Do not tell me to stop fighting

Also on Dave Muscato’s Facebook wall – a public Facebook post by Jaclyn Glenn:

While many “hardcore atheists” are subscribed to any number of vloggers, you’re not always the target demographic. I’m trying to reach the undecideds, the a-curious. Each vlogger reaches, or speaks to, a different demographic. If I can reach some that wouldn’t click on Thunderf00t or TheAmazingAtheist or CultofDusy, then great!

With people who have been indoctrinated- for the majority, if not all, of their lives, repetition is necessary. Also, this subject is not as infinitely variable as you might think, and videos are going to always be somewhat derivative. I’m always trying to do things in a creative way- either by humor, including guests on videos, doing skits, or singing songs.

Why do people find it necessary to say I’m unoriginal and only achieve success because of my gender or looks? I’m fine with *constructive* criticism, I appreciate it. But if you’re determined to hate me then just don’t watch my videos. I’m not Dawkins or Hitchens, and I’m not trying to be. I’m contributing in the best way I know how. If it doesn’t work for you, move on. The infighting within the atheist community is on my last nerve. We don’t always have to agree, but constant polarization is suffocating our voice. Divided we fall.

This bullshit about “the infighting within the atheist community” is just that: bullshit. It’s a popular trope, thanks to Thunderfoot and his many fans and allies, but Thunderfoot and his many allies themselves demonstrate what’s bullshit about it: they themselves are constantly fighting, in fact for many of them it’s the only subject. Many of them spend literally hours every day tweeting about it. Yes tweeting. Not even writing blog posts or Facebook posts, but just tweeting. If that’s not “infighting” I don’t know what is.

And Glenn herself of course is not above “infighting.” She’s doing it right now. She’s doing it in her latest video about “Atheism + pussies” (her blurb) and she’s doing it in this very post.

But also, even if we (we feminists, we “social justice warriors”) were the only ones fighting, so what? No, thank you, I don’t want an atheist or secularist movement that is determinedly and sustainedly contemptuous of women. I don’t want an atheist or secularist movement that is racist or homophobic or xenophobic. You can’t make me want a movement like that by putting on blonde wigs and shouting at me; it won’t work. I’ll still be an atheist and I’ll still write about it, but I won’t be part of your fucking “movement” if that’s what it’s like.


  1. says

    Why do people find it necessary to say I’m unoriginal and only achieve success because of my gender or looks?

    Watch it, Jaclyn, or people might start accusing you of having feminist thoughts!

  2. says

    It does seem that the people ranting so much about divisiveness and drama are awfully vocal about attacking others and, you know, being dramatic and divisive.

  3. Claire Ramsey says

    Her stance to the reading audience:

    I’m not writing for you (atheist reader) I’m writing for you (non-atheist who will click on MOI). B/c you have been indoctrinated and repetition is what you need. Repeat repeat repeat. B/c it is MOI and I will repeat you into acceptance when others cannot. Of course, repeating repeating repeating requires same same same b/c my topic is not, sigh, “infinitely variable.” Also, beware b/c everyone but me is “infighting.” I am merely repeating repeating repeating. . .

    It is a peculiar stance and it’s somewhat offensive, but most of all it is a whiny-ish load of transparent excuses wearing a coat from Infighting Inc.

    Why would any one in charge of PR wish to promote this unconvincing approach?

  4. drken says

    In my experience, I’ve found that most of those who call for solidarity and rage against divisiveness really mean “everybody who disagrees with me should shut up.”

  5. Blanche Quizno says

    Yeah, there are always going to be those who seem determined to claim the movement’s mouthpiece. Except that there really isn’t a “movement” per se – there’s just a lot of people moving toward the nonbeliever/atheist side of the spectrum.

    So she’s a marketer trying to claim the lion’s share of the market for herself. Here’s the thing – most everyone who has moved into the nonbelief/atheist side of the spectrum did it without anyone repeating repeating repeating us into nonbelief. We just outgrew belief on our own, where we’d been raised in belief.

    And that’s what’s happening. It’s not that more people are becoming gay, for example – it’s that more of the already gay people are becoming more open about who they are. Similarly, there are a lot of nonbelievers/atheists out there who are simply identifying themselves as such instead of just keeping their heads down and going about their business (though that’s still going on, and we’re never going to stop going about our business because life).

    I’m reminded of when some Evangelical Christians named British scholar Antony Flew as “the world’s leading atheist”. Really? Why had no one outside of Evangelical Christianity ever heard of him, then??

    I suspect she’s gearing up to take credit for people becoming nonbelievers/atheists and is trying to make a name for herself – in whatever way she can manage – just so that she’ll be positioned to claim to be the “movement”‘s leader. She needs to just cut to the porno video already – THAT’s the way it’s done, hon.

  6. Hj Hornbeck says

    One thing that pisses me off whenever we get news of a secular organization doing something stupid is that we don’t plug secular organizations that do good (cough hack stealth plug Secular Woman cough hack). People get the impression that every secular org is just a cesspool of He-Man Woman Haters, when that’s not entirely true.

    It also gives you a place to direct your rage. Don’t like what American Atheists has to say about feminism? Donate to another secular organization that’s better! Start your own! We don’t have to put up with these groups being our public face, we can build better ones instead.

  7. karmacat says

    If she really wanted to decrease divisiveness, she would highlight what groups have in common, beside atheism. The other is to remind people that different groups have different priorities. If you disagree with an argument, be constructive, take the time to understand where the other person is coming from, and add to the conversation. If you are just criticizing then you are just subtracting from the conversation. If you are just putting the other group down, you are being divisiveness. If you are pretending to speak for another group (via blonde wig) then you are being divisive.

  8. John Horstman says

    Post has been pulled from Muscato’s wall; I’m getting a Facebook injured-thumb 404 when I click that link. Glenn’s is still up.

  9. Athywren says

    I hate that line so much. I hated it when I first heard Thunderf00t say it, and I hate it now. “Divided we fall.” As if refusing to talk about the divisions between us will make them heal up.

    Shut up. Stop talking about the way we hurt other people, keep suffering in silence, and then the divide will fix itself! We’re not going to stop doing anything, obviously, but you’ll stop talking about it, and that’s basically the same, right?

    We were already divided. We will be divided for as long as we treat women as less than men, and yet it is the people who want to fix the cause of the divide who are dividing us? No. Maybe you never noticed the divide before, maybe you mistake being made aware of a divide with seeing the creation of a divide, but it was always there, and the only way we can get rid of it is by fixing the underlying cause. Parroting this “divided we fall” crap every time someone tries to fix the divide does not help us fix it.

  10. Jeremy Shaffer says

    We will be divided for as long as we treat women as less than men, and yet it is the people who want to fix the cause of the divide who are dividing us? No.

    It’s sort of like the thinking behind the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. That, ultimately, was a recognition that the anti-homosexual attitudes of some was the problem yet decided that it would be the victims of the problem that would get the punishment. While it seemed a compromise, instead of actually addressing the problem it only amplified it and put off actually (or coming closer to) solving it by decades.

  11. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    I’m glad it’s on her last nerve. Maybe she’ll stop getting so aggravated over it and not waste my last neuron with the burning stupid.

  12. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    And for the easily offended*, “the burning stupid” is a health condition, not an indictment of intelligence. So don’t let that SS Tu Quoque off her moorings just yet.

  13. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    *Not anyone here. There is a rage machine we’re all familiar with, dealing out apoplectic fits over alleged hypocrisy. Because when you stand for nothing you make sure the other person stands against their self.

  14. says

    This week I was teaching Vacation Bible School for a very multicultural (and solidly blue collar) Methodist church congregation. Amazingly enough, they asked me to knowing I was an atheist, and I talked about respect and anger and sadness and kindness and historic injustices and listening to people and how to try new foods and think about unfamiliar cultural practices with an open mind (I’m talking nori, red bush tea and didgeridoo music, not FGM and honor killings, just for the record). Not one person called me a cunt or accused me of infighting for wishing to advance my evil feminist social justice ideals.

    The crap that the movement, anti-social-justice-and-feminism atheists put out makes me think that perhaps the best I can do in my lifetime is work on harm reduction by promoting humanist values in non-atheist community groups. This is pretty freaking sad, but oh well – I guess I’ll sew some atheism-themed casserole carrying wraps and move on with trying to make the world a slightly less painful place. Somehow I think that I’m likely to have a tad more success at world-improvement than Glenn will – seeking to attract more dudebro types to movement atheism (where they will join in the choir of endless self-congratulation about being smarter than everyone else) accomplishes precisely nothing at all in the world-improvement arena.

  15. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    American Atheists keep pushing our social justice contingent further and further away until one of these days, they’re going to look for us and we won’t be there. They seem to think we’ll support them no matter what because “allies.” They’ve got a surprise coming.

  16. says

    I don’t accept leadership suggestions from people for whom this is *very* obviously their first movement…. (YT atheists)

    Have a seat noobs.

  17. says

    UnknownEric – well frankly, the reality is they may not care if they lose the social justice contingent. There may well be a lot more anti types than there are of us, and that may be all there is to it.

  18. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Well, in that case, I think they should change their name. After all, “atheist” just means those who don’t believe in God, right? So why should they poison the well with their anti-social-justice agenda?

    /bitter, bitter sarcasm


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