Sep 052012
 

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/)

http://thunderf00tdotorg.wordpress.com/2012/09/01/on-atheism-and-failure/#comment-11233

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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…
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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…
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. 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…

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/09/05/its-not-skeptics-atheists-or-gamers-its-the-whole-culture/

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.

 

 Posted by at 12:57 pm

  7 Responses to “The Atheist Movement is Full of Misogynists”

  1. “Full of” never means “populated mostly by” in any of these arguments. It means “there are too many”, “more than there should be”. The people who you might lose such an argument against, are sophists.

    Congratulations on fighting them, and on throwing me under the bus to do it.

    • Yeah I also intimated you are ‘not prominent’… I meant that as far as I know you are not one of the core people they hate – the FC5/6 or whatever they are calling it. Strange there was one very poor quote from Rebecca and none from PZ… They are the two main protagonists in this so should be toting the ‘party line’ the hardest?

      I was also disappointed there were no conspiracy theorists – previously people had responded that ‘of course they don’t say it out loud, it would give the game away’… Not sure what game that is, presumably the extinction of the male race.

  2. “Not small enough could be said to equal small but could be smaller” I have said in many places that the number of these meatheads is small.

    Having said that, I’ll add this, echoing Jason’s point. Today is trash day. It has been hot. We recently ate fish. The trash stinks really really bad, but only a small amount of it is that damn rotten fish.

  3. Hi Oolon,

    I’m slightly disappointed you don’t have more to read! Re: the topic of FtBers supposedly saying there are so many ‘rapists and misogynists’… if someone like TJ Kinkaid (sp) has three hundred thousand followers on YouTube I would be very far from accusing them if all being rapists, or anti-feminists, or whatever. I think it likely that the atheist is slightly (not greatly) better than the general population in terms of sexism, hatred of women, or holding other regressive views.

    There’s definitely a small minority of loathesome haters who make up for their relatively small numbers by being extremely vocal, though.

    As for rape, given so many perpetrators escape being reported or brought to account, who can possibly say anything quantitative about proportions of offenders in small demographics.

    Ta ta!

    • Ugh, I hate typing on iPhones. Feel free to edit the above comment where you think an extra word or a different one would aid comprehension. Regards, X.

    • Yeah not come across the ‘amazing’ atheist really other than some comments on FtBs about him not necessarily being the best person for an unbiased view on feminism. But oh dear just had a look at http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/02/08/the-not-so-amazing-atheist-self-immolates/

      Hehe yeah he may make some good videos (Not looked yet) like Thunderf00t. But being an atheist apparently does not automatically make you “amazing” in any sense. The stuff about liking being dominated as a reason he cannot be a rapist was awful in its ineptitude as well as missing the point by a country mile. I hope he apologised somewhere to the person he attacked and the others he triggered/offended.

      I think given he doesn’t seem to be pushing the anti-FtBs and anti-feminism line that Thunderf00t did/does I’ll err on the side of optimism and assume there is some other reason people like him. Misogyny (Transphobia I’d assume too given some feminists seem to promote it) is easily papered over it seems, unlike racism and homophobia — much more acceptable to be a misogynist!

  4. Countdown to Thaumus Themelios stopping by to promote his own dogma, “Wonderism”: 3… 2… 1…

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