Stand up against sexism

Amanda Marcotte shares a success story in the struggle against casual sexism, and also plugs this great conference coming up this weekend.

I bring this up because I’m one of the speakers at Women in Secularism, which starts on Friday in D.C. (There’s still time to register, if you want to come!)  The very existence of this conference is threatening to a lot of people who either believe that women should remain a small minority in secular activism, that they should embrace the role of disempowered harassment objects, or that feminist ideas—i.e. the belief that women are equal human beings—have no place in secular spaces, despite the long history of secularism and feminism being intertwined. I’ve been made to understand that many of these folks have been upping their already obsessive levels of harassment and making threats of showing up simply to harass people for holding the offensive belief that women have something to contribute as people and not just as sex objects. So I wanted to remind people not to let those bastards get you down. They don’t speak for the majority. They exploit the anonymity of the internet to make themselves seem greater in number than they are, mainly by posting non-stop and having no life outside of being angry that feminists are engaged in secular activism. But as this story shows, the fuck-you-women-are-objects-n0t-people attitude is not inevitable, and conversations can actually be had and good faith does exist. So, a bit of optimism!

Oh, yeah, the other side is ramping up the freakout as the conference date comes ever closer. I expect the #wiscfi hashtag on twitter is going to become completely unusable and uninformative as the kooks become angrier and more obsessive about women talking about women’s issues (and generally human issues!) under the banner of secularism.

It’s going to be interesting as the rational side calmly and dispassionately watches the haters melt down.


  1. redwood says

    I would be very surprised if any of the anonymous haters turn up in person. It’s too comfortable having something to hide behind while spewing their drivel and drovel (hate speech).

  2. Thorne says

    I agree, redwood. In fact, I would suggest that there be lots of pictures and video taken at these conferences, especially of any of those who hassle the guests. Make sure those pics and vids are posted everywhere. Destroy their anonymity and you destroy much of their self-perceived power. After all, I’m sure most of them wouldn’t want their mothers to know what they really think about women!

  3. torwolf says

    Just wondering who these haters and harassers are and what they have done to warrant such labeling. I have read about Vacula and his insistence that feminism and atheism have no interconnection, and I see he is going to the conference as an opposer of Marcotte’s notion, but what has he (or others) said that warrants the hater or harasser label? I ask this out of curiosity, I can’t find relevant articles/comments. Also, is there a known contingent of haters/harassers going to the conference?

  4. says

    I can’t find relevant articles/comments.

    you have some impressively shitty google-fu then, given that one of the first things that pops up when you search for “justin vacula” is his author-profile at a site the SPLC has identified as a hate-site; and just a few hits below that, there’s the petition that explains vacula’s hatefulness in detail.

  5. torwolf says

    I have searched with google and his article published by A Voice for Men did not pop up on the first page. Thanks for filling me in on this info. though.

    I can see why people would have a problem with his article about Surly Amy’s fake jewelry thing, especially its being posted by a website that harbors writers with extreme anti-feminist views.

    The most reasonable recap of the things Vacula has done to elicit the labels “harasser”, “hater”, etc. I could find:
    This article is showing that he made a stupid mistake posting Amy’s address, but his decision to allow A Voice for Men to post his article does not show that he endorses the views of their more extreme writers. His blog has not been labeled a hate site, and if you read his postings you will find that he is not an extreme Elamian anti-feminist.

  6. says

    his decision to allow A Voice for Men to post his article does not show that he endorses the views of their more extreme writers.

    and allowing st0rmfr0nt to post an article one has written also does in no way endorse “the views of their more extreme writers”.


    also, “mistake” my ass. he knew quite well what he was doing.