Slimepitters (http://pharyngula.wikia.com/wiki/Slimepit) or opponents of FreeThoughtBlogs (FtBs) often indulge in hyperbole… Or at least that is my observation of them. Current hypothesis is they are blinded by obsession/hate and actually believe some of this bollocks, hard to believe as they could just be trolling for the lulz.
On Thunderf00ts blog I picked on the ‘FtBs say the atheist community is full of misogynists” one and aped his STRAWMYERS!! syle to annoy them into responding… (Or just annoy them, I’m not fussy )(http://freethoughtblogs.com/thunderf00t/2012/06/26/ffs-pz-myers-enough-with-the-strawmen/)
Just out of interest – wonder if any of the slimepitters with their encyclopaedic knowledge of every daft thing a FtB blogger has ever said can prove this is not a strawman?
“Freethoughtblogs and Skepchick have mistaken … the odd troll as ‘evidence’ that the community is ridden with misogynists etc.”
Leaving aside the strange ‘etc’ where has anyone on FreeThoughtBlogs or Skepchick *ever* said the community is *ridden* with misogynists? I’ll also take the dictionary definition – so ‘dominated by’ or ‘full of’…. (BTW commenters don’t count given they are not FtB’ers or Skepchicks and could be trolling)
Otherwise I call…. STRAWTHUNDER!!!
(fully prepared to fail horribly here given I’m quite sure the people there say some pretty daft things at times)
This is one of many bits of hyperbole, but the assertion that FtBs and Skepchick say the atheist movement is full of misogynists is a common meme in the hate-FtBs camp. To give some examples, which I didn’t above apart from Thunderf00ts, here are what some of the members of the ‘other side’ have to say about FtBs and Skepchicks opinion of the prevalence of misogyny: -
Thunderf00t also says-
“… these professional victims trying to pass off the most mild transgressions as systematic and pervasive misogyny in the secular community“
slimepitters / FtBs general haters : -
“Part of their whole schtick is to claim a monopoly on virtue and attack anyone who disagrees with them of misogyny”
“Where Watson loses a lot of this community is where she appears to suggest that there’s an epidemic of misogynism in the skeptical movement in particular”
“Skepchick called us a bunch of rapist and misogynists..”
“They see anyone who disagrees with the idea that all women are victims of all men as misogynists and gender traitors”
“If your opinion does not conform to that of the leaders, you will be banned, ostracized, excluded, blocked, and in the meantime, you will be called a troll, an abuser, a misogynist and a rape-enabler”
“….this is the best example that feminists can point to, to show that there is rampant misogyny at atheist conventions“
So given this number of people have a horrible impression of FtBs and Skepchick they must be going around making the most ridiculous statements on the extent of misogyny?
Well no… My challenge was clear and far too fair given the comments above, the detractors should be able to point to multiple instances where prominent Skepchicks and FtB’ers have said the atheist ‘movement’ or secular ‘movement’ is full of misogynists?
What did the brightest minds on Thunderf00ts blog manage to come up with?
- Greg Laden, http://gregladen.com/blog/2012/01/females-are-not-welcome-in-the-atheist-community/…. This is a pretty bad example for a few reasons-
- One that Greg is not one of the FtB’ers any more, secondly that his article hinges on some elements in the community not being welcoming.
- He makes no mention of there being lots of misogynists in fact this quote is pretty clear “she was verbally abused numerous times by the sophomoric testosterone driven scum that call themselves men who make up an unknown but not small enough percentage of our community“… Not small enough could be said to equal small but could be smaller – so the exact opposite of the ‘full of misogynists’ claim.
- Stephanie Zvan, http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2011/12/29/yes-hate-atheists/
- This is a post about her personal experience, she does not extend that to what the whole community is like or how many people do these things!
- There is more personal experience in there from commenters – it seems that some people reading these accounts conflate a recounting of personal experience with a statement of ‘all atheists are misogynists!’, or something…
- Another point to make is the ‘It is just anecdotal evidence’ meme, pretty poor understanding of an anecdote when there are multiple first hand accounts of misogyny. Nothing is there to indicate the extent in the wider atheist communities other than peoples interpretation of why these darned women feel it necessary to go on about it! They must think it is everywhere! Well maybe but they don’t say it which is what you are charging them with…
- Next was a clear case of trying it on … http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/06/degodwinization/. Using the quote about Jews was not at all close to my challenge as it said nothing about the extent – all it did was show the FtB’ers are able to use hyperbole inappropriately as well. That she admitted it was a mistake in this post rather blows the whole point out of the water – people are allowed to make mistakes unless you are obsessively hating on them.
- Greta Christina’s #mencallmethings posts… Unfortunately I called her a c*nt in one of them, or rather someone I annoyed on Thunderf00ts blog copied my nym and did it. All those posts are personal accounts – what you read into it and her decision to spend a few minutes blogging about it is up to you. It is miles away from the atheist movement is full of misogynists!
- Of course my own example was the nearest http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2011/12/30/more-pushback-against-systemic-misogyny-within-our-respective-communities/
- Systemic is pretty close to my requirements fortunately the post is not so bad, Jason has form as can be seen below.
- So close with this one… http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2012/09/01/atheism-plus-is-just-like-a-religion/
- Unfortunately the comment about the movement being largely populated by people who think there is no need to curtail any behaviour no matter how anti-social does not equal misogyny. This is a common theme, misogyny in movement = small number, people ignoring it = large number. I did not argue on that point – but for the record I think Jason is wrong to say that with no evidence.
- I found a much better quote than the combatant managed to find – “Misogyny, cissexism and other forms of overlapping gender-based discrimination are our best-represented, most visible bigotries in our movement“… Although it mentions misogyny and says it is a problem the ‘amount’ is only referenced in relation to other prejudice. Even if misogyny is the most prevalent of atheist/sceptic communities prejudices then it can still be small and not fit my requirements. Actually this is sort of a complement, Jason is saying there is little prejudice in ‘our community’ and only misogyny exists in any amount. I think he is very likely wrong as once again he has no evidence…
- Next one just seemed to want to make general points about atheism+ needing ‘lots’ of misogyny to even exist. I resisted the obvious temptation to say that atheism+ is about more than just misogyny but just stuck to taking the piss and pointing out I wanted specifics. Fortunately he/she went for it and did some research… Just not very good research – quote from RW (At least it was a prominent person finally!)
- “Well you know but it’s important to remember that there are also women who have hung out in these communities who have never experienced, who would say that they’ve never experienced sexism. That’s not to say I’m implying that they’re lying, more that I think that there are a lot of things that are part of a misogynist culture or milieu that would go by unnoticed by most women. They went unnoticed by me for most of my twenties. I just thought that was the way life is, I get my ass slapped every now and again and everybody’s happy.”
- Just because she thinks some women may miss incidents of misogyny that cannot be interpreted to mean she thinks it is everywhere or committed by a large number of people.
- In context here: -https://a-plus-scribe.com/doku.php?id=transcriptions:aug_26_pz_myers
- As can be seen in context this conversation went into great detail of sexism and misogyny they had personally experienced with no mention of anecdotes from the atheist community so very far from my challenge.
- A late entrant from the generalist above – he/she really seems to have got into it now it is clear I wanted quotes. http://freethoughtblogs.com/blaghag/2012/08/how-i-unwittingly-infiltrated-the-boys-club-why-its-time-for-a-new-wave-of-atheism/ and how Jen says she personally does not feel safe in the community. Very ironic she/he would use this since Jen has just left blogging due to how she feels about all the hate-mail and hateful tweets she gets! Anyway - personal experience does not equate to the whole community and she does not make that leap in this post… Her saying that personally she gets more hate in this community is not really a surprise when she is prominent in this community and a hate figure for a lot of sexist assholes!
- As I said to the commenter – ask yourself if her post is saying… “The atheist community has more misogyny than any of these other communities.”… Why does she, PZ, RW or any of the others not actually say that?
- That is it… Unless there really are some direct quotes from PZ, RW et al clearly saying they think the atheist community is ‘full of’ misogynists and it is not just “a small bunch of loud mouthed assholes” as Jason ‘hyperbole’ Thibeault says … Damn that Canuck nearly losing me this argument!
EDIT: Had to add this – although the comments from Jason and Greg below back me up they are not links to primary source material and so probably fail the Thunderf00t prima facie evidence test… PZ, who the slimepitters and assorted anti-FtBs nutters on Thunderf00ts blog managed to conspicuously not quote at all, said this in relation to atheist culture and the prevalence of sexism… “I think atheist culture is actually better than the norm…“
Will any of them try and explain that one on Thunderf00ts blog…? Maybe they will just agree with me and say it is unsubstantiated as there is no evidence this is the case. Somewhat blows their argument out of the water when the high priest of feminist white knighting in FtBs says the exact opposite of what they are characterising FtBs as — an “Atheism is Full of Misogynists!!1!!” meme generator.