I got this email this morning, and I think it was misaddressed — it’s intended for the people who comment here, not me. Don’t you people have one common address that people can write to? Anyway, I’ll let you all deal with it for a change.
This is probably something I’ll regret doing in the morning.. but I had to write. I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now, in the corner quietly. I don’t know why it was today, but I can’t stop crying.
Your commenters for years had scared me because of their tendency to call out people and not be polite about it. I kept reading because I wondered what I wasn’t seeing. There had to be a reason.
Now to me, they’re my heroes.
I realized tonight the scope of the problem you’re trying to call attention to, perhaps really for the first time ever. And it’s so much bigger than I’d thought. It makes me think of an old quotation, possibly from one of Dean Koontz’s books “Ignorance isn’t bliss exactly, but it does make it possible to sleep at night”.
I’m relatively young, (late 30s) and have never been raped. And somehow I find myself feeling ashamed of it. Like I don’t have the right to try to empathize with those who have been. I cannot imagine that horror and the toll it takes. The bravery that those who talk about it, over and over again just blows me away.
Even now, writing this.. I’m scared of being harrassed to the levels that people like Anita and so many countless others are. I try to keep a pretty minimal social media presence for my own peace of mind, if nothing else. Nothing like what these brave people have dealt with has happened to me, and yet.. I feel like what happens to them happens to all of us. Whatever salient points might have been made in the beginning of the whole #gamergate issue (and from my understandings I’m not sure there are any) have been long since buried under acts of pure terrorism.
There was a poster using the name ‘laziness evolved’ who seems to exemplify what I consider the most insidious and damaging form of sexism- the people who really claim to be doing things in real life to end it, while holding the most demeaning and dismissing views of those they are purporting to help. I suppose that got to me most of all because these are the people I tend to interact with more regularly. They go on and on for hours about all the feminist groups they interacted with in college or learned about, all the ‘work’ they did and are really quick to tout their feminist credentials, but when it comes to holding their own views up for scrutiny, especially when the things they say are dismissive at best- all their ability to learn goes right out the window.
It’s a whole lot easier to see and dismiss/defeat the giant monster up ahead than the one that lives inside our friends/allies. I suspect you’ve learned that as well given what Dawkins and Harris have been talking about lately. All I can think of is how much I wish the behavior of folks like them to be attributable to some sort of alcoholism or drug abuse, cause at least then there would have been something tangible to blame it on.
The ability of your ‘horde’ to recognize and stamp out oppressive language every time it rears it’s ugly head and *keep doing it* in the face of such willful damaging statements brings me to tears, every time. I was exhausted just reading some of the threads. Your blog might be one of the very few safe spaces for women on the net. I wish there was more, but just say I won’t hold my breath.
I cannot be a part of the atheist movement because it does not want people like me. Plus, as an agnostic Pagan pantheist, I’m not sure I’d even qualify. But I do care deeply about separation of church and state, science, education, and feminism and other issues like that and have come to rely on your blog for more accurate information than I’m likely to find elsewhere.
Women are losing their voices. Never even considered that as a possibility in the country I was taught could do no wrong.
I’ve never felt that I had anything worth saying, especially when everyone around me did their best to not hear me or dismiss/minimize my thoughts. Even now I have extreme difficulty articulating myself. Please forgive my rambling.
As hard as it must be for you, thank you. and please keep doing it. The rest of the net could take a hint.