Totally Braced to be Crucified for This....

I personally agree with T-foot on this.

Misogyny is a real problem.  In a world where rape is still used by militaries to demoralize a country's people, how could this be denied?  In a world where girls are kidnapped and forced into prostitution in droves, how could this be denied?  In a world where women's struggle for equal pay and reproductive rights are still an issue in first world countries, how could this be denied?

Do some posters online go too far with sexist comments and other stupidities?  No doubt.  Do some atheist men see women as objects, or what have you?  Absolutely.  Don't think I'm defending these types.  I'm merely suggesting that perhaps we are looking at this and seeing this as the general behaviors when they are in fact the anomolies.

I've been on many atheist forums and chatrooms these past four years.  I love it!  I've never met such cool people in my life!  Our own chatroom here on Think Atheist is awesome!  Great company!  There is a greater percentage of men than women in these forums, just as we see in society.  I've discussed, debated, and shared alot with these guys.  Does the topic of sex come up?  Duh....we're adult humans.  And sex is a fun topic for most of us!  But I've never, EVER felt, in the hundreds of forum situations I've been in, that if I felt uncomfortable or uninterested in those types of discussions, I would be ostracized or criticized for saying so.  I have found that 90% or greater of atheist men I've encountered online are courteous, gentlemanly, and intellectually engaging.  Personally, I find it insulting that these wonderful men are being lumped together and branded sexist, walking penises that only want women atheists around for one thing. And if you can't see the irony in how they are being perceived, then I'm sorry for you.

There are REAL women's issues out there.  Feminism is a REAL stance.  But I can't even allow myself to consider myself a feminist, who fights for equality and human rights for women worldwide, when feminism is now beginning to mean "how DARE you think I'm attractive as well as intelligent" or "you asked me out on a date because you were interested in me?  YOU PIG!".  THIS is not feminism....this is stupidity. 

Just my observation.

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  • kris feenstra

    Cristynfaye,

    I was also confused by the same thing. As it turns out, the mention of t-shirts and fake jewelry were references to specific actions which targeted Skepchick and/ or Amy Davis Roth (who makes skeptic-themed jewelry). I stopped short of digging any further into the issue once I got the gist because I am not interested in in a skeptics conference themed soap opera. As I understand it, the heart of the complaint was about specific acts of mockery, not a call to ban jewelry.

  • Suzanne Olson-Hyde

    @ Unseen - elementary school teaching and nannying? I really don't know.

    My thinking is, as soon as there is a hierarchy, there could well be problems, from the males and females, but for different reasons.

    Even in a small group, with a leader, someone will try to take over, usurp or just bump off.

    With males in power in a company, for instance, and he is married, he feels, that because he is so successful, it is his right to have more females, and can get into trouble, if he starts assuming this, with his female colleagues, aka sexual harassment.

    But with women going up the ladder, they hate men, because they think the male is trying to usurp them, voila, my partner. The thought of taking over his boss' job had not entered his head, but it had hers. BUT when a woman is a CEO, as there are in Australia, she is usually just a front person, and if she makes big decisions against her male peers, she is a bitch, a dragon, she just needs a good bang.

    In Australia, very few men in primary or elementary school, so I don't think it would be a problem there, nannies, yep, no hierarchy that I know off. Even in an Atheist group, I would not join an 'organisation' of Atheists, if there is a hierarchy, there could well be a problem. I have seen this in countless 'groups' of every persuasion.

    With contentious business' such as coal, oil gas mining, cigarettes, the person to front the press here are usually women, trying to soften the blow, or so they think. Doesn't work :)
  • Cristynfaye

    I'm of the belief that if a person feels unsafe, that needs to be dealt with.  Obviously, for whatever reason, some women felt unsafe.  Those feelings are valid, and need to be explored and I think as a community, it would be good to compromise, or at least talk about why people felt unsafe.  However, I don't like the idea of completely de-sexualizing women at these conferences because 1. It makes me feel like I'm back at church camp where I was also made to feel shame for my body and my femininity and sexuality, 2. It makes it sound like men are predators who are always looking for sex and women are silly little girls who just giggle and get fooled into having sex with men, rather than being fully capable human beings who can choose whether or not they want to have sex or flirt, or whatever, 3. What better place to find a like-minded individual with whom you might be able to start a relationship with, than at a conference with a bunch of like-minded people?  I'm sure there are other things, too.  But mostly I just really don't like how this whole thing has polarized so many people within the skeptic/atheist community, when what we need is compassion for each other.  Maybe I sound churchy for saying that, but I believe it's true.  If we want to show Christians and other religious folk that we are moral, loving people who care about shit in the world, then we need to at least have understanding and compassion for each other.  I honestly feel bad that Rebecca Watson, for whatever reason felt violated or unsafe.  Her feelings are her feelings.  If she doesn't want to be hit on, or be asked to a guy's room in the middle of the night, that's her business, and she has every right to feel that way.  What I don't like, is when people start bullying her for those feelings, or when she starts to make rules for other women and men's behavior.  There are wrongs being done on both sides of this argument, in my opinion.