Both Dana and Adam are quite right, that the self-appointed leadership of the atheism movement have a record that leaves quite a bit to be desired on the equality front. But I would not say they’re as bad as the Christian Right. Behold, Rachel Alexander, responding to the recent catcalling video:
The truth is, catcalls bother feminists because they’re jealous. One of Rush Limbaugh’s 35 Undeniable Truths of Life is that “feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.” Feminists are highly critical of women who choose to make a significant effort to look attractive. If they can stop men from complimenting pretty women, they won’t have to observe it and feel pangs of jealousy.
Citing Rush Limbaugh on
undeniable truths is a flag on the play right away. But of course I know many feminists who are conventionally attractive; it’s simply not true that you’re required to look homely to be a feminist. But also, what the hell is wrong with you? Why are you judging people by their appearance anyway?
The other dynamic at play here is feminists want to make men just like women. They don’t want to acknowledge there are differences between the genders; men generally tend to be more aggressive and pursue women.
Your cultural stereotype is not my personal mandate, and no, I have no interest in making people like anyone in particular. They’re individuals. Why do you demand that they conform to your expectations?
The woman in the video had big, long hair, was very curvy and wore a tight shirt and tight jeans. She could have chosen not to dress that way and avoid the attention. It is akin to leaving a dollar bill on the ground and making fun of everyone who tries to pick it up, or baiting a hook then laughing at the fish for biting.
She wore fairly ordinary dark clothing that covered most of her skin, and you make it sound like she was frolicking about in body paint. What’s wrong with long hair? In that, she’s conforming to society’s expectations of how women should wear their hair. She dressed in a way that allowed you to see that she was a woman, but not particularly sexily. Didn’t Ms. Alexander just complain about feminists wanting to make men and women alike? Yet here’s a woman who dressed modestly in a way that made it clear that she was feminine, and now the Christians complain about that.
What will make them happy? A burqa?