Re: Reddit Makes Me Hate Atheists

What she said.

This is why I stick to r/Seattle, r/TwoXChromosomes, r/Cooking, r/AskScience, r/LGBT, and r/Sex. Don’t feel like reading through a thousand rape jokes targeted at 15 year old girls just to find an atheism comic from 2003 that’s been reposted 100 times.


  1. moralnihilist says

    I can’t say I was shocked at this, but the behavior is disgusting. As one poster put it, it seems /r/atheism is filled with “neck-bearded man-children.”

    But I am getting sicker and sicker of /r/atheism even though I regularly post/read/comment on it for those very reasons and more. The idiots who just don’t understand how to deal with women, the reposts of things that have been on the internet for 8 years, the factually incorrect claims..yes, there are people responding and rebutting these bad posts, but for every poster making a correction there are hundreds blindly upvoting the bad posts and making us look like a joke.

  2. muletonic says

    I don’t understand why people are still using Reddit in the first place. It’s basically 4chan with fewer pictures. Or Youtube comments without the videos.

  3. says

    A year ago when I was pretty active in /r/atheism the majority of it was people being angry about /r/atheism being full of elitist jerks. Which completely misses the point of about 90% of what got posted. But now I look at it and it reminds me of /r/gaming: full of puerile, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, privileged white men. The trouble with /r/atheism is that the intense focus on rationality creates this mentality where “Knock it off, you’re being an asshole” or any variety of that statement is responded to with “You’re being oversensitive and you’re not making a logical case for why anyone should be offended by my behavior” or “You’re choosing to be offended.”

    I spend most of my time now at /r/lgbt and /r/transgender, although for every time /r/lgbt makes me giddy (like a couple days ago) there’s at least three times it makes me facepalm with transphobia.

  4. says

    I’m with muletonic on this. I hate that kind of behaviour and if I thought there was anything on Reddit worth fighting for in the first place I might feel it was inappropriate to advise a regular reader to desert it. However there are, in this case, quite a lot of social fora where you don’t have to continually deal with stupidity and obnoxiousness.

    There is a point in the life cycle of any social medium at which most reasonable people simply leave it to the trolls and gravitate to somewhere nicer. I suggest that has happened with Reddit, or at least the Atheism area of that site.

  5. jamesemery says


    Seriously, is r/sex safe to visit? I’m not a redditor, and have only visited a couple times, but I’d almost expect that section to be crawling with misogynistic evil :/

    I very rarely visit my beloved /b/ anymore, simply because there’s more of that than I care to see there, and it puts a big damper on the rest of the awesome…

  6. Brice Gilbert says

    This isn’t an excuse, but it’s what I always saw as the reason for comments like this on reddit. I think the overall vibe and expectation for comments on reddit is to be funny. To be snarky or silly. The jokes are sometimes really dark or offensive. I mean it’s the same sort of joke you will see Louis CK or hundreds of other comics. Jokes that are never intended to be taken seriously. The difference of course here is that it’s a 15 year old girl, and their saying it to her face. This isn’t a night club stage either where everyone knows what the role of the person on stage is.

  7. Midnight Rambler says

    Sorry, but as awful as these scumbags are it’s hard for me to get up actual outrage about it. As anyone who has spent time interacting on both the real world and the internet knows, the latter has a disproportionately high representation of several groups of people:
    1) the physically disabled, who can’t really go anywhere
    2) the socially inept
    3) the mentally ill
    4) obsessive psychopaths

    1 isn’t a concern, at least no different from the general population. 2 and 3 are highly likely to make offensive comments, possibly without realizing it. And 4 are the ones who tend to dominate these kind of threads because they’re deliberately making offensive, sexist/racist comments, and willing to spend hours and hours doing it, much more than any reasonable person.

  8. Azkyroth says

    The idea that people feel they’re expected to be funny is the opposite of an explanation for the prevalence of rape jokes.

  9. Azkyroth says

    ,blockquote>As anyone who has spent time interacting on both the real world and the internet knows, the latter has a disproportionately high representation of several groups of people:
    1) the physically disabled, who can’t really go anywhere
    2) the socially inept
    3) the mentally ill

    4) obsessive psychopaths

    You forgot “obliviously privileged assholes.” Can’t imagine why.

  10. Graham Martin-Royle says

    I’ve never been on Reddit, never even heard of it actually. Having seen this, I can’t say I’ve missed much.

  11. karmakin says

    The one thing I haven’t seen mentioned, is that as of a few weeks ago r/atheism was “defaulted” to the front page, and as such the content is exposed to a lot of people outside of just r/atheism. I don’t know if this is the cause of what happened here or not, but it’s something that should be kept in mind.

  12. Rick says

    Irony (n.) 1. Skimming some randomly selected athiest blog (and a good one actually) while Rand Paul anti-abortion and other Jesus freak ads are inserted in the margin.

    No doubt a donate to the Rand Paul anti-abortion fund would be used to pay for more ads.

    Just sayin’

  13. ischemgeek says

    Annnnd people wonder why I’m loathe to reveal my gender on websites where I’m not sure how female-friendly they are.

    For clarification (only because I read through part of the orginal thread): I don’t believe the girl did anything wrong. It was not her fault that people are assholes, but people are assholes and I don’t feel like dealing with it a lot of the time. When I was about her age, I used to reveal my gender… and promptly get harrassed incessantly just like this poor kid.

    And people wonder why feminists are still pissed off.

  14. Midnight Rambler says

    Clearly, in your righteous awareness, you somehow know that I belong to none of these groups.

  15. Midnight Rambler says

    Upon further reflection, I’d like to kindly invite you to go fuck yourself with a rotting echidna, based on my privilege as a socially inept disabled person.

    Fuck you very much, asshole.

  16. Ezekiel Buchheit says

    The unfortunate reality is that the world has a population of genuine assholes. They are part of every group and always will be. If there was a movement called Create Genuine Love and Make Life Better for All Humanity that set out to produce tangible results in the field of increasing the joy in human life, 10% of the group would be unrepentant jackasses.

    Note I am in no way justifying the existence of this type of behavior. Instead what has changed over the course of human history is that in the past assholelitry was a localized phenomenon. A deeply personal, intimate interaction with jerks. Now it is this vast, public, broadcast event in which people can be drafted into the realm of Public Humiliation well past any consent that a reasonable person would ever give.

    It scares the hell out of me.

  17. Al Stefanelli says

    Rebecca is being eviscerated on reddit, including a .gif that shows a woman talking and then all of a sudden a huge cock is rammed in her throat. One of the commentators said that while he enjoyed the video, he would have preferred a fist.

    What the blue fuck is wrong with people?

  18. happyathiestmommy says

    That is a very good point. I’ve posted exactly once in R/Atheism. It was a self post rather than a joke, and I watched the comments evolve. At first, I saw one moronic or rude post for every ten supportive or conversational ones. By the time it made it towards the front page of R/Atheism, it was more like one to five. I still considered this to be pretty good considering the general population of the internet/world. After all, every group has its assholes, and they tend to be vocal. When it became popular enough to show up on the second page of Reddit as a whole, nearly all of the comments became moronic jokes, comments calling the post a fake, or rude and often misogynistic responses. The asshole comments that were already there suddenly got a wave of upvotes.
    This suggests to me that the majority of the idiocy came from Reddit as a whole rather that R/Atheism in specific. This is, of course, just my one experience (just as the article mentioned is about just one experience).

  19. schism says

    This. I’m starting to think that anonymous piles of assholery like Reddit do us a favor simply by reminding everyone what shitheads people are, regardless of their demographics.

  20. says

    Actually, it is mentioned quite a few times in the comments on the linked skepchick thread. And even if it is part of the reason, it’s still worth noting that a lot of the rape jokes were clearly originating from atheists, and to somehow try and shift the blame away from the atheist reddit with the justification that “oh it’s part of the default reddit”, is pretty weak, IMO.

  21. says

    That’s not rationality. They may say it is, but that’s just intellectual bullying. Even if someone says something perfectly logical along those lines, I guarandamntee you there will be a buttload of ignored premises once you actually examine the argument.

  22. says

    May I rant for a moment about “whiteknighting”? Because although it hasn’t been directly invoked, it does come up in situations like this.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but “whiteknighting” seems to me to mean “defending a woman in hopes that she will fuck you”. At least that’s the context I usually seem to see it used in by misogynist trolls. It’s projection, no?

  23. says

    I’d believe that if it a) didn’t have a certain cultural loading from traditional fairy tales and b) didn’t come up almost exclusively in gendered context.

  24. shawnmiller says


    /r/sex is mostly older or more mature couples simply discussing the various experiences that they have had sexually. For the most part /r/sex tends to stay SFW compared to what it could very well be.

  25. shawnmiller says

    Let me first state that /r/Atheism is a shithole

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again.

    That said the OP of the post appeared to be playing along for at least the initial segment of that post, so I don’t get the impression that she was as concerned over it as perhaps is being made out. I’m not saying the behavior is excusable, but the Original Poster’s first response was something to the tune of “preparming ma anus” or some such similar notion.

  26. says

    I read that as being basically her way of saying BOHICA — not that she was inviting it, but she knew she was about to get piled on and was making resigned gallows humor about it. Doesn’t make it right OR justified that she was right.

  27. progjohn says

    It’s evidence that just as being athiest doesn’t mean we are evil, it doesn’t mean we are good either. In some ways it’s a useful lesson, I know I tend to think anyone who is into the same things I am must be like me. That said it’s a lesson no 15 year old (of either/any sex) should have to learn by being the target for such grossly disgusting abuse. Perhaps the perpetrators should be directed to the Westboro Baptist Church, they’d probably be more at home there.

  28. hkdharmon says

    To be fair, when I looked, the top rated comment basically said “Yeah, she is right. We shouldn’t do that.” and it had a lot of agreement.

  29. Beau says

    I just discovered Reddit’s Atheism section recently. As a lifelong atheist that grew up in the South, I found it quite entertaining in a “wish I had seen these things as a teenager” kind of way. I found everything pretty much ok because I almost never read comments sections on any website, ever. It’s just not worth it. The assholery on Reddit honestly seems middle of the road as far as most comment sections go. Either way, it just seems like a good idea to enjoy the content and ignore the comments on ANY website you come across. I make exceptions for thoughtful blogs built on an idea of reasonable discussion. Yes, Jen, I mean you and i hope you keep up the good work.

  30. Milo Leraar says

    I don’t usually go on reddit unless someone links to something there, but already I’m like “Pfft, no way” This cissexism seems to run rampant.

    I mean, even Jen herself says she visits “r/TwoXChromosomes”, which when I took a look at it is a “ladies only” sort of space. Just… aghhhh. That’s so transphobic. I’ll bet most of the people who post in that space aren’t actually aware if they have two x chromosomes or not, they are just using it as synonymous for “woman”. Because ALL ladies have two x chromosomes and NO men do. Also, if you have more than two X or Y chromosomes you obviously don’t exist.

  31. Jurjen S. says

    FWIW, I’m skimming the thread and delivering condemnation. Sod knows whether it’ll do any good, but at least I tried, right?

  32. Jurjen S. says

    As I remarked to one respondent who said something similar, there is no shortage of expressions involving the word “pucker” that have jack shit to do with sex and everything to do with fear, even if the puckering in question is of one’s anal sphincter.

  33. Azkyroth says

    And in a society in which “kicking ass” or “getting one’s ass kicked” is basically universal slang, a reference to the rear end couldn’t possibly not have been sexual?

  34. Azkyroth says

    I don’t think it’s reasonable to label something “-phobic” just because it isn’t so thoroughly set up to cater to you personally as to express that directly in the title.

  35. Philip Legge says

    There’s a peculiar gambit that the trolls play where such white knighting is curiously re-cast as being a misogynistic action, as coming to the aid of a woman being attacked is supposedly infantilising her, since she should be capable of repelling the misogyny herself without any outside help however generously offered; by treating the woman as unable to defend herself the white knighter is thus actually a misogynist!

    Suffice it to say I am not impressed by this logic – speaking up for people who are being unfairly attacked is part and parcel of being a friend or an ally, and a decent human being generally.

  36. puckmalamud says

    I actually disagree with this, because anything that contributes to the erasure of marginalised groups is pretty much [marginalised group]-phobic. r/TwoXChromosomes implies that 2 X Chromosomes are necessary and sufficient for being considered a woman, which makes any group in which the chromosomes don’t correlate with the gender invisible. That’s not okay.

  37. Chiara says

    After trying like 6 times to explain on /r/AskScience what baryonic dark matter is and having as reply the first line of the wiki page on non-baryonic dark matter over and over again to prove me “wrong”, I quitted that too.
    Reddit is good for lurking at some nice images like foodporn or cars, not to comment, I’m afraid :(

  38. says

    Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thank you Nevertheless I’m experiencing subject with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting equivalent rss downside? Anybody who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  39. says

    That is the best weblog for anybody who wants to find out about this topic. You understand a lot its virtually hard to argue with you (not that I actually would need…HaHa). You undoubtedly put a brand new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

Leave a Reply