Rude ladies

Heh…I knew it wouldn’t be at all difficult to get a feminist to back me up on my wild and crazy claim that feminists didn’t mind getting rude. There’s a nice photo of a long-skirted lady in a big hat teaching a British bobby the delicate ways of politesse, too. Maybe the critics can wait until we start roughing up the police before accusing us atheists of bad manners now.


  1. Dustin says

    That’s a good point. I don’t understand why people think that a plain statement of beliefs and goals is extremism — epsecially when atheism boils down to “I don’t believe in God, and this government shouldn’t incorporate religion into the law or public services”. And yet that plain statement gets equated with the hurling of a molotov cocktail.

    That makes the appeasers all the more nauseating. They’re hedging around and paying token deference to the majority by splitting with a minority that is already being civil about everything.

  2. says

    Ther is pretty much no group that got what they wanted by being nice about it.

    Normally violence is involved. Not that I think it’s necessary, unless those theists start attacking us.

  3. says

    You bet your ass feminists don’t mind being rude. If you want to stop being discriminated against, you have to do whatever it takes. I agree with Coathangrrr. Normally violence is involved, unfortunately.

  4. Karl says

    From your link:
    “when the purity movement latched onto suffrage and started pushing the message that women were better than men, then things changed. Men were considered drunken, violent assholes who needed women’s civilizing hand to get them in shape. It was a sorry thing that it had to get to that point in order for women to get the vote, and hopefully the lesson has been learned for future reference.”
    In other words they changed the frame.

  5. Thony C. says

    My ex-partner the most important person in my life and still my best friend would certainly classify as a feminist. Whilst usually polite and friendly to all her standard comment on men behaving stupidly (which we do most of the time) is “Kopf ab Schwanz ab!” which is certainly not appeasing!

  6. sailor says

    “women were better than men, then things changed. Men were considered drunken, violent assholes who needed women’s civilizing hand to get them in shape.”

    So that’s the frame we have boon looking for: Religious people are stupid, overbearing, myopic and overconfident.
    They need the cool exacting influence of the athiest to help them come to terms with reality. Didn’t we try that already?

  7. Talen Lee says

    Of course feminist literature was rude. By the definition, it wasn’t their place to ask for these things and to have them.

    The thing is, it’s rude to criticize religion because religion has an undue stranglehold and an unfair level of protection. ANY criticism is rude, and any concession we ask for is more than we deserve.

    So, if we’re rude by default, then be rude. Kick in the doors and holler right back at them.

    Anyone else catch the Geraldo-arguing-with-O’Reilly incident? That’s what we need. We need someone who will, when they’re yelled at, rather than take the high road and wait for the other person to calm down, will take the bully by the horns, then beat him with volume and beat him with logic. It’d take an extraordinary man to do it – especially since those tenets we seem to be seeking are civilized and intelligent, and we are opposed by barbaric and self-centered motivation.

    Or maybe I’m just being pretentious. I’m tired, I’m not sure.

  8. John B says

    seems like a bad analogy to me.

    From the outside, it looks like you feel the ‘appeasers’ want you to shut up, because they criticise your approach. You feel that them voicing their opposition to your tactics is the same as trying to silence you. Essentially it seems to me, you feel they are the one whose tactics are flawed and should be abandoned. That disagreement isn’t persecution. Maybe that’s much too simple a resume (to the point of risking a Strawman version of multiple interactions with different people), but that’s how it seems to me.

    I just don’t see much evidence that anyone, within your group or outside it, is actually trying to silence you.

  9. says

    Huh, what? Here’s how it went:

    1. Critic says atheists should stop being rude, because that tactic never works.

    2. I point to examples where rudeness has been very effective, and suggest that we should perhaps be even more rude.

    3. In this post, I link to someone else who supports the contention that social change often requires going beyond polite requests.

    I don’t see any claims and counterclaims that one side is trying to silence the other. Maybe you need to read a little more carefully.

  10. says

    John B, I humbly submit to you: Everything that Chris from Muddling Memory, Nisbet, Brayton, and JJ Ramsey have ever said about our rudeness.

    If you can’t see the ‘shut up and go back in the closet’ dripping from their every line and felt their hollow stares of hatred for succeeding so quickly where appeasement has failed, you probably need glasses.

  11. says

    I said “Normally violence is involved, unfortunately” but what I meant was “Normally violence is NECESSARY, unfortunately.”

    I can’t think of any major social/cultural change that happened with out violence to spur it on. If I’m just being shortsighted, please point out pertinent examples.

  12. Richard Harris says

    Writerdd, don’t you know about Christianity – turn the other cheek, eh? And then there’s Submissionism (followers of the Prophet Muhammad, piss be upon him), which is a religion of peace, so I’m told.

  13. says

    I participate in a number of internet forums that are partially populated with the faithful. Often, you’ll see signatures like “God bless” etc. At one point, one of them posted a fairly long typical self-congratulatory Xtian screed, and I followed up with a contemptuous and dismissive response to the effect that “If I were a delusional retard who believed such ridiculous bollocks, the last thing I’d do is announce it on the street-corner. I suppose you also believe in the tooth fairy and live your life in accordance with the writings of Spider-man.. etc.” Instead of trying to argue against religion (which clearly doesn’t work) simply spit in its face and call it uncool.

    Here’s the fun part. The guy, of course, blew up, and tried to rally support from other site members. A few antied up and they were fixing to have a little internet game of “Lynch the atheist” when I pointed out that I really didn’t care about what they thought because, in their case, the damage is done and they’re beyond repair. I was just posting so that the YOUNG PEOPLE reading the thread would get a chance to realize how stupid-sounding and ridiculous the faithful are. And I pointed out that, the more they argued with me, supporting their “reasoning” with drivel from badly-written pre-enlightenment propaganda, the more they were doing to help me make my case to the next generation.

    The point here is that young people are extremely sensitive to what’s cool and what’s not cool. I’ve noticed a new dynamic among the youth that most of them recognize that President Bush has made some horrible mistakes getting us into Iraq (to put it mildly). A quiet comment to the effect of, “Well, here’s this delusional president who thinks he’s getting advice on foreign policy from a supreme divine being. And you can see how well it’s working…” And you can also tie atheism to environmental issues: “Remember, our President and many of his advisors believe that Jebus is going to come again sometime in the next couple hundred years, slaughter all the unbelievers, and end the world. Having a goo-goo headed whacko belief system like that makes it KINDA HARD to make sensible policy on long-term global warming issues.”

    It’s fun watching the light of skepticism and critical thinking start to kindle in young peoples’ eyes…


  14. says

    >So that’s the frame we have boon looking for:
    >Religious people are stupid, overbearing, myopic
    >and overconfident.

    Yep. You can argue with the faithful all day, because their belief systems are irrational and argument is useless. But if you laugh in their face and condescendingly ask them: “Do you also believe in the tooth fairy? Come ON, what, are you f*cking retarded?”

  15. says

    Santa Claus is a better analogy than the tooth fairy, especially because there’s a large media conspiracy, to pretend that he exists, for the benefit of the kiddies.

    The suffragettes made excellent use of satire, such as their list of reasons why men shouldn’t have the vote, e.g. they should content themselves with playing with manly toys such as drums and guns, they were to violent to be rational, etc.

  16. Tessa says


    That’s a hoot!!!! You’re right that it could definitely have an effect on young people.

  17. Evan says

    You seem to forget that (A) we’re supposed to admire the suffragettes and (B) admirable woman are quiet, polite and demure, ergo the suffragettes were quiet polite and demure.

    Don’t go bringing your “facts” and “history” into a realm where assumptions and stereotypes belong!

  18. BlueIndependent says

    Ths discussion that you started the other day dovetailed rather nicely for me in a literary coincidence, specifically my current reading of history with regard to the rights of African Americans and the struggle against slavery in the 19th century. How so many of them spoke aloud at the depravity of slavery, and the supposed Biblical scriptures that bonded them to their masters. How their women faced the trifecta of social discrimination, even from their contemporary African American men, yet still stood in front of jeering crowds drunk on the status quo to put their mouths and lives on the line.

    Indeed, with hindisght as the context, atheists at the very least have a much less dangerous road to hoe, though hoe it they should.

  19. BlueIndependent says

    writerdd, such examples of change marked by a lack of widespread violence would be:

    Ghandi’s satyagraha revolution in India
    Rose Revolution in Georgia
    Orange Revolution in Ukraine
    Singing Revolution in the Baltic states
    Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia
    Carnation Revolution in Portugal
    Cedar Revolution in Lebanon

    and more…

    All the ones I listed save Ghandi’s satyagraha protests have occurred within the last 50 years. Many of those that took place after Ghandi’s death utilized many of his techniques to enact change.

    While I agree that conflict is often associated with great strides in societal development and change – and is indeed a catalyst for them in many cases, it is very much not the only way, and in a century as tumultuous as the 20th, the fact that so many revolutions were peaceful and reforming of government is worth noting. Additionally, note how the progress of civil rights demonstrations took a peaceful tack largely, while achieving its primary goals (if not in full to this very day). Note how the more violent African American groups fighting for equal rights are looked down upon in history, and how it is the peaceful but eloquent Black speakers and movements throughout history that awakened and enacted change, and are fondly remembered.

  20. says

    Let’s not forget that no one is proposing that atheists need to get violent. I think we can accomplish our goals simply by continuing to speak clearly and LOUDLY.