posted.

  90. says

    If people are driven away because of a few idiots, then they need to address themselves, as well as the idiots. It’s as absurd as saying “all women are shopaholic naggers”. They will drive men away but it doesn’t mean all women are like that. Ignore the idiots, and take note of the ones that aren’t.

  91. Sunstorm1977 says

    Also, did it ever occur to you to tell Case or anybody else there? You would have had an instant ally and the guy that said this shit to you probably would have been asked to leave. You’ve now posted three blogs criticizing a community you’ve only recently become a member of when you didn’t even go through the proper channels to deal with the situation. I don’t think I want to be an ally for the cause with your reactionary emotionalism.

  92. Tisfan says

    Actually, unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be a rare, random occurrence. I’ve been dealing with this shit from my neighbor recently. (I don’t know what his religion is, I’ve never asked). A few weeks ago, I was outside, waiting for my daughter to walk home from school and talking to a friend, and my neighbor 1) photographed my ass. 2) txted it to his friend 3) came over and TOLD me about it and then 4) handed me the phone when his friend called so his friend could tell me all about how lovely my ass was and would I mind standing there a bit longer so he could come over.I’m sorry you had to deal with this. Seeing all this “you have a responsibility as a blogger to…” yaddah yaddah, tho reminds me of something I said to a friend once when he complained about my treatment of him in a blog entry. “Dude… if you don’t want people to think you’re an ass… don’t act like one.”

  93. Liz says

    The difference, Tisfan, is that your friend was an ass and you called him out. In this case, 3 people were asses and 250 people were called out.

  94. Shellie Brighton, SA President says

    Jen – as the President of Seattle Atheists (and as a woman), the board of SA and I would like to formally apologize to you for the rude behavior of some of the Atheist community. We were apalled to read your blog regarding their actions last night.Their behavior was uncouth, and frankly very immature. It reminds me of junior high. Please PLEASE do not generalize their behavior for all Atheist men, and certainly for not every Atheist meetup. I have been to dozens over the years and never had a problem, both in Seattle and in Tacoma.It has always dismayed me that so few women show up to the meetups. When I created the Tacoma meetup group 6 years or so ago, we had the same problem. Usually I was the only female present, at least for the first few months. Currently I personally often don’t go to the Seattle meetup only because I have a small son at home and want to have dinner with my family. We sincerely hope to see you again at a Seattle Atheist meetup. Please, bring your friends in force. And if you see those same guys again, tell them that their behavior is immature, not welcome. The organizer of that meetup is Case, please point the guys out to him and he will gladly ask them to leave if that is the way they will treat anyone. Please feel free to contact me at if you have any questions.Shellie

  95. says

    Some of you Seattle atheists need to get off Jen’s back. As a young woman in a new environment, she found herself subjected to some incredibly inappropriate behavior at a gathering that she probably expected to be a fairly safe haven in an otherwise alien place. This wasn’t just a dirty joke or some vaguely sexist behavior, this was extremely personal. It is entirely reasonable to suggest that this isn’t just an atheist problem, it’s a male problem and even to point out that it was unrepresentative, but the way some of you are going after Jen for commenting on her experience is out of line. Take a look at John’s comment over here:…for a hint of a better way to approach this. Or try this sample: I’m really sorry that you had such a terrible experience. I really don’t think that these men are representative of our group, but that sort of thing shouldn’t happen anywhere. Maybe we should have a meeting and discuss ways that we can make women feel more welcome and perhaps prevent and deal with incidents like this one.

  96. says

    The problem with this idea is that there’s a good sized strand of opinion that identifies as ‘feminist’ that really does think that women are superior and men are superfluous. Absent any other information it’s impossible to tell whether any given ‘feminist’ thinks that way, or is simply in favour of equality for all.It’s simpler and clearer for anyone who wants equality to just say so flat out.

  97. Katy says

    Just read the two posts and accompanying comments and I feel compelled to point something out.When someone is treated in such a disrespectful and demeaning way and is NOT called out for it by other members of the group then the group is – by default – condoning that behavior.How many of you defenders of the Seattle Atheist group who are complaining about being painted with a broad brush spit NAILS when the Boy Scouts of America comes up in conversation? I think it’s safe to say that not every single individual of that organization is a raging psycho-right wing Christian homophobe and yet, because they choose to belong to an organization which condones that type of behavior, they are condoning it themselves.If you don’t want to be labeled a misogynist sexist pig, don’t put up with such behavior from people attending your meetings or participating in your activities. It’s as simple as that. A more ADULT response to this (rather than having a temper tantrum via the internet) would be a sincere, PUBLIC official apology from the organization to Jen and addressing the issue at your next meeting. Make a formal announcement that such boorish and immature behavior will not be tolerated. Period.I applaud Jen for complaining publicly (rather than via email which some have suggested) because until this behavior is called out publicly, it will continue to be seen as acceptable by some. Keeping it private to protect your hurt feelings and embarrassment does NOTHING to solve the problem, it perpetuates it.Well done Jen.

  98. Shellie Brighton, SA President says

    Jen – as the President of Seattle Atheists (and as a woman), the board of SA and I would like to formally apologize to you for the rude behavior of some of the Atheist community. We were apalled to read your blog regarding their actions last night. Their behavior was uncouth, and frankly very immature. It reminds me of junior high. Please PLEASE do not generalize their behavior for all Atheist men, and certainly for not every Atheist meetup. I have been to dozens over the years and never had a problem, both in Seattle and in Tacoma. It has always dismayed me that so few women show up to the meetups. When I created the Tacoma meetup group 6 years or so ago, we had the same problem. Usually I was the only female present, at least for the first few months. Currently I personally often don’t go to the Seattle meetup only because I have a small son at home and want to have dinner with my family. We sincerely hope to see you again at a Seattle Atheist meetup. Please, bring your friends in force. And if you see those same guys again, tell them that their behavior is immature, not welcome. The organizer of that meetup is Case, please point the guys out to him and he will gladly ask them to leave if that is the way they will treat anyone. Please feel free to contact me at if you have any questions. Shellie

  99. Sunstorm1977 says

    uh-huh. “Oh the poor, helpless girl in the new, unfamiliar and cruel world! Too bad she didn’t know to TELL SOMEBODY.” Nobody’s denying that it was crude and shouldn’t have happened. There are a couple of very legitimate issues with her behavior to be pointed out.1. She didn’t tell the organizer or say something loud enough to the guys that would get attention. She got angry and she reacted destructively.2. In reacting destructively, she made a very general statement: Women don’t go to atheist meetings because the guys there act like chauvinistic asses.” This statement is as much a general mudsling at specifically atheist men as it is of the group of people present that ‘allowed’ it to happen, as well as a statement that women still view themselves and needing defense and protection when they leave the house. Her statement was just as sexist as the statements she was addressing.Nobody is saying it’s her fault that this happened. What IS being blamed on her is handling it poorly and publicly without trying to address it privately and immediately through far more helpful, less explosive means.

  100. hhhernandez says

    Hey sunstorm1977, it is not on a visiting person to one of your meetings to try to make herself feel welcome. That is the job of the ‘hosts’ (if you don’t know what the duties of a host are, look it up). As such, as it has been pointed out before, your group should be paying more attention to what is going on in your meetings. And yes, I have been to enough of these type of meetings to know the kind of persons Jen is talking about. And yes, I have spoken out, spoken to people in charge, etc, etc. Her reaction to her experience in the meeting was spot on. If your group allows this to happen, and when it does happen, does not face up to it, then you might as well have participated in the action. Stop blaming the ‘victim’ (ever hear that line before?) and deal with the real issues at hand.

  101. Annie says

    I’m confused Jen. Why didn’t YOU call out the jackass?Sometimes I’ll be in a situation where someone says something so ridiculous, that I can’t even think of something to say. So now, I just say the truth. Something along the lines of, “I can’t believe you just said that. Did it sound as sexist to you as it did to me?” or something similar usually works.

  102. Tony says

    The point is not “Women don’t go to atheist meetings because the guys there act like chauvinistic asses.” It’s “One (or two) chauvinistic asses can make a group not worth the effort.” The proper response to bullshit behavior is not to go tell on the offender. It must be publicly called out and beaten down. Assholes deserve to be treated like assholes and it is the responsibility of the decent people in a group to make sure such fuckwits get what’s coming to them.”Explosive”? Really? This is like the opposite of

  103. Tony says

    …explosive. In what way is “this happened and its shit like this that causes much of the gender disparity one sees in skepticism” explosive?

  104. Tony says

    Don’t know about Jen, but when I’m new to a group I don’t like to be confrontational right away. It can be a poor first impression even if you are completely right.

  105. Angela says

    I’m sorry, but can you read? You state, “I’d be reasonably confident in stating that it’s likely none of the men being quoted in the post knew they were being dicks to a feminist blogger,” but the incident of dickishness was described in the post as such:”Guy 2: No, he’s comparing you to your boobquake photo.”In order to compare her to her boobquake photo, he would have to:1) Know that she’s the blogger who created boobquakeand2) Access her blog where the photo is posted.That should make it pretty damn obvious that he’s talking to a blogger at least. As for his awareness of the feminist part, in visiting the blog to locate the boobquake photo, his eyes may have been drawn to the “About Me” photo, under which it clearly states:”Jen McCreight is a liberal, geeky, nerdy, scientific, perverted atheist feminist who recently escaped Indiana for Seattle.”(emphasis mine)So it’s loosely possible that he might not have been aware that she’s a feminist if he only looks at the pictures on blogs and ignores those pesky words, but he definitely knew he was talking to a blogger.

  106. sunnybook3 says

    In a word, yes. Considering the historic oppression of women and non-whites, movements to promote the needs of these minorities have a long way to go before achieving equality and moving on to gaining so-called “special rights.” I suspect that those who feel as though a “feminist” movement is asking for more than merely equal rights are those who feel threatened by the possibility of diminished male privilege. I question why anyone should feel that the “feminine” should be taken out of “feminism” in order for men to feel comfortable or included. To me, that rationale seems like just another way to put women down. Why shouldn’t a man feel proud to be called a feminist? Is it so bad for a man to use a label that sounds like it might have something to do with women? This idea of men not feeling comfortable with the word “feminist” has been bothering me all afternoon and my thoughts are less than organized about it still, so I apologize if I haven’t expressed myself as clearly as I’d like.

  107. sunnybook3 says

    I agree with you. I first heard about feminism in the late 70’s and early 80’s, when I was in elementary school. I’ve considered myself a feminist since middle school, before I ever encountered the stereotype of the unshaven, man-hating ultra-lesbian. Later, the term “feminist” was co-opted by Rush Limbaugh and changed to “feminazi.” I hate that Limbaugh and the “family values” right-wingers (who really care less about families and more about keeping women out of public life) have succeeded in making the term “feminism” in any way derogatory. In making the word unpalatable, they have made it harder for women to talk about affirming our rights as human beings. They have also succeeded in making it somehow shameful for men to stand alongside women in the fight for equality. I am proud to say that, even in the face of these negative characterizations, I have never shied away from calling myself a feminist. I would rather have to explain what feminism really means than let those idiots win.

  108. says

    @Rillion: I’m not saying it can’t be helped. I’m saying achieving gender equality won’t make it go away. What’s likely to make it go away is (1) open expressions of disgust and (2) taking the guy aside and saying firmly “Dude, you’re turning off girls who I bet you actually like. You don’t want to do that.”@Tobasco: Who says he got away with it? He lowered Jen’s opinion of him. He may have lowered other people’s opinions of him. He didn’t get called out that time, but that’s life–sometimes you don’t want to call out the douche, you just want to avoid them and tell other people to do the same (I don’t call out every example of bad female behavior I see, that doesn’t make me a supporter of “female privilege.”) The douche still suffers in the end, and if he’s smart he’ll figure it out without being told. @Not Guilty: Men pursue women for sex mostly because they want to have sex with them. Or because they’re compensating for insecurities. Or because they’re hiding the fact that they’re gay. But pursuing something for a purpose doesn’t always mean you think it exists for that purpose–just that you want it for that purpose. Seriously everyone, I’m not defending these guys’ behavior, I’m just pointing out that the best explanation for it doesn’t involve any grand social forces.An aside: yeah, a few guys have an entitlement mentality with regards to women. But some women have an entitlement mentality with regards to men. I actually suspect the female entitlement mentality is more common. And in any case, neither entitlement mentality is strong enough to be attributable to “society” as a whole.

  109. says

    Well, no, they really don’t all know what you mean – there is definitely a perception amongst some people that there is a distinct flavour of man-hate to feminism (indeed, there is a minority of man-hating feminists). This is something that needs to change, because (excluding that minority) it really isn’t the case.Calling it ‘feminism’ is wrong for the exact same reasons and to the same degree (if not more so) that female-diminishing language is wrong (eg ‘mankind’, various -ess suffixes, etc). It is both inaccurate and sends the wrong message – and the alternative, ‘gender equality’, is so self-explanatory that people actually WILL know what you’re talking about straight away.@Sunnyforest – it’s not about allowing men to feel included, it’s just about accuracy. That said, given that feminism has the connotation of a matriarchy, I would absolutely not feel proud to call myself a feminist – society has a tendency to fix one extreme by avenging itself to the other extreme, and it’s bullshit. I would not feel proud to use a label that sounds like it would be making the same old mistake, and replacing one form of oppression with another. This is why I want the terminology to change.

  110. Lildark says

    French philosopher Camus, quoting his own father, defined what humanity is about as follows: “un homme, ça s’empêche” (roughly: “a [real] man holds himself back”). He was right. Civilization is about inhibition.

  111. Jen says

    Long time member and former board member of SA here. I have NEVER encountered this kind of behavior at an SA meetup, Secular Seattle meetup, or Tacoma Atheist meetup. It’s an isolated incident by a couple of asshats. Yes, there are usually fewer women at men at these meetups. Not sure why. I recently moved to Tacoma so don’t go to the SA stuff as much any more but most people who are active in the groups are my friends, and all the men have been nothing but respectful.

  112. says

    I don’t care what anyone else here says, Jen, you were right on the mark. And if I’d been there (and I wish I had been just for this reason) I’d have given that guy a serious dressing down and insist that he apologize for being such a stupid, dork-face baboon (sorry, jerk not baboon, I’d hate to insult baboons!). I am guy and, yes, I like boobs too, but jesus! There is such a thing as respect. And not just respect for a woman, but respect for another human. It is disgusting and degrading to be comparing you to your boobquake photo right there in front of you! I’m so pissed off right now that I want to do something evil to that guy, but since I don’t let my baser passions rule my actions (unlike dork-face there), I will resit that urge and say that I hope that moron is reading this and let him know that he should be ashamed of himself for acting like an immature ass.

  113. Crispytoad says

    Do you have any evidence to suggest that women/non-whites have a long way to go before achieving equality in the developed world? To me that suggests they’re significantly oppressed (e.g. women in Saudi Arabia), as opposed to unequal to a minor extent. The fact that non-whites and women have the same legal rights as whites and men suggests otherwise, and that inequality is largely limited to our culture/social/work environment. Although the general trend is for males to be paid more than females, in some cases it’s the reverse:…I also don’t believe that those who feel threatened by feminism are because they believe their privilege is going to be taken away: some feminists, probably a very vocal minority, preach man-hatred, and you would feel threatened if you wrongly perceived it was catching on.Also, I don’t see why renaming “feminism” as something like “anti-sexism” is a way of putting women down – it’s a way of marginalising those feminists with sexist viewpoints, while including those who do want equality (and I doubt most would want to share an ideological label with those who hate/dislike them). I’m not saying it happens as frequently, but sexism is also directed at men sometimes, and I think it’s important address it wherever it exists.

  114. Patrick says

    Maybe the problem is connected to the question: does the spiritual exist and do [spiritual] souls exist? Christians believe that women are more than their sexual bodies, and that people are more than their rational (and nonrational) minds – that they are, ultimately, spiritual beings – and it is this, first and foremost, that men are (should be) attracted to in women (and men) – not their sexual bodies or rational minds (this comes into it, but not initially / predominantly). So go to a Christian meeting, and you shouldn’t be treated like this (i.e. a sex object – if i have understood you correctly, that is – if not, apologies). If the spiritual doesn’t exist, then we are purely of the world of time / space / matter. If so, then men can only be attracted to the purely physical. Plus, how would men be able to attain free will to act differently (i.e. their natural impulse to be attracted to breasts)?But if there is no spiritual existence, and there is nothing more than time / space / matter, then why is it that we see beauty in inorganic matter (i.e. the moon, the stars, the sun setting on a canyon and so on)? And we see beauty in the arts, in human personality and more? What is “human personality”? Why do we find it beautiful / attractive? And what is this thing, love – connected to human personality, i.e. the love of “making love” as opposed to just having sexual intercourse. A kind of love (but in non-sexual form) that we see in human compassion (i.e. a strong, rich young man helping a poor, diseased, old beggar in the ditch, and so on)? Does the young man have the free will to choose “compassion”? What is compassion? What is love? What is free will? What is “beauty”? Where did “beauty”, “free will” and “love” come from (where did time / space / matter / the laws of physics come from ..)? And how?I’m not saying. I’m asking ….

  115. Annie says

    Not really, Michael. This blog post was more of a report and rant (in my view), which I understand, but unless the man Jen was talking to follows her blog, I don’t see how it will help to point out to him that his behavior was unacceptable. I doubt Jen meant it this way, but the last line of this post could be interpreted as Jen waiting for one of the men to come stick up for her. I don’t know what Jen meant, as I don’t know her. I’m assuming, however, as a feminist, that she was hoping for some simple back-up from a fellow human being, not a man to come call out another man’s poor behavior towards a woman.

  116. Rillion says

    “I’m not saying it can’t be helped. I’m saying achieving gender equality won’t make it go away. “I’m not saying achieving gender equality will make it go away. I’m saying that when it goes away, we will have gender equality.

  117. luke says

    The irony of course is that at a meeting of religious people, nobody would’ve said that kind of stuff.

  118. Joshua Zucker says

    If other people around see these guys harassing Jen and do nothing about it, then I can easily understand why other women would be driven away. Does this not make sense to you?At least Guy#2 had the decency to apologize later. I also understand the paralysis in the moment, of wanting to find a way to call them out without making it a huge scene. That’s why it pays to rehearse things like this, so you have your favorite way of saying “that was ridiculously sexist” ready when you need it.

  119. Joshua Zucker says

    Yeah. I think the point here is that there need to be a big enough percentage of people willing to call out these guys to make you feel supported despite the alienation that these guys are causing.Saying “hey victim of harassment, you need to call them out” is pretty rough. She has no idea about these people, and you expect her to start pushing like that on the assumption that she’ll get support from the chair and so on?

  120. Kas says

    Oh boy..just passing through. But Christians do NOT have the dibs on believing women are ‘more than their sexual bodies’. You don’t need to see someone as ‘spiritual’ to have some basic decency of behaviour. And yeah, having spent years at Christian camps and youthgroups I can assure you my breasts were a regular part of male conversation in front of me.’If the spiritual doesn’t exist…then men can only be attracted to the purely physical’. Um…no. Spirituality doesn’t have dibs on thoughtfulness, choice, ethics, education, memory, experience, love, joy, humour and respect.

  121. Squirrelly Shirley says

    I’m the only female atheist who attends regular meetings on my campus. Could be because I’m the president of the group. Otherwise, it’s just men of a wide age variation. Although I do think I ‘m missing the atheist female camaraderie, I do have some pretty cool guys with whom I can relate. The ones I’ve met so far have been courteous. I should mention that I’m 42 years old which, I think, makes a big difference. I’m old enough to be some of these guys’ mother. I do cautiously reprimand if it seems like a discussion is teetering on the unrelated and potentially harmful. I can’t imagine how I would handle the situation Jen was in at her age, but I definitely would have been offended. Whether or not I would have said anything remains a mystery, but now, I wouldn’t put up with it.Stay strong, sisters in atheism. We are not to be put down by the religious, so why allow chauvinism to hurt us? We are women who not only have the stigma of being godless, but also by being women–and some by being homosexual. We all need to put on our big girl pants and put everyone in his (or her) place no matter what the situation. I know it’s easier said than done, but once you’ve done it enough, you learn to detect it and sometimes defuse it. In the interim, you learn to handle it graciously as to off-put the aggressor and render him or her speechless. It takes practice and time, but it can and does happen.

  122. says

    Nop. Still don’t get it. What is so offensive about that sketch? All I can see is them looking at your boobs appreciatively. They did not say you have to go to bed with them because you have hot boobs. They did not say you have to cover up your boobs because they are causing earthquakes. All they said was that they like your boobs in real life just as much as in pictures. What is so wrong with that?Obviously I’m a minority here, and knowing the contingent, I think I’m missing something. Maybe they were interrupting the discussion?And please, please, please don’t say it’s obvious and I’m obviously wrong or a creepy dude for not getting it. Even though my boobs have not been treated in this manner, when I try to imagine myself in that situation, I can imagine feeling uncomfortable maybe, but not offended.

  123. says

    My guess (being neither American nor female), is that it’s something you got close to… yeah, it reasonably causes discomfort. These guys either didn’t realise it would, or didn’t think it would be a problem.

  124. says

    Ok. I think I’m beginning to understand. They were hurting Jen by making her feel embarassed / uncomfortable. Hurting people is bad, that I understand. Thank you.

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